Tuesday, May 6, 2008

About Me

Welcome! My name is Holli.

What you find here is a culmination of my some of my greatest passions: cooking, sharing good food with others, and helping children overcome their feeding issues.

My primary calling is being a mom and I have four children who are my greatest pride and joy. I did not know my way around the kitchen before they entered the world nor did I have any idea that cooking for these little individuals would eventually lead me to one of my current favorite past times.

My educational background is with children with speech, language, and feeding disorders. I earned my degree as a certified Speech-Language Pathologist more than fifteen years ago and worked with children who had a multitude of disorders, syndromes, and diagnoses. I found great joy helping children with medically-related feeding issues and even grieved when I left the professional world to a raise a family.

My passion of helping children with feeding disorders became a personal journey with the birth of my second son. I thought I knew the professional side well, but found myself in uncharted territory when it was my own son who had a medical feeding problem. I intimately learned the side of the patient and know firsthand how painful and frustrating of a journey it can be.

Since the time of my son's diagnoses, I have been doing everything possible to help him enjoy food, which has placed both him and I in the kitchen. Often. It was here that my love for cooking turned into a passion. However, I am rarely in the kitchen alone; my children's passion for cooking is increasing daily and they are often the ones asking me if we can cook or bake something together.

Whether you are here because of a joy of food, a desire to learn more about cooking for your family, have a child who has medically related feeding issues or is a picky eater, or are just looking for a new recipe, I'm glad our paths crossed. Feel free to make yourself comfortable and look around. Email me anytime with questions or comments, especially if you have a child who has feeding issues...I am willing to help you if I can!

Now, let's get back into the kitchen. We've got some cooking to do!


Vswan said...

I appreciate your candor on the subject of picky eaters. I too have a picky eater and at one time was a picky eater. Food is not important to my 9 year old son. I did see a councilor on this topic – which wasn’t helpful. We then turned to the U of W, they gave us some vague ideas that you hit on all their recommendations. I was never given any follow-up or suggestions of therapy. I’m wondering two things what is your bread recipe? And you mentioned food therapy? I’ve heard of these types of things for children with a diagnosis. My oldest does not have any diagnosis. We’ve learned to compensate. I’m wondering if we could do more in a structured program.

Your blog was recommend by a dear friend – Four for France ;-) I’m tickled I found your idea.

Mamahollioni said...

You've touched on quite a few things that I would love to help you with. First, I will post my basic bread recipe for you....look for it in the next couple of days. Second, services are available for you for feeding therapy. It depends on where you live in. Some states offer feeding therapy by occupational therapists (OT) and others by speech-language pathologists (SLP). It varies from state to state, city by city, and even county by county. You don't need a diagnosis before going to see them...either professional would be able to fully evaluate your son and give him a diagnosis as well as a treatment plan and recommendatioins for the future. I am working on several other articles in my series "Practical Help for Your Picky Eater" that touches on this more in-depth, but you can start by asking your son's pediatrician for a referral to see an OT or SLP. After a full evaluation, they can offer your son much more help. What I've touched on so far is a mere smidgen of the services that are available.

I'm tickled you found this blog as well....that's exactly why I am doing this...for people who are unaware of the services available and need help. Please let me know what other questions you have.

Vswan said...

We tried your bread and cinnamon rolls. They were a hit! Riley, my picky child, made the bread. We even left it rising to do an unexpected errand -- it didn't make a difference that we noticed :-)

I didn't know that SLP's know about food therapy. Riley is hard-of-hearing from birth. He's taken speach therapy since he was 2 1/2 yrs old. This is the first year, 9 years old, that he no longer sees the school speach therapist. No one ever mentions food but I guess I never asked or said anything. I will bring it up with the pediatrician. Riley has come a long way but the steps are so small it is often hard to remember any were taken. I am a picky eater, so I'm also an enabler. We've been working on his coping skills -- drink milk if you are really hungry and at a friends house that doesn't have anything he wants/likes. We too have the no negative talk rule! If you comment on it you eat it, is the rule. Riley learned this rule quickly after his incident with guacamole ;-)

I liked your third segment! We live in Bellevue, Washington. I'll research if some SLP's have these specialities, then I'll go to the DR. I've learned I can get a brick wall if I don't know exactly what I need.

I'm glad you are putting your experience out there for other people!!

Mamahollioni said...

I am so glad that Riley liked the bread and cinnamon rolls. It's been awhile since you posted this comment--have you tried it again? Are you seeing any continued progress? Did you have any luck in your search for a feeding specialist in your area? I've been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing. Let me know if you have a chance!