How to Avoid Power Struggles With Kids Who Are Picky Eaters

An Interview with Melanie Potock

The Best Feeding Schedule For Toddlers, According To Doctors

By Sarah Bunton

For plenty of parents, convincing their child to eat healthy food — and do it often — can be a never ending conversation. You may have lucked out and have a pint-sized sprout with a particularly sophisticated palate. Or you might have resorted to bargaining, hiding vegetables, and downright begging to get your child to eat. No matter what kind of dietary dynamic you have with your child, it’s still helpful to learn what the best feeding schedule for toddlers is, according to the experts. Of course, every child is different and checking with their pediatrician before making and major nutritional changes is a good idea.

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How to Track Food Exposures and Expand Food Variety for Selective Eaters

By Melanie Potock

Research shows a child takes eight to 15 exposures to a new food just to enhance acceptance of that food. Yet, most parents offer a new food to a child just three to five times before giving up on presenting it. As a speech-language pathologist who specializes in pediatric feeding, I have created a guideline for parents to give them research-based,  practical strategies for expanding their picky eater’s palette.

The Three E’s: Expose, Explore, Expand, is a systematic method of helping families create consistent exposures to a variety of foods, even when the child is a hesitant eater. Exposure and exploration might include sensory play, gardening, visiting farmers’ markets or food pantries, and cooking.

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Why Is My Baby Pulling At Their Ears? They’re Trying To Tell You Something

By Shannon Evans

When it comes to infants, parents can drive themselves crazy reading into every nonverbal cue they give. You’re constantly on the lookout for common ailments like ear infections, so when you see tiny hands heading towards those ears, your antennae prick up. But are infections always the culprit? When parents ask, “why is my baby pulling at their ears?” they’re likely to come across a large spectrum of explanations.

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Myths About Picky Eating to Ignore

By Melanie Potock

No kid will starve. Kids who eat a very limited number of foods are indeed starving. They are deprived of adequate nutrition. Most won’t die, but they won’t grow well, stalling in both height, weight, and brain growth. Some extreme picky eaters may appear to grow well, because their diets are limited to fast food and calorie-laden juice or soda. But nutritionally, they are starving.

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Why Does My Baby Hate Their Pacifier? There Are A Few Reasons

By Shannon Evans

I’d read enough Mommy 101 lit to know better than to let pacifiers do my parenting for me, but I wasn’t expecting to have the opposite problem.  It seemed like everyone else’s baby was perfectly content sucking on a pacifier every once in awhile, but not mine. What’s the deal? I would constantly wonder in frustration.Why does my baby hate their pacifier?

It turns out, there’s more to pacifier magic than simply popping it in like a cork and expecting peace. Timing, as they say, is everything.

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What Is Hippotherapy?

By Barbara Smith

Horses are essential in hippotherapy, a form of neuromuscular therapy that can improve the posture and coordination of a child with disabilities.

Horses are special animals and their healing powers have been recognized for thousands of years. Hippos is the Greek word for horse and hippotherapy means the therapeutic use of horses. But hippotherapy shouldn’t be confused with therapeutic riding — hippotherapy is a medically based treatment tool, whereas therapeutic riding involves teaching people with disabilities equestrian skills. Although Hippocrates first mentioned using horses therapeutically in his ancient Greek writings around 400 B.C., it wasn’t until the 1960s that physical therapists (PTs) in Europe began using horses to help patients with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy or brain injury. Physical therapists believed that the horse’s movement created neurological changes that helped improve a person’s postural control, strength, and coordination.

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Does Your Child Need Early Intervention?

By Barbara Smith

If your child is experiencing developmental delays, don’t worry. Here’s what to know and what you can do to help.

Soon after birth, your child will show off her personality and develop skills such as briefly gazing at objects, communicating that she wants to be held, and fussing to be fed. Although children develop at their own pace, most achieve certain milestones — crawling, walking, saying first words — at around the same age. When children are not reaching expected milestones and are showing significantly delayed development, parents may worry. Suspecting a “delay” is scary, but there may not always be a problem.

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What Is Speech Therapy?

By Barbara Smith

If your child has a speech disability that includes trouble pronouncing words, speech therapy may help improve language development, communication, and pragmatic language skills.

Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Speech therapists, or speech and language pathologists (SLPs), are the professionals who provide these services. Speech therapy includes two components: 1) coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation); and 2) understanding and expressing language (to address the use of language through written, pictorial, body, and sign forms, and the use of language through alternative communication systems such as social media, computers, and iPads). In addition, the role of SLPs in treating swallowing disorders has broadened to include all aspects of feeding.

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