When a Picky Eater Needs Some Extra Help: Paediatric Feeding Therapy

Three ideas to try

  1. Make time to play with food. Bake, prep dinner together or make vegetable creations with toothpicks and vegetables. There is no pressure to eat at this time and it will allow you both to have fun with food.
  2. Have a dry flannel/serviette for each person at the table. If they touch something they don’t like they can wipe it off quickly without getting up from the table.
  3. Have family style meals. Put the pots/dishes on the table or counter and everyone helps themselves. This allows control of what they are going to eat and how much. It also exposes the child to food they may not choose to eat but need to stretch over to access what they want.

Where to go

Contact your GP/paediatrician to find out if you are eligible for MOH or MOE funding and/or the child disability allowance.

Another great resource is www.feedingmatters.com. They have a questionnaire you can fill out to check if your child does have a feeding issue, and support for families. Melanie Potock at www.mymunchbug.com has a great online course (around $50 US) and a YouTube channel with great ideas you can use at home.

I have a Facebook page where I post handy hints and ideas.

You do not need to have a doctor’s referral to access private therapy. You can contact me at themesshall@jenniferlyons.net or find out more about my service at www.themesshall.co.nz. I can also put you in contact with your closest feeding therapist or we can arrange a skype/facetime call.

The Mess Hall feeding clinic

I have been a feeding therapist for almost 20 years across a variety of settings both in Scotland and New Zealand. I opened the first private paediatric feeding clinic in Wellington at the beginning of 2017.

The Mess Hall offers home and clinic visits to work with children and their families to reduce stress around meal times, increase acceptance of being around food and develop skills to be able to manage to eat a greater range. I work with a range of ages from premature babies up to teenagers using a variety of skills and techniques specific to the child’s needs. I have my post graduate qualification in paediatric dysphagia and I’m SOS trained (Sensory Oral Sequential programme by Kay Toomey and Erin Ross).

I offer free 30 minute information sessions to GP, nurses and other medical professionals highlighting red flags, what to do and what not to do at meal times, in the Wellington, Porirua and Upper Hutt areas. I am also available to give presentations at kindergartens/day care for staff and parents.

Please contact me at themesshall@jenniferlyons.net for more information.

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