Magnificent Munchers Wins Children’s Occupational Therapist of the Year

Winners in the South England Prestige Awards 2021/22

Jacqueline Parkinson is a children’s occupational therapist and founder of Magnificent Munchers which provides therapy for fussy eaters based in Harpenden. The team of health professionals comprises a dietician, speech and language therapist and two therapy assistants, as well as a first aider. The team looks at every factor which could impact upon a child’s eating habits. These include their motor skills, behaviour/learning, sensory needs, medical history and nutritional factors. Every member of the team is focused on making food fun for children, to enable them to become happy and confident eaters. They work with neurotypical children, children with ARFID (Avoidant Restricted Food Intake Disorder) autism, and children with allergies.

The judges were impressed with the procedures adopted by Jacqueline and her therapists at Magnificent Munchers, particularly their use of a stepped approach to introduce new food at each child’s pace whilst recognising every child is different. The judges also praised their range of bespoke therapy options, including small groups, home visits and zoom therapy sessions. They have a strong belief that parents are a vital part of the team. They teach parents the concepts used in therapy to enable them to be replicated in the home environment in order to reduce anxiety at mealtimes and increase the range of foods eaten.

Magnificent Munchers help to reduce anxiety at mealtimes and increase the range of foods eaten.