You Can't Make Your Baby Eat with Heidi Liefer Moreland, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CLC

  • What you’re unconsciously doing at mealtimes that pressure your baby to eat…and how to stop
  • How to help your baby succeed at solid food, without doing the feeding for them 
  • Why excessive cheerleading at meals is counterproductive…and what to say instead



Episode Description

 What if my baby isn’t eating? Is there something I can do to make my baby eat? Heidi Moreland is here to help us stop providing external motivation at mealtimes and start supporting our baby’s internal motivation to feed themselves solid food.


About the Guest

  • Heidi Moreland is an SLP and feeding therapist and coach
  • She teaches families how to succeed at mealtimes 

Other Episode Related to this Topic

Links from Episode

Resources & Research

  • Bahorski, J. S., Childs, G. D., Loan, L. A., Azuero, A., Morrison, S. A., Chandler-Laney, P. C., Hodges, E. A., & Rice, M. H. (2019). Self-efficacy, infant feeding practices, and infant weight gain: An integrative review. Journal of child health care : for professionals working with children in the hospital and community, 23(2), 286–310.
  • Cormack, J., Rowell, K., & Postăvaru, G. I. (2020). Self-Determination Theory as a Theoretical Framework for a Responsive Approach to Child Feeding. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 52(6), 646–651.
Click Here for Episode Transcript Toggle answer visibility

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<v SPEAKER_1>This is one of my favorite times of the year, you guys, because Baby-Led Weaning Day is coming up on July 1st.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So quick history on Baby-Led Weaning Day.

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<v SPEAKER_1>In 2021, we designated July 1st to be National Baby-Led Weaning Day.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And I did that in honor of Jill Rapley, who's the founding philosopher of Baby-Led Weaning, the co-author of the original Baby-Led Weaning book.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And Jill really advocated for this idea of waiting until babies are ready to start feeding themselves before we start solid foods.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And that's gonna occur around the six-month mark.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So July 1st is National Baby-Led Weaning Day because it's six full months into the year, right?

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<v SPEAKER_1>If your proverbial baby was born on January 1st, then on July 1st, your baby would be six months old and very likely starting to show you those reliable signs of readiness to eat.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So if your baby is starting solid foods with baby-led weaning soon, or if you started with some purees, but you wanna make the switch to finger foods and do some baby-led weaning, this is a great time to get moving.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And we will be celebrating baby-led weaning day with a big sale.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So right now, when you join the baby-led weaning email newsletter list, you'll be able to get $50 off of my signature online program.

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<v SPEAKER_1>It's called Baby-Led Weaning With Katie Ferraro.

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<v SPEAKER_1>That will run from July 1st to July 3rd.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And this is the program where I show you exactly how to make all of the 100 foods from the 100 first foods list for your baby, along with instructional videos and recipes.

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<v SPEAKER_1>I've got the whole 100 first foods daily meal plan.

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<v SPEAKER_1>That's got literally everything done for you so that you don't have to worry about what food to offer your baby next or how to make that food safe.

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<v SPEAKER_1>When you join the email newsletter, you'll get expert tips about starting solid foods safely that are tailored to your baby's exact age and stage.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So if you head to my website, it's babyledweaning.co and scroll to the bottom, you can add yourself to the list there and then you'll be all set up for that big Baby-Led Weaning Day sale that's coming up July 1st to 3rd.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Again, that website is babyledweaning.co.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Join the newsletter and I'll see you in your inbox.

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<v SPEAKER_1>What are the best foods for your baby when you're starting Baby-Led Weaning?

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<v SPEAKER_1>Now, there are no right or wrong foods for starting solid foods safely, but if you are looking for inspiration and ideas on foods your baby can eat, I have a free feeding guide called 10 Easy Starter Foods for Baby-Led Weaning that will give you a bit of a roadmap.

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<v SPEAKER_1>I packed this feeding guide full with two weeks full of new solid foods that your baby can eat, and I also include tips on how to make them safer in order to lower the choking risk.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So you can download this free feeding guide.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Again, it's called 10 Easy Starter Foods for Baby-Led Weaning, and it has prep descriptions in there as well.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Go to babyledweaning.co/resources.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Again, that's babyledweaning.co/resources to download the 10 Easy Starter Foods for Baby-Led Weaning free feeding guide.

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<v SPEAKER_2>They jump right in with the cereal or whatever the puree is.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Just jump right in and bring it right to the kid's mouth without waiting for their little one to open their mouth, without waiting to see if they'll lean in.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And then if they're not interested right away, or if they close their mouth and turn away, the next thing the parent does is double up.

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<v SPEAKER_2>They amp up what they're doing and then they start making funny faces and dancing around and doing all these things.

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<v SPEAKER_2>I actually saw a kiddo one time.

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<v SPEAKER_2>It still makes me sad to think about it.

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<v SPEAKER_2>He was so cute and his parents were so worried about him not eating that they would make him laugh.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And when he opened his mouth to laugh, they would jam the food in his mouth.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And he had gotten by the time I saw him is he was laughing with his mouth closed like this, because he was afraid that they were gonna put food in his mouth.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And I thought, oh my gosh, he didn't trust his parents now.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Unintentionally, they were well-meaning and he was not their first child.

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<v SPEAKER_2>They were just so worried.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Hey there, I'm Katie Ferraro, registered dietitian, college nutrition professor and mom of seven, specializing in baby-led weaning.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Here on the Baby-Led Weaning With Katie Ferraro podcast, I help you strip out all of the noise and nonsense about feeding, giving you the confidence and knowledge you need to give your baby a safe start to solid foods using baby-led weaning.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Okay, how stressful is it when you get all ready for your baby to have a meal, like you got him set up in the high chair and you prepped all this food and then you put it in front of them and what happens?

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<v SPEAKER_1>Nothing, okay?

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<v SPEAKER_1>The baby doesn't want anything to do with it.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And then what happens to us?

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<v SPEAKER_1>Well, we're human, so we automatically default to like, oh my gosh, what am I doing wrong?

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<v SPEAKER_1>It's human nature to worry.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Well, what if my baby's not getting enough?

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<v SPEAKER_1>And then that spirals into, oh my gosh, how do I get my baby to eat this food?

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<v SPEAKER_1>How do I make my baby eat this food?

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<v SPEAKER_1>And then the next thing you know, we're doing all sorts of ridiculous stuff, like trying to play airplane or chew chew with the spoon or trick the baby into eating foods.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Well, my guest today is all about avoiding this totally preventable chain of events.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And that's by helping to support baby's internal motivations to eat versus what we as adults have a tendency to do, which is to make up external motivations and try to make them eat.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Our guest is Heidi Moreland.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Heidi is a speech language pathologist and a feeding therapist.

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<v SPEAKER_1>She was on the podcast way back about four years ago in episode 50, it was called How Tube-Fed Babies Can Become Independent Eaters.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And Heidi and her business partner, Jennifer Berry, who's an OT, they're both feeding therapists, they run an intensive tube feeding program.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And while she also provides feeding therapy in both remote and in-person sessions, Heidi is increasingly embracing the coaching model, okay?

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<v SPEAKER_1>And the coaching model is very thoroughly embraced by early intervention programs.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And as a feeding coach, what Heidi does is helps families recognize their capacity to help the baby achieve a goal.

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<v SPEAKER_1>That's different than the traditional therapy model.

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<v SPEAKER_1>In feeding therapy, therapists would recognize here's what the problem is, this is what's wrong with the baby, and then here's how we're going to fix it.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And that doesn't always involve the family.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So in this episode, Heidi's gonna coach us through some examples.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Okay, how can we stop externally motivating our baby?

