Accessing Lively Eaters Programs

Lively Eaters Intensive Feeding Programs

Tube Weaning and ‘Fussy Feeders’


Our unique intensive residential programs provide an individualised feeding program and ‘hands-on’ assistance at mealtimes in order to address the many compounding factors that affect a child’s ability to eat and the family interaction around food.  We use the ‘Lively’ approach rather than replicating international programs.

The Lively Eaters therapy team includes speech pathologists, occupational therapists, dietitians, our paediatrician and infant-mental health worker.  A combination of therapists will work with your family during the program depending on the individual needs of your child. All of our therapists have extensive experience working with children, families and feeding difficulties, with individual disciplines having specific areas of focus.

What to expect?

The intensive programs run for 5 or 6 nights commencing on a Monday morning. Should additional time be required this can be negotiated. The programs are individually designed for your child and do not operate as a group program.

Therapists will be in attendance for most of the meals/snacks at the beginning of the week, with gradual reduction of therapy support as parents become more aware and confident in managing the mealtime and behaviours themselves. Siblings are welcome and encouraged to be involved towards the end of the week so therapists can assist with the additional challenges this may pose.  One parent is required to stay overnight with their child for the duration, however we strongly encourage both parents to be active participants in the week as this will assist in understanding of strategies and transfer back to the home environment.

Daytime activities and outings facilitated by the therapists include walks, playground visits and outings to assist in ‘normalising’ food environments and transfer of new skills. Families are encouraged to engage in other activities in non- designated ‘therapist’ time.

A discharge plan is developed at the end of the week and follow-up occurs as per our follow up program. A full written team report will be distributed following the intensive.

Appetite is a strong motivating factor in teaching children why and how to eat. Appetite induction is used in part in our programs under close medical monitoring to help children realise the importance of food and acceptance of food variety.  This does not mean we ‘starve’ children and we utilise their ‘safe foods’ or tube feeds throughout the process.  Food is offered at regular intervals 5 times a day – it is at the child’s discretion whether or not they chose to eat it.  Our therapists are skilled in supporting you through this time and the therapy plan constantly evolves as the week progresses.

Is your child eligible for an Intensive Feeding program?

To determine whether an intensive is appropriate for your child and family an initial assessment will need to be completed first by either one of our experienced Speech Pathologists or Occupational Therapists.  This can occur via Skype with prior video analysis or face-to-face in the clinic.  Therapy options will be discussed at this assessment depending on the assessment outcomes, suitability and family goals at that time.

What you are required to do if an Intensive is deemed suitable:

Following an initial assessment a decision will be made as to whether our program will be suitable for your child/family.  If so we will begin to work with you on achievable goals in an ongoing manner in the lead up to the program, to maximise success once you arrive in Adelaide.  Your lead therapist will develop individual goals with you prior to admission.  If you are participating in one of our hospital based intensives you will be required to:

  • Complete a Memorial Hospital admissions pack and return to the hospital at least 1-week prior to your planned intensive. Please check with your Private Health Insurance company that your ‘family’ cover includes ‘no excess’ for the parent whom is required to stay with your child (a minor under 16 years of age). Children are being admitted by a paediatrician for a ‘general paediatric admission’.
  • Please forward a referral from your child’s Paediatrician/GP written out to Dr. Sonali Vasilunas (Paediatrician) at least 1-week prior to admission. Forward to Emily Lively (196 Payneham Rd, Evandale SA 5069 or

Fussy Feeders Program: A ‘Food Diary’ will be sent to you for completion prior to your pre-admission appointment with our Dietitian (charged at our usual Dietetic assessment rate).  Please return this to Lively Eaters 1 week prior to your Dietitian appointment ( for analysis.  Feedback will be given and nutritional goals developed at your appointment.

Tube Weaning Program: You will be seen by our Dietitian at least 2-weeks prior to the planned wean so that a pre-wean plan may be devised and commenced (this consult is charged at our usual Dietetic assessment rate) and any specific nutritional requirements can be discussed and planned for (eg. allergies, special diets).

All families participating in an intensive (Fussy Feeder and Tube Wean) will meet with our Parent/Child Therapist prior to admission (charged at Infant Mental Health appointment rate).

What are the costs of the Intensive Programs?

Intensive Program Fee

Following initial assessment (local or interstate) if an intensive feeding program is deemed appropriate for your child a quote will be provided to you by Emily Lively which is payable prior to admission (unless in the case of BSI/HCWA/NDIS funding).  Following receipt of this fee you will be sent a confirmation letter and admission package. Families may wish to utilise Better Start, Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) or NDIS funding for this fee.  We encourage you to have the funded amount arranged prior to intensive so the therapy hours may be billed to the relevant funding body at the completion of the therapy program.   This fee is not claimable under Private Health insurance.  For individual circumstances please discuss your funding options with Emily Lively.

For families with Private Health Insurance Hospital cover (on which the child is listed) there are no additional costs on top of the quoted fee (pending individual policies regarding per night excess payments).  The Memorial Hospital provides meals for your child and 2 parents at no additional cost.

Families who do not have private hospital cover will be provided with a written quote which includes a hospital fee (per night bed fee) payable directly to Memorial Hospital at the time of admission (which includes private room and all meals for child and 2 parents); a therapist fee payable to Lively Eaters (prior to admission) and a paediatrician fee (payable post discharge).

Follow Up Program

It is compulsory for all children to be reviewed post discharge as we have a responsibility to ensure your child’s continue success and growth post intensive and change of diet. For interstate families, this follow up can be in person or via Skype/phone.

Tube weaned children are followed closely for 6-months and includes a combination of Speech Pathology, Dietetics, Infant Mental Health and/or Occupational Therapy as indicated.  Follow up sessions are charged at our usual clinic rates.

Fussy Feeders follow up program continues for 3-months post discharge and includes a combination of Speech Pathology, Dietetics, Infant Mental Health and/or Occupational Therapy as indicated.  Follow up sessions are charged at our usual clinic rates and of course further follow up can be provided if required.

Private health rebates, NDIS, HCWA and Better Start funding may be utilised as applicable for both of these follow up programs.

Pre-Assessment Phone Consult

If you are uncertain whether we can be of assistance to you and therefore wish to discuss your child specifically with Emily Lively prior to booking an initial assessment, you are more than welcome to.


This phone consult is charged at the rate of $35/15 minutes and is payable by credit card at the time of the phone call.  Please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic on 08 7226 6395 to arrange a time for Emily to contact you.

Contact Us

Lively Eaters
Phone: (08) 7226 6395

Opening Hours:
Monday: By Appointment
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: By Appointment
Thursday: By Appointment
Friday: By Appointment
Saturday: By Appointment
Sunday: Closed

Clinic hours: Monday to Saturday by appointment Reception hours: Mon/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat part time. Reception is closed on Tuesdays.