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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Mangia Baby Recipe Videos!

Published August 23, 2011 8:09 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

About a year ago, when home with my daughter, who at the time was a very picky eater,

I began feeling so frustrated trying to encourage her to taste new foods. In addition, I had experienced these same issues at work as an SLP, especially when working in homecare. I had visited with many families who vocalized the same complaints about their picky eater(s). Many parents would often be in tears describing their disappointments. They would confide that they were simply unsure about how and what to feed their child!

This unfortunate, but very real theme that seemed to be permeating my life sparked an idea for a solution.

Was there a way to create a tool that parents and therapists could use to help their child eat? My goal was to design a teaching tool that demonstrated:

  1. Strategies to use when feeding a picky eater
  2. Children with healthy eating habits
  3. Children participating in the process of cooking and eating
  4. Simple, easy recipes for parents and therapists to follow both at home and in the classroom.

I knew that whenever I cooked with children and included them in the meal preparation process, they were often more willing to touch, smell and taste the foods before them. Whether working in homecare, doing therapy in the classroom or cooking in my own kitchen, whenever children were exposed to the process of food preparation and allowed to be "hands on" in the kitchen, over time the barriers would begin to fall and new food terrain was willingly explored! Hence, the birth of "Mangia Baby!"

The word "mangia" is an Italian verb, meaning "eat" or "eat up." Growing up as a first generation Italian American (my father came to the United States from Italy with his family when he was 7 years old) I was often told to "Mangia, mangia!" when sitting at the dinner table between my parents.

Cooking, baking, serving others food, and enjoying meals with family has been a part of my life and my family culture for as long as I can remember. So, now that I have created my own family and work with little ones with feeding disorders, I often find myself saying whether out loud or quietly to myself the encouraging hopeful chant of "Mangia, mangia" or "Eat, eat" when presenting them with meals and new dishes.

Below is the link to the three Mangia Baby Recipe Videos I recorded with the help of ADVANCE in early July. The videos can also be currently viewed on the ADVANCE Magazine for Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist's main website.

The first two were recently released and the third, as you will see, will be released next Wednesday (8/31). The three videos highlight fresh seasonal foods and recipes that are perfect for summertime.

When you view them, you will hear my thoughts on why cooking with picky eaters is so important as well as tips for getting the senses engaged. In addition, you will see the children making the recipes, tasting the ingredients along the way and enjoying the finished product at the end! I hope you find them both fun and informative!

Mangia Baby Video Series

I welcome all feedback!  Hearing your thoughts on how the videos are helpful and/or can be improved is important to me!

Please offer suggestions on ways to change and/or improve the content!



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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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