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Dr. Katja Rowell, described as “academic, but warm and down to earth,” is a sought-after speaker whose message is based on science, but grounded in the realities of family life. From corporate lunch-and-learns to medical Grand Rounds, or an international symposium on child welfare, Katja gets the word out about healthy feeding.

“She’s got a knack for simplifying otherwise complicated subject matter and mixes the right amount of humor to the topic at hand making it much more relevant and accessible.  She is as engaging as she is professional and has proven to be one of the best speakers we’ve worked with since the start of our education program.”
-Pablo Patino, Managing Director at Dietitian Central

three or five hour workshop for eating disorder professionals and treatment centers:

Title: Understanding ARFID: Etiology and Treatment Considerations

Brief: Roughly one in ten children eat so little volume or variety that it impacts physical or psychosocial development, or is a major source of conflict for families. One study suggests that more than one in five patients at a day treatment program for eating disorders had an ARFID diagnosis (22.5% in 8-17 year-olds, Nicely 2014), many having struggled since early childhood. An understanding of the complex factors at play for children with low intake or food aversion is critical to the prevention and treatment of more severe or ongoing problems.

This workshop begins with a brief review of typical eating in terms of appetite, development, and the skills needed to chew and swallow food. We then move into a discussion of the challenges that predispose children to struggle with eating, embedded within a responsive and relational context (Black, Aboud, English, Chatoor, Davies, Satter).worry cycle with crJPEG copy

With this base of understanding, ARFID criteria are reviewed and related to patients more typically seen in eating disorder (ED) treatment centers. Many have already had feeding treatment in the community as younger children, some for years. A discussion of these most common therapies, from behavioral, sensory and responsive/child-centered approaches, informs providers of the dynamics and history at play that provide critical clues to further treatment success, and how some therapies can even worsen the initial challenge. A brief discussion of research, weight restoration and treatment approaches in ED programs including “modified” FBT, response extinction, sensory focused, CBT, and mindfulness will follow. The session wraps up with an exploration of treating ARFID within a responsive feeding framework (including the STEPs+ approach) across a range of ages.

Attendees wrote:

“Current information that can be used with our patients right away.”

“This was the first time my mind was attentive the entire time of a workshop!” (5hours)

“This was awesome! Thank you so much! ”

email for more details

Other topics and workshops

  • Beyond Picky Eating: Understanding, Prevention and Treatment of Picky Eating, Typical to Extreme
  • Family Feeding 101
  • Attitude Before Apples: the Key to Picky Eating and Power Struggles
  • Baby Bites:  Starting Solids Stress-free
  • Nourish, Nurture, Attach: Feeding for Adopting and Fostering Families
  • Beyond the Stash: Healing Food Insecurity, Hoarding, Food Obsession and Power Struggles
  • Bring Peace and Joy Back to the Family Table: Picky Eating, Power Struggles and More
  • Help! My Kid is Obsessed with Food!: Transforming Weight Worries and Food Obsession
  • Selective Eating and Sensory Challenges

For Professionals (Primary Care providers, family therapists, R.N.s, adoption professionals…) A healthy feeding relationship promotes healthy growth and decreases conflict while children learn to eat a variety of foods. A troubled feeding relationship is associated with unhealthy weight patterns and disordered eating. One-third of parents of preschoolers present to a health care provider with feeding complaints, and some experts estimate one in five children have a “feeding disorder.”

Dr. Rowell has provided workshops or webinars for Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Mills, Medtronic, Saint Paul’s Children’s Hospital, Early Childhood Family Education (E.C.F.E.), Joint Council International Child Welfare Symposium, Minnesota Adolescent and Child Mental Health Conference, White Earth Community Collaborative, Bright Horizons Childcare, Children’s Home Society, Holt International Adoption, Metro State Nurse Practitioner Students, Emily Program, Melrose Institute, Faegre and Benson, Minnesota L.P.N. Association,  markets (Linden Hills, Mississippi Market and Whole Foods), and others.

For Childcare and Schools: Your are too busy teaching and nurturing to coax picky eaters, push food or wonder how to deal with unusual feeding situations or parent requests. TFD conducts an on-site workshops with staff to review nutrition basics, normal stages of food acceptance, and the science behind selective eating. Learn concrete tips for a more pleasant meal experience for staff and child alike.

If you would like to know if Dr. Rowell is available to talk to your organization, please contact

 what workshop attendees have to say:

“I followed a few of the tips you gave… My husband and I are so grateful because Brian has been eating everything we have offered and we could not be happier. I am so thankful to have met you. Without these tips I would still be upset and frustrated and so would Brian!” — Lisa, mom of Brian 10 months

“This is a phenomenal presentation, it is extremely important that educators and practitioners know this information.” -anon

“This was the best lecture we had all month.” pediatrics resident

“All of the reviews I got back gave you the highest rating in each category.”  — Jessica Remington, MS, RDN, LD, CLC  WIC Program

Comments from attendees at Community Health Workshop:

“I like it all. It was all applicable to my work and home life.”

“I will use this info often in the WIC setting.”

“Katja was a very engaging speaker. I loved her stories which brought to life the issue of picky eating. If she ever offers another talk on a similar topic, we should have her come again!”


“I just wanted to say thanks for coming to parent class on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and had braced myself for an evening of fat shaming and lectures on shoulds and obesity panic and had worked out ways to leave the class if it got to be too much.   I was pleasantly surprised to find the class full of really useful information that I hope to put into practice around here as much as I can. We don’t have many food battles around here, but I will try to relax on days he only eats his rice out of dinner instead of the other stuff on his plate that I know I’ve seen him eat before!” — Becky

“Our professional staff felt very positively about Dr. Rowell’s workshop and will be applying her suggestions when parents question children’s eating habits. We would recommend her workshop to other professionals.”Phyllis Ettinger, Director Children’s Country Day

“Feedback from your presentation was very positive. One parent said that it was “revolutionary” that she could relax if her child didn’t eat a balanced meal at every meal and it is helping. Others felt that being attentive to their child during meals; eating with their child and having a conversation have been helpful. They liked the ideas for preparing food and the snack ideas and the handouts. Thank you so much! “— Jill, ECFE parent educator


“Excellent! Will be very helpful in my work.” -anon

“Your presentation was great! We were inspired to make changes. You were organized, empathetic, funny, explained everything well and had good handouts! I have been more relaxed at mealtimes, and I think it is helping. Ava may not be eating kohlrabi yet, but at least I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind at dinner every night.” — Sue

“As a psychologist specializing in eating disorders, it is a breath of fresh air to hear someone talk sensibly about the feeding relationship.”Bette Bakke, Ph.D., L.P

“Sarah took your suggestion and put a small dish of fruit by everyone’s plate. Lilly began eating fruit, then vegetables and meat before eating more fruit-something she had never done. Mom said she and Dad were careful to remain neutral, although they wanted to jump up and down! She was thrilled with your advice! —Betsy, Parenting Educator


Webinar Feedback

“I liked the routine bedtime snack idea, I think that might work.”
“Dr. Rowell thank you so much for this!  We could have desperately used this approx a year ago!  Thank you so much! God Bless you!”
“Family style is a great suggestion! I used it in my classroom when I was a teacher. I will try it with my daughter and her picky eating!”

 “Thank you for the picky eater explanation. As I was listening I ordered you book and will read more.”
“Thanks for providing such an informative webinar!”