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.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

 

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.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

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.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

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.

Read More on Generation Rescue >>

Better therapy sessions for kids with special needs: therapists share!

By Ellen Seidman

I recently asked a bunch of pediatric therapists how kids can get the maximum benefits from therapies: speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ABA therapy, whatever therapy! All of these experts are contributing columnists to PediaStaff, and they didn’t hold back on advice or honesty. Hope you find their words as helpful as I did!

Read more on Love that Max >>

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.

Read more on the ASHA Leader Blog >>

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 >>

Three Reasons Why Kids Get Hooked on “Kids’ Meals”… and How to Change That

By Melanie Potock

Let me say this up front: I’m not condemning the American Kids’ Meal that is so common in fast food chains and family restaurants, but clearly I’m not keen on eating that type of food when there are other choices.   My own kids have certainly had their fair share of chicken nuggets, mac n’cheese and French fries, just to name a few of the comfort kid foods that predictably reappear on kids’ menus day after day.   This is not a blog about good vs. healthy nutrition, because most parents (including me) know that the traditional fast food fare is not healthy…and that’s exactly why parents want to change the statistics that 15 percent of preschoolers ask to go to McDonald’s  “at least once a day.”  

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

5 Tips to Create an Adventurous Eater Through Baby Self-Feeding

By Nancy Ripton

While it may seem like babies have been eating purees for centuries, jarred food wasn’t even an option until the 1940s. In fact, the way people feed their babies tends to change every decade or two based on new research and social norms. Baby self-feeding is a research-based approach to first feedings, and delivers a simple way for parents to help their children develop a healthy relationship with food from day one.

Read More on People Babies >>