Feeding Therapy Questions

Why doesn’t my child want to eat?

Depending on your child’s condition, it may be difficult to determine why your child won’t eat. There are number of factors that could affect your child’s eating habits. For example, a child may have a medical condition that resulted in eating being difficult. Once the medical condition is resolved, our feeding therapy can help a child overcome unhealthy eating habits.

What feeding issues might require therapy?
Feeding and swallowing issues that can benefit from therapy:

  • Oral Phase – sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
  • Pharyngeal Phase – starting of the swallowing reflex, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent choking.
  • Esophageal phase – squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

If your child exhibits feeding difficulties, it would be helpful to evaluate your child to determine the severity of the difficulty and whether feeding therapy may be beneficial.

What signs of feeding difficulties I should be aware of?

Symptoms of feeding disorders might include:

  • Refusal to eat certain foods
  • Preferences for foods by taste, textures and/or brand
  • Not being able to safely handle foods

Serious symptoms could include difficulty controlling food in the mouth, inability to control food or saliva in the mouth, difficulty initiating a swallow, coughing, choking, frequent pneumonia, unexplained weight loss, gurgling after swallowing, and a sensation of food being stuck in their throat.

Could my child’s feeding difficulties be serious?
In addition to the challenges maintaining a healthy balance diet, children with untreated feeding disorders can be at risk of pulmonary aspiration and subsequent aspiration pneumonia from food or liquids “going down the wrong way” and into their lungs.

What the difference between behavioral and physiological therapy approaches?

A behavioral approach to feeding therapy breaks down your child’s eating process into elements that we can evaluate, such as mouth opening, swallowing, etc. Then, we work with your child to learn new healthy eating behaviors. The physiological approach explores possible physical or medical conditions that might be affecting your child’s eating.  Sometimes both approaches are necessary.

Can my child grow out of their feeding difficulty without therapy?

As a child matures, it is possible that they can overcome their feeding problem without therapy. However, that could depend on how severe is their feeding problem, and whether your child’s feeding problem is affecting their overall development and health.

Pediatric Feeding Therapy - FAQ's

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Feeding therapy FAQ's