Feeding Therapy is used as an intervention to help children acquire the skills for successful eating. During feeding therapy, therapists work with children to provide them with the skills they need to make meal time more enjoyable and nutritious.
If any of the behaviours below are affecting a child’s ability to safely eat, meet nutritional needs or enjoy the mealtime experience, the child may benefit from receiving a feeding evaluation.
- Difficulty chewing foods, typically swallowing food in whole pieces.
- Difficulty swallowing foods or refuses to swallow certain types of food consistencies.
- Refuses to eat certain food textures or has difficulty transitioning from one texture to another texture (ex: from bottle feedings to purees, from purees to soft solids or mixed textured foods).
- Gags on, avoids or is very sensitive to certain food textures, food temperatures and/or Flavors.
- Struggles to control and coordinate moving food around in mouth, chewing and preparing to swallow food.
- Fussy or irritable with feeding.
- The child seems congestion during feedings or after.
- Frequently coughs when eating.
- Gags and chokes when eating.
- Frequently vomits during or immediately after eating or drinking.
- Refuses or rarely tries new foods.
- Pushes food away.
- Has difficulty transitioning from gastric tube (G tube) feedings to oral feedings.
- Negative mealtime behaviours (infant cries, arches, pulls away from food; child refuses to eat, tantrums at mealtimes or “shuts-down” and does not engage in mealtime).
- Infant demonstrating signs of difficulty with coordinating the suck/swallow/breath pattern during bottle or breastfeeding.
- Feeding time taking longer than 30 minutes for infants, and 30 to 40 minutes for toddlers or young children.
- Known to be a “picky eater” who eats a limited variety of foods or consistencies.