Pediatric Feeding Therapy
Is your child a picky or anxious eater? Has your child started rejecting the foods they used to eat? Do they refuse to try new foods? Are you concerned that they are not getting the proper nutrition they need?
For years, patients have depended on us to differentiate picky eaters from problem eaters. At Speech Therapy For All, we offer feeding therapy, parent counseling, and other specialized therapy options to anyone in need of a speech pathologist and feeding specialist they can trust. We are dedicated to building long-lasting relationships based on trust and medical integrity with every single patient. Contact us to speak to one of our speech therapists in Riverhead, NY, or Southampton, NY to learn more information about pediatric feeding therapy!
What is a Problem Eater?
Problem eating is a term used to define a range of feeding difficulties seen in children. It is a complex disorder that often requires pediatric feeding therapy to help children learn how to eat. This disorder can be caused by a variety of factors, from physical issues to psychological ones. Problem eaters may experience food aversions, difficulty with texture, and difficulty with swallowing. They may also have difficulty with portion control or need help learning how to self-regulate their eating.
Pediatric feeding therapy is an effective form of treatment for problem eaters and can help them to overcome their difficulties. The therapy involves a range of activities, including sensory integration, nutrition education, and helping the child to develop positive associations with food. With the help of pediatric feeding therapy, problem eaters can learn to eat in a more healthy and balanced way.
Signs your child is a problem eater:
It can be difficult to identify when a child is a problem eater, but there are some signs to look out for:
Your child is constantly refusing to eat certain foods
Turns away from meals
Difficulty transitioning between different textures
Constant mealtime battles
Extreme fussiness or refusal to eat
Spitting out food
Having a hard time learning to chew or swallow
Gagging or vomiting
What is Feeding Therapy?
Pediatric feeding therapy is an invaluable tool for families with children who have difficulty eating. Through hands-on guidance and support, a certified therapist can help both the child and the family navigate the challenges of feeding therapy. Whether the goal is to increase the variety of foods a child eats, improve food acceptance, or increase the amount of food consumed, the therapist works with the family to build an individualized plan of care. Through this therapy, children and their families can gain the skills, tools, and knowledge needed to create a positive feeding relationship and improve the overall quality of life.
How to support good eating behaviors:
It is important to provide your child with the support they need at home so your child feels supported and comfortable to tackle new foods. You should focus on:
Creating a supportive home environment
Establishing a positive atmosphere at mealtimes
Providing a variety of food options so they can explore different tastes and textures
Setting a good example of healthy eating behaviors
Involving your child in the preparation process
Encouraging them to make food choices and take them to the grocery store with you
Praising your child for trying new foods
Through a combination of techniques, the therapist can help the child develop a regular and healthy eating pattern, while at the same time helping them to become more independent. With the right support, the child can learn to enjoy meals without fear or anxiety and can gain the confidence to eat a variety of foods. Contact Speech Therapy For All today to learn more about what we can do to assist your child!