Partnering with Parents in the Kitchen: Strategies for the Picky Eater | Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Partnering with Parents in the Kitchen: Strategies for the Picky Eater | Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP


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Speaker: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Course Description
This seminar provides professionals and parents concrete, practical tools to help their child who struggles with eating. Parents of kids with feeding disorders face challenges at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time. They often spend the day worried about how much their child will consume, unsure of how to help them learn to eat more variety and concerned about the child’s nutritional health. Studies have shown that as parental stress increases, positive parent-child interactions decrease. Yet, a consistent, positive feeding relationship between parent and child is essential to making progress in feeding therapy. Providers and professionals who treat children for feeding difficulties want to know how to support both the child and the family with practical strategies within the family’s everyday routines. What approach can parents take that will provide them with steps to bring joy back to the family table while the child’s feeding development improves over time? A child’s relationship with food always influences family dynamics and a family-centered approach to treatment is essential to achieve progress in feeding skills, whether the child is “just a picky eater” or has been diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder.  

Learning Outcomes
The participant will be able to:
  1. Provide parents of children with feeding difficulties specific strategies for common mealtime challenges, including teaching a child to enjoy sitting at the table, interact with food via play and participate in mealtime routines. 
  2. Identify activities and routines throughout a child's meals or snack times to support treatment strategies.
  3. Break down challenging behaviors into manageable pieces and communicate to parents how to address those pieces in a positive manner, building success in treatment over time.
Timed Agenda

Hours One and Two

10 min  Important Introductions to Course Concepts & Resources
15 min  Research & Results of Food Exposures
15 min  Feeding Therapy & Family Dynamics
20 min  Parent Joyfully: Keeping Interactions Positive
20 min  Parent Compassionately: Stepping into the Child’s Shoes
20 min  Parent Bravely: Strategies for Driving Hunger and Setting Boundaries
20 min  Parent Patiently: Knowing When and How to Wait

Hours Three and Four

30 min - Parent Proactively:

  • Understanding How to Support Gross and Fine Motor Skills
  • Adapting Food

30 min  - Parent consistently with strategies for consistent practice at mealtimes
30 min  - Parent Mindfully:

  • Spoon Feeding
  • Mealtime Mindset

30 min  - Strategies for Implementing the Three E’s: Expose, Explore, Expand

  • Understanding a Child’s Sensory System & Eating Skills
  • Sensory Considerations in the Kitchen
  • Anxiety: How to Cope
  • Lunch Packing for Hesitant Eaters
  • Closing Remarks


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