How to Use ezpz Products in Feeding Therapy (Part 1)
Here at ezpz we have a large community of parents and medical professionals specializing in feeding therapy. Both groups ask me questions on how to select and use our products in therapy to help infants, toddlers and school age children learn how to eat. Feeding therapy can be overwhelming for parents (and surprisingly for the feeding therapist too). I’ve broken down the benefits of our products into tidbits of knowledge to make it functional and fun!
P.S. This is a blog series, so make sure to check out Part 2 and Part 3 coming soon.
Tiny Spoon: Learning to self-feed is an important developmental milestone. The ezpz Tiny Spoon is designed to help baby learn how to feed independently. Here are some ways you can use the Tiny Spoon with infants, toddlers and children with special needs.
- Infants: Use the Tiny Spoon with babies as a way to introduce them to their 4-month old and 6-month old spoon feeding milestones. This spoon is especially helpful with babies who have a history of gagging on spoons, since the sensory bumps and raised rim provide sensory awareness to decrease gagging.
- Toddlers: Present the Tiny Spoon with young toddlers that did not have spoon introduction when they were babies. These kiddos may be a little behind the curve and could use a spoon that is designed to help them achieve their fine motor and feeding milestones.
- Special Needs: Try the Tiny Spoon with children who have motor issues and could benefit from the short, fat, round handle and the non-slip silicone material. For children with sensory challenges, the soft sensory bumps on the spoon will help them overcome texture transitions.
Happy Mat + ezpz Book Bundle: Learning how to offer a variety of foods to picky eaters in a creative way is a struggle for both parents and feeding therapists. Here are some ways to introduce this dynamic mealtime bundle into therapy!
- Toddlers: Use the book Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat as a guide to make eye-catching, 5-minute mealtime creations that toddlers can’t wait to eat!
- Children: Get your kiddos in the kitchen! The ezpz book lies flat on the kitchen counter for easy reading. Plus, the pages are practically spill resistant – a must for cooking with kids.
- Special Needs: The Happy Mat (all-in-one plate + placemat) is made out of food safe silicone with a delightful sensory texture kids love to touch, explore and eat out of.
Play Mat: The opportunity to explore and play with food is critical in any feeding therapy program. The ezpz Play Mat is designed to help children learn that food play is fun and trying new foods is not so scary!
- Infants: Present it as a tool for introducing a variety of food tastes and textures. You can also use it as a messy-play puree station!
- Toddlers: Use the Play Mat to introduce new foods to hesitant toddlers as a novel way to explore food without the social pressure of eating off a plate. A DIY taco bar, for example, is a real treat in feeding therapy. It gives the toddler some control around food, which sets the groundwork for adventurous eating!
- Children: Try the Play Mat in feeding therapy for developing cooking skills like making sandwiches, decorating cookies or kneading pizza dough. Since the mat suctions to the table, it’s also a great tool to develop the fine motor skills needed for using cookie cutters, a rolling pin or measuring cups.
- Special Needs: Use the Play Mat with children with Autism, down syndrome or Sensory Processing Disorder as a way to expose them to sensory play (foam, shaving cream, Play-dough, kinetic sand, etc.). Utilize the flower petals of the Play Mat to hold fun food items like nuts, chocolate chips or cereal; each time they pick up a morsel of food they are working on their pincer grasp!
Since ezpz products don’t stain and are food grade safe, they are perfect for all types of feeding therapy, whether it’s sensory, motor or play-based intervention! We would love to hear how you use our feeding line in therapy or at mealtime. Make sure to tag us @ezpzfun and use the hashtags #ezpzfun #myezpzmat so we can share your pictures and tips with our community of parents and therapists!
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).