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

Babies

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.


🤔Reminding myself to listen to my own advice…
#melaniepotock

#slpfeedingtherapy #slplife #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #slpfeeding #ashaigers #extremepickyeating #arfid #slpeeps #schoolslp #slpmom #pickykids #fussyeater #fussyeaters #fussyeatersolutions


Red, white, pink & unique gifts on my Amazon Shop for Valentine’s Day 💕SWEET! #linkinbio or 
❤️amazon.com/shop/mymunchbug❤️#melaniepotock

#pickyeater #pickyeaters #pickyeaterproblems #fussyeaters #fussyeater #fussyeaterproblems #eatyourveggieskids #feedingtherapist #feedingtherapist #feedingslp #slpfeedingtherapy #ashaigers #toddlermeals #feedinglittles #ashaigers #feedingbaby #babyled


🦓🦜🐨🦩🦍
Every time I read my children’s book to a child - we giggle about the many different ways that these creatures eat, but little humans don’t eat that way! We have one super power that no other creature on earth has…we can cook! ❤️👩🏻‍🍳🧑🏽‍🍳❤️

🦓❤️🦓The illustrations from @stacymoorestudio are pure magic, don’t you think? Soooo many more animals in the entire book to make you smile than I have room to share here…do you have a copy?

🦩💜🦩If not, your copy (available in Spanish too!) is at mymunchbug.com/books/ or via link in my bio ❤️ You are Not an Otter 🦦 by #melaniepotock

#pickyeater #pickyeaters #pickyeaterproblems #fussyeaters #fussyeater #fussyeaterproblems #eatyourveggieskids #feedingtherapist #feedingtherapist #feedingslp #slpfeedingtherapy #ashaigers #toddlermeals #feedinglittles #ashaigers #feedingbaby #babyled


❤️Kids will ALWAYS live up to the labels we assign to them. Try to reframe your own thinking about your 
hesitant eater. 

💕ALL kids are learning eaters. (I am still a learning eater!) All kids are taste testers. All kids are food explorers 🥰 GIVE THIS POST A ❤️ in the comments to encourage all the parents out there trying their best to raise healthy happy eaters. You got this ❤️
#melaniepotock

#slpfeedingtherapy #slplife #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #slpfeeding #ashaigers #extremepickyeating #arfid #slpeeps #schoolslp #slpmom #pickykids #fussyeater #fussyeaters #fussyeatersolutions


Parents, whether you have a bit of a picky eater or a child with a feeding disorder, it’s your right to 
understand WHO will be helping your family and HOW qualified they truly are. 

✨That being said – we all had to start somewhere AND we are always learning. There are plenty of clinicians in the world who are 
passionate and have had additional education outside of grad school.💛But, they may not have lots of 
experience with kids with feeding challenges. As long as they are being supervised and/or mentored by 
an experienced clinician, sometimes they can be the best fit for your child & for you!

Although of course you’re not going to say “Do you know what you’re doing?” 😉 You certainly have the right to ask the questions outlined in the post above. Therapists respect that and we know you’re making sure your child is in good hands. 

❤️When I was fresh out of graduate school a million years ago, I knew how to “make it look easy” but I was keenly aware that I had a LOT to learn. Fortunately I had incredible mentors that supervised my every move because I was so inexperienced. I’ll be forever grateful.

💜Pick someone who is knowledgeable (or is being closely supervised as they expand their knowledge) PLUS can easily say “I don’t know, but I will find out” or “I need another pair of eyes here, I am going to consult with an expert.”
Sometimes that expert is an RDN, sometimes it’s an OT or SLP or perhaps another professional that can support the whole child and the whole family. 

😉But I guarantee, their name is NOT Dr. Google.
#melaniepotock

#pickyeater #pickyeaters #pickyeaterproblems #fussyeaters #fussyeater #fussyeaterproblems #eatyourveggieskids #feedingtherapist #feedingtherapist #feedingslp #slpfeedingtherapy #ashaigers #toddlermeals


💜Starting solids means different things to different people because baby’s solid food can be a puree or a safe hand-held food or soft pieces to rake up with little fists. No matter how you choose to start, don’t wait too long after baby’s 6-month birthday. 

✨Research* shows that baby’s who start on purees and linger there past the 9th month without advancing through various safe textures are likely to develop a feeding delay and thus should be referred for a feeding evaluation.

