Tips for Eating with Our SEVEN Senses – Part Two: Touch and Sound

By Melanie Potock

In Part One of this series on Eating with Our SEVEN Senses, we explored the sense of sight, smell and taste and offered tips for encouraging a child to explore foods via those sensory pathways.  In Part Two, we will explore the tactile (touch) and auditory (sound) sensory systems and offer tips on how to help your child become more adventurous via both of these sensory systems.

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A Special Needs Guide for Learning to Eat with Your SEVEN Senses – Part One

By Melanie Potock

Most of us think of five senses and the human body: Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  But, when it comes to learning to eat a wide variety of foods, two other sensory systems also come into play: The vestibular system and our sense of proprioception.  As children grow, they are constantly processing sensory input, comparing it to other information stored in the brain and making decisions on how to react to that input.  When it comes to trying new foods, all seven senses contribute to a child’s willingness to explore and try new foods.

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Picky Eaters: It’s Not About Taste; It’s About Flavor

By Melanie Potock MA

In 1970, I was sitting in my elementary school science class when my teacher put an illustration of giant pink tongue on the overhead projector. Arrows pointed to the four areas of the tongue where specific tastes would be detected: sweet on the very tip and salty on either side of sweet. Sour was found on the outer margins of the tongue and bitter at the very back.

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How Kids Can Socialize and Eat Lunch at School

BY NIMALI FERNANDO, M.D., MPH, AND MELANIE POTOCK, M.A., CCC-SLP

How Kids Can Socialize & Eat Lunch at SchoolSome 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.

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She Didn’t Eat a Thing at School Today!

By Melanie Potock MA

It’s that time of year again and little kids are climbing onto big yellow buses, tiny hands clutching lunch boxes that are packed full with a variety of choices, with their wishful parents praying that they will “just eat something!”  But at the end of the day, especially if the child is a picky eater, parents sigh as they open the lunch box latch and see that lunch has barely been touched.

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Summertime Prep for the School Cafeteria

By Melanie Potock MA

Summer!  Ten luxurious weeks of spitting watermelon seeds, munching on veggies straight from the garden and crafting the perfect s’more over the campfire.  As an SLP who focuses on feeding challenges in children, summer food skills are foremost in my mind this time of year.  However, once a week in the summer, my little clients and their families will focus on preparing to eat in the school cafeteria.  Before you know it, it will be mid-August and those little munch bugs will joining their friends at elementary school, or perhaps all-day kindergarten. For kids who are about to go to their very first day of school, it also means their very first day in a school cafeteria, and that can be quite overwhelming, especially for a child in feeding therapy

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The School Cafeteria: Hurry Up and EAT

By Melanie Potock MA

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!

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