Nutrition Management to Improve Oral Nutritional Intake/Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition management to improve oral nutritional intake may be considered as a management strategy in response to concerns regarding feeding adequacy, feeding as a positive experience, development and efficiency.


  • Children with PFD are at greater risk of nutritional deficiencies. All children with feeding difficulties benefit from a nutrition assessment. (Alberta Health Services, 2017)
  • Infants and children with PFD often require oral nutrition support in order to optimize food and nutrient intake to support adequate growth and meet nutrition.
  • Strategies to increase food and nutrient intake of infants and children vary based on age, medical condition, skill, psychosocial factors, and current oral intake. Energy, protein, fluid, fibre, and micronutrients such as calcium and iron should be considered.
  • While considering the infant or child’s feeding skills and preferences, encourage a healthy eating pattern for balanced nutrition to meet requirements and reflect taste, culture, budget and lifestyle. (Government of Canada, 2019)
  • If oral nutrition support is ineffective, enteral nutrition support may be considered as an additional or alternative therapeutic management strategy.

Infants, children and youth with PFD are at risk of inadequate nutritional intake, poor weight gain and growth delay or faltering. Oral nutrition support can be a useful firstline therapeutic nutrition management strategy to optimize growth and nutrition intake.