✨I recently posted several reels on signs of readiness, why starting a few weeks before the 6 month birthday might be optimal for most kids (and why starting even earlier is not a good idea) and other tips for feeding baby. You’ll find those reels in my highlights under “feeding baby” and “feeding myths” but also much more information in my new book, Responsive Feeding: The Baby-First Guide to Stress-Free Weaning, Healthy Eating and Mealtime Bonding. See link in my bio for all my books.

📚Do you have a copy of Responsive Feeding? Please let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear if it’s been helpful! #melaniepotock

*Northstone K, et al. ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. The effect of age of introduction to lumpy solids on foods eaten and reported feeding difficulties at 6 and 15 months. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Feb

#blw #blwmyth #blwinspiration #babyled #feedingbaby #myfirstbabyboy #myfirstbabyboy #ashaigers #slpmom #otmom #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #responsivefeeding


LAST CHANCE THIS YEAR TO GET THIS DISCOUNT!🥳$50 OFF! My BEST course for parents & professionals just got EVEN BETTER! I offer this discount only once a year and THIS IS IT! 

🎉Bonus: I’ve given it a Fresh New Look with new content, slides and more! My most popular on-demand course is simply the best because it’s the ONLY course taught by a top-both pediatrician, a psychologist that’s nationally known for his expertise helping anxious kids, a pediatric RDN and me - an SLP and pediatric feeding specialist. ✨Use code FRESHLOOK for $50 off FEEDING DEVELOPMENT: Understanding the Spectrum of Eating in Children.* 

🥰It’s the best value on my website and for a very limited time it’s an even better value. Code expires Jan 31, 2023 and will not be offered again this year. 

💜❤️💜Ten hours of expert instructions with CEUs direct to ASHA registry 
❤️💜Certificates for any professional or parent for your records 
❤️Too many downloads and resource links to list here - but it’s packed with information to help you raise adventurous eaters 😊#melaniepotock
 
*Remember to use your code! Discount codes cannot be applied retroactively after purchasing the course subscription. 

#ashaceus #slpfeedingtherapy #slplife #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #slpfeeding #ashaigers #extremepickyeating #arfid #slpeeps #schoolslp #slpmom #pickykids #fussyeater #fussyeaters #fussyeatersolutions


🥦 Even if you snap off the tiniest piece to ring up at check-out…don’t stop that kid’s interest…
#truestory
#melaniepotock

#slpfeedingtherapy #slplife #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #slpfeeding #ashaigers #extremepickyeating #arfid #slpeeps #schoolslp #slpmom #pickykids #fussyeater #fussyeaters #fussyeatersolutions


🥦In my book, Adventures in Veggieland. we use tiny tasting spoons as we cook together & at the 
mealtime table too! Try these tips to encourage your child to take a taste in the most positive way:

❤️Model, don’t direct. It’s so tempting to say “Take a taste with your spoon!” but for hesitant eaters, that’s just too much direction & may make them feel pressured. (I know it’s not your intent!) Instead, reach 
for your own tasting spoon & say “I’m going to try a small sample of this.” 

💜Model the power of tasting. In my children’s book, You are Not an Otter – The Story of How Kids 
Become Adventurous Eaters – kids learn that they are the only creature on earth that has the power to 
change a taste. That’s the fun of cooking together, or adding a bit more herbs, butter or perhaps a dash 
of salt at the dinner table. Take a taste yourself & say “Hmmm…needs dill,” & then add a touch of dill or 
your favorite herb as you cook. 

😎Be cool. When kids DO take a taste with their tasting spoons, resist the urge to praise them. Just be 
cool, like they taste new foods all the time. Say “So, what do you think? More dill or ?” 

💛😎💛Rather than ask “Did you like it?” try just moving on. Be cool Mom. Be cool Dad. Model calm & your 
kids will learn that taking a taste if not a big deal. 

💕Most importantly – they learn that not every taste has to taste good. It’s just a taste & we have the 
power to make it taste even better.

📚via link in bio #melaniepotock #pickyeaters #pickyeater #pickyeaterproblems #fussyeaters #fussyeater #fussyeaterproblems #eatyourveggieskids #feedingtherapist #feedingtherapist #feedingslp #slpfeedingtherapy #ashaigers #toddlerplay #toddlermeals #cookingwithkids


It’s so tempting to listen to advice to start solids early – “it will help baby sleep!” 

Unless there is a medical reason specifically discussed with your child’s pediatrician to start early – please wait. Research indicates that most babies should start just before their 6th month. Why?

