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


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.

🤦🏼‍♀️Does your kid refuse to drink different types or flavors of milk? You can use my method for any transition to a similar drink, just take your time and wait for “THAT LOOK”😉

🥛I’ve been teaching this method for over 20 years, and the key to success is very careful measurement and writing it down. When you notice your child taking a sip and looking at the drink suspiciously, that’s when you pause. Stick with that ratio of the two milks for a few days until your kiddo is drinking with gusto again. 

✨Now you’re ready to pick up where you left off, taking a teaspoon or tablespoon out at a time and replacing it with the new milk .

✨Change is hard for a lot of kids and taking it very slow eases them into a new taste. Some kids don’t need this study and consistent shift but if you have been struggling to transition your child to a new milk, give my strategy a try!🥰 #melaniepotock #originalidea

#sensoryplay #sensorytherapy #otmom #slpmom #pickyeaters #pickyeating #pickyeater #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #ashaigers #mytoddler #toddlertrouble #mypreschooler #fussyeaters #fussyeater #milkforkids #drinkyourmilk #ashaigers #responsivefeeding

😉Having a little fun with this…but any SLP with advanced training in orofacial myology (facial muscles impacting speech & feeding) will tell you what I’ve been singing for over 15 years…open cups and straw cups are best for baby and toddler mouth development 💗#melaniepotock

🥰You’ll find my tested and recommended cups on my Amazon Shop for babies & toddlers & big kids - lots to choose from! 

🍼🥤Helping young toddlers drink milk from a straw cup instead of ONLY from their bottle might feel overwhelming…BUT, my 2-cup method is a game-changer! 

🍼When your kiddo refuses to drink their milk unless it’s in a bottle, give this method a few weeks and you’ll soon be on your way to bottle weaning too! ♥️It’s important to wean completely from the bottle when baby turns one for best mouth and facial development. 

👋🏼🍼👋🏼Learn how with my Bye-Bye Bottles video course - click the link in my bio for all my video courses - pacifier weaning too! 

💗👉🏼💗The cups that are ideal for this method are the @ezpzfun straw cups - you want a small cup that the kids can’t see through. Remember to use my discount code* Melanie10 at ezpzfun.com for 10% off! BONUS for my friends who are in Australia 🇦🇺- you can use that code at ezpzfun.com.au anytime in March 2023!😊

*affiliate codes support my small business, so thank you!♥️
#melaniepotock #originalidea  #bottleweaning #ezpzmealtimes

💦What cup is safest water for your toddler at daycare? In a study of over 45,000 kids under the age of three, kids were treated in the E.R. due to a 
mouth or face injury (the equivalent of one kid every four hours!) because they had something in their mouth as they walked about…and that’s common practice in daycares. It’s rare that I see kids seated while they get a drink…and falls are common!

😳Pretty big study – pretty big facts.

💜I recommend a cup that squishes should a fall occur, and that’s the ezpz straw cups. They come in different sizes…and you can use code Melanie10 for 10% off your entire purchase on their website 👉🏼 ezpzfun.com 🇦🇺💯HEY AUSTRALIA! For the month of March, you can use my affiliate code Melanie10 for 10% off at @ezpzfun too - the Australian link is ezpzfun.com.au 🥰
❤️ #melaniepotock #affiliatecodes help my small business thrive 😘

📖Source: Pediatrics June 2012 (Research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

#blwideas #babyled #firstbaby #firstbabyfood #strawdrinking #solidstarts #blw6months #blw7months #blwinspiration #slpmom #otmom #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist #slpfeedingtherapy #firsttimeparents #firsttimeparent #ashaigers #watercup

Got a picky eater? Have you been stopped by the LUNCH POLICE?👮‍♀️

Have you encountered lunch shaming in your school? I hope not. 😞 We are all doing the best we can and if you’ve got an extreme picky eater, the lunchbox choices can be so limited! 🤦🏼‍♀️ 

💗For 5 hours of tips, take my Picky Eater Course on-demand. Just click the link in my bio or 👉🏼 mymunchbug.com/course-library

💗If you’d like to follow a BLW model of feeding or a more traditional approach (or a hybrid of the two!) I support you 100%! You do you. 

💗The most important piece of any feeding model is called Responsive Feeding. Endorsed by the AAP, the World Health Organization (WHO) & UNICEF- Responsive Feeding teaches you about COMMUNICATION during mealtimes. As a certified speech pathologist, I am so proud to have written the first book on Responsive Feeding for starting solids to age three. Do you have a copy? 

You can look inside all my books at 👉🏼 mymunchbug.com/books/

❓Tell me, what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to reading and understanding your kiddos hunger cues for solid foods? 

✨This is the #1 strategy to help picky eaters learn about food…we go from yuck to yum but we can also experience all the flavors and sensations in between. 

❓Is it an easy process to learn to try new foods? Well, for my most extreme picky eaters it’s more than challenging, it’s scary! That’s how they truly feel! But although their fear is real, the danger is not. There’s no danger in licking a piece of broccoli. 

