Feeding challenges are stressful and take their toll on the whole whānau, we are here to walk with you on the journey to creating pleasant, enjoyable kai times. We incorporate concepts of Occupational Therapy, Child Development, Neuroscience, Trauma impacts and Feeding Therapy to provide an individualized approach to therapy.

‘Te hanga tahi i nga wa kai pai’

Welcome to Nourish, specialists in supporting children and whānau with paediatric feeding challenges. We understand that there is so much conflicting information and terms used to describe feeding challenges such as fussy eating, picky eating, selective eating, restrictive eating, anxious eating (the list could go on). At Nourish, we can help to navigate the underlying concerns of feeding challenges and support you with creating successful positive changes to your kai times.

Feeding challenges are stressful and take their toll on the whole whānau, we are here to walk with you on the journey to creating pleasant, enjoyable kai times. We’ll incorporate concepts of Occupational Therapy, Child Development, Neuroscience, Trauma Impacts and Feeding Therapy to provide an individualized approach to therapy.

What is a Paediatric Feeding Disorder?

According to Feeding Matters, a Paediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) is defined as impaired oral intake that is not age appropriate and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill and/or psychosocial dysfunction (Feeding Matters, 2021).

A Paediatric Feeding Disorder typically identifies itself during early feeding development, roughly between 2-6 years of age however can begin during a child’s first feeding experiences, including breast/bottle feeding and introduction to solids.

Research and experience tell us that early intervention is a key component in supporting and improving a child’s eating patterns and behaviors.

What is ARFID?

ARFID stands for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, is characterized by an eating or feeding disturbance, with a persistent failure to meet nutritional or energy needs. It is often referred to as a ‘fear of food’. ARFID is broken down into:

  • – A lack of interest in food or quickly becoming full
  • – Sensory avoidance due to touch, smell or taste of food
  • – Avoidance of food due to internal consequences such as illness, nausea or allergies.

According to Feeding Matters, a Paediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) is defined as impaired oral intake that is not age appropriate and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill and/or psychosocial dysfunction (Feeding Matters, 2021).

A Paediatric Feeding Disorder typically identifies itself during early feeding development, roughly between 2-6 years of age however can begin during a child’s first feeding experiences, including breast/bottle feeding and introduction to solids.

Research and experience tell us that early intervention is a key component in supporting and improving a child’s eating patterns and behaviors.

ARFID stands for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, is characterized by an eating or feeding disturbance, with a persistent failure to meet nutritional or energy needs. It is often referred to as a ‘fear of food’. ARFID is broken down into:

  • – A lack of interest in food or quickly becoming full
  • – Sensory avoidance due to touch, smell or taste of food
  • – Avoidance of food due to internal consequences such as illness, nausea or allergies.

How can Occupational Therapy Help?

Throwing flour and enjoying cooking together

Occupational Therapists are skilled in understanding a child’s sensory needs, regulation, body position, environmental impact and understanding the demands involved in everyday tasks. Occupational Therapists apply these skills in supporting children and whānau with their feeding challenges. We integrate the fundamentals of Occupational Therapy. Neuroscience, Child Development and Feeding Therapy to create a holistic approach towards therapy and wellbeing.

How can we help:

  • Challenging eating patterns including refusing new foods, repeating preferred foods, and preferring the same textured and colored foods.
  • Restrictive and selective eating (for toddlers to adolescents).
  • Refusal and behavioral challenges towards new and preferred foods.
  • Sensory processing difficulties related to touch, smell, and taste of new foods.
  • Feeding challenges associated with developmental diagnosis, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Global Developmental Delay (GDD), genetic conditions.
  • Children/adolescents with food related anxiety, impacting and restricting their food choices.
  • Children/adolescents who have experienced trauma (developmental and medical) impacting their mealtimes, food choices and ability to eat.
  • Food refusal subsequent to prior nasal gastric tube feeding and/or NICU admission during early years.
  • Medical complications (gastroenteritis, reflux) or surgical intervention resulting in food refusal.
  • Restricted diets, a result of allergy complications.
  • Caregiver support with managing the impact of the child’s challenges on their own mental wellbeing.
Initial Assessment Consultations

Our initial consultations occur as a two-part process, the first completed as a caregiver only session, in person, as a phone consultation or via telehealth (approx. 60-90 minutes).

Therapy / Intervention

Before we jump right into therapy, there are a few important components that are key to our practice and to a successful therapy outcome.

Training

Do you require training for your staff or workplace surrounding managing and working with children and young people who experience paediatric feeding challenges?

Sensory Profile Assessments

You can request or your therapist may recommend a sensory assessment to help with identifying the underlying concerns and needs of your child.

Our initial consultations occur as a two-part process, the first completed as a caregiver only session, in person, as a phone consultation or via telehealth (approx. 60-90 minutes).

Before we jump right into therapy, there are a few important components that are key to our practice and to a successful therapy outcome.

Do you require training for your staff or workplace surrounding managing and working with children and young people who experience paediatric feeding challenges?

You can request or your therapist may recommend a sensory assessment to help with identifying the underlying concerns and needs of your child.

Rebecca head shot

About Us

Nourish is a Christchurch based private practice, specialized in paediatric feeding assessment and intervention, for toddlers through to adolescents. At Nourish, we understand the stress, stigma and difficulties associated with feeding challenges and are here to support and work with you to create more positive feeding experiences for your child and whānau.

Rebecca established Nourish, a private practice therapy service based in Christchurch, New Zealand, to support children and whānau through navigating the complexities of feeding and mealtimes.

Find out more…