The Role of a Feeding Therapist in Supporting Healthy Eating Habits

Feeding therapist

Feeding therapy is a specialized form of therapy aimed at addressing feeding difficulties in children and adults. Feeding therapists, also known as feeding specialists or feeding therapists, play a crucial role in helping individuals develop healthy eating habits and overcome feeding challenges. This article explores the role of a feeding therapist and how they can support individuals in achieving optimal nutrition and overall well-being.

What is a Feeding Therapist?

A feeding therapist is a healthcare professional, often a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or an occupational therapist (OT), who specializes in evaluating and treating feeding difficulties. They work with individuals who have difficulty eating or swallowing due to a variety of reasons, including sensory issues, developmental delays, and medical conditions.

The Role of a Feeding Therapist

Feeding therapists play a vital role in assessing and addressing feeding difficulties. They conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify the underlying causes of the feeding problem and develop a personalized treatment plan to address the individual’s specific needs. This plan may include strategies to improve oral motor skills, sensory processing, and mealtime behaviors.

Treatment Approaches

Feeding therapists use a variety of treatment approaches to help individuals develop healthy eating habits. These may include:

  • Sensory-based feeding therapy: This approach focuses on addressing sensory processing issues that may affect a person’s ability to eat certain foods or tolerate certain textures.
  • Oral motor therapy: This type of therapy aims to improve the strength and coordination of the muscles involved in chewing and swallowing.
  • Behavioral therapy: Feeding therapists may use behavioral techniques to address mealtime behaviors, such as food refusal or picky eating.
  • Parent education and training: Feeding therapists work closely with parents and caregivers to provide education and training on how to support their child’s feeding development at home.

Collaboration with Other Professionals

Feeding therapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, which may include pediatricians, dietitians, and psychologists. This collaborative approach ensures that all aspects of the individual’s feeding difficulties are addressed and that they receive comprehensive care.


Feeding therapists play a crucial role in supporting individuals with feeding difficulties. By using a variety of treatment approaches and working closely with other professionals, feeding therapists help individuals develop healthy eating habits and improve their overall quality of life.