Eating is the only activity children do which involves all 8 senses. Which makes mealtimes a particularly challenging task for children. Eating involves several major steps before food even reaches the mouth. First, we must be able to look at food, tolerate being in the same room, interact with the food using a utensil. We must be able to handle the smell of food, touch it with our fingers, hands, body and mouth. Tasting, chewing and swallowing are the final steps. Feeding also requires fine and gross motor skills and oral-motor skills.
If your child has difficulties with any of these feeding skills, then one of our experienced occupational therapists can help. Contact us for more advice or support.
Some of our favourite activities to develop feeding skills are:
Family meals – serving food in the middle of the table at meals and each person interacting with the food
Fun, messy exploration of food
Cooking and food shopping with your child
Establish a feeding routine