Nicole Sovde, a speech-language pathologist serving in our travel therapy division, shares what she learned from our recent ASHA approved feeding course in Spartanburg, SC. Thanks Nicole!
Did you know 25-40% of all children are reported to have some form of feeding disorder? Woah, that is quite a high number. Let’s talk about why and what we can do to help our children!
According to Nina Ayd Johanson, MA, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist and feeding specialist https://www.facebook.com/pg/FoodSmartKids/notes/, there are actually very few children who are simply noncompliant when it comes to eating. Food acceptance issues are caused by underlying medical issues, sensory food aversions, interaction of family and their environment. As professionals and parents, we must determine what is the reason behind the child’s food acceptance issues.
In order to increase acceptance of a variety of foods, expose your child to a variety of foods. Your child may not eat these new foods completely, but allow them to try, see and touch various tastes, textures, smells and consistencies. Remember to intentionally choose ‘where, when, and what’ your child is eating. Your child will make the choice of what to eat and how much…and that is ok! Follow your child’s lead while giving them a variety of good and healthy food choices.
As a rule of thumb, offer your child two tablespoons of carbohydrates, proteins, and fruit or veggie at every meal and/or snack. Consider presenting brown rice, sweet potatoes, sliced turkey, cheese and quartered grapes and/or cherry tomatoes. Encourage your child throughout mealtimes by praising them for tasting new foods and use language rich vocabulary including “squishy, juicy, crunchy, sticky.” Limit vocabulary related to certain foods tasting “good or bad.” Model healthy eating habits while not forcing your child to finish his plate.
Is your child struggling to eat? Are you concerned about your child’s mealtime routines and feeding development? Call MTSKids at 864-244-3474 or visit us at www.mtskids.com to schedule an evaluation to discuss your child’s best next steps.