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What is Feeding Therapy?

At The Soundmill Centre we follow a one-on-one approach to feeding therapy. Eating is a skill that does not come naturally or easily to all children, but it is also a skill that can be taught.  Feeding difficulties can be different for every child, some may be sensitive to different textures, temperatures, flavours and/or colours of foods. Some may have difficulties being in the same space as new foods and can also gag on foods that they do try. Children with feeding difficulties can often have a very restrictive diet with a limited number of ‘safe foods’ and struggle to meet their nutritional requirements.

 

At The Soundmill Centre we can support families with a feeding assessment and, if required, ongoing feeding therapy. Alongside working with parents and children to develop eating skills in sessions we also support you with strategies and resources to use at home to allow your child to increase foods and textures within their diet in a fun and engaging way.

 

A feeding therapy session for young children is all about play and getting messy with foods, increasing the child’s exposure to new foods in a way that allows them to feel safe and comfortable. For older children, we still get to play however we also learn about the different foods and what they do for our bodies and how they help us to grow. Feeding therapy goes at the child’s pace and is a ‘no pressure’ environment.

Is Feeding Therapy Right for Your Child? Problem Versus Picky Eaters

Many children go through a period of picky eating as they develop their eating skills and learn what they do and do not like. Often this resolves itself however this is not always the case for children who are deemed to be ‘Picky’ or ‘Problem Eaters’.

 ‘Picky Eaters’ are children who are considered to have at least 30 foods on their list of ‘safe’ foods and will, even if reluctantly, try new foods when they are offered. ‘Problem Eaters’ are children who eat less than 20 different foods, cannot tolerate the sight or smell of new foods, and may cry, tantrum or lose their appetite when presented with a new food. Both picky and problem eaters may benefit from feeding therapy services.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, feeding therapy may be right for you and your child.

  • Does your child have sensory processing challenges and only eats a small range of foods?

  • Is your child scared of trying new foods?

  • Are your days structured around mealtimes and what your child will or won’t eat?

  • Do you avoid eating out and attending social events with your child?

  • Does your child most often eat a different meal to the rest of the family?

  • Have these issues been present for 12 months or longer?

  • Do you or your child have anxiety and stress around mealtimes?

Benefits of Feeding Therapy at The Soundmill Centre for Problem or Picky Eaters

Feeding therapy at The Soundmill Centre for Problem or Picky Eaters follows best practice standards in caring for young children who have feeding difficulties.  Potential benefits of feeding therapy include:

  • Improved nutrition intake

  • Reduction in sensory issues related to differing textures, tastes or temperatures of food

  • Reduced mealtime stress

  • Expanded food repertoire

  • Promotion of feeding independence

  • Enhanced communication skills

It is important to note that the effectiveness of feeding therapy may vary from person to person, and the success of the therapy depends on factors such as the individual's underlying issues, their motivation, and the consistency of therapy at home. If you have concerns about your child's eating habits, please contact us to see how our feeding therapy can support your child. 

Feeding Therapy at the Soundmill Centre

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