3 Ways to Play in Food Without the Mess

By Melanie Potock

Speech-language pathologists often recommend kids explore food by getting messy—sinking hands deep into yogurt, painting with pudding or squishing avocados to make “hand-made” guacamole. For kids hesitant to engage in messy play, however, or parents who can’t embrace it every day, try these three tips for encouraging kids to explore food. It’s often the first step to learning to eat new foods.

Read more on the ASHA Leader Blog >>

Make a Choice: Food Police or Food Education

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

In Aurora, CO, a preschool teacher in a public school setting would not allow 4 year-old Natalee Pearson to eat the Oreo cookies in her home-packed lunch. Instead, a note reprimanding the mother’s choice to include cookies was sent home to Natalee’s mother, who had also packed a sandwich and fruit. The note read:

“Dear Parents, It is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable, and a healthy snack from home, along with milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.”

Read more on The Laboratory >>

Why You May Want to Skip the Sippy Cup for Your Baby

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Are sippy cups really the best cup to introduce after (or alongside) breast or bottle? Experts suggest a straw or open cup instead, and here’s why.

First comes breast or bottle, then sippy cup, right? Not so fast. Experts report you may want to just skip the sippy cup for your baby. Surprisingly, sippies weren’t designed as a tool for feeding development, but were invented years ago by a dad who just wanted to keep his carpets clean! (Ha ha, we can relate.) Today, parents often think that a sippy cup is what they are supposed to offer to help kids eventually learn to drink from an open cup.

Read more on Parents.com >>

How To Deal With Picky Eaters

By Katherine Martinelli


There are few things as frustrating as working hard to prepare a delicious, nutritious meal, only to have your child refuse to eat it—especially when you know he’d like it if he’d just try a bite. When picky eaters constantly turn down food, it’s all too easy for mealtime to devolve into an all-out battle—or for you to reach for the chicken fingers yet again just to get your child to eat.

Read more on The BUMP >>

Snacktastic Tips for Back-to-School: Keeping Foods Fun, Fresh, Healthy and Interesting

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.

Read more at LiveWell Longmont >>

5 Expert Tips for Feeding Your Picky Eaters

A Mom asked “I want my 4-year-old son to drink Orgain Kids™ Protein Shake, because it’s so nutritious. But he will only drink regular chocolate milk, and way too much of it!  How can I help him make the shift to something healthier?”

We asked pediatric feeding expert, Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP to answer this one – and she replied with some great tips!

First, my hat’s off to this mom for seeking help on ways to provide her child with delicious, organic nutrition!  It’s so easy for kids to get stuck on a preferred food – even a favorite drink. Kids sometime need a gradual introduction to new drinks and foods. The best approach is to help your child adjust to new tastes in step-by-step increments, offer plenty of tastes over time, and gradually “fade in” the organic nutritional shake.

Read more on Orgain’s Clean Nutrition Blog >>

Three Structures in a Child’s Mouth That Can Cause Picky Eating

By Melanie Potock

Babies, toddlers, and older children can develop feeding difficulties—ranging from general picky eating to severe feeding disorders—for a variety of reasons. As a speech-language pathologist who specializes in feeding challenges in children, I peer into a lot of little mouths. In my professional experience, these three “mouth offenders” can shape a child’s willingness to try new foods.

Misaligned teeth: Crowded, missing or blocked teeth that haven’t erupted properly can impact a child’s ability to adequately chew food. The way the teeth contact each other might also indicate misalignment of the jaw. As a child’s face grows, the misalignment can worsen, affecting facial appearance and swallowing patterns.

Read more on the ASHA LEADER BLOG >>

The Definitive Guide to Help Parents Prepare for Back to School Stress

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!

Read more on Zing by QuickenLoans >>

How to Avoid Power Struggles With Kids Who Are Picky Eaters

An Interview with Melanie Potock