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Responsive Feeding & “Picky Eating”

Responsive Feeding & “Picky Eating”

Busy Mom's Starter Guide to Making Peace with Food
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Parents receive conflicting messages about feeding. We’re told that getting the right nutrients is incredibly important to our child’s health and wellbeing. Then, we’re told that we should simply offer our kids food and let them decide whether and how much to eat. So, how do we follow both sets of advice? The fact is, nutrition is the result of a trusting feeding relationship, and if you can learn to appreciate your kiddo’s presentation and respond to their cues, you can achieve a stress-free mealtime.

Grace Wong is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian with 15 years of clinical experience in mental health and pediatric nutrition. Grace works with a diverse presentation of feeding and eating disorders and supports children with co-existing conditions like ADHD, autism, sensory processing challenges, anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma. She is committed to helping clients uncover their family feeding history and establish a comfortable environment at mealtime. Grace’s practice is based in Calgary, and she does online coaching through her Facebook business page.

Today, Grace joins us to explain how she supports parents whose kids have complex feeding presentations. She discusses the concept of food acceptance, sharing her aim to get children to a place where variety is not disruptive and her approach to establishing a peaceful mealtime. Listen in for Grace’s insight on the challenges of parenting neuro-diverse kiddos and learn how to appreciate your child’s feeding presentation and build a trusting feeding relationship!

Key Takeaways


How Grace supports parents whose kids eat differently

  • Don’t treat child as ‘problem’
  • Learn story, family feeding history
  • Identify cause of current challenges
  • Move child closer to natural trajectory

The tenets of division of responsibility in feeding

  • Parents responsible for when, what and where
  • Children responsible for whether, how much

The concept of responsive eating

  • Relationship rather than set of rules
  • Read child’s cues, respond appropriately

Grace’s insight on the idea of food acceptance

  • Limited diet grows with experience
  • Get to a place where variety not disruptive

The conflicting message parents receive re: feeding

  • Nutrition important, necessary for wellbeing
  • Offer children food and let them decide

How Grace works to establish a peaceful mealtime

  • Collect story and identify stressors
  • Give child autonomy to choose or remove
  • Address concerns (e.g.: anxiety, appetite)
  • Make meals safe + comfortable

The challenges of parenting neuro-diverse children

  • Shaming or judgment from friends, family
  • Kids employ masking to appear normal
  • Increases anxiety, creates more aversion

Grace’s advice on appreciating your child’s presentation

  • Develop trusting feeding relationship
  • Outcome = nutrition, peace with food

Connect with Grace


Grace on Facebook


Connect with Lindsay


Intuitive Eating Moms

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn




Ellen Satter’s Division of Responsibility

Dr. Katja Rowell

My Kid Has a Food Allergy and I Need Support

My Kid Has a Food Allergy and I Need Support

Busy Mom's Starter Guide to Making Peace with Food
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If you have a child with a newly diagnosed food allergy, you are likely consumed with learning as much as you can to keep your kiddo safe and healthy. This may also mean that you are neglecting your own self-care in order to take on the extra responsibility of eliminating allergens from your home and meeting with daycare providers and school administrators to develop a plan for your child. What can you do to take care of yourself during this challenging time?

Diana Rice, RD, is a nationally recognized nutrition professional and family health expert. She is passionate about communicating effective and evidence-based strategies that incorporate good nutrition into the challenges of modern-day life. Prior to launching her consultancy, Diana served as the Associate Director of Nutrition Communications at The Monday Campaigns, where she spearheaded the Kids Cook Monday initiative. Now she focuses on perinatal, infant and child nutrition, and food allergies, working directly with families to implement practical strategies for improved health. Diana is also a frequent contributor to national media publications, including Parents, The Huffington Post, and Everyday Health, among many others.

Today, Diana joins us to describe how a child’s food allergy diagnosis impacts the entire family. She shares the professional advice around introducing allergens early and often, explaining the ‘mom guilt’ she felt for not doing everything she could to reduce her own child’s risk. Diana also walks us through the steps she took to manage her daughter’s allergy to peanuts and tree nuts and offers advice for parents on reaching out for the support you need. Listen in for Diana’s insight into why food allergies are so much more complex than simply eliminating a particular food from your diet—and learn how to advocate for your child AND take care of yourself as an allergy mom!

Key Takeaways


Diana’s transition to motherhood

  • Smooth process with first daughter (support network)
  • Relocated when second daughter just 3 weeks old
  • Started to slack on self-care, developed anxiety

Diana’s second daughter’s health issues

  • Introduced potential allergens ‘early and often’
  • Diagnosis of allergy to peanuts and tree nuts

How Diana responded to her daughter’s food allergies

  • Eliminate foods manufactured on shared lines
  • Meetings with daycare providers, school
  • Research around brands with dedicated facilities

The professional advice around introducing allergens

  • Prompted by study of Israeli kids in UK and Israel
  • Introduce potential allergens early to reduce risk

