Melanie has worked with families on how to have children be more adventurous eaters. Some children she sees dues to underlying conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Down Syndrome, Autism or any number of physical issues that require individual feeding therapy. Her experience with parents of special needs, and also looking back on being a parent herself, has given her so many wonderful tips on working with children and helping families have Happy Mealtimes,
Keep mealtimes as joyful as possible
When a child is dealing with Sensory integration problems they struggle with the ability to take in information and what to ignore. Melanie has a favorite quote she uses with families from Jean Ayres about experiencing an orange. That the whole body gets feel the sensations to know how to peel and eat and orange.
Children are young explorers, they need to explore food with the whole body not just their mouths
So many times we are caught up in keeping our children clean, whether at a restaurant or because we have new carpet. Melanie stresses it is important for kids to get mess and to always encourage kids to explore their foods with their whole bodies. She suggests even trying pudding in a bathtub because you can always rinse them off when they are done! Melanie has helped many children overcome severe feeding issues due to Sensory problems. One family is quoted in her book that tells how far they have come from mashing and rolling food to enjoying eating a variety of delights, even if the mess still happens. Melanie taught them what their daughter needed to become successful at experiencing food.