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My daughter is 12, has Autism and is overweight. How can I get her on the right path to foods that are good for her versus the fast food her grandparents feed her? My daughter is willing to change. We just need to know how to start.

The best way to get your daughter on the right path is for you to decide what food your child is offered. Stand strong and stick with your authority, especially with the grandparents. Ask them to respect your food choices for your child. The best nutrition goal for your daughter is to learn to eat your family’s food and enjoy family mealtime. Make meal times a priority by setting a positive example with your family and take time to fully enjoy your food. Eating too fast or when your attention is elsewhere may lead to over eating.  

My 8 year old wont eat vegetables. He won't eat if he sees any type of vegetables in what I cook. There are times that he would literally cry. What can I do to help my son with eating vegetables?

You are a good parent to be honest with your child and not try to sneak vegetables into their food.  If you are dishonest with children about their food, they become suspicious, cautious, and reluctant to try new food. Why not try to grow a few vegetable plants together with your family? You could also take them to a farmers' market or grocery store and have them pick out one vegetable that looks interesting to them.

Is Pediasure a supplement or can a kid have that instead of breakfast? My son who is 2 1/2 does not eat that much and likes Pediasure. Please let me know.

Pediasure was designed for use in hospitals with feeding tubes to assist recovery. While lots of money is invested in the marketing of these products, the ingredients are full of sugar and contain synthetic nutrients processed in a laboratory. Scientist believe that naturally occurring whole foods are the best source of nutrients for a healthy body, while processed foods are associated with obesity, allergies, diabetes and other health problems. 

My 13 year old loves bread and can eat fresh baked loaves daily. Should I be concerned?

Fresh baked bread is yummy! It’s really common for kids and teenagers to get into “food jags,” or get stuck on eating the same thing every day. It may be a habit that they will grow out of on their own. Should you be concerned? It’s difficult to say without more information about the rest of his/her diet, and lifestyle. Eating bread every day can absolutely fit into a healthy diet. Whole grain bread is always a better choice than white bread, but if your 13 year old is eating whole grain bread some of the time, or as long as there are other whole grains in their diet, it’s likely fine.

I have a 28 month old daughter who is an extremely picky eater. She already sees a Gastroenterologist because she's been underweight for her age since birth. What are the healthiest and foods containing most protein besides peanut butter? SUGGESTIONS?

It really can be tough to get toddlers to eat new foods. Right now, it’s important that you continue to offer foods to your daughter, even if she refuses them. It can take 10-12 times of offering a food for a child to decide to eat it. This can feel discouraging, but know that you are not alone in this challenge! I would suggest giving her small portions of a variety of foods that you eat, you don’t need to buy expensive specialized baby food for her.