What is food chaining? This approach to feeding takes preferred foods that the child is eating and builds off of those to introduce new foods. It is a critical component of feeding therapy. It is essential to start with preferred foods that the child is eating consistently at home, not just during therapy sessions. Once established these preferred foods, it is necessary to look at the details of the food: color, size, shape, consistency, etc., to be able to build off of those.
Making a list may help establish these themes within their foods. Once a list is created, circle a few foods that the child eats very regularly and think of similar foods. You can then start serving similar foods during regular mealtimes. This can look like different flavors/brands of yogurt, chicken nuggets, granola bars, etc. It is important to remember that this process can take a very long time. Patience is key!
Call us today to schedule a feeding therapy evaluation to meet with an occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, and pediatric dietary and nutrition services if you have feeding concerns.
Food chaining examples:
1) Cracker -> Toast -> Bread
· Various types of crackers until crackers become preferred
· Start toasting bread darkly and gradually lightening. Each lightness needs to become preferred before lightening more
· Once your child can tolerate the lightest toasting, introduce bread.
· Make sure you stick with the same brand and shape of bread
· Once the same bread becomes preferred, start chaining new bread
· Start with the bread of similar taste, shape, AND size
Food chaining information retrieved from the following site: https://yourkidstable.com/food-chaining/