Improving Picky Eating by Changing Adult Behavior

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Parenting a child who refuses to eat is distressing. Hours can be wasted on creative dishes that are spit out. Help is on the way! Treating underlying biomedical and sensory problems is always the top priority when trying to improve the diet. Ruling out digestive and oral motor issues are important first steps. Positive change also occurs when parents take charge of their own behavior. Psychotherapists insist that you cannot change another person but you can affect the dynamics of the relationship by changing yourself. This article looks at how adult behavior can contribute to picky eating, and devising a workable plan that encourages a wider choice of foods without resistance. Accidental Negative Reinforcement Frustration with a child’s rigidity often leads to fruitless negotiations and bribes. When inducements fail, yelling is next. Yet this inordinate amount of focused attention “accidentally” reinforces the very conduct that needs changing. Children need attention and they will accept it…

Child Malnutrition

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Child malnutrition is often associated with the image of a thin, forlorn child with a distended belly. Another kind of malnutrition, with high and empty calories, runs rampant in America, among people who never experience deprivation. Children with developmental delays are especially susceptible to this type of malnutrition because they tend to be picky eaters or may be on restricted diets for the treatment of allergies or autism. What Is High or Empty Calorie Malnutrition? A person can gain weight eating excessive calories consisting only of bread and french fries, missing the nutrients needed for optimal neurological development.  During critical brain development periods, such a diet can cause permanent damage due to lack of essential vitamin and mineral building blocks. Picky eaters may eat too little food or suffer from empty calorie malnutrition by eating junk foods with excess calories but few nutrients.  If their intake is poor over a long enough period, a type…

ADHD Causes

ADHD Causes

ADHD Causes

Kelly Dorfman, MS, LDN, discusses ADD and ADHD causes. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), with or without hyperactivity, is a subjective diagnosis that physicians apply to a standardized cluster of behaviors and symptoms. ADD/ADHD is on the “less severe” extreme the autistic spectrum, with PDD (pervasive developmental delay) and autism on the “most severe” end. Doctors sometimes “upgrade” autism or PDD to ADD or ADHD as sensory and cognitive function improve. Identifying ADD and ADHD causes assists in determining effective treatments. Attention deficits can result when one or more of the following areas is affected. Biochemical/Nutritional Nutritional Culprits Nutrition alters brain chemistry. When nutrition is compromised, the body is more likely to absorb toxins, causing further distress. Keeping a record of your child’s nutritional intake over several days can be enlightening. Look for these commonalities: A high carbohydrate or sugary diet; Over two cups of juice or sweetened drinks per day; Limited or no vegetables- especially  green leafy ones; Picky eating….

Nutrition and Autism

by Vicki Kobliner MS RD, CD-N Nutrition and autism:  Mention the words “nutrition” and “autism” and many people quickly but exclusively think of gluten and casein free diets (GFCF). While this diet has certainly helped to improve the symptoms of autism for many children, there is far more about nutrition and its relationship to autism that every parent should know before embarking on the complex and often expensive journey into the world of biomedical therapies. Good nutrition is the cornerstone of growth and development for all children, healthy or ill.  When nutritional status is compromised it will directly affect a child’s progress, and for a child with a chronic illness like autism, the lack of critical nutrients can have far reaching effects. Children with autism often exhibit a frustrating mix of picky eating behaviors and limited diets, bowel irregularities, food allergies or sensitivities and physical and behavioral signs of nutrient deficiencies.  A vicious cycle is created which goes something like…