This month’s “Mom of the Month” is an inspiring woman who is changing the way we parent in the kitchen. She is providing resources to empower parents to raise happy, healthy eaters. This change maker is Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP and I am thrilled to have her as this month’s Mom of the Month. Melanie is an international speaker, author and certified speech language pathologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders, including picky eating.
I had the opportunity to connect with Melanie to get to know more about this great mom.
- Tell me a little about yourself.
“I love kids, food and families. There is nothing more I would rather do than sit by a campfire with my two daughters and my husband and talk the night away while eating way too many s’mores (make mine with dark chocolate and gluten free graham crackers please. I’m a s’more snob). My career as a speech pathologist took a unique turn when I started working in the NICU with premature babies, helping them learn to breast and bottle feed. I began to understand that feeding is a developmental process, and that many kids need support in learning to try new foods. In fact, 25% of typically developing kids will have significant difficulty and become hesitant or selective about trying new foods. That led to my career as a feeding specialist, which in turn led to writing three books on the topic (2 released in the past ten months!) and creating my second website with my co-author pediatrician Nimali Fernando. It’s called Parenting in the Kitchen.com. Parents want to know how to raise healthy eaters and I want to help them do that.”
- What is your business all about?
“I have three businesses: 1. My therapy practice, where I treat kids with feeding difficulties; 2. My Munch Bug, which is the platform for my speaking engagements and book promotions; and 3. Parenting in the Kitchen, the only online video resource for parents and professionals created by a pediatrician (Dr. Nimali Fernando) and a certified speech pathologist who specializes in pediatric feeding (that’s me)!”
- When did you start your business?
“My Munch Bug launched in 2010 and Parenting in the Kitchen launched in 2016, after the release of one of my books. Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating. I am honored to have co-authored that book with Dr. Fernando (A.K.A. Doctor Yum) and created a five hour video course that parents and professionals can take at their own pace over the course of 30 days. It’s been a hit and we now have members from all over the globe!”
- How did you come up with the idea?
“Like all modern friendships, Dr. Yum and I met on Facebook. We teamed up to create The Doctor Yum Preschool Adventure, a preschool curriculum that teaches both kids and their parents how to introduce new fruits and vegetables and explore new foods! That led us to write “Raising a Healthy Happy Eater” together and it’s been a top seller in Children’s Health on Amazon since it was released just nine months ago!”
- How did you come up with the business name?
“My Munch Bug was easy for me, because I affectionately call the babies and toddlers that I work with “munch bugs.” A young child learns to munch before learning to master the more mature, rotary chew. Parenting in the Kitchen was just as easy to come up with! In our book, Raising a Healthy Happy Eater, we teach parents seven different principles: Parent Joyfully, Parent Compassionately, Parent Bravely, Parent Patiently, Parent Proactively, Parent Consistently and Parent Mindfully. When these principles are practiced at mealtimes, cooking and “parenting in the kitchen” they easily spill over to the rest of our day.”
- What do you hope your business accomplishes?
“I’d like to take both businesses to an international level, expanding my media presence and providing expert advice to professionals such as Dr. Oz and other health or parenting-focused television shows.”
- As a busy working mom, how do you find the time to balance it all?
“I get better at the balancing act each year, but I am already preparing for 2017 to have a nice mix of family time and business opportunities. The key is to say “no” to anything that doesn’t feel like the best fit for me and my brand. There are always plenty of opportunities, but it’s important to pick and choose what will be most helpful to the company’s mission. For Parenting in the Kitchen and for My Munch Bug, our mission is to help parents raise healthy, happy eaters and get the information to families in the most effective manner.”
- Lastly, what inspired you to write two amazing books?
“The inspiration comes from my husband and my daughters. They don’t just encourage me to follow my dreams, they pitch in too! Whether I need help making dinner or creating a website, they always have time for me so that in turn, I have time to write.”
Momma Braga is extremely proud to feature Melanie of My Munch Bug as this month’s “Mom of the Month” as she is such a humble, kind and outstanding woman who is making a difference in lives of children (and their parents!). Melanie is providing knowledge, tips and resources to help, inspire and empower parents. This alone makes her awesome and our Mom of the Month. Of course she never forgets to spend time with her family as well which is so great!
“Take the time to make parenting in the kitchen a priority. The benefits of raising kids that love healthy foods is life-long – it’s a gift you’ll give to your children and to yourself. The whole family deserves it – and you can do it!” says Melanie. Beautifully said by an amazing mom!
To follow Melanie Potock (Coach Mel) and learn how to raise adventurous eaters, follow Parenting in the Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To learn more about feeding therapy and extreme picky eating, join Coach Mel at My Munch Bug on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Make sure to check out our book reviews on her amazing books, if you haven’t yet: Baby Self-Feeding; and Raising A Healthy, Happy Eater.
Thank you Melanie for your time and wishing you many years of success!
Until next time……Happy Parenting!