About

Welcome to Learn To Love Food!

As a speech-language pathologist who specializes in pediatric feeding therapy, I’ve shared many frustrations, milestones and successes with children and families dealing with feeding disorders and picky eating.

We can’t make kids eat. We can’t make them eat something they don’t like the taste of, are scared of, don’t like the texture of, or something they think will make their tummies hurt. We all have control over what we will put in our mouths, chew and swallow. We don’t want to take that control over their bodies away from kids. We can’t make them eat.

BUT…

We can teach them about food. We can teach them about how food smells, how it feels, how it tastes, how we can manipulate food with our hands, how we can taste it with our fingers, lips and tongue, how our teeth can crunch it, how we can send it to our tummies and make hunger go away. With love, compassion, fun and playfulness, we can teach kids the skills and comfort level they need to eat a wider and wider variety of foods. We can teach them to LOVE FOOD!!

In this blog I’m sharing activities from years of feeding therapy sessions. I hope you find them fun and helpful!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy and happy food-play!!

161 thoughts on “About

  1. Really wish this kind of thing was around when I was little. I was 15 before I discovered I actually liked food; before that it was just a horrible necessity and I dreaded every dinner time. Thankfully things have moved on a bit since the 70s and now one of my favourite ways to relax is going to a nice restaurant. Keep up the good work!

  2. This looks fantastic. Really wish something like this had been around when I was little; I was 15 before I realised I actually liked food. Before that every dinner time was an absolute nightmare. Thankfully things have moved on since then – good luck to everybody who is going through this.

  3. Well it’s a long story really, but way back in 1973 a health visitor told my mum I was underweight and that she had to make me eat, which she did, I was force-fed and called names if I didn’t eat. We had rules about correct meal-time behaviour and all this coupled with the 70s diet of kidneys, pigs liver, tinned meat and frozen burgers and faggots, was not a good combination. I used to gag on meat, especially if there was any fat or gristle running through it but was fine with fruit, veg, cheese and things like chicken breast. It was when I started doing GCSE in Home Economics, where we had to plan menus and cook them ourselves that this changed, because I got to try out different recipes for myself. As an adult I have learned to cook meat properly, ie slowly so that all the sinews and fat melt away and to season it properly. I have a very relaxed attitude towards meal-times with my son – we don’t sit up to a table – I know a lot of people frown on that, and when we’re with relatives I let him get down from the table and play if that’s what he wants t do, we cook together and have a lot of picnics. If he doesn’t like his dinner I make him a sandwich or beans on toast instead; I don’t want any drama over food in my house. Like I say, I know that way of doing things wouldn’t be right for everyone – but it works for me.

  4. Thank you for the award nomination, but I have to say, YOU inspire me. Your subject is just SO smart, your writing is so empathetic and clear, and your site is so clean. I’ve shared you with our care team. You’ve literally changed the way we look at meals/snacks/food at our house! Thank you!

    1. You’re so welcome, and wow, thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing the blog/posts. I’m hoping Learn To Love Food can be a resource for families and other professionals, so I hope they find it helpful, too!

  5. I totally agree with you on ‘Food is one of our basic human needs…’ I am also in the process of learning to love the food I eat and thus my blog. Thanks for liking my post.

  6. Thank you for following my blog runstreak4asd. I look forward to reading your posts. My 9 year old son has Autism. We have cut out all artificial dyes, msg, high fructose corn syrup, and other things. He is essentially addicted to carbs – bread, fruit, crackers, cereal. Things loaded in simple carbs that are easy to chew and digest. A big factor is texture, smells, and sensory issues from autism. I’ve read a ton about it and it’s relation to Autism. I’m sure I’ll get some good ideas from your posts though. I’m a fitness instructor, runner, triathlete and I feel like I have a good handle on nutrition – to fuel the body. But trying to feed a 9 year old is a different challenge! Can’t wait to learn some things from you.

    1. It is a challenge–It sounds like you know a lot and are learning a lot to help your son! Thanks so much for following Learn To Love Food; I hope you find some really useful information! If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to post about, like a particular food or texture, please let me know and I’ll write about it. Thanks!

  7. Many thanks for the “like” at TweedTypewriter! You have a great site…especially the images! ; they add a colorful and engaging dimension to your writing. What is it about food and eating? I never particularly set out to write about either but somehow my poems consistently find their way back to those subjects (For example, this story of Savory Pancakes: http://tweedtypewriter.com/2014/03/20/griddiliculous/). I will definitely be browsing your posts, especially the photography. Informative and inspiring stuff throughout. Best wishes!

