Food Allergies and the “Spotlight of Difference”: Guest Post

Children may face eating challenges for various reasons. Children with extreme picky eating tend to experience higher levels of anxiety, around food and in general. Perhaps the most anxiety-provoking feeding challenge that parents face is life-threatening food allergies. Some children with extreme picky eating also struggle with food allergies, which can complicate the picture even further. Kristin Beltaos has made it her mission to help parents and children not just be safer and healthier, but thrive. We were intrigued and impressed with Kristin Beltaos’ work with parents, children, and schools (A Gift of Miles). She has graciously agreed to share some wisdom in our first guest blog post.   1. We are intrigued by your “Spotlight of Difference” TM. Can you tell us more? First off Katja and Jenny, thank you for the opportunity to communicate with you and your followers. Usually when you think of placing a spotlight on a child you think of something positive, i.e., accomplishing an awesome grade, playing a great sport game, writing a wonderful paper or doing well in a recital. These are all great ways to shine a positive spotlight on a child. It’s fascinating how when we are confronted with a challenging situation, such as creating a safe environment for a food allergic child, our initial instinct is to determine how a child will adapt to our environment, rather than how the situation can be modified so that it’s safe for everyone. When we only address the individual child it will almost always create a Spotlight of Difference TM. In our efforts to create safe environments for children with food allergies, parents and schools alike...

“Help! My Child Isn’t Eating at School!” 8 Fuel-at-School Tips for Picky Eaters

School has started for some of us, and will start for the rest of the country soon! A big worry for parents of picky eaters, especially those with more extreme picky eating and anxiety, is what happens at school around food. We get emails with a variation on this theme all the time: “My son is six, we’ve struggled to get him to eat enough his whole life. It’s all worse at school where he is already anxious. He has twenty minutes, and lunch staff try to make him eat which makes him upset. They threaten to take away recess time. He comes home with his lunch untouched most days and is understandably crabby when I pick him up.” Government programs address child hunger, often through schools: from breakfast in the classroom to free and reduced lunches, millions of children are getting fuel for their day. But what about the “hidden hungry”? The kids these programs can’t help? There are hundreds of thousands of kids heading to school every day from homes with enough food and resources. But they are too distracted, anxious or scared to eat.   Helping Your Child with Fuel at School Gather information How much time does your child have to eat? Can he open containers on his own? Is temperature an issue? Does he prefer foods hot, warm or very cold? Is lunch right before recess, so he’s eager to get outside to maximize playtime? Is he eating in his snowsuit or carrying gloves, or has a hat that gets in his way? Are adults or other children pressuring him to eat? Ask him to...

Pin It on Pinterest