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

Atlanta, GA on April 27, 2024
Anderson, SC on April 29, 2024

Live On-Line Courses

Food Allergies Masterclass, August 10, 2024
Appetite Masterclass, August 10, 2024

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.


💥A splat mat for feeding baby that I can’t live without! No bigger than my hand but unfolds to go under the highchair so that when spoons and food drop, YOU CAN…

🛑Stop wasting food and feel comfortable picking it back up, assured that it’s still clean!

🛑Stop washing spoons mid-meal because they never hit the dirty floor.

🛑Stop wiping down plastic mats because what’s the point? 

🫶🏼🌎Save your floors, save your back and save the earth – yep, it’s COMPOSTABLE & 100% BIODEGRADABLE.

👉🏼Comment #splat and I’ll send you the direct #amazonaffiliate link. 

✨ONE MORE THING – If you are a feeding therapist, feeding multiple kids ALL DAY in therapy, YOU NEED THESE for clinic, home visits and more…and you can color on them too!

🥰Melanie
#melaniepotock #feedingtoddlers #feedingbaby #feedingtherapy


✨❓✨Are those safety straps on highchairs really necessary? And, does the bib go OVER them, or UNDER them? The answer isn’t that simple, but it is in the caption below…

🫶🏼Hi, I’m Melanie, author of 6 books on feeding kids, and this is a question I get a lot!

⚠️First, safety straps don’t just keep your child from falling out of the high chair, they also can provide some trunk stability for babies who tend to lean side to side when sitting. When babies lean, they are at a higher risk for choking.

❤️So, use those straps, but use them correctly. 

✨If baby has an “all-over” long sleeve bib, the straps may need to go OVER the bib unless baby is eating something super safe, like a puree. 

⏰Should baby need your assistance due to choking, taking off an “all-over” bib takes time away from unbuckling the straps. Yes, the straps get messy.
If baby has a standard bib that covers just the chest, straps can go under the bib. 

✨Watch for my upcoming post on best bibs and why…meanwhile, got questions❓Drop them in the comments!

🥰Melanie
#melaniepotock #responsivefeeding


Comment #prime & I’ll DM you the link!
#amazonaffiliate #abiiehighchair

Here’s why I LOVE this chair:
❤️Adjustable no tools needed !
❤️Super easy to clean !
❤️Top quality!
❤️Foot rest truly is easily adjustable with multiple “rests” to match your child’s growth spurts !
❤️Includes the padded seat and padded backrest!
❤️The fastest ,simplest shoulder straps to keep your baby safe, but also allow you to get baby out of the highchair quickly and effortlessly!

Go!
🥰Melanie
#melaniepotock


✨🛍️✨Over 50 DEALS for Prime Day from Top Brands and I ONLY CHOSE the 25 to 50% off DEALS FOR YOU. (Oh gosh, am I shouting? But it’s because PRICES are SOOO GOOD!)

✨Comment #PRIME and I’ll send you the link to my list. #affiliatelink 

🛍️I already bought a jogging stroller, several of those little crinkle cutters (game changer, I need those for every kiddo I work with!) and yep, the playhouse.

✨🫶🏼✨Hey, did you know small businesses like mine put together these affiliate lists to make shopping easier for you, and we appreciate you so much! Thank you! It helps cover our time sharing free tips and content to help your family thrive, and when you click my affiliate link, it truly helps! 

🥰Melanie
#melanie #pediatricfeeding #slpfeeding #responsivefeeding


☀️Summertime means remembering to serve water to everyone, especially babies, toddlers & big kids!

💦But how much do they really need? 
📌Save this post for future reference!

🥰Hi! I’m Melanie, a pediatric feeding specialist & 6X author on how to feed your kid! Basically, I love kids, food and family. Thanks for being here!

💦Babies can start to have small sips of water at about 6 months of age, gradually working up to about 1 cup per day.

💦💦💦💦
Toddlers (12 to 24 months) can gradually consume up to 4 cups per day.

💦💦💦💦💦Preschoolers (ages 2 to 5) need a bit more, so offer 5 cups per day.

❓Having trouble getting kids to drink enough water? Drop your questions in the comments – I’ll do my best to help!

🫶🏼Melanie
#melanie #waterforkids #pediatricfeeding #slpfeeding #responsivefeeding


#ad @lovevery has short videos packed with information for each individual play kit…it’s one of my favorite reasons for giving play kits as special gifts to friends and family. I watch those videos as I unpack my Play Kits and even if you’re just thinking about purchasing…watch the videos. They are jam packed with great play strategies that every parent can use! 

@lovevery treated me to The Realist Play Kit and it’s just that – REAL, in every way. A REAL Montessori pitcher and cup for learning to pour, a REAL flashlight/camping light for pretend play, and so much more! 

Comment LOVEVERY for a link for free shipping on any Play Kit! #affiliatelink

If I can answer any questions, just drop them in the comments!

Melanie
#melaniepotock #LoveveryGift #Lovevery


🤍What will always nourish my soul…⬇️

🤍”It’s knowing that we can be trusted. That we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our VERY BEING is good stuff.” - Fred Rogers

❤️Drop a heart if this is important to you too.

✨🙏🏻✨Thanks for believing in me, for following me, and trusting in me.

