Picky Eater Help

Expert Feeding Help
for Professionals and Parents

Melanie Potock’s keynotes, courses, books & articles focus on raising kids to be healthy, happy eaters. From babies to toddlers to teens, “Coach Mel” is here to help.

Raising a Healthy Happy Eater Isn’t Always Easy

Get Expert Advice on Feeding Babies, Toddlers & School Age Kids,

Including Extreme Picky Eaters

Upcoming Events & Courses

On-Demand Courses

Visit the Course Library

Live In-Person Events

Raleigh, NC on April 6, 2024
Canada on April 12-13, 2024
Atlanta, GA on April 27, 2024
Anderson, SC on April 29, 2024

Live On-Line Courses

No Upcoming Classes


This book is designed to answer the most common questions about feeding babies and toddlers up to age three. It also debunks myths while offering practical tips on making mealtimes joyful and less stressful. It teaches a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to responsive feeding that’s focused on nurturing trust and communication between parent and child. Read more about Responsive Feeding here.

Toddlers & Preschoolers

In her award-winning book, Raising a Healthy Happy Eater, Melanie and her co-author, pediatrician Dr. Yum, teach parents how to guide their children on the path to adventurous eating.  Parents report that toddlers are the most challenging to feed, thanks to active little bodies and fleeting attention spans.  Learn how to lay positive foundations for eating at 6 months of age, navigate the “terrific twos” and avoid picky eating in the preschool years!  Get the brand new, updated 2nd edition. Read more about feeding young children here.

School Age

Kids can cook right along with their parents from an early age, but it’s especially important from preschool and into the elementary school years.  What’s the number one food group that parents struggle with the most?  Vegetables!  The secret to helping kids love any kind of food is to follow Melanie’s Three E’s: Expose, Explore, Expand.  You’ll learn how to use the Three E’s and create veggie-love in Melanie’s book, Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes.  Read more about feeding school-age kids here.

More fun!

As a speech language pathologist, Melanie combined her love for language, little kids and food by writing a children’s book!  You are Not an Otter: The Story of How Kids Become Adventurous Eaters is available on Kindle, in paperback, and in both English and Spanish.  Don’t miss the parent tips in the back of the book!  Learn about all of Mel’s books here.

🥰ARFID:The Anxious Eater is my most popular Masterclass and I rarely offer a discount code for it!  I don’t have any seats available for my virtual courses (they are booked solid) and it’s so fun to see all of you in-person! 

✨Join me for this 4-hour intensive training on how to help kids with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Come to Atlanta to learn how to help them find joy in food!

👉🏼DM if you prefer a direct link for more info.

✨👉🏼✨ discount codes are not retroactive and must be entered at time of registration.
#melaniepotock #arfidawareness #arfidlife #extremepickyeater

👶🏼Although babies can begin to have teethers as they begin to bring their hands to their mouth, a 5-month-old needs specific features to help with oral development: 

🤍Very young babies need “nubby projections” but at 5-month-old can typically manage a bit more of a protrusion, ideally made of soft silicone, to gnaw on. I still shy away from a very long protrusion till closer to 5 ½ months, when baby has good trunk stability for controlling hand movement near the face. Those longer protrusions are excellent for helping baby get ready for solid foods and learning to tolerate a bit of gentle gagging, but they need that fine motor control to make it the most comfortable exploration experience possible.

❤️Varied texture on the silicone projection will help their tongue move to the left and right, an important skill for starting solids at 6 months of age!

✨Sensory experiences like squeaking (soft, smooth silicone parts are the squeakiest on gums!) and light-up rattles are always fun too! It’s a also a great time to introduce teethers that gently vibrate just for another fun tactile experience.

🛍️You’ll find my best teethers with these qualities and more (and for various ages) on my Amazon Shop: Amazon.com/shop/mymunchbug with notes on which are best for each age.

