An Introduction to Feeding Therapy

If you’ve got a picky eater, a child with a condition that makes eating a difficult task, or a baby that’s not growing because they’re having trouble feeding, it’s important to get the problem understood and under control right away. Why? Because children’s and babies’ bodies are growing, and they need lots of good, nutritious food to help them grow big and strong! 

What Is Feeding Therapy?

Feeding therapy is a type of pediatric therapy that helps a baby or child improve their ability to eat. There are many different reasons why they might be having trouble eating, including: 

  • Physical limitations with chewing, swallowing, or with getting food into their mouths
  • Sensory difficulties which may seem to be “picky eating”
  • Certain conditions that make it hard to eat or keep food down

Sometimes the issue isn’t that the child can’t eat, but that they can’t keep their milk or food down. They may throw it back up, or have that reflux reaction, and then you don’t know how much food they’ve managed to keep down. Any baby or child who has trouble with food in any of these ways can benefit from routine feeding therapy. 

How Does Feeding Therapy Work?

We help your child be in control of their food. Sometimes if feeding is too difficult or stressful, your child may give up on it the same way you might give up on a subject in school. They may try, they may do it if you make them, but they don’t have a very healthy relationship with food because they see it as something difficult or upsetting. 

We want mealtimes to be happy occasions! It’s important for your child’s growth and health, but also for socializing with family and friends. So first, we’ll evaluate what the problems are: Does your baby latch properly? Does your child have a cleft lip or palate? Can they hold the utensils the right way, and is their hand-eye coordination good enough to use them effectively? 

Once we figure out what’s causing the problem, we can start working on the solutions. This may include: 

  • Practicing how to chew and swallow
  • Learning how to hold utensils or cups
  • Introducing new foods 
  • Fixing your baby’s latch so they can get enough milk

Feeding Therapy for Newborns and Infants

When your newborn has trouble latching, or if they’re not gaining enough weight or they’re not keeping their milk down, it can be really stressful. We work with you to help figure out what part of feeding is giving your baby trouble and come up with the right solutions to handle it so that feeding can be the relaxing, bonding activity it’s meant to be. 

Routine feeding therapy can help if your baby is having an issue with:

  • Latching
  • Lip or tongue ties
  • Cleft palate
  • Gaining weight
  • Reflux, not being able to keep formula down 
  • Torticollis, the ability to feed on both sides and turn their head

We want your baby to be in control of their feeding so they know they can do it and enjoy feeding. And so they don’t feel like they’re drowning or suffocating. If you’re trying to make them feed, it can feel that way, which can cause emotional distress and an aversion to feeding. So it’s important to let your baby lead in their feeding therapy sessions. 

A great benefit of infant feeding therapy is that it helps make feeding faster. When your baby is struggling to eat enough, feeding can last an hour or more. With the right solutions in place, we can get feeding times down to 15–30 minutes, which is great for both your baby and you.

Schedule a Free Phone Screening Today

We want mealtimes to be happy and painless so that your baby can grow and meet their milestones. If your baby or child is having trouble with their food, give us a call. We want to work with you to figure out what’s happening and give your child the tools they need to be able to eat easily. 

Call us at (318) 746-1199 to schedule a free phone screening!

1 thoughts on “An Introduction to Feeding Therapy

  1. Home Education Magazine says:

    So useful. Anorexia is a condition that many parents worry about. I also don’t know how to improve this situation. Thank you for sharing these. I believe it will help parents, myself included, can reduce anxiety, and burden and could help children eat better, and healthier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *