How Feeding Therapy Techniques Can Help Your Baby

Despite how well-meaning your mother might be regarding your baby’s development, sometimes it takes a keen eye to deal with the challenges that come with bringing up children. might be time to seek the advice of a specialist if you are getting overly concerned about your child’s lack of interest in food, or their rapidly decreasing weight. Specifically one who can conduct a behavioral feeding analysis to determine the relationship your bundle of joy has with their food, and how it is affecting how and what they choose to eat. Feeding therapy is a highly sought after treatment for young children struggling to adjust to certain types of foods. 

 

Benefits Associated With the Analysis 

  • Improved health and nutrition of the child 
  • A reduction in disruptive behaviors during meals such as screaming, spitting, throwing food etc. 
  • Improved feeding strategies 

 

What Exactly is Feeding Therapy?

It is simply an approach that helps solve eating disorders by accessing food patterns and coming up with tailor-made solutions that make food more enjoyable and fun for a toddler. This is done by observing and noting the kind of behavior a child exhibits during meals. Case in point, their reaction when placed in their feeding chair or when food on a spoon is directed towards their mouth. It is also at this point that behavioral analysis is employed, with the sole purpose of diagnosing and providing solutions that will see your child’s eating habits change for the better. 

Common Tendencies That Professionals Look out for: 

 Packing

This refers to the habit of depositing food in the mouth by the child for a period of time instead of swallowing it. It can also be referred to as squirreling or pocketing. There are two factors that contribute to this kind of behavior, one is food texture, and the other is food type. For example, a child can comfortably eat fruits but have a problem swallowing a vegetable like broccoli simply because they do not like it, which will result in pocketing. Likewise, one who is used to pureed foods might have a hard time swallowing food with different texture hence retaining the food in their mouth.

Vomiting

Though often involuntary, it can sometimes occur frequently if a child dislikes certain foods. However, other factors such as allergies, reflux, consistency or texture of food, and existing medical conditions might contribute to the progression of this behavior. A mechanism to lessen the possibility of throwing up after a meal is the best approach to curb the menace.

Expel

Nothing is as annoying as being spat on with food that was supposed to be swallowed, however, even more, alarming is the fact that your child is refusing to eat, and they are showing their defiance by spitting food that has been placed in their mouth. Once the reason for this tendency is identified through analysis, feeding therapy moves in to resolve the issue by inculcating new responses in the child.

Bite Acceptance

This refers to the ability to accept food when presented by the feeder. Most children respond by opening their mouths when a spoonful of food is presented to them while others reject out rightly by turning their heads away.

Combined Inappropriate Behaviors

In instances where the toddler simply dislikes the idea of eating, they might start to kick, throw a tantrum, scream, hit the spoon or turn their torso more than 180 degrees to make it impossible for you to feed them.

Methods Used to Improve Feeding Habits

Feeding therapy utilizes a variety of skills that work to improve an infant’s relationship with food, the common ones include:

Oral Skills: The therapist will work with the child to improve their range of motion and oral strength by teaching them how to coordinate sipping, sucking, chewing and swallowing during meals.

Improving the Eating Experience: It is vital to do away with bad habits by introducing new ones and that is exactly what feeding therapy does. This can be done by creating positive associations with food in the child and improving their meal routines by retraining the caregiver to provide better experiences during mealtimes.

Food Orientation: So that proper nutrition levels are achieved, food diversification is recommended as it provides exposure to a variety of foods that the child can choose from.
Conclusion

Please note that this is a strategy is unique to each child and therefore its duration is dependent on their response. Feeding therapy should be dealt with by a highly trained professional. Patience is key and doing your research will benefit both you and your baby in the long run. For more information, head over to Speak Live Play and skim through customer reviews and testimonials for feeding therapy.