Should I tube feed my child whilst they are awake or asleep?

Many families I meet have found that the only way to tube feed their child so they don’t vomit is to feed them whilst they are asleep. Other families are put on a ‘prescription’ of 3 or 4 hourly tube feeds – even when their child is past the early months of life and therefore this ‘prescription’ is carried out whether the child is awake or asleep, in the car or wherever else they may be.

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Is it feeding tube dependency or oral aversion?

I often receive referrals from families who have been told their tube fed child has ‘oral aversion’. As discussed in an earlier blog, oral aversion refers to babies and children who do not want to put anything (or very limited things) in their mouth or sometimes even near their face. Read more

What’s more important…..nutrition or enjoyable mealtimes??

What’s more important to you and your family – an enjoyable family mealtime or your child eating the balanced nutritional diet that is drummed into us?

It’s a really hard question…..of course we strive for both as they are both so important. However what often happens in children who have restricted food choices is a) they only eat the foods they will eat – how and when they will eat them – and therefore parents worry about their nutritional adequacy or b) parents push children to eat foods they currently don’t yet have on their ‘accepted’ list and in doing so create angst, upset and fights along the way.

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What is oral aversion and how do I help my child overcome it?

Children who struggle to try new foods, eat new textures or even put toys / food in their mouth are frequently diagnosed as having ‘oral aversion’. Basically this means they do not want to put anything (or very limited things) in their mouth or sometimes even near their face.

I have worked with babies who are tube fed and won’t mouth anything except a dummy; toddlers who never chewed on toys and never explored their worlds through their mouth; older children and teens who have sensory processing challenges (maybe as part of a larger challenge such as Autism or Down Syndrome) and have been extremely specific about the texture of their foods from an early age (often dry, crunchy, finger foods). These children also often HATE TOOTHBRUSHING!

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