13 Tips to Help Prevent Kids From Choking

Choke-proof their world: Follow our guidelines to confidently keep teeny toys and “too-big” bites of food from being posing a choking danger to your kids.

By Stephanie Booth from 

On a bright morning last March, Tara Chazen’s 2-year-old son was toddling around his neighborhood park and munching on a graham cracker when a piece of it suddenly got stuck in his throat. Chazen was at work, and by the time his babysitter noticed that something was amiss less than a minute later, the cracker shard had moved from his trachea into his lung. The boy’s face turned purple and he fell to the ground, unconscious.

Read more on Parents.com >>

Why New Eaters Bite Themselves And How to Help

By Patrick A. Coleman

Kids new to finger foods are fighting reflexes, but parents can help them get a handle on their tongues

Experienced eaters don’t generally bite their tongues and fingers—though, when it happens, it’s a terrible reminder of the ever-present potential for excruciating pain in even the most pleasurable moments. Adults don’t have to think about not biting their own hands or the insides of their mouths when they eat, because chewing and chomping safely is reflexive. Not so for babies. And as toddlers transition from breastfeeding to finger foods, the victims can often be their actual fingers.

Read more on Fatherly >>

June 22-23, 2018 – Raleigh, NC – Feeding Therapy: It’s Not Just about Swallowing (Plus Day Two: Case Studies & Problem Solving) ** For Health Professionals Only

BONUS: 2 hours of practical information on Tethered Oral Tissues!

Who Should Attend:
Speech-language Pathologists, Speech-language Pathologists Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapists Assistants

Course Description:
This unique 2-day course benefits pediatric speech language pathologists and occupational therapists interested in the bigger picture pertaining to pediatric feeding disorders and who want strategies to implement right away with their clients. Why do children have trouble eating? How are physiology, motor skills and behavior linked and how do the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strengthen that connection? How do family dynamics and parenting styles influence progress? Why is it that a child eats well in the clinic setting but cannot generalize those skills to the home and school? This course answers those questions and focuses on setting children up for success for meeting functional objectives while utilizing the premise of ABA. Participants learn how to problem solve common roadblocks in eating and then continue to build progress by following a hierarchy of steps to success. Most importantly, this course emphasizes the importance of keeping the fun in feeding while developing consistent positive behaviors at mealtimes so that everyone in the family can enjoy their time together around the family table!

May 14-15, 2018 – Dublin, Ireland – Feeding Therapy: It’s Not Just about Swallowing (Plus Day Two: Case Studies & Problem Solving) ** For Health Professionals Only

Who Should Attend:
Speech-language Pathologists, Speech-language Pathologists Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapists Assistants

Course Description:
This unique 2-day course benefits pediatric speech language pathologists and occupational therapists interested in the bigger picture pertaining to pediatric feeding disorders and who want strategies to implement right away with their clients. Why do children have trouble eating? How are physiology, motor skills and behavior linked and how do the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strengthen that connection? How do family dynamics and parenting styles influence progress? Why is it that a child eats well in the clinic setting but cannot generalize those skills to the home and school? This course answers those questions and focuses on setting children up for success for meeting functional objectives while utilizing the premise of ABA. Participants learn how to problem solve common roadblocks in eating and then continue to build progress by following a hierarchy of steps to success. Most importantly, this course emphasizes the importance of keeping the fun in feeding while developing consistent positive behaviors at mealtimes so that everyone in the family can enjoy their time together around the family table!

 

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 >>

You Want My Kid to Play in Food? Seriously?

By Melanie Potock

Yep, seriously. For many kids, food exploration begins with just learning to tolerate messy hands and faces. Many parents who bring their kids to feeding therapy have one goal in mind: Eating. In fact, as a pediatric feeding therapist, a common phrase I hear when observing families at their dinner tables is, “Quit playing with your food and just eat it!”

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 >>

7 Success Strategies for Safe Baby-Led Weaning

By Jenna Helwig

To raise an adventurous eater, many moms swear by letting a baby feed himself. Whether you want to try this method, called baby-led weaning, a little or a lot, here’s what to keep in mind.

The formula vs. breast-milk debate was so your life six months ago. As your infant approaches his half birthday, the pressing question now is: Will you give him pureed food or bite-size chunks to pick up and eat? In a nutshell, that’s the “baby food” versus “baby-led weaning” debate.

Read more on >> FitPREGNANCY