- What's new in the area of pediatric feeding therapy?
- What can I do to help families' mealtime interactions support their child's feeding goals?
- What can I do for clients who have reached a plateau in their feeding progress?
- What can I do to help a client prepare for a rapid wean from tube feeding?
We can help you answer these questions!
Mealtime Stories, LLC, takes a positive, practical, behavioral approach to feeding therapy. We have developed three supplemental feeding interventions, which are now in use by therapists around the U.S. as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Two of these interventions received 2007 and 2008 Maddak awards, a nationwide award for innovative products in occupational therapy.
On this web site you can learn a little about our interventions:
1. Mealtime Stories
2. Castle of Colors: The Tasting Adventure Game
3. The Brag Plate
You can also look at samples of the photos from our CD, browse a list of our references, and learn about upcoming feeding therapy courses around the U.S.
A Mealtime Story is a personalized book-making and book-sharing intervention for children of any age. Using digital photography and simple desktop publishing technology, you can quickly and easily produce a personalized book. The book focuses on the child’s past motor or eating successes and looks ahead to current goals. The books encourage neutral or positive language about food and eating. Any child who can be engaged in looking at pictures or at a book is a potential subject for a Mealtime Story.
Mealtime Stories help to address the psychological and cognitive components of an eating problem. Parents consistently rate Mealtime Stories as "very effective" in helping their child to participate more in therapy and to move forward off a feeding plateau. Children rate Mealtime Stories as JJJ. Children are proud of their Mealtime Stories and often bring them to the table or take them to show off at school. Mealtime Stories have helped children learn to:
Recognize feelings of hunger
Prepare to transition from tube feeding
Increase quantity or variety of food consumed
Learn to drink from a cup instead of a bottle, and
Learn appropriate bite size.
Occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, special ed teachers, parents, and older children have all made successful mealtime stories. These stories are made using a specific, 10-step process. The instructions, templates, and photos needed to carry out this process are provided in Mealtime Stories: A Guide for Feeding Therapists. Our 2nd edition, published in June, 2008, includes templates and forms translated into Spanish plus more than 200 new photos of a diverse group of children. Appropriate for ages: 2+.
In this game, players spin to see what color they have landed on - red, yellow, green, or blue. They then pick a food to taste from the corresponding colored plate. They must meet special challenges to make their way around the board and arrive at the castle and its treasures. The therapist plays alongside the child. (To customize the game, players can draw optional Oral/Motor, Sensory, and Nutritional challenge cards.)
This game is based on a one-year study by a registered dietician, Linda Gillis. Gillis played a home-made board game over one year with elementary school aged children who were selective eaters. They increased the variety and quantity of foods consumed and maintained those gains in all settings. Gillis, as well as another OT and a SLP served as consultants on the published version of this game. (Gillis, L. (2003) Use of an interactive game to increase food acceptance -- a pilot study. Child: Care, Health, and Development, Sept 29 (5): 373-5.)
The main goal of this game is to challenge children either to try a wider range of foods or to increase their interaction with foods, for instance by building tolerance for different sensory properties of foods. This game can be used in any pediatric setting where feeding is a focus -- either in structured feeding therapy or in a more general early intervention setting. It plays well in the classroom and at home, as well. Castle of Colors has been extensively play-tested by 12 therapists in the Seattle area. Two to six players. Appropriate for ages: 3+.
First developed for a presentation to the Washington State Feeding Teams, this technique is a social reward marker system that has caught on with many therapists working with individual clients and as well as with those running feeding groups. The basic operation of the Brag Plate is very simple -- parents track any accomplishments related to feeding over the course of a week and make "stickers" to put on a decorated plate at the end of the week. Children and adults join together in a noisy parade to celebrate before the child places the stickers onto the plate one at a time. Appropriate for any child who is able to independently locomote (walk, wheel self, etc.)
We have now produced a Brag Plate Kit, containing a booklet of written directions for introducing and using the Brag Plate, along with a set of flat plastic Brag Plates suitable for use at home or in the clinic. As with the other ideas, you can absolutely do this on your own. At Mealtime Stories our aim is to make it easy for you to use these ideas to accomplish more with your clients.