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.

Goals

Our goal at Nourish is to provide a safe, welcoming environment, where whānau are the expert of the child and play an active role in therapy. Second to providing a safe and welcoming environment, our goal is to identify and respond in the most appropriate way to the feeding challenges you have identified.

Values

Relationship based – We believe that relationships are a key component of therapy and help to support our feeding experiences, which help us to grow and develop.

Inclusive – Accepting and inclusive of everyone in our service and the community around us.

Whānau centered – Acknowledging whānau as the expect of their child and as teachers of our mokopuna and tamariki.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi – We are guided by our rights and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, committing to creating partnership, participation, and protection.

Holisitc – We value our approach as including all appropriate allied health, community groups and whānau to create a wraparound service, with the child at the center.

Sense of belonging – We strive on creating a positive, warm, and welcoming environment where children and whānau feel a sense of belonging and comfort within our service.

Evidence based – We are continually striving towards furthering our learning and latest evidence-based practice to ensure the quality of our service is up to date with literature and research.

Models of Practice

Te Whare Tapa Whā - A Māori health model focused on creating strong foundations and strong equal sides, symbolizing the components of Māori health and wellbeing. We implement all components of the Te Whare Tapa Whā model of health within our practice to support our holistic wraparound service.

Taha tinana, supporting physical growth and development. Taha wairua, developing capacity for faith and wider communication. Taha whānau, creating a sense of belonging within an individual and wider social system. Taha hinengaro, communicating and integrating thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

The feeding relationship is complex, made up of the environments in which mealtimes occur, the demands of the feeding task and the skills of the person whose job it is to eat. Throughout our mealtime assessments and interventions, we are considering and responding to a range of factors that create successful mealtimes including medical, behavioral, sensory, environmental, and developmental skills.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as see food, eat food!

Rebecca head shot

Kia Ora,

I am Rebecca, Occupational Therapist and Director of Nourish established to meet a large and growing need for paediatric feeding therapy services in Aotearoa New Zealand. Born and raised in Tauranga, New Zealand, growing up on small farm and kiwifruit orchard in Te Puke, I quickly developed a love and understanding of how our food is grown and where it comes from. Sustainability holds a place in my heart and is implemented into my approach and way of practice. Being the eldest of 3 in a family of 5, our whānau mealtimes felt like organized chaos, however, were always a chance to connect at the end of the day.

After completing my Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Otago Polytechnic, my need to experience life overseas saw me to move to Australia where my passion for feeding therapy began and grew! A calling to move home was next on the cards, settling in Christchurch to start Nourish after identifying a need within our beautiful country.

My why: I am a foodie, through and through, however like all of us, I have my own food challenges and foods that I do not like. I am here to support children and whānau whose mealtimes and feeding experiences are particularly challenging.

The reason for starting Nourish developed from a need within our community to support children and whānau with feeding challenges.

Qualifications

My qualifications: I have completed and continue to expand my postgraduate training and learning in paediatric feeding therapy, occupational therapy and child development including:

  • – Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Distinction, Otago Polytechnic
  • – Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma, Australian Childhood Foundation
  • – SOS Approach to Feeding: When Children Won’t Eat: Picky vs Problem Feeders
  • – Genevieve Jereb, Traffic Jam in my Brain. A Sensory Processing Approach to Challenges Associated with ASD, ADHD, Learning and Behavioral Differences
  • – Feeding Therapy, Your Tools for Success, Valerie Gent & Debbie Alvarez
  • – Sense-ational Mealtimes, Gillian Griffiths, and Denise Stapleton
  • – Melanie Potock, Feeding Development
  • – Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility
  • – 2021 International Childhood Trauma Symposium
  • – AEIOU, An Integrated Approach to Paediatric Feeding, Nina Johanson
  • – Recognized EMS Assessor
  • – Coaching Approach Workshop – Cathy Love
  • – Sleep wise training, Annie O’Connell
  • – Member of Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
  • – Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand
I continue to undertake professional learning experiences and keep up to date with the latest evidence-based practices and research.