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#1 of 19 Old 09-01-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I started the Ellyn Satter plan at home with my kids and so far it's going great. (If you're wondering what this is, you can start here: http://www.ellynsatter.com/

Must be brief as I'm on my way out and the kids are bonkers but I thought it might be good to have a place to discuss this family eating plan. My main issues come up with my preschooler so I thought this forum made sense as a location.

Anyway, the main sticking point right now is when we're around friends, like for playdates. Most of my friends feed their kids small amounts whenever they ask for them, which I used to do to, but I now see how it was sabotaging our mealtimes. But what do I do when my kids have had their 3:00 snack, and we're hanging out with another mom and kids for the afternoon and her kids are constantly eating? It comes up a lot and it really screws us up. So far I've let my kids snack because anything else seems rude to the other family and/or unfair to my kids. Anyone come up with a solution?

Thanks!

Katie

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#2 of 19 Old 09-01-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Oh, hi! We do that, but not intentionally. That's just how I was raised. And yes, it is IRRITATING to have snacks everywhere. What I do is this:

-If we will be there around snacktime, I will bring snacks to the park, give them all at once, and then say, "I'm sorry, you had your snack, it's all gone." Period. They may not beg, because it's rude. I tell the other parents, "They just had a snack and I don't want them to learn to be beggars. Sorry about that, we do appreciate it, they've just gotten into a begging habit." And this is really the issue, too.

-If we are going to meet others long after a snack (but before dinner, which frankly rarely happens because we eat early), I let them know, "No begging, please." If the other parent offers, it is usually to me, so I can say, "We had our snacks and I don't want them spoiling their appetites."

-There are also days when I just basically let them have the snack of whatever's at the park with the other parents, and days when I bring enough for everyone. I like sharing and I don't think it's the worst thing in the world if they have a couple of nasty snacks twice a week (and yes, it's nearly always something really gross because we live in a super un-crunchy, unrepentantly soggy area LOL). It's a social food event and that's not bad provided the kids spend most of their time playing. Once they've had their share, "no begging!"

It is hard. But I find the "we don't beg others' food" comes across as less judgmental of the parent who is letting a child graze (which, after all, works for some families) than, "you already ate" because then the child can say, "Well he's still eating!" and that just opens up a whole other can of worms. And again, if the parent offers, I emphasize that this is a bad habit for them, to think whenever anyone eats, they can eat if they ask, again the begging thing.

If someone kept insisting, I am not sure what I'd do. Most of the parents we hang out with are good with limits which is nice!

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#3 of 19 Old 08-14-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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I am wondering what to do about school lunchboxes. 

 

Shall I just put more in?

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#4 of 19 Old 08-14-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Kids don't share their snack in our area, mainly because of allergy concerns, but also because it's a diverse community and many people don't eat some kind of meat / milk / cheese etc.

 

Some suggestions:

 

***bring snack to the park and let your kids eat their snack with other children.

***make sure you have enough so they eat their fill. I find that when my kids truly eat until they are full they stop asking for food handouts. I too used to limit their snack quantities, but I don't worry about it anymore; they'll get hungry in a couple of hours when it's time to eat their meal. Sometimes they even refuse sweets because they truly had enough to eat.

***if they come back and ask for more food, I say: sure, you can have as much as you want of XYZ in a couple of hours, at our next meal or snack. I don't want you to spoil your appetite.

 

HTH
 


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#5 of 19 Old 08-14-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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I am a fan of hers, her Child of Mine Book truly saved our family (MAJOR food issues on both sides) from losing our minds when DS switched to solids.

 

Constant pushing of snacking drives me nuts too.   I didn't come from a snacking family. Add to that, our DS might say he was hungry but never had meltdowns because of it.

 

Can you take raw fruits or veggies as a snack on the days you are with the pushers?  With our DS, those don't have "staying power" so to speak and don't impact his appetite at meal time.

 

I don't think it is rude to the other family to refuse food offered.  Is it possible to walk your LOs around while the other family is snacking?


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#6 of 19 Old 08-16-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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Great idea, starting this thread.  Thanks!

 

We just started following her recommendations too.  We don't worry so much about off-time snacking when we're with other families.  When we're with other kids who are eating and mine want to graze with them, I just let them.  However, since we only see other kids one or two days each week, and usually the kids are so involved with the games they are playing that no one really wants to eat anyway, it's not as much of an issue.  I can see that it might undermine the program if it were happening everyday. 

