Solution Name: Training to Assist with Feeding Skills
An individual will need to learn many skills in order to eat and drink independently. Expecting to learn all of them at once is probably not realistic. Instead, target one or two specific skills to perform more independently, such as bringing the spoon to their mouth or drinking from a glass or a "sippy" cup (child) independently.
Teach the skill all at once, think of having the individual partially participate in many of the aspects of mealtime. Partial participation means that you do some steps in the process and the individual does some steps. For example, you might put the food on the spoon, but then have them bring the spoon to the mouth. Over time, gradually increase the level of participation in mealtime skills
Rather than trying to teach the skill all at once, have the individual partially participate in many of the aspects of mealtime. Partial participation means that the caregiver does some steps in the process and the participant does some steps. For example, the caregiver might put the food on the spoon, but then the participant has the responsibility of bringing the spoon to his/her mouth. Over time, you can gradually increase his level of participation in mealtime skills.
Consider these additional suggestions to help individuals develop eating skills and independence at mealtime:
Start with food or drinks that the individual really likes to increase motivation.
Make sure the individual feels secure physically while sitting in the chair.
Work from behind with the individual when assisting the individual or showing how to do something so that your hands and the participants hands are moving together in the same direction.
Use Hand-over-Hand when guiding the individual during mealtime.
Place a mirror in front of you and the individual so that you can more easily see his mouth.
Include the individual in family mealtimes, even if he is not eating a full meal at that time, to let them be part of the social interaction that occurs.
Such equipment might include:
Utensils with built-up handles that are easier for individual to grip
Plates or bowls with raised sides so that food is less likely to spill
Cups or bottles (for children) that have a special opening that is easier to drink through
Nonslip placemats or trays on which to place plates, cups, and utensils so that they are less likely to move.
1.Built up Utensils
2.Plates/Bowls with Raised Sides
3.Non-Slip Place Mats