  8. Wonderful words – I couldn’t agree more. For me a big part of teaching children to love food, is get them in the garden with you. Grow your own food – the garden is one of the best class rooms we as parents have. Thankyou for your blog. 🙂

  9. Hi Kim, I appreciate all you have done here! I will be trying many of your suggestions. I have 3 children. My oldest is a picky eater. He has made gains, but this will help him try new foods with less anxiety! Thanks for all the great information. Tiffany

  10. You’re certainly an artist when it comes to food presentation– which I truly believe would especially enhance kids’ love of a sometimes thumbs-down item. I had a friend who hated cauliflower; said it was too bland… no flavor. Then one day I made a recipe normally reserved for mashed potato salad– but instead I used cauliflower in place of potatoes. He thought it was fantastic, and was even more surprised when I revealed the ingredients. Cool blog site you have here, Kim.

  11. Loved your recent blog post. The fruit blocks idea is great. I never really had a picky eater so these thoughts help me think new ways with my grandkids some of whom are picky. Thanks for visiting and liking my recent post.

  12. I wanted to drop by and extend thanks for the like on becoming His Butterfly. This looks like a very interesting blog! I have two on the spectrum and we have had and hurdled over a good many sensitivities to food. Can’t wait to read more of your perspective! And, also, bless you for your work in speech and language. People like you have been a Godsend for us. 🙂

  13. God bless speech and language pathologists. If not for your line of work, neither of my sons would communicate as well as they do. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  14. Do you have ideas for teenagers who are picky-sensory eaters? My son is 13 and has a very small selection of foods he will eat. If something is new or different he won’t even give it a try. I end up making multiple meals for my different eaters. I feel like a short-order cook.

    1. I do! 13 is a great age to learn about food and a 13-year-old has a lot of ways of learning that young kids don’t. You could try doing an activity where your 13-year-old looks at recipes with you and picks 1 or 2 for the week. You could start with recipes that have ingredients you know he likes and work towards getting comfortable with new foods before introducing them into new recipes. Have him help with some steps like grocery shopping and/or preparation. Let these be the adventurous meals of the week so he knows what to expect. Gardening is also a great activity for teenagers! I would also recommend using strategies from the book Food Chaining. Details are on my other resources page. Food chaining is a really nice way to use each child’s individual preferences to slowly introduce new foods.

  15. Greetings, glad you liked The Burrito Dog on one of my sites. Please feel free to share that recipe with any young/old child and/or parent if you feel it may help?! I have 5 happy, healthy children (Age: Fraternal twins (boy/girl) just 4 y.o., 6, 8, 10 y.o) and am truly blessed. Great work you are doing here. I am your newest follower! Best Regards, Cheryl.

  16. you make a difference for these kids! My sister is a speech pathologist for elderly people and deals with many nutritional and feeding aspects. people like you make an important contribution to vulnerable people.

  17. What a fantastic blog, so informative. Thank you for the like on my post: “Calling Boo on the 4-Month Sleep Regression,” which is how I found you. Quick question, as I was looking over your blog, I didn’t see any mention of food with babies. Do you have any techniques or tips for weaning/introducing food to babies? Or do the same principles apply? Thanks.

    1. Hi, thank you! In general, the same rules do apply. The more babies touch and explore food, the more they learn about it and the more comfortable they become with it. Babies mirror our emotions and our actions just like older kids, so they’ll get excited about foods we get excited about and make yucky faces at foods we show we don’t like. All these generalities are definitely the same. There are a lot of different strategies to wean babies out there and I don’t promote any one over another unless I am making individual recommendations for clients. Generally, introducing one food at a time to learn about any food sensitivities is important at first. Also, I do recommend for babies to eat some puree as they wean, especially thicker purees, to strengthen the musculature of the tongue base and throat. Wow, this is getting long and probably deserves a full post–I hope that answered your question! Thanks for your comment!

  18. Hello, Thank you for popping in and liking my posts. I’m loving your food pictures they’re great. I really love the idea of the playing like toys one, great way to get kids interactive with their food.

  19. Thanks for liking my post! I thought I would return the favor and check out your blog. I am currently on a cooking journey, and with two toddlers in the house, I feel like your site could be very helpful to me as my kids get older (and thereby, pickier.)

