One Handed Cooks: Boosting your basics – Feeding Speech Pathology review and their “gold nuggets”!

When the One Handed Cooks team released their second book, I headed to the shops (twice) to look for their book but couldn’t find it. Then one day…. The postman delivered a special surprise for me. So why did I look so hard to find the book?

OHC’s first book!

Well the One handed cooks first book was fantastic and I’ve been a fan of these ladies for years so I knew this second book would be just as good. The One Handed Cooks (OHC) team and I actually go way back – I have bought all of their magazines (who around here remembers that?), their e-books and they even kindly featured me a few times in their magazines.. and of course I refer many of my patients to their very popular blog.

So what do I think about their new book, “Boosting your basics”?

It’s a winner for many reasons but what I love the most is the “GOLD NUGGET” phrases that they have used to guide you as parents through the craziness of early feeding with children:

Look for the following gold nugget sentences…

Chapter 1: GOLD NUGGET: “Imitation is a powerful reinforcer”

You don’t know how many times I see kids who have parents who never eat with them. But when I meet the family, the parent’s goals are for their child to eat fruits and vegetables. But if your child never sees you eat these foods then how will they learn to even taste it? Constant modelling and exposure is like taking small steps towards the top of the mountain. If children can’t see what they are walking towards, why will they walk?

And because I’m not a Dietitian, I also find the information on nutritional panel breakdowns very useful – how much low sugar and salt should we be aiming for? The OHC team break it down for us here.

Imitation is a powerful reinforcer

Chapter 2: Baby food: GOLD NUGGETS: “how much should they be eating?” “should we avoid any foods?”

A common question asked when I do baby feeding talks and the OHC team answer this in a perfectly evidenced based and practical way. I also love the recipes here – new, fun and tasty.

How much “should” they be eating?
should we avoid any foods?

Chapter 3: Making the most of breakfast: GOLD NUGGETS “prebiotics and probiotics”

As a mother myself, I often find myself wondering about this – does it help? Should I offer probiotic supplements? What is actually absorbed? You will have to read the book to find out! The girls here make it very straightforward. What I also love about this chapter are the recipes – “choc crunch muesli” – you and I have a date in my clinic with all of my patients, I know many of my patients will love this recipe.

Prebiotics and Probiotics – should we give them?

Chapter 4: “Snack times matter” GOLD NUGGET –  “it’s OK to say no”

It’s okay to say no – say it again please!! Snacks are the Achilles heel of fussy eaters – give them too much, then they will not eat their main meals. Let them graze on snacks and they will never want anything else. Thank you OHC for saying this so clearly – it’s a constant message that I give to parents, it’s okay if children refuse their snack options (that you give them), they obviously aren’t that hungry and can wait until the next main meal.

It’s OK to say NO!

There are 12 chapters in this book so I’m not going to go through all of them, you will just have to purchase the book to learn more.

But to all the therapists that follow my blog, there are some GOLD NUGGETS in this book for you, look up the chapters on:

  1. Food Jags
  2. Sensory Play

Food jags: as you know therapists, this is a common one for fussy eaters and one that all parents will agonise about. If a child already has a small diet, losing a food is a big deal. You as a therapist may already know about the tips offered in this book but it’s definitely worth sharing with your families. The OHC have written these pages in very easy to understand text with great examples. The key here is reminding all parents to

“avoid offering the same food prepared in the same way over 2 consecutive days”

Food Jags and Sensory play

Sensory play: I want to take this chapter and explode it! And I’m sure the OHC team had plenty of ideas to add to this chapter but couldn’t fit it all in. The simple recipes are great calming tools for kids who need it and very simple in terms of supplies. I think all feeding therapists should have a few of these sensory tips and tricks up their sleeve. And of course with anything sensory related, refer to an Occupational Therapist for more in depth and individualised programming.

The chapters I know parents will love (as I do) are

  • One meal 3 ways – because if you want to eat as a family, you definitely don’t want to prepare several meals. This chapter is perfect in teaching you tips on how to deconstruct meals so everyone can enjoy it.
  • Vegetarian family meals – I was super excited to ready this chapter because more and more families are considering this option and we need some variety. As a mum myself, I often want a few meals during the week to be vego so the “no beef burgers” will definitely be on the shopping list for us.  
  • Lunchbox – do you know that the lunchbox starting school holiday clubs Let’s Eat Speech run are the most popular ones every year? This area is a definite interest for families and I like the simplicity of these recipes, especially recipes that give me nut free alternatives.  
  • A healthy party – I have to say that as a mum who constantly strives for “balanced” parties, this chapter really made me smile with excitement. Non-edible party bag ideas? Boosting party food with nutritional twists? I’m all for ice cream, lollies and cake but I also like some other healthier foods that can fill up little bellies without the sugar highs.
How to get the family eating versions of the same meal

Last GOLD NUGGET? Look up chapter 4: Tasting plates – while I don’t use tasting plates that often in my therapy, I do like the OHC ideas and lateral thinking. The GOLD NUGGET however is the phrase

“when too much choice becomes overwhelming”.

Why? Because often I think parents feel the pressure to make fancy plates with lots and lots of options but I think we need to simplify it and work on foods that follow a child’s sensory preferences with foods. The OHC team try to break down this for you in this chapter. I also think like the sensory play chapter, they could possibly spend several pages talking about this (I know you ladies would have struggled to edit all the amazing ideas you have!) so know that this Gold nugget can be exploded to get the best success for your child.

When too much choice becomes overwhelming

Apologies for the long blog post, I also tried to edit it but I had so many great things to say about this book. If you live in Newcastle and like me, struggled to find it then head to book depository and good book stores because they definitely stock it. Otherwise the girls tell me that you can find it in most Big W and Target stores… and perhaps it’s “coming soon” to our local Big W stores here in Newcastle.

Happy reading and cooking everyone and until next time…

Wishing you happy mealtimes


Paediatric Feeding Speech Pathologist @ Let’s Eat! Paediatric Speech Pathology

This website and information on this blog post is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant or intended to replace Speech Pathology assessment and management nor medical or nutritional care for a child. It is recommended that you discuss any concerns or questions you might have with your Speech Pathologist and managing Doctor and develop an individualised team plan specifically for your child.

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