123TokenMe vs. an Autism Classroom Picky Eater

Sandwich-300x300 Just heard of a teacher in an autism classroom that tried 123TokenMe to help a little guy to eat a few bites of his sandwich. A food he clearly didn’t want to eat.


Guess what? He loved 123TokenMe, and ended up eating the whole sandwich. Positive reinforcement works, especially when the student is involved in the process. 


Do you have challenging behaviors that you live or work with? Share specifics, and we’ll walk you through using this token board replacement app. 

Picky Eaters Beware!

IMG_2113-300x300Very nice to meet you, Little Picky Eater. You’re about to meet your match- Miss Kathy, armed with my 123TokenMe app.


Here’s how: I start with five tokens and a target behavior of “take a bite.” Next, I use the app “peer to peer.” In other words, I have a peer use the iPad to award the tokens. The three of us have chosen an activity, such as building a fort, that they look forward to playing together after the successful completion of five bites. Shared activity time is something my kids work extremely hard for. I subtly model for the peer how to encourage the behavior- taking a bite of cheese, carrot, crunchy food, or ???


Working with a peer can be extremely motivating and is a key to learning social skills. If I work on this behavior during lunch or snack time, a whole group often starts cheering for my little picky eater as each token is awarded and transformed. A natural setting for social reinforcement- you can imagine the motivation this elicits. I’ve even had students keep going beyond their target of five and take extra bites. The feedback that the app and the peers combine to provide is very powerful.


Little Picky Eater? Not for long.





Summer Snack Strikes Again!

Summer Snack strikes againSnack time has become a fun, interactive learning experience in our classroom. Each week we create a fun snack based on our theme of the month. For example, this week we are making monster faces using sliced bread, bananas, raisins, apples, pretzels, carrots and grapes. (Note: Food choices that would get the SFMandy stamp of approval!) My students learn to follow multiple step directions as well as the ingredients and the use of different cooking utensils.


Another bonus? They love the end product! It’s fun and creates a wonderful social atmosphere. By the end of the week most of the students are able to independently make the snack on their own. Another discovery is that they often end up trying and liking new foods. With their sometimes very limited food repertoire this is another great snack time bonus.

Eat Breakfast Like a King

Eat Breakfast Like a KingGetting back into a school routine isn’t easy for anyone. There’s never enough time, but don’t cut corners at breakfast. Picky eater? Gluten-free and casein- free (GF-CF)? It’s time to be creative in starting the day with smart fuels to sustain an active day of learning. Who knows what kids truly eat when at school? Make this meal count. Best advice: Read the label of EVERYTHING you place in your loved one’s body. If you can’t read it- don’t feed it. Just because the box says natural, sugar-free, or GF-CF does not make it a healthy choice. Go back to whole foods. Begin each day with lean protein, fiber, and a healthy fat.


Here are three of my many kid friendly breakfast ideas:

Breakfast Ole: Add black beans and a slice of avocado to scrambled eggs. Top with salsa and goat cheese. Roll in organic corn or whole grain tortilla.

Shake it up: Add together a small amount of frozen berries, ½ banana, and PLAIN yogurt in a blender. Sneak in ground flax seed and cinnamon; blend.  Serve in a special glass for fun.

Toasted peanut butter sandwich: Toast whole grain bread, spread with natural peanut butter or nut spread, spread with smashed or sliced bananas. Use brown-rice cakes for a change.


I will share some more breakfast ideas in comments or a future post. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper!