Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Child; Eating Disorders -- therapy; Feeding Behavior


KEY WORDS: children, problematic eating behaviors, sensory, intervention

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this pilot study was to analyze the process and outcomes of a routine sensory-based feeding group on a child’s problematic eating behaviors.

METHODS: An experimental pretest-posttest research design was used to gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on 4 children who demonstrated problematic eating behaviors. The children participated in a routine 8-week sensory-based feeding group, which utilized sensory activities to promote change. The Children’s Eating Behavior Inventory (CEBI) and the Feeding Intake Form (FIF) were completed through parental report prior to and upon completion of the intervention. Analysis focused on decreased problematic eating behaviors and improved behaviors during mealtimes. FINDINGS: As a result from the CEBI, 50% of children experienced a decrease in total eating score and 1 out of 4 parents reported a decrease in their child’s problematic eating behaviors. Fifty percent of parents reported less fighting about feeding during mealtimes, as concluded by FIF results. Children also became comfortable with the routine of the intervention and all children made improvements along the food continuum. CONCLUSIONS: Problematic eating behaviors impact a child’s growth and development and can interrupt family dynamics and mealtime routines. Based on results from this pilot study, a sensory-based feeding group has the potential to decrease a child’s problematic feeding behaviors and improve mealtime experiences through parental and child participation. These results are beneficial to improve interventions provided by pediatric occupational therapists.