Lecture aims to help parents deal with picky eaters

If you child is a picky eater, specialists at Portage Health are offering help for those who need it.  The hospital hosted a lecture Thursday to give parents advice on how to deal with a picky eater.

“This is my son, Omar. He’s always on the move. But when it’s time to eat, it can be quite the challenge. There’s some foods he likes. And some he doesn’t. If he’s like this now, how is going to be when he’s a teenager?” ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Sam Ali said.  “I had to get some help. So I went to see Elizabeth Martin who specializes in this kind of issue.”

“We have a program at Portage Health that addresses picky eating children, but also kids that have feeding and swallowing disorders. And we thought maybe this information shouldn’t just be for clients. It should be for families and they can utilize some of the information at home,” Martin, a Speech and Language Pathologist with Portage Health Pediatrics, said.

The lecture discussed many topics including how to  make food more appealing for children and the top ten myths about picky eating.  Martin offered some advice to those who attended the lecture.

“One of the tips and solutions we use most frequently is establishing a routine, being positive about food, structure, finding out what level the child is most successful at and then looking at developmental norms to graduate them up to a higher level,” she said.

Martin said positive reinforcement can go a long way into shaping better habits for children.