Diana’s mom guilt around her daughter’s allergies

  • Couldn’t say ‘did everything I could’
  • Tell self that your best is enough

The responsibility of managing a child’s food allergies

  • Challenge usually falls to mom
  • Focus on child’s needs AND own self-care

Diana’s insight on navigating your child’s food allergies

  • Recognize that diagnosis affects whole family
  • Get support you need (e.g.: therapist, dietician)

Diana’s advice for parents of children with allergies

  • Identify anxiety triggers (i.e.: grocery shopping)
  • Connect with other allergy parents
  • Set aside time to dig through info
  • Talk through concerns with partner

How parents of kids without allergies can provide support

  1. Understand risks of cross-contamination
  2. Respect school policies re: outside food
  3. Cultivate empathy for families with food allergies
  4. Don’t give child food without parent permission
  5. Celebrate with non-food alternatives (e.g.: stickers)

Diana’s top tip for food allergy moms

  • There’s no shame in being ‘that mom’
  • You deserve to advocate for family’s health


Connect with Diana


Diana’s Website

Diana’s Facebook Group – Self-Care for Allergy Moms

Diana on Instagram

Diana on Twitter

Diana on Pinterest

Diana on Facebook

Connect with Lindsay


Intuitive Eating Moms

Nutrition Instincts – San Diego Nutrition Therapy

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn




Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby’s First Bite by Wendy Jo Peterson and Leslie Schilling

Peanut Allergy Study in Israel vs. the UK

Diana’s Halloween Food Allergy Article


Episode 021: Helping Parents Feel Confident With Feeding Their Children with Paige Smathers, RDN, CD

Episode 021: Helping Parents Feel Confident With Feeding Their Children with Paige Smathers, RDN, CD


Listen + Subscribe on ITUNES or STITCHER 

We’d greatly appreciate a podcast rating and review so that we can reach more mamas and families!

– Search for the podcast in your podcast app (The Nurtured Mama Podcast)

– Scroll down and click 5 stars

– Tap “Write a Review” & enter brief review

– Press send




Paige Smathers is a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Salt Lake City, UT who specializes in helping people heal their relationship with food. She serves those who struggle with disordered eating, chronic dieting and family feeding concerns. She works individually with clients to help create sustainable and realistic solutions for well-being from a holistic perspective—mental, emotional, physical and all other areas of well-being are integrated into nutrition therapy sessions with clients pursuing nutrition and behavior changes. Paige also provides coaching for registered dietitians who want to incorporate intuitive eating and body positivity into their practice, but aren’t sure how to do it.

Serving the community at large, Paige has created a successful online course that helps bridge the gap from chronic dieting to intuitive eating. The course educates about nutrition and well-being, encourages participants to embrace where they are with their health now and in the past, and empowers participants to unlock their inner wisdom and become their own eating expert. Paige is also the proud host of a successful podcast, Nutrition Matters Podcast, which reaches tens of thousands of listeners every month. The podcast focuses specifically on intuitive eating, body positivity, and recovery from struggles with food and bodies.








  • Paige talks about the things that stood out to her with respect to food an body image. Her experience reinforced that feeling good in your own skin has nothing to do with your body size and how much you weigh.
  • She talks about her work with families and feeding. She does a fair amount of work with parents in helping them figure out the feeding relationship in a way that’s helpful for the child. She is often working one-on-one with parents in creating an environment that’s conducive for child to naturally honor those hunger cues and fullness cues and in how to be positive with food.
  • In this episode, Paige also discussed Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in terms of the feeding relationship. According to her (and I see this too), so many of the struggles with food are a result of kids doing the adult’s job or the adults doing the kid’s job.



Educate, Embrace, Empower – is a 10-week, self-guided online course taught by a registered dietitian nutritionist that teaches you how to unlock your inner wisdom to become your own eating expert. It consists of video trainings, templates, guided exercises and worksheets designed to help you heal your relationship with food and your body.

All of the training is online, contained in the members-only course website. The information and tools in this course are the exact methods used with individual clients to help them heal their relationship with food. Online training is convenient, cost-effective and flexible. Course members can access the course material day or night and can go at their own pace.

You can go and check out her online course –




Nutrition Matters Podcast
iTunes Link:


Ellyn Satter’s Website:




Episode 009: Born to Eat with Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN and Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD

Episode 009: Born to Eat with Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN and Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD

Listen + Subscribe on ITUNES or STITCHER 

We’d greatly appreciate a podcast rating and review so that we can reach more mamas and families!

– Search for the podcast in your podcast app (The Nurtured Mama Podcast)

– Scroll down and click 5 stars

– Tap “Write a Review” & enter brief review

– Press send

Meet our Guests:

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN:

Wendy Jo is a nutrition and wellness expert who bounces between California, Texas, and Europe. She is a master’s level registered dietitian, nationally recognized speaker, and culinary nutritionist. Wendy Jo co-authored Born To Eat: Whole Foods From Baby’s First Bite, Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies, and Adrenal Fatigue For Dummies. When she’s not whipping up new recipes, hiking, or hanging out with her family; you can find Wendy Jo using her social media channels to deliver science-based, lifestyle and wellness messages with a dash of sass. To learn more about Wendy Jo, visit





Product:         Born to Eat Book


Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD:

Through her years as a dietitian and nutrition expert, Leslie has practiced in many settings including infant nutrition, general pediatrics, and children with special health care needs. In addition, she focuses her own private practice on counseling families, those of all ages with disordered eating issues, and professional athletes and performers. With her warm, compassionate, and entertaining personality, Leslie been featured in Women’s Health, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, USNews, and HGTV.

