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Overcoming Picky Eating: The Benefits of Feeding Therapy for Toddlers

Feeding a picky toddler can be a challenge for any parent, and it's important to seek professional help if the issue persists. Feeding therapy is a specialized form of therapy that can help children with feeding difficulties, including picky eating. In this blog post, we'll discuss picky eating in toddlers and how feeding therapy can help.

Understanding Picky Eating in Toddlers

Picky eating is a common issue among toddlers, and it typically involves a child's refusal to eat certain foods or a limited range of foods. While picky eating can be a normal part of development, it can become a concern when it begins to impact a child's health and nutrition.

Picky eating can have a variety of causes, including sensory processing issues, oral-motor difficulties, anxiety, and behavioral issues. It's important to work with a pediatrician or a feeding therapist to identify the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan.

What is Feeding Therapy?

Feeding therapy is a specialized form of therapy that helps children develop healthy eating habits and overcome feeding difficulties. It is typically conducted by a licensed speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist who specializes in feeding and swallowing issues.

Feeding therapy may involve a variety of techniques, including:

  • Sensory exploration and play

  • Gradual exposure to new foods

  • Desensitization to textures and flavors

  • Oral-motor exercises

  • Positive reinforcement and praise

To read more about sensory exploration and sensory problems, read my blog Understanding Sensory Professing Issues in Toddlers: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options.

Feeding therapy is often conducted in a structured and supportive environment, such as a clinic or therapy center. Parents may also be asked to participate in therapy sessions and implement feeding strategies at home.

How Feeding Therapy Can Help Picky Eaters

Feeding therapy can be an effective treatment option for picky eaters, as it can help children develop a more positive relationship with food and overcome feeding difficulties. Some of the benefits of feeding therapy for picky eaters include:

  • Increased acceptance of new foods and textures

  • Improved oral-motor skills and chewing abilities

  • Reduced anxiety and stress related to mealtime

  • Improved overall nutrition and health

Final Thoughts

If you're struggling with a picky eater, it's important to seek help from a qualified professional, such as a pediatrician or a feeding therapist. Feeding therapy can be an effective treatment option for children with feeding difficulties, and it can help your child develop healthy eating habits and overcome picky eating behaviors. So if you're concerned about your child's eating habits, don't hesitate to reach out for help.


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