December 2019 - Focusing on Nutrition

Disability Resource Library Newsletter

This month's Disability Resource Library newsletter focuses on nutrition services. Overcoming the biggest nutritional challenges of children with special needs is a complex issue that is sometimes within and sometimes beyond a parent's grasp. Some kids with special needs have a nutritionist who sets specific guidelines for the challenges they are facing; for others, focusing on nutritional goals is a whole-family effort. Here, we highlight some of the resources our library has to offer.


Take a look at a few of the resources our Disability Resource Library has to offer and, as always, please feel free to reach out to Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.

Featured Resources

All featured resources are available to borrow from the DRL
To browse more resources, click here.

Take the Fight Out of Food

Take the Fight Out of Food

By Donna Fish, MS, LCSW

All foods are good. That is the message of this commonsense book that helps parents speak to their kids about food and nutrition. It is a message that is long overdue, especially when you consider that 81 percent of ten-year-olds are afraid of being fat -- half are already dieting -- and twelve million American children are obese. There is a disease gripping our nation's children and it strikes early. Take the Fight Out of Food offers a cure. This practical guide is filled with hands-on tools and in-depth advice for putting a stop to unhealthy eating habits before they begin. With guidance, inspiration, and encouragement, this invaluable book helps parents to teach their children to eat for life in a positive and healthy family environment.

Borrow Take the Fight Out of Food from our library.

Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges!

By Lori Ernsperger and Tania Stegen-Hanson

Is your child a picky eater, or a full-fledged resistant eater? Does he or she eat only 3-20 foods, refusing all others, eat from only one food group, or gag, tantrum, or become anxious if you introduce new foods? If so, you have a resistant eater. Learn the possible causes, when you need professional help, and how to deal with the behavior at home. Learn why “don’t play with your food” and “clean your plate”―along with many other old saws―are just plain wrong. And who said you have to eat dessert last? Get ready to have some stereotypes shattered!

Borrow Just Take a Bite from our library.

Fruit Rainbow: Healthy Eating for People with Developmental Disabilities (DVD)

Let's eat more fruit! It's an easy step to a healthy diet. This engaging program shows teens and adults who have intellectual disabilities how to add fruit to their diets. Use it in special education classrooms or at home. The DVD includes: Fantastic Fruits! (12 minutes) - When one member of a leisure bowling group ends up in the hospital with chest pains, everyone learns why it's important to eat more fruit. Got Any Fruit? (12 minutes) - The leisure group discovers the fruit rainbow, and learns new strategies to eat more fruit.

Borrow Fruit Rainbow from our library.

a photo of the Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Plush Set

By Eric Carle

Eric Carle's classic tale is of a voracious caterpillar who eats his way through the days of the week and then changes into a beautiful butterfly! Cleverly die-cut pages help teach the days of the week, counting, and much more!

Borrow The Very Hungry Caterpillar from our library.

Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup

By Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu

Restore "peas and harmony" to the dining table with this comprehensive guide to building successful childhood feeding strategies. Focus is placed on the food-fight challenges parents are most likely to face—such as starting babies on solid foods, dealing with picky eaters, and making healthy food choices in child-care settings and restaurants—and a wide range of winning solutions are offered. More than a simple nutrition guide, this book also addresses the behavior and development issues surrounding the feeding challenges of early childhood. With a family-sized serving of useful advice and a generous helping of humor, this resource offers invaluable food for thought and real world advice that parents can use every day.

Borrow Food Fights from our library.

The Picky Eater Project

the Picky eater Project cover

By Natalie Digate Muth and Sally Sampson

Parents will love this one-of-a-kind book that can transform even the most finicky eaters into fledgling foodies. Focusing on kids’ participation, interactive strategies, kitchen experiments, and delicious kid-friendly recipes, the book is based on a six-week plan that makes shopping and cooking fun. The Picky Eater Project addresses both the importance of healthy childhood nutrition and family harmony. It offers tips and troubleshooting, recognizing that it takes planning and perseverance to make behavior changes stick, but that it can happen.

Borrow The Picky Eater Project from our library.

Navigation Tips - Picky Eaters

Children's nutrition doesn't have to be frustrating. If children's nutrition is a sore topic in your household, you're not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don't eat. However, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week. Until your child's food preferences mature, consider some of these tips from the Mayo Clinic for preventing mealtime battles.

A Child's Champion

a photo of Monica Andis

Meet our December Chid's Champion, Monica Andis, MS, RD, LD. Monica is the nutrition mentor for the LEND Program at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is a registered, licensed dietitian and has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition and Foods. She directs the CED Feeding & Swallowing Clinic and is the state consultant dietitian for the West Virginia Children With Special Health Care Needs Program.

For the last 22 years, Monica has worked in the field of nutrition and dietetics. During the 1970's and 80's, Monica worked as a midwife.

"In enjoy meeting children and families and trying to help make their lives easier and better," she said. "I also enjoy practicing my profession and solving clinical challenges," Monica added. Her interests also include nutrition and disabilities across the life span, pediatrics and special needs, weight management and obesity, rural health care, and interdisciplinary care.

Learn more about the Feeding and Swallowing Clinic

Do you know someone you'd like to nominate to be featured as a Child's Champion in our monthly newsletter? Please let us know! Contact Roger May, the Media Resource Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at or by phone at 304-205-6434.