The Feeding Team at STAR Institute sees clients of all ages – from infancy into adulthood who have developmental feeding challenges. We work with clients to identify what is interfering with their eating and how to best improve growth and interactions with food.
Our Feeding Team uses the SOS Approach to Feeding program, an internationally recognized approach for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties (developed by Dr. Kay Toomey) as well as sensory integration and DIR/Floortime. We approach feeding from a developmental, “whole-child” perspective, and work in collaboration with the child’s other providers.
We use a Multidisciplinary/Transdisciplinary Evaluation Team to make sure we are not missing any piece of the puzzle. Our team consists of a Physician, Dietitian, Mental Health Professional, Occupational Therapist, and Speech Language Pathologist.Infant Feeding Therapy You and your Feeding Therapist will feed your baby together. The therapist will help with any breast or bottle feeding concerns, as well as the introduction to spoon feeding, and the transition to solid foods and cup drinking. Feeding is a developmental skill that develops between birth and three years of age, which is why early intervention to address feeding challenges is so important. STAR will schedule infants under 12 months of age within two weeks (NO waitlist). Child Feeding Therapy You and your child will have Therapy Meals with your Feeding Therapist, who will choose and prepare foods, as well as provide plates, cups, utensils, etc. Sessions are play-based and designed to meet sensory, sensory motor, oral motor, and medical needs. You will learn how to best support your child in reaching their feeding goals. Adolescent and Adult Feeding Therapy You and your Feeding Therapist will work together to uncover the reasons why feeding can be challenging for each individual. Feeding starts as a developmental milestone (0 – 3 years) and then continues to be impacted by skill, our learning around food, and then any other confounding factors. Even as an adult, eating is not as simple as people think! Group Feeding Therapy A small group of 4-6 children participates in a Therapy Meal together in our kitchen while all of the parents and the team lead watch from behind a one-way mirror. Groups are arranged for children as young as 18 months and as old as 7 years and are organized based on therapy needs. Parents participate directly during the beginning of the therapy session by helping guide their child through a sensory play routine. Once behind the one-way mirror, parents are taught about how to best help their child eat while observing the Feeding Therapists working with their child. Food and Cooking Clubs Cooking and other fun food activities can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about new foods in an engaging environment while spending time with parents and/or peers. Often when children have the opportunity to learn and cook their own foods, it can make it feel a little less scary to interact with and try them too! Our food and cooking clubs encourage socialization between peers and will support those who may have feeding or sensory challenges. Children of all ability levels are encouraged to join us as we have fun together in the kitchen!