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The 3 E’s That Will Help Your Picky Eater Eat


Did you know that there are 3 Es in eating? If you have a picky eater or a child struggling with feeding difficulty, you may be all too familiar.
Speech-Language Pathologist and feeding specialist, Melanie Potock, lays out the “three Es of eating” as a basis for helping even the pickiest of eaters succeed.

If your child is struggling with feeding, the “three E’s of eating” is a simple and effective strategy for parents looking to tackle this tricky issue.

That begs the question: What are the 3 Es of Eating?

1. Expose!

Expose your child to a variety of foods, especially those enjoyed by other family members at the dinner table. Even as adults, it is more difficult for us to try a food we have never been exposed to before. Even if your child has a preferred food at dinner adding even 1 tablespoon of another food to their plate with no expectations of trying can make a huge difference. Exposing kids to a variety of foods can build familiarity which can lead to more willingness with trying new foods.

2. Explore!

Children learn about new things by exploring them in a variety of ways. Kids explore items with their hands, fingers and their mouth. Even when they are not ready to explore a new food with their mouth they can help prepare their brains by exploring it with their fingers and hands. You can help your child become what Melanie calls a “food explorer” by getting in the kitchen (get your child involved with the cooking- even a young child can cut cheese with a child-safe knife), explaining how spending time in the kitchen together can benefit the entire family (i.e., better overall health, better communication), and playing with food (it’s alright to get messy- that’s how we learn)!

3. Expand!

Once your child begins to explore new foods expand their opportunities beyond the typical family meal. Some ways to do this are to visit fish markets, farmer’s markets or other unique shopping experiences, go to a cultural celebration (i.e., Irish-American Festival) or trying a new appetizer at a restaurant. Use this time to model adventurous eating. Sample a new food or spice and talk about it. Remember it is ok to not like a food. A great phrase to use is “I don’t care for this yet. I need to keep practicing.
Children make the most strides in feeding when the family is an active participant. Even if a child isn’t ready to bite, swallow or chew a new food the three Es can benefit your child. Encourage your child to be a “food explorer” and learn about new foods even when not eating!

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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