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children's nutrition

S.O.S!   Fussy Eating, is there anything we can actually do?

One of the most common concerns amongst parents of toddlers is fussy eating.  A fussy eater is generally considered “fussy” or “picky” when he/she refuses food 50% of the time.

Many parents of fussy eaters become concerned their child is not eating enough, not growing enough and so of course meal times can be a constant source of distress in the family!

However, over recent years a development has occurred in the support available for families with children who are fussy eaters.

Originally developed by Dr Kay Toomey, a Paediatric Psychologist in Denver, United States, the SOS approach has emerged as a valuable tool for Dietitians advising on feeding difficulties in children.

Dietitians, in addition to other health practitioners such as Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists are being trained both overseas and in Australia to utilise this approach with families.

The SOS approach stands for the Sequential, Oral, Sensory  Approach.  It is a family based program that centres on the developmental steps that all children take with feeding.  By focusing on the skills and behaviours that children need to develop their feeding further, it allows children to be able to progress to eating foods of different textures and of course ensure adequate growth and nutrition.

Many Dietitians are Accredited Practitioners of the SOS Approach. They will be able to draw on this new area of research with parents and children in their local regions.

They will also be able to draw on key concepts from the Division of Responsibility pioneered by Ellyn Satter.

Further Information

For further information on children’s health conditions, healthy eating for children or general fussy eating advice go to:

Parenting Australia

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Sensory Therapies and Research (STAR) Center
(Information on the SOS Approach and the key researcher, Dr Kay Toomey)

Ellyn Satter Institute