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<v SPEAKER_1>She's not gonna shame you because there's a lot of practices and behaviors that we all do unintentionally that may be serving as external motivators.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And instead, what are the slight changes that we can make in the feeding routine, the feeding dynamic, the feeding relationship, in order to allow our babies to explore and embrace their own internal motivations as they learn how to eat solid foods?

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<v SPEAKER_1>So Heidi will share her thoughts as a recovered excessive cheerleader at mealtimes.

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<v SPEAKER_1>But we're gonna talk about why constantly praising your baby when they're eating can actually have the opposite of the desired effect.

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<v SPEAKER_1>She'll share a few other do's and don'ts, which by no means are food rules, but rather suggestions from a seasoned feeding therapist on how you can help your baby become internally motivated to eat.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Okay, ultimately that's our goal here, right?

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<v SPEAKER_1>To raise babies that become people who like real food and enjoy real food.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And that ultimately gives us way less work and less stress and less heartache down the road.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So one thing I love about doing this podcast is having the opportunity to interview other feeding and nutrition experts like Heidi Moreland.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And if you're not already following this podcast, please hit subscribe wherever you're listening so that both of the weekly episodes that I release will show up in your podcast feed.

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<v SPEAKER_1>I do a mini Baby-Led Weaning training episode every Monday and a longer feeding expert interview every Thursday.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So please subscribe.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And if you have a mom friend who's also starting solid food soon, please tell her about the Baby-Led Weaning With Katie Ferraro podcast as well, because your word of mouth recommendations are so important to helping parents find this information that they're looking for.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And I know sometimes you're out there looking for, how do I make my baby eat?

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<v SPEAKER_1>That's not the goal here, okay?

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<v SPEAKER_1>Our goal is to how do we get our baby to want to eat the food on their own?

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<v SPEAKER_1>And with no further ado, I want to bring on Heidi Moreland from Thrive with Spectrum Feeding to talk about internal motivation for babies who are learning how to eat solid food.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Katie, I think this is actually really a great time for this interview because I have just been in contact over the past couple of weeks with a great friend who is sending me videos of her kiddo learning to eat.

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<v SPEAKER_2>She was nervous because she was saying that he wasn't into spoon foods, even the foods that babies typically like.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And she's actually someone who knows kids well.

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<v SPEAKER_2>She was the nursery director at the preschool at her church.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so she was with kids every day, all day, all day long.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And she still was a little anxious about the fact that he didn't like some foods.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So she was sending me videos.

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<v SPEAKER_2>We were going back and forth and I was recommending that she give him some things to nibble on or like to mouth around on like a pizza crust and some of those other things.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And he actually loves them.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And as of this morning, he was actually enjoying some of those things, but he's still in the stage of gagging a few things.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And she was worried about how that looked and felt.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And it was just helpful to her for her to have some reassurance with that.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So it's something that is big for everybody.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Absolutely.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And Heidi, I love that she just sent you videos, but now I'm kind of a voyeur.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Like, tell me what was in the videos.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Like, do you have a background, obviously in feeding therapy, but you also do coaching as well, which is helping parents realize that they have the capacity to help their babies do this hard thing, which is learning how to eat solid foods.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Were there any corrections or suggestions, constructive criticism that you gave?

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<v SPEAKER_1>I mean, this is your friend, so obviously you're not shaming her at all, but things you saw in the video that maybe she thought was totally okay, and you're like, ooh, as an expert in this, maybe you could try this.

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<v SPEAKER_1>What sort of feedback would you give in a coaching session like that?

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<v SPEAKER_2>The first thing that I talked to her about, so I have met this little guy and he's super social.

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<v SPEAKER_2>He's super interactive.

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<v SPEAKER_2>He went from person to person to person at this event.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So I knew he could kind of roll with the punches already.

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<v SPEAKER_2>He wasn't a super sensitive kiddo, which I would probably have given different advice for someone who I knew their kid might be a little more sensitive to things.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So she was trying really hard to spoon feed him very gently and carefully.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so the first thing that I suggested was that she put the spoon down and let him pick it up himself.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And then the second thing that I suggested because she tried so many baby foods and was worried that he didn't enjoy the flavors that she said kids typically like, like the sweet potato puree and all those things, which is true, a lot of kids like those.

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<v SPEAKER_2>But I recommended that she try some of the foods she was eating so he could pick them up.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And for example, she was eating pizza that night.

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<v SPEAKER_2>I recommended that she try a pizza crust, which she was super happy to bring to his mouth and gnaw around on a little bit.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And the video she sent me today was watermelon.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So I was suggesting that, and he was gagging and spitting it out, but then you could see him really concentrating on trading and trying to move it around in his mouth and do that.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So my advice was that if he continues to look like he's learning, then let him keep going.

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<v SPEAKER_2>But if it looked like it was scaring him or he was more hesitant, then I was recommending that she back up a little bit and go back to some of the purees.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Cause I know there was some flavors that he really liked.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so if it had gone on and on and on and he was scared and her reassurance didn't help, then I was recommending that we touch base again and see what else we could come up with for him.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Her reaction to her baby's first reactions to food, which is, oh my gosh, maybe he doesn't like these foods.

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<v SPEAKER_1>We hear parents all the time like, I'm trying this brand and that brand and I changed and I'm doing this.

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<v SPEAKER_1>It's like, it reminds me of, as Jill Rapley, the founder of the Baby-Led Weaning philosophy said, it's not the foods that the babies dislike, it's the feeding being done to them.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And so your suggestion of let's just turn the table here and let the baby be the one picking up the food and see how that goes.

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<v SPEAKER_1>To your friend, you mentioned she had a strong background, obviously in child development, but maybe she's never seen a baby successfully feeding themselves or just thought, oh gosh, you always see pictures of parents shoving spoons of food in the baby's mouth and they're putting their hands up and resisting it.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And you maybe think that that's how it's supposed to look.

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<v SPEAKER_1>Just that simple suggestion probably opened her eyes to like, oh my gosh, babies can do so many more things than we think they can.

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<v SPEAKER_2>What was funny is what she said was she's like, Katie, I was trying to do it all right.

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<v SPEAKER_2>She wanted to do it in the right order at the right time.

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<v SPEAKER_2>She had this cereal that had all the allergens in that you were gonna get it in the right order.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so she was trying so hard to do what had been recommended for her because she waited a long time for this baby.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And she just wanted to do it in the exact, absolute best right way because she was so delighted with her time with him.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so she just wanted to make a wrong step, you know, and go out of order.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And every mom, like you said, it's all about, do I feel like a good mom?

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<v SPEAKER_1>I wanna do what's right for my baby.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And I know our topic today is what motivates babies to eat.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And we were talking before the interview that the title is almost purposely misleading because I know parents are looking up, how do I make my baby eat?

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<v SPEAKER_1>And so I'm asking you how to motivate your baby to eat.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And I'm wondering if we can start out by talking, you know, kind of zooming out and first looking at the difference between external versus internal motivation.

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<v SPEAKER_1>And as a feeding therapist who works with both typically developing as well as children with feeding challenges, what do you suggest for helping to support that internal motivation?

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<v SPEAKER_1>Because shoving a spoon of food in a baby's mouth, just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should.

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<v SPEAKER_1>So let's start with the difference between internal and external motivation, if possible.

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<v SPEAKER_2>That is a great question.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And I think it's sort of intuitive, but at the same time, it really helps to think about it in the context of feeding.

