Mealtimes are woven into the fabric of family life. As we share a meal, we share details about the day, offer support and encouragement and enjoy tasty, nutritious food.

For many families, though, mealtimes are not like that at all. They’re a source of anxiety and frustration. Why? Because one child just won’t eat what’s on the plate.

We know how hard that is and how many difficult feelings it can trigger both for you and for them. We’re here to help.

Nurtition and Connection

At Look Who’s Talking, we recognise that food is about both nutrition and connection. A varied diet nourishes a growing body while enjoyable mealtimes are a great way to bond with family and friends.

We understand how tough it is when your child won’t join the family meal or will only eat a very limited number of foods.

Having a picky eater in the family affects everyone. You worry about your child’s health and nutrition. And you may feel immensely frustrated at the impact their food refusal has on the rest of the family’s eating options.

Feeding therapy is an evidence-based approach to extending your child’s food repertoire so that mealtimes become manageable or – dare we suggest it? – even enjoyable.

The Goals of Feeding Therapy

The Goals of Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy (or paediatric dietetics) aims to help your child enjoy a varied, nutritious diet.

That won’t happen overnight. Often, it’s a series of small gains over time as your child overcomes the various obstacles they experience when trying a new food.

We offer a great deal of praise and encouragement along the way.

What goes into each bite?

Eating is more complicated than we often realise.

If you easily enjoy food, you may find it hard to comprehend why it is such a big issue for your child.

It’s easier to understand why a child might struggle with learning to read. After all, you can easily recognise the steps involved in that – learning letters, sight words, extending vocabulary, gaining confidence and fluency when reading aloud etc.

We often fail to recognise how much is involved in eating. It’s far more than just opening your mouth.

What goes into each bite

The SOS Approach to feeding

If you’ve watched a toddler learn to eat, you can see them learning to coordinate their muscles so they can pick up food and put it in their mouth (or deliberately drop it on the floor!). You can see them playing with the food, exploring its texture and temperature. Finally, some of it goes into their mouth and is swallowed. That’s known as a Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) process. It refers to the different steps that the mouth and senses must take in order for someone to eat.

As the SOS approach to feeding explains, there are 6 major steps to eating – and it all starts with the eyes, not the mouth.

The 6 key steps in eating



Tolerating the sight or presence of the food – even being in the same room is a start

Touch 1

Touch 1

With utensils only at this stage


Getting used to the scent of different foods and flavours


Touch 2

Touching the food with fingers, hands, body and mouth – this is how toddlers learn to eat



Could be just the tip of the tongue or putting it in the mouth then spitting it out

Chew and swallow

Chew and swallow

The final step – imagine how many times this has to happen in a whole meal

The SOS approach to feeding considers the whole child. It’s not just about food.
We need to examine their whole self for information about their feeding difficulties. That includes looking into:

Small steps, big difference

Small steps, big difference

Ashley would never attend the family meal ever. Being in the same room as a loaded dinner table created an intolerable sensory overload for her. Feeding therapy helped her to be in the room. She wouldn’t sit at the table but she was now at least present and able to join in the conversation with her family. That made a big difference. 

Billy would only eat noodles or rice with ketchup. And not just any noodles – they had to be a specific brand. Feeding therapy helped him learn to eat one or two additional foods. That made a big difference. 

Cooper would only eat a particular brand of oven chips. His family desperately wanted a bit more freedom. Feeding therapy helped Cooper become comfortable with other chips – and meant he and his family were able to enjoy the simple pleasure of getting fish and chips together from time to time. That made a big difference. 

Individual and group therapy options

At Look Who’s Talking, you have two options for feeding therapy: a 1:1 appointment or a group program