 

My problem is placing limits on the kitchen.  My kids are accustomed to taking fruit off the counter whenever they want it.  I feel so draconian not allowing my daughter to grab a peach for a snack.  Do you hide the fruit so it's not in plain sight tempting everyone? 

 

Also, do you allow the kids to request what they want for a snack?   If I'm about to put out almonds and my daughter asks if she can have apples, should I be okay with that?  Especially if I'm putting out the almonds because I'm hoping that she'll eat some protien?   

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#7 of 19 Old 08-17-2012, 07:19 AM
 
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How old are your dk dovey?

 

ES says that if they're old enough, they can be in charge of their own snack. So you can let them snack on fruit with one condition: that they stop a couple of hours before their next meal, so they don't spoil their appetite.

 

She also says that if you try to make them eat more / less / different food than they want, you interfere with their job of eating. So I would offer almonds and apples for a snack, you do your job of feeding, and she can do her job of eating whatever her body requires. (just a suggestion)

 

I sometimes offer foods that I know not everybody likes because some of us like them and the kids need the exposure, so they can expand the foods they eat. For example, dd doesn't eat salads (she wouldn't touch a raw vegetable), but I keep serving them because the rest of the family loves them and I'm sure dd will learn to like them too.


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#8 of 19 Old 08-17-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

I sometimes offer foods that I know not everybody likes because some of us like them and the kids need the exposure, so they can expand the foods they eat. For example, dd doesn't eat salads (she wouldn't touch a raw vegetable), but I keep serving them because the rest of the family loves them and I'm sure dd will learn to like them too.

 

absolutely!  I keep the offerings low key.  We don't make a big deal out of what is on the table (a huge step for DH) and just keep offering a variety of things, with reason.  For 5+ years, DS wouldn't touch a shrimp and then one night, he picked up the two I happened to put on his plate that night and he asked for more.

 

Salad was another No food for DS. Then one night he ate the few leaves on his plate and asked for more and "some of those brown things"  (mushrooms)  Now, he will eat an entire bowel of raw veggies.   It wasn't a short journey but we never made it a big deal.  DS picked up new foods on his schedule and it worked out just fine.  FYI, I never made him seperate meals but I did make sure something he liked went on the table each meal.  Maybe he ate apples and a piece of cheese one night and rice and beans the next night, a huge piece of salmon the next but over the course of a week, I knew he had a balanced diet.  I think so many parents get caught up in a single moment in time and freak out because their DC didn't eat X bites of veggies, X bites of protein, etc. every meal.


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#9 of 19 Old 08-17-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:

How old are your dk dovey?

 

ES says that if they're old enough, they can be in charge of their own snack. So you can let them snack on fruit with one condition: that they stop a couple of hours before their next meal, so they don't spoil their appetite.

 

 

My kids are 22 months, 6 years, and 8 years.  My 8 year old and the baby both eat a fairly balanced diet.  My 6 year old daughter is the one who I worry about.  I'm not sure if she is old enough to choose her own snacks or not.  My daughter tends to choose strange items in excess to snack on if I don't limit them (i.e. several unripe apples, raw rice, raw oatmeal, raw pasta, sliced up raw onions).  Additionally, she'll eat ripe fruit if left to her own devices.  I think it makes sense to offer both fruit (something that she really wants) and a protein like nuts (something I think she needs).  The main thing for me is just to be able to keep my lips zipped and not try to get her to eat things.  

 

The Satter system does seem to be helping her have a more balanced diet over many days; I think she gets hungry enough to eat beans and tofu at meal times, rather than only fruits, vegetables and uncooked grains. 

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#10 of 19 Old 08-18-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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My kids are 22 months, 6 years, and 8 years.  My 8 year old and the baby both eat a fairly balanced diet.  My 6 year old daughter is the one who I worry about.  I'm not sure if she is old enough to choose her own snacks or not.  My daughter tends to choose strange items in excess to snack on if I don't limit them (i.e. several unripe apples, raw rice, raw oatmeal, raw pasta, sliced up raw onions).  Additionally, she'll eat ripe fruit if left to her own devices.  I think it makes sense to offer both fruit (something that she really wants) and a protein like nuts (something I think she needs).  The main thing for me is just to be able to keep my lips zipped and not try to get her to eat things.  

