Raising a Foodie

Progressing through textures and increasing variety

This workshop is designed for parents who:

  • have trouble introducing more challenging textures to their toddler, 
  • have difficulty navigating mealtimes with a picky eater or,
  • would like your child to develop a more sophisticated palate

Eating seems like a simple and innate skill for children to develop, but many parents can attest to how challenging and frustrating it can be to teach healthy eating skills.  Raising a Foodie: Progressing through textures and increasing variety will help you understand your child’s readiness for eating and what we can expect based on their developmental abilities.  The workshop is led by a registered occupational therapist, Karen Don and some of the topics discussed include:

    • Skills for feeding/eating: There are many skills needed to successfully learn to eat.  Some of the skills we will be discussing include fine motor, gross motor, hand-eye coordination, sensory processing and oral motor skills.  
    • Fundamental skills and habits: Simple and fundamental skills for developing healthy eating habits will be discussed to achieve long lasting success and enjoyable mealtimes.  
    • Textures:  Transitioning from one food texture to another (such as purees to finger foods) can be tricky, but we will break it down and provide guidance.
    • Increasing variety: It can be challenging to offer balanced meals if your child’s diet is limited. We will provide some strategies to increase the variety of food in their diet. 
    • Picky eating: We will discuss picky eating and how to navigate these tough periods. 
    • Common challenges: Other common feeding challenges will be discussed, such as eating with distractions and how to prepare food for a family with different preferences. 

This workshop is very interactive and provides opportunities for parents to connect with each other and share ideas.  This is what you can expect in each session:

Session 1: 

We will discuss some of the challenges experienced by the parents in the group.  This discussion will help us tailor the rest of the workshop to the group’s needs and interests.  By the end of session one you will have a handful of general strategies and tools to apply with your family immediately.  

Session 2:

We will review which strategies were tried and the outcomes.  We will then dive deeper into the details of common strategies, so families can customize the feeding tips to fit their lifestyle. 


Karen Don M.Sc.OT Reg. (Ont)

Karen Don is a registered Occupational Therapist who has worked at Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre since 2013. Karen earned her Master of Science in Occupational therapy from Queen’s University in 2009. Since then she has worked in various settings with children from birth to adulthood.  She has experience treating children with different challenges and diagnoses. Recently her interest is in helping families through challenging mealtimes.  She is currently part of the Feeding Clinic Team at Humber River Hospital. She has received certification for Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding therapy.