1. SOS Feeding Therapy

The SOS Approach to Feeding is a trans-disciplinary program that helps fussy eaters and children with feeding problems to develop the skills they need to enjoy a balanced, healthy diet and positive attitude to food. The SOS Approach to Feeding was developed by Dr Kay Toomey (Psychologist) from the USA, in conjunction with Paediatricians, Speech Pathologists, Dieticians and Occupational Therapists.

SOS stands for “Sequential Sensory Oral”.

The SOS Feeding Therapy is a trans-disciplinary program that takes a “whole child” approach to working out why a child won’t eat, and finds solutions that work for a child and his/her parents.

It allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her, then moving onto touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.

If a child struggles with any of the following, he/she may benefit from the therapy using a SOS approach to feeding:

  • Mealtime battles and anxiety associate with it
  • Your child is difficult for everyone to feed (e.g. childcare, grandparents, parties)
  • Poor weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Spits out food, vomits and gags with food
  • Does not eat the same meals as the rest of the family
  • Inability to transition to pureed food at the time his/her peers have been able to
  • Inability to transition from pureed to table food at the time his/her peers have been able to
  • A food range that consist of less than 20 food

SOS Feeding Therapy at 101 Feeding School


At 101 Feeding School, the SOS feeding program is offered as an online based coaching program in the comfort of yours and your child home.

In order to determine whether your child could benefit from the program, we do an initial assessment of your child feeding skills. We provide you with a questionnaire that assist us in assessing your child. We also ask you to provide us with the relevant medical history and grow charts for our consideration .

Following an initial assessment, we will schedule a 30-minute consultation. This will provide an opportunity to get to know you and your child and discuss goals for your child. Should this therapy be the best option for your child, this will be discussed with you then so that you can make an informed decision about the process that you believe will be in the best interest of your child.

Should SOS Feeding Therapy be deemed appropriate for your child, we can commence the treatment immediately. The number of therapy sessions required for your child and the frequency of them varies with each child. Once you and your child start the therapy, you will know how frequent or not he/she should have a therapy.

We don’t offer private health insurance rebates. For that reason, all our consultations, including a SOS Feeding Therapy, are provided at a much lower cost than most traditional providers offer them after private health insurance rebates. If your child progresses quickly or you feel that you need more support in between the therapies, you might want to consider a 30-day coaching services, where you can get in touch with us daily within the 30 day period. You can opt in or out of any of the services we offer at your discretion.

2.    Division of responsibility

Enjoying family meals may be tricky when children are young and going through a picky or fussy stage. Those that have one or more toddlers would know that “making” a child eat often have an adverse effect if the parent doesn’t find a way to back a way and trust their child. But how do you do it? One way of bringing peace to family meals is by applying a Division of responsibility.

Division of responsibly has been founded by Ellyn Satter with the aim to remove or minimize the stress around family meals. It works on the principal that parents provide structure, support and opportunities for eating. Children choose how much and whether to eat from what the parents provide.

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Parents’ Feeding Jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food.
  • Provide regular meals and snacks.
  • Make eating times pleasant.
  • Step-by-step, show children by example how to behave at family mealtime.
  • Be considerate of children’s lack of food experience without catering to likes and dislikes.
  • Not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meal and snack times.
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them.

Fundamental to parents’ jobs is trusting children to determine how much and whether to eat from what parents provide. When parents do their jobs with feeding, children do their jobs with eating:

Children’s eating jobs:

  • Children will eat.
  • They will eat the amount they need.
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat.
  • They will grow predictably.
  • They will learn to behave well at mealtime.

It is important to serve a variety of foods every day. When your child sees different foods being enjoyed by the family, he/she will eventually become interested in them unless pressure is applied to try them. Perhaps the first time you serve a new food your child will not even look at it, next time he/she might touch it, another time put it on the plate etc. Serving the food from time to time will give your child an opportunity to learn to accept and probably even like it.

Important job for parents is trusting their child to decide how much and whether to eat. This is the hard part because of our natural tendency to worry about how much they eat I discussed above.  But if parents do their jobs with feeding, children will do their jobs with eating:

More information: www.ellynsatter.com

How to apply Division of responsibility?

To apply a Division of responsibility to family meals, you serve all the dishes in the centre of the table buffet style. You present a variety of choices and must include at least one dish you know your child likes.

You do not preplate their meals, a child needs to choose a dish and eat as much as he/she wants. There is no bribing, no iPads, TV, toys, no positive or negative comments. You simply put everything on a table and the rest is up to your child.

3.    Food chaining

Gateway foods, also known as food chaining, is a child friendly approach to help your child accept new foods, by slowly building on the food that he /she already eats. Food chaining introduces new foods that have the same flavors or sensory features as foods that are already preferred by the child, increasing the likelihood that the child will like the food.

A food chain consists of four levels that build upon one another. By following the levels of the food chain, the child is likely to expand the range of foods he/she currently consumes.

For example, if your child likes potato chips, a sample food chain might look like this:

Level I Level II Level III Level IV
Maintain & Expand Current Taste & Texture Vary Taste & Maintain Texture Maintain Taste & Vary Texture Vary Taste & Texture
Different brands of potato chips (i.e., home made, KFC & McDonalds); different shapes of potato chips (cut in small sticks & chunky cut) Different flavoured potato chips (chicken salt, sea salt, etc.) Use sauces/dips to vary tastes. Roast potato (can be same shape, but roasted, not fried); sweet potato chips. Mash potato, fried vegetables cut as potato chips, boiled potato.

Here are some other food chaining tips:

  • Let your child tell you how fast a new food is introduced. Some kids are more open to trying new foods, others take time
  • Before a child tries and eats new food, he/she first need to tolerate the food on the table and then on the plate.
  • A child is more likely to try new food if it smells and looks good to him/her
  • Keep offering new foods even if they have been rejected. It may takes multiple exposures. Typically-developing children can reject new foods 12-15 times before trying them, children with history of aversion may reject foods many times more.