 

The Satter system does seem to be helping her have a more balanced diet over many days; I think she gets hungry enough to eat beans and tofu at meal times, rather than only fruits, vegetables and uncooked grains. 

I find it's really hard not to say anything or give them "the look".
 

Maybe you can ask your 6 y/o to choose her snack from a list that you both agree on.

 

I don't know about raw grains, but I love unripe apples and raw onions, I used to eat tons of unripe fruits when I was a kid. It's not a very conventional snack, that's for sure.


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#11 of 19 Old 08-18-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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Caneel, you give me hope orngbiggrin.gif


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#12 of 19 Old 08-22-2012, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Caneel, you give me hope orngbiggrin.gif

 

Me too! It's so timely that this thread got bumped. I have strayed from the Satter method and have been thinking about getting back to it. In the two years since I wrote the OP, there have been a lot of changes. My son, now 6, went through an OT evaluation and was found to have mild to moderate sensory issues. I guess they can't officially diagnose him as SPD, only a developmental pediatrician can, but they said it's pretty clear he's on the spectrum.  But he functions well and we've decided not to do much more testing for now. The main area of difficulty remains his eating. He is SUPER sensitive to textures and tastes. He can tell if the brand of maple syrup is different and will refuse breakfast based on that. Eating is a really stressful thing for him. We did the whole Satter thing for maybe a year and a half. During that time he didn't eat a single vegetable. The number of foods he would eat decreased, rather than increasing as the method suggests. Finally I just couldn't take it any more, and last fall I started giving him "minimums" of the foods he would normally refuse to try. I'd give him maybe a tablespoon of quinoa, a single baby carrot, etc. It is a miserable laborious process getting him to eat these tiny amounts of food he doesn't like. Sometimes he gags. Tonight was particularly bad. So I think we will go back to Satter. While his diet was not great while we were on the Satter plan, he did respond well to the regularly timed snacks and meals (we did keep up with that) and he certainly had a lot less anxiety around mealtime. It just kind of kills me to see him eat two bites of chicken (heavily doused in ketchup) and a slice of bread for dinner.

 

Meanwhile, my daughter is now 3.5 and has grown up with this eating plan. I don't know if it's her temperament or having grown up eating this way, (probably a combination of both), but she is an amazing eater. She eats a huge variety of foods, loves raw veggies, loves many different grains and meats, eats happily and regulates her own intake. Just as described in the book, she will try a new food, and if she doesn't like it, she may try it again the next time, and after a few times (especially if I don't make a big deal about it) will declare she likes it, and we'll have a new food in the repetoire.

 

My experience with the two kids' and their opposite eating habits has been really interesting. I wonder what things would have been like with my son had I never introduced chicken nuggets and ketchup, and hadn't offered alternatives when he didn't like something. I wonder if this plan really only works well with neurotypical kids, and if something different is required for kids like my son with extreme texture and taste aversions. At any rate, I'm feeling discouraged and upset about it. I don't want my son to be stressed about eating, but I also don't want him growing up on plain pasta and hot dogs. I think I may need to work more on the bread portion of the meal. Maybe if I can make my own super nutritious rolls to serve with dinner, I'll feel more confident serving something like beef stew that my daughter will lap up and my son won't touch. Ideas?


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#13 of 19 Old 08-23-2012, 07:02 AM
 
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Katielady - I think one of her books addresses the type of issues you describe.  I have one of her books and skimmed through others at the library and I remember seeing at least one chapter on diagnosed issues.

 

You raise an interesting question - I wonder what things would have been like with my son had I never introduced chicken nuggets and ketchup, and hadn't offered alternatives when he didn't like something.

 

What does happen in places/cultures where there is no alternatives?  There are seperate branches in my family tree that truly knew hunger (extreme poverty on one side, living as war refugees on another)  and the idea that a person of any age can't or won't eat what was served to them because they didn't like it was something they couldn't comprehend and simply didn't tolerate.

 

I could write a book about all the food and eating issues I grew up with.  DH brought his own to the marriage and we were primed to pile all of them onto DS.  I am not kidding, reading her Child of Mine book changed our lives and thank goodness, I read it prior to DS starting solids.  It gave me the confidence to change my concept of feedng my child and family.  There were times it was hard and DH and I butted heads often (and still do) when our "issues" come back around. 


