Feeding therapists are specialized professionals who play a crucial role in helping individuals, particularly children, develop healthy eating habits. They address a wide range of feeding difficulties, from picky eating to more complex issues like swallowing disorders. This article explores the role of a feeding therapist and how they can positively impact individuals’ nutritional health.

Understanding the Role of a Feeding Therapist

Feeding therapists, often speech-language pathologists (SLPs) or occupational therapists (OTs), are trained to assess and treat various feeding difficulties. They work closely with individuals and their families to identify the underlying causes of feeding issues and develop tailored treatment plans.

Assessment and Evaluation

The first step in the feeding therapy process is a comprehensive assessment. This may include evaluating oral motor skills, sensory processing, and mealtime behaviors. By understanding the root cause of the feeding difficulty, the therapist can create an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Approaches

Feeding therapists use a variety of approaches to address feeding difficulties. These may include:

  • Sensory Integration Therapy: This approach helps individuals become more comfortable with different food textures, tastes, and temperatures.
  • Oral Motor Therapy: Focuses on strengthening the muscles used in chewing and swallowing.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Addresses mealtime behaviors and food aversions through positive reinforcement and other techniques.
  • Feeding Therapy: Involves gradually introducing new foods and improving overall feeding skills.

Collaboration and Support

Feeding therapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, which may include pediatricians, dietitians, psychologists, and other therapists. This collaborative approach ensures that all aspects of an individual’s feeding difficulty are addressed.


Feeding therapists play a vital role in supporting individuals with feeding difficulties. Through assessment, treatment, and collaboration with other professionals, they help individuals develop healthy eating habits and improve their overall quality of life.


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