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<v SPEAKER_2>So externally motivating is you're doing it something because somebody else wants you to do it, or because somebody is rewarding you to do it.

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<v SPEAKER_2>It was their idea.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Whereas internally motivated is something that comes from your own desires, something that you want to eat or you want to engage in.

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<v SPEAKER_2>It's sort of the difference between a kiddo sitting on your lap and grabbing the spoon off your plate and bringing it to their mouth themselves, versus sitting them in a chair and putting them down and bringing the spoon or the food or whatever directly to their mouth.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Doesn't mean they don't want the food once it gets to their mouth, but it wasn't motivating.

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<v SPEAKER_2>It wasn't their idea and it wasn't their execution to do it.

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<v SPEAKER_2>And so, that's sort of the two differences.

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<v SPEAKER_2>I think where it gets entangled a little bit for kids learning to eat is that they need our help.

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<v SPEAKER_2>Like, kids are dependent on us for a lot of things.

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<v SPEAKER_2>They're not going to go to the store and buy the food.

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<v SPEAKER_2>You know, this is a coexisting sort of relationship.

00:14:06.745 --> 00:14:08.605

<v SPEAKER_2>You're doing it with your child together.

00:14:08.645 --> 00:14:17.205

<v SPEAKER_2>And so, that's where I think the line gets blurred a little bit of people wanting to do more, thinking their child isn't capable as much as they actually are.

00:14:18.265 --> 00:14:20.865

<v SPEAKER_1>Hey, we're going to take a quick break, but I'll be right back.

00:14:25.405 --> 00:14:27.125

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00:14:27.225 --> 00:14:29.365

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00:14:59.465 --> 00:15:00.745

<v SPEAKER_1>And it's hard to accept that, right?

00:15:00.765 --> 00:15:05.345

<v SPEAKER_1>Cause your baby's been 100% dependent on you for providing nutrition for our exclusively breastfed babies.

00:15:05.365 --> 00:15:06.265

<v SPEAKER_1>Like you're the one who did it.

00:15:06.285 --> 00:15:07.125

<v SPEAKER_1>You kept them all alive.

00:15:07.145 --> 00:15:13.285

<v SPEAKER_1>And if you're using formula or bottle feeding or combination at the end of the day, you're either making it, you're buying it, you're putting it in the bottle.

00:15:13.305 --> 00:15:29.085

<v SPEAKER_1>But I think the more we talk about responsive feeding methods, and if we start to look at, you know, even from the very, very first sips of infant milk, whatever that may be, we're looking for our baby's cues and they're telling us things about if they need more cause they're crying or if they're full, cause they turn their head from the bottle in the breast.

00:15:29.765 --> 00:15:38.885

<v SPEAKER_1>My big concern with conventional adult-led spoon feeding is we're totally taking away the baby's autonomy to be involved in that conversation if we shove arbitrary amounts of food down their mouth.

00:15:38.905 --> 00:15:47.365

<v SPEAKER_1>And I know you, from your background, you are a feeding therapist and we've talked about this that sometimes therapy is perceived as, oh, there is a problem and I, the therapist, am going to fix it.

00:15:47.605 --> 00:15:57.785

<v SPEAKER_1>But in your coaching model, it's, hey, tell me what's going on and then let me provide some suggestions so that you, the family, can have the capacity and the efficacy to do it yourself.

00:15:57.825 --> 00:16:05.325

<v SPEAKER_1>And so for the families that you work with, could you give me some examples of how, like you said, like putting the spoon down and let the baby pick it up.

00:16:05.345 --> 00:16:11.145

<v SPEAKER_1>Some more things like that where it's like, let's flip the switch so either mom or the dad or the grandparent am not the one doing the feeding.

00:16:11.425 --> 00:16:15.885

<v SPEAKER_1>How can we help the baby be motivated to feed themselves without forcing them to eat?

00:16:16.345 --> 00:16:21.865

<v SPEAKER_2>Yeah, so we are internally motivated to eat for lots of different reasons.

00:16:21.945 --> 00:16:27.365

<v SPEAKER_2>For kids at this age, curiosity and imitation is such a big driver.

00:16:27.925 --> 00:16:34.405

<v SPEAKER_2>So often I see kids who don't seem like they want to do it, but what it means is they don't want to be fed.

00:16:34.945 --> 00:16:37.705

<v SPEAKER_2>What they want to do is be like you and do what you're doing.

00:16:38.085 --> 00:16:46.665

<v SPEAKER_2>So often if kids look like they're not interested, yet you put them down in front of your plate, you know, their hands are all over the place and they're grabbing and they're doing all those things.

00:16:46.685 --> 00:16:52.605

<v SPEAKER_2>And so the first thing that we would do is zoom out and look at the situation and say things like, have you tried them in another place?

00:16:52.685 --> 00:16:54.585

<v SPEAKER_2>What does he do if he's sitting on your lap?

00:16:54.605 --> 00:16:59.205

<v SPEAKER_2>What does she do if she was up a little bit higher and her hands could reach the food herself?

00:16:59.345 --> 00:17:00.785

<v SPEAKER_2>So we talk through some of those things.

00:17:00.925 --> 00:17:02.245

<v SPEAKER_2>What does she do for other things?

00:17:02.265 --> 00:17:03.165

<v SPEAKER_2>What's interesting to her?

00:17:03.185 --> 00:17:03.905

<v SPEAKER_2>What does she like?

00:17:04.665 --> 00:17:10.025

<v SPEAKER_2>We know in terms of food choices that kids are drawn to color, like just bright things.

00:17:10.545 --> 00:17:15.445

<v SPEAKER_2>They're more likely to grab things that you're eating or things that are bright and interesting to their eyes.

00:17:15.465 --> 00:17:17.005

<v SPEAKER_2>You know, that just catches their attention.

00:17:17.805 --> 00:17:19.645

<v SPEAKER_2>And so we do talk a lot about that.

00:17:19.665 --> 00:17:21.325

<v SPEAKER_2>We talk a lot about, well, what do you eat?

00:17:21.545 --> 00:17:24.325

<v SPEAKER_2>What have they seen you eating all these past months?

00:17:24.345 --> 00:17:25.225

<v SPEAKER_2>What do you enjoy?

00:17:25.245 --> 00:17:32.725

<v SPEAKER_2>Are you a family who is vegetarian and you eat a lot of things with broth and bumps, with some pieces of bread?

00:17:32.745 --> 00:17:33.845

<v SPEAKER_2>Or are you meat eaters?

00:17:33.845 --> 00:17:34.705

<v SPEAKER_2>Like, what do you do?

00:17:34.725 --> 00:17:35.645

<v SPEAKER_2>What do they see you eat?

00:17:35.665 --> 00:17:41.285

<v SPEAKER_2>And what are some things that might be safe for them to pick up and bring to the mouth themselves to explore?

00:17:41.305 --> 00:17:44.925

<v SPEAKER_2>So that's what our coaching starts with, is asking a lot of questions.

00:17:45.525 --> 00:17:47.605

<v SPEAKER_1>And at the end of the day, you're making the parents' life easier.

00:17:47.625 --> 00:17:52.125

<v SPEAKER_1>Like, you know, you don't eat some boring gruel with a bunch of allergens added to it.

00:17:52.145 --> 00:17:56.125

<v SPEAKER_1>Like, we can use food to introduce babies to food, including the allergenic foods.

00:17:56.145 --> 00:17:58.925

<v SPEAKER_1>And I, as a dietitian, I take a food-first approach.

