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Nourishing Little Tummies: Feeding Therapy for Selective Eaters

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Mealtime should be a joyful experience, filled with laughter, exploration, and the pleasure of trying new foods. However, for many families with “picky eaters” (we prefer to say selective eaters) mealtime can turn into a battleground, filled with frustration and worry about their child's nutrition. Enter feeding therapy – a specialized approach designed to help children overcome their aversions and develop a healthy relationship with food. In this blog post, we'll explore the world of feeding therapy and how it can transform mealtime for selective eaters and their families.

Understanding Selective Eating:

“Picky” eating is a common phase in childhood development, but for some children, it can persist and lead to nutritional deficiencies and mealtime stress. Feeding therapy recognizes that selective eating is often more than just a phase and addresses the underlying factors contributing to food aversions.

Building Food Confidence:

Feeding therapy focuses on building confidence and competence around food by gradually introducing new tastes, textures, and food combinations in a supportive and non-threatening environment. Therapists use play-based activities and sensory exploration to help children feel more comfortable and adventurous with food.

Addressing Sensory Sensitivities:

For many selective eaters, sensory sensitivities play a significant role in their aversions to certain foods. Feeding therapy helps children develop acceptance to different textures, flavors, temperatures, and smells through sensory integration techniques and positive experiences with foods. 

Family-Centered and Comprehensive Approach:

Feeding therapy takes a comprehensive approach to address the physical, sensory, behavioral, and emotional aspects of selective eating. Feeding therapists create a tailored intervention plan that meets the unique needs of each child. Feeding therapy recognizes that mealtime is a family affair and involves parents as partners in the intervention process. Therapists provide education, guidance, and support to parents, empowering them to create a positive mealtime environment and implement strategies to support their child's progress outside of therapy sessions.

Long-Term Success:

Feeding therapy is not just about getting a child to eat a wider variety of foods; it's about laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. By addressing the underlying issues contributing to selective eating and equipping families with strategies for success, feeding therapy sets children up for long-term nutritional wellness.


Feeding therapy offers hope and support for families navigating the challenges of selective eating. By taking a holistic and family-centered approach, feeding therapists help children overcome their aversions, expand their palate, and rediscover the joy of mealtime. If you have a selective eater in your family, consider reaching out to Rise Pediatric Therapy for guidance and support – because every meal should be a nourishing and enjoyable experience.

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