Oral Motor and Feeding
Oral motor skills begin in the womb and are fully developed by the age of 3. Oral motor skills are complex in nature, comprising of movement patterns with physical and. sensory components.
When feeding is a challenge, many times individual oral structures and sensory-motor patterns are a cause.
Oral motor problems cause issues and difficulty with difficulty biting, chewing, and manipulating foods. They can cause difficulties with textures of foods, and can be a reason your little one is a picky eater!
Contact Tara for an oral motor and feeding assessment if you suspect oral motor difficulties or need help with any of the following:
Weak oral muscles
Oral apraxia (problems with motor planning)
Transitioning to table foods
How to drink from a straw
How to use utensil
How to help picky eaters using no-pressure techniques and exploration
Creating structure and Routine at meals (which is the foundation to creating healthy eating habits for life)
See below for tried and true feeding utensils and oral motor tools recommended by Tara:
Reflo 360 Spoutless Training CupsGreat for children who may not be able to use a spouted sippy (which I rarely recommend anyways) due to a cleft palate or other medical issues. Its free flowing design requires no suction with true flow-controlled rim drinking all the way around. Perfect for helping children learn how to transition to drink from an adult cup.
Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw CupWeighted straw allows your toddler to hold the cup at any angle.
Handles are easy for little hands to hold. BPA free
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw CupRecommended by U.S. pediatric dentists, this straw sippy allows for healthy oral development; short straw designed to allow natural tongue movement and swallowing process.
Comes with 100% Leak-proof Money Back Guarantee
Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer CupDrinking from anywhere around the rim, like a regular cup, helps support normal muscle development in a child’s mouth. The handles support self feeding.
Baby Spoons by MunchkinRounded, soft spoon bowls are gentle on baby's gums
Ergonomically designed for a comfortable hold
TalkTools Straw KitThe TalkTools Straw Therapy promotes jaw-lip-tongue dissociation through twelve stages of development. The Straw Kit is used to teach tongue retraction, grading, controlled tongue movements, and lip rounding, among other oral-motor skills.
NUK BrushGreat oral motor tool for preparing little ones to get acquainted with the feel of a tooth brush. The NUK Brush is a wonderful tool for oral motor stimulation and desensitization. Use also before eating to stimulate chewing and biting.
Chewy TubesChewy Tubes are non-toxic, latex free, non flavored
Helps practice biting and chewing skills