Feeding Therapy- The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach


What is the SOS Approach?

The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding program was developed by Dr. Kay Toomey.  SOS is an evidenced based and effective way to address problematic feeding  behaviors, and to expand the number of foods a "picky eater" consumes.   The approach can be used in individual or group therapy sessions.

The  approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and  learning about the different properties of food, allowing a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way.  Therapy begins with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to interacting with the food through play activities targeting the child's ability to touch, manipulate taste and eventually eat the food presented.

We  focus on increasing the variety of foods that the child eats and having  the child become comfortable with a variety of textures, flavors,  temperatures, and food groups.

To learn more about this approach visit the SOS Approach to Feeding: When Children Won't Eat 


Feeding therapy helps children with a wide array of feeding difficulties which may include one or more of the following:

  • Reduced or limited food intake: Child is described as an "extremely picky eater" or currently eats less than 20 different foods.
  • Child has eliminated all foods from one or more food groups (i.e. does not eat any vegetables).
  • Child  will only eat specific brands of food or has other rigid meal time  behaviors such as only eating with a specific spoon, or only eating  foods that are yellow.
  • Food selectivity by type, temperature, appearance and/or texture.
  • Food refusal resulting in poor weight gain.
  • Dysphagia (swallowing difficulty).
  • Oral motor difficulties: Struggling with controlling food in their mouth, spitting, cup drinking, or chewing.
  • Frequent gagging, coughing or choking during meals.
  • Delayed feeding development or difficulty transitioning from a bottle to a cup, or puree to solid foods.
  • Food or swallowing phobias
  • Mealtime tantrums