00:17:58.945 --> 00:18:00.905

<v SPEAKER_1>Like, let's look at the food you're already eating.

00:18:00.925 --> 00:18:05.165

<v SPEAKER_1>And I think a lot of parents are also particularly hesitant about spices and seasoning.

00:18:05.185 --> 00:18:06.485

<v SPEAKER_1>And it's like, I hate to break it to you.

00:18:06.505 --> 00:18:09.745

<v SPEAKER_1>But like, all those flavor compounds traveled via your amniotic fluid.

00:18:09.765 --> 00:18:12.285

<v SPEAKER_1>So during pregnancy, your baby was getting exposure to these taste compounds.

00:18:12.325 --> 00:18:13.745

<v SPEAKER_1>They traveled through your breast milks.

00:18:13.765 --> 00:18:15.445

<v SPEAKER_1>Your baby's already been exposed to a lot of stuff.

00:18:15.465 --> 00:18:22.905

<v SPEAKER_1>Like, if Ethiopian families feed babies Ethiopian food and they eat those spices, and in Nepal babies eat Nepalese foods with those spices.

00:18:22.925 --> 00:18:29.025

<v SPEAKER_1>So like, you obviously short of, you know, super spicy that would injure the baby, or really salty or added sugars, like go for it.

00:18:29.045 --> 00:18:32.245

<v SPEAKER_1>Like make safe variations of the same foods you're eating.

00:18:32.485 --> 00:18:39.845

<v SPEAKER_1>But obviously as feeding experts, we understand like you don't sit down at six months of age and give your baby straight up lasagna and be like, oh my gosh, they're not eating it.

00:18:39.845 --> 00:18:43.905

<v SPEAKER_1>Cause this learning to eat process is a contingency, which leads to my next question.

00:18:44.325 --> 00:18:51.065

<v SPEAKER_1>How do you help the parents who, I mean, we live in information age overload, everyone wants everything instantaneously.

00:18:51.525 --> 00:18:54.445

<v SPEAKER_1>If you don't, if your hook doesn't catch them in the first three seconds, people aren't interested.

00:18:54.465 --> 00:19:00.265

<v SPEAKER_1>But like this process of learning how to eat, you know, experientially it can take a baby between eight and 12 weeks before they really get the hang.

00:19:00.505 --> 00:19:02.405

<v SPEAKER_1>And you even would consider dropping a milk feed.

00:19:02.825 --> 00:19:04.845

<v SPEAKER_1>And most parents are like, oh, I'm not here for that.

00:19:04.865 --> 00:19:08.345

<v SPEAKER_1>It's like, well, hang on, you have to feed this person for the next 17 and a half years of its life.

00:19:08.705 --> 00:19:15.765

<v SPEAKER_1>These eight to 12 weeks where you're giving them the period to explore the food so that it all clicks and they can start doing it themselves, to me, that seems worth it.

00:19:16.225 --> 00:19:24.285

<v SPEAKER_1>How do you, I'm not saying convince families, but how do you speak to families in coaching of like, slow down, chill, back up and let your baby learn how to eat.

00:19:24.325 --> 00:19:25.365

<v SPEAKER_1>And it does take time.

00:19:25.385 --> 00:19:27.545

<v SPEAKER_1>How do you put that messaging out into the world?

00:19:28.125 --> 00:19:33.345

<v SPEAKER_2>One of the examples we use a lot is learning to swim because a lot of people have gone through that process.

00:19:33.365 --> 00:19:36.885

<v SPEAKER_2>And the first thing we talk about, cause parents all say, well, they don't know how to eat solids yet.

00:19:37.405 --> 00:19:40.105

<v SPEAKER_2>And so our point is always, that's how you learn to eat solids.

00:19:40.125 --> 00:19:43.085

<v SPEAKER_2>You don't know how to eat solids before you eat the solids.

00:19:43.105 --> 00:19:44.565

<v SPEAKER_2>You learn them by eating them.

00:19:45.205 --> 00:19:51.465

<v SPEAKER_2>But also like, if you're learning to swim, sometimes it helps to pull out of the feeding a little bit and talk about it in a different way.

00:19:51.465 --> 00:19:54.285

<v SPEAKER_2>So, and they're not walkers yet, most of the kids in this stage.

00:19:54.305 --> 00:19:56.245

<v SPEAKER_2>So that's not a helpful story either.

00:19:56.665 --> 00:20:05.685

<v SPEAKER_2>But if we talk about, if you remember learning how to swim, if you were learning how to swim standing on the dock, you wouldn't be swimming, you'd just be flapping your arms around.

00:20:06.085 --> 00:20:12.125

<v SPEAKER_2>You have to be in the water engaged in it, doing it in order to learn how to swim.

00:20:12.145 --> 00:20:15.645

<v SPEAKER_2>You have to be engaged in it, but you also didn't learn immediately.

00:20:15.865 --> 00:20:24.765

<v SPEAKER_2>You went to swimming lessons for weeks and weeks and weeks, learning how to do all those different pieces or messing around at the pool in the summer or going to the beach or whatever, like that was a process.

00:20:24.885 --> 00:20:33.505

<v SPEAKER_2>And so when we talk about food being or eating being learned and talking about the process in which you learn, then it's a lot easier to break it down into a lot smaller steps.

00:20:33.525 --> 00:20:37.225

<v SPEAKER_2>At first, you learn how to do the big things and then you learn how to do the little things.

00:20:37.245 --> 00:20:42.545

<v SPEAKER_2>And that seems to be helpful for most families of pulling it out of the food for a minute and talking about something else.

00:20:43.125 --> 00:20:53.785

<v SPEAKER_1>And most parents, they will tell us, ultimately, my desire, my hope for my children is that they will grow up to have a love of food and know how to eat real food and actually enjoy it.

00:20:53.805 --> 00:20:57.645

<v SPEAKER_1>Like nobody wants to short order cook for their kids or have extreme picky eating.

00:20:57.665 --> 00:21:04.025

<v SPEAKER_1>And it's so wonderful that there are feeding therapists out there that if things do go wrong, we can go to them for help.

00:21:04.225 --> 00:21:13.065

<v SPEAKER_1>But also I know from my feeding therapy colleagues, the vast majority of them will say, most of what I see in toddlers would have been totally preventable had the child been allowed to have some more autonomy in the learning how to eat phase.

00:21:13.085 --> 00:21:23.185

<v SPEAKER_1>And so my question for you is for the parents that are particularly high strung and anxious, and I mean, I self identify as a type A person, like I wanna do everything for you because I can do this better than you.

00:21:23.825 --> 00:21:29.525

<v SPEAKER_1>What do you say to those parents who want to do it for their baby, but also are like, oh, well, I want them to grow up to eat real food.

00:21:29.865 --> 00:21:35.705

<v SPEAKER_1>How do we help them back off and allow that baby to develop some more of that internal motivation that doesn't happen overnight?

00:21:36.125 --> 00:21:36.445

<v SPEAKER_2>Right.

00:21:36.865 --> 00:21:41.385

<v SPEAKER_2>I think what we do often is give them some jobs that is their job to do.

00:21:41.785 --> 00:21:43.405

<v SPEAKER_2>You do get to choose some foods.

00:21:43.885 --> 00:21:45.105

<v SPEAKER_2>What does your baby enjoy?

00:21:45.125 --> 00:21:47.665

<v SPEAKER_2>What flavors have they seemed to be interested in the past?

