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Intensive Feeding Therapy

Eating Watermelon

We offer Intensive Feeding Bootcamp, which is designed and beneficial for children who require a more intensive approach to establish mealtime routine and diminish behaviors associated with mealtime, aid in older infants and toddlers transitioning to the next texture category, improve oral motor skills for children without severe feeding aversion, increase consistency and quantity of foods consumed on a feeding schedule, and improve caregiver-child interactions around mealtime. Your child will receive 3 30-minute feeding sessions daily for 5 days, with the option to receive occupational therapy 1x a day for 30-60 minute sessions.

Scoop of Ice Cream

Intensive Feeding 5-8 Week Program

The Intensive 8-week feeding program is designed to help children with moderate-severe feeding disorders develop functional feeding skills and improve their health and nutrition by providing intensive feeding intervention. The program focuses on a coordinated an integrated team approach consisting of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and you as parents, as well as collaboration with your child’s medical specialists including pediatrician, gastroenterologist, ENT, neurologist, dietician, and ABA therapists. We utilize a combination of sensory, oral motor, and behavioral approaches to maximize progress and are individualized to your child’s needs. Parents are part of the team process, helping to set and prioritize goals for the child and participate in therapy sessions as part of home carryover.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Our intensive feeding program is a full day program. You can expect to be at the clinic from 9-3:30 pm or 9:30-4 pm. Scheduling changes week-to-week are based on schedule availability and we will do our best to make changes as needed. Throughout the day your child will receive three, 30-minute feeding therapy sessions and one 30-60 minute occupational therapy session. There will be one 30 minute meeting per week with the therapy team to discuss weekly progress and the upcoming week’s goals, as well as any home program recommendations.

Who qualifies for the Intensive Feeding Day Program?

  • Children with moderate-severe sensory, motor and behavioral feeding disorders

  • Children who have made limited to no gains in outpatient therapy

  • Children ages 12 months and older

  • Children at risk for feeding tube placement

  • Children weaning from feeding tube dependence

  • Children who have ongoing poor weight gain and nutrition which is affecting their health and development

Do Intensive Feeding Programs really work? It is a big commitment.

We have a 100% success rate at building functional feeding skills for children in our Intensive Feeding Program.   The 2 month commitment is more than worth it, as children make faster and longer lasting gains in a shorter amount of time that generalize to home than compared to outpatient therapy.  Outpatient therapy can last for years with slow progress, and overtime is a financial burden and scheduling becomes difficult as your family’s commitments increase.


What should I expect during my child’s evaluation?

Your child will receive an evaluation with our feeding team (speech pathologist and occupational therapist), allowing us to collect a detailed birth, medical, developmental, nutritional, and feeding history. Our occupational therapist will assess your child’s sensory processing skills, postural stability, fine motor skills, self feeding skills, and primary neuro-motor reflex development. Our feeding therapist will assess your child’s oral motor skills, oral sensory processing and behavioral response with both preferred and non-preferred foods, as well as parent-child interactions involving food. Treatment approaches will be trailed to determine what works best for your child. You will be asked to bring a preferred and non-preferred food to the evaluation, as well as any feeding utensils used at home. After the evaluation, the therapists will discuss if your child would benefit most from our Intensive Feeding Program or Outpatient therapy.


How many sessions will by child receive per day?

You child will receive 3-30 minute feeding therapy sessions per day and 1: 30-60-min occupational therapy session per day, 5 days a week for 8-weeks.


Do parents stay with their child all day?

We do require a parent, caregiver, teacher, or nanny etc. stay with the child while at the Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida. We offer a separate play room with toys, bean bag chairs, lights that dim, and a television to relax in between sessions. The surrounding area of Boca Raton also has a lot of family friendly activities nearby that you can take part in when enrolled in the program. Parents and caregivers play a vital role in their children’s progress. During the final weeks of the program, parents and caregivers participate in parent training to ensure generalization to the home environment.


Do I have to bring in food for my child every day?

The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida supplies foods for the children in the feeding program. However, you are welcome to bring foods from home and we can store them in your child’s specific bin during the program. Please let your therapists know during the evaluation of any dietary restrictions, based on food allergies or religious beliefs.

What if my child reaches all his/her goals before 8-weeks?

On average, the program lasts 8-weeks.  However, this can change depending on your child’s progress.


What accommodations are there for families traveling from out of town?

We collaborate with a local Air bnb who provides discounts to our families who enroll in the Intensive Feeding Program. Additionally, Boca Raton and surrounding areas have several hotels that can provide accommodations for you and your family. We will be happy to assist you in finding the best location for your family.


Will my insurance cover the Intensive Feeding Day Program?

The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida does not directly bill your insurance company for services received during the Intensive Feeding Program. We provide a weekly superbill for families to submit to their insurance company for direct reimbursement for services covered. Every insurance company reimburses families for services rendered differently. You will receive a contract specific to the Intensive Feeding Program policies and estimated costs before starting the program.


Who is part of your feeding team?

We have a team of speech pathologists (feeding specialists) and occupational therapists on site. Our occupational therapists are specialized in feeding as well. We collaborate with your child’s specific medical specialists throughout the program and make referrals when necessary.

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