Your child’s growth and overall health depend on a diet full of nutritious foods. For some children, this can be a tall order. If your child is struggling with sensory feeding challenges, our friendly feeding therapists are here to help. Keep reading to find out what a sensory feeding challenge is, why it should be addressed, and how it can be improved with pediatric feeding therapy.
What Is a Sensory Feeding Challenge?
A sensory feeding challenge is an obstacle that prevents a child from eating certain foods due to sensory input. In this case, sensory input is generally the taste, texture, or other quality of the food the child is unable to eat. A child can experience feeding challenges as part of sensory processing disorder, which impacts their ability to receive and process sensory input.
Common Signs of a Sensory Feeding Challenge
Your child may have a sensory feeding challenge if they:
- Get anxious or upset at mealtimes
- Refuse to try new foods
- Get angry or fight with you about food
- Are considered a “picky eater”
- Have a short list of foods they will eat
- Often cough, choke, or gag when trying to swallow
- Won’t eat their favorite foods if they are the wrong temperature, brand, etc.
- Don’t want any foods from a certain food group
How Sensory Feeding Challenges Can Impact a Child’s Growth
Children with sensory feeding challenges can have a hard time gaining weight or developing physically. They often don’t get enough of the vital nutrients their growing bodies need which puts them at a higher risk for certain health conditions. Not only can it impact their physical health, but sensory feeding challenges can affect a child’s social development as well.
Sharing food is an important part of many cultures, holidays, and other important events. If your child has sensory feeding challenges, they may miss out on opportunities to make new friends or important family events. These are some of the reasons why early intervention is vital for your child’s overall growth and wellbeing.
How Can Feeding Therapy Improve My Child’s Feeding Skills?
Our pediatric feeding therapists are experts in every aspect of feeding. We use proven therapeutic exercises, techniques, and activities to help children build their sensory processing skills for successful feeding without fear or upset. We can also give you tips and activities you can do at home with your child to help them continue working on their sensory feeding skills between therapy sessions. With our one-on-one treatment and your support, we can work together to help your child overcome their challenges to enjoy mealtimes with family and friends.
Benefits of Pediatric Feeding Therapy for Sensory Feeding Challenges
If your child is struggling with sensory feeding challenges, therapy can help them achieve incredible benefits such as:
- Improved nutritional intake
- More willingness to try new foods
- Increased confidence in their feeding skills
- Better emotional regulation and behavior
- Improved overall health and wellbeing
Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation
Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.