Saturday, March 26, 2011

Could These Be The Reasons For Your Child's Eating Challenges?

I was asked to help a family deal with their son's eating challenges. They had investigated medical reasons and food allergies/intolerances and there were no concerns. They often thought it was related to sensory issues but when we listed all the foods he had eaten in his lifetime it crossed all the lines of sensory issues. He would self restrict his food choices; the list of preferred foods might switch every few weeks. He did well in a structured, routine environment where he knew what was coming next. Although he had verbal skills, it wasn't always meaningful communication. He benefitted greatly from the use of social stories and from visual schedules/supports. These supports allowed him to be more in control in his environment, he could stay on/complete tasks and was happier doing so.

I decided that the biggest issues for him and his eating challenges were being in control of the choices and knowing ahead of time what he was going to have for his meals. Sometimes the only way for kids to know this is to self restrict their diet. They keep it to a small list of foods so they and everyone else can keep track of them. Mom and dad never run out of their preferred foods because they are concerned about how limited their diet is and probably give these preferred foods on demand for the same reason ~ which most of us would do.

So now you have a situation where the child is in control of the choices and since mom and dad don't run out of the foods they probably think even mom and dad like their plan! When they tire of eating the same foods repeatedly they switch their preferred list.

So part of my solution would be to continue to let this little boy be in control, let him the foods he would eat for his meals but he would be given the choices, making them mostly healthy choices, starting with the foods he liked or have eaten in his lifetime then gradually adding new foods. I knew it would really help if the choices presented where in a visual format; if he saw a picture of a food he used to eat he would remember that he liked it!

My plan was very carefully thought out and executed because I wanted it to be successful and it was, for him and hundreds more. And now you know the beginning of the story. Read to find out the rest of the story because it gets even better!

A Very Special Visual Support System

As a special education teacher I had created many visual support systems for children but never had the time to prepare more than what was needed. I knew what I had created for this little boy (see ) could help many more children and families and now as a semi retired person I had the time to make more. So I did! It was a very special visual support system that would enable many to plan and eat a healthier diet.

What I had created for this little boy he called his "Canada Food Guide Game" I wasn't sure such a serious issue should be called a game and his response was "Well, it is FUN!" So a "game"it was and I used it as an acronym for Get Awesome Meals Everyday.

The name changed to The Eating Game to accomodate Copyright and the Patent Application and my innovative and actually quite simple solution would continue to help hundreds more children and families deal with helping picky eaters, obsessive eaters, those who are non verbal, those with developmental delays.

Since the launch of the original Eating Game four years ago, I have launched 2 more Eating Game products:

1) Eater's Choice Daily Meal Planners for those who need an eating game to help them have a healthier diet but don't need the 200+ food pictures for their visual planner. This was in response to customer request and is being used by many to eat a healthy diet. It has helped some of us lose weight or battle eating obsessions and has helped some eat more as needed.

2) The MIY Eating Game Kit - it is The Eating Game in a Make It Yourself format; I supply all the materials you need(laminated charts and pictures and velcro type fastener) to make your own Eating Game. This was in response to many folks who said they would love to have an Eating Game but could not afford it; this enabled me to cut 38% off the price of The Eating Game so that more kids could benefit.

And now you know the rest of the story ~ that was four years ago and because The Eating Game has helped so many children and their families it has become my passion to share it with others in the hopes that it will maybe help even one more person! I have to honestly say that each day my passion is enriched as is the health of many children!

The New MIY Eating Game Kit

PLEASE NOTE: For the month of September 2011 $15 from the sale of each MIY Kit will be donated to Ayn's Freedom Fund

This is the same EATING GAME that is making a difference for many picky eaters and children with autism. It is just in a MIY (Make It Yourself) kit format that you assemble yourself, allowing us to pass on a considerable savings to you.

This kit will give you all the materials you need to make your own Eating Game:

5 Daily Planning Charts
4 Pages of Food Pictures
4 Ziplock Bags for Picture Storage
Hook & Loop Fastener
2 Food Picture Storage Pages
Information Booklet
We will include instructions for you re putting all materials together.

To see pictures and get more info go to

ORDER NOW at When you order your kit please contact me to let me know that you would like me to make the $15 donation on your behalf. THANK YOU!