Shelly Fredericks, Occupational Therapist presents at the NEC, OT show, about the ‘Messy Chef’ programme, sharing her learning with parents and carers, and looks at possible future research.
During her time working at Oak Field Primary School, Autism Base (April 2019 – present), Shelly Fredericks (Occupational Therapist, OT) noticed a trend of fussy eaters. This led her to review the literature for a solution and adapt a ‘Messy Chef’ programme created by a colleague, Sudheer Kuttan; based on her findings and research on similar programmes trialled elsewhere.
Shelly piloted the programme in one class at school, before implementing the programme universally across the Base. The pilot study was extremely successful when measured informally, based on teacher and parent feedback, and the number of new foods trialled by the children. One child was due to have a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) inserted prior to attending the programme and now has a varied diet without the use of the PEG.
You can watch Shelly presenting her findings and the programme, at the OT Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on 24 November 2022 here. The presentation looks at this programme and shares some suggestions to address Fussy Eating with Autistic children. She represented the Cognus Therapies Team, thus promoting the work carried out across the London Borough of Sutton.
You can also watch Shelly presenting the Messy Chef programme to parents and carers here.
The programme has been implemented at Oak Field Base and trialled at Rainbow Base, at Green Wrythe Primary School. Many of the strategies modelled during the programme and workshops are still applied by teachers and families at Oak Field, ensuring the programme is embedded into their school curriculum.
Since the OT show, Shelly has received interest from six other OTs, to use the programme in their settings. They will be meeting soon to discuss the carryover of the programme into the different settings, as well as discussing how to collect more data so the programme’s effectiveness can be measured.
Find out more about our Occupational Therapy team here