By: Jennifer Berry, MS, OT/L and Heidi Moreland MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CLC

We know that adult directed food interactions, pressure, and rewards can be damaging to a child’s relationship with food, but we are often at a loss for what else to do as parents and therapists when our little ones struggle with eating.  Responsive Feeding Therapy helps to provide the framework, so we can help rebuild a child’s relationship with food and facilitate their skill development.  This type of responsive therapy helps the child trust food, their own bodies, and the people feeding them as they overcome feeding obstacles and protect their lifelong relationship with food.   

Thrive therapists, along with Grace Wong, a registered dietician, Katja Rowell, a family physician, and Jo Cormack, a counselor, developed the white paper “Responsive Feeding Therapy: Values and Practice”. The paper outlines the 5 values that are crucial to feeding therapy interactions that support children in developing a heathy relationship with food, and also help them to move forward.  By leaning on the core beliefs of autonomy, relationship, internal motivation, individualized care, and competence, therapists and parents can work together to strengthen the child’s relationship with food, and provide them the structure to keep moving ahead in a way that is comfortable for that child.    

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