How to get even the pickiest eater to try new foods

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If you’re a parent, then chances are you’ve struggled with your kids over eating their broccoli or trying a new food. Whether you consider your child to be a picky eater or not, challenges at the dinner table are all too common for all of us.

If you have a child on the spectrum or with any kind of sensory processing issues, this challenge is heightened and can be extreme.

I am so excited to share today’s interview with you. In this video, I chat with Aaron DeLand, a dear friend and colleague who specializes in working with autistic children. Aaron has had incredible success with even the most challenging and what appears to be hopeless situations, and he shares his strategies and approaches with us today.

Whether your child is on the spectrum or not, you have something to learn from Aaron’s wisdom. I know I did. So much of what we do as parents can actually enforce the very behaviors we are trying to address, and approaching food in the creative and playful ways that Aaron recommends yields far better results than many of the things we’ve tried.

I consider this video a must-watch for any parent who has ever struggled at the dinner table with their child, no matter what age and no matter what food.

(Note: there were some issues with sound so if it sounds warbly at points that’s the video not your player. Enjoy!)

Like what you see? Check out Aaron’s online courses where he dives deeper into some of the strategies and tools he describes in the video. 

For information on the tongue-tie doctor that Aaron mentions in the video, check out: Dr. Soroush Zaghi

Aaron DeLand is a Developmental Play Specialist with a focus on autism spectrum and sensory disorders. His career began in early childhood education as a classroom teacher, but soon found his way into working with families with children with autism. Aaron trained for 5 years at the Autism Treatment Center of America and went on to develop his own play approach that emphasizes empowering both child and parent  in the process. Aaron has worked with families for 20 years in both the behavioral and play based approaches. He believes in a holistic approach to helping his families and focuses on four main areas: Interactive Relationship Building (play), Sensory and Neurological function, Physical/Emotional Environment and Diet/Nutrition. When these 4 areas are addressed in a way that is specific to a child and families needs development happens. Aaron has worked with roughly 1000 families over his career and logged over 15,000 hours of direct 1:1 time working (mostly playing) with children. Aaron loves what he does and it shows.

Website: Play.Connect.Grow


  1. Kristie Vian


    Hi Margaret! We have a nephew whose son is autistic. They are in the Seattle area. Do you know in what region of the country Aaron DeLand practices? I’d like to pass this article on to them. Thanks!

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