Where to Start With Feeding Therapy and Dealing with Picky Eaters

During my first year of grad school, I was assigned to work with a client that required feeding therapy. I had no idea where to begin or what to do. I did A LOT of research and created some helpful materials along the way! I am not claiming to be an expert…I have SO much more to learn. I hope that I can share some materials, activities, tips and tricks I learned to help someone else.

Where to start?

The first thing I did was gather a basic case history. After that, I provided the child’s family a food log. This food log gave me insight into what the child typically eats, a glimpse into mealtime in their home, behaviors that occur, and how the parents are handling those behaviors. I asked the family to complete the food log for seven days, so I could get an accurate representation of the child’s diet.

  • 7 days
  • time of meals
  • location and people present at meal time
  • foods offered/foods introduced
  • reaction to foods
  • amount of foods/drinks consumed
  • behaviors that occurred
  • how parents reacted to behaviors

After that, I provided the family with a detailed questionnaire. This gave me additional insight into sensory concerns, preferred and non-preferred foods/drinks, escape behaviors, anxiety, food jags, parent concerns, parent priorities, behavior concerns, and medical concerns. Any time there is a feeding/eating concern it is important to rule out a medical cause/gastrointestinal health issues. This information can help you determine the root of the issue.

  • 40 questions analyzing the following:
  • sensory
  • anxiety
  • pragmatics
  • academics
  • literacy
  • family dynamic
  • behavior
  • food aversions and sensitivities.
  • This questionnaire can help plan treatment, assessment, and intervention for individuals with feeding, anxiety, or sensory concerns.

(click photo to purchase item on TPT)

Determining the root of the problem:

The information obtained from the case history, food log, and detailed parent questionnaire can help narrow down the root of the problem. Here are some options to consider…

  • sensory based
  • behavior based
  • anxiety based
  • lack of exposure

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