The many gifts of family meals: Eat better, bond & prevent obesity

By Dr. Ayala

A NEW META-ANALYSIS, INCLUDING 200,000 PEOPLE, FINDS THAT FAMILY MEALS HELP FIGHT OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN KIDS. THE FAMILY MEAL OFFERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE, COMMUNICATE GOOD HABITS AND TO ENJOY HEALTHIER FOOD

Eat-less-of and give-up-on diet advice is really sad to hear and tough to follow. We hate when things we like are taken away from us, especially when it comes to favorite treats like cookies, ice cream and French fries.

That’s why I’m fond of weight control advice that emphasizes what we should be doing more of, especially if that new habit can be pleasurable.

 

Read more on Dr. Ayala >>

Treat Vegetables Like Fast Food and Change the Way Your Kids Eat

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the french fry is the most popular vegetable in America and the possible runner-up is potato chips. They are the default side-dish at almost every fast food restaurant, most major sporting events and wherever food is served in a flash. When kids get consistent exposure to a vegetable because it’s the only option, they learn to eat it from a very young age. Cook that familiar veggie in fat and salt, and studies show that humans will crave the fatty-salty taste combo every single day. In fact, once they are hooked, they’ll eat more calories per day even if there are no fries available.

Read more on Workman Publishing >>

5 Signs Your Picky Child Isn’t Getting Enough Nutrients & You Need To See A Doc

By Jacqueline Burt Cote

There’s a reason why foods like buttered noodles and chicken fingers are clichéd children’s menu staples: Lots of kids aren’t particularly open-minded when it comes to eating, and some of them are downright picky. But as common as this behavior can be, it’s also a little scary for parents. After all, frozen waffles and cheese sticks don’t exactly constitute a “balanced diet.” A child whose daily meals revolve around five foods can’t possibly be getting all the nutrition she needs for proper growth, can she? So what are some signs your picky kid isn’t getting enough nutrients?

Read more on ROMPER >>

7 Red Flags Your Child Is More Than Just A Picky Eater & Trying To Tell You Something’s Up

By Jacqueline Burt Cote

At some point or another, nearly every kid will exhibit behavior that falls into the “picky eating” category — and if you’ve ever had a toddler who refuses to eat anything not served in her Peppa Pig bowl or a preschooler who insists on dipping literally everything in ketchup, then you know what I’m talking about. As insanely frustrating as this can be, it’s usually a normal and temporary part of your child’s development. But in some cases, it’s not so normal. So what are some red flags that could mean your child is more than just a picky eater?

Read more on ROMPER >>

4 Surprising Ways to Help Your Kids LOVE Vegetables (That Have Nothing to Do With Eating or Cooking)

Helping your child love vegetables can start outside of the kitchen. 

Problem is, those strategies might make a kid eat, but he’ll likely still hate vegetables. The key is to help kids learn to love vegetables while taking the tension out of family mealtimes. Here are four surprising ways, backed by research, that you can help your kids learn to accept (and even love!) vegetables…

Read more on Parents >>

Tongue Tie: Why I Can’t Wait for the Research

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

I’m in the trenches. I’m the one holding a mom’s hands while she tears up and asks me why her baby can’t eat solid foods after the GI test results can’t pinpoint a problem. I’m having delicate, respectful discussions with physicians, but who insist that “If the baby can bottle feed with that tongue, then they can learn to eat solids with that tongue” or worse, “Don’t worry if he can’t breast feed, he’ll be eating solids soon and won’t need the breast.”  I’ve had preschoolers finally end up on my caseload after seeing several different medical professionals (including geneticists), but never a feeding professional. It’s what spurred me on to write three articles for the American Speech Language Hearing Association – Just Flip the Lip and Tip Back the Tongue. Later, I shared my clinical observations in the article Three Structures in A Child’s Mouth that Can Cause Picky Eating.

From my perspective, I can’t wait for the research on ankyloglossia (tongue-tie) in order to further determine how tethered oral tissues might be impacting an individual child’s functional skills for feeding. As a professional, I have the utmost respect for evidence based practice.  If I child can’t move his tongue adequately for safe chewing and swallowing, it’s my job to determine why, with or without a study. Problem is, that child can’t wait for multiple studies to support what I see in plain sight as an experienced clinician. I’m going to consider all the possibilities impacting a child’s ability to eat in an age-appropriate manner using my differential diagnosis skills. I don’t see tethered oral tissues in all my clients, but the ones that are clearly tied can’t manipulate food safely.  It may not be the only culprit, but I’m not going to ignore what’s right in front of me.

Would we question an occupational therapist’s clinical observations if they reported that a child’s fine motor skills were delayed due to syndactyly (webbing of the fingers)?  Would we expect that OT to provide months of therapy to rule out other causes for the child’s motor challenges before discussing their clinical observations with the pediatrician, hand surgeon or other members of that child’s team? Would we question a physical therapist’s clinical observations if they reported that a child’s gross motor delay was related to progressive heel-cord contractures?  At some point, it comes down to clinical experience and knowledgeable assessment skills, an understanding of typical development, a respect for the family’s concerns and frankly, decent eyesight.

On one hand, I can’t wait for the research!  I want to learn more! We need it, but for now, I’m in the trenches.

