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Peds feeding THERAPY

Our occupational and speech therapists use feeding therapy to create positive experiences with feeding and swallowing.


Feeding therapy starts with sensory integration tasks to increase sensory awareness, target desensitization, and increase tactile input. Based on a child’s sensitivities and willingness, oral motor exercises are typically targeted to increase oral awareness, strength, range of motion and coordination of all oral structures required for successful oral feeds. These exercises are tailored to each child based on their oral motor needs.


Developmental Milestones

0-3 months

  • Holds head up when supported

  • Turns head towards nipple and opens mouth

  • Latches to nipple

  • Sucks and swallows

  • Consumes only formula and / or human milk

4-6 months

  • Pats breast or bottle

  • Brings hands or toys to mouth

  • Starts to sit up in cradle position and hold breast or bottle during feeding

  • Sits supported in highchair with straps and footrest

  • Opens mouth for spoon

  • Uses tongue to move food side to side and to the back of mouth for swallowing

  • Munching (up and down) and lateral (side to side) jaw movements

  • Smooth baby foods in addition to formula and/or human milk

6-9 months

  • Holds head upright when sitting upright

  • Gag reflex diminishes around 6 months

  • Continues to use support in high chair (straps and foot rest)

  • Leans forward and reaches towards food

  • Picks up food with fingers

  • Brings food to mouth with hands, uses fingers to rake foods towards self 

  • Begins to self feed

  • Full lip closure emerges

  • Active movement of food from side of mouth to tongue

  • Tries to hold a spoon

  • Starts to drink liquids from a straw cup (may bite straw and some liquid may spill out)

  • Drools less

  • Continues to consume formula and/or human milk, can start drinking small amounts of water

  • Smooth baby food with some lumps (mashed potatoes, applesauce, oatmeal, etc.)

  • Begin soft chewable foods cut into strips (pancakes, toast, cheese, etc.)

9-12 months

  • Holds bottle or cup with both hands

  • Holds spoon during meal

  • Pincer grasp developing (feeds self with fingers)

  • Takes a small bite from larger piece of food

  • Begins to chew foods on both sides of mouth (rotary chew)

  • Licking foods off of lips

  • Closes lips during swallow

  • Soft, bite-sized foods (sliced banana, cheese cubes, pasta, etc.)

  • Continues to consume human milk and/or formula and small amounts of water

12-18 months

  • Feeds self with utensils or fingers

  • Can drink from an open cup with some spilling

  • Eats foods of mixed consistencies

  • Transitions from soft solids to table foods

  • Able to keep most foods in mouth while chewing

18-24 months

  • Sits without support

  • Eats foods that require a lot of chewing, like chicken breast. Child still requires adult to cut more challenging foods into smaller pieces to prevent choking.

  • Should tolerate a variety of food textures

2-3 years

  • Chews all foods, including those with tougher textures, without gagging or choking

  • Eats most crunchy, hard or mixed food textures, but parents should avoid offering foods that carry a choking risk—like popcorn, hotdogs, raw nuts, or grapes. Child still requires adult to cut more challenging foods into smaller pieces to prevent choking

Environmental modifications
Use of adaptive equipment
Feeding and swallowing strategies and remediation techniques
TR-eat® (TRansdisciplinary Effective Assessment and Treatment) model

Our speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists will XYZ



When To Arrive

On average, a patient’s first visit lasts about one hour. We ask that patients arrive 15 minutes early to sign-in and complete paperwork.


What To Bring

On your first visit, you’ll need to bring your physician referral or prescription (if needed), your insurance card, your primary registration forms, your ID or driver’s license and your co-payment (as applicable).


Your First Visit

Our office managers will help you through completing the registration and insurance process, then you will begin your evaluation with a therapist. It is helpful to know your key past medical history, previous treatments, current medications, and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Your movement, strength, coordination, and other factors will be evaluated before our therapist discusses with you their recommendation and prepares a personalized treatment plan.


Treatment Plan

Evaluation findings will be shared with your referring physician or preferred medical expert, and the office managers will help you plan your series of visits based on the quantity and frequency determined by your therapist. Your subsequent visits will focus on treatment that is based on your diagnosis and individualized goals.


Occupational therapy pediatrics

Peds Occupational Therapy

Speech therapy pediatrics

Peds Speech Therapy

Physical therapy pediatrics

Peds Physical Therapy

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