About Magnificent Munchers

Magnificent Munchers, Therapy for Fussy Eaters, is based in Harpenden (AL5). We work with children and parents from all over Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

Magnificent Munchers provide food therapy support for children whose eating difficulties result in them having a limited range of foods in their diet. We offer both individual and group therapy sessions. We have a holistic approach to assessing eating difficulties looking at all aspects of the child including their motor skills, behaviour/learning, sensory needs, medical history and nutrition. Our therapy team consists of a Children’s Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Dietician and two Therapy Assistants.

 

Thank you for all your help. It has helped us so much as a family to be less anxious during meal times

Veena

(attended Food School, 11 week programme)

MEET THE TEAM

All the staff at Magnificent Munchers are Mums ourselves so we understand the stresses and joys of family life. We are a friendly, approachable team and aim to make therapy a fun and pleasurable experience for your child. The team are all first aid trained.

Jacqueline Parkinson

Children’s Occupational Therapist
BSc (Hons)

Jacqueline graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 1997 with a BSc Hons in Occupational Therapy and has worked as a Children’s Occupational Therapist in the NHS ever since. Jacqueline created Magnificent Munchers having worked in the field of paediatrics for more than 17 years, treating children with a range of diagnosis, conditions and difficulties. Through running sensory workshops and talking with parents during assessments she realised there was a need for a food therapy service for children who were eating a limited range of foods, often due to sensory difficulties. Jacqueline completed the SOS (Sequential, Oral, Sensory) approach to feeding training, qualifying as an advanced practitioner.

Marian Browne

Speech & Language Therapist
BMEDSci(Sp) Cert MRCSLT

Marian graduated from Sheffield University in 1986 as a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has practised in paediatrics since then. Following work at Cambridge Health Authority, she joined the staff of the Bobath Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy in 1990. There Marian became a specialist in the field of Paediatric Dysphagia (eating and drinking difficulties), continuing a role as therapist, clinical tutor and lecturer both at home and abroad in the field. For more than 10 years until 2014, Marian worked as a moderator of Postgraduate Dysphagia training at University College London and was involved in developing competencies for training speech and language therapists in the field.

Marian now works in independent practice with children who have a wide range of speech, language and eating and drinking difficulties.

Kate Nelson

Children’s Dietician BSc
Nutrition & Dietetics

Kate graduated from the University of Surrey with a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2005, and has since been a registered dietitian working for the NHS. During this time she has performed roles in both adult and paediatric dietetics, across hospital and community environments.

For the past 10 years Kate has specialised in the field of paediatric dietetics and continues to work in the NHS alongside private practice. Kate deals with a range of dietary issues in children, including obesity, diabetes, food aversions, fussy eaters, allergies and nutritional deficiencies.

Kate strives to use her expertise in diet and nutrition to promote health and to prevent and treat disease. Her services are professional and individualised to provide dietary advice to suit every patient’s requirements and lifestyle.

Ann Warrington

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Ann has over 19 years of experience working in the NHS as a Therapy Assistant Practitioner with the Children’s Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy team. Ann has worked with children with a variety of conditions including Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autism, Hypermobility and Cerebral Palsy.

Jane Nugent 

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Jane has been in the catering industry since leaving school. She was the Head Cook at High Beeches School in Harpenden for 13 years, leading a team of five cooks. Jane won the Runner Up prize for School Chef of the Year and was nominated for the Hertfordshire Catering School Team of the Year award out of 420 schools.

Shavalyea Gilbert

First Aid Trainer

Shavalyea graduated from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA, USA) with a Bachelors of Business Administration and Masters of Education. She has been living in the UK with her family since 2015.

She was certified in paediatric first aid via St John Ambulance in 2017. She strives to use her passions to help others feel more comfortable when medical emergencies arise. She incorporates an informal, informative and laid back approach while teaching others first aid skills. At Magnificent Munchers Shavalyea leads a short training session on recognising the difference between gagging and choking as well as teaching techniques to deal with choking.

I wanted to share our success story!
❤❤❤
E had found eating in social situations difficult for a long time and became very anxious when eating with anyone other than close family. I’ve struggled to know how to manage this, especially as sharing a meal with friends & family is one of my favourite things to do! Sometimes just managing other people’s reactions to E’s anxiety has been more difficult than managing the issue itself…

Since coming to Mini Munchers & having lots of fun with food with no pressure to eat it, E’s confidence has hugely increased. We have had such a great time together & I feel I’ve learnt lots too. At the end of every session I’ve told him to look around the room & see how many people he’s eaten in front of & said how proud of him I am. He repeated it back to me without prompting at the end of the last few sessions!

I’m so so pleased that E has found the confidence to eat socially. The change in him is just amazing!  Hannah

Hannah

Mini Munchers