Feeding and Mealtimes

Eating and drinking difficulties are complex and often multifacted; sometimes requiring mutiple professionals to assist in different ways along the feeding and mealtime development journey. Mealtimes can be stressful for parents and can quickly become a time of day that causes tension in families. Speech pathologists and Occupational Therapists work with children and families with a whole range of eating, swallowing, self feeding, sensory and behavioural challenges around mealtimes. Some of the common areas we support include:

  • Infant feeding – breast and bottle feeding – tongue and lip ties – sucking and swallowing in infancy
  • Developing oromotor skills – chewing and swallowing skills
  • Helping with self feeding – increasing independence and confidence with feeding
  • Strategies to help with sensory differences – expanding and exposing to a wider range of tastes and textures
  • Supporting behavioural feeding issues such as avoidance
  • Family strategies for complex presentations such as ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)
  • Liaison and referral between other professionals in the support team (this may include dietitian, family therapist, psychologist, ENT, orthodontist to name a few)