Why Is My Baby Pulling At Their Ears? They’re Trying To Tell You Something

By Shannon Evans

When it comes to infants, parents can drive themselves crazy reading into every nonverbal cue they give. You’re constantly on the lookout for common ailments like ear infections, so when you see tiny hands heading towards those ears, your antennae prick up. But are infections always the culprit? When parents ask, “why is my baby pulling at their ears?” they’re likely to come across a large spectrum of explanations.

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Myths About Picky Eating to Ignore

By Melanie Potock

No kid will starve. Kids who eat a very limited number of foods are indeed starving. They are deprived of adequate nutrition. Most won’t die, but they won’t grow well, stalling in both height, weight, and brain growth. Some extreme picky eaters may appear to grow well, because their diets are limited to fast food and calorie-laden juice or soda. But nutritionally, they are starving.

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How Your Picky Eater Changes the Dating Dynamic and What to Do About It

By Melanie Potock

You’ve finally made the step to introduce your child to that special someone you’ve been dating. Problem is, most dates involve at least a snack, maybe lunch, and God forbid a fancy dinner. If your child is a picky eater, the dinner options narrow down to anything with a kid’s menu, but if the chicken nugget isn’t cooked just so, or the French fries are crinkle-cut and not skinny, or the macaroni and cheese is beige and not made with the preferred orange powdered cheese… all bets are off.  The dating dynamic changes once your child’s idiosyncrasies with food are revealed.

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5 Tips to Make the Kitchen Connection for Kids with Autism

By Melanie Potock

As a speech-language pathologist specializing in pediatric feeding treatment, I work mostly with kids, food and creating happier mealtimes for families. I often find the kitchen is the heart of the home, where parents are most relaxed and where we can build relationships with kids with autism, especially if they are hesitant eaters.

To help SLPs and parents embark on their food adventure, I offer five tips to make the kitchen connection for kids with autism.

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The Cooking Connection

By Melanie Potock

I once had a client with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), age 10, who had a history of picky eating and feeding difficulties. He also had an affinity for movie production logos, from the iconic roaring lion that represents MGM to the letters and swing-arm white desk lamp that form the Pixar logo. Based on my experience with tackling such feeding difficulties, I sought to merge his interest in logos with exploring new foods.

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Understanding Autism: Restaurant Meltdowns

By Melanie Potock

I sat in a popular restaurant chain and watched an 8 year old boy have a major meltdown at his table. His mother cringed as lunch time patrons stared. An irritated couple at a nearby booth got up and moved, but only after glaring at the mother. I’ll be honest, the child was disrupting my lunch too, but one thing I suspected was that this child had autism. He appeared to be just like any other child, but the intensity of his outburst was out of proportion to the issue he was yelling about: The waiter had served him waffle fries and he had expected “skinny fries” just like the french fries served at home.

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Seven Surprising Things You Can Do at Home to Help Your Child Eat New Foods

By Melanie Potock

1. Explore Food away from Meals: Use food for other purposes than eating to increase the child’s exposure to the food in fun, interactive ways.  For example, learning to match colors with orange carrots & red bell peppers gets those nutritious foods in your child’s hands and that’s a safe, fun place to start!  Here’s a video demonstrating that process.

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The Great Pouch Debate: Pros, Cons and Compromising

By Melanie Potock

Brace yourself. We are about to talk about pouches. You know, those little packets of convenience, filled with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, sometimes with a little chia or quinoa mixed in. Parents love them, kids push up the puree and suck it right down in a flash, and speech-language pathologists get all in a fluster about them.

Let’s chat about the pros, the cons and a few compromises in the great pouch debate among parents and those of us who treat clients with feeding challenges. The benefits seem obvious to parents, but as a pediatric feeding specialist, I’m not a big fan of those plastic bags of puree. Why? It’s just too much of a good thing. Let’s examine the pros and cons of feeding kids via pouches on a daily basis.

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12 Ways Real Parents Won Over Their Picky Eaters

If you’ve ever tried serving a meal from a cookbook with a name like Dinners Picky Eaters Will Devour! and your child wouldn’t take a bite, well … welcome to the club. Picky eating is pretty common. And because picky eating among young children is so common, a lot of people have spent a lot of time looking into it. To find some of the best tips to help children expand their food repertoires, we partnered with PediaSure® and asked parents of formerly picky eaters (some of which also happen to be nutrition, food and feeding experts) for their advice:

Read More on The Huffington Post >>