Feeding Therapy

Feeding challenges affect children of all ages, from birth to school-aged for a variety of different reasons. Eating is a highly complex act, relying on the respiratory, postural, oral-motor, and sensory systems of the body.  Challenges in one of these areas may disrupt the intricate timing and coordination of the body's overall "eating system".  This disruption can result in a child who experiences eating as a challenging, unpleasant job rather than as an enjoyable, rewarding experience.

 Would My Child Benefit?

Food is essential to a child's development. It provides their body with energy for play and nutrients that facilitate alertness and learning. Eating is also a social activity. From infancy, food is one of the greatest motivators for shared attention, sound play, and reciprocal language development.  Children who benefit from feeding therapy may have and/or experience any of the following: 

          • Developmental Delay or disability
          • Neurological disorders
          • Metabolic Disorders
          • Congenital Anomalies
          • Disorders of oral motor structure or development
          • Weight gain or loss
          • Improper growth
          • Disorders of the gastrointestinal system
          • Aspiration, vomiting, choking and/or gagging with feeding
          • Non-oral feeding (g-tube)
          • Delayed self-feeding
          • Delayed transition from liquids to solids, smooth to soft-solid, soft-solid to chewable solids
          • Breast or bottle feeding difficulties

The goal of feeding therapy is to identify your child's current level of development related to feeding and to provide both direct interventions, as well as support for the carry-over of therapeutic strategies in the home environment.  Through a close working relationship with your feeding therapist, the underlying causes for your child's feeding difficulties will be identified and an individualized treatment program will be developed so that your child becomes a healthy and happy eater.

Cawn/Krantz Feeding Philosophy 

Cawn/Krantz & Associates offers a unique approach to feeding therapy, blending two therapeutic models, the Sensory Oral Sequential Approach (S.O.S) and DIR model, in order to effectively treat your child's feeding challenges. Our interdisciplinary team of well-trained professionals will work side by side with caregivers to develop a therapeutic program based on your child's indivdiual differences. We will address not only the physical act of eating, but also the emotional cues associated with mealtimes. Your child's individualized therapy program will include a focus on the following:

  • Developing the oral-motor skills needed for safe eating and swallowing.
  • Expanding your child's repertorie of accepted foods
  • Building a positive relationship between your child and food

Our feeding therapists will work tirelessly to provide both your child and your family with the necessary skills needed for safe and happy family mealtimes.

Cawn/Krantz Treatment Program

 Cawn/Krantz uses the Sensory Oral Sequential Approach (S.O.S), which is an integrative program that addresses the sense sensory, motor, oral, behavioral, and nutritional components of feeding. Because numerous factors contribute to feeding difficulties, an extensive and comprehensive feeding evaluation is essential. Evaluations are provided by a team of therapists - including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and social-emotional developmental practitioners - who specialize in treating children exhibiting feeding difficulties. We offer the following Feeding Programs:

          • Infant Feeding Program 
          • Individual Therapy Program
          • Dyad Program
          • Small Group Program
          • Chef Buddies Program

 Visit our Feeding Treatment Programs page for more information.

Parent Participation & Education

At Cawn/Krantz & Associates, we view parents as equal partners. We rely on your expertise about your child to help us guide the therapeutic process. Your child's success in a feeding program is dependent on caregiver involvement. We understand that parents are not always able to attend weekly therapy sessions; therefore, your child's therapist will develop a communication plan with you in order to facilitate carry-over from our clinic to your home. Monthly informational meetings are held exclusively for parents of children in our feeding program. Such meetings allow caregivers to learn from the therapists and other guest speakers, as well as provide opportunities to share both successes and on-going challenges related to having a child wtih feeding challenges.

Learn more about Making Mealtimes More Positive: 

Feeding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Q: My child eats only a few types of food. How do I know if he or she is just a picky eater or problem feeder?

Both picky and problem feeders consume a limited variety of foods. However, children who have problems with feeding usually have less than 20 different foods in their repertoire. Foods that a child discontinues eating are usually regained by the picky eater, but not so with the problem feeder. The child with feeding challenges typically cries and "falls apart" when presented with new foods; the picky eater can tolerate new foods on their plate and will taste of touch a new food. The child with feeding challenges refuses entire categories of food textures.

Children with feeding problems may have associated difficulties or early medical and/or biological history that has contributed to problems with food. Early reflux, oral-motor difficulties (e.g., sucking, chewing, tongue and jaw mobility), and sensory processing challenges are but a few of the associated or contributing factors that play an important influence on a child's ability to handel, tolerate, and enjoy food. Forcing a child who may have feeding challenges to eat likely increases his or her resistance to explore, eat, and enjoy new foods.

Feeding Products

Cawn/Krantz's Sensational Placemats©™ are now available for $13.50, excluding shipping. Our placemats are a fun and therapeutic tool to use with children at mealtimes.

To order your placemat, please contact Caroline at 847.480.8890, ext 11.
 Cawn/Krantz Sensational Placemats Order Form

For more information regarding Cawn/Krantz Feeding Therapy, please contact Co-Clinical Director, Jerri Krantz at 847.480.8890, ext 12.

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