Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (Paperback)
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How to Raise a Healthy, Adventurous Eater (in a Chicken-Nugget World)
Pediatrician Nimali Fernando and feeding therapist Melanie Potock (aka Dr. Yum and Coach Mel) know the importance of giving your child the right start on his or her food journey—for good health, motor skills, and even cognitive and emotional development. In Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater they explain how to expand your family’s food horizons, avoid the picky eater trap, identify special feeding needs, and put joy back into mealtimes, with:
- Advice tailored to every stage from newborn through school-age
- Real-life stories of parents and kids they have helped
- Wisdom from cultures across the globe on how to feed kids
- Helpful insights on the sensory system, difficult mealtime behaviors, and everything from baby-led weaning to sippy cups
- And seven “passport stamps” for good parenting: joyful, compassionate, brave, patient, consistent, proactive, and mindful.
Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater shows the way to lead your baby, toddler, or young child on the path to adventurous eating. Grab your passport and go!
About the Author
Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, is a Virginia pediatrician and founder of the nonprofit the Doctor Yum Project, the popular recipe and parenting website doctoryum.com. The first of its kind, her innovative new practice, Yum Pediatrics, features a teaching kitchen and instructional garden, along with hands-on learning curricula for families, making it a hot-spot for nutrition education and cooking instructions. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, is an international speaker on the topic of picky eating and feeding disorders in children. She is also the author of Responsive Feeding (The Experiment, 2021), Adventures in Veggieland (The Experiment, 2018), Baby Self-Feeding (Fair Winds Press, 2016, with Nancy Ripton), and the children’s book You Are Not an Otter (My Munch Bug, 2019). Her advice, found on her website mymunchbug.com, has been shared in national publications, including Parents magazine. With over twenty years of experience as a feeding therapist and parent educator, she has helped more than ten thousand families from all over the world raise adventurous eaters. She lives in Colorado.
Foreword author Dr. Roshini Raj is the Medical Correspondent for Good Day New York, the Medical Editor for Health magazine, and a regular contributor to the Today show. A board-certified gastroenterologist and internist, she is an attending physician at NYU Medical Center/Tisch Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, with degrees from NYU School of Medicine and Harvard College. Dr. Raj resides in New York City with her husband and two children.
A National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA) Winner
“Pediatrician Nimali Fernando and feeding therapist Melanie Potock take compassion and camaraderie to arm parents with knowledge and techniques”—Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
“Whether you are an exasperated or apprehensive parent of a picky eater or you just want to be a better parent—you need this resource. With wisdom, wit, and candor, Dr. Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock will take you on a fascinating journey into the mind and sensory system of your fickle eaters, helping you to understand why they taste, see, hear, touch, and experience the squeaky sound of a bite of broccoli differently than you do.”
—Daniel Feiten, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine; founder CEO, Pediatric Web Inc. RemedyConnect Inc.; author of The Owner’s Manual for New Mothers
“It’s very difficult to write a book regarding feeding practices in children because of the extreme differences in every child’s eating style and habits. However, Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock, offer exceptional, timeless advice on how to create an eating environment for your child that is healthy, happy, and stress-free for the child and parent. A very difficult task, but they have hit a home run with this book. The insightful suggestions based on the child’s age allows for the individuality necessary for success. This book should be given to each new parent at the birth of their first child.”
—Theodore Stathos, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children; President, Rocky Mountain Pediatric Gastroenterology
“As a mom of three, I have experienced just how challenging mealtimes can be. As a psychologist, I know that shared mealtimes are essential to good mental health in families. All kids are unique; with different likes and dislikes, different body types and habits—it takes constant effort to provide healthy, interesting meals. In their book Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater, Dr. Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock provide innovative, fun, healthy, and, most importantly, doable solutions to just about every challenge around kids and food. This book would make a great gift for new parents and is a must-read for parents of older children as well.”
