• Deconstruct to Instruct – TACO EDITION

    🤔 Wondering what this strategy is all about? This is a simple, yet effective way to help little ones that are learning how to master eating a variety of food all mixed together! This can sometimes be a challenge as mixed food may be overwhelming visually, by smell and taste or may even be a challenge for them to chew at first! Hence, let’s deconstruct these mixed foods to instruct our little ones!

    ✅ We recommend following these six steps across a week or two in time!

    – Step one: introduce each ingredient (shell, meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, etc.) separately and not in the same meal

    – Step two: gradually introduce two foods (separated) on the same plate during a meal time
    – Step three: serve all foods on the same plate (separated) during a meal time
    – Step four: serve all foods with two having a connection (meat on a tortilla shell, salsa on lettuce)
    – Step five: provide a small portion of all foods mixed together on the same plate as a regular meal (a regular meal with a mini taco on the side)
    – Step six: serve a full taco!

    🚨 Keep in mind, this strategy is meant to assist with exposure and comfort with mixed textures. It is important for you to model these steps at the same time as your child as this is crucial to the “instruct” piece. When you interact with the food in this progression, you have the opportunity to teach them that salsa is spicy or that putting cheese on hot meat can make it melt! 

  • Meet Your Picky, Problem, Growing Eaters at Our Table

    Seed: This is a learning feeder. This child has not yet developed the skills to eat a wide variety of foods by mouth. This feeder may not be ready to place food into their mouth or may be learning to manage purees or their first meltable solids (e.g., puffs). We may see frequent gagging and choking with these friends. We may have difficulty achieving appropriate weight gain and meeting our nutritional content.

    Seedling: This child may have less than 15 foods they eat regularly, may not be able to tolerate new foods on their plate, may present with “behaviors” at the table, may not be able to sit at the table for more than five minutes, may currently eat different meals than the rest of the family, may request/eat the same foods each day, this child may only accept preferred food brands, and may have difficulty describing/navigating foods with new properties/changes.

    Sprout: This child may have less than 30 foods they eat regularly, this child may be emerging with their ability to see, hear, smell, touch, and occasionally taste new foods, this child may need multiple attempts before they can accept a new food into their inventory, this child often may be able to sit at the table for a full meal and may be presented with the same meal as the rest of the family in addition to their current preferred foods, this child may accept modifications to their preferred food brands and items.

    Blossom: This child has mastered a variety of skills including: seeing, hearing smelling, touching and tasting of foods. This child is able to enjoy foods with our basic senses, but can sit in a proper child size seat and physically engage in eating and feeding skills using his/her vestibular and proprioceptive skills. This child can tolerate a wide variety of foods from each food group, but still may require some hands on play and exploration for new foods.