The Get Permission Approach to Anxious Eaters and Anxious Mealtimes

This workshop will be taught live in English.


The focus of this course is on evidence that informs the philosophy and strategies of the Get Permission Approach and principles of responsive feeding. We will look at the group of eaters that have traditionally been called picky or selective eaters and the influences on their food choices including how well they feel, their neurobiological sensory and sensory differences and unique neurodiverse learning styles, the environments, presentations and previous experiences with foods. We will look at how new feeding research brain science and are shaping shifts in our thinking about ways to support this population. We will discuss how we are learning from those who have lived experience with feeding challenges to better understand options in individual and family support.

The children we are trying to understand usually have very narrow diets and worry about change in food presentation.  The approach to mealtimes and feeding treatment for these children based on the foundation of trust in a feeding relationship. The Get Permission Approach teaches that adults determine the offers and the direction in therapy, but the child determines the pace.  The child is the individual that knows how he/she is feeling and it is our adult role to try to empathize and understand what the child is communicating about the situation at the moment. We will look at shifting our thinking from compliance towards emotional and sensory safety; from external motivation to internal motivation; from doing TO children to doing WITH children; from directing eating to offering appropriate and graded opportunity.  At its core, it supports child success and parent success. Information will be shared through lecture, case videos, and participant interaction.  Participants will leave this course with MANY practical treatment ideas to support children and their families through a compassionate lens.

Watch Marsha share the story of what helped her understand how worried eaters might feel when trying new foods:

Lire la version en français :


By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe anxious eaters and how they influence entire families.
  2. Define the major principles of the Get Permission Approach© to pediatric feeding.
  3. List ways to empower the family and the child in the feeding partnership.
  4. Identify key factors that influence “permission” in feeding.
  5. Describe how stress, pressure and worry and safety influence feeding through evidence and a neurobiology lens.
  6. List the sensory variables that influence mealtimes and how to grade them in rehearsals and treatment.
  7. Describe strategies to help promote enjoyment, confidence and internal motivation at mealtimes.
  8. Define Mealtime Peace and list ten conversations starters for conversations with parents.
  9. Define rehearsals and their influence on food acceptance.
  10. Describe how to cluster information gained in evaluations to support creation of treatment strategies that allow child and parent to be successful
  11. List five ways to support new food trying through a responsive lens.
  12. Describe the importance of studying neurodiversity affirming and trauma informed approaches to treatment.
  13. Define the strategies in support of parents through a continuum of Responsive Opportunities to Responsive Guidance, the Circles of Sensitivity, Rehearsals and gentler and attuned TRY opportunities as they relate to sensitive treatment strategies in the home or clinic environment.
  14. Identify strategies to support families in successful transition of therapeutic treatment strategies at home.
  15. Define considerations in setting goals and document progress using family friendly Get Permission vocabulary
  16. Define multiple ways we are shifting our thinking in support of these children and their families.


Marsha Dunn Klein OTR/L, MEd, FAOTA
Get permission Approach - Marsha Dunn Klein

Marsha is an occupational therapist who has specialized in pediatric feeding for over 50 years. She coauthored Pre-Feeding Skills, (first and second editions) and Homemade Blended Formula Handbook with Suzanne Evans Morris, and Feeding and Nutrition for the Child with Special Needs with Tracy Delaney. Her latest book is Anxious Eaters, Anxious Mealtimes:  Compassionate for Mealtime Peace.

She is a co-founder with Karen Dilfer, OTR and Stephanie Cohen, SLP for the Get Permission Institute, and online feeding education platform. She invented the TeetherHeart® and Duospoon® through Special Supplies. Marsha presents nationally and internationally on pediatric feeding with the Get Permission Approach based on principles of responsive feeding.  She sees herself as a food celebrator.

Time Oriented Agenda

Day #1

9am-10:30: Who are Anxious Eaters?

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-12:30: Principles of the Get Permission Approach

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30- 3:00: (Continuation) Principles of Get Permission Approach

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00: Mealtime Peace


8:30-10:00:  Food is Sensory

10:00-10:15: Break                                                     

10:15-12:00: Get Permission Support Strategies

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:30: Get Permission Support Strategies

2:30-2:45: Break

2:45-4:30: Food Stretches


  • Thursday, November 6th and Friday, November 7th 2025  from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time, Montreal, Quebec)


TO BE DETERMINED- Montreal or Lévis


To be determined


Caroline Hui, Occupational Therapist, 
Choose to Learn +1 (450) 242-2816,


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As soon as Get Permission Approach is available we will contact you by email.

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