Do mealtimes feel like a battle? Is your child a problem eater?
Problem eaters refers to individuals who have a range of less than 20 foods they will eat. They refuse entire categories of food textures or nutrition groups. Problem eaters regularly “fall apart” when presented with new foods, and frequently have to eat a different meal than what their family is served.
Great Kids Therapy provides both group and individual therapy for children who struggle with eating a variety of foods. Our occupational therapists have been trained in the S. O. S. (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding, and incorporate strategies from this program to create a fun and supportive environment to help children broaden the list of foods they’ll try.
Goals of the Food School group:
- Decrease anxiety towards new foods
- Create positive experiences with food
- Learn mealtime routines to help cue eating
- Decrease aversion to sensory aspects of feeding
- Increase the number of foods a child will try
- Increase the volume of food consumed
- Educate caregivers to help understand feeding issues and strategies to carryover what the child has learned into the home environment
What to Expect:
Initial evaluation will be 1:1 to help us understand the specific challenges your child is experiencing with feeding. Parents will be directly involved in the evaluation process.
Sessions include a consistent routine of activities that target:
- Sensory warm-up activity, involving gross motor and oral-motor exercises.
- Teaching on the properties of the food (taste, size, texture, shape, color, consistency, temperature)
- Sensory exploration of the food related to all senses of the body, helping the child advance through the hierarchy of 32 steps to eating with each new food presented
- Positive social reinforcement to support mastery of each skill obtained.
- We never force a child to eat something, instead we let them take the lead and support them through the steps to eating
- Learning to clean up in a fun way
Parents will benefit from education and handouts to support carryover of skills learned in therapy into the home environment.