Attain Independence with Eating
Feeding therapy can improve your child’s relationship with food and help them to eat a wider variety of nutritional food. Successful eating involves many components, such as physical/overall health, the child’s sensory system, function of the oral musculature, and environmental factors. A breakdown in any of these areas can contribute to challenges in feeding. When this occurs, it can be very stressful for caregivers as they are concerned about their child’s nutrition. Mealtimes then become a frustrating and unpleasant experience. Some signs of feeding disorders in children include:
Refusing or rarely trying new food
Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Difficulty transitioning between different food textures (ex: From purees to solids)
Gagging, avoiding or showing sensitivity to certain food textures, temperatures and/or flavors.
Coughing, choking or vomiting when eating or drinking
Taking a long time to chew and swallow food
Frequent tantrums during meals
Feeding therapy first requires a thorough assessment. Based on the findings of the assessment, feeding intervention implements the strategies and exercises that have been recommended with the goal of making the feeding experience easier and more enjoyable for the child, as well as the family. While the child is learning the skills to become a better eater, caregivers are also taught the skills and strategies so progress can be continued in the home.
Cristi additionally offers individualized coaching for parents of "picky eaters." This approach focuses on educating parents and giving them the tools to confidently introduce new food in a supportive environment and ultimately creating a more positive mealtime experience for the family. Weekly calls are scheduled through phone or Zoom.