❤️DM me if you have questions!
#melaniepotock #5montholdbaby #babyteethers #slpfeeding #ashaigers

✨SLPs, OTs & Parents of children with ARFID… Join me for a 4-hour Masterclass on how to help kids with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder April 27th in Atlanta! Early Bird Discount ends tomorrow, 4/10, so hurry to grab your seat! 👉🏼Go to mymunchbug.com/melanie-potock-live-events/ or DM me if you would like a direct link. 

🤍More than just picky eating…ARFID is truly a fear of interacting with foods. 

👋🏼Hi, I’m Melanie, a pediatric speech pathologist who specializes in helping children with ARFID and extreme picky eating. I look forward to seeing you Saturday morning for this intensive 4-hour Masterclass on how anxiety controls a child’s willingness to try new foods. 

✨The course is filled with practical strategies and it’s my most popular course, so I am excited to be teaching it in Atlanta for the first time! 

#extremepickyeating #atlantaslp #atlantaot #ashaigers #southcarolinaslp #melaniepotock

🤦🏼‍♀️It’s not uncommon for picky eaters to also be constipated. I’ve been talking about the importance of regularity (yep, 💩!) a lot this past weekend. It’s important to talk to your GI Doc, pediatrician and/or an RDN about ways to help your child feel more comfortable going on a regular basis.

🚽Some options they may suggest include magnesium  citrate gummies or powder, hemp or chia seeds (sometimes ground) or a fiber supplement that includes both soluble and insoluble fiber. 

💕The take-away here is that each child is unique and it takes time to determine what will work best. 

📌Save for future reference and please give this post a❤️ if you’ve been finding this series helpful! Thank you! 🥰 Melanie

#melaniepotock #constipationinkids #ashaigers #feedinglittles 

👉🏼The content posted here is not medical advice. Please always consult with your medical professional. Should you have concerns about your child’s gut health.

😳Here are 5 signs your child is constipated that might just surprise you:

💩Large stools – like really large. Like WOAH. Large stools may indicate that the bowels are moving slower than they should, creating larger stools that aren’t easy to pass. Or if they are easy, it’s because the intestine has stretched around the stool and eventually pushes it out. Intestines that get stretched a lot STAY STRETCHED and that in turn, leads to constipation.

〰️Tracks on the undies: While you may consider diarrhea, usually diarrhea means lots of stool, not a track. That line of brown (sorry to be graphic!) may indicate that the poop is lodged in the intestine and the looser stool is leaking around it. It can also indicate muscle weakness around the anus secondary to chronic constipation.

😉Speaking of graphics and tracks… did you spot the Bristol Stool Chart graphic in this video? You can Google and pick your favorite to download. The first thing we do in feeding therapy is begin to track how often kids go #2 and what it looks like. Parents are often surprised to learn that it should be smooth and sausage-shaped. 
🤢If your child has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) then constipation may be the culprit. The pressure in the gut (from being stopped up) pushes the stomach contents upward, creating a wash of stomach acid into the esophagus (the tube in your throat for eating).

🚽Irregular stool textures is another sign – see the Bristol Stool Chart for an example

😞Poor appetite – in yesterday’s reel, I talked about the influence of pooping on appetite. Check that one out too! 

Bottom line? (Pardon the pun) …if you’re here to learn about raising an adventurous eater, honestly, it often starts with regular 💩.

🤔What questions do you have? Ask away, I’m here to try and help! 💕Melanie

#melaniepotock #slpfeeding #feedingtherapy 

Keep in mind, this is not medical advice. This is general information that any professional in this profession shares, but your child’s gut is unique, so ALWAYS check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s gut health.

💩When a parent tells me this about their picky eater: “She ate like a horse yesterday!” my next question is always “Did she have a big poop yesterday too?” 

😳1 out of 3 toddlers is constipated on a regular basis.* Watch all this week for my series on why and what to do about it. Want to know why it’s a BIG issue for picky eaters?

👉🏼Because if you’re constipated or not pooping on a regular basis, it impacts your hunger drive. Eating isn’t a comfortable experience.