In short, I can’t wait for the research because it’s not fair to these families.  My job is to assess function for feeding.  It’s pretty clear to me when I’m evaluating a child’s oral motor skills and her tongue has limited range of movement because of a tie.  As a feeding specialist, I know the range of movement necessary for safe and comfortable eating.  I can’t wait for the research and I think that’s enough of a reason to speak up and help these kids.


To learn what research we do have, and what we know so far, check out this post on the Talk Tools website, as well as their new book being released soon!

Functional Assessment of Feeding Challenges in Children with Ankyloglossia by Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP & Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC.  In this excellent article highlighting Walsh and Overland’s presentation at the 2017 American Speech Language Hearing Association, the following references were provided:

References:

American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (AABM). (2016). Protocol # 11: Guidelines for the evaluation and management of neonatal ankyloglossia and its complications in the breastfeeding dyad. Retrieved from: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Protocols/ankyloglossia.pdf

Amir, L.H., James, J.P. & Donath, S.M. (2006). Reliability of the Hazelbaker assessment tool for lingual frenulum function. International Breastfeeding Journal, 1(3).

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2015). ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Codes for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Preparing for Implementation. Retrieved from: http://www.asha.org/Practice/reimbursement/coding/ICD-10/

Boyd, K. (2014). Impact of tongue-tie over a lifetime: an anthropological perspective. Presentation at the IATP 2nd World Summit. Montreal, Quebec.

de Castro Martinelli, R.L., Marchesan, I.Q., Gusmao, R.J., de Castro Rodrigues, A. & Berretin-Felix, G. (2014). Histological characteristics of altered human lingual frenulum. International Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, 2, 5-9.

Ferres-Amat, E., Pastor-Vera, T., Ferres-Amat, E., Mareque-Bueno, J., Prats-Armengol, J. & Ferres-Padro, E. (2016). Multidisciplinary management of ankyloglossia in childhood. Treatment of 101 cases. A protocol. Journal of Oral Medicine and Pathology, 1:21 (1):39-47

Francis, D.O., Chinnadurai, S., Morad, A., Epstein, R.A., Kohanim, S., Krishnaswami, S., Sathe, N.A. & McPheeters, M.L. (2015). Treatments for ankyloglossia and ankyloglossia with concomitant lip-tie. Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 149. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299120/.

International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals (2016). Classification. Retrieved from: http://tonguetieprofessionals.org/about/assessment/classification/

Kummer, A. (2016). To clip or not to clip? That’s the question. Presented at the annual convention of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Philadelphia, PA.

Martinelli, R.L., Marchesan, I.Q., & Berretin-Felix, G. (2012). Lingual Frenulum Protocol with Scores for Infants. International Journal of Orofacial Myology, 38, 104-113.

Merdad, H. & Mascarenhas, A.K. (2010). Ankyloglossia may cause breastfeeding, tongue mobility, and speech difficulties, with inconclusive results on treatment choices. Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, 10(3):152-3.

Messner, A.H. & Lalakea, M.L. (2000). Ankyloglossia: controversies in management. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 54(2):123-31.

Overland, L. & Merkel-Walsh, R. (2013). A sensory-motor approach to feeding. Charleston, SC: TalkTools.

Sethi N., Smith D., Kortequee S., Ward V.M. & Clarke S. (2013). Benefits of frenulotomy in infants with ankyloglossia. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 77(5): 762-5.

Head’s UP! I just pre-ordered the new book by Walsh and Overland: Functional Assessment and Remediation of TOTs.  You can order it here for the pre-sale price, as of today, for 50% off, on the Talk Tools website.

 

 

 

How to Stop a Kid From Chewing on the Crib

Babies have always chomped; it’s just that gums don’t leave marks. Parents can help by giving kids an appropriate way to relieve their discomfort.

By Matthew Utley

Waking up in the morning to find the crib railing peppered with tiny tooth marks can be disconcerting, but it’s not necessarily cause for concern. Babies’ mouths are like deep space probes, analyzing everything they come across. It’s called the rooting reflex; anything that brushes against their cheek or lower lip gets a gum job. It’s a natural instinct that doesn’t really cause harm – in fact, it’s quite soothing – although popping everything in their mouth certainly poses risks for the baby.

Read more on Fatherly >>

How To Pick A Lovey For Your Kid & Give Them Perfect, Easy-To-Hold Comfort

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

My husband and I have what we call Brave Little Toaster syndrome. It’s our theory that the ’80s Disney movie that assigned feelings and personalities to inanimate objects officially scarred us for life. To this day, our 33-year-old selves will see a stuffed animal on the side of the highway and not only mourn the fact that it lost its human, but that we can’t cross four lanes of moving traffic to rescue it. When we had our daughter Claire, we had no idea how to choose a lovey that was a safe and comfortable choice for her, but we knew it was inevitable she would cling to something given her lineage. Still, we weren’t sure: What was the best choice for her?

Read more on ROMPER >>

Remembering Sandy Hook: How to Live Like a First Grader

By Melanie Potock

As a speech-language pathologist who works with young children in their homes and schools, it’s impossible for me not think of the heartbreak at Sandy Hook Elementary School this time of year. Shortly after the tragedy in 2012, I made a list of some simple things I can do to honor those precious lives taken on December 14th. Every year, I plan to add to the list. This new year, I promise to embrace life more like a first grader in memory of the children and the young-at-heart adults who will always be missed by their families and communities. I plan to…

Read more on the ASHA LEADER BLOG >>