On Demand

Feeding in Toddlerhood

Learning Through Opportunity

with Stephanie Cohen, M.A., CCC-SLP, CLC and Karen Dilfer, OTR/L

4.5 hrs

Register $119

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Course Description

Part 1: Positive feeding experiences are central to the development of a strong, trusting relationship between parent and child. Many children who experience feeding difficulties struggle to develop the skills necessary to enjoy eating with their families and eat enough to thrive. This course will explore typical feeding skill development in the toddler stage (1-3 years), including emerging autonomy, diet expansion, cup and straw drinking, and self-feeding. There will be a strong emphasis on responsive feeding and discussion of how feeding skills develop within the context of relationships.

Part 2: In part 2 of the Toddler series, we will discuss factors that may interrupt feeding development in toddlers, collaboration with parents and a child’s team, and family-focused intervention. Participants will develop clinical reasoning skills and understand how to develop individualized intervention plans with an emphasis on use of parent coaching techniques in the context of a child’s natural environment and daily mealtime routines. There will be a strong emphasis on responsive feeding and individualized care.

You will learn to:

Part 1
1. Understand typical toddler feeding patterns including continued chestfeeding, self-feeding, chewing development, drinking from a variety of vessels, and consumption of a variety of finger and table foods.

2. Explain how positive eating experiences shape intrinsic motivation to eat.

3. Explain how the caregiver-child relationship is central to feeding skill development and how emerging desire for autonomy in toddlerhood impacts relationships.

4. Identify opportunities to support expand variety of foods, refine drinking skills, and improve self-feeding skills.

Part 2

5. Understand the multifaceted pediatric feeding disorder diagnosis and how difficulty experiences related to feeding have the potential to negatively impact development in toddlerhood.

6. Understand how toddler feeding challenges impact relationships and families.

7. Collaborate effectively with members of a multidisciplinary feeding team.

8. Create a dynamic treatment plan with individualized goals and priorities for therapy.

9. Implement family-focused practices in feeding therapy, including parent coaching strategies and routines-based intervention.

10. Understand how to avoid trauma in feeding therapy.

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What Past Students Have To Say:

  • "Both presenters were very knowledgeable and professional. The information presented was extremely useful and provided specific ideas/steps to implement into practice immediately. Great work!"

  • "The presentation went right to the point. It clearly emphazised the connection and the importance between emotions and feeding."

  • "I like how you address the issue from a multi-disciplinary perspective. I work in EI on a feeding team and it's not easy to find educational information that is helpful from multiple angles of an issue."

CEU Info

Certificates verifying participation in 4.50 hours of continuing education will be available for download once the entire course has been viewed and and participants achieve a 100% score on the quiz. Check with your professional organizations' licensing bodies to determine exactly what may be accepted for you. This course is eligible for ASHA’s professional development hour requirements. You will not require ASHA pre-approval for this. See here [https://www.asha.org/certification/FactDef/] for more information. This course is eligible for AOTA credits. Please check your state’s guidelines for specific information about this continuing education activity may apply to your state’s CEU guidelines.


This intermediate level course is appropriate for occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, assistants, educators, early intervention providers, parents/caregivers, and other professionals (social workers, nurses, registered dietitians, etc.) working with children with feeding challenges. Please contact us at [email protected]  with any needs regarding accommodations. 


Founder and Senior Instructor Stephanie Cohen, M.A., CCC-SLP, CLC

Stephanie Cohen is a speech-language pathologist and lactation counselor in private practice who has worked with children with complex medical needs and their families for more than 20 years. Stephanie has advanced training in feeding and swallowing disorders; she specializes in working with the 0-3 population and is passionate about helping families of children with feeding and swallowing disorders find ways to make mealtimes more successful and enjoyable. Stephanie has a bachelor of arts and a master of science degree from Northwestern University. She is a credentialed evaluator and provider in IL Early Intervention. Stephanie speaks about a variety of topics, including typical and atypical feeding development, responsive feeding, and trauma-informed feeding assessment and treatment. She enjoys mentoring, collaborating, and teaching. Stephanie also shares information and insight for families and professionals on Instagram (@Learntotalkwithme) and Tiktok (@Learntotalkwithme). She is the author of two board books, My First Learn-to-Talk Book and My First Learn-to-Talk Book: Things That Go (Sourcebooks). Stephanie lives in Northbrook with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

Founder and Senior Instructor Karen Dilfer, MS, OTR/L

Karen Dilfer is an occupational therapist, feeding specialist, and food enthusiast. She has a strong pediatric background and loves to help children with motor, sensory, and mealtime challenges. A Chicago native, Karen enjoys discovering new restaurants and cooking with friends and family. She is a founding member of the Chicago Feeding Group, a non profit organization that seeks to support parents and professions who work with children who struggle to eat. Karen was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune. Karen has a bachelor of science degree from Calvin College and a master’s of science degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She is Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) trained and has also completed post-graduate education in Sensory Integration. Karen trained under Marsha Dunn Klein at Mealtime Connections, LLC, in Tucson, Arizona. Karen is a contributing member to the Get Permission team and regularly teaches Get Permission workshops and webinars. She maintains a private practice and actively treats children with feeding challenges. You can learn more about her work here: www.eatwithkaren.com.

2-Course Bundle

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Cancellations must be in writing and will incur a $15 fee. We are unable to give refunds if more than 10% of the course has been viewed. If the Get Permission Institute or speaker should need to remove the course, course fees will be refunded or transferred to another course at the discretion of the participant.