1. We are two pediatric occupational therapists with extensive training in infant and childhood feeding. We meet working at Children’s Hospital Los Angels and discovered we both grew up near on another, went to the same college, and were in the NB same sorority at the same time. Destiny!
2. We have very strong beliefs that anything feeding related must be holistic. Our approach is multifaceted and emphasizes nourishment. We believe that feeding can be a beautiful dance between a caregiver and a child... a feeder and a grower. We believe in a #growthmindset and that all our feeders and growers have the capacity to learn. We believe that the habits we form and cultivate in childhood can last a lifetime.
3. We choose the name Feeders and Growers for a few reasons. First, we both have worked for nearly 10 years in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). We've worked with some of the sickest and most amazing fighters out there. When a baby in the NICU is doing well from a medical standpoint and is working towards going home, often the nurses call them "Feeders and Growers" which means that now they are just learning to eat and grow. We think the term captures the idea that these 2 things go together- eating and growing. Not gaining weight but growing and thriving. We also realized that in our work we often provide more support and guidance for parents than the actual baby or child- and because feeding infants or kids is a joint effort between parent and child, we liked the idea that "Feeders and Growers" captures the fact that we work with both the parent (the feeder) and the child (the grower) to make magic happen!
4. We’ve thought a lot about who we serve and feel it’s important to define a “feeder” and a “grower.” A FEEDER: someone who nourishes a child’s body, mind, and soul. A feeder provides love, connection, safety, confidence, support, and a feeling of home. Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles, nannies, teachers, feeding therapists, sisters, brothers, and friends. We all have the capacity to provide nourishment through love, support, guidance, and belief.
GROWERS: Kiddos, babes, sons, daughters—our hearts outside our body learning to eat and do all things. Growers need feeders for guidance as they build skills. Growers are motivated by connection and an insatiable drive to discover. They need time, patience, and modeling to figure all things out. We emphasize developmental, cognitive, & social-emotional growth, or true thriving. We want these little wildlings to grow into their best self and mealtimes that nourish their sense of connection as well as their bodies are an essential ingredient.
5. We have several CORE BELIEFS, which are:
CONNECTION AND LOVE, EXPLORATION & DISCOVERY, HABITS AND ROUTINES, & MEANING AND CELEBRATION. We'll discuss these further in another post!