00:21:47.685 --> 00:21:49.505

<v SPEAKER_2>Which of your foods are they interested in?

00:21:49.805 --> 00:21:52.125

<v SPEAKER_2>Start thinking about some of those things.

00:21:52.245 --> 00:21:55.705

<v SPEAKER_2>As the grownup, you are the center of the environment.

00:21:55.725 --> 00:21:58.705

<v SPEAKER_2>You get to choose how that is all set up and you get to pick the foods.

00:21:59.185 --> 00:22:09.225

<v SPEAKER_2>That means, like if you were having a guest, if I was coming over to your home, you would make foods probably that you think I would enjoy, that we could sit down and enjoy together.

00:22:09.245 --> 00:22:13.325

<v SPEAKER_2>If I was a vegetarian, you wouldn't go and make a whole, and you knew it.

00:22:13.745 --> 00:22:17.645

<v SPEAKER_2>You wouldn't go make a roast for me and put all these other foods in.

00:22:17.665 --> 00:22:21.325

<v SPEAKER_2>You would think about what I enjoy and create a meal in that way.

00:22:21.345 --> 00:22:30.145

<v SPEAKER_2>And so I think putting it in that mindset of choosing some things that match with what your kiddo has shown interest in in the past is super helpful.

00:22:30.445 --> 00:22:33.045

<v SPEAKER_1>Hey, we're gonna take a quick break, but I'll be right back.

00:22:39.196 --> 00:22:41.596

<v SPEAKER_5>Look, Bumble knows you're exhausted by dating.

00:22:41.996 --> 00:22:50.996

<v SPEAKER_5>All the must-not-take-yourself-too-seriously, and six-one-since-that-matters, and what do I even say other than, hey?

00:22:52.936 --> 00:23:01.276

<v SPEAKER_5>Well, that's why they're introducing an all-new Bumble with exciting features to make compatibility easier, starting the chat better, and dating safer.

00:23:01.716 --> 00:23:03.576

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00:23:04.076 --> 00:23:05.436

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00:23:05.456 --> 00:23:22.336

<v SPEAKER_1>Heidi, I wanted to ask if you have examples from your practice and your experience of things that parents do when their babies are starting solid foods, and these are things that they do unintentionally, but that are externally motivating the baby to eat.

00:23:22.416 --> 00:23:31.236

<v SPEAKER_1>So give me examples of basically, this is like a list of like, what should you not do if you're trying to promote internal motivation and not shaming anyone who does this, just things that you see are counterproductive.

00:23:31.776 --> 00:23:34.836

<v SPEAKER_2>Yeah, I think probably there's a couple that stand out.

00:23:35.076 --> 00:23:54.176

<v SPEAKER_2>Probably one of the first ones is that they jump right in with the cereal or whatever the puree is, if they're starting with the purees, it's jump right in and bring it right to the kid's mouth without waiting to see, without waiting for their little one to open their mouth, without waiting to see if they're lean in.

00:23:54.496 --> 00:24:02.016

<v SPEAKER_2>And then if they're not interested right away, or if they close their mouth and turn away, the next thing the parent does is double up.

00:24:02.036 --> 00:24:07.696

<v SPEAKER_2>They amp up what they're doing, and then they start making funny faces and dancing around and doing all these things to try and get them to laugh.

00:24:08.036 --> 00:24:09.536

<v SPEAKER_2>I actually saw a kiddo one time.

00:24:09.556 --> 00:24:11.116

<v SPEAKER_2>It still makes me sad to think about it.

00:24:11.336 --> 00:24:17.656

<v SPEAKER_2>He was so cute, and his parents were so worried about him not eating that they would make him laugh.

00:24:17.676 --> 00:24:20.996

<v SPEAKER_2>And when he opened his mouth to laugh, they would jam the food in his mouth.

00:24:21.676 --> 00:24:29.316

<v SPEAKER_2>And he had gotten by the time I saw him is he was laughing with his mouth closed like this, because he was afraid that they were going to put food in his mouth.

00:24:29.336 --> 00:24:32.056

<v SPEAKER_2>And I thought, oh my gosh, he didn't trust his parents now.

00:24:32.296 --> 00:24:35.016

<v SPEAKER_2>Unintentionally, they were well-meaning and he was not their first child.

00:24:35.036 --> 00:24:35.996

<v SPEAKER_2>They were just so worried.

00:24:36.896 --> 00:24:41.356

<v SPEAKER_2>But then it took it, like I was also thinking how very personal our laugh is.

00:24:41.696 --> 00:24:45.216

<v SPEAKER_2>Like everybody laughs differently and you kind of can't control your laugh.

00:24:45.356 --> 00:24:46.996

<v SPEAKER_2>That's just who you are and how you do it.

00:24:47.016 --> 00:24:50.856

<v SPEAKER_2>And so now they like eroded their trust with him a little bit.

00:24:51.116 --> 00:24:56.976

<v SPEAKER_2>And they were interfering with him expressing himself personally, which is such a spontaneous way.

00:24:56.996 --> 00:25:03.856

<v SPEAKER_2>And so I think that amping up that worry and doubling down on what you're doing to get them to eat are probably the big things.

00:25:03.936 --> 00:25:08.556

<v SPEAKER_2>I think one of the other things is getting really stuck on their one favorite.

00:25:08.996 --> 00:25:11.176

<v SPEAKER_2>So it's fine line, right?

00:25:11.196 --> 00:25:19.396

<v SPEAKER_2>So if they need to develop trust with the food, it's okay to have the same food come out a couple of different times while they're building trust.

00:25:20.096 --> 00:25:32.776

<v SPEAKER_2>And if you stay with only that one food and don't have some opportunities for other foods for them to try, at some point it becomes exacerbating that they're only gonna try that one food.

00:25:33.176 --> 00:25:41.076

<v SPEAKER_1>Or if you try a new food and the baby knows if I don't eat this food and just sit here, she's gonna come back with yogurt or peanut butter or whatever my favorite food is.

00:25:41.096 --> 00:25:43.956

<v SPEAKER_1>All you're doing is conditioning your child to wait for that food.

00:25:43.976 --> 00:25:45.236

<v SPEAKER_1>Cause your baby's very smart.

00:25:45.256 --> 00:25:48.416

<v SPEAKER_1>And this problem of like getting stuck on those familiar foods.

00:25:48.436 --> 00:25:53.096

<v SPEAKER_1>I know for us in Baby-Led Weaning, a lot of families will come right out of the gate really strong with the really simple starter foods.

00:25:53.116 --> 00:25:54.656

<v SPEAKER_1>Avocado, banana and sweet potato.

00:25:54.796 --> 00:25:56.616

<v SPEAKER_1>And that's fine for the first three days.

00:25:56.896 --> 00:25:58.916

<v SPEAKER_1>But then you come back weeks and months later and guess what?

00:25:58.936 --> 00:26:01.956

<v SPEAKER_1>The baby only has three foods, avocado, banana and sweet potato.

00:26:01.976 --> 00:26:11.436

<v SPEAKER_1>And part of that was the impetus behind I created the original 100 first foods list back in 2016 to give parents, here's a boiler plate, one page, put it on your fridge.

00:26:11.456 --> 00:26:13.876

<v SPEAKER_1>Here's a hundred different foods that your baby can learn how to eat.

00:26:14.216 --> 00:26:18.436

<v SPEAKER_1>Cause our goal ultimately is to work babies towards diet diversity in a way that works for the family.

00:26:18.456 --> 00:26:21.856

<v SPEAKER_1>But like you as an adult, I guarantee you you're not just eating avocado, banana and sweet potato.

