When my daughter outgrew the booster seat I didn't think much about transitioning her to a regular chair at the table. But it didn't exactly work as well as I hoped. She was all over the place in her chair and could barely stay upright let alone focus on what was on her plate. Something as simple as offering a stepstool made all the difference! With her feet supported and steady I started noticing a huge improvement to mealtimes. Where she was previously dangling her feet,spending much of her energy focused on balance and stability, she is now able to pay more attention to the fine motor and oral motor skills necessary for eating. She also became a more active participant in the mealtime conversation!
Feeding requires the use of many complex and usually still developing skills. Think: trunk support/gross motor skills to balance, fine motor skills to grasp the food, proprioception to bring the food to their mouths, oral motor skills such as biting, sucking, chewing, and swallowing, social/language skills, and sensory processing!!
Now imagine trying to learn how to do all of this while your feet are dangling, you have nothing to support your back and no where to rest your arms...! 😱
Ideal feeding position is 90° at the knees 90° at the hips and 90° at the elbows. This is especially important for younger children who are still developing their core control, and gross and fine motor skills. But even preschool and school aged kids could benefit from having their feet flat and supported during mealtime!
I love @mymunchbug_melaniepotock hacks for adjusting the seats to best support your child during feeding.
Have you tried this? Let me know in the comments below!
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**Offering specialized speech, feeding, and myofunctional therapy in the convenience of your preferred location!