She is also the co-founder of RDs for Body Confidence, a non-diet and healthy body-image initiative for registered dietitians and nutrition students throughout North America and Australia. She owns Schilling Nutrition, a private nutrition and wellness coaching business and an online dinner menu planning service. When she’s not counseling, writing, cooking, or hanging out with her family; you can find Leslie using her social media channels and speaking platforms to deliver science-based, non-diet lifestyle and wellness messages with a dash of humor. Her most recent endeavor was coauthoring the book Born to Eat.



Social Media Links:

Episode Summary


  • In this podcast,Wendy shares about her difficult pregnancy, a big move from San Diego to Germany and her family’s adjustments while raising a toddler, living in a different culture, and finding time to work and write.

Transition to Motherhood:

  • Wendy shares about her long journey before getting her daughter Anya.She struggled with years infertilityand also suffered from hyperemesis during her entire pregnancy.
  • Wendy shares how difficult it was to deal with hyperemesis and how often other people did not understand what she was going through. She shared how grateful she was for the support from her husband —

                “Men, was he my rock during that time.” ([05:37])

                “And really, at that point, you didn’t wanna see anybody because you just, ‘I felt horrible.’” ([05:46])   – Wendy 

               “I mean, not until my 39th week, did I actually start to feel good. And it was never food. Food never made me sick. It wasn’t the idea of eating that made me sick.“([06:31]) –Wendy

  • Just few days after giving birth, Wendy had to face another challenge – the deployment of her husband. It was a tough time for Wendy, who, at that time, didn’t received much support in those challenging days. On a brighter side, she highlights the one precious gift she had from her pregnancy

                   “Breastfeeding for me was easy.” [08:44]


  • Wendy explains what baby-led weaning is about and also the process that comes along with it. She says:

            “It’s whole foods from baby’s first bite.” And what that means is we basically ditched the idea that we needed to puree foods unless the food is naturally pureed or puree-type texture, and the baby’s self-fed.  ([26:55])

  • Wendy added that the big thing with baby-led is identifying choking versus gagging on a child’s ability to self-feed and self-regulate.

            “The biggest thing I love about baby-led weaning is that you are at the plate with them, eating and enjoying the same meal. They are watching and learning from you – the language you’re using, describing the food, embracing the food, enjoying the moment, and early on they’re watching you chew. ([29:12])


  • Leslie shares about her experiences with moving from Nashville to Las Vegas and the uncertainty of their move. Currently, Leslie is in Las Vegas doing sports nutrition, just co-authored Born to Eat, and is doing some nutrition counseling.

Transition to Motherhood:

  • For Leslie, she feels she was lucky to get pregnant easily. At 27 weeks Leslie began to face some serious challenges. She experienced preterm labor and ended up in the hospital and was put on bed rest. She explains in her story how her preterm labor resulted in magnesium toxicity.
  • She also shares about her Caesarean section delivery that resulted in her losing a large amount of blood due to complications caused by fibroids. Her blood pressure sunk and it was a near death experience for Leslie. Thankfully, the baby was delivered safe and Leslie was saved. However, the pain block didn’t work for her and she woke up from a Caesarean section with no pain medication. Leslie is grateful for the advancement in medicine because it allowed she and her daughter survived.Due to this intensely traumatic experience, it has been a long road of recovery for Leslie and we’re thankful she was willing to share her story with us.


  • Leslie and her husband started feeding solid foods to their daughter and using baby led weaning to enhance the innate ability of their baby to self-regulate and to establish autonomy when it comes to self-feeding.
  • She also mentioned that you can watch the child’s behavior and cues as their way of telling you when they are ready to eat or when they’re also finished. Those are innate cues that the baby is trying to tell you and as parents, you need to be able to support that.

          “But really it’s about fostering their ability to self-regulate and self-feed, so they can gain their own skills and their own body trust.” ([33:33])

          “But I think it’s our job as parents and adults to teach children how to use all foods regardless of the nutritional value in a healthy way.” ([37:13])

          “Let’s teach them how to deal with it. Yeah, are there foods that have different nutritional values than others?Absolutely. But it’s our job to teach them how to deal with foods in a healthy way.”  ([38:05])

About the #BORNTOEAT book

  • Leslie mentioned that in the Born to Eat Book, they try to pair the convenience foods together with the whole foods. They don’t want anybody to feel like they’re doing wrong.
  • The book encourages readers to have their eyes open about diet culture in our own food industry. They discussed about being aware of the diet culture and using our own filters to protect and educate our kids.
  • They did a great job of teaching people how to create a dialogue with all caregivers and all people that may be around the plate with your child.

Referenced in the Show:


(Some of these links could be affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase I get a little thank you from the company. It does not impact your cost.)

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