When it comes to food, kids can often be the biggest critics. This month’s featured practitioner is a mom who has faced the challenge of having a picky eater and has experienced, first-hand, the stress that parents feel when they are worried about their child’s nutritional health. Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP is a pediatric feeding specialist and certified speech language pathologist who blends her knowledge of feeding therapy with practical parenting strategies that help not only her patients, but the entire family eat more healthfully. Melanie has been a long-time advocate for Orgain, and we are excited that she’s shared with us how she uses Orgain to support happier, healthier mealtimes for everyone.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself personally and professionally so that our readers will be able to “get to know you”.
A: My workday is focused on kids, food and family. I’m an author of four books and a speech language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in picky eating. That might be a child who is highly selective and eats only a few foods or the more garden-variety picky eater so common in childhood. I also work with children who have trouble eating due to medical, sensory or motor-based difficulties. I treat families in my private practice three days per week and speak at conferences or seminars several days each month. I love my job and am so grateful that it allows me to travel and meet so many wonderful people over the years, including the good people at Orgain. Speaking of good people – I have an amazing husband that I adore and two daughters that make me smile every single day.
Q: How long have you been an SLP specializing in feeding difficulties? Do you have any additional certifications/specializations/awards/publications you’d like to tell us about?
A: My journey to becoming a feeding specialist started when I worked in the NICU helping premature babies learn to breast and bottle feed. Over the past twenty years, I’ve treated kids from birth to age 17 and written four books on feeding in the process! My most recent book, Adventures in Veggieland: Helps Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes is based on my philosophy of The Three E’s: Expose, Explore, Expand. Research shows us that kids need to be exposed to vegetables and explore all the sensory properties of new foods before they can expand their palates. Arranged according to season, parents and professionals will find 20 vegetables that start with FUN and end with YUM! Each vegetable is introduced with a fun activity (build asparagus log cabins) and include 4 recipes to make with kids. Every chapter includes five veggie desserts, because I’m a firm believer in a little dessert, especially if it contains vegetables.
Q: How did you initially find Orgain and what specifically prompted you to begin using with/recommending to you patients?
A: True story – I contacted the president of Orgain, Carter Elenz, several years ago and told him how impressed I was with the Kids’ Organic Protein Shake. We met when I was teaching one of my courses on feeding therapy in Chicago. I told him that it was my personal favorite Orgain product for both hesitant and adventurous eaters – and to this day, I still feel that way. I want my “learning eaters” to be drinking the same healthy drinks that their friends enjoy – and the Organic Kids’ Protein Shake adds a nutritional boost to any kids lunchbox.
Q: How are you currently using Orgain in your practice?
A: One of the first things I do is teach young kids how to drink the Kids Orgain Organic Protein Shake. Recently, I wrote a blog on how to transition a child who is stuck on sugary chocolate milk to the chocolate flavored Orgain Kid’s Shake. Yes, it’s a healthy option for kids, but my motivation is also to help the parents. When our kids are picky and we worry about their nutritional health, we tend to parent them differently, giving in to short-order cooking and high-calorie treats just to get any food into them. If I can alleviate the parent’s fear by transitioning the child to the Kid’s Shake, they breathe a little easier, knowing that their child is getting good nutrition. Then, they can parent bravely and resist the urge to be a short-order cook.
Q: Please share a personal story about your experience with Orgain and how it has been beneficial with one or more of your patients?
A: Recently, I was working with a child who had very selective eating habits. She’s quite active in after-school activities and tended to indulge in cracker-type snack foods in the mini-van, filling her belly but not getting much nutrition. Plus, she would meltdown when her blood sugar crashed just before dinner. That’s such a stressful time of the day for families and meltdowns certainly make matters worse.
We learned how to drink the Orgain Kid’s Protein Shake in feeding therapy and gradually transitioned her to having a shake with a small, healthy snack on the road to her gymnastics classes. Her mom can now rest assured that her daughter has the fuel she needs to cartwheel and flip to her heart’s delight and the little girl feels proud of herself too! It took time – as it always does with picky eaters – but now Orgain Kid’s Shake is her standard after-school-fuel that keeps her going till dinner time. My goal is always to create happy mealtimes, and a high-protein snack after school is one strategy that I use with all my kids.
A Mom asked “I want my 4-year-old son to drink Orgain Kids™ Protein Shake, because it’s so nutritious. But he will only drink regular chocolate milk, and way too much of it! How can I help him make the shift to something healthier?”
Orgain All-In-One Nutritional Shakes are a favorite among kids… and kids at heart! For those (ages 11+) that depend on our shakes as a daily source of nutrition, our delicious flavors (Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Sweet Vanilla Bean, Strawberries & Cream, and Iced Café Mocha) provide a variety of tasty choices to fight flavor fatigue and help keep things interesting for the taste buds. However, the desire to constantly improve our offering to your patients or clients has led to the birth of a fabulous 5th flavor… Bananas & Cream! This new flavor boasts 240 calories, 16g of organic protein, an organic fruit and vegetable blend, and an updated vitamin/mineral blend for a more complete micronutrient profile.
The growing demand for Orgain products, particularly among healthcare practitioners and their patients, has been on the rise and increasingly practitioners are seeking durable medical equipment companies that will supply Orgain products to their patients at home.
Orgain is pleased to announce a new partnership with Coram/CVS Specialty Infusion Services. The Orgain products that Coram can offer to patients will include the Kids Nutritional Shakes in all three flavors (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry), which are covered under the HCPCS code B4160 and our Organic All-In-One Nutritional Shakes in four flavors (Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Sweet Vanilla Bean, Strawberries & Cream, and Iced Café Mocha), which are covered under the HCPCS code of B4150.
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Presented by: RDs In Practice: Advancing Practice in Pediatric Nutrition,CHOC Children’s Clinical Nutrition & Lactation Department
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American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS) Joint Annual Meeting.