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Pediatric Feeding Therapy

If your child is having trouble breast or bottle feeding, transitioning to table foods or has limited foods they will eat, our therapist can help. Our therapists specialize in assessing and treating feeding difficulties. Rise provides pediatric feeding therapy to families in and around Des Moines! We follow a responsive feeding approach that takes the pressure off the child and family. We work on improving oral motor skills and sensory processing skills to help children learn about and explore new foods.

We work directly with your child, while including parents in order to implement effective strategies into mealtimes at home.

What is Pediatric Feeding Therapy?

Feeding therapy is a specialized approach that helps infants and children develop the skills needed to establish healthy routines around mealtime. At Rise, our OT and SLPs are specialized in feeding therapy. We combine direct intervention with parent coaching as we work through individualized goals. What does this look like?

  • Looking at your child wholistically to determine why your child is having difficulty with feeding and educating you on what you can do to help!

  • PLAY! We know your child learns best through play. We will take the pressure off trying new foods by getting creative, having fun, and playing!

  • We will work to turn picky eating into healthy habits

  • Examining routines at home to ensure they are supporting safe and healthy habits

  • Provide education and collaborate with parents, schools, doctors, and other therapists to ensure their needs are being supported in all aspects of their life. We go the extra mile for your child by being their advocate.

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Who Can Benefit from Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy is designed to help children have positive experiences with foods and eating.  Many children can benefit from feeding therapy, especially if they have conditions such as:​

  •  Diagnosis of failure to thrive

  • Is currently on or previously been on a feeding tube

  • Digestive, gastrointestinal, or oral-facial surgeries, syndromes, or complications

  • Picky eating

  • Coughing or excessive gagging with foods

  • Limited weight gain

  • Difficulty breast or bottle feeding

  • Tongue and/or lip tie revision

Signs Your Child Might Need Feeding Therapy

If you are concerned about your child's feeding skills it is best to schedule an evaluation with a feeding therapist who can determine if your child would benefit from services.  Your child may benefit from feeding therapy if they demonstrate any of the following:​

  • Mealtime is stressful on your and/or your child

  • Takes a long time to feed

  • Fear around foods or refusal to try new foods

  • Limited variety of textures

(i.e., prefers smooth/creamy foods or eating only crunchy foods)

  • Demonstrates challenging behavior around mealtimes

  • Pocking foods in their cheeks

  • Difficulty Chewing, Swallowing, or Reflux

  • Difficulty feeding themselves independently

  • Weakness or limited movement in the tongue, lips, or jaw 

  • Coughing throughout meals or when drinking

  • Tongue clicking or noisy breast or bottle feeding

  • Difficulty transitioning from bottle to solid food, or challenges moving from purees to textured foods

  • Refusing foods they once loved

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Benefits of Feeding Therapy

Children with difficulties with who participate in feeding therapy can experience many fantastic benefits such as:

  • Improved nutrition, ability to grow and gain weight

  • Decreased stress around foods 

  • Increased energy and ability to learn new skills

  • Less behaviors at mealtimes

  • Ability to try new foods and expand their food inventory

  • Ability to wean from feeding tube

  • Improved oral motor skills

  • Decreased stress for child and caregiver!

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