😘Melanie 
#melaniepotock 
#slp #feedingspecialist #slpfeeding


😳Does this fact about food allergies, eczema & kids surprise you? Read more👇🏼

👉🏼To be clear, atopic dermatitis (eczema) may predispose a child to developing a food allergy, but food allergies do not predispose a child to develop eczema. 

👉🏼In fact, if your child has moderate to severe eczema, then their risk is greater than a child with mild eczema.

✨That’s why, in my 4-hour course for SLPs and OTs (Food Allergies: Management & Treatment in Feeding Therapy) I provide strategies to ensure these kids are monitored closely as we being introduce new foods to babies and those oh-so-picky toddlers. BUT, ✨August 10th✨is the FINAL date to take this live, virtual course in 2024. 

🌟Comment #masterclass (don’t forget the #) and I’ll send you the link to BOTH Masterclasses happening on that day. 

❓Did you know I only allow 22 people in each Masterclass? Why? Because this is detailed info that EVERY feeding therapist needs and I want to make sure you get the most information possible, with plenty of time for live Q & A.

❓✨❓Questions? Drop them in the comments or #Masterclass for the link.

🥰Melanie
#melaniepotock #foodallergies #feedingtherapy #OTmom #SLPmom #feedingtherapist


✨🥜✨Research indicates that introducing the top 9 allergens early and often is the best course of action to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction…BUT…
 
❓Do you know what are the most common symptoms we see when baby is having an allergic reaction? Do you know what to do if your baby has a reaction?
 
👋🏼Hi! I’m Melanie, a feeding specialist here to support you feeding your baby, toddler or school-age kiddos! Follow me at @mymunchbug_melaniepotock
 
👋🏼And Hello! I’m Dr. Relan, a board-certified pediatric allergist focused on allergy empowerment. Follow me at @pedsallergymd 
 
⚠️Keep in mind that symptoms vary and can also include vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms can also escalate quickly, so always contact your pediatrician if you suspect that your child is having an allergic response to a food. Although anaphylaxis is rare in babies first starting solids, don’t hesitate to call 911 if you have any suspicion that your baby is having trouble breathing, looking very sick, or other symptoms which are concerning to you

🤔Tell us, have you introduced any of the Top 9 allergens yet? Which ones? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
 
🥰Melanie and Dr. Relan
#melaniepotock
#allergyawareness #startingsolids #feedingtherapy #anaphylaxis


🌽Nothing like corn-on-the-cob for babies, BUT, there a trick to keeping the most nutrients on the cob while baby gnaws and sucks on the juices.

🌽Instead of holding the corn cob against your cutting board and stripping off the kernels (too much pressure, and it takes off the ENTIRE kernel) try my tip:

🌽Hold the cob in one hand and gently scrape away from you into a shallow bowl. You’ll take off just the top of the kernel, leaving most of the moist corn for baby to strip off on their own.

✨PLUS, you’ll have the tiniest pieces left in the bowl to crumble into anything else baby enjoys.

❓Have you tried corn-on-the-cob with your baby yet? 

🌽They can begin gnawing on the stripped cob shortly after starting solids! Be sure the cob is at least 3 inches long so baby can grip it without putting the entire cob in their little mouth.

🎶🌽🎶It’s corn! 
So yummy!
🥰Melanie 
#melaniepotock 
#ashaigers #feedingtherapy #startingsolids #cornonthecob


✨Try my hack (it’s the 3rd one in the video) to stop the slip of the mango pit! ✨Babies and toddler love the fun of a mango pit to gnaw on, but they can easily get frustrated when it keeps slipping out of their little fists.🥭

🥰Hi! I’m Melanie, a feeding specialist with over 30 years of experience, and the author of 6 books on feeding kids! I love kids, food and family and would love for you to follow me!

💕In case you’re not familiar with the @ezpzfun products (OMG, there are SO MANY now!) just comment EZPZ and I’ll send you a discount code that you can use all year! TIP: Their new INDIGO color is my absolute favorite! #affiliatelink 

🥭A few more mango tips for you:

✨1.	Be sure to scrub and wash the outside of the mango before slicing for baby. When we cut through an unwashed fruit with a knife, the knife carries the dirt/bacteria/yuckies directly into the flesh of the fruit.
✨2.	Go easy on chia seeds and hemp seeds. They pack a lot of nutrition, that’s for sure, but for little bellies they can cause some distress if they eat a lot of them.
✨3.	I prefer GROUND chia in this strategy, because it’s less likely to get slimy like whole chia seeds. We are trying to reduce the slippery texture, not add to it!

💖🥭💖Thanks for following me – I love sharing these tips with you!

🥰Melanie
#melaniepotock #originalidea #ezpzfun 
#ashaigers #feedingtherapy #startingsolids #mango


Thanks for checking in on me…I can’t talk right now because 🦉🤍.

Seriously though, watch for new posts tomorrow, all about #pickyeaters , #startingsolids , #feedingtherapy and #cookingwithkids ❤️

✨TIP✨If you mark my account as a favorite, you won’t miss a thing! 

Thanks for your patience while took a little time off. Excited to bring you new post starting tomorrow!
🥰Melanie 

#melaniepotock


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
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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
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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
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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