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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 Pathology3 days ago
Since my last post on bottles and breastfeeding, I’ve been inundated with messages about open cups. So here are my thoughts...

I like small open cups that children can hold easily and I honestly believe parents are leaving it too late to introduce these. Yes toddlers make mess but it’s only water (sometimes I even put runny yoghurt in them to make it easier for the toddlers to pace the flow of fluid). Please see sippy cups as stepping stones and the ultimate goal is getting your child using an open cup sooner rather than later.

1. Baby cups are finally in Australia (I’ve been asking my dear brother in England to keep bringing me a stack every time he visits for the last 18 months)- thank you Amy for stocking these Eat Teeth Sleep - Baby & Toddler Store. I like these because they are small (50ml measurements) and clear. You can top up breastfeeds with this small cup quite easily. https://www.eatteethsleep.com.au/collections/sippy-cups price is very reasonable as well $16.95 for 4

2. My second favourite are all the ikea ones- the little yellow espresso cup, clear pink cup, plastic ones (bonus for being clear)- easy to find and you get a set of both sizes so lots of modeling practice

3. Third favourite is a My Munch Bug - Melanie Potock baby jar food hack- baby jars are made of a strong glass so they don’t break as easily as you imagine. Kids can easily balance the rim on their lips and Melanie suggests adding the rubber bands for somewhere for their little fingers to grip on. Easy super cheap hack!

4. The Babu Bjorn cups (clear cup with blue rim next to baby cups) are nice and a bit bigger for toddlers. I’ve seen them at baby shops so perhaps are also easier to access. https://www.babyvillage.com.au/products/feeding/babybjorn-baby-cups

5. Tupperware cups! They vary from season and I’ve seen one with a cute lid but these ones are current and kids LOVE using the jug- great for encouraging kids to pour and drink.

6. The weinmeister cup (little blue cup with handles) is nice because it has handles and many cups don’t. Independence with cup drinking especially one with handles is great. - https://www.eatteethsleep.com.au/collections/sippy-cups/products/weanmeister-sippy-skillz-training-cup

So there you have it- my top 6 open cups for toddlers (not preschoolers or school aged).

I haven’t answered questions on sippy cups and straws as well as lidded cups but that’s another post.

If your baby isn’t drinking enough from a bottle (or refusing a bottle) and you want to wean breastfeeding for lots of different work and personal reasons please see a feeding speech pathologist. I’m not convinced very young babies can drink enough from open cups so you need an individualised feeding plan. Sorry I wish I could help all of you but I don’t know your babies and feeding / growth requirements so a 1:1 consult with your local team is best. Thanks 🍼🥛 Val #letseatspeech #cupsforbabies
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology6 days ago
Happy St Patrick’s day! 🍀☘️

My kids are pretty stoked that they are eating vegetables for breakfast 🥞

You don’t have to use my mish-mash recipe but I’ve written anyway.

Spinach mix- 2 cups of baby spinach, 1 egg, dollop of cream and splash of milk into a NutriBullet or similar until smooth purée. You can skip cream if you want.

Batter- 1 cup spelt flour + 1/2 cup plain flour, (but just use plain flour instead of spelt) with 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Mix the two and then I added a good splash of vanilla essence, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (you could use butter) and a splash of maple syrup (normal sugar would do- brown sugar would taste as yummy as maple syrup!) enjoy!
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology1 week ago
Bottles for babies who breastfeed. I watch so many parents online buy bottle after bottle looking for the magic solution. Hundreds of dollars later, some find it and others are still looking. What makes one more “magic” than another?

Here is the short answer- nothing.

Long answer-

1. Some breastfed babies just love breastfeeding and don’t want a plastic bottle in their mouth- no matter how much it mimic a “nipple” (which it doesn’t). For these- think about introducing the cup and straw earlier. Skip the bottle.

2. For some babies, it’s about the sucking action- if they can stretch the bottle teat and use a cross cut teat to adjust the flow that they can increase or decrease. so when you offer that “magical” bottle- they accept it.

3. For some babies, especially those who have a mum with a fast flow, will prefer a bottle with a teat that has a fast flow that they can suck quickly and swallow just like they do with breastfeeding. So ditto- that “magical” bottle = acceptance.

4. For some babies, sucking from a bottle is easier than a breast so it’s not about “nipple confusion”- it’s about what works more efficiently for them- babies are brighter than we give them credit for. It wasn’t the bottle- it was their sucking efficiency.

5. And for some babies like the baby with these bottles- it wasn’t the bottle, it was something else medically related.

And that’s what makes it so challenging for parents - they search for the “magic bottle” without appreciating all the reasons. But I understand your stress - this stuff isn’t easy. It’s like walking in the dark sometimes especially when you are sleep deprived!

Before you buy 5-10-15 ++ bottles think about what your baby is doing and see if you can find a bottle that matches that suck-swallow - breath coordination cycle.

Not easy- I’m with you- this is what feeding speech pathologist do during our sessions. It’s a problem solving analogy that I love doing with parents. 🍼 Val- -#letseatspeech
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology2 weeks ago
Dear Healthy Harold 🦒

I love that you have been around since I was a child. I love that you make kids laugh.

But what I don’t love is when you decide to give nutritional education lessons without realising the impact of your words on little minds. 🍔🌭🍕

The thing is that you don’t know about who you are preaching to. And when you demonise food - you can actually make a child drop foods off their diet. This might sound fine to you but when they only have 6 foods that they do eat- THIS IS A PROBLEM!🍟🥓🥨🥖

some foods are fortified and that means while some cereal may have extra sugar in it- it may be only iron fortified food they actually eat. Something is better than nothing. 🥣

Parents- I always encourage healthy food (called “always” food) but I am okay for my kids and my patients to enjoy “sometimes food”. I don’t make them guilty for eating it.🍎🍐🍊🍌🍓🥒🌶🌽🥕

Because cake is cake and socially cake plays a huge role in celebrating birthdays. It should be enjoyed mindfully in that moment- not guilt ridden because of the sugar in it.🧁🍰🎂

I get the addiction problems with sugar (trust me- slushies and soft drink and me are not friends) but I always want my kids and patients to enjoy food for food and not because “it’s healthy”.🥙🌮🥗

Thank you Healthy Harold- please be mindful that there are some kids with very restricted eating in your student groups and trust me... they are listening.👩🏻‍🦰👦🏽👩🏼‍🦱👨

From a feeding therapist who works with restricted and fussy eaters every day. She has learned a few valuable lessons working with this caseload and would like to share them with you now

Val Gent- Lets eat speech, Newcastle. 🦘
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology
Let's Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology3 weeks ago
BLOG POST UP! the power of .... waiting.

Don't forget to sign up to my mailing list if you would like all of my monthly blog posts sent to your inbox as soon as they are published.

Have a great week, Val
http://www.letseatspeech.com.au/blog/the-power-of-waiting/?preview=true&_thumbnail_id=1847