What the heck is “feeding therapy“? You know that child who doesn’t eat anything? He is often “made fun of” – in a nice sort of way – by most of the adults in his life. I was that way as a child. I had a picky palette.
My 6.5-year-old has what many professionals call the “white foods only” syndrome. This label is always spoken with some jest but it speaks volumes. My son not only chooses pasta and bread over meat and vegetables, the day, the time, the temperature, and the texture of those food items he does choose to eat matters a great deal. Bottom line, parenting and family interactions play a huge impact on a child’s eating behavior.
Do you think your child needs feeding therapy?
Was my child prone to these feeding obstacles?
Did I perpetuate them?
My husband and I got to know our son’s habits extremely well and we managed around them. We created a routine that works for our family and gets my son what his growing body and developing brain needs.
Is it sustainable?
My husband and I couldn’t get over the feeling (or fact as it turns out) that there was something more to our son’s eating challenges, that his sensory processing challenges had a lot to do with his increasingly picky and particular behavior. We knew that we could help him.
First Steps to Feeding Therapy
- Talk to your pediatrician. She will hopefully refer you to an occupational therapy clinic with feeding therapy programs.
- Make an appointment for a feeding evaluation. If your pediatrician is not on board or not helpful for some reason, you can call a local hospital and request a feeding evaluation.
Feeding Therapy Beginner Tips
- Give your child food on a plate or in a bowl, not in a package. For example, if your child is going to have Ritz crackers for a snack, don’t hand him the sleeve. Give him a bowl or plate for the crackers
- Same goes for dinner. No a la carte family style meals. Put the food on her plate. What food, you ask? Choose two preferred foods and two not preferred foods.
- Working to overcome food aversions is about building bridges to non-preferred foods
- Think about and list the foods your child prefers to eat. Name two or three qualities about each of these foods. Do you notice any overlap?
- Place a box or something under the child’s feet at meal time when he is sitting at the table
- Give it time