Occupational therapy supports children to do the activities which enable
them to independently eat, sit, play, experience different sensations and
to enjoy life. The occupational therapy at Kids Feeding Team is carried out
by our experienced occupational therapists. Our occupational therapists
take a whole-child approach to your child's feeding and daily activities to enable them to achieve their full potential.
What role does an occupational therapist play in a multidisciplinary
feeding clinic service?
Eating and feeding are basic activities of daily living for a child,
therefore, feeding falls within the domain of occupational therapy. The
occupational therapist's role in the feeding team is to assess the child's
feeding skills, motor skills, sensory skills, and strength, as well as the
behaviour and environmental factors surrounding mealtimes. Following this,
our occupational therapists can input a plan to ensure your child is
reaching their full potential with self feeding, independence and safety.
Niamh is our committed Specialist Paediatric Dietitian who has experience in both the
NHS and private sectors. She understands the complex needs of each individual child
and their family to provide patient centred care which is results-focused, evidence based
When would a child benefit from seeing the Feeding Team occupational
Any child who is having difficulty around mealtimes, in relation to
positioning, sensation, movement and function of their muscles or
behavioural issues is suitable to see our occupational therapists. After an
initial consultation with our paediatric dietitian they decide if it is
appropriate for your child to see the occupational therapist as part of a
multidisciplinary team. As children grow and develop they may encounter
some development problems, as a result of a diagnosed condition,
environmental factors or biological influences. Children may be not meeting
their developmental milestones at the right time, compared to other
children their age, or be struggling with trying new foods and textures.
Our multidisciplinary team of trained and experienced therapists will help
alleviate some of these concerns through assessment and a personalised
How does an occupational therapist help children with nutritional or eating
By using a mixture of cognitive, sensory and physical approaches, aids and
techniques, our occupational therapists will assess the problems that are
occurring which are affecting the nutritional intake of your child, and
from that a plan will be developed as part of a multidisciplinary team. The
goals and outcomes of occupational therapy varies greatly according to the
patients. Our occupational therapists ensure your child is able to realise
What are the common conditions occupational therapy may be involved in
within our feeding clinic service?
Our occupational therapists work as part of a multidisciplinary team to
alleviate behavioural and physical barriers which may be affecting your
child's eating. Here are some common problems occupational therapy can
Coughing, gagging, choking or smelling food
Discomfort with feeding
Behavioural difficulties/stress around mealtimes
Breastfeeding/bottle feeding and weaning difficulties
Requiring long periods to eat meals
Fussy eaters/ food aversions
Difficulty with drinking from an open cup or through a straw
If your child is experiencing one or more of these problems with their
eating, contact us at Kids Feeding Team to see how we can help.
Our occupational therapists are commonly involved in children with some of
the following conditions:
Autistic Spectrum Conditions
Cleft Lip / Palate
Our occupational therapists can provide a holistic approach during
assessment, intervention and evaluation of an infant's or child's feeding.
The occupational therapist will be accompanied by a multidisciplinary team
of professionals including a dietitian, speech and language therapist and a
What does a occupational therapy assessment involve?
The occupational therapist will conduct an assessment with the dietitian so
you can achieve easier and more nutritional feeding routines. The
occupational therapists will assess your child's readiness to eat, observe
posture and positioning during feeding, motor skills, hand-eye coordination
and sensory processing skills. Goals will be child centred and tailored for
you and your families needs. They will be specific, measurable, achievable,
rewarding and timely. The overall goal of an occupational therapist in the
feeding team is to support the child to eat safely, healthily, and to enjoy
Our occupational therapists have an important role to play in the
management of feeding issues in children. There are a variety of different
causes of poor feeding, some of which can benefit directly from traditional
occupational therapy interventions. The occupational therapist will work
closely with the multidisciplinary team (dietitian, speech and language
therapist, and physiotherapist) to ensure the best results for your child.
If you think your child would benefit from seeing our feeding team
physiotherapist please contact us.