How can we help our PICKY EATER?

Updated: May 15

#pickyeater #sensoryproblems #tactile #tactiledefensiveness #tactilehyposensitivity #sensory #occupationaltherapy


Reading the post before this will help you understand better why these solution work......

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What is the goal of these solutions for the picky eater?

The goal is to desensitize your child’s oral cavity.

What therapy tools are needed?



What do we need to do with those tools?

We need to use various textures to massage, tap, stroke and provide light pressure to your child’s lips,tongue, cheeks and gums.

What is our approach in handling the child ?


You need to first let your child know what you are going to do to him. He needs to be relaxed.

Only do what you told him…not more..Your child needs to trust you.

We do not want to forcefully place something in his mouth..

This is very important because he may not want to participate in the therapy if he has had a bad experience.


Go slow…observe his face and body movements, if there are signs that he may soon reject the therapy, stop quickly...You can try again later in the day when he appears to be more relaxed.


Have a Plan, prepare well before starting



Your child loves Nutella….do not give him any throughout the day. Prior to beginning the therapy, hide the bottle for 3-5 days. Save it for when you need to conduct the therapy.


Once he realizes that he gets it only during therapy, he may look forward to the session.


If that is not rewarding enough, promise him a reward if he agrees to cooperate. If he likes riding a bike with his dad, allow that activity only after the session.


It is crucial that you keep your promises and reward him as soon as the session is over…within seconds, otherwise your child wont trust you.



How do we use Nutella and why?

Remember...your child mouth is very sensitive and he might not willingly open his mouth for you to put in some weird looking gadget. We at Louis Center like using the Nuk Massager and the Knoby Chewy Tube, the 2nd picture above (RED)


You can dip the Nuk into the Nutella in front of your child. When he opens his mouth, try stroking his gums gently.


If he is very much into the yummy Nutella, move on to stroke the inner part of his cheeks. Before he starts pulling a face, stop the activity...put the Nutella away.


We need to expose your child to a variety of sensations in order to desensitize him. The first picture above is called Z-Vibe . It not only has a brush like top, it also vibrates.

Many parents have told me that they have achieved similar results using a small & gentle electronic toothbrush..this is easily available and less pricey (see pic 4 )

Again take it slow....


Once your child is less sensitive, massage his gums. When doing this activity, remember to change the amount of pressure you use & vary your strokes.

If you need the Chewy Tube, I have some stock (from US) , just give us a call at 017 634 2551. I cant remember the price right now.

You can even massage his face with oil, stroke his cheeks with different textured towels..etc..focusing on the area above his lip and cheeks.....


I hope you find this useful.....

If you need more ideas or have ideas of your own, do feel free to communicate in the comments.



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Louis Center for Children with Special Needs Seremban

1908, Lorong Sentul 1/1,

Jalan Tok Ungku,

70100 Seremban

Negeri Sembilan