Feeding issues frequently come up in MFLN Family Development Early Intervention webinar evaluations as a topic caregivers struggle to address with young finicky eaters. It is my hope that this blog will provide readers with some key resources related to feeding that others have found useful.
As a parent and provider working with children with feeding disorders, I have found it helpful to have a few go-to resources. In my professional toolkit are two speech pathologists who have made it their mission to educate others; both of them offer something for the experienced provider and for the pediatric feeding newbie.
Krisi Brackett, M.S., CCC-SLP has over 20 years of experience treating children with feeding difficulties. She is co-director of the Pediatric Feeding Team at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Krisi teaches a graduate level pediatric dysphagia course at UNC and participates in current feeding research.
Pediatric Feeding News Blog – This blog was developed to provide relevant information related to pediatric feeding and swallowing problems. Krisi writes about current issues and research; she often features guest writers who are well known in the field of pediatric feeding. In addition to being a go-to source for information, Krisi welcomes questions from professionals, parents, and caregivers.
CAN-EAT Approach© – This approach includes three phases to evaluate and treat feeding disorders.
Comfort And Nutrition (CAN): Providers begin with a focus on gut comfort, nutrition, and growth. This includes medical and nutritional intervention for reflux, constipation, food intolerance, and hypersensitivity or pain issues.
Establish Acceptance, then Therapy (EAT): The second phase in the CAN-EAT Approach aims to establish acceptance of easy textures for the individual child. This can be purees, soft solids, or other textures which the individual child manages with ease. Finally, providers begin therapy for oral motor skill development and for improving intake volume and variety.
There are workshops offered around the country which specifically address this approach and are geared toward for professionals who work with children with feeding difficulties.
Melanie Potock, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech pathologist and also the parent of a picky. She is an international speaker and author of 4 books. She has been featured in publications such as Parents magazine, the Bump, and the ASHA Leader. Melanie blogs at mymunchbug.com where she offers a variety of resources to assist parents and professionals as they work with children who are picky eaters. A few of her resources are described below; these and others can be found on her blog.
Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 101 Easy Activities and Recipes features recipes that are family-friendly and strategies to help children become more adventurous eaters. Melanie uses 20 vegetables organized by the seasons of the calendar year which highlight the three phases to vegetable love: Expose, Explore, and Expand. For example, Beet Tattoos is an activity that offers a colorful way to expose children to beets and have fun in the process. Even more exciting is the secret vegetable that erases beet stains! You can view Melanie’s videos related to this book on YouTube!
Melanie has a vast library of videos on her YouTube channel. In these videos, Melanie combines her experience as a parent of a picky eater with her professional experience to help the entire family eat healthier. The videos vary in length from a few minutes to half an hour and cover topics such as ‘3 Reasons to Avoid the Kids Menu,’ ‘How Family Dinners Make Good Readers,’ and ‘Help Parents Get on the Same Page with a Picky Eater.’
We would love to hear about your favorite feeding resources! Is there an approach you used that you found valuable? Are there additional feeding strategies you would like more information on, that MFLN might explore? You can comment below or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter!
This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.