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Feeding the Toddler

Feeding Therapy

Best for 'picky' eaters or other feeding issues.

I am fascinated with this topic, and I'm always getting trained in the most effective, evidence-based practices to help our little ones with these issuesRemember, that  YOU are an important part of your child's treatment and I can't wait to team up with you to finally have "happy meals". 

Trouble eating can lead to health, learning, and social problems. 

Think about how you eat. It has many little steps from the moment you see the food, to getting it into your mouth using different utensils, and finally, preparing the food in your mouth and being ready to swallow.

Children must learn this process. This process starts in the womb and it changes with every day that we are alive.  A child with a feeding disorder will keep having trouble with basic actions such as using a cup, chewing food, or accepting new foods, amongst others.

Signs of Feeding and Swallowing Disorders

 

Your child may have a feeding or swallowing problem if they:

  • Arch their back or stiffen when feeding

  • Cry or fuss when feeding

  • Fall asleep when feeding

  • Have problems breastfeeding

  • Have trouble breathing while eating and drinking

  • Refuse to eat or drink

  • Eat only certain textures, such as soft food or crunchy food

  • Take a long time to eat

  • Have problems chewing

  • Cough or gag during meals

  • Drool a lot or has liquid come out of their mouth or nose

  • Get stuffy during meals

  • Have a gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice during or after meals

  • Spit up or throw up a lot

  • are not gaining weight or growing

 

Not every child has every sign listed here. Your child may show a few signs or many of them.

There are many possible causes for feeding and swallowing problems, including:

  • nervous system disorders, like cerebral palsy or meningitis

  • reflux or other stomach problems

  • being premature or having a low birth weight

  • heart disease

  • cleft lip or palate

  • breathing problems, like asthma or other diseases

  • autism

  • muscle weakness in the face and neck

  • sensory issues

  • behavior problems

 

Feeding assessment will include:

  • A family interview regarding your child’s medical history, development, and concerns

  • Observation of your child’s mouth and tongue movements

  • Observation of your child eating to see how they pick up food, chew, swallow, and drink

  • Observation of your child’s behavior during meals

 

Feeding therapy in some/most cases requires a holistic view from a feeding team

 

If your child needs Feeding Therapy;  the treatment may include working on:

  • making the muscles of their mouth stronger

  • helping them move their tongue more

  • helping them chew foods

  • getting them to try new foods and drinks

  • improving how well they can suck from a bottle or drink from a cup

  • helping them learn how to breathe while sucking and swallowing (babies)

  • changing food textures and liquid thickness to help them swallow safely

  • helping with sensory issues

  • changing the way, you hold your baby or the way your child sits when eating

 

Feeding Therapy: Service
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