Matthew's Occupational Therapist (OT) highly recommended it to me and even lent me her copy for a couple of weeks. The book helped me expand my understanding of the feeding challenge landscape in terms of how my resistant eater/food neophobe experiences it. The guidelines and tips for creating and implementing strategies provided in the book are very empowering tools. Some of the suggested activities are intended for older kids, requiring more active participation than Matthew is currently capable of such as guessing a food item by touch in a mystery box. Here are a few goals that I have set for Matthew with suggested activities (many of which are taken straight out of the book, but they definitely make sense for us to try):
Oral-motor Goal: To improve chewing skills
- create a mouth box.
- at the end of every meal, use foods that increase extended chewing skills.
- practice chewing foods in a teething feeder.
- sometimes place food off to the side of Matthew's tongue instead of in the center.
Sensory Development Goal 1: To increase acceptance of new foods
- encourage food play activities.
- place the new food item on or near Matthew's tray at dinner time.
- encourage Matthew to touch the new food even if he doesn't eat it.
Sensory Development Goal 2: To minimize opportunities for food jags- make small changes to preferred food items.
- introduce a new brand of the preferred food item.
- offer at least 1 new food item alongside preferred food items.
While setting these goals may seem like an unnecessary process and a matter of common sense, writing them down certainly helps me stay organized and focused. I also do not have a deadline for achieving these goals and may have to alter the strategies, taking cues from Matthew's progress. The idea is to be flexible as needed.
I do wish the book had an index to make it easier to look up topics by key words. Also, the scope of the book is limited:
"The book is not intended to address severe feeding issues and physical difficulties associated with tube feeding. Some children with severe physical and medical limitations require significantly more than the treatment plan suggested here and are clearly beyond the scope of this book. For further information on this topic, refer to Suzanne Evans Morris and Marsha Dunn Klein Pre-feeding Skills: A Comprehensive Resource for Mealtime Development, 2nd ed (2000)."Overall, I think this is a great book that helped me devise simple goals and strategies (with our OT's additional input) for addressing Matthew's feeding challenges. It may not be a quick fix but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.
Toy Review Tuesday: Mouth Box
Transitioning from Baby Food to Solid Food