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The 4 primary strategies for Picky Eating

There are 4 pillars that support Health Eating Habits:
1. Gut Health
2. Nutritional Status
3. Regulated Nervous System
4. Posture and Breath

Hi!

Are you frustrated about your child’s eating habits?

Picky Eating can exist in a spectrum – from kids that are mildly selective (like kids throughout the ages – like you and me when we were kids) to a pathological disorder called ARFID.

The incidence of super selective eating and Autism (and even Down syndrome) is pretty high.

Straight off the bat  – I want to share with you my PICKY EATING TOOLKIT – with 6 strategies you can use right away.

But we all know that along with the tools, we need something more.

I have been looking to find practitioners who know their way around picky eating [look to the bottom of the email for a list], and this is what I found:

  1. Nutritional Status is critical to Picky Eating. Poor Nutrition can cause Picky Eating and Picky Eating can impact Nutritional Status. [This is where your toolkit is important] 
  2. The exact same thing is true for Gut Health – including Infection and Inflammation 
  3. The nervous system plays a crucial role in our experience with food, and regulation is key to creating a safe and regulated environment. 
  4. Especially for younger kids (and especially with Down syndrome), posture is important. If it is a competition between breathing and eating, breathing will win!

What I have also learned is that:

  1. the road to overcoming picky eating is a LONG one, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
  2. It is important to have a plan and to know what to do day after day, week after week, and have monthly and quarterly goals (yes, I am not kidding). This is why it can help to have a functional nutrition practitioner (like me) in your corner.

Today’s podcast guest Stephanie Mara Fox brings a completely different perspective to Picky Eating – she calls her approach Somatic Eating and I can’t recommend this podcast enough.

Click here now to learn about :

– The role of the nervous system and regulation in how your child’s body reacts to food

– How Trauma can affect their response to food and what TRAUMA is!

– Tools for regulation, such as body awareness and co-regulation.

Just a reminder – you know what to do, you have got this, my friend!

Onward,

Vaish

P.S. Here are my top 3 picky eating podcast episodes for you:

  1. 18 feeding tips for the picky eater
  2. The cycle of nutrition and picky eating in kids with Shandy Laskey
  3. Picky Eating and Down syndrome

[Research Focus] Why (and how) you should consider bilingualism for your child

  “All words in every language are metaphors.”

– Marshall McLuhan, Canadian Philosopher, “Father of Media Studies”

Welcome back!

Let’s talk about bilingualism for a bit. I know that if you are from a country with multiple languages like India, chances are that you are polylingual.

And if you are from a country with an internationally dominant language like the USA or UK, you may be monolingual.

Whatever the case may be, chances are that your child with a communication delay or a diagnosed learning disability is being raised in a monolingual environment (i.e., being exposed to only one language).

According to this fascinating study that JUST came out in NATURE, being bilingual protects against cognitive decline and also supports social cognition.

And I spent some time looking at other research, in the process learning some fascinating things about the benefits of being bilingual.

What does this mean for us? Some of the answers are obvious

  • speak in an extra language with your student / kid,

And some are less obvious

  • use different forms of communication with your learner

This is why I recorded today’s podcast. I’m going to break down: 

  • What the documented results are of being bilingual
  • How you can start right now with your child
  • What this means for communication

If there is one thing I know about you, it is that you are here to take action!

divya, Hit reply and let me know how you plan to implement bilingualism with your child!

Onward,

Vaish

[New Content] My #1 tool to build *MY* resilience

 “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

Welcome back to the world of infinite possibility!

If you are tired of sitting through meetings with doctors and schools, barely holding yourself together, and feeling like you are ready to cry, or make someone else cry, this email is for you!

I know it is not just me who gets overwhelmed by the need to explain and prove over and over again to a world that seems to dismiss and under estimate kids with disability.

Did you know what the single most important factor is that helps kids? It is their parent’s

  • high expectations,
  • unshakeable faith in their kids and
  • unwavering advocacy in the face of disbelief or dismissal.

Ok, that’s 3 factors 🙂 But essentially, ONE IDEA

And do you know what the single most important factor is to help you be that parent?

RESILIENCE!

In the words of Maya Angelou:

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

And since so many of us are in the same rocky boat, I want to share my NUMBER 1 TOOL for building resilience.

I discovered it last week, and it has changed my life.

It is called Fear Setting, and it is Tim Ferris’s phenomenal, easy, and elegant technique to work through our deepest fears.  

And because I am quite obsessed with resilience and being able to get over our inner blocks, I also recorded this podcast with Maureen Michele, MD.

