A Gift for Him, A Gift for Me: Shutterfly Photo Plate

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between Shutterfly and LooksiSquare.  I received product compensation, but all opinions are *honestly* my own!

You all already know that the light of my life is my five year old Little Crafter.  {I have a pretty awesome hubs too, but that little man positively melts my heart!}  He is amazingly creative, super-smart especially in reading and math, and has lots of strengths.  But, like anyone else, he also has his challenges.  In his particular case, the challenges take the form of some sensory processing issues most of which have to do with food.  He has a very limited list of foods he’s willing to eat, is only willing to eat an a handful of specific environments, and is very sensitive to the smells of what others are eating.


It took us a long time to figure out that the sensory issue was going on; even our pediatrician kept telling us he would grow out of his picky phase and didn’t seem to think anything was abnormal.  Once he started school, though, the issues became more pronounced to the point where he’d get physically sick sometimes when he smelled certain classmates’ lunches.  Fortunately, several other parents we know whose kiddos deal with similar challenges pointed us in the right direction, and a good friend of ours happens to be an OT specializing in feeding.  We met with Katie for the first time last Wednesday, and with the help of a very special plate, made some incredible progress.

Shutterfly Photo Plate

For LC’s feeding sessions, the initial goal is to get him to experiment, observe, and yes…play with his food!  Apparently there are more than 30 different steps to eating, and Katie’s job is to come up with a systematic way of introducing him to various foods and helping him walk through as many of those steps with each one as possible.  She sets up a plate with the target foods for the day in a particular sequence.  She and LC each have a plate as well, and she transfers the food to them one item at a time to be experienced.  Little Crafter was pretty willing to work with “Miss Katie” because he is tired of having meals be a frustrating and/or miserable experience, but I wanted to make sure that it never felt like punishment or like he had to have these sessions because of doing something wrong.  Goodness knows a sensory processing disorder isn’t his fault, so I wanted to keep things light, fun, and positive.  LC has always had a fondness for “fun plates,” as he calls them, so I thought that giving him a very special plate for his feeding sessions would be a great way to make him feel special and encouraged!

Shutterfly Photo Plate


I created this very special photo plate at one of my go-to sites, Shutterfly.  Not only do I get photo prints there for framing or using in Project Life, I also use Shutterfly for photo books, calendars, and other photo gifts.  They have quite a selection of photo plates; all I did was choose the background {red and blue are two of a certain someone’s favorite colors!} and insert one of my favorite LC photos.  That was it; I placed my order and a few days later it arrived looking just like I expected.  The photo quality is great, and the plate is really a nice size.  Plus, you can put it in the dishwasher, which is a big deal around here.


Needless to say, his reaction when he first saw the plate was priceless.  Huge smiles, and an, “Is this for me, Mommy?”  {We get a lot of “happy mail” around here and he’s used to most of it being for me, although he does get some fun things from time to time}.  Anyway, it worked perfectly for the feeding session.  Take a look at what Katie prepared…


Her philosophy was to begin and end with two things she knew LC likes; goldfish crackers and gummy candies.  Then, she came up with a whole sequence of foods to link them together.  First, they explored the fish by playing with them, then talking about the fact that they were hard, salty, and crunchy.  Katie asked him what flavor they were, and he knew that they were cheddar cheese.  So, the next food was cheddar cheese she had cut into pieces close to the size of the fish themselves.  From there, they moved on to shredded cheddar and shredded carrots.


After the shredded carrots, they progressed to larger pieces of carrots, dried apricot, orange, and then finally finished up with his orange candies.


It ended up being a really fun experience!  He didn’t actually eat any new foods during the session, but definitely interacted with them a lot more than he was ever willing to before.  And the best part is that ever since, he’s been willing to try several new foods, including pizza and Skittles!  I know it’s not going to change everything overnight, but already I can see a change in his attitudes toward food and mealtimes, and that’s so significant for him!  I’m so encouraged by the progress and so thankful for Katie’s help!  Little Crafter may be the one who received the Shutterfly photo plate as a gift, but this change in his eating habits is the real gift for me!

Hugs & Glitter,


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  1. I love LC’s plate! And I’m so thankful that it’s helping (along with Miss Katie, too, of course!) I can’t imagine having sensory issues regarding food. Bless his heart! What a great idea to give him a “special plate” just for his eating exercises. That’s awesome 🙂

  2. My oldest son is autistic, and that always comes with an array of sensory issues. He went the first several years of his life without eating meat of any kind whatsoever- it would just make him gag and throw up all over his plate (except one particular brand of chicken nuggets, which along with PB&J he survived on for a couple years.) He still can’t handle things that have a funny texture-mashed potatoes are like poison to him. I love the way the OT introduced things in an order and using the fun plate makes it an enjoyable experience and not a punishment, like you said. 🙂 I may need to order some of those as Christmas gifts for my boys. They would think it was so cool!

  3. Love the plate idea! I wish I had thought to do that several years ago when my daughter was going through feeding therapy for issues with foods due to sensory issues with her mouth. She is sensitive to textures and we have made a lot of progress since she started school 2 years ago, but still she doesn’t eat any veggies. She loves cheese ravioli and tonight when I fixed it, I realized I bought beef instead of cheese. I was prepared for a real struggle but amazingly she ate it and loved it. I just told her it was like meatballs but in the ravioli and similar to lasagna that I make and she likes. It does get better but it still takes a lot of time and we celebrate each small accomplishment. Hang in there. 🙂

    1. Yay for small {but huge!} victories! My guy won’t touch veggies either. Yet. We’ll get there and so will you!

  4. Amy what a beautiful post! I’m so glad you have found this amazing OT and I hope she continues to help LC find success with his food sensory situation.

    Also, that plate is absolutely priceless! I hope it is durable enough that you can show it to his kids one day!

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