Leaps and Bounds, Inc. held a group in June that met 2 times/ week utilizing Dr. Kay Toomey’s S.O.S. Approach to Feeding. Our group was called Lunch Munch. The children in this group were 4-5 years of age. They entered the group with a strong aversion to mealtime and were classified by their parents as being “picky eaters.” Their diet consisted mostly of purees including baby food, mashed potatoes and some dry crunchy foods (crackers).
The group was led by a speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist. Another therapist also met with the parents each session to talk to them about the program and how to facilitate the program at home. The parents also watched several sessions via video from another room as a therapist described the process of the group.
The group was such a success! All of the kids met their goal of becoming more comfortable at mealtimes. During table time, they were engaged and positive. Each child was able to interact with the food each time it was presented by touching it, bringing it to their mouth, biting it, and even at times, swallowing the food. The children made progress with each session. Parents reported the following progress at home as well:
• Sitting at mealtime without difficulty
• Gagging decreased when food was presented
• Trying different foods
• Accepting new foods on their plate
• Touching foods that they previously could not tolerate in front of them
This program has been a great tool to use to navigate this difficult area. The process of getting a “picky eater” to eat takes time and patience, but this program has proven to be helpful.