😞When you have a picky eater, constipation is common due to their very limited diet. And, typically 
developing toddlers tend to be constipated more than any other age…unless it becomes chronic after the toddler years.

🚽Kids need to have regular, comfortable bowel movements, ideally every day for the reasons noted in the post.

🧻This week, we’re talking about poop. Everybody does it, but it’s not always easy for some kids.

🤍I hope you’ll find it helpful – tell me in the comments what you need to know about constipation & I’ll post all weekend for you! I hope it’s helpful!🥰Melanie

#pickyeaters #toddlertroubles #feedinglittles

*Source: National Institute for Health & Care Excellence Oct 2013 
Royal College of Physicians (2010). National Audit of Continence Care, Combined Organizational and 
Clinical Report

😔After working with picky eaters for the last 25+ years…I’m ready for a change. Being a 6X author, an international speaker and an expert in the field just isn’t that exciting any more….so…

💚I’m donning that green apron and practicing my most pleasant customer service voice…and making Frappuccinos! Yep, I’m ditching it all to work at Starbucks ☕️. #AprilFools #gotcha

🥰Seriously though, I love helping parents raise more adventurous eaters and climb out of the chicken nugget rut. I love speaking around the USA and beyond, helping professionals learn how to assess and treat kids with pediatric feeding disorders. It’s incredibly rewarding and I’m very, very fortunate to have this job. 

🤔But maybe after I retire…that cute little green apron would have “Coach Mel” embroidered on it…and I would be so happy to see you stop by each morning! 

😂I hope you are having the most fun with April Fools Day jokes today…and next time you’re at Starbucks, grab me a latte, would ya?

💚😂💚Happy April Fools Day everyone!
#melaniepotock #starbucks #pickyeaters

🤍 oh so more than just dancing…My wish for you and your family today is to be present and savor this time together. 
✨Credit (and please follow!) 👉🏼@thetrueadventures ❤️
#hope #kindness 

🤦🏼‍♀️Parenting a picky eater can be so tricky…

When kids are anxious to try new foods, and they DO TRY IT, it’s so EXCITING!🙌🏻

😎But we have curb our
enthusiasm and be cool. Kids easily interpret our enthusiasm as pressure, and sometimes we choose words that can be misinterpreted quite easily.

😎So, it’s always best to stay cool in our response.

👋🏼Hi! I’m Melanie and I’m here to help you start solids, avoid picky eating traps and find more joy in family mealtimes! I’m also an SLP with advanced training in children’s facial development - I share tips on best cups, feeding products and more! Thanks for following me at @mymunchbug_melaniepotock ❤️

#melaniepotock #pickyeaters #slp #rd #childnutrition #parenting #ot #feedingkids #parentingteens
#arfid #fussyeaters #feedingdisorders #feedingtherapy #feedinglittles #mylittlemonster #mylittleeater #momlife #momsofinstagram

I know I have issues… but thanks for following me anyway.😉


🐇✂️Yesterday’s Easter post on how to cut a Marshmallow Bunny safely for young kids blew up in my DMs! 😳 Comments like “I had no idea” prompted me to share today’s post on what to put in Easter Baskets to keep it fun, but also keep it safe. 
👉🏼You’re going to want to save this post and now is the time to send it to friends and family so these items don’t appear and things get awkward Sunday morning…

🤍👋🏼🤍Hi, I’m Melanie, a speech language pathologist and feeding specialist who is here to help you keep your kids safe while discovering the joy of all kinds of food!

❓Got questions? Drop them in the comments, happy to help!

✨Note: This safety post does not include allergens, especially in certain melt-away candies…always read the label and/or check with the manufacturer before letting the Easter bunny share it with your Littles. 