Because when we consider gut health and the immunity window – this is the optimal time to introduce solids IF baby is showing signs of motor readiness. Those signs include but are not limited to adequate head and neck control, trunk stability to sit up with minimal support and bringing toys to lips and mouth.* 

Gut health and immunity research is noted below. PLUS – research indicates that this magic window is also overlaps with the FLAVOR WINDOW when babies are more likely to accept more complex flavors. 

*Note: Some babies may be able to start at this time without all the motor readiness signs in place IF they are in feeding therapy and the therapist is utilizing therapeutic seating techniques.

Learn more in my new book, Responsive Feeding - #linkinbio for all my books.

Research in first comment below, but…
**One study noted that an earlier introduction to solids did help baby sleep longer once they reached 6 months of age – 16 minutes longer! But why not just wait till almost 6 months of age anyway if the benefits of 16 minutes occur at that age. Research is tricky – and media headlines hook parents into believing that one study is proof – and gosh, when we are very tired parents we love to read about “proof” and give it a try. But please wait for baby’s overall health and well-being. #melaniepotock

#blw #blwmyth #blwinspiration #babyled #feedingbaby #myfirstbabyboy #myfirstbabyboy #ashaigers #slpmom #otmom #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #responsivefeeding


“Leave it before they love it too much” – that’s my moto when when it comes to bottles and spouted sippy cups. In fact, I prefer parents skip those spouted sippy cups altogether. BUT…

🤔If you want to save just one spill-proof spout for those very rare occasions when you absolutely need spill-proof because “Grandma’s white carpet”…ok. But promise me you’ll use it only then. 

🍼Spouted sippy cups (yes, soft ones too) are just bottles in disguise. They cause a child’s tongue to move forward and back UNDER the spout/nipple and that’s really hard to give up – it’s a movement that kids learn in infancy and when it persists into the toddler years, it can impact feeding development and more. 

🍼Feeding milestones indicate that kids develop a more mature pattern (tongue rises UP, not forward like suckling a bottle) gradually between 6 and 12 months of age and it’s perfected shortly thereafter. 

🍼That’s why developing a plan for weaning from the bottle by the first birthday is so important to help baby learn to safely eat more advanced foods.

🍼If you’ve got a baby starting solids, take my bottle weaning course to get a plan in place for weaning over the next 6 months. If you’ve got an older toddler, my bottle weaning course will help your kiddo too – don’t stress, but don’t wait. See video courses via links in my bio or mymunchbug.com/course-library 
(DM me if you can’t find anything, happy to help!)

💥And skip the sippy cups – they are sooo hard to give up and can hinder feeding development if used too frequently. Kids vary on how hard they suck on spouts like that, but using a straw cup to keep spills to a minimum is ideal for oral development. You’ll find my favorite straw cups on my Amazon shop (link in bio or amazon.com/shop/mymunchbug )

#melaniepotock

#bottleweaning #weaning #mytoddler #toddlermomlife #toddlermomma #slpmom #slplife #feedingtherapy #myfirstbaby #blw6months #blw12months #responsivefeeding #raisehealthyeaters #momproblems #toddlertroubles #kidscup #ashaigers #sippycups


🥰Don’t forget the pause time! When we are quiet, that gives baby the opportunity to gesture, babble, say a word or use sign language to communicate. 

💕I’m teaming up with @gracefulexpression.slp to share 3 Tips to Help Baby Learn to Talk – and one of the best times to practice is at mealtimes!

😊Research has shown that early mealtime experiences boosts language development! Mealtimes are when we have the BEST conversations with our kids…even babies.

✨📖✨Learning to communicate with your baby and toddler at mealtimes is called Responsive Feeding. I was so thrilled to have Grace contribute her expertise on language development on pages 142 & 143 in my book, Responsive Feeding: The Baby-First Guide to Stress-Free Weaning, Healthy Eating and Mealtime Bonding. See link in bio or mymunchbug.com/books

🥰🥰Follow us both @mymunchbug_melaniepotock and @gracefulexpression.slp for more tips!
#melaniepotock

Research: Suggate, S. et al (2018). From infancy to adolescence: The longitudinal links between vocabulary, early literacy skills, oral narrative, and reading comprehension. Cognitive Development, 47, 82–95. 

#blw #blwinspiration #babyled #feedingbaby #myfirstbabyboy #myfirstbabyboy #feedingtoddlers #feedingtoddlersishard #ashaigers #slpmom #otmom #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #responsivefeeding #slplife


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.

Blog

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
February 7, 2021
+
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
January 14, 2021
+
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
December 30, 2020
+
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
October 19, 2020