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Early Childhood Intervention Services

Fussy Eating

  • RCH ECIS currently provides fussy eating support called Food Explorers (formerly known as Food Warriors). This is facilitated by our ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professionals.

    Kindly be aware that we are not a clinic and out-of-pocket expenses are associated with our services. We welcome NDIS funding.
    We do not run the program all the time, therefore we have an expression of interest list
    It is important to highlight that reaching out to us does not guarantee the running of the group or program.


    What is Food Explorers?

    Informed by the principles of:

    • SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to fussy eating
    • Ellyn Satter Institute - Division of Responsibility in Feeding

    Child’s goals for the Food Explorers program:

    • exposure to play-based interactions with food
    • to learn to have positive experiences with food
    • to increase willingness to explore different foods

    Parent/Carer goals for the Food Explorers program: 

    • to learn the cues to eating
    • to understand the steps that are involved in eating
    • to create a feeding routine at home
    • respecting and trusting your child’s limits
    • to learn how to encourage exploration and learning around foods that your child is not yet eating

    For fussy eating support, we offer three Food Explorers program options: 

    1. Food Explorers - Family Meals Program
    2. Food Explorers - Individual Program
    3. Food Explorers - Group Program


    Program breakdown 

    1. Assessment session

    • Access to two ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professionals (where possible) for a mealtime assessment inclusive of oral motor skills. This is conducted at our North Melbourne location.  

    2. Parent/Carer information session

    The information session aims to address:

    The parent/carer information session can be run by your ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professional/s via telehealth.

    There may also be an option to attend a group information session.  

    3. Telehealth session

    Focusing on strategies that support family meals – strategies that can be used within the home, conducted by a ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professional via telehealth. 

    4. Therapy meals sessions

    • Six therapy meal sessions will be offered onsite at our North Melbourne location.
    • These will be facilitated by your ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professional/s.
    • Therapy meals focus on fun exploration of new foods to increase willingness to try new foods.
    • Parents/carers can be an active participant in the therapy meal sessions.
    • Therapy meals session options -
      • Option 1: Individual program (therapist, parent/carer, child).
      • Option 2: Group program (therapists, parents/carers, children). 
        Groups will run where the group format best meets the needs of multiple children.

    5. Report

    • A summary of the child’s involvement in the Food Explorers program will be written by your ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professional.

    6. Feedback session

    • Conducted via telehealth or onsite, your ‘SOS Approach to Feeding’ trained professional will provide feedback from the program inclusive of a report. 



    • Food Explorers can be adapted for all children under 6 years.
    • The group program is most suited to children aged 3-5 years. The assessment will help determine suitability for a group.
    • RCH ECIS will accept NDIS and private paying families. Please note we have no capacity for families to claim through Medicare or their private health insurance.
    • The program is run at our location in North Melbourne. Referrals from families living outside of our catchment will be accepted. 



    We accept referrals from parents, caregivers and providers via email or our online form.

    Please be informed regarding our wait times. 
    Presently, there is a significant demand for support from RCH ECIS, and we are unable to provide a precise estimate on wait times. 
    We highly recommend registering your child's name on waitlists for other services as well.


    1. The Ellyn Satter Institute -
    2. SOS Approach to Feeding -