As summer reaches its close, anyone else find a little back-to-school anxiety triggered by the contents of the fridge? Kids aren’t the only ones who may have to work at readjusting to routines when the structure of school kicks back in. Parents have new schedules and routines to take on board again too, not least when it comes to planning out portable, healthy snacks. Foods that are fresh, fun, interesting and wholesome, too…ideally, ones kids will actually eat.
by Allison Hendricks
As the final month of summer has official begun, it’s time to start thinking of the upcoming school year. With back-to-school shopping, choosing extracurricular activities and attending parent/teacher orientation, it’s time to get organized and ready for the big transition from late summer nights to early school mornings.
Luckily, we have a few tips to help make the new school year less stressful. Check it out!
By Melanie Potock
I often have parents who want my sessions to focus on helping kids learn to eat healthier foods, especially vegetables. On the journey to developing the oral motor skills necessary for biting, chewing and swallowing a variety of vegetables, simply interacting with these foods via food crafts and food play develops a positive relationships with Brussels sprouts, carrots and more. Holidays offer ideal opportunities for food play, especially Valentine’s Day.
Some children forgo eating at lunchtime to be social. Here’s how to get your kids to eat a healthy lunch while chatting with their friends. Chances are it’s been a while since you’ve ordered “hot lunch” in the school cafeteria. Whether you send a home-packed lunch with your child or they order lunch, eating in the cafeteria can be overwhelming at first. Coach Mel [Melanie Potock, M.A., CCC-SLP ] had a client who called it the “café-FEAR-ia” because the whole experience was a bit scary for him.
Getting back into school routines can come with a sharp learning curve, for everyone involved. Back to school means back to school lunches, and with that can come a lot of stress. We all know packing healthy, nutritious lunches and snacks play a significant role in ensuring blossoming young minds and growing bodies have what they need to thrive. SVVSD Nutrition Services take great pains to provide varied, nutritious and tasty meals. The challenge is, how help ensure hungry students take advantage of them? Or, when packing lunches, where to find the time, and the creative energy, to stock those lunch boxes with foods that will be eaten as intended and not traded or trashed?
Whether I’m working with a selective eater who eats only a limited number of foods or the more garden-variety picky eater who just has strong opinions about what she will and will not eat, I teach kids how to pack their own school lunch early in feeding treatment. Buying a “hot lunch” at school is typically a more advanced goal for my clients. Most kids hesitant to try new foods find it challenging to process the wide variety of hot lunches available—we’ll tackle that goal later.
It’s back to school time and let’s face it: Mornings are hectic, especially for parents of children with special needs. A healthy balanced breakfast may go by the wayside and we rely on quick, packaged options or skip breakfast altogether. However, numerous studies in children show that eating breakfast is associated with better behavior in the classroom. Even more show that eating breakfast more frequently is associated with higher test scores in subjects like Mathematics, Science and English. Doctor Yum and Coach Mel, co-authors of the award-winning book, Raising a Healthy Happy Eater, offer these 4 tips for making breakfast better!
Most parents tell me that their elementary school child has 20 to 25 minutes to enter the school cafeteria, search for her lunchbox buried in a portable tub, find a place to sit, open all the containers, eat (oh, right, eat), then clean and pack up before the bell rings. In an effort to ensure that their kids eat anything at all, well-meaning parents pack lunchboxes filled to the brim with typically, 7 to 8 different options!
As a pediatric feeding therapist, part of working in the child’s natural environment is making regular preschool visits to offer teachers and staff guidance when a child is not eagerly participating in mealtimes. Whether a child is a selective eater or the more common picky-eater, here are seven tips for teachers that focus on the seven senses involved in food exploration and eating: