Happy New Years to everyone! We are very excited to have the opportunity to offer the Wildflowers Food Academy treatment for problem eaters. Hopefully this intervention will help your child and your family be stronger in 2020.
We have had many inquiries from parents who are struggling with their child’s eating. Many parents report that they have difficulty getting their child try new food, eating the same food over and over, eating a meal different from other family members, stress and conflict over getting their child to eat at meal time and concerns about health and nutrition .
First of all you should be aware that there is a difference between a “picky eater” and a “problem eater”. In general, a problem eater eats less than twenty different foods on a regular basis. Often there are concerns about a child’s growth and weight.
An assessment by the Wildflower’s feeding team includes an Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist and Dietician. A thorough medical history and diet history will be obtained from parents prior to the assessment. The assessment involves review of the medical and diet history as well as observation of the child’s eating skills with several different kinds of food, motor skills and sensory processing.
Following the assessment, the feeding team will make recommendations for treatment which may include: follow up with the dietician; and individual or group therapy (Food Academy). Food Academy is based on the SOS Approach. The SOS approach refers to sequential -oral motor- sensory. SOS is an internationally acclaimed program which addresses the oral motor skills and the sensory processing requirements for a child to be able to eat a variety of food groups and textures.
Research shows that many children (approximately 20%) struggle with feeding from birth to ages 5-7 years. However, research also shows that only about 50% will completely “outgrow” their feeding difficulties.
So let us help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming aspects of overcoming sensory eating difficulties. If you have questions, please direct them to myself, the lead clinician on the feeding team.
WRITTEN BY ARLENE JACHAK, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST WITH WILDFLOWERS