- A child is fed 10,000 times between birth and the fifth birthday.
- Families of children with feeding problems experience more stress than families of children with brain injury, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida.
- 25% of all children experience minor feeding problems.
- 33% of children with developmental disabilities have difficulty eating.
- 40-70% of premature infants who are less than 36 weeks need feeding support.
Feeding is a Major Part of Parenting
First and foremost, I know that feeding problems are hard on parents and families. Food is a huge part of many cultures including social gatherings, celebrations, holidays, and family bonding. Having a child who does not eat or has feeding problems affects all the parts of a family’s life together. This can lead to unhappiness and little enjoyment in the family. For a parent, feeding your baby is one of the first things you are able to do to connect to and nurture them. Eating and feeding are primary behaviors for humans and especially for parents and kids.
Feeding Therapy Can Help
I offer feeding therapy services for children who are have feeding problems with a behavioral or emotional component. Some examples are eating too little or too much, eating few foods, or being a picky eater. Also, if your child is you having difficulty learning to self-feed, sticking to a feeding schedule, seems afraid of eating, or other behaviors related to food and mealtimes, I may be able to help.
Through feeding therapy I will work with you and your family to develop goals and strategies to give your child a “just-right” challenge with feeding. A goal is to increase both your child and family’s enjoyment and pleasure during meals. This may be as simple as helping your child develop an understanding of mealtime behavior (sitting at the table) and developing a regular feeding routine. Other goals may include reducing fear of eating, increasing the amount of food eaten, or increasing the types of foods your child will eat.
I may use many different strategies to reach your goals for your child’s feeding. These may include:
- Parent Education
- Behavioral Strategies
- Play based approaches
- Relationship and Family Approaches
- Group Treatment
Collaboration is Key
Your child’s safety and health is very important to me. For that reason, I will carefully check for problems that may put him at risk and refer you for other services (e.g. medical or occupational therapy)if needed. I will also work closely with your child’s other healthcare providers to make sure that we are working towards shared goals and to maintain her health.
If you are interested in meeting for an initial consultation session to see if feeding therapy will be helpful to you, please contact me .