'Tis the season for family, festivities, and food. The hustle and bustle of the holidays often adds stress and disrupted schedules. As adults, we try our best to adapt to the elevated stress and changes in routine. But children have a much more difficult time coping because their young selves thrive on routine and structure. Changes in meal routines - even if for just one day - can disrupt usual eating patterns. Disruptive behaviors can be further exacerbated among children with ADHD, sensory processing, autism, and/or other developmental disorders.
In addition, parent stress may inadvertently induce a stress response in children that can promote unwanted behaviors including opposition and defiance. For picky eaters, this can mean increased pickiness and emotional outbursts surrounding mealtimes.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I encourage families to empower yourself with knowledge and an action plan heading into the holiday season so that you can let go of food-related guilt and stress, and find food freedom for you and your family! Food family means that you can experience the joy and pleasure of food without being fixated, overwhelmed, or stressed out by it.
Simple behavioral strategies that support routine, structure, and consider feeding behaviors like sensory processing issues and anxiety/stress will make the holidays more manageable for you, your family, and your child.
That’s why I created this handout for you! Click below to download my free PDF handout on 5 Tips for Managing a Picky Eater During the Holidays. Keep it somewhere handy (like on the refrigerator!) to help you get through this exciting but busy time of year! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Book a FREE 15-Minute Discovery Call to ask questions and talk about your holiday action plan for your family.