Food Group Approach to Feeding

Food group allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and on their plate, manage the smell of the foods, learn about how foods feel on the body and in their mouth, and then enjoying tasting and eating new food.

Food Group is a group of children and therapists working together to increase a child’s comfort level with mealtimes by exploration and exposure to new and/or less preferred foods. The goal is not volume of foods; the ultimate goal is to help children learn how to feel comfortable exploring new/different foods. Our approach focuses on developing/improving oral-motor skills, positioning, and sensory needs.

What are some possible red flags?

Why consider treatment?

The earlier you can begin working with a child who is struggling to eat, the faster you will see changes.

Feeding difficulties can impact a child’s ability to engage across a variety of environments (i.e. mealtimes, holidays, social gatherings, school/daycare). Decreased food/nutritional intake can also impact a child’s mood, participation, attention/arousal level, quality rest/sleep, etc. Teaching a child how to explore and interact with foods will help them learn how to successfully and safely eat foods. This will also increase their ability to cope and participate throughout mealtimes. For healthy eating habits throughout life, it is important that children learn to eat a variety of foods at an early age. The sooner they are able to learn these skills and build a positive relationship with foods, the sooner mealtimes and daily activities will become more enjoyable for everyone involved!

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