Effective Feeding Therapy to Support Enjoyable Eating
For many individuals, families and caregivers, mealtime can be stressful due to communication, eating and drinking difficulties. Your loved one may not be able to explain why they don’t want to eat or drink something which can cause major frustration. This may be due to them being physically unable to prepare and swallow food in their mouth or due to heightened anxiety or sensory issues when faced with specific foods.
Our team is committed to listening to you and your loved one, compassionately assessing each individual’s needs and communicating our advice for the next steps. We will support you with intervention strategies that are based on the most recent research, provide documentation of recommendations and provide training to ensure strategies are integrated into daily life and used across settings. Our vision is for mealtimes to be enjoyable and safe.
Possible Reasons for Eating Challenges
- Dysphagia/ difficulty swallowing
- Feeding anxiety
- Sensory sensitivity
- Velopharyngeal incompetence
- Poor oral motor control
- Cleft lip or palate
- Neurological – stroke, brain injury
Benefits of feeding therapy
- Increased oral intake
- More food variety
- Better nutrition
- Healthier weight
- Less frustration
- Increased mealtime independence
- Reduced stress at mealtimes
- Improved focus
Our eating and drinking programs
We offer individual and group therapy programs targeting fussy eaters and individuals with dysphagia or difficulties eating and drinking, including PEG insertion. We undertake eating and drinking assessments to assess control of food, swallowing, food variety and sensory preferences and then work with you on strategies to support enjoyable eating.
As a team, we work closely with other professionals to ensure appropriate seating, positioning, sensory supports and feeding equipment. We also assist with mealtime management plans and training to upskill caregivers and staff to ensure consistency of care and minimise mealtime frustration.
Our therapists have specific training in the following feeding programs:
- Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Program
- Food Chaining
- Division of Responsibility
- IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative)