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Innovative Services NW therapy aids picky eaters

first_imgMeal time could be tricky for 9-year-old Maddie Wallingford.Apples and bananas were good. Chicken nuggets were OK — but only from specific brands. Oranges were a definite no.School hot lunch was out. Mashed potatoes were great. Most other vegetables were not.“It was super challenging and frustrating,” said Mari Wallingford, Maddie’s mom. “You feel horrible because you send her to school with apples and chocolate milk and what else? She won’t eat anything else.”Maddie’s pediatrician wasn’t too concerned about her selective eating but, even if he was, he said he wouldn’t know what to do or where to send her for help, Mari Wallingford said. Fortunately, Wallingford mentioned her frustrations to the speech therapist treating her youngest daughter, 3-year-old Annalynne, at Innovative Services NW.And Innovative Services had an answer: feeding therapy.Over the course of several months this spring, speech therapist Debra Jablonski worked with Maddie on her food aversions. And, slowly, Maddie started trying new foods and tolerating the ones she was sure she hated.Now Maddie is more adventurous. She eats school lunches several times each week. She tried shrimp at Olive Garden — and liked it — and ordered a cheese quesadilla at Taco Bell.While Maddie’s diet still isn’t quite what Mari Wallingford would like it to be, the situation has improved dramatically.“It’s taken some of the stress off,” Wallingford said. “I feel like I don’t have to worry about her as much.”More than pickyMaddie had always been a picky eater, but over the past year, Wallingford noticed her daughter was becoming even more selective. As Maddie approaches her tween years, Wallingford grew concerned her daughter would form an unhealthy relationship with food.last_img read more