Helping your child develop skills to nourish their body

Feeding Clinic

Feeding is a basic developmental skill that is used every day to provide nourishment to one’s body. While this skill is second nature to most, it can be a difficult task for others. 

The comprehensive paediatric feeding program offers a variety of services, including evaluation and an intensive 1:1 feeding program and group feeding programs.

Does your child have...?
  • Trouble gaining weight?
  • Issues with picky eating?
  • Only eat certain colour foods such as white – white rice, bread, pasta?
  • Not eat foods if they are mixed?
  • Difficulty knowing when they are hungry – I have to remind them to eat?
  • Issues with Gagging and vomiting regularly when eating?
  • Regular refusals of certain textures of food (e.g., will only have puree; refuses chewy food like meat or chicken)?
  • Difficulty using cutlery at home or when dining out?
  • Times when they pocket food in their mouth/take a long time to finish a meal?
Assessment Process

The evaluation is conducted jointly by a Speech and Language Therapist certified in the SOS Feeding approach and an Occupational Therapist certified in Sensory Integration. Following the evaluation recommendations will be made to the family.

Step 1: Initial parent consultation over the telephone with someone in the feeding team

Step 2: Background form and questionnaires are emailed to the parents and the reception team will make a booking

Step 3: The child and parents come into the clinic for an evaluation with 2 members of the evaluation team. This includes: sensory observations, evaluation of oral motor skills, actual process of feeding and a verbal discussion with parents about results and recommendations

Note: Families are asked to bring the plates, bowls, utensils etc. that the child usually uses at home to the evaluation. The goal is for the family to bring with them, items to help the child feel as comfortable as possible in a clinic setting. 

Treatment process

SOS Feeding Approach: Sequential – Oral – Sensory

The SOS Feeding Approach or “Sequential Oral Sensory”, is an evidenced based approach to feeding therapy that utilises a systematic approach, to address both the sensory processing and the oral motor skills, a child needs to eat a wide variety of food groups and textures. 

As the only results-driven feeding program, with 30 years of proven clinical experience helping children learn the skills they need to eat well, we measure success by the positive impacts we create and have developed our program to make this easier by:

  • Understanding that eating is a learned skill (6 major steps to eating)
  • Looking at the whole child when assessing the child’s current feeding abilities and devising a therapy plan
  • Focusing on child-directed, family-centred feeding
  • Ensuring our program is individualised for each child’s specific needs and culturally sensitive

This program integrates motor, oral, behavioral/learning, sensory and nutritional factors and approaches in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems. It is based on, and grounded philosophically in, the “normal” developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. 

The treatment component of the program utilizes these typical developmental steps towards feeding, to create a systematic desensitisation hierarchy of skills/behaviors necessary for children to progress with eating various textures, and with growing at an appropriate rate for them. In addition, the SOS Approach works to identify any nutritional deficits and to develop recommendations as appropriate to each individual child’s growth parameters and needs. Skills across all developmental areas are also assessed with regards to feeding, as well as an examination of learning capabilities with regards to using the SOS program. 

The basic structure in which the program is implemented depends on the child’s age and individual needs 

  • For children who are less than 18 months of age, the program is structured as an “individual” therapy session. An “individual” therapy session includes the child and at least one parent, and the therapist. 
  • For children older than 7 years of age, the program is structured using an adaptation of the SOS Program (called the “Food Scientist Adaptation”) and may take place in an individual session or in a peer feeding group. Whether or not the child is placed in a peer group is dependent on the number of other same aged peers with similar issues who are currently in treatment in the Clinic. In addition, how well the child functions in, and can utilize, a peer group, is taken into consideration.