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on February 11, 2011
I am the mother of a difficult eater, and I have read just about every guide available on this utterly frustrating subject. I've finally found my favorite. If you have a child who refuses all vegetables, or eats nothing but carbs, or won't progress from purees, then this book is for you. If you have spent countless hours worrying about whether your little one will need a feeding tube because he flat out refuses to eat, then this book is for you. And if your child is perfectly normal but you want to teach him to be a happy, adventurous eater as he grows up, then this book is for you.

If you are the parent of a child like mine, you already know that there are a lot of books on this subject, but this is one of the best. Many other books are overly dense (and therefore out of touch) or overly anecdotal(and therefore totally useless). This one provides a basic philosophy and tips on how to implement it. I highly recommend. My little man has made so much progress thanks to Melanie Potock!
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on February 22, 2011
I am the mother of a special needs 3yr old that has been tube fed since birth. I have done so much internet research and read a lot of books on the topic of feeding. This book is such an easy read and has step by step instructions and real life situations that make you understand completely what you should be doing and saying while feeding your child. All other books I have read have been so boring and so hard to understand so I really enjoyed this book. Feeding has always felt so negative and frustrating with my child but once I starting implementing Melanie Potock's feeding methods from what type of chair/spoon/verbiage to use things starting quickly changing. My son has been in multiple feeding therapy's that gave him little to no progress. Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids has helped me get my son to eat 4oz. a day in less than a months time. That is a huge accomplishment for us! I know that if we keep up with this method we will soon be g-tube free! I highly recommend this book to all parents! Thank you Melanie for putting your years of experience and knowledge into this amazing book!
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on February 13, 2011
I am a pediatric feeding specialist and I share this book with parents who have concerns and/or questions about their child's eating skills. My parents all enjoy the boook as it is easy and quick to read and they can relate to many of the stories. Mel's book is filled with simple feeding strategies which families can implement right away. We finally have a resource that skips over all of the theory and jumps right into what parents! Thank you Mel!!
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on February 26, 2011
As a speech/language pathologist who often works with children with feeding challenges, I feel fortunate to have found Melanie's book. Happy Mealtimes With Happy Kids: How to Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food is a wonderful resource for professionals and families alike. Melanie Potock's suggestions are both functional, and fun. They are presented with a gentle, joyful approach that will support and reassure families as they navigate the sometimes frustrating and complex but often rewarding area of helping children learn to eat. I especially recommend Melanie's suggestions in Chapter 7 regarding the use of attention and reinforcement for desired mealtime behaviors.

Thank you, Melanie, for bringing these ideas and the experiences of the families who work with you to this delightful and helpful book.
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on July 19, 2011
Any mom with the slightest bit of anxiety surrounding her child's eating can find respite in Happy Mealtimes. My daughter (2.5) has been stuck in a cycle of a very few easy foods for quite some time and I've spent the better part of her life TRYING and TRYING to get her to eat more than a very few items. We've fought, we've cried, we've both thrown significant tantrums. Reading Melanie's book has offered some perspective and tactics that have worked for the first time for us.
Until now, I feel like I've tried everything I could think of or find research for online - coaxing, distractions, hiding foods, and even giving up entirely, hoping she'd break the cycle on her own. Nothing worked. Happy Mealtimes offered an entirely different approach and ideas on how to make mealtime FUN and something that my daughter, husband and I can actually enjoy and now we're experiencing success after success - long overdue from two and a half years of failure after failure.

I truly am grateful to have discovered Melanie and her book. Thank you!
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on July 27, 2011
Melanie does a super job providing helpful strategies for a wide range of topics that may interfere with a healthy relationship with food. Her chapters are easy to read and the humor threaded throughout is so appreciated. I am delighted a book like this exists and I will continue to refer to it as my toddler's developmental stages unfold.
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on March 27, 2012
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!

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L,author of The Recycling Occupational Therapist
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on February 27, 2011
This book is fantastic--easy to read with many useful tips for all parents, not just those who have children with feeding difficulties. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to help make mealtimes with young children better. This book is worth every penny--easy to read, humorous and offers much insightful wisdom from a very experienced feeding therapist. As the mother of a picky eater, I have learned a lot from this book.
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on September 21, 2012
I devoured this book in a few days (ha ha ha)! Melanie's information and tips are very accessible, for both professionals and parents alike. I was able to implement important changes in my work setting with regard to proper positioning for feeding immediately and I look forward to sharing more information, strategies, and tips found in Melanie's book with our staff in the near future.

As stated in her Introduction, parents often lack (and would love more) time to read and, in an effort to make her information both accessible and feasible, Melanie has boiled down salient points into bite-sized chunks. As a parent of a toddler and a professional working as an SLP with children aged 0-3 years, I really appreciated this fact.

I highly recommend this book.
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on May 8, 2014
I highly recommend this book. It is easy to read and full of helpful tips. I truly enjoy Melanie's wit and humor. Through Melanie's tips, I have learned how to keep mealtime fun and stress-free, as my little one progresses in his ability to try and accept new foods.
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