Feeding Development and Difficulties

About Feeding Development and Difficulties

  • Recognition of feeding difficulties as a problem for children and families has increased significantly over recent years. While previously readily acknowledged in children with failure to thrive or developmental disabilities this view has changed with increasing numbers of healthy children and children with a range of other health concerns being referred for management of feeding difficulties.

    This website uses a developmental approach to feeding and provides health professionals from range of disciplines with a framework for understanding feeding development and for identifying:

    • If a feeding difficulty exists
    • Possible contributing factors and
    • Potential management strategies

    The website can be considered in two sections:

    Section One: Feeding Development
    This section:

    • Aims to provide a sound understanding of typical feeding development providing a framework for understanding and managing feeding difficulties.
    • Includes 4 video segments demonstrating key stages and messages in feeding development. It is hoped that these will be a valuable resource that can be used with parents to demonstrate both desirable behaviours, and typical responses to eating and mealtimes.
    • Provides references and links to websites for those requiring more detailed information.

    Section Two: Feeding Difficulties
    This section:

    • Aims to provide background information on feeding difficulties including prevalence, impact and factors contributing to their development.
    • Includes guidelines for the assessment and management of children with typical to complex feeding difficulties.
    • Uses a variety of case scenarios to describe assessment and management including strategies for management.
    • Provides links to a range of resources for use with families and more detailed information for health professionals with a particular interest in this area.

    Note: Throughout this resource the term ‘parents’ has been used. It is intended that this be inclusive of all carers involved in the feeding and provision of food to children.