Saturday, December 27, 2014

Easy Pickings with Pick-Ease

This past October, I came across a local inventor mom, Melissa Desrochers, thanks to social media.  Her idea was simple and intriguing: a food pick inspired by necessity.  Her son was a picky eater.  Toothpicks worked, but she didn't like the idea of handing over a splinter of wood to her toddler.  With that, Pick Ease was born.  Once we connected, Melissa sent me a few Pick Ease to try.  I was very eager to use them with my own picky eater.
From an occupational therapist's view point, this product has a lot of great features including a fun and friendly sticker design and a 1" by 3/16" circular area to promote developing grasp patterns.  The unique design has a stopper for the tips of the fingers to help remind children not to use a fisted grasp around the utensil.  For children with typical cognitive development, Pick Ease could be a great transition tool from finger feeding to pierced food utensil feeding.  However, even though the tip is considered rounded, mine was still pretty sharp.  Because of it's small (and sharp) conical end, children, but especially those with developmental delays, need to be closely supervised with this product.  Impulsive or ataxic movements could cause accidental injury when self feeding.  With that being said, the tip can pierce a variety of soft and firm foods, especially those that have been cut into small pieces.   Crispy foods do not work, they crumble beneath the force.  Pick Ease could also be used to help with pacing.  One can only get so much food onto the Pick Ease. When only given a little bit of food at a time on the plate, a child may learn to take his or her time.
From a mom's perspective: it's really unique.  It's dishwasher safe, though the decals are starting to come off.  And it's BPA free.  My Mudge is a relatively picky eater.  He thought these were fun to use.  And though he wouldn't try the nugget with it, he enjoyed poking at his plated meal.  Combined with his Fun with Food Fred Plate, (another local RI distributor) and the old school mini Tupperware pitcher with 1 ounce cups (available on eBay and Amazon), the Pick Ease added another option to encourage new foods, along with his "Trying Something New Star" on his Star Chart.
Melissa is always posting creative ways to present tasty, healthy foods for the finicky kid on social media.   She has also shared a free, downloadable eBook "29 Healthy Kids Snacks" through her website since fun presentations can help increase the picky eater's edible repertoire.  So if you are looking to try something new because you have been struggling with a picky eater in the house, the $8.95 cost for a set of two may be an option for you, without breaking the plate.

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