Taking the Struggle Out of Mealtime






Is mealtime around your table a battle of wills? Can you identify only a handful of foods your child will eat? It is common for children to be picky eaters, especially when they are trying to exercise their independence. Children’s appetites and willingness to accept new foods will change from day to day.

However, children with autism are five times more likely than their peers to develop a feeding problem (Marcus Autism Center, 2021). Successful treatments have been developed for children with autism who are younger and/or cognitively lower functioning, however, food selectivity appears to also be prevalent in older children, adolescents and adults on the spectrum who are cognitively higher-functioning.



  • Discover the causes of food aversions/restrictions and how they affect a family.
  • Identify the psychological and medical conditions that may accompany a feeding disorder.
  • Learn problem-solving skills to address picky eating habits.
  • Determine how to ensure that your child is receiving proper nutrition.
  • Understand when to call a specialist.



Dr. Cara Cuddy, Director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital

Dr. Cuddy completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University followed by a Psychology Internship and Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland. She is a clinical psychologist on the staff of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health. For the past 20 years, she has been Director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program, an Interdisciplinary Team working intensively with children and their families who present with a wide range of feeding difficulties. Dr. Cuddy has considerable experience working with a wide variety of children with chronic medical and/or developmental conditions. She also has specific expertise in early childhood mental health and development. She has presented both regionally and nationally on the topic of feeding disorders in the pediatric population. Dr. Cuddy has worked extensively with children with special needs and their families for over 25 years.