00:26:22.616 --> 00:26:25.976

<v SPEAKER_1>So let's zoom out and see what your baby could be doing.

00:26:25.996 --> 00:26:30.176

<v SPEAKER_1>And sometimes just having those ideas of like, oh, I don't have to trick the baby into eating.

00:26:30.196 --> 00:26:33.936

<v SPEAKER_1>Here's what I can do to help them learn how to want to do this themselves.

00:26:34.476 --> 00:26:39.696

<v SPEAKER_2>Well, and novelty is a big, or developmental momentum, I think we like to say a lot of times.

00:26:39.736 --> 00:26:42.316

<v SPEAKER_2>They're just learning machines at this age.

00:26:42.336 --> 00:26:44.376

<v SPEAKER_2>They just want to learn new things.

00:26:44.376 --> 00:26:46.636

<v SPEAKER_2>And some kids are watchers first.

00:26:46.756 --> 00:26:49.096

<v SPEAKER_2>Not all kids are gonna just jump right in and do it.

00:26:49.176 --> 00:26:55.476

<v SPEAKER_2>So I think knowing how your baby responds to a thing is really helpful, but they are in a place of exploring.

00:26:55.536 --> 00:27:06.996

<v SPEAKER_2>And so building on that, letting a mess around with them, I think the other thing on that topic is I think a lot of families don't give the exploration enough time.

00:27:07.416 --> 00:27:10.336

<v SPEAKER_2>You know, they've eaten one food, and so now they're eaters.

00:27:10.436 --> 00:27:19.676

<v SPEAKER_2>And now they're just gonna pick everything up and put it in their mouth like a grownup, instead of saying, oh, this avocado works differently than the something else that I got the other day.

00:27:19.696 --> 00:27:21.036

<v SPEAKER_2>This works differently than the biscuit.

00:27:21.056 --> 00:27:36.216

<v SPEAKER_2>If I squish it and all the avocado comes out between my fingers and it's weird, and sometimes it's funny, but sometimes it's scary, and just letting them have that period of exploration is really important for them to expand their brain and how their brain is gonna process new foods.

00:27:36.716 --> 00:27:39.956

<v SPEAKER_1>So many parents we see just start out, oh, he's not interested, I'll just do it for him.

00:27:40.156 --> 00:27:41.116

<v SPEAKER_1>It's like, how long?

00:27:41.116 --> 00:27:42.936

<v SPEAKER_1>Oh, the meal was so long, I let him sit there for so long.

00:27:42.956 --> 00:27:44.916

<v SPEAKER_1>I was like, get a timer out and time yourself.

00:27:45.376 --> 00:27:47.396

<v SPEAKER_1>And a lot of like, are you getting to the 20 minute mark?

00:27:47.416 --> 00:27:50.556

<v SPEAKER_1>Like we've had babies that are the 19 minute mark finally touch the food.

00:27:50.576 --> 00:27:55.296

<v SPEAKER_1>Well, most parents are gonna give up within the first three minutes thinking that they sat there for 20 minutes.

00:27:55.316 --> 00:28:02.616

<v SPEAKER_1>Like this process is slow, but it's important as far as, like you say, learning the big things and then learning the small things.

00:28:02.936 --> 00:28:06.776

<v SPEAKER_1>I wanted to ask your take on what Marsha Dunn Klein calls excessive cheerleading.

00:28:06.796 --> 00:28:09.016

<v SPEAKER_1>Like the moms that sit there like, oh my God, you did it!

00:28:09.036 --> 00:28:11.876

<v SPEAKER_1>They're like constantly talking at the baby.

00:28:12.476 --> 00:28:14.216

<v SPEAKER_1>I think parents are scared of silence.

00:28:14.236 --> 00:28:18.196

<v SPEAKER_1>Can you talk about the cheerleading versus just sitting in silence when your baby's learning?

00:28:18.216 --> 00:28:21.696

<v SPEAKER_2>I can because I am a fantastic cheerleader.

00:28:21.716 --> 00:28:30.036

<v SPEAKER_2>I had a kid that I saw for therapy that when they drove past the children's hospital, which was near their house, they would go woohoo every time they drove by because that was my name.

00:28:30.396 --> 00:28:32.476

<v SPEAKER_2>Because I said woohoo so much.

00:28:32.816 --> 00:28:37.156

<v SPEAKER_2>But the problem was then she was doing it for me.

00:28:37.616 --> 00:28:39.536

<v SPEAKER_2>She wasn't learning how to do it herself.

00:28:39.636 --> 00:28:48.376

<v SPEAKER_2>And if you've ever gotten a lot of praise for something, like if you watch a baby exploring something, that's one of those nice internal versus external things.

00:28:48.416 --> 00:28:53.596

<v SPEAKER_2>If you're watching them, if you're really into something, you don't want that outside stuff.

00:28:53.616 --> 00:28:57.396

<v SPEAKER_2>Like you're looking at the avocado going, man, it's mushy and it's green.

00:28:57.416 --> 00:28:58.956

<v SPEAKER_2>And what happens if I do this?

00:28:58.956 --> 00:29:00.436

<v SPEAKER_2>And how does that taste?

00:29:00.456 --> 00:29:02.036

<v SPEAKER_2>And is that different than this other thing?

00:29:02.056 --> 00:29:05.076

<v SPEAKER_2>Like that's the kind of exploration that we want.

00:29:05.096 --> 00:29:11.216

<v SPEAKER_2>We want their brain and their hands and their eyes and even their nose and maybe their mouth engaged in all of it.

00:29:11.216 --> 00:29:21.296

<v SPEAKER_2>And if we're distracting them over here with our cheering, then that's taking away their brain and maybe their eyes and maybe even their hands away from the food and onto me.

00:29:22.056 --> 00:29:25.436

<v SPEAKER_2>And so number one, it cuts down on their interaction with the food.

00:29:25.656 --> 00:29:27.856

<v SPEAKER_2>Number two, it changes the way they remember it.

00:29:27.876 --> 00:29:32.476

<v SPEAKER_2>And number three, it doesn't make them repeat it for internal reasons.

00:29:32.496 --> 00:29:34.776

<v SPEAKER_2>It makes them repeat it because they're pleasing me.

00:29:35.376 --> 00:29:38.696

<v SPEAKER_2>And we don't want kids to eat to please somebody.

00:29:39.076 --> 00:29:40.096

<v SPEAKER_2>None of us want that.

00:29:40.596 --> 00:29:45.976

<v SPEAKER_1>So could we safely put excessive cheerleading into the category of external motivators?

00:29:46.616 --> 00:29:48.376

<v SPEAKER_2>I would put that as an external motivator.

00:29:48.376 --> 00:29:55.356

<v SPEAKER_2>And I would say, now, if I've seen kids do something for the first time, I would praise them at the same rate that I would praise them for something else.

00:29:55.776 --> 00:30:01.996

<v SPEAKER_2>I don't wanna, so I think a lot of times, once we start talking about praise, families are now afraid to praise their kids.

00:30:02.076 --> 00:30:06.636

<v SPEAKER_2>And if you just did something new for the first time and someone ignores you, that feels kind of bad too.

00:30:07.196 --> 00:30:10.476

<v SPEAKER_2>And so I tend to do, I like those too.

00:30:10.496 --> 00:30:12.696

<v SPEAKER_2>I didn't know you could do that.

00:30:12.956 --> 00:30:20.776

<v SPEAKER_2>Like I really want my praise to accompany what they're doing, to encourage what they've already done, to make them part of a club with me.