🥦For the kids who are on the milder side of fussy eating, there’s still the hesitancy to give it a go! That’s because they don’t know how to experience new things that might feel too unfamiliar, too different, or too far from the sensations like their favorite foods. 

📚I’m over-the-moon when a parent tells me my books helped them! 🥰 Go to 👉🏼mymunchbug.com/books/
Or take a course on feeding kids, picky eating and more on my website MelaniePotock.com (link in bio)💕For daily tips, follow @mymunchbug_melaniepotock 

For me, it was the kid’s incredible skill spearing the single piece of penne pasta…😉

🥣Have you tried this strategy with your kids?

♥️Tag a friend who might like to try it! Follow me @mymunchbug_melaniepotock for more fun tips to help babies, toddlers & big kids try new foods!

My phone garage strategy makes “parking the phone” till dinner is over fun!📱🚗😊

🏰You can make a garage, a castle, a fort, or whatever your child’s heart desires with a simple box, scissors and craft materials to customize it. Help your child cut doors into the box that lift up (like a flap) for 
any screens or phones to have a resting place till dinner is over.

👧Kids can be in charge of making sure EVERYONE in the family parks their electronics before sitting down
together. Kids love to remind parents of house rules, so occasionally take your phone to the table 😉so they can say “Mom, park your phone please”. That reinforces the idea that this is a family rule 
and we don’t need electronics at the table.

⏰Some kids may need shorter mealtimes at first to learn to adjust to the new family rule of “no screens at the table”, and that’s ok. Give it three days of consistency and they’ll often make the adjustment quickly!

🚀DM me a photo of your screen garage – or phone castle – or ipad rocket ship! Can’t wait to see what your kids make!

💕Like this idea? Thanks for sharing and tagging friends!
#melaniepotock #originalidea

I’d marry you with pepper rings 🫑💕

Research shows that kids who play with veggies are more likely to learn to love them. 🥬💕 It’s why my book, Adventures in Veggieland has over 250 five-star reviews from feeding therapists & parents, because food play is an important part of creating veggie-love. 🥰 Go from fun to yum with 20 different veggies, lots of ideas for food play and easy recipes for kids to make friends with all of them! 🥬BOOK🫑LINK🥦IN🥒PROFILE🥕

🤦🏼‍♀️Got a picky eater who will only eat one brand of chicken nugget and GOD FORBID they change the packaging? 
🤦🏼‍♀️Got a kid who will only eat at one brand of fast-food restaurant and a fry is NOT a fry at any other drive-thru?

👉🏼When kids are brand-specific, they stick to FAMILIAR. They aren’t comfortable with change, especially when it comes to their food.

✨What to do about it? Start small. Include one small piece of the same food (different brand) on the child’s plate, along with the preferred food. Start with just visual acceptance – eating comes later.

❌Please don’t…
1. Put a new brand in the familiar brand’s container. It won’t solve a thing and it only breaks down trust.
2. Try to reason with your child. It just creates an adversarial environment.
1. Encouraging your child to help prepare the new brand of a favorite food. Get them involved and keep the atmosphere light and happy.
2. Away from mealtimes, encourage your child to explore the new brand…cut it up with fun food cutters or child-safe scissors and really get to know it. Make it familiar over time.

✨Be consistent. When your child is tolerating the presence of the new brand, you can begin to serve a 
few pieces of just that brand and not the other. Be sure there is still something else for them to eat on 
the plate too.

❤️Parent patiently – this one takes time! TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS - I want to know - what’s your biggest frustration about always needing one brand of a favorite food? 

❤️Learn more baby, toddler & big kid tips about food and by following @mymunchbug_melaniepotock 

#pickyeater #pickyeaters #pickypicky #parentingtoddlers #toddlertrouble #feedinglittles #feedingkids #ashaigers #slpmom #pediatricfeedingdisorders #pediatricot #slpeeps #feedingtherapy #feedingtherapist

😛When kids put their tongues INSIDE their cup to drink, not only do they spill but it’s a habit that can be hard to change and so messy!💦💦💦Unless you try my hack…

🙂🙂The magic is in the ezpz logo – it’s textured so they can feel it on their tongue, giving them feedback to rest their tongue in the right spot on the cup! Plus, toddlers recognize symbols like a happy face! Over time, they’ll start pulling their tongue back on their own (keeping it behind their lower lip) but the first step is teaching “outside the cup, not inside” 😉

🥰Bonus tip! The Tiny Mat might be tiny, but it’s mighty! It makes mealtimes easier no matter what the age and the raised edge keeps everything contained and catches all those rolly-poly foods like peas, green beans and round cereals. 

💜Use code Melanie10 for 10% off at ezpzfun.com for your entire purchase and make mealtimes easier! #ezpzmealtime #affiliatecode 

🥳Thanks for sending me the mat and cup @ezpzfun ! #melaniepotock #originalidea

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
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