Feeding Therapy

Mealtimes can be stressful for parents, no matter the age of your child or their ability level.

Your child may be a very fussy eater, or refuse to sit at the table for a meal, preferring to ‘snack on the run’ throughout the day. Or they may have difficulty with the motor action of eating and rely on easy-to-consume meltable foods, purees and liquids.

These are the kinds of challenges which we can help you and your child with in our Feeding Therapy clinics.

Our Feeding Therapy clinic sessions are play-based and allow a child to interact with food in a fun, non-stressful way.

We know that children learn through play and are more motivated when they are having fun, therefore, making food exploration fun and engaging is at the heart of our approach and every feeding clinic at the CDI.

CDI Feeding Therapy Program


How Feeding Therapy is Delivered:

The CDI offer feeding clinics with our Speech and Language Pathologists and our Occupational Therapists who use their discipline specific knowledge, combined with training in evidence-based feeding interventions such as SOS Approach to Feeding and Babble and Munch.

Before your child starts feeding clinics, they receive an assessment to establish their feeding skills and identify problem areas. An individualised program is created to address your child’s specific challenges and your parent goals. Children enrolled in feeding clinics will receive feeding therapy weekly for a 1 hour session. Not only will your child learn to tolerate and explore a broader variety of foods, but you will also receive parent education to make feeding at home a more pleasant and enjoyable experience for you and your child.

The number of sessions required is dependent on how the child responds to the therapy. They may only require 1 term (10-12 wks) or more. Progress will be discussed with you after each session and reviewed at the end of the term.

Who Can Benefit:

Fussy Eaters – children who:

  • Take a long time to finish eating
  • Refuse to eat or drink
  • Only eat foods with specific textures, colours, tastes or smells
  • Don’t eat at mealtimes but snack excessively at other times
  • Unable to eat more than 20 foods consistently


Problem Feeders – children who:

  • Cry or fuss when feeding
  • Have difficulty chewing food
  • Have difficulty drinking
  • Have difficulty transitioning from bottle to cup
  • Have difficulty introducing solids

What to Expect in a Feeding Clinic:

The first clinic will include a thorough assessment of:

  • muscles involved in chewing, moving food around the mouth and swallowing
  • tolerated food textures and consistencies, colours & varieties
  • fine motor skills to manage finger food, cutlery & cups


Once the program is set, a weekly clinic will include:

  • Activation of core muscles involved in strong posture for eating through warm up movement games
  • Exposure to a hierarchy of foods through imaginative and exploratory play to promote tolerance of seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting new foods
  • Inclusion of fine motor games with the tongue, lips, and jaw to improve and strengthen coordination of these muscles
  • Support and modelling of how to use utensils, move food around the plate and use a suitable cup
  • Prompting and modelling for what to do when a meal is finished


Outcomes Case Study

Markus is a 4 year old boy who commenced Feeding Clinics at the CDI due to poor oral motor skills, aversion to wet and cold textures and limited repertoire of solid foods.

Markus had up to 6 bottles of milk each day to ensure he had enough caloric intake. He also refused to eat any food offered at childcare.

Using the play-based approach to feeding, our therapist has been able to teach Markus to move food more efficiently in his mouth, provide Markus with strategies to independently manage his aversion to wet textures and expose Markus to a wider variety of foods.

After attending feeding clinics for 12 weeks, Markus is more willing to try new foods at home and at day care.