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Dedicated to the never-ending pursuit of wisdom.
November 2013


Welcome to the Minding What Matters community of learners.  Minding What Matters is produced by a network of independent providers specializing in mental health, education, wellness, family, and community interests.  We are dedicated to becoming a valued first resource for consumers and professionals in the health and well-being of our communities.  Our fundamental focus is to continually improve as we deliver evidenced-based treatment, premier educational services, and add knowledge to the body of best-practice research. 
Welcome!  We're glad you are here.


Pleeeease!  Just one bite.   




As a parent, fewer joys are greater than seeing your child grow and flourish into a happy and healthy individual.  It can also be said that parenting a child who is a picky eater is one of the greatest frustrations.  Let's face it, mealtimes happen multiple times per day, day after day, and time after time!  Dreaded mealtimes, frazzled emotions, and rushed schedules can be the perfect recipe - yes, pun intended - for tears, demands, threats, and even lost hope. 

No doubt you've heard lots of advice ranging from, "He'll grow out of it" to "She'll eventually eat once she gets hungry enough" to "Hey, I was just like that as a kid.  It's no big deal."  There are a number of reasons why kids - and yes, adults too - become picky eaters.  Some reasons have a medical basis, some are due to sensory challenges, others related to anxiety, and there are other varied factors.  Regardless of the reasons why your child is a highly selective eater, the focus to addressing the challenge should be on what is maintaining the behavior, rather than what caused it. 

If you are beginning to feel as though you've "tried everything" but still are having little success, then you may find it helpful to seek the assistance of a professional with expertise in behavior modification and an understanding in selective eating challenges.  Please feel free to give us a call. We routinely collaborate with professionals at feeding clinics, occupational therapists, nutritionists, and other allied professionals to best help you and your child. 

We invite you read on! Help for you and your picky eater is on the way.
J. Oni Dakhari, PsyD       

Licensed Psychologist, NJ Lic#4481, DE Lic#736  

Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC 


Minding What Matters, Editor-in-Chief 

Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC logo  



What You See......


What They See......


The Picky Eater


Picky eaters are not a rare.  Depending on how "picky eater" is defined, at any point during childhood estimates range from 13% to 22% of children.  What can parents do to help their child eat a broader and more balanced diet?


First things first.

As with any concern parents have regarding their children's health and behavior, ruling out underlying physical or medical causes is the first step in addressing the problem.  If your child has a clean bill of health from a physician, there are a number of strategies that may be put in place to increase your comfort and enhance the variety and amount of food your child consumes. 



As parents, it is our job to nurture and nourish our children.  When our children appear not to allow us to nourish them, we may get anxious and upset.  It is important to take a deep breath and examine our expectations.  Children naturally eat less than adults and will be consuming smaller portion sizes.  Our plates and portion sizes have been growing and distorting our views on appropriate portion sizes.  If your child says he is not hungry, it may be helpful to respect that and he will learn to eat when he is hungry.  Battling over how much...or little...was consumed sets up a power struggle over food and negative associations with mealtime. 


The angst associated with the thought of not being able to properly nourish one's child can lead to a variety of behaviors that only serve to worsen the problem.  Paying attention to the food left on the plate instead of the food that was eaten may have the effect of a child leaving more food on the plate.  It is more effective to try to change behavior by focusing on what is going right and encouraging more of that than it is to focus on what is not going well and trying to discourage that behavior. The more you recognize and celebrate what your child eats...when broccoli or peas are the only things left on the plate they become more enticing to eat-to keep the attention and praise coming. 


Moving on to the "less desirable" foods will not happen if your kitchen becomes home to a short order cook...one who will prepare meal after meal to accommodate everyone's individual tastes.  Reasonable accommodations include preparing the same foods simply and pairing novel foods with familiar favorites.  These are good strategies as children tend to like their food plain and are more likely to try something new if it is paired with something they know they like.  It is unreasonable to cook something different for your child for each meal served.  Repeated exposure to a new food increases the likelihood that a child will eat it...so if cauliflower does not make the cut the first time it appears on your child's plate do not give up on it.


Variety is the spice of life.

