What is Postural Stability? How to Improve Child’s Posture While Eating

What is Postural Stability? How to Improve Child’s Posture While Eating

What is postural stability?

Postural stability is your child’s ability to sit in an upright and unsupported sitting position. When kids have to concentrate sitting correctly, they can quickly fatigue which will affect their ability to focus on eating. Good posture is important during mealtimes because it supports our breathing, provides support and security when sitting, and allows the child to focus on hand mouth coordination and properly chewing and swallowing. 

Your child might be struggling if they are:

Slouching while sitting

Sliding out from underneath tables/trays 

Not self-feeding 

Prefer to stand and eat 

Likes to walk around and eat 

Fatigue quickly after sitting for long periods

What can parents do to help?

In order to set your child up for success, you want to make sure they are sitting with what we call a “90-90-90 posture”.  This is when you have a 90-degree angle at the hips, a 90-degree angle at the knees, and a 90-degree angle at the ankles. The table or tray should always be somewhere between the belly button and breast level.

Here is an example of the 90-90-90 posture:

Proper posture during meal time is so important. The StokkeTripp Trapp chairs (shown below) have always been a favorite of ours because they fit nicely next to the table and can be used for a number of years. The seat and foot rest can be easily adjusted as your child grows to establish the 90-90-90 position. If you are using a booster seat, you might want to use a foot stool and back support to achieve the proper posture.

 

 

Lindsay Mastroeni, SLPA