The Tender Foodie once again welcomes Melanie Potock of My Munch Bug.
My daily life as a feeding therapist is all about kids and food. Kids with food allergies, intolerances, sensory issues, GI issues, picky eating issues …you name it, we got issues! But, we’ve also got lots of love and most importantly, tools for making mealtimes joyful. So, in the spirit of celebrating little munch bugs with tender tummies or not, here are my top 12 gifts or super-tools for encouraging adventurous eating! Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas or another December remembrance, my holiday wish for you and your family is peace, love and plenty of Dancing in the Kitchen. Which brings me to my first shameless plug:
On the 1st Day of Christmas, My Tender Foodie Asked of Me:
A picnic under the Jewelberry Tree!
One of the most popular songs from Dancing in the Kitchen, Songs that Celebrate the Joy of Food is the second track: Picnic Under the Jewelberry Tree. It’s all about eating together. “It’s a picnic all day long, just singing, singing our happy song!” So, perhaps your picnic is under a Christmas tree or a beautiful menorah, but what our kids want most of all is time together. I hope you will find time to picnic or dance, or both! In the spirit of the season, 25% of profits will be donated to Allergy Kids Foundation until the 'twelfth night" or midnight, January 5th, 2012.
On the 2nd Day of Christmas, My Tender Foodie asked from Me:
An assortment of yummy foods in tiny cubes, hearts, triangles and half-moons…not too much to ask, right?
Right, if you have the coolest little cutter around known as Funbites! It is truly bite-sized mealtime magic and works with most foods, including sandwiches (even with gluten-free bread), cantelope, watermelon, tortillas (tested on my favorite: rice tortillas) and it’s BPA free!
On the 3rd Day of Christmas, My Tender Foodie asked from Me . . .
Dairy-free, gluten-free certified, sugar-free, soy-free, mostly organic and vegan, my new best friend Elizabeth (Well, she has actually never met me, but since I love her granola this much, I am sure she will want to be besties.) makes three different, delectable, delish granolas almost too yummy to waste on top of anything, except your bare hand. Straight from the box, the original flavor is just right for little munch bugs. If you can eat pecans, try the cranberry pecan for a slightly chewier texture. My favorite is pumpkin fig, loaded with protein rich quinoa and chia seeds as a super sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants. Purely Elizabeth – purely heaven!
On the 4th Day of Christmas, my Tender Foodie asked from me:
A set of four containers from Easy Lunch Box! Parents love the easy-open, kid friendly lids and the BPA free containers that make packing lunches a snap. I recommend these to all the kids I work with because they save valuable time in the chaotic school cafeteria. Although parents care most about their child's nutrition during lunchtime, kids care most about making friends during those precious 25 minutes! Cutting healthy food into bite-sized (remember the first day of Christmas?) pieces so that kids can “grab and gab” from these cute, 3-compartment, compact containers (say that 5 times fast) keeps everyone happy. Parents know their kids are eating a healthy, easy to eat lunch and kids have time to munch and chat with their friends. Teachers love it because they know the kids fill their bellies and also have a little down-time to blow off steam before heading back to the classroom. When time is of the essence, you want the lunch time process to be easy-peasy.
Phew! Four down, eight to go! My next post includes my favorite foodie toys, an allergen free recipe for busy little hands, and an ingenious product invented and patented by a mom - gotta love that! Until then, I hope you are humming the "Twelve Days of Christmas" because frankly, now I can't get that tune out of my head!
What do you suppose number five will be...
Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, of www.mymunchbug.com. Melanie is speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding. Her work brings her into the homes and schools of her clients, kids, who for various reasons have difficulty with food or with eating. She works with kids and their parents to develop effective strategies that help children become “more adventurous eaters”. At least 50% of her clients have food allergies or intolerances, and for them, “adventurous eating” takes on a special meaning. Melanie is also the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids” and the executive producer of “Dancing in the Kitchen.”
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