Marie's Feeding Therapy

Feeding and Swallowing Services

Rest assured, there are resources and hope for the picky eater or problem feeder in your life. At Compass Pediatric Feeding and Lactation Services, I implement evidence-based food therapy strategies and treatment plans with some of the following focuses: G-Tube transitions, failure to thrive treatment, baby-led weaning, SOS approach to feeding, sensory feeding therapy, and food therapy for toddlers.

Feeding is only the tip of a much larger iceberg. I provide thorough assessments to ensure that we examine your child as a whole and choose a feeding therapy approach that meets you and your child’s unique needs.

G-Tube and G-Tube Transitions

What is a G-Tube and Who Needs One?

    • A gastronomy tube, also known as a G-Tube, brings nutrition into the body directly through the stomach. A G-Tube is inserted to ensure a child is receiving adequate nutrients and can acquire the calorie intake they need.
    • Children who exhibit any of the following often benefit from a G-Tube placement:
      • Failure to Thrive
      • Sucking and swallowing disorders
      • Congenital issues of the mouth, intestines, esophagus, or stomach
    • G-Tube Transitions
      • As a food therapist for kids and a food therapist for toddlers and certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I can support your child as they transition off of a G-Tube.
        1. Promoting a positive experience: It is important that mealtimes become a positive experience and something to look forward to.
        2. Inclusion: Children learn from their environment. Including them during mealtimes and being sure that they eat with the family allows you to be close by to offer support when necessary, and provides them with a model for what eating meals by mouth looks and feels like.
        3. Routine: We will work together to create a feeding schedule that supports your child and fits you and your family’s needs and lifestyle.
        4. Growth: As I support you on this transitional journey, we will work with your child’s development and encourage growth and independence through the feeding process, gradually leading to self-feeding and expanding their range of foods.

Please contact me to learn more about how I can be involved in your child’s G-Tube transition.

What is Failure to Thrive?

Failure to Thrive Meaning

    • Failure To Thrive often refers to the insufficient weight gain of a pediatric patient when compared to the development of other children of the same age.
    • What are causes and risk factors of Failure to Thrive?
      • The major cause of failure to thrive is lack of or low calorie intake. There are a number of risk factors that contribute to the insufficient nutrition that causes failure to thrive, including but not limited to:
        • Milk allergy
        • Celiac disease
        • Infections
        • Acid reflux disease
        • Cystic Fibrosis
        • Heart disease
        • Cerebral Palsy
        • Down Syndrome
        • Poor feeding habits
      • How do I know if my child has Failure to Thrive?
        • Your child may present with one or more of the following symptoms that indicate failure to thrive or complications of failure to thrive.
        • Failure to Thrive symptoms include but are not limited to:
          • Lack of weight gain
          • Delay in motor development and developmental milestones such as: rolling over, crawling, talking
          • Decreased presentation of emotions such as smiling, laughing, making eye contact
          • Irritability
          • Fatigue

How can I help?

    • Failure to thrive treatment
      • As a food therapist for kids and a food therapist for toddlers and a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I can help determine if your child is experiencing failure to thrive symptoms or complications of failure to thrive due to feeding to difficulties caused by other underlying impairments including but not limited to trouble with physical coordination or sensory processing. I then provide intervention to address the underlying impairments related to the feeding and eating process.

