Shifting our Focus in Pediatric Feeding towards a Compassionate Lens

April 13, 2023 3:45 pm

Session Summary

Pediatric feeding is an advanced practice skill in multiple professions. Clinicians have traditionally sought out information about normal development, the anatomy and physiology of eating and specialty topics such as lactation and breast feeding, oral motor skill training, sensory and learning theory, and feeding skill training. These are all important foundations for being a feeding professional. This presentation will challenge the audience to expand and shift our thinking compassionately towards empathy, the mealtime over the mouth, the feeding relationship and connection, parent focused therapy, responsivity and communication, sensory and emotional safety, and mealtime peace through what we know about brain research, and a body of evidence and experience that informs these shifts.

Learning Objectives

  1. List four evidence-based benefits of family mealtimes
  2. Describe both parent and child roles at the mealtime
  3. List the negative influence of pressure, stress and discomfort on mealtimes


  • Marsha Dunn Klein

    Marsha Dunn Klein OTR/L, MEd, FAOTA

    Marsha Dunn Klein is an occupational therapist who has specialized in pediatric feeding for over 50 years. She has co-authored Prefeeding Skills, First and Second Edition , Mealtime Participation Guide and Homemade Blended Formula with Suzanne Evans Morris, and Feeding and Nutrition for the Child with Special Needs with Tracy Delaney and authored Anxious Eaters, Anxious Mealtimes: Practical and Compassionate Strategies for Mealtime Peace.

    She has also been a clinician, a clinician owner, an inventor of the Duospoon ® and TeetherHeart®. She is cofounder of a Nourish, a non profit in support of families whose children have feeding challenges in southern Arizona, and co-founder of the Get Permission Institute. Marsha considers herself a food celebrator.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives compensation from Mealtime Connections , LLC of which she is a founding member. Receives royalties from Duospoon and TeetherHeart with Special Supplies. Is the co-founder of Get-Permission Institute.

    Non-financial Disclosures: Is a Feeding Matters founding member.

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