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#14 of 19 Old 08-24-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dovey View Post

 

My problem is placing limits on the kitchen.  My kids are accustomed to taking fruit off the counter whenever they want it.  I feel so draconian not allowing my daughter to grab a peach for a snack.  Do you hide the fruit so it's not in plain sight tempting everyone? 

 

Yup.  And my kids were accustomed to just going in the fridge and grabbing a bag of baby carrots.  I'm still (after nearly a year) having to tell my 8yo to put them back, it's not snack time.  eyesroll.gif  It does feel very prison-like sometimes.

 

 

 

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Also, do you allow the kids to request what they want for a snack?   If I'm about to put out almonds and my daughter asks if she can have apples, should I be okay with that?  Especially if I'm putting out the almonds because I'm hoping that she'll eat some protien?   

 

Sometimes I give them a choice of two things that I choose, but they don't get to just decide.  It's a decision from one of the options I've given them; and I don't do that all the time.  It's my role to choose the "what" and I take care to be sure that I include stuff they like... kwim?

 

 

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I sometimes offer foods that I know not everybody likes because some of us like them and the kids need the exposure, so they can expand the foods they eat. For example, dd doesn't eat salads (she wouldn't touch a raw vegetable), but I keep serving them because the rest of the family loves them and I'm sure dd will learn to like them too.

 

yeahthat.gif  And ES goes into detail about when and how to introduce or include foods that the family doesn't love.  I can't remember which book, though.

 

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Katielady - I think one of her books addresses the type of issues you describe.  I have one of her books and skimmed through others at the library and I remember seeing at least one chapter on diagnosed issues.

 

"How To Get Your Kid To Eat... But Not Too Much" has a section like that but it doesn't cover sensory problems.


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#15 of 19 Old 08-25-2012, 04:23 AM
 
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My experience with the two kids' and their opposite eating habits has been really interesting. I wonder what things would have been like with my son had I never introduced chicken nuggets and ketchup, and hadn't offered alternatives when he didn't like something. I wonder if this plan really only works well with neurotypical kids, and if something different is required for kids like my son with extreme texture and taste aversions. At any rate, I'm feeling discouraged and upset about it. I don't want my son to be stressed about eating, but I also don't want him growing up on plain pasta and hot dogs. I think I may need to work more on the bread portion of the meal. Maybe if I can make my own super nutritious rolls to serve with dinner, I'll feel more confident serving something like beef stew that my daughter will lap up and my son won't touch. Ideas?

 

LOL, I haven't even noticed this is an old thread. It comes very timely for me because I have had some eating issues (well, feeding issues) with my dd. She is above her normal percentile for weight (and a bit for height as well). She always was a chubby child, but I was partly creating her eating problems by limiting her portions, which caused her to constantly ask for food and overeat whenever she got the chance. So, based on my experience, I wouldn't limit food.

 

You might try different vegetables /fruit served differently. If your ds doesn't like cooked vegetables, would he eat them raw? Does he eat fruit?


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#16 of 19 Old 10-19-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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Hi Mommies! I've turned to Mothering for great advice for many years now but this is my first post. Katielady, thanks SO MUCH for starting this thread (though I don't know if anyone's still checking it... it was started quite a while ago!) I've having difficulties with DS #1 for about a year now and the issues aren't resolving themselves like they're *supposed* to when you follow the ES approach. irked.gif

 

I have been following the Ellyn Satter approach to feed both of my sons since they could take solids. My youngest is a year old and has NO problems whatsoever with eating. He devours everything that I offer him and has a very hearty appetite. My eldest (who is 3), on the other hand, has been a "meh" kind of eater all his life. Despite stickng to my guns with the Satter method, he's still got these really bad eating habits:

 

1. He LOVES carbs of all kinds and eats A LOT of them at all of his meals. Often, he will turn his nose up at everything else offered and only eat the carb, be it rice, noodles, pasta, bread, etc.