Variety in what is available for eating and what children see their parents eat is key in establishing and maintaining a varied diet.  There is a strong tendency to go with what is tried and true; what is familiar.  Shake things up and make it fun.  Try to eat the rainbow-TOGETHER.  Encouraging your child to eat something blue and healthy is not likely to work if you are turning your nose up at the food.  Parents are a child's most important models-for much longer than we might think.  Do as I say, not as I do does not work. 


A note on grazing.

Grazing when hungry can be a healthy way to eat.  Managing this way of eating is not always easy and not always the best way to work with a picky eater.  Gazing on familiar foods throughout the day will likely not lead to the necessary hunger to motivate a picky eater to sit through dinner and perhaps try something new-they will be satisfied by their snacks.  Waiting too long between meals can backfire by creating a very hungry-very cranky little one; but too much between-meal snacking will not create a good environment for sufficient motivation to eat a meal at the table for those who'd rather be playing.


I'm late, I'm late for a very important...

There is work and school and clubs and sports and meetings and....the list goes on and on.  We may see the ideal as everyone sitting around the dinner table-together-every night of the week.  Achieving that ideal is highly unlikely.  On the go, the same principles apply.  Model moderation in choosing the same familiar "fast" food, provide variety even if it is on the go, focus on the positives to encourage more positives and hold realistic expectations.




Sheryl L. Pipe, PhD

Minding What Matters, Editor

Dakhari Psychological Services Postdoctoral Fellow

Psychology Permit Holder

TP #123-026 






A Delectable Delight For the Picky Palette 

Sausage, Broccoli and Cheddar cheese Quiche

Serving 6 slices


A meal in one that can help parents with their picky eaters. This recipe is also great to have the kids help make especially with mixing the eggs and ingredients together.

1 deep dish frozen pie shell 
1 frozen box, thawed and drained, chopped broccoli 
1 pound Italian sausage with casings removed or bulk sausage  
6 whole eggs 
1 cup milk  
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1/4 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 onion powder 
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the sausage, while it is still in it's casing. Then break the sausage in a preheated non stick skillet. Cook the sausage until brown and there is no more pink visible inside the crumbled sausage.

In a medium size bowl, mix the cracked eggs with milk, 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried Italian seasoning until well mixed. Then add the cooked and cooled sausage to the egg mixture.

Defrost the chopped box of broccoli for 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave. Let cool in the microwave for a minute before handling it because broccoli will be hot! Drain the broccoli in a strainer with pressing out as much as the water as possible.

Take the broccoli and mix it with the sausage and egg mixture. Place the egg mixture in the empty pie crust. Top the pie with the remaining 1/2 cup off shredded cheddar cheese.

Place the quiche in the oven on the second rack with a cookie sheet directly under it so if there is any spilling of ingredients, the cookie sheets catches whatever falls.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at least or until the quiche is evenly set and there is no remaining liquid in the quiche. The top will be golden brown, too. Another helpful tip is to place a butter knife in the center and the outer edge of the quiche. If there is still liquid left on the knife then bake the quiche 5 minutes longer until set.

Let quiche cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut the quiche in 6 even slices.

Bon appetite!!

*Have fun also adding other ingredients to the quiche with your child that he or she may like.*
Katie McMaster
Food enthusiast and friend of Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC



Words of Wisdom

A Word to the Wise

The spot for words of wisdom, pick-me-ups, funny stories, and quotable quotes.


 Food should be fun!
~ Thomas Keller 
Courtney Baker

Office Manager

Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC 


In This Issue
Pleeeeease! Just one bite.
Picky Eaters
A Word to the Wise
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Contact Information

J. Oni Dakhari, PsyD                                   Sheryl Pipe, PhD          

Dr. Dakhari - 856-796-3392                             Postdoctoral Permit Holder        
Office Mgr -   856-780-6293                            TP#123-026                     
NJ Lic #4481, DE Lic# 736                              856-780-6293

Katie McMaster
Friend of Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC 

We trust that you will find the information and resources we have offered to be a benefit.  Please be advised that while Dakhari Psychological Services, LLC works with other professionals to help offer you helpful services that we are not responsible for the content of their services. Please note that all material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical, academic, or otherwise personal advise or instruction.  No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information.  We urge readers to consult appropriate professionals on any matters relating to their health and well-being.  The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every contributor to Minding What Matters and we welcome the exchange of different viewpoints.