Do Mealtimes and New Foods Feel Way Too Hard?

Sponsored Content from STAR Institute

May 8, 2023

Research shows that about 20% of all children will struggle with some type of feeding challenge at one point or another from Birth to 7 years of age, which is why early intervention is so important! 

Feeding challenges can include difficulty breastfeeding, difficulty transitioning to purees, difficulty transitioning to solids, “picky eating” or problem feeding, restricted food range – small repertoire, resistance to new foods, stressful mealtimes, and diet/feeding regression.

Download or Print Our Feeding Red Flags PDF for Signs Across All Ages.

STAR Institute can help!

At STAR Institute, the leader in sensory processing and sensory health, we specialize in assessing and treating why individuals struggle with feeding.

The Feeding Team at STAR sees clients of all ages — from infancy to adulthood — with developmental feeding challenges. We work with clients to identify what is interfering with their eating and how to improve growth and interactions with food.

Services offered include:

Infant Feeding Therapy
You and your Feeding Therapist will feed your baby together. The therapist will help with breast or bottle feeding concerns, introducing spoon feeding, and transitioning to solid foods and cup drinking. Feeding is a developmental skill that develops between Birth and 3 years of age, which is why early intervention to address feeding challenges is so important. There is NO waiting list for infants under 12 months of age.

Child Feeding Therapy
You and your child will have Therapy Meals with your Feeding Therapist, who will choose and prepare foods, plates, cups, utensils, etc. You will learn how to best support your child in reaching their feeding goals.

Adolescent and Adult Feeding Therapy
You and your Feeding Therapist will work together to uncover why feeding can be challenging for each individual. Feeding starts as a developmental milestone (0-3 years) and then continues to be impacted by skill, our learning around food, and other confounding factors. Even as an adult, eating is not as simple as people think.

Group Feeding Therapy
Small groups of 4-6 children (ages 18 months and older) have a Therapy Meal together in our kitchen while the parents and the team psychologist watch from behind a one-way mirror. Parents participate directly during the beginning of the therapy session by helping guide their child through a sensory play routine. Once behind the one-way mirror, parents are taught how to best help their child eat while observing the Feeding Therapists working with their child.

Food and Cooking Clubs
Cooking and other fun food activities can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about new foods in an engaging environment while spending time with parents and/or peers. When children learn about and cook their own foods, it can make interacting with and trying them feel a little less scary! Our food and cooking clubs encourage socialization between peers and will support those with feeding or sensory challenges. Children of all ability levels are invited to join us as we have fun together in the kitchen!

Feeding Tips for Summer Vacation

Are you starting to plan a summer vacation? Whether you enjoy a staycation or travel abroad, it can be exciting. It can also be a difficult time for your family and picky eaters.

Here are a few pre-trip planning suggestions and helpful tips and tricks from our Feeding Specialists Nicole Pielage and Rachel Balderrama to help with your upcoming trip.

STAR Institute is the leading international clinic for treating children, adolescents, and adults with differences in sensory processing and other conditions in which sensory challenges are common, such as autism, ADHD, neurodevelopmental differences, trauma, learning differences, and mental health conditions.

At STAR, we provide supportive, therapeutic programs that allow individuals to build confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, regulation, and social and communication skills.

To start today, visit or complete the new client inquiry form.

STAR Institute
6911 S. Yosemite St.
Centennial, CO 80112
(303) 221-7827