  20. Hi, I am glad you liked my post on the hypertufa pots. It was fun making them. I can’t wait for them to be finished so we can plant something in them. I see your blog is about food, well, let me tell you, we love food at our house. One time when we went out to eat and the waitress asked me and my brother what we wanted with out main food we said broccoli and she could not believe it. She told us that no other kids had asked for broccoli ever. We grow tomatoes and basil and rosemary in our garden. We want chickens for eggs but are not sure we can have them. My brother and I eat almost everything. He hates the yellow part of the egg, any rice or pasta or bread, well, he eats some bread. Oh and he hates almost everything fried. My mom says he is a great eater. My mom and I like bread and cheese but we only eat them sometimes and always before 6 pm and the bread is whole wheat. So I guess you could say we eat well. We will check out your recipes and let you know how they went.

  21. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for being the first to look at my new site: musingsbyvivienne.com! You found it even before I have done any linking/sharing.

    I love your site too – a very specific topic but so interesting and well written. I’ll be back!

  22. I really enjoyed reading ur blogs and have found it to be the most useful blogs I’ve read so far. We have 10 month old twin girls, so I wonder if some of what you wrote applies to that age?

    1. Thank you and thank you for reading! There is a bunch on here that applies to 10 month-olds. I used to work with children only birth-3 years-old, so I tend to think a lot about that age. There is a set of posts I did on purees that are great for that age as well as the posts on meltable/dissolvable solids. You can find them under the “Pick an activity” pull-down menu in the right column. Also there’s a post on turn-taking games under the games category, which was meant for that age. I try to add suggestions to make most activities friendly for different ages. If there’s anything you really want to try, but aren’t sure how to do it with 10 month-olds, I could give some more specific ideas on one food or activity. Thanks again for your interest!

  23. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and allowing me to find yours in the process!! As you saw, I have a tubie son, so we have been in the world of food play and getting responsibility right for a very long time! For us, we add that he has the responsibility of whether to eat or not. But I have to say that 11 years on, with little physical disability, it can be hard not to feel stressed around food! Hopefully we will eventually get the help he deserves, but I think we’re still a way off. I will happily lurk here for thoughts, thank you!

    1. I hope you find the help you’re seeking for your son–It sounds like you are an amazing advocate for him! I’m so glad you found the site, too, and hope this can be a place that offers information and support!

  24. As a food lover, your blog is very amazing to me especially with rice on your background which I love most. 🙂 Food is a part of happiness. You have a happy blog.

    1. Thank you! I completely agree, food is part of happiness. It’s our responsibility to pass this joy on to children. It is part of the joy of being human! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  25. WOW, I love this place!! thank you for being YOU! There is no one perfect diet for all people and so to learn to enjoy, discover and eat great food is just the way to discover one’s own diet! You have been bookmarked! I have children (not mine) that can benefit from this!! Thank you!

  26. Thank-you for stopping by staceyldehn.wordpress.com, Our Journey in Autism. It is exciting to see new people liking my blog! You followed me and I will now follow you.

  27. Hi, there. Thanks for liking my blog post today.

    Yours is a helpful site for many worried moms and dads, I am sure. When my daughters were little there wasn’t much they wouldn’t eat, but if so, there was always good old grilled cheese sandwiches on which we could rely, especially if we were eating out. We still chuckle over that. “Steak? Prawns? Chicken Alfredo?” “No, thanks. I’ll just have grilled cheese.”

    When I was growing up in a big family (ten siblings), there was little fussing over the fare–just hoping there would be enough for seconds!

    Cheers.

  28. My parents would have loved you 27 years ago:) I find very interesting what you are doing and would like to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award, if you are okay with it!:) I’ll post about it within 2 days!

  29. Thanks for liking my blog. The first solid food my son had was mashed turnip, grown on our allotment. That was 30 years ago. He has always loved trying new foods and loves cooking.

  30. How interesting and a totally different side of the coin to the life I amliving right now where the kids often have zero food to eat. My brother was such a problem to my mother with his pickiness that when I gre up and became pregnant the first thing I said to my husband was “Our son will eat anything and everything!” 35 years on and he still does but he is married to a beautiful Norweigan girl who has a weight issue as in lack of weight and claims to simply “not like food.” I will look around here with interest on so many levels. Thanks for finding my humble blog offerig! xxx

  31. I love this concept. I have a similar philosophy. My blog focuses a little more on education in the kitchen but we do offer advice for fussy eaters. Where are you based? I love finding like minded people and even better if they are bloggers 🙂

  32. Your blog really hits home. Since I have collagenous colitis and other autoimmune disorders, and a marvelous nutritionist recommended a gluten-free diet (even though I do not have celiac disease), and I am the grandmother of a two-year-old with numerous ear infections (which tubes to be put in next week will hopefully eliminate), the importance of diet and teaching children to appreciate food cannot be stressed enough. Thank you for liking my humble blog post!

