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Feeding Therapy

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What is Feeding Therapy?

Feeding therapy focuses on supporting your baby, child, or adolescent to improve tolerance to a wide variety of foods. Kids reject or refuse foods for a variety of reasons that influence one another, including but not limited to: impaired sensory processing, low muscle tone, medical factors, structural differences, and/or poor oral motor skills and awareness. Feeding therapy assesses the problem and addresses it with intervention.

Feeding Therapy at Foundations

At Foundations feeding therapy is provided by both speech and occupational therapists, depending on the primary underlying issues impacting your child’s ability to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. All of our feeding therapists utilize the SOS Approach to Feeding, which is a nationally and internationally recognized, research based approach for assessing and treating individuals with feeding difficulties. We place a heavy emphasis on parent education so that you can provide the support your child needs in the home environment, where a majority of eating happens! The SOS Approach addresses feeding challenges as the tip of the iceberg and focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes, thus feeding sessions also include movement and sensory based interventions to support your child being in the just right state prior to entering the clinic’s kitchen. Then, your child will interact with food in a playful and non-stressful way with the therapist helping to empower your child to gain confidence in their ability to explore and identify properties of a wide range of foods.

 

Using the SOS Approach to feeding, our occupational and speech therapists will teach children and parents how to:

  • Help your children explore foods through play and move through the steps to eating, which go beyond picking up the item and placing it into your mouth.

  • Gradually increase your child’s tolerance to new foods in their environment, on their plate, in their hands and eventually, into their mouths!

  • Debunk common myths and misconceptions about eating. 

  • Learn empowering terminology around how to describe foods to help children talk about foods in an objective way vs. subjective way. 

  • Break habits at home and cues that have developed within the mealtime routines that are hindering eating habits. 

  • Identify and respond to your children’s signals around foods in a positive and reassuring way. 

  • Making mealtimes fun versus becoming a power struggle. 

What are some Red Flags that your child might need Feeding Therapy?

Below is a general list of potential red flags that indicate need for further assessment. Take advantage of our free 30-minute consultations if you have specific questions or concerns.  

  • Picky eating habits

  • Vomits/gags with non-preferred foods

  • Eats the same foods over and over

  • Refuses to try any new foods

  • Coughs when eating

  • Choking regularly

  • Doesn’t fully form a bolus when chewing

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Food falling out of the mouth

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Frequent/excessive drooling when eating

  • Poor weight gain

  • History of traumatic choking episodes

  • Only prefers soft/pureed textures

  • Only prefers crunchy carbs

  • Food range with less than 20 food items

  • Mealtimes are consistently difficult

  • Tongue sticks out after taking a bite

  • Has poor mouth closure

  • Frequent constipation

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