🐇Happy Bunny Day everyone, 
#melaniepotock #chokinghazards #toddlertrouble #easterbasket

Melanie Potock

Pediatric Feeding Expert and Author

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP is a mom who once had a picky eater.  She’s experienced first-hand the stress that parents feel when they are worried about their child’s nutritional health.  Fast forward to today, and you’ll find Melanie blending her knowledge of feeding therapy with practical parenting strategies that help the entire family eat healthier.  She’s an international speaker and author of six books, including co-authoring the award-winning Raising a Healthy Happy Eater.  Whether you’re raising a child who seems to be on the path to loving all kinds of healthy foods (and you want to keep it that way) or if your child is stuck in the chicken nugget rut, “Coach Mel” is here to guide you.

Melanie's Advice Shared In...

  • Washington Post
  • PBS Kids
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Autism Parenting Magazine
  • CNN
  • ASHA Blog
  • ASHA Leader
  • Parents.com
  • The Bump
  • New York Times
  • WebMD
  • Parents
  • Romper
  • Fit Pregnancy
  • Georgia Chapter AAP
  • Fatherly
  • Care.com
  • Dr. Greene
  • Yahoo Parenting

Courses for Parents & Professionals

Melanie offers both on-demand courses and live-streaming Masterclasses.  CEUs are optional for both OTs and SLPs, yet audience members include parents, RDs, pediatricians & other health care professionals.

Need help with a picky eater, or just want to prevent kids from falling into the chicken-nugget rut?  As a parent, SLP or OT, what do you need to know about child nutrition?  What about the anxious eater – Could this be more than just picky eating?  Melanie’s on-demand course subscriptions provide the answers!

Want more in-depth instruction in a small group, virtual setting?  Register for one of Melanie’s Masterclass!

Explore course options here.

Booking Signing

Parenting Advice

Melanie’s advice has been shared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine and more. Over 150 articles for both parents and professionals are found here or contact Melanie for a personal one-hour coaching session via video chat.

Masterclass participants get a 25% discount on coaching.

Learn more about professional and parent coaching here.

Keynote Speaking

An international speaker, award-winning author and pediatric feeding specialist, audiences find Melanie’s advice to be practical and possible, even in the most challenging cases.  That’s because Melanie is in the trenches, working closely with the most extreme picky eaters and supporting families and health professionals around the world. Melanie has been invited to speak at over 100 different events, including the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s National Conference and the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.

Audiences say it best: If you are looking for a professional speaker who can “provide practical solutions” for parents, caregivers and therapists and your company needs a “highly knowledgeable, organized presenter” with “energy and enthusiasm” who can deliver a “dynamic course”, then your best choice is Melanie Potock. Contact Melanie here.

Product Consulting

Need expert input on your new parenting product?  Melanie has provided expert advice for Orgain, Inc., Holland Health Care, Inc., Healthy Height, Inc., NumNum, LLC and numerous health care and parent product companies.

Looking for an expert to educate your team on how children learn to become adventurous eaters, baby-self feeding or the importance of purees?  Feeding is developmental, just like learning to crawl, walk, run. At least 1 in 4 typically developing children have trouble learning to eat!  Raising a healthy, happy eater requires the right tools and the right advice.  Melanie provides company education and collaboration via webinars, social media and creating educational videos for your audience.

Contact Melanie here.


feeding advice for parents and professionals

Parenting a Picky Eater,

50 Easy Ways to Get Your Kid to Eat New Foods

By Salma Abdelnour Gilman It may seem like an impossible dream right now, but your kid has the potential to love all kinds...Read More
Sensory Concerns,

A Special Needs Guide for Learning to Eat with Your SEVEN Senses – Part One

  Most of us think of five senses and the human body: Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. But, when it comes...Read More
Parenting a Picky Eater,

3 Ways to Explain Baby-Led Feeding to Your Extended Family

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP Whether it’s a holiday dinner, a virtual family brunch or an outdoor family picnic, well-meaning relatives may...Read More
Parenting a Picky Eater,

Planting for Kids

By The Lettuce Grow Team Melanie Potock has a knack for taking eaters of all ages from picky to passionate. Here are a...Read More