My Kid is a Picky Eater - Can you help?
Speech and occupational therapists can play an important role in addressing picky eaters and feeding issues in children. Feeding difficulties can be complex, and often require a multidisciplinary approach to address.
Speech therapists can work with children who have difficulties with the oral-motor skills necessary for feeding, such as chewing and swallowing. They can also address communication issues that may impact a child's feeding, such as difficulties with understanding or expressing preferences. Additionally, speech therapists can help with expanding a child's food repertoire by introducing new textures, tastes, and smells gradually.
Occupational therapists can address the sensory and motor aspects of feeding difficulties, such as difficulties with self-feeding, and the underlying sensory processing issues that may impact feeding. Occupational therapists can help with expanding a child's tolerance for different textures and temperatures, developing strategies to make mealtime more enjoyable, and promoting independence with self-feeding.
When working together, speech and occupational therapists can create a comprehensive plan to address feeding difficulties. For example, they may work on developing oral-motor skills, such as biting and chewing, while also addressing sensory sensitivities that may affect a child's willingness to try new foods. Additionally, therapists can provide strategies to make mealtimes more enjoyable and successful, such as implementing a consistent mealtime routine or offering foods in a variety of textures and flavors.
It's important to note that addressing feeding difficulties in children can take time and requires a collaborative effort between the child, caregivers, and therapists. It's also important to address feeding difficulties early, as they can have a significant impact on a child's overall health and development.
In summary, speech and occupational therapists can assist with picky eaters and feeding issues by addressing the oral-motor, sensory, and communication aspects of feeding difficulties. By working together, therapists can create a comprehensive plan to address feeding issues and help children achieve success with mealtimes.