00:30:20.796 --> 00:30:23.816

<v SPEAKER_2>We both are broccoli eaters now or whatever.

00:30:23.836 --> 00:30:30.116

<v SPEAKER_2>Like praise can be supportive, but I don't want praise to tip over into the main motivator or reason for them to eat.

00:30:30.136 --> 00:30:32.076

<v SPEAKER_1>So how did you break yourself of the woohoo habit?

00:30:32.816 --> 00:30:35.256

<v SPEAKER_2>I wrote it down, I was in the clinic at the time.

00:30:35.276 --> 00:30:41.696

<v SPEAKER_2>I was working at the Children's Hospital and I wrote it down on the table and I taped it to the table so that I would not do that anymore.

00:30:42.416 --> 00:30:44.876

<v SPEAKER_2>I had to think about it really hard because I like praising people.

00:30:44.896 --> 00:30:47.196

<v SPEAKER_2>I'm a praiser and I think it feels good.

00:30:47.336 --> 00:30:50.496

<v SPEAKER_2>But I also came up with other ways to encourage them.

00:30:50.516 --> 00:30:52.416

<v SPEAKER_2>Like I said, I like broccoli too.

00:30:52.496 --> 00:30:53.516

<v SPEAKER_2>I didn't know you could do that.

00:30:53.536 --> 00:30:57.236

<v SPEAKER_2>Like there's a lot of different ways that I could encourage what they were doing and be super cheery.

00:30:57.636 --> 00:31:00.456

<v SPEAKER_2>I could do it with my face too of like, what?

00:31:00.876 --> 00:31:02.276

<v SPEAKER_2>I didn't know you could do that.

00:31:02.936 --> 00:31:14.856

<v SPEAKER_2>And so really just making it about their effort, making it like, depending on the age of the kids, if they're getting a little bit older, but even if they don't know all the words, they know my face, they know my intonation.

00:31:15.356 --> 00:31:22.736

<v SPEAKER_1>They know you're not mad at them and you're happy for them, but you don't need to comment on every single bite is kind of my take as well.

00:31:23.316 --> 00:31:24.216

<v SPEAKER_2>Absolutely.

00:31:24.236 --> 00:31:25.656

<v SPEAKER_2>I think, I mean, be together.

00:31:25.676 --> 00:31:28.756

<v SPEAKER_2>If you praise them for something else, some families praise more than other families too.

00:31:28.776 --> 00:31:33.816

<v SPEAKER_2>If you're praising for a lot of other things, then it feels weird to not be praised for food.

00:31:33.896 --> 00:31:35.836

<v SPEAKER_2>And so then you might think you're doing something wrong.

00:31:36.596 --> 00:31:43.296

<v SPEAKER_2>I think the other thing that I really have talked to families about is watching their face, facial expressions a little bit.

00:31:43.736 --> 00:31:51.076

<v SPEAKER_2>I did work with a kiddo years ago that was just fine, but every time they took a bite, she had gagged once or twice and so they were terrified.

00:31:51.096 --> 00:31:53.696

<v SPEAKER_2>And so mom and grandma brought her in together.

00:31:53.716 --> 00:32:00.596

<v SPEAKER_2>And when they gave her a bite, it really looked like they were witnessing a train wreck.

00:32:00.916 --> 00:32:02.296

<v SPEAKER_2>Like their faces were horrified.

00:32:02.316 --> 00:32:05.576

<v SPEAKER_2>They were like, and they were just like, they really did.

00:32:05.676 --> 00:32:14.716

<v SPEAKER_2>And of course, the kiddo who's very in tuned, they're watching us and they know how we feel about things as she kind of quit doing it because it looked like what she was doing was wrong and scary.

00:32:14.736 --> 00:32:16.616

<v SPEAKER_2>Like she put her hand on a hot stove or something.

00:32:17.476 --> 00:32:19.556

<v SPEAKER_2>They really had a hard time with that.

00:32:19.776 --> 00:32:22.376

<v SPEAKER_1>Hey, we're gonna take a quick break, but I'll be right back.

00:32:27.096 --> 00:32:28.816

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00:32:49.116 --> 00:32:51.836

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00:32:51.876 --> 00:32:55.196

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00:33:01.047 --> 00:33:17.627

<v SPEAKER_1>And Heidi, if there was one piece of advice that you could give to a parent or a caregiver who's listening, who's trying to make the switch from external motivation to helping their baby be more internally motivated, what is the most important takeaway message for them if they're struggling to still get their baby to eat?

00:33:18.287 --> 00:33:23.267

<v SPEAKER_2>One of the most important things in developing internal motivation is autonomy.

00:33:23.847 --> 00:33:29.227

<v SPEAKER_2>So I would say the majority of things that you can do are backup.

00:33:29.307 --> 00:33:35.447

<v SPEAKER_2>I almost never, as a feeding therapist, it is really rare for me to put a food in a kid's mouth ever.

00:33:35.967 --> 00:33:46.587

<v SPEAKER_2>And these are even kids who might have more trouble with their hands or whatever, because it's better for them internally motivated to pick it up.

00:33:46.607 --> 00:34:03.667

<v SPEAKER_2>And I think another one of the no's I think is they put the spoon down maybe and the kid picks it up and half of the time they put the wrong end of the spoon in their mouth or they put the food in that doesn't have the spice or they, you know, whatever, they put the rind of the orange as opposed to the skin, you know, the flesh of all those things.

00:34:03.687 --> 00:34:13.067

<v SPEAKER_2>And so letting them explore it, letting them do it wrong, that autonomy piece, that exploration, child-directed exploration is the main way that kids learn.

00:34:13.547 --> 00:34:17.867

<v SPEAKER_2>And so letting the exploration be, giving them autonomy with that exploration.

00:34:17.867 --> 00:34:30.107

<v SPEAKER_1>Even if it gets a little messy and that's a whole different conversation, but that's part of the learning how to eat process and the constant wiping of your baby when they're trying to learn how to eat that can be such a negative sensory experience for that baby.

00:34:30.647 --> 00:34:32.447

<v SPEAKER_2>It's sort of dysregulating and disruptive.

00:34:32.467 --> 00:34:38.247

<v SPEAKER_2>Like if I were trying to do something and somebody was swiping my mouth all the time, again, I wouldn't be paying attention to the food anymore.

00:34:38.267 --> 00:34:48.727

<v SPEAKER_2>And I do think being, for the families that are a little bit more worried about food waste or really have a harder time with some of the mess, there's ways that you can accommodate for that, but you can't skip it entirely.

00:34:49.047 --> 00:34:50.787

<v SPEAKER_1>Exactly, the goal is not to prevent the mess.

00:34:50.927 --> 00:34:52.987

<v SPEAKER_1>The goal is we can show you how to minimize the mess.

00:34:53.007 --> 00:34:54.947

<v SPEAKER_1>And again, you can get some tips and get some tricks.

00:34:55.367 --> 00:34:57.427

<v SPEAKER_1>It's kind of along the lines with the excessive cheerleading.

00:34:57.447 --> 00:34:59.067

<v SPEAKER_1>I need a better term for it.

00:34:59.247 --> 00:35:06.027

<v SPEAKER_1>The excessive micromanaging, I see some moms sometimes that are just constantly touching the baby, picking the food up, putting it back in the plate, moving the spoon.

00:35:06.047 --> 00:35:09.667

<v SPEAKER_1>And it's like the baby's so distracted by what you're doing and then you're like, and then what?

