top of page

Feeding Therapy

Eating is one of the most complex activities a human performs several times a day.  It involves a symphony of physiological and sensory mechanisms, orchestrated seamlessly to nourish us. Feeding is a remarkable developmental skill that emerges during a critical window—from birth to around three years of age. During this period, children learn to navigate the world of nourishment, transitioning from milk feeds to a diverse diet. Here’s why early intervention for feeding challenges is crucial:

  1. Foundational Skill: Feeding isn’t just about sustenance; it’s a foundational skill that impacts overall health, growth, and development. Proper nutrition supports brain development, immune function, and physical well-being.

  2. Complex Coordination: Think about the intricate coordination required: sucking, swallowing, chewing, and digesting. Babies gradually learn to manage these processes, transitioning from breast or bottle feeding to solid foods.

  3. Texture Progression: As infants grow, they encounter various textures—from smooth purees to chunky solids. Learning to handle different textures is essential for oral motor development.

  4. Sensory Exploration: Feeding involves sensory exploration. Babies touch, smell, and taste foods. They develop preferences and aversions based on sensory cues.

  5. Social and Emotional Aspects: Mealtime is a social experience. It’s when families bond, share stories, and create memories. Children learn about cultural foods and rituals.

  6. Red Flags: Some children face feeding challenges. These may include food refusal, gagging, difficulty swallowing, or limited food variety. Early identification allows timely intervention.

In feeding therapy, one of the main approaches I use is the SOS® approach to feeding.  The SOS® Approach to Feeding developed by Dr. Kay Toomey, is a play-based program designed to help children learn to eat at their own pace by progressing through 32 steps involved in eating. This method teaches children the skills needed to enjoy a variety of food types and textures through playful interaction with food and social engagement with adults. For infants and toddlers, the SOS® Approach also uses developmental strategies and social engagement with parents to support healthy eating and growth. Explore this approach for a fun and effective way to teach children how to eat.

Schedule a Consultation

Learn more about how I can help your child through personalized therapy rooted in Ayres Sensory Integration and the SOS® Approach to Feeding.

bottom of page