LUNCH AND LEARNS
A Lunch and Learn is an opportunity we create to visit face to face with pediatric medical professionals to share ideas about supporting infants and young children who have feeding challenges. We bring the lunch, the feeding therapists, the handouts and the topics to the physician offices. The dialogue flows from there. We discuss current feeding trends and research, available services and brainstorm about ways to continually improve our support of these families.
Statistics show that 8% of babies leaving the NICU have feeding challenges and by the time they are 6 months of age 54% of those babies have significant feeding problems. It is our experience that feeding referrals are not made early enough for many families. With early feeding therapy support, many of these problems can be resolved, the need for tube feeding can be lessened and larger feeding and growth problems can be avoided.
Nourish’s mission is to support families whose children have feeding challenges. By supporting the feeding expertise of the pediatricians and encouraging early referrals, we are directly affecting the experiences of many families and many babies. Nourish has provided over 30 “Lunch and Learns” so far in the Tucson area. Some offices have invited us back again to continue the conversation. We will continue to offer Lunch and Learns as our funding allows.
If you are a pediatric office and would like to schedule a Lunch and Learn, contact Nourish at 520-829-9635. Each office can choose the topics they would most like to discuss including early identification of feeding problems, prematurity, anxious eating and food selectivity, tube feeding transitions, texture transitions and baby first tastes, and Ten Myths about Feeding.
BABY FIRST TASTES
The process of introducing your baby to solid foods should be enjoyable for both you and your baby. It is a time to introduce your baby to the joys of eating a variety of healthy foods and to learn about her palate. Babies make the journey to new food flavors and textures, and from nursing on the breast or sucking on the bottle to chewing foods at their own individual pace. We adults are partners in this process. It is Our job to offer appropriate food experiences and opportunities and Baby’s job to let us know the pace. It is not about “getting food in them”. It is not about “making them eat”. It is about giving them the experience of loving foods! It is about offering! Include them in YOUR mealtimes. They will learn a great deal from watching you! Babies are not required to have an exact order to food introduction. Babies all over the world eat their mother’s diet as they got to taste it through amniotic fluid even before they were born and breast milk flavor variations. Growing children are not required to have a special diet of “children’s foods”. They do not NEED children’s menus. They can eat our adult foods with all its variation in a child appropriate version. They do need foods prepared in a safe, sanitary and healthy way. All over the world babies eat a baby version of adult foods. The more variation we offer babies early in life the more varied eaters they will be later in life.
A class to promote a successful and enjoyable transition for baby and parents has been developed for parents by feeding therapists at Mealtime Connections. For more information on Baby’s First Tastes classes for parents, check in with Mealtime Connections at 520-829-9635 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a schedule of the monthly parent class. They discuss how and when to introduce foods, ways to provide opportunities for baby enjoyment of tastes, texture color and smells, how to help the hesitant baby, how to reduce mealtime battles and picky eating and how to help baby develop confidence in eating in a loving and nurturing manner.
Professional Baby First Taste Presentations
Nourish had a generous grant from the Dorothy Harmsen and Bill Harmsen Sr. Charitable Trust that has enabled us to provide the Baby First Tastes presentation to over 14 community groups. These presentations have been enthusiastically received. The staff of each of these groups can then share the Baby First Tastes information with families in their services so the information spreads to our community! Thank you Dorothy Harmsenand Bill Harmsen Sr. Charitable Trust!
Child and Family Resources
CLDN Nurse Visitation
Casa de Los Ninos
Division of Developmental Disabilities Child and Family Services
Easter Seals Blake Foundation AZEIP Program
Marana WIC Program
The Nanny Conference
NICP Nurse Home Visiting Program
North West Hospital Newborn Follow up Program
San Xavier Clinic
United Way Family Alliance
If you are a local agency serving babies and supporting families that would like to have the Baby First Tastes Class presented for your staff, please contact us at Nourish, 520-829-9635.