      1. You are so sweet, thank you 🙂 I’m having trouble finding the directions on your blog though…probably because it’s taken me a bit to get back to you!! So sorry, but thank you!

          1. Cool, thanks! I was doing the same thing, then feel a pull when nominated by a blogger I really like and admire (like yourself :). Thank you so much for the nomination and example of using your time for what you need to do! I’m going to try to stay focused as well! 🙂

  33. I used to love food, but things got a little too intense so we’re taking a break. It’s complicated.

    Actually, I think this blog is really cool.

  34. What a sweet blog. Your food creations and suggestions are beautiful. Thank you for stopping by my blog : ) and sharing one of my “birth stories”… : )

  35. This is such a great blog! Your creativity with food is AMAZING! My son has slowly become more adventurous but he’s still really skeptical of new foods. I’d never thought of letting him play with it first – genius!!! Can’t wait to garner some great ideas from you!

  36. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I have a son with Autism and I have the “Don’t like it” struggle all the time even though he hasn’t tried it. I’m glad there are people out there like you trying to help.

    1. Thanks! I hope you find the blog helpful! I find that if kids aren’t being asked to try it, and it’s ok if they don’t like it, and they play with it, they’re much more likely to try it!

  37. Thanks for liking my blog post. It helped me find yours. My little one has started on solids recently and I think I have found the right blog at the right time ! Thanks a ton for coming up with such great ideas 🙂

  38. I love your blog! It reminds me so much of games my parents used to play with us when we were kids involving broccoli trees and wimpy asparagus men. I do eat both of those today 🙂

  39. Hi, Kim. I’ve invited you to join a 3 day quote challenge. I have learned much from you about an area that I did not realize was a serious issue for some. I have challenged you because I know you have so many important things to pass on and thought you might enjoy this. There is no obligation at all. If you don’t want to participate, please accept the honor of being invited?. I have posted my first of three quotes and the “rules” on my blog tonight.

    1. Hi–Thank you so much for thinking of me! I do love the compact wisdom behind many quotes, but don’t have the time right now to participate in a structured challenge. Thank you so much for the honor of being invited! 🙂

  40. Hi, Kim!:) I’m glad that I came across your blog. I went to college for speech pathology/working with the deaf at USF and thoroughly enjoyed it! My life went on a different path and my husband and I adopted twin boys from Ukraine, in 2000. They have both had eating issues and have received help from several therapists. I will enjoy trying some of these things you have on your blog, because they still deal with issues, like not chewing enough, eating too fast, etc. Nice to meet you! Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Shellie! I’m so glad you found me too! I’m sure you’ve used your knowledge base and skills round the clock with your two boys!! And you’ve given me an idea to do a Thursday post on pacing, because a lot of kids also have issues with eating too fast!! Thanks for reaching out! 🙂

  41. Hi, Kim! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking something. I have only been writing about food for a bit over five years. It is amazing to run across someone like you who handles other eating issues besides just eating too much and not exercising. I am enjoying my visit to your blog.

  42. Hi! I saw that you liked my post and as soon as I opened your ‘about’ page I was a follower. Your blog looks amazing. My toddler loves pretty much everything but I know so many mums trying hard to get their kidlets to eat something other than chips so I’m happy to share your site with them. So glad I found you!

  43. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I got a good mental laugh at your alliterative home-page banner pictures. I’m fortunate to have children who are not too picky, but I still may have to try the avocado alligator or pepper parrot one day, just for fun.

    1. Thank you! I love hearing that your children are adventurous eaters and I definitely agree that making food animals and topping a salad with an avocado alligator is just plain fun whether you’re picky or not! Also, if you check out the Animal Alphabet in the categories pull down menu on the right, there’s an alliterative food animal for each letter, so lots of inspiration for even more fun!

  44. I love your website, Kim! I look forward to exploring it further! As you know, kids with ASD often need lots of help with food exploration, and I have two of them :). I see some fantastic strategies here already!

    1. Hi, thank you so much! Yes, kids with ASD do often need lots of help with food exploration. I’m so glad you’re finding helpful strategies here! If there are specific questions or concerns you have, please feel free to ask and share here. If one person has a question, it’s usually so helpful to others, too, and I’ll do my best to offer whatever ideas and strategies I can through this platform! Thank you for reading and being part of our community! 🙂

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