Feeding is the most challenging sensory activity a child faces on a day-to-day basis as it requires the integration of our 8 senses every time we chew.
The therapist will look at the environmental setup of the table and surroundings to ensure the child is best supported and offer suggestions and strategies to provide an optimal eating environment.
SOS feeding therapy focuses on the fun exploration of new foods rather than the volume consumed. During feeding therapy sessions children are actively encouraged to explore new foods and expand their food repertoire using systematic desensitisation, social modeling, and positive reinforcement.
Children will be offered a range of foods which include protein, fruit/veg, starch, and puree - linking all foods by their colour, shape, or texture.
Some families may feel uncomfortable with their children becoming messy during food therapy, but looking at food, interacting with it, smelling it, touching it, and tasting it are all steps to eating it. As with any learning, children respond best when its play-based and purposefully. Children can learn lots about foods by playing with them.
When children interact with the food, Therapists are able to talk to the children about its textures, its smell, and its appearance. During play, Therapist can identify the child's tolerance level to certain textures and smells and give support and positive reinforcement along the way.
Children need to learn how to tolerate foods and learn how to eat before learning manners.