Feeding therapy introduces new foods to picky eaters in a safe, play-based environment.
At Little Steps, we follow the SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to feeding. This method is based on research that indicates feeding difficulties are almost always due to oral motor delays and/ or difficulties with sensory processing. We consider the normal developmental stages of eating and build up children’s skills in these areas so that they can manage a wide variety of foods.
If you would like more information on our Feeding Therapy program or would like to register your child for group or individual Feeding Therapy services, please contact our office by phone at (250) 386-1171 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is feeding therapy a good program for my child?
To participate in feeding therapy, your child must be able to sit at a table for at least half an hour, imitate an adult, and engage in some imaginary play. If your child does not yet have these skills, your clinical team at Little Steps can help build these skills first and work on some pre-feeding skills in the meantime.
Where does feeding therapy happen?
Our feeding therapy groups are run at our Saanich location (2986 Dysart Rd).
How long will my child be in feeding therapy?
This depends on the child. We typically schedule 12 sessions and re-evaluate from there. Our goal is to equip families to do feeding therapy at home. If you are feeling well prepared after 12 sessions, we discontinue regular sessions. If you feel like you need more support, we can continue sessions past the 12 weeks.
When will my child start to eat new foods?
Learning to eat involves going through many steps, such as being able to tolerate the food on your plate, tolerating touching the food, tolerating the smell of the food, etc. Children work through these stages at their own pace.
For many children, there are about 32 steps to eating, and during feeding therapy sessions, we support children to progress at least one step higher with a variety of foods. This is often a slow process, but it leads to long-term gains as your child learns about foods with support at a pace that’s right for them.
Why is parent involvement so important?
As a parent, you have the most opportunities to feed your child and teach him/her about food. When you can shape these interactions with food to be positive learning experiences, your child’s gains are going to come faster and last longer.
To have the progress that we see in feeding therapy carry over to home, we ask that you start to do feeding therapy at home. This allows your child to receive feeding therapy more than once a week, gives him/her more practice in a positive, supportive manner, and helps the skills generalize to new environments. We believe that this is so important to your child’s success, that we require parental involvement during feeding therapy.
Do you recommend a group or individual sessions?
We typically recommend a group because most children make more gains watching peer role models—it also creates a fun, supportive environment that most children enjoy. We also run a parent group at the same time, which gives parents more education and support.
We recommend individual therapy if the child needs more support to progress through the steps of eating or if the group’s schedule does not work for the child or their parent.