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Founded by Valerie Gent, Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology is a Newcastle based Private Paediatric Feeding intervention service for babies and children from birth to adolescence.

Feeding difficulties in babies and children can be very stressful for parents as well as their child. The goal of Let's Eat! is to empower the family to be able to understand and respond to the feeding difficulties their child may present with. Treatment is clinic based but home and school visits can be arranged with an additional travel fee.

Valerie is passionate about feeding difficulties, she loves working with families in a practical and team focused way.

We look forward to working with you too!

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Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology4 days ago
BLOG POST UP! one handed cooks new book- I just love the hidden golden nuggets of advice in their new book 🌟 make yourself a cup of tea and have a read... you will 💖 it.

Thank you ladies for the surprise delivery xo

I wish each and everyone of you a wonderful and safe Easter. Enjoy the Easter eggs, don't stress about it. It's a childhood moment that should be treasured without over thinking.

I am now on leave until 1st May (hooray!) so see you in a couple of weeks xo Val #letseatspeech

Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology2 weeks ago
One of the greatest privileges I think we as therapists are gifted with is the ability to sit and “be open” in an moment with a parent. 👂

Over the years, this “being” with a family is actually AS important as the chewing and swallowing aspect of my feeding assessments.🗣

Why you ask? Because I take the time to listen to their journey. The heart break, the challenges, the stressors and pressures they have felt from therapists, doctors and other people with advice. 👩‍💼👩🏻‍⚕️🕵️‍♂️👨🏻‍⚖️

You know what I think when I sit there? I breathe deeply and feel so thankful on behalf of that particular child that they have such dedicated and loving parents.💐

Have a child with feeding difficulties is one of the greatest challenges parents face. They are judged by the greater community so much especially when growth starts to falter- feeding your child “should” be easy but you know what? It’s actually super hard especially if they have feeding difficulties. And parents have to persist - 5 meals a day- 7 days a week- 365 days of the year. You don’t get a break from the constant feeding as a parent. The heart break and challenges are real and never ending. 🍽🍼🍝🥪🍎🍇🥕

So to all the parents, grandparents and carers, I humbly thank you for the constant love, dedication, hard work with feeding your child every ... single... day. I know this isn’t easy and can I say? You are doing an AMAZING JOB!! 💐🌷

Ps- this huge smorgasbord was brought by 2 beautiful parents who are so loving to their cherished and very adorable daughter. I ask all parents to bring a few foods for the first feeding assessment, this family brought several days worth of food!! Thank you for the immense love and care you give your daughter. 🙏🏻 💕 AND they are one of many on my caseload- thank you.

Xo Val Gent, #letseatspeech #letseat #feedingdifficulties
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology2 weeks ago
Constipation can be more common than we realise in fussy eaters. The challenge is that if they are (ahem) blocked up- their appetite for food will be less (even less for non preferred foods). What goes in must come out so to speak!

I’ve been following Dr Megs - Paeds & Feeds for a little while now and she has written a fantastic article (part 1 and 2) on constipation that is definitely worth reading if this is a concern for your child.

Part 2 in the comments.

important take home message- In the case of chronic/long-standing constipation, it is important to STAY ON the medication for at least 3-6 months to allow the bowel to regain its sensitivity and function.

Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology3 weeks ago
I have to tell you something about me...

I’ve walked your journey. I’m a mum of 2 boys and one of them- when he was a preschooler was a fussy eater. He was small in size and very busy. He ate hardly anything and was very selective about what he ate.

A few years ago, I found my “feeding notes” for him. Do you want to know what the first step was?

Structured mealtimes- limit grazing.

You see, I got in the habit of letting him eat whenever he wanted because I thought that at least that would mean he actually ate something.

But the grazing meant that his overall intake was small, he only ate the foods he loved and he never tried anything new. Worse yet- he remained tiny. Think size 1 clothing as a 3 year old.

Sound familiar?

So parents, can I give you some advice?

Write down a set mealtime routine with times of eating and what foods you will offer.
1. Include foods they eat,
2. foods they used to eat (and no longer eat) and
3. a similar food eg- slightly different biscuit.

Keep persisting and don’t only offer foods they only like. Because if they only eat foods they like, like my son, they will never progress. In fact they may food jag and start refusing preferred foods (because they are sick of eating them every day)

The good news is that I followed that hand written feeding plan all those years ago and now my 10 year old LOVES FOOD. He eats a wide variety and finds trying new food from different cultures exciting. But that doesn’t mean I have forgotten about the parental anxiety and worry that I felt 8 years ago

You can do it too- start now, write your structured meal plan.....

Ps- this photo is of him and a dippy egg. He never ate it - despite our perseverance 🤣 he now eats egg but prefers it full cooked and not runny 🍳

PPS- he is still skinny- tall and skinny despite eating great amounts and wonderful variety (still in a structured mealtime environment). He is also very active and great with sports. Genetics plays a role in how kids grow.
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology3 weeks ago
There are some pretty amazing Speech Pathologists in Australia who are leading the research fields and improving our clinical practice every day. 2 of these amazing people are Dr Kelly Weir and Dr Thuy Frakking and over the last 2 days, I have soaked up every clever teaching principle they have taught us. And secretly been in a bit of celebrity speech pathology awe 🤓🤩

Thuy did her PhD in cervical auscultation and this assessment tool (stethoscope used to assess swallow sounds) with her latest research has demonstrated a significant difference in identifying possible aspiration with a combined feeding clinical assessment (than just a sole feeding assessment).

This means with this tool, we are better able to decide and refer the kids that need follow up X-ray swallow studies at the hospital and which don’t. Which means less radiation for kids long term and better clinical outcomes. Thuy’s research is ground breaking and her 2 day course with Kelly focused on increasing our rating reliability and assessment skills. Can you tell how passionate I am about this??

Thank you to my Tuesday clinic patients that moved their sessions so I could be here at the Children’s hospital at Westmead, thank you to the CHW SP department who let me to attend and my family (and parents) so I could continue to improve my feeding assessment clinical skills.

I look forward to not only using a stethoscope more in feeding assessments (especially with kids with disabilities and complex medical histories) as well as trialling the microphone assessment tools soon.

🍼🥛🍽🍪🍲 👩🏻‍⚕️ Val
Ps- thanks Lyndsey (SP) from the Northern Beaches hospital for being my willing CA subject 😊