Friday, January 13, 2012

Posture and Eating

One VERY important thing we have learnt so far over here, that if a child has poor posture, and poor muscle tone, there is a good chance they will have an eating disorder.  Try this simple exercise.  Sit yourself in a chair and lift your feet off the ground.  Then sit forward and pretend to eat some food and use your utensils, but dont let those feet touch the ground!!! Its difficult isnt it. We start relying on other areas of strength, such as our core strength to hold ourselves steady.

Children who have low muscle tone or core strength find this very difficult.  One of the first things we have done is gone out and bought proper chairs for both Emma and James (even though James is not here for eating they are the best for helping children).  


This is the chair that we have purchased.  They grow with the child and make sure they are supported in every way.   The correct way a child should sit would be 90 x 90 x 90.  In other words, their legs bent at 90 degrees at the knee and supported at the feet, and the waist should create another perfect 90 degree angle.  The table should sit somewhere just above their belly button.  This is the optimum position for a child to be sitting at.  and by supporting their feet, you are helping to alleviate the core issues by giving them some stability.

Emma had been introduced to proper seating in previous therapy classes, unfortunately without the added assistance of OT, her core strength was not identified, which needed to be addressed.

Her core strength is going to be worked on in two different ways.  Firstly, the warming up exercises I was talking about yesterday with her feeding clinic.  Those exercises not only help warm up the big body for the feeding, but also help start strengthing Emma's core strength.  Simple things as balancing along a bar, 

Jumping on a trampoline

Hauling herself out of bean bags, climbing stairs and crawling through tunnels,

Tactile senses by using different feeling pads and also core strength by making her jump across (sorry about the quality), and 

the swinging.... lets get big and strong.

So all this stuff is body prep.  It helps in three areas of which we have already talked about
  • proprioception
  • core strengthening
  • tactile and auditory sensory issues
One of our goals in OT classes is to help with her low muscle tone and core strength, so between these two classes, we should be helping Emma with her posture and thus helping her and taking one less stress and pressure off her to enable her to sit at a table comfortably during meal time. 


  1. Wow, just tried the feet-off-the-floor-leaning-fwd-eating-thing.....IT'S HARD!
    Amazing how much we take for granted when doing day to day things isn't it? It will be really interesting to see how going back to these 'foundation' steps work to build on Emma's core strength, and how that later links in with being able to develop her eating skills.
    I hope the rest of the family are managing well over there too Roz - it would be fairly intense I guess? Are you getting some R&R too, or is it all pretty full on? Liat x

  2. Hi, Came across your blog via the Miracle Babies FB page. Just wondering what the chair is called that you bought for Emma??