Reluctant Eaters- Tips to Increase Food Intake

Presentation Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. CST 

Presentation Description: This session will provide an interactive audience experience to increase an overall understanding of what impedes a person from consuming a variety of foods. The participant will also understand the difference between a picky eater and a reluctant eater. For all people but especially those who have a developmental or cognitive disability, proper nutrition is essential to their health. We will explore areas to focus on and those to expand. Participants will end session with more tools to support and develop plans to increase a person’s eating choices.

Proposed Learning Objectives:
  1. Participant will be able to understand the client’s reluctance to consume certain foods due to sensory issues from the client’s perspective. 
  2. Participant will be able to identify areas to support reluctant eaters.
  3. Participant will be able to educate the client/ care giver in developing a plan to expand client’s food choices.
CDR Performance Indicators:
9.3.5,  9.4.3,  9.6.6

Laura Terrazas, MS, RDN, CLT, Registered Dietitian, Credentialed Special Education and General Education Teacher, and Health Educator has over 20 years’ experience supporting diverse learners and supervising several administrative teams, to provide leadership and direction for special education, at-risk students and federal programs. Additionally, she is one of the authors of the updated Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Dietitians working with Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disorders.  She also facilitates healthy lifestyles workshops and weight management support groups to inspire behavior modifications by making sustainable healthy lifestyle choices. Laura is passionate about nutrition, education, and wellbeing, as well as how each plays a vital role in everyday life. Laura believes nutrition and whole-body wellness, is a critical factor of success throughout the various stages of life. Laura brings together her background in education and nutrition to look at the whole person to ensure achievement of their unique potential.


SLSharon Lemons, MS, RDN, CSR, CDCES, LD, FAND current focus is nutrition in the Mental Health setting and educating Dietitians about nutrition for individuals, who have autism. She participated in the development of the Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Dietitians working with Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disorders in 2012. She has held various positions in the Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietary Practice Group over the last 15 years where she now serves as House of Delegates Representative. She worked in the field of developmental disabilities as a pediatric dietitian for Early Childhood intervention ten the Denton State Supported Center for a total of 9 years. She worked 6 years as a Renal Dietitian for both Fresenius and Davita. Lemons received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and Institutional Administration in 2001 and her Master’s Degree in Nutrition in 2004 from Texas Woman’s University.