ezpz’s dynamic community of engaged parents and pediatric professionals are looking for education and resources to help children with their feeding skills. For this reason, I have put together some tips on how to choose and use ezpz products in feeding therapy. Note - this is a blog series, so make sure to check out Part 1 for information on the Tiny Spoon, Happy Mat + ezpz Book Bundle and Play Mat.
Tiny Cup: Learning to drink out of an open cup is an important developmental milestone, and the Tiny Cup is designed to help with that process. Here are some ways you can use this tool with newborns, infants, toddlers and children with special needs.
- Newborns: Consider the Tiny Cup for newborns that are struggling with latching and breastfeeding (and decline the introduction of a bottle). In this therapy, I teach babies how to safely and temporarily feed from a cup while mom waits for breast-feeding assistance from their International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
- Infant: Use the Tiny Cup with babies as a way to introduce them to cup drinking. Open cup drinking is an important feeding milestone.
- Toddlers: The Tiny Cup can be used with young toddlers that did not have open cup introduction when they were babies.
- Special Needs: The Tiny Cup is a great tool to use with children who have motor issues and could benefit from the weight of the cup and the non-slip silicone material. For children with sensory challenges, the soft sensory components of the Tiny Cup soothe sensitive lips and teeth and help with cup drinking compliance.
Mini Mat + Bapron Bundle: ezpz has partnered with our friends at BapronBaby on chic and functional bundles that truly make mealtime ezpz for parents and feeding therapists. The "bapron" is a bib-apron hybrid that gives more comfort and coverage during meals. The Mini Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate that suctions to the table and promotes self-feeding.
- Infant: The Mini Mat and Bapron are a perfect combination for babies at mealtime. This bundle is especially great for parents using the Baby Led Weaning method, as these parents will want to minimize the mess while baby builds their self-feeding skills.
- Toddlers: Both of these items can grow with your young toddler. The Bapron fits little ones from 6 months all the way to 3T, and the Mini Mat transitions to a great on-the-go snack mat once your toddler moves to larger portion sizes. Added bonus: the Mini Mat is dishwasher safe and the Bapron is machine washable!
- Special Needs: Try the Bapron with infants and children who have sensory issues associated with traditional bibs (the tie around the neck can be uncomfortable). You can also use the Mini Mat with children who get their primary nutrition from tube feedings but want to have some additional snacks or small meals in a fun, small-portioned plate!
- Toddlers: Try placing the Micro Mat on the side of the plate with tiny morsels of new foods. Think micro bites, not handfuls, when introducing new foods (e.g., one sunflower seed, one raisin, one new taste of a condiment, etc.).
- Children: The Micro Mat is great for a hesitant child who doesn't want to come to the table or wants to bring their doll (or stuffed animal) into feeding therapy. The Micro Mat can serve as a miniature plate for their stuffed friend! Be sure to use the Happy Mat for the child so they can match.
- Special Needs: Use the Micro Mat as a quiet sensory fidget to relax and calm a child before mealtime. A sensory fidget promotes focus and concentration, strengthen fingers for feeding and decreases anxiety.
Since ezpz products are microwave, freezer and oven safe, they are the go-to gear for all aspects of feeding therapy! And when you're done using our products, just rinse the mats in the sink or pop them in the dishwasher. We would love to hear how you use our feeding line in therapy and/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