Feeding Problems and Fussy Eaters

Our speech pathology services

How speech pathology can help your fussy eater

Most kids go through a fussy eating phase. Every parent has a story to tell about an epic tantrum at a meal. But what about when it’s every meal? Or when food preferences or refusals are impacting your child’s health or your family life?

It can sometimes be hard to work out what’s normal toddler fussiness and what’s a feeding disorder. For some children, it can also be a problem with swallowing.

Some of the most common reasons for feeding and swallowing problems in children include:

  • Difficulties moving or coordinating the muscles needed for eating
  • Sensory issues
  • Reflux
  • Prematurity
  • Cleft lip or palate
  • Developmental disabilities.

Our team has speech pathologists with specific interests in treating children with feeding issues, including training in the SOS Approach to Feeding.

Signs your child might have a feeding issue

Are you worried that your child has:

  • Trouble transitioning to solids
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Gagging or coughing when eating or drinking
  • Food refusal
  • A restricted range of foods
  • A tongue thrust.

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Kid-friendly approaches to overcome the mealtime battles

Mealtimes should be a fun family experience. No one wants daily battles trying to get their child to eat. That’s why our therapy approach is designed to be fun and gradually increase your child’s acceptance of different foods. Depending on your child, our approach can involve:

  • Strategies for increasing the range of foods they will eat
  • Recommendations for positioning your child at meals
  • Advice for using cups, spoons and other feeding implements
  • Therapy sessions to reduce aversions to certain foods.

We will work in an integrated team with other health professionals including your GP, paediatrician, occupational therapist or dietician.

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