about the book

You don’t have to choose between fighting over every bite and only serving a handful of foods. There is hope, even if your child ‘failed’ feeding therapies. After gaining a foundation of understanding of your child’s challenges and the dynamics at play, you’ll be ready to transform feeding and meals so your child can learn to enjoy a variety of foods in the right amounts for healthy growth. Discover strategies to deal with anxiety, low appetite, sensory and autism spectrum-related challenges, oral motor delay, and more. Tips and exercises reinforce your skills, and ‘scripts’ help you respond to your child in the heat of the moment, as well as to grandparents or your child’s teacher as you help them support your family on this journey.



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Learn specific strategies to:

Decrease anxiety

Optimize appetite

Address sensory and autism-spectrum related challenges

Support nutrition and healthy growth

Restore peace to your dinner table

Foundation of Understanding

Chapter 1: Understanding ‘Normal’

  • Typical Intake, Growth and Development
  • Sensory Continuum
  • Appetite and Interest 

Chapter 2: Understanding Your Child’s Challenges

  • “It Hurts”: Medical Challenges
  • “I Can’t”: Oral Motor
  • “I Don’t Like How This Feels”: Sensory
  • “I Don’t Want To”: Temperament and Power Struggles
  • “I’m Scared”: Negative Experiences
  • Misunderstanding Can Worsen or Cause Feeding Problems
  • Diagnostic Considerations

Chapter 3: Understanding Your Role

  • The Worry Cycle of Feeding
  • What Are You Worried About: Nutrition, Growth
  • Counterproductive Feeding, the Why and the How
  • Why Kids Push Back
  • Kids Learn to Eat for the Wrong Reasons
  • Pressure Increases Anxiety, Decreases Appetite
  • Pressure Makes Kids Like Food Less

Steps to Progress

Chapter 4: Step One: Decrease Anxiety, Stress and Power Struggles
  • Address Your Anxiety 
  • Ideas to Lessen Anxiety
  • Your Child’s Anxiety
  • Decreasing Power Struggles
  • Protecting Your Child From Pressure From Others

Chapter 5: Step Two: Routine

  • Routine to the Rescue: Helps Behavior, Anxiety, and Appetite
  • Getting to the Table
  • Flexibility in Routine
  • Your Children Will Test the Routine:
  • When They Don’t Eat, When They Won’t Come to the Table, When They Act Out
  • The Structure That Isn’t
  • Nurture Your Child

Chapter 6: Step Three: Have Family Meals

  • What Is a Family Meal?
  • Roles at the Table: Yours and Your Child’s
  • Family Table Mood Makeover
  • Serving Family or Buffet Style
  • Dessert
  • Paper Napkin Security Blanket
  • Offering Food the Better Way
  • What to Say What Not to Say
  • Eating Together Away From Home
  • Nannies and Daycare 

Chapter 7: Step Four: WHAT and HOW to Serve

  • Menu plan for the whole family
  • Support Nutrition with Bridges
  • Sensory Preference Matching
  • When You Don’t Know How to, Don’t Want to, or Can’t Cook (Yet)
  • Introducing New Foods
  • Preparing and Serving Meats and Fruits and vegetables
  • Sweets and Treats
  • Special Circumstances

Chapter 8: Step Five: Building Skills

  • Building Skills and Familiarity, Motor-sensory, Drinking
  • Addressing Challenges
  • Therapy Options
  • Good Therapy
  • Red Flags
  • Long vs. Short term goals

Chapter 9: Steps Toward Hope and Progress

  • Recognizing Progress
  • Attitude and Anxiety First
  • Stages of Progress
  • When Progress Stalls
  • Healthy and Happy
  • Parting Words

Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin have crafted a book that provides very specific suggestions to help parents both understand and address their picky child’s eating. It belongs in the library of every parent and therapist who wants to support a child’s (and a family’s) positive relationship with food and mealtimes.

Suzanne Evans Morris, PhD, SLP

New Visions

Rowell and McGlothlin expertly illuminate the complex emotional world of children with extreme picky eating and the caregivers who struggle to feed them. Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is a masterpiece of practical strategies, compassion, and reassurance perfect for parents, pediatricians, and anyone who remembers hating ‘just one more bite.’

Jessica Setnick MS, RD, CEDRD

pediatric eating disorder specialist, cofounder of the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians, and author of The Eating Disorders Clinical Pocket Guide

Finally, there’s a solid resource for families who struggle with extreme picky eating! Rowell and McGlothlin leave no stone unturned as they help parents navigate all aspects of their child’s eating from the ‘how’ of family dinners to decisions about feeding therapy. I will recommend this book again and again. Maryann Jacobson, MS, RD

blogger and speaker, and coauthor of Fearless Feeding, Raise Healthy Eaters blog

Finally! Not just an acknowledgment, but an exploration and even a ‘How-To Manual’ on dealing with the long-neglected missing piece of pediatric feeding therapy – the emotional dynamic for both the child and the parent! Let’s face it, eating is not just about nutrition. It’s also about enjoyment and family relationship. This gets lost amidst all health and medical concerns when a child severely limits his eating. Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin have given us a map for restoring and healing these components as well. Parents and therapists alike will be profoundly grateful. Jennifer Meyer, SLP

popular international speaker in the areas of pediatric dysphagia and neonatal therapy

Lots of books promise to help solve ‘picky eating’ problems, but this one actually does! Katja and Jenny have put together a comprehensive masterpiece of feeding advice for the parent struggling with the food-averse child.

Skye Van Zetten

mom and blogger, Mealtime Hostage

I would strongly recommend this book to any parent who is struggling with mealtime.

Erin Erickson, MPH, MN, RN,

founder and co-host , Mom Enough®

Katja Rowell, MD and Jennifer McGlothlin GET the anxiety and many challenges both children and families feel when children are highly selective eaters! They offer sensitive, thoughtful and practical suggestions to support families in their journey towards happier and healthier mealtimes.

Marsha Dunn Klein M.Ed., OTR/L, FAOTA

pediatric therapist, educator, author, Mealtime Connections

What I appreciate most about Helping your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is its respectful approach for both parents and children. It offers parents hope, understanding and practical strategies that really work. Based on sound research and a true understanding of children, it gently but confidently guides families through the steps of building a healthy relationship with food. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Ed.D

author Raising Your Spirited Child, Parent Child Help

A wonderful parent-friendly resource that is easy-to-read and full of practical suggestions to help your child ‘come to the table!’ Catherine S Shaker, MS/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

pediatric speech-language pathologist, co-author The Early Feeding Skills Assessment Tool for NICU Infants



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