Feeding Therapy

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Feeding Therapy Demystified

Have you ever wondered if your child may need feeding therapy?

What is feeding therapy?

Feeding therapy helps a child learn how to eat or how to eat more efficiently and effectively. It targets oral motor skills and/or expanding a child’s diet to provide for more variety in fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.

How do I know if my child needs a feeding evaluation?

Signs your child exhibits:

  •   Decreased oral motor skills, such as:

    • Difficulty chewing different textures

    • Difficulty drinking from an open cup or straw

  • Minimal consumption at meals

  • Transitioning from G-tube feedings to oral feedings

  •  Difficulty swallowing or refusing to swallow certain foods or textures

  • Gagging, choking or vomiting during meals

  •  Arching of the body during feeding

  • Avoidance of total food groups

  • Difficulty accepting changes in familiar foods, such as changes in:

    • Shapes

    • Textures

    • Temperatures

    • Colors

  • Difficulty transitioning from one texture to another, such as puree to a mixed consistency

  •  Brand specific, such as ONLY eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets

  • Mealtime taking longer than 30 minutes

  •  Physical reactions to food, such as crying, screaming, or refusing to sit at the table

 Who provides feeding therapy?

A pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP). It is important to note that not all pediatric therapists are trained to provide feeding therapy services. Because it is an area of specialty, the treating therapist should have completed additional education courses and have experience working with this population. Also, the SLP treating a child with a feeding disorder will often consult with a nutritionist/ dietician, pediatrician, or another specialist involved in the child’s care.

 What do feeding therapy sessions look like? 

Feeding therapy sessions are family focused. Sessions can be done with the therapist and child or therapist, child and family member.

Feeding therapy is extremely beneficial, as it helps your child create a healthy relationship with food. I want mealtimes to become less stressful, eating to become easier, and food to become FUN!