2. He refuses to eat pretty much all veggies. The only one that he will eat is sweet potato.

3. He is no longer willing to try new foods as readily as he used to be.

4. With junk food, he pretty much never self regulates! Mind you, we don't offer it to him often or have much of it around so perhaps it's because he doesn't get enough opportunities to learn to self regulate with junk. But, the times when he is offered cookies, for instance, he'll happily sit and eat 6 cookies and still want more! (This is after he has had a full meal just before, and said he's full) I then have to force myself to step away from the ES method and put a stop to it and tell him no more because I just cannot stand to allow him to consume so much junk!

5. If he doesn't like anything that's offered at a meal, he'll just chug down milk. Sometimes, I sadly step away from the ES method and limit the amount of milk he can consume and switch him over to water.

 

There are MORE isses but these are the main ones that I'd really love advice on. I've held strong for these 3 years, with the belief that the ES approach will eventually kick in and help get his healthy eatng habits going. But, after a year of having these issues and still no change in sight, I'm starting to lose the strength and am so tempted to start wavering!

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#17 of 19 Old 10-20-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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I just started reading one of her books. My son is a major pan handler. I follow it loosely though. My son usually chooses his snacks, but always chooses something healthy, so I don't want to have a power struggle. I might have to change this though once ds2 gets older as he'll probably start having conflicting opinions as to what he wants for snack. Right now he just wants what ds1 is having. Also, I vaguely remember in her book saying it was OK to limit milk if that's what your kid was filling up on.

I'm right now having trouble dealing with extended visits to the in laws house. They'll give him anything at anytime. Then when we come back home, he's into bad habits again.
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#18 of 19 Old 10-21-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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Hi KatieLady,

 

Sensory issues underlie all eating issues when the eating issues are not resolved with "normal" courses of action.  You state that  your son does have some sensory stuff.  I would strongly recommend that you find a speech therapist or occupational therapist who has been trained with SOS Feeding Solutions out of Denver, CO.   They mentor therapists worldwide, so I imagine you can find someone close to you. Find them and take your son.  It has changed our lives.  For the better.  My son is a much more confident eater and has gained foods, rather than losing them.  They recommend Sater's book for the routines around food, however, the sensory underlayment needs additional tweaking and treatment to make Sater's stuff work.  Really, really, really can't say enough good things about Dr. Toomey and the work she has done with SOS.  Also, you may want to seriously consider a more aggressive OT treatment protocol even if your son's issues aren't too severe.  His sensory stuff is severe enough it is impacting his eating.  If you work on the sensory, his eating will also improve.  Email me offline if you wish.  Our lives are vastly different than they were a  year ago, and we've only had about 7 months of food intervention/learning.  The best of luck to you!  You are on the right track in getting the sensory piece diagnosed.  Now you can make it work to your son's benefit with his eating.  He's such a lucky young boy to have such an in tune mama!

 

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Another thing, KatieLady, is please don't beat yourself up over the chicken nuggets.  The only thing that would have happened had you not found his favorite foods, is he would have started falling in growth patterns due to his sensory stuff, so you would have had major food AND growth issues.  I have met many, many parents now, and your statement about Sater's stuff working more effectively with neurotypicals is right on.  All of us with sensory kids and food issues wonder if we should have done things differently.  Dr. Toomey explains why you child prefers chicken nuggets - in my son's case, he has low muscle tone (which is not obvious at all and was never identified before seeing her) but was affecting his ability to chew effectively with his jaw and so food owuld go down half chewed and hurt like crazy, so he learned to stick with "pre-chewed" foods like nuggets that were easier to eat.  There was a reason my son chose nuggets and I could never make anything equivalent at home.  We've worked on strengthening muscle tone through OT and food school, practiced proper chewing pattern (he had an immature chewing pattern which also made it difficult to get foods to the right size), and started introducing more challenging rib meat only chicken nuggets first.  He learned to eat those, and then he actually ate homemade pork tenderloin nuggets that had been tenderized recently! YAHOO!  Every change has to be very strategically laid out with these kids though.  I want to reassure you again, though: You have done NOTHING wrong.  As a matter of fact, you've been following Sater adn doing everything possible right, so you will be able to just focus on the physical and sensory process of eating for your son.  Did you know that there are 32 sensory steps to getting a piece of food into your mouth before swallowing it?  That's why the sensory issues are so important in the eating difficulties of our kids.  Email me offline if you wish: adventure_mates@yahoo.com.  I sincerely hope that this is helpful for someone on this thread.  It's a life changer when you figure out you can help your child eat better after years of trying things that just don't work.

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