Normalization of Feeding and Eating Behaviours

Feeling comfortable with tube feeding and/or being in a mealtime setting is favourable before facilitating the development of feeding skills and working on oral desensitization.

Strategies include:

  • identify a safe oral feeding regimen
  • create a positive feeding environment, and establish a mealtime routine
  • transition continuous feeds to an intermittent or bolus schedule if possible¬†
  • coordinate oral feeding times with enteral feeds to help stimulate appetite (Boullata, et al., 2017)
  • support children and families to learn about food in a positive way. Include exposures to new foods in everyday activities to increase access and familiarity with food. When food is part of the environment, children are better able to associate food with hunger
  • support development of feeding skills through food exploration, making a mess, food play, play picnics, and role modeling. These strategies are used to improve oral sensorimotor function and to accommodate sensory preferences (Krom, de Winter, & Kindermann, 2017)