Feeding Therapy

Children’s Therapy Connections feeding therapy team consists of skillfully trained occupational and speech therapists. We address Dysphagia and oral feeding disorders that involve problems with chewing, swallowing, coughing, gagging, and refusing foods. Our evaluation approach assess all areas that are needed for successful feeding and eating abilities. These include a child’s posture and stability, oral motor function, sensory processing, nutrition intake related to growth, and medically complex feeding difficulties. With this information we can establish if your child is struggling with behaviors related to picky eating, or if your child has more complex feeding difficulties. Parent involvement and training is crucial for successful mealtimes at home.

What we need to add to a “Learn More” tab under feeding:

Our therapists use a multidisciplinary approach to assess and treat children with feeding difficulties. We use a variety of feeding therapy approaches based on the needs and learning style of your child for maximal success within therapy and carryover at home. Our occupational and speech therapists initiate client centered activities that allow for a strong foundation of client-therapist trust. We explore foods in a fun and educational way, incorporate activities based on your child’s sensory needs, and recognize the more than 30 steps a child accomplishes before food even enters their mouth. At CTC, we focus on teaching children about preferred as well as non-preferred foods to increase exposure and expand learning experiences. We do not force-feed, but rather follow your child’s pace with encouragement and clinical knowledge to guide them. Carryover at home, guided by our therapists, is imperative for your child’s success in expanding and maintaining their food repertoire as well as their oral motor skills.

How would you classify your child?

Picky Eater

  • Decreased range or variety of foods that will eat = 30 foods or more
  • Foods lost due to ‘burn out’ because of a “food jag” are usually re-gained after a 2 week break
  • Able to tolerate new foods on plate and usually can touch or taste a new food (even if reluctantly)
  • Eats at least one food from most all food texture groups (i.e. purees [applesauce], soft mechanicals [breads], mixed textures [chicken noodle soup], hard solids [snap pea crisps], hard munchables [celery sticks/raw carrots])
  • Frequently eats a different set of foods than the rest of the family, but usually eats with the family
  • Will add new foods to repertoire if presented approximately 10-15x
  • Sometimes reported by parent as a “picky eater” at well-child check-ups
Problem Feeder

  • Restricted range or variety of foods, usually less than 20 different foods
  • Foods lost due to “food jags” and are NOT re-acquired
  • Cries and “falls apart” when presented with new foods
  • Sometimes gags, vomits, or cries at the sight or smell of foods
  • Refuses entire categories of food textures (i.e. purees, soft mechanicals, mixed textures, hard solids, hard munchables)
  • Almost always eats different foods than the family, has difficulty eating with the family
  • Will only add new foods to repertoire if presented 20-30x
  • Persistently reported by parent as a “picky eater” across multiple well-child check-ups