My champ has just started having solids and lately, I have realized that feeding a kid is not easy. Getting a child to eat what’s served on his plate is hard on some days. Most children are picky eaters and they throw the food which is not of their liking. Many of us serve the meal as per their demands that has creamy pies and cheesy pizzas but we know they all are zero when it comes to nutrition. And if your little one is a picky eater, you are going to worry about his nutrition a diet. But there is something that may work for your little one. “Feeding Therapy”.
Many of you might have heard the word for the first time and may have doubts regarding the same in your mind but we are here to take all your worries and explain you what a feeding therapy is and how it works!!
What is Feeding therapy
A therapy that helps a child you eat or eat better. Many children have eating disorders due to behavioral problems, autism, sensory issues or other undiagnosed issues. They are usually suggested to have feeding therapy. Understanding a child’s feeding difficulties and addressing them at an early stage can be beneficial for their growth and health.
Understanding the need of Feeding therapy
If you are a mother to a fussy eater and wondering if your child needs feeding therapy or not, here are some check points to notice first:
1. Your child tend to swallow food as whole without chewing.
2. Gets irritated and fussy during meal time.
3. Cough frequently while feeding.
4. Refuses to eat and pushes the food away.
5. Rarely tastes new food.
6. Struggles to chew and control food in mouth.
7. Frequent vomiting during or after meals.
8. Has very poor weight gain.
9. Experience congestion during or after feeding sessions.
10. Takes more than 40 minutes to complete the meal.
Steps involved in Feeding therapy
Feeding therapy sessions are usually done at the nutritionist clinic or hospital. The therapists determine the likings or dislikes of your child by talking to you and your family. The therapist may ask you to get 2 or 3 food items that your child likes to eat and some they don’t like. After this, he or she designs a strategy to get the child to eat food without forcing him. Some of the steps involved in feeding therapy are:
1. Touching the food.
2. Looking at the food
3. Kissing the food
4. Smelling the food
5. Holding the food
6. Licking the food
7. Eating food
8. Increasing the intake of variety of food
9. Decreasing the overall meal time.
10. Enhancing self feeding skills.
How long does it take?
The time depends on the patient’s needs and response level. The therapist closely work along with the child and parents to ensure that the child is getting right amount of therapy and makes progress. Children who respond quickly will need lesser time and vice versa. The age of the child also plays an important role is deciding the length and frequency of the therapy.
If you feel that your baby is not getting enough nutrition you can consider feeding therapy for him. Always be positive about it and this therapy will surely work for your child.