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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids- a book Review

I am listening to Dancing in the Kitchen as I write this book review, so I can’t help but be happy and enthusiastic like Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SPL, author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: How to Teach Your Child About the Joy of food!
Readers will learn that a cheerful and calm approach to child rearing challenges is the first step in teaching children to try new things, including food and this all leads to developing learning, flexibility and self-esteem. Melanie’s sunny side is contagious as she guides parents who might be stressed from
• teaching a medically fragile child how to bite, chew and swallow for the first time after months or years of tube feeding
• trying to help a sensory defensive child tolerate the touch, smell and taste of food on hands, face and inside the mouth
• dreading daily emotional mealtime battles
Happy Mealtimes is a parent friendly read that packs a lot of punch in just 118 pages. Written for busy parents who don’t want to learn how to be therapists, each chapter concludes with an even quicker to swallow and digest summary of the chapter’s 3-4 major concepts.
Parents will learn the basics of
• positioning for adequate support
• type of spoon to choose
• the developmental sequence of self-feeding beginning with making a mess!
• the importance of straw drinking
• how to recognize which behaviors are being reinforced
• and lots of strategies that lead to small steady gains
I think that every first time parent should read this book just to learn the basics of behavior modification. I myself grew up with a mom who allowed me to play with my food as the rest of my family ate, then throw out the bulk of it and eat ice cream. This is how you reinforce eating junk food!
My parents cheered me on when I pretended that I was a bird eating spaghetti “worms” –reinforcing again playing with food when I was perfectly capable of eating it and what would Miss Melanie say to parents who allowed their kids to watch television during meals and only served canned vegetables? (well, this was the 1960s….) I think she would have helped my mom learn how to create a fun, social environment that reinforced eating healthy, yummy foods. In an ideal world every new parent would have a Miss Melanie teaching them child development 101. Fortunately, if they can't have the real Melanie, they can at least buy Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids….. Happy reading!

Check out Melanie's website for info on ordering books and her speaking events.

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