—Stephanie S. Smith, PsyD psychologist, writer at www.drstephaniesmith.com, and advisory board member for www.produceforkids.com
“The unique perspectives of both authors—a physician dedicated to pediatric eating habits and a speech language pathologist specializing in safe feeding and swallowing—fills this book with multi-dimensional, helpful information for getting children to eat more healthily and safely. After reading this book you will sharpen your skills in parenting mindfully, feeding confidently, and avoiding picky eating! This book is also ideal for speech language pathology and occupational therapy students hoping to one day become feeding specialists.”
—Dawn Winkelmann, MS, CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist and feeding specialist
“This is hands-down the best book available on how to help kids become courageous eaters. Melanie Potock and Dr. Nimali Fernando provide a clear, practical, easy-to-follow roadmap to guide parents through this often bumpy developmental journey—including the best way to position an infant for feeding, transition to solid foods, get rid of the pacifier and thumb sucking, and get kids to try new foods even those with extremely limited food repertoires. From soup to nuts, this is a superb resource for new parents who want to set up their babies’ lifelong eating habits the best way possible as well as for parents of older children dealing with picky eating and food-related battles.”
—Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L, pediatric occupational therapist, author of Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids Teens, and coauthor of Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Guide to Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues.
“Finally, a book that takes on the real root causes of picky eating. Best not to wait for picky eating to begin and read this book now, but if you already have terror at the table, help is on its way.”
—Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, author of Cure Your Child with Food
“Dr. Nimali Fernando and feeding therapist Melanie Potock help parents navigate the journey of child feeding, eating, drinking, nutrition, and related topics from birth to the school cafeteria. Their book is a proactive approach for the prevention and/or resolution of many health issues (e.g., reflux, constipation, obesity, etc.) and related concerns (e.g., long-term thumb and pacifier use, picky eating, poor self-esteem, anxiety, etc.). Fernando and Potock explain development to parents using real-life examples and provide parents with loads of practical advice for every childhood age and stage. The book is parent and reader-friendly while providing a balance of developmental and behavioral information. It also considers the whole child as well as the parent-child partnership needed for healthy feeding, eating, drinking, and nutrition.”
—Diane Bahr, CCC-SLP,CIMI, author of Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Everything from Bottles and Breathing to Healthy Speech Development
“Dr. Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock have digested the physical and developmental aspects of learning to eat, including gross motor and fine motor milestones, helping parents understand how these set the foundation for optimal eating. With a myriad of strategies to help their kids explore and learn about food, parents now have an arsenal of healthy interventions from which to draw upon as their child grows.”
—Jill Castle, MS, RDN, childhood nutrition expert and author of Fearless Feeding
“Rare is the book that both informs and delightfully entertains and Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater does just that. After just a few sentences I felt like I was sitting at a table with the smartest and most insightful girlfriends, as co-authors Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock guided me through each stage of eating throughout a child’s life.”
—Amanda Mascia, The Good Food Factory
“This book is a great road map for parents who want to raise healthy eaters through every stage and age of their child’s life. I love the way Dr. Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock have approached feeding—it’s a perfect combination of education and encouragement, which is exactly what parents need to create positive feeding experiences! Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater will give parents the tools to approach feeding with confidence—because what could be better than getting feeding advice from a pediatrician and a feeding expert!”
—Kia Robertson, founder of the Eat a Rainbow Project
“Having three kids of my own, I can tell you that each one is unique and has their own tastes and preferences. Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater takes into account the whole child (and the whole family) and guides parents on the road to raising adventurous eaters—from baby’s first bite of solid food to elementary school. In our hectic world, offering fresh and homemade food can often be challenging. For parents who genuinely want to offer their children the healthiest options, it’s reassuring to know that a pediatrician and a feeding specialist have come together to create a culinary roadmap, guiding us through our fast-paced lives. Parents want easy solutions, fun strategies, and creative guidance, backed by professional knowledge and mixed with a dose of reality. You’ll find the perfect mix with Dr. Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock—and become well on your way to raising healthy, happy eaters.”
—Kelly Lester, CEO, EasyLunchboxes