Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: Parenting Tips from a Pediatric Feeding Specialist.

Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: Parenting Tips from a Pediatric Feeding Specialist.

One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating. Did it ever cross your mind that for some children swallowing, eating, and even the sight or smell of food can cause them to gag and vomit? Do you have a picky eater? Do you have an overweight child who does not eat the right foods? Perhaps your child’s mealtime problems are not that serious but you are looking for advice on positive parenting, how to praise and motivate your child in any area and you want to make sure you’re setting the stage for your child’s success. These are all reasons to read the parenting book written by Melanie Potock , MA, CCC-SLP Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: How to Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food! Practical and Surprising Tips from a Pediatric Feeding Specialist. Her numerous, practical, parenting tips will help you find solutions to many of your problems.

Guidebook with Parenting Tips for ALL Parents

Melanie Potock is a speech language pathologist, a feeding specialist, and a mom herself. Melanie wrote this helpful, easy-to-read guidebook filled with parenting tips for busy parents in mind. When you turn the last page, you will surely be motivated and have the knowhow to make your family mealtimes happier ones. Her advice is educational, functional and fun! Her twelve years’ experience in the field shows through by the different coping strategies she offers. She wisely counsels to seek professional help for serious eating issues.

Melanie has her own practice and business, called “My Munch Bug,” and she has accurately coined the phrase “For the Love of Food”.  Melanie has accomplished a lot: a great website, a book, Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids, and now an amazing CD “Dancing in the Kitchen“, which I might add is up for a Grammy award!

Melanie’s parenting tips are beneficial to all parents. Most parents have mealtime issues from time to time.  And all parents can appreciate  the general  parenting tips they learn in her book. For example,” Be careful what you reward. Ignore the behavior that you want to fade away and reward or reinforce the behavior that you want your child to continue.”

What do I like about this book? Lots! Parents who are busy and have difficulty coping with their child’s eating problems will appreciate the friendly conversational tone of this book. Melanie keeps the reader entertained with humor and delightful play on words.  Even many of the chapter titles are intriguing. Unfortuanately there in no index but each chapter title also has a subheading that is helpful to locate information.

  • Gag Me with a Spoon!

Knowing Which Spoon to Use and How to Use It

  • What’s that Cheerleader Doing in the Swimming Pool?

The Power of Waiting Before Cheering

  • Dining with the Prison Guards

Monitoring Every Bite Will Come Back to Bite You

Melanie has found the perfect recipe to deliver her message about helping children to eat a variety of healthy foods with an independent, joyful and healthy approach to mealtimes. The author also points out how these same strategies can be used in other areas of parenting.

  •  The book is short; therefore, it motivates a harried, hurried parent to buy and read it.
  •  Each of the fifteen chapters begins with an anecdote about a real incident in Melanie’s practice as a Pediatric Feeding Specialist. Parents see they can trust Melanie’s advice because she has lots of experience in this field.
  •  Then seamlessly Melanie delves deeper in the chapter’s topic teaching valuable lessons to parents to make life easier and mealtimes happier for the whole family.
  •  Each chapter ends with a bullet format synopsis of tips parents will be able to find easily and reread.
  •  The font and text spacing on each page is comfortable to the eyes and there is a wide space where the book folds so the reader is not fighting to hold the book open wide.
  • In the middle of a chapter, if Melanie feels a reader might want more information on a topic, she gives links to a helpful book or resource.
  • Then at the end, in the 5 page section Resources, the resources are again listed under categories in alphabetical order.

What I find lacking in this book is in its organization. Each chapter seems to flow in the other as the Chapter title and subheading is almost written in the same font and letter size as the rest of the content. Also each page, top or bottom, has no mention of the title you are reading and because there is no index this makes it difficult to retrieve information.  Except for both covers, there are no illustrations, color, borders, or any added detail that would make the content stand out more.

The topic is timely and timeless and Melanie knows how to drive her point across. Never before have we had so many youths who have weight problems and each generation of parents wants what is best for their children. Her practical parenting tips are easy to follow, require no equipment and can be done by parents right in their home or dinner table… and IN the child’s chair. Chapter 11. High Chairs are for Eating. Mommy’s Lap is for Her Napkin.

Here is our  interview with Melanie and a review about her CD Dancing in the Kitchen.

About the Author:

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, is a certified speech language pathologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders.  From her web site we read, “Mel’s caseload is varied…she visits homes and schools to work with children with a variety of challenges that impact their ability to enjoy food.  From infants with low muscle tone who require support for breast and bottle feeding….to toddlers who do not possess the oral motor capabilities to learn to chew and swallow without intervention…to children on the autism spectrum…to those children transitioning from g-tubes to oral feedings…the ultimate goal is to help each child learn about the joy of food! It’s not just picky eaters that benefit from Melanie’s guidance. The very basics of feeding therapy are important tools that every caregiver needs to know.” 

Links to Melanie Potock:

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This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Vice-President of KidCompanions, mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. Retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.