Mealtimes and Feeding

Our mealtimes team can assist with managing difficulties with eating or drinking including swallowing (dysphagia), food refusal and sensory issues, and disordered eating.

Enquire now 1300 372 439
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What is it and why do I need it?

Family mealtimes can be a great way to bond with your child and teach them healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

However, sometimes mealtimes can be challenging. You may also have concerns about the limited range of foods and quantities that your child is eating.

We know the importance of nourishment, and the significant effects that food has on development, moods, behaviour, concentration, and overall health.

Yet, despite your best efforts your child’s eating a food intake may be insubstantial.

Causes of mealtime struggles

A variety of factors can be the cause of mealtime struggles, including:

  • Experience with reflux
  • Negative associations with the mealtime environment such as with a highchair
  • Negative associations with feeding such as choking experiences
  • Medical reasons such as constipation
  • Sensory issues with tastes, textures, and smells
  • Difficulties chewing and/or swallowing
  • Food refusal and aversions

An assessment can help to identify what factors may be causing mealtime distress and address them with tailored therapies to help overcome your child’s challenges and increase your family’s enjoyment of food and mealtimes.

How can we help?

Eating is a complex physical task, especially for children.

Our speech and language pathologists can assess and identify any developmental challenges, structural or medical issues or environmental conditions that may be hindering successful mealtimes.

We’ll provide you with a plan on how to tackle feeding challenges for better outcomes.

Our therapy plans may include other therapists including occupational therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists, or dietitians depending on the feeding challenges identified in the assessment.

Or we can assist you with referrals to other medical professionals where required.

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Program structure

When you seek support from Early Start Australia, we begin with an intake session where a therapist will meet with parents and carers (without the child) and discuss the child’s full history and gain an understanding of the mealtime challenges.

The therapist will suggest assessment options which will, in most cases, occur over 2 sessions with a speech pathologist.

After the assessment, the therapist will produce a report on the findings, identifying challenges, strengths, and areas for development.

The speech pathologist will make recommendations on the types of therapy required and help you engage with medical professionals if a medical issue is identified.

Therapy programs can vary greatly depending on the child’s needs, from 1:1 support from a speech pathologist or support from a range of therapists such as occupational therapists and dietitians to group therapy programs.

We’ll work with you to develop a tailored therapy plan that works with your child and family’s goals in mind.

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Book now

Book now with one of our Speech Therapists as part of a multidisciplinary team and start your therapy journey now.

Find a clinic near you

We have clinics in every state and territory providing assessments, early childhood intervention therapies, and support to help you thrive.

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The Early Start Australia promise

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Holistic care and treatment plans

Our multi-disciplinary team works together with you to understand your child’s needs. From there, we’ll develop a plan with evidence-based strategies. Work with us to achieve your goals and enjoy a better quality of life.

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Australia-wide reach

With clinics in every state and territory, and an experienced team of therapists. Find help when you need it, where you need it.

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Registered NDIS provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and are here to help you on your NDIS journey. We provide quality and safe services, follow NDIS requirements, and support your needs and goals.

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Early intervention at all stages

Early intervention is not just for young children. We offer therapies that cater to all ages, needs and abilities, and we know the sooner you start your therapy journey, the better your outcomes. With us, you can learn new skills and enjoy more freedom and control in your life.

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