Click here to learn about:

  • The 3 pillars of Advocacy
  • Dr. Maureen’s parent resilience toolkit that she uses herself
  • The single most powerful tool for building inner stability

And just a reminder, no matter how you feel right now, I know that you have that inner resilience, and I can’t wait for you to discover and grow in your inner strength.

Onward,

Vaish

P.S. If anxiety is holding you back, I wanted to remind you that my free anxiety tool kit is available here.

[New Episode] The #1 thing we get wrong when teaching Math

“People, Machines and Mathematical Functions have this in common: a system for Input, Processing and Output. A mis-tuned output system cannot represent the computational power of an instrument accurately.” – Vaish

You are wondering why it is so hard for your child to learn Math, divya! And I’ve got answers for you. 

I don’t think my child can do this, Vaish. Nothing seems to be working…

I can see why you would think that, especially, since a majority of techniques actually DON’T work with kids who are Autistic, and especially with kids who have Down syndrome.

And that is why, in today’s podcast episode, I am sharing the 2 major mistakes we make as parents (and even as educators), and what you can do about it.

In Episode 132, you will learn…

  • Why you should shift your focus from proficiency to curiosity
  • Why input is infinitely more important than output
  • What happens when we do a lot of repetition (which is par for the course in usual Math instruction)

I can promise you that if you do just the 2 changes I list in Episode 132, you will see a transformation in your child’s Math education.

Onward,

Vaish

P.S. After you listen to this episode, send me a quick note if you think I can answer another question in a different episode.

Math is a life skill – no matter what your child’s ability!

“Math is Brain Candy” – Dr. Jen Leon

So, Math!

If you have been teaching addition to your kids and losing hope, if you think your child can’t do basic multiplication, this email is for you!

– If you think your child is an “Arts” kid,

– If you think your student is intellectually delayed,

– If you think Math is way out of your league,

There is something very important you need to know:

Math may be the among the most regulating things you can teach your child.

My guest, Math teacher Jen Leon, calls Math Brain Candy for students. And it is.

The thing is Math is a life skill, not just because your kid needs to go grocery shopping one day, but because it teaches them to use parts of the brain that are rarely used by other subjects.

Math brings the mind to a state of pure logic, which in itself is enormously stabilizing.

If you are not teaching Math to your child, because they have Down Syndrome, or because they are supposedly intellectually delayed, teach Math!

But just teaching Math is not enough. It has to be at least slightly challenging – not in your eyes, but in the brain of the student.

So I invite you to listen to Episode 131 with an open mind, my friend. It can change a lot of things for you.

Onward my friend!

Vaish

p.s. Stay tuned for my next email, where I will share how 🙂

The 3-10-30 method to make changes stick!

“Practice becomes grounded when attended to for a long time, without a gap, with honor and respect.” – Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Nothing works – part 2

You know those people that try a new thing and lo and behold, their kid’s transformation is magical, everything works right for them,

those people that post their annoying running pics where they have look sleek and athletic and everything you want to look like without actually running…

those people whose kids with disabilities are apparently running triathlons where our kids won’t get out of bed,

Turns out there is a 2-step framework for making this happen

  1. Doing the right thing
  2. Doing it DAILY

And it’s not an easy task to find the right thing to do!!

For example, my husband claims that running everyday can help me be fit. I hate running. It is NOT the right thing for me. I am never going to do it daily. And I would collapse from anger, frustration and annoyance if I did!

The right technique makes sense, you know how to implement it, and you don’t hate it.

And there is a clincher – the right technique can be done by yourself without outsourcing (sure, out source if you need to)…

The right technique brings change, however, ONLY WHEN YOU DO IT DAILY, regularly.

______________________________________________________

And so I’d like to introduce you to the 3-10-30 technique.

When starting a habit, when you want a technique to stick, try it for:

3 times a day

10 mins (at the beginning at least) each time

30 days CONTINUOUSLY, without gap.

Some of the things I started working on using the 3-10-30 method were:

  1. Exercising
  2. Teaching my son age-appropriate math and science
  3. Writing lesson plans
  4. Creating an anti-inflammatory meal plan and prepping for the next day

Keep in mind that choosing the right thing is critical.
So, how do you choose the right thing to do? Check out my podcast, and last week’s newsletter, for more tips.

So, find the right intervention, and use the 3-10-30 technique to do it everyday!

Onward,
Vaish

p.s. I’d LOVE it if you would write to me and tell me what you are starting with. Maybe like an accountability partner.