00:35:09.687 --> 00:35:10.347

<v SPEAKER_1>They didn't eat anything.

00:35:10.367 --> 00:35:13.707

<v SPEAKER_1>It's like, cause you didn't leave them alone for 15 to 20 minutes.

00:35:13.727 --> 00:35:17.787

<v SPEAKER_1>I mean, obviously never leave your baby unattended cause you need to observe for choking, but like, just chill.

00:35:18.327 --> 00:35:19.607

<v SPEAKER_1>How do you say that more professionally?

00:35:20.907 --> 00:35:25.887

<v SPEAKER_2>Sometimes I do say just chill, but I do say sometimes I give them something else to do.

00:35:26.567 --> 00:35:30.387

<v SPEAKER_2>I want families to eat with their kids whenever possible.

00:35:30.407 --> 00:35:45.827

<v SPEAKER_2>Like I know babies learning to eat are not actually super fun meal time partners some of the time, but if you can at least do one meal a day with them when you're eating together, that way your food is a little bit more, your attention is a little bit more focused on your own food, which is going to give that child a little more natural opportunity.

00:35:46.267 --> 00:35:49.447

<v SPEAKER_2>We know that kids are most likely to eat the food that their parents eat.

00:35:50.007 --> 00:35:57.367

<v SPEAKER_2>So I think that's really important for kids who are worried or families who are worried about variety and long-term eating enjoyment.

00:35:57.547 --> 00:35:59.787

<v SPEAKER_2>The best way to do that is for them to see you do it.

00:35:59.807 --> 00:36:05.267

<v SPEAKER_2>And so that accomplishes two goals with the same thing, maybe three or four of eating together.

00:36:05.287 --> 00:36:12.687

<v SPEAKER_2>That's also a hallmark of healthy families is eating together, whether it's in the car, at the park or at a restaurant.

00:36:12.707 --> 00:36:16.107

<v SPEAKER_2>It doesn't have to be at the family table, but the time together is actually super important.

00:36:16.227 --> 00:36:17.307

<v SPEAKER_2>It's a good time to start now.

00:36:17.727 --> 00:36:20.027

<v SPEAKER_1>Heidi, this has been such a wonderful conversation.

00:36:20.047 --> 00:36:27.107

<v SPEAKER_1>Thank you so much for sharing all of your tips for us being less micromanagers, less excessive cheerleaders and more internally motivating our babies.

00:36:27.307 --> 00:36:34.047

<v SPEAKER_1>Where can our audience go to learn more about the work that you do and to get in touch with you if they'd like to work with you in either the feeding therapy side or the coaching side?

00:36:34.567 --> 00:36:39.007

<v SPEAKER_2>So you can always find us at our website, which is thrivewithspectrum.com.

00:36:39.007 --> 00:36:40.627

<v SPEAKER_2>You can find us on Instagram.

00:36:40.967 --> 00:36:50.387

<v SPEAKER_2>We're not huge social media posters, but we do have some things on Instagram at Thrive with Spectrum, or you can email us directly at thriveatspectrumpediatrics.com.

00:36:50.787 --> 00:36:51.927

<v SPEAKER_1>Well, thank you so much, Heidi.

00:36:51.947 --> 00:36:52.907

<v SPEAKER_1>It's been great chatting with you.

00:36:53.247 --> 00:36:54.467

<v SPEAKER_2>Oh, it was great to talk to you too.

00:36:54.487 --> 00:36:55.027

<v SPEAKER_2>Thanks, Katie.

00:36:56.087 --> 00:36:58.747

<v SPEAKER_1>Well, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Heidi Moreland.

00:36:58.767 --> 00:37:04.227

<v SPEAKER_1>I love how she shared that she was excessively cheerleading and like woohooing every baby that took a bite.

00:37:04.647 --> 00:37:21.787

<v SPEAKER_1>Just the other day, I had a baby over for a session and every time he made this like adorable little noise when he would take a bite, later in the day, I was watching the videos from our session and I kept making the same noise as him every time he did it and then he would stop and look at me and he was totally subconscious but I was distracting the heck out of this baby.

00:37:21.807 --> 00:37:26.927

<v SPEAKER_1>So just a friendly reminder that it's okay to not cheerlead your babies and you're totally fine to sit in silence.

00:37:26.947 --> 00:37:29.447

<v SPEAKER_1>But some of these external things like you do without even thinking.

00:37:29.467 --> 00:37:30.807

<v SPEAKER_1>So I really appreciated her tips.

00:37:31.047 --> 00:37:33.667

<v SPEAKER_1>I'm going to link all of the resources that Heidi talked about.

00:37:33.687 --> 00:37:36.267

<v SPEAKER_1>Again, her website is thrivewithspectrum.com.

00:37:36.467 --> 00:37:41.927

<v SPEAKER_1>I do also wanna throw it out there that she does have a very intensive tube weaning therapy program.

00:37:41.947 --> 00:37:47.687

<v SPEAKER_1>That's what she's been known for but she also does oral feeding, feeding therapy as well.

00:37:47.707 --> 00:37:50.547

<v SPEAKER_1>And now she does a lot of remote stuff.

00:37:50.567 --> 00:38:14.867

<v SPEAKER_1>So if you have a situation where like, I don't know if this is typical or I've been given a referral for feeding therapy or I just wanna talk to a therapist to see if this is what I would expect or what she would expect, definitely reach out to Heidi for either her feeding therapy if you do have a diagnosed feeding disorder or just feeding coaching, which I think is such a wonderful model where she's going to help you as a family member to become more able to help your baby succeed.

00:38:14.887 --> 00:38:19.327

<v SPEAKER_1>And I think sometimes when people hear feeding therapy, they think, oh my gosh, it's gonna be a lifelong diagnosis and I'm gonna have to do this forever.

00:38:19.747 --> 00:38:21.907

<v SPEAKER_1>But it's not, especially with the coaching sessions.

00:38:21.927 --> 00:38:33.447

<v SPEAKER_1>I know for Heidi, sometimes the families she works with in three to six coaching sessions, they're working through whether or not this is problematic, here's some things you can do to change, here's our goals, and then you go on your way and you're the one helping your baby succeed.

00:38:33.467 --> 00:38:37.007

<v SPEAKER_1>So certainly do reach out to Heidi if you need additional assistance.

00:38:37.227 --> 00:38:46.267

<v SPEAKER_1>I'll put everything that she mentioned today as far as resources, references, et cetera, on the show notes page, which you can find at blwpodcast.com forward slash 444.

00:38:46.547 --> 00:38:49.467

<v SPEAKER_1>I wanted to say a special thanks to our partners at Airwave Media.

00:38:49.707 --> 00:38:54.687

<v SPEAKER_1>If you like podcasts that feature food and science and using your brain, check out some of the podcasts from Airwave.

00:38:54.867 --> 00:38:57.487

<v SPEAKER_1>We are online at blwpodcast.com.

00:38:57.567 --> 00:38:59.407

<v SPEAKER_1>Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you next time.

00:39:08.200 --> 00:39:17.520

<v SPEAKER_3>From the terrifying power of tornadoes to sizzling summer temperatures, AccuWeather Daily brings you the top trending weather-related story of the day, seven days a week.

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<v SPEAKER_3>You can learn a lot in just a few minutes with stories about impending hurricanes, winter storms, or even what not to miss in the night sky.

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00:39:31.220 --> 00:39:34.480

<v SPEAKER_3>That's AccuWeather Daily, wherever you get your podcasts.


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