Top 5 Kitchen Appliances that Make Cooking More Accessible
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
2M ago
Cooking is one of those life necessities that can be overwhelming for many and especially for many of my ARFID clients. Food avoidance often stems beyond just eating but also the avoidance of selecting, planning, preparing and cooking of foods. I get it it’s a multi-step, time consuming task. Thanks to modern day appliances cooking has gotten a bit easier and less overwhelming. Yes the selecting, planning, time to prepare and need to eat are not going away. But we can make cooking a bit easier and more accessible! Here are my top 5 favorite cooking appliances starting with my favorite and mos ..read more
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Food Exposure Therapy for ARFID and When is Appropriate?
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
4M ago
One way in which I work with clients to help them increase their preferred foods and find food freedom is through food exposures. But this is very often the last step!  The most important thing is that the individual is well nourished and ready/internally motivated to try new foods. If either of these are not present exposure therapy is often not effective. But we can get there! What is Food Exposure Therapy? Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment to help individuals confront fears, in this case feared foods or eating. Individuals with ARFID often have associated fears and anxiety ..read more
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The Intersection Between ARFID and Neurodiversity
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
5M ago
ARFID (Avoidance Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) co-occurs with many diagnoses that fall under the umbrella of  neurodivergency.  Neurodivergent is a term for individuals who’s brain diverges (i.e is different) from what is seen as typical or normal. It refers to many with mental illnesses and neurological conditions. Co-Occuring Neurodivergent Diagnoses Common co-occuring diagnoses of those with ARFID include Autism, ADHD, OCD, GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), , and sensory processing. (Note: this is not an exhaustive list) Neurodivergence and Feeding and Eating Neurodivergent ind ..read more
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Adult ARFID Support Group
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
8M ago
Yes that’s right! I have officially started an ARFID support group for adults! A need that many of my clients agree would be invaluable! Currently there are very little resources or support available for adults struggling with ARFID and food avoidance/aversion challenges. I’m hopeful this group will fill that need so many of my clients and potential clients are looking for! Who? Adults (18+) with ARFID, food avoidance or food restriction When? Every 4th Wednesday of the month at 8pm ET ( First group is 6/22) Where? zoom (sign up here) How much? It’s FREE if you are a current client and $30 fo ..read more
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Increasing Your Child’s Number of Preferred Foods
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
Many of the families I work with have children who have a very small number of preferred foods. When I say preferred I mean foods that they will regularly consume without any hesitation, worry or fear. And getting them to eat a new food or non-preferred often comes with a negative response like a tantrum, gagging, food refusal, or anxiety/fear. Yes that’s right eating new or non-preferred may cause fear and anxiety. This anxiety often decreases their appetite and willingness to eat. Much of my work with families is around decreasing fear and anxiety around food and eating to increase a child’s ..read more
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Food and Kitchen Activities for Oral Sensory Avoidant Eaters
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
Oral Sensory Avoidant Eaters are over-responsive to sensory input in their mouth i.e foods. These are our extreme picky eaters and often accept very few foods. As an infant or toddler they may have had difficulties with feeding either with breast feeding and/or bottle. As a baby they may not have put anything in their mouths (i.e. toes, fingers, toys). They may have had a hard time accepting new foods when they started solids. These oral sensory avoidant eaters also may have an associated oral motor deficit that needs to be assessed. If you believe your child does have an issue it’s recommend ..read more
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Foods and Kitchen Activities for Oral Sensory Seekers
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
Do you have a child who is an oral sensory seeker? Do they over stuff their mouth, are messy eaters or are always chewing on things?  Here are some tips on how to approach food with these kids to help make eating more enjoyable and safer! Sensory seekers are those who under process sensory input and therefore seek it out. These are our kids that are messy eaters and often don’t mind having food on their face. When kids (or even adults) are under responsive to food in their mouth this means they may not be able to feel or taste certain foods. This makes it difficult for them to maneuver t ..read more
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What is ARFID and How Can a Dietitian Help?
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
ARFID which stands for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and is a fairly new eating disorder diagnosis as of 2013. But still to this day many physicians and health care professionals no very little about it. Unlike Anorexia or Bulimia there is often no associated body dysmorphia. Instead eating is restricted due to a sensory issue related to the texture, smell or taste of a food or foods; anxiety or fear of choking or gagging on food; past feeding or eating trauma including feeding tubes or feeding therapy. It is often seen as extreme pickiness or selective eating in young kids but if ..read more
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Halloween Candy Activities for Kids
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
Kids need to explore candy just like any other food. And just like that vegetable or fruit your child does not like there will be candies your kids don’t like either. I promise! But the only way they are going to learn what the like (or don’t like) is by having access to candy and allowing them to explore it themselves. Halloween is one time of year that the topic of candy comes up the most. How to handle it? Which are the healthiest? We as a society have become so scared and anxious around candy (aka sugar) that we as adult don’t know how to eat it, therefore have no idea how to approach it ..read more
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How to Spread! Best First Kitchen Skill for Kids
Lauren Sharifi Nutrition
by Lauren Sharifi
1y ago
Spreading is one of the best first kitchen skills and activities for even the youngest of toddlers! It’s fun, gets them  building fine motor skills and is a positive way to introduce new foods and flavors. Cooking with kids provides so many wonderful benefits to kids growth, development and sense of autonomy and relatedness. I talk more about this here. Getting in the kitchen with your kids doesn’t need to be overly complicated or time intensive. That’s why I love teaching kids how to spread. Usually only requires 2 ingredient (something to spread and something to spread on) and one uten ..read more
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