What does feeding therapy look like at Speech and Feeding of Frisco? It looks like fun! While therapy is planned according to what the patient needs, I strive to make all our sessions fun. I want children to learn that food is a good thing so they begin to enjoy meals more. In order for a child to enjoy meals, we have to remember where feeding starts. Hint: feeding does not start at the first bite of food.
Feeding starts with exploring food with all 5 senses. Because of that, today in feeding therapy, we baked banana bread with my special 7-year-old patient. Why baking you may ask? Baking/cooking elicits the following skills:
- learning to tolerate being in the kitchen
- learning to tolerate new foods in his/her presence
- smelling new foods
- touching new foods without being asked to eat them
- seeing new foods being stirred, mashed, mixed, etc
Many of us take these skills for granted; however, they are all precursors to being a happy eater. By baking banana bread, my special patient was able to do the following:
- peel 4 bananas
- cut 4 bananas
- mix mashed bananas with sour cream and vanilla
- cracked 2 eggs getting egg whites on his fingers
- put walnuts on top of the loaf before it was baked
These are steps he had not accomplished before. Now, he was able to do them all while having fun! Try this at home with your picky eater and see how it goes.
Home Exercises to Encourage Happy Meals
- Take your child grocery shopping with you and talk about the foods as you pass by (their color, shape, smell, etc.)
- Have your child in the kitchen when you are cooking. If they tolerate that, have them help prepare food for meals or bake the desert.
- Ask your child to carry food to the table and/or clean up dinner plates throwing the leftover food in the trash.
- Paint using fingers and food. Use fingers as a paint brush and creamy foods as paint. Creamy foods could be things like yogurt, pudding, ketchup, ranch dressing, etc.
- Make edible play-dough together and then play with it.
These are just a few fun activities. You will want to work with your speech therapist for additional activities depending on what level of tolerance your child has with foods.
If you have questions about your child’s feeding skills, please call today at 214-232-1426 or check out the web-site at http://www.friscospeechandfeeding.com.