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Experience Feeding & Eating Issues?

Feeding and eating are complex processes that can be challenging for many individuals. Our OTs and STs specialise in addressing a wide range of feeding issues, from simple picky eating to more complex sensory-based feeding disorders. We assess oral motor skills, sensory responses, and behavioral patterns related to feeding and eating, creating a comprehensive plan to address each aspect.

Our therapists use engaging and non-threatening methods to introduce new foods and textures, gradually desensitising clients to a variety of tastes and sensations. We focus on creating positive mealtime experiences, reducing anxiety and stress around eating, and building healthy eating habits.

In collaboration with families, we also address environmental factors that can impact feeding, such as mealtime routines, seating arrangements, and utensil use. Our goal is not only to improve the physical aspects of eating but also to foster a healthy relationship with food that can last a lifetime.

Understanding & addressing picky eating

At LEAP Centre, we understand that picky eating can be a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach to address effectively. Picky eating, also known as selective eating, is a common behaviour among children, characterised by a limited range of accepted foods and reluctance to try new foods. While it’s natural for children to have preferences and dislikes when it comes to food, extreme picky eating behaviors can impact their nutritional intake, growth, and overall well-being.

Understanding the complexities of picky eating:

Picky eating can manifest in various ways, ranging from an aversion to certain textures or flavours to a refusal to try new foods altogether. Some children may have heightened sensory sensitivity to certain food characteristics, such as taste, smell, texture, or temperature, which can make them more selective about what they eat. Others may struggle with oral motor coordination or communication difficulties related to mealtime interactions, making it challenging for them to explore new foods and engage in positive eating experiences.

The role of occupational therapy in addressing picky eating:

Occupational therapists play a crucial role in addressing the sensory aspects of picky eating. They assess a child's sensory processing abilities, including their responses to different food textures, temperatures, and tastes. Through individualised interventions, occupational therapists help children gradually expand their food preferences by exposing them to new sensations and experiences in a structured and supportive environment. By desensitising children to unfamiliar foods and textures, occupational therapists help reduce mealtime anxiety and increase their willingness to try new foods.

Occupational therapists may use various sensory-based approaches, such as food exposure therapy, sensory integration techniques, SOS Approach to Feeding, and desensitisation exercises, to help children overcome their aversions and expand their food repertoire. They also collaborate closely with other members of the multidisciplinary team, including speech therapists and dietitians, to ensure a holistic approach to addressing picky eating behaviours.

The contribution of speech therapy to tackling picky eating:

Speech therapists focus on improving oral motor coordination, swallowing function, and communication skills related to mealtime interactions. They assess a child's oral motor skills, including chewing, swallowing, and tongue movements, to identify any underlying difficulties that may contribute to picky eating behaviours. Speech therapists provide targeted interventions to strengthen the muscles used for chewing and swallowing, ensuring that children can manage a variety of food textures comfortably and safely.

Additionally, speech therapists address communication challenges that may impact mealtime interactions, such as difficulty expressing food preferences, requesting specific foods, or participating in conversations during meals. They provide strategies to help children communicate their needs effectively, advocate for their food preferences, and engage more actively in family mealtimes. By addressing underlying oral motor difficulties and enhancing communication around food, our speech therapists help children feel more confident and empowered during mealtime experiences.

Collaborative approach and parent involvement:

At LEAP Centre, we believe in taking a collaborative and family-centered approach to addressing picky eating behaviours. Our occupational therapists and speech therapists work closely together to develop comprehensive intervention plans tailored to each child's unique needs and preferences. By combining their expertise and perspectives, they provide holistic interventions that target the root causes of picky eating and promote positive eating experiences for children and families.

We also recognise the critical role that parents play in supporting their child's progress in overcoming picky eating behaviours. That's why we offer comprehensive parent education and support services to equip parents with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate mealtime challenges effectively. Our therapists provide practical strategies, meal planning tips, and resources to help parents create positive mealtime environments and encourage healthier eating habits in their children. Additionally, we offer ongoing support and guidance to parents, empowering them to advocate for their child's nutritional needs and well-being.

A holistic approach to well-being:

At LEAP Centre, we believe in addressing picky eating within the context of a child's overall well-being. We understand that picky eating behaviours can impact various aspects of a child's life, including their physical health, emotional well-being, social interactions, and family dynamics. Therefore, our interventions focus not only on expanding a child's food repertoire but also on promoting positive eating experiences, enhancing self-confidence, and fostering a healthy relationship with food.

By combining the expertise of occupational therapists and speech therapists, we provide comprehensive interventions that address the sensory, motor, and communication aspects of picky eating. Our goal is to help children develop the skills and confidence they need to explore new foods, participate in mealtimes with their families, and enjoy a varied and balanced diet. We strive to create a supportive and nurturing environment where children can learn, grow, and thrive.

If you're concerned about your child's picky eating habits, we're here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your child's journey towards healthier eating habits and overall well-being.

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Frequently Asked Question

What services do you offer?

We offer a comprehensive range of therapy services, including occupational therapyspeech therapy, and physiotherapy. Each service is tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients, ranging from developmental therapies for children to rehabilitation and support for adults. We also offer programs such as group sessions, individual sessions, and intensive therapy blocks.

If you or your family member is facing challenges with speech, mobility, daily activities, or other areas of physical and cognitive function, therapy might be beneficial. We recommend scheduling a consultation with our specialists for a professional assessment and personalised recommendations. Please submit your enquiry form to book the consultation. 

Our clinic provides services for all age groups. We have specialised programs for children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, ensuring age-appropriate and effective therapy for every client.

Therapy sessions are scheduled based on the individual needs and availability of our clients. Each session typically consists of 45 minutes of direct therapy followed by client/family feedback and therapist documentation/planning.

Our therapists are highly qualified and licensed professionals. They hold degrees in their respective fields and have undergone extensive training and certification. Continuous education is a priority for our team, ensuring we stay updated with the latest therapy techniques and research.

Yes, we actively collaborate with schools, physicians, and other healthcare providers to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to our clients’ care. This multidisciplinary collaboration is essential for holistic treatment planning and effective outcomes. Contact us to collaborate with us! 

Our approach is client-centered, evidence-based, and holistic. We focus on understanding each client’s unique needs and goals, and we tailor our therapy plans accordingly. We emphasise a collaborative approach involving the client, their family, and other professionals as needed.

We accept NDIS funding, private health, medicare, and private pay. For all NDIS self-managed or private paying clients, payment is required on the day of your session. Our administrative team can assist you in understanding your benefits and navigating the billing process. Give us a call or submit an enquiry form to find out more! 

Yes we do! In addition to clinic-based sessions, we also offer therapy in the home, daycare settings, or at schools. Sessions outside of the clinic incur a travel fee consistent with the NDIS travel rate guide. Give us a call or submit an enquiry form to find out more! 

We welcome and value your feedback. You can provide feedback directly to your therapist, through our reception, or by emailing We are committed to continuous improvement and take your insights seriously.

Absolutely. We understand the importance of a good therapist-client match and will facilitate a change if needed to ensure the best therapeutic experience and outcome.

Getting started is easy. Simply contact us via phone, email, or our website to schedule an initial consultation. During this session, we will discuss your needs and create a personalised therapy plan.

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