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Resources for Feeding, Eating, Drinking, Speech, and Mouth/Airway Function


Hot Topic Blog - Feeding, Eating, & Drinking


Review by Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI, Feeding and Oral Sensory-Motor Specialist

August 2015


As an author of a couple of books on feeding, motor-speech, and mouth development, I read many books and articles on these topics. I was thrilled when I received the new book Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating by Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin. In addition to presenting excellent and accurate information in a readable, parent-friendly manner, the book has an introduction by my very own mentor Suzanne Evans Morris, PhD, one of the trail blazers in the area of feeding.

As soon as I began reading this book, I found common sense ideas which I sent immediately to a mom with whom I was working. And, she told me that the ideas from the book really calmed her, so she could approach her child in a systematic and relaxed manner. Here are the ideas I sent her from the book:

-It’s “not your fault…. Say no to guilt or thinking you and your child should be progressing differently or more quickly” (pp. 4 & 9).

-“Trust your gut…. You are your child’s expert…. Let the way you feel guide you in supporting your child’s progress” (p. 10).

-It’s important to establish trust with your child (p. 6). “Trust and relationship between parent and child cannot be sacrificed for nutrition or growth goals” (p. 12).

-Repetition of concepts and routines can decrease pressure and anxiety (p. 7).

-“Work on ‘what’ when you feel ready…. You don’t have to implement every strategy right away.” A slower approach may ease transitions. There are many paths to the same end result (p. 9).

I highly recommend this book to help parents shift the way they approach feeding in order to turn failure into success. I also recommend this book for speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and others who come in contact with kids around feeding (e.g., teachers, school counselors, dieticians, nurses, pediatricians, etc.).

Concepts found within the book support the whole family while helping the child learn to enjoy foods. Parents are encouraged to understand the problem and develop a systematic family-specific plan. This is a no guilt, no judgement type of book. It encourages family teamwork by providing guidance and support and has a 5-step systematic approach that helps the family to “decrease stress, anxiety, and power struggles; establish routines; enjoy pleasant family meals, build skills in ‘what’ and ‘how’ to feed;” as well as “strengthen and support oral motor and sensory skills” (p. 6).

Social Media Links Related to the Book

Twitter as @EPEhelp

Steps+ Approach to Feeding

Radio podcast on NPR: Beyond Picky Eating

About the Authors of the Book

Jenny McGlothlin, MS, CCC-SLP, is a certified speech-language pathologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of feeding disorders for children from birth through the teen years. McGlothlin developed the STEPS feeding program at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she works with families on a daily basis to foster feeding skills that will serve a child for a lifetime. Her passion is teaching children how to eat when they just can’t figure it out on their own, and McGlothlin has been inducted into the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Hall of Fame for her work in the field. McGlothlin has spent many years teaching graduate-level courses on feeding as well as early child development. She frequently provides feeding workshops for parents and continuing education seminars and webinars for therapists. As a mother of three young children, McGlothlin makes family meals a priority. She also enjoys reading and spending time with her friends.

Katja Rowell, MD is a family doctor and childhood feeding specialist. Described as “academic, but warm and down to earth,” she is a popular speaker and blogger, writes on the intersection of feeding and wellness, and has appeared in numerous publications. She believes that helping children have a good relationship with food and their bodies is the best preventive medicine there is. Her first book is Love Me, Feed Me: the Adoptive Parents Guide to Ending the Worry About Weight, Picky Eating, Power Struggles and More.  Rowell enjoys camping with her family and cooking. For more information, visit

About the Reviewer

Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI is a certified speech-language pathologist and infant massage instructor. She has practiced speech-language pathology since 1980 and has been a feeding therapist since 1983. Her experiences include teaching graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education courses; working with children and adults who exhibit a variety of speech, language, feeding, and swallowing disorders; and publishing/presenting information on oral sensory-motor function, assessment, and treatment. She is the author of the textbook Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment: Ages and Stages (Allyn & Bacon, 2001). She has also written a book for parents and professionals entitled Nobody Ever Told Me (Or My Mother) That! Everything from Bottles and Breathing to Healthy Speech Development (Sensory World, 2010).