Baby-led Weaning

  • What is baby-led weaning?
    • Baby-led weaning refers to the practice in which babies six-months of age or older skip eating pureed or mushed foods and begin eating finger-foods as soon as the baby can safely self-feed and eat solids.
  • Should I start baby-led weaning and how do I start?
    • Before one asks the question “How do I start baby led weaning?” It is important to ask “Is baby led weaning for me?”
      • Each child is precious and unique and will therefore benefit from different practices throughout their development. It is important to consult a professional before implementing new strategies to feed your baby.
    • Please contact me if you would like to know more about baby-led weaning and whether or not it would benefit your baby. (link to contact info)
      • Why should I do baby-led weaning?
        • Baby-Led Weaning Benefits
          • Baby-led weaning can have many benefits including but not limited to:
            • Can reduce fussiness around food and promote good eating habits/behaviors
              • The self-led sensory exploration of their foods can make mealtimes a fun and positive experience. As active participants in their own feeding process, they can explore new foods and textures at their own pace which can gradually and naturally increase their range of foods. It can also encourage healthier independent choices in the future.
            • Can prevent excess weight gain
              • Only babies truly know their own hunger cues! Self-feeding encourages the baby to control how much food they are eating, and can prevent parents from pushing more food when the child may already be full.
            • Promotes family meals
              • During baby-led weaning, children eat with the family and are offered what the family is eating at mealtimes. Everyone eating the same foods at the same time promotes a united family meal.
            • Promotes awareness skills
              • The baby-led weaning process encourages and promotes body awareness by having children be in control of their feeding time.

Picky Eater vs. Problem Feeders

  • What is the definition of a picky eater?
    • Picky eater definition: A child may be classified under the picky eater definition based on several factors including but not limited to the number of foods a child eats consistently, no longer eating foods in their food range, ability to eat foods of varying texture and nutrition, tolerance of new foods, how long they have been considered a “picky” eater, and ability and willingness to learn to eat new foods.

Picky Eater

  1. Eats at least 30 foods
  2. Eats and accepts a food after a 2 week break of not eating it
  3. Generally able to accept and touch new foods, even if reluctant
  4. Eats at least one food from most food texture and nutrition groups (i.e. proteins, vegetables; purees, soft or chewy foods, etc.)
  5. Frequently eats different food at meals than the rest of the family, but usually eats with the family.
  6. Learns to eat new foods in 20 to 25 steps on a Steps to Eating hierarchy.

Problem Feeder…

  1. Eats less than 20 foods
  2. Food aversion: rarely ever accepts that food again, losing a food in their food range
  3. Crying baby or child cries, protests, and is in distress when presented with new foods
  4. Refuse entire categories of food
  5. Almost always eats different foods than the rest of the family at mealtime, and often eats at a separate time or in a separate space.
  6. Needs more than 25 steps to learn to eat new foods.

Contact Me Now for a Free Consultation

I can review your insurance, tell you more about the evaluation and treatment process, and more!

SOS Approach to Feeding

  • If your child exhibits one or more behaviors that can be described by the problem feeder definition or picky eater definition, they may also be at risk for:
    • Dehydration, poor nutrition
    • Feeling embarrassed about his/her eating problems; may eat alone or refuse to eat around others
  • SOS Therapy Feeding is an evidence-based approach to treating your child’s feeding and swallowing needs by conceptualizing feeding as the tip of a much larger iceberg in order to treat the “whole child.” Though feeding difficulties are visible at the surface, SOS feeding therapy informs us that the areas that contribute the difficulties we see span beyond simply eating and swallowing. SOS Therapy feeding also addresses and considers organ and muscle systems, sensory processing needs, a child’s learning style and behavior, development, nutrition, and their environment. SOS feeding therapy is also play-based to cater to the development needs of very young children and older children of varying ages.
  • To learn more about the SOS feeding therapy approach, CLICK HERE.
  • As a food therapist for kids and a food therapist for toddlers, I implement a variety of evidence-based practices through sensory feeding therapy, baby-led weaning, G-Tube transitions, failure to thrive treatment, and the SOS feeding therapy approach to cater to your child and your family’s unique needs.
  • Sensory feeding therapy is a key, evidence-based strategy used to treat food aversion in any child and food aversion in babies. Sensory feeding therapy directly addresses concerns regarding sensory processing during feeding and can be an essential practice in feeding therapy. Sensory feeding therapy approaches, however, are versatile and can also be applied to any food aversion child, and can be a successful strategy in treatment plans implemented as a part of any food therapy for toddlers and children of all ages.
  • If you think your child can benefit from a food therapist for kids/food therapist for toddlers, I serve families in Bailey, Pine, Conifer, Morrison, Lakewood, Golden, and Littleton, as well as other cities of the Jefferson, Park, Arapaho, and Douglas counties of Colorado to provide feeding therapy near you.