Hilary Frank MA CCC-SLP, speech therapist at Child and Family Development- Pineville, recently attended a course titled Treatment of Picky Eating and Problem Eaters Using Food Chaining Therapy from Northern Speech Services.
This method trains pediatric therapists to evaluate medical, nutrition, oral motor, sensory and behavioral areas to determine the benefit of food chaining. Food chaining is a framework of expanding nutrition and diet, starting with a list of safe and accepted foods, modifying/ altering these foods in very small ways and gradually proceeding to an expanded set of accepted and enjoyed foods.
A recent study including 10 children ages 1-14 revealed that the food chaining approach resulted in all children expanding their diet in all cases. This study concludes that Ffod chaining is an effective method in treating extreme food selectivity.
Hilary likes this program because it is evidence-based and encourages the child to feel successful within his/her eating environment. When we consider how many steps and skills are involved in “eating”, we can better understand and appreciate the supports certain children need along the way.
She plans to use this training to provide helpful strategies for children and families focused on improving nutritional intake and expanding food acceptance.
Read more about pediatric speech therapy, including feeding and swallowing services, here.