Having a child that is a picky eater can be challenging. Replacing vegetables instead of a never ending supply of chicken fingers and French fries is hard, even for adults. While tasty, food aversion is not the only issue we face when food training our kids. Having a child with special needs can be even more challenging. We love our little ones, and it’s difficult to watch them struggle with food. If you are stressed at meal time, food therapy can provide support.
Diagnosing the Issue.
If your child is having difficulty with feeding, beyond the average picky eater, it’s important to identify quickly. Nutrition is one of the most essential aspects to health and wellness when your child begins to eat regular food. When your child starts to eat solid foods, presenting a variety of adult foods can be challenging. If your child is experiencing issues with nutrition and food, it’s important to take a deeper look. Children who experience difficulty chewing or swallowing, food texture aversion, refusal of food, or a feeding time longer than 30-45 minutes may need assistance.
Skills Learned in Food Therapy.
Food therapy is conducted by a certified feeding therapist who will work with your child one on one or within groups. Skills that are incorporated and taught are based on the child’s individual needs. Usually, food orientation is used to broaden the amount and type of food that is eaten. A balanced and healthy nutritional diet can be implemented with food therapy. A food therapist will also take note of any illness, allergies, or sensory aversion a child may display.
When is the Right Time for Food Therapy?
With any disorder, it’s important to diagnose the problem as early as possible. If your child is experiencing issues with food that expand beyond simply picky eating, giving your child exposure as early as possible is important. In some instances, oral skills may play into food aversion. Working with a food therapist will give your child the proper understanding when it comes to chewing, swallowing, and drinking. Therapists can work to increase muscle strength, oral fortitude, and range of motion.
What is the Duration of Food Therapy?
Depending on the severity, each child’s needs are different. While some children can benefit from a single session, many children require ongoing care. Depending on the severity, a food therapist will craft a specific treatment plan for your child based on their needs. Children who show adequate progress through therapy can progress and end up having a wide variety of skills and progress without feeling overwhelmed. Short sessions or longer sessions will be assessed and recommended based on your child’s needs. If you are interested in food therapy services, contact us today.