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Nutrition & Oral Health

Feeding and Swallowing

Good feeding skills are an important part of the overall development in childhood. As they progress in a step-wise manner, each depending on the one before, it is important to support and encourage the progression, especially during the early stages.


If a child experiences one or more of the following, consider this a red flag:

0-6 months

  • Persistent breast refusal

  • Inability to effectively remove adequate milk from breast when latched well

  • Inability to co-ordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing during feeding

  • Consistent coughing during feeds that is not caused by the flow being too fast

  • Insufficient weight gain

6-8 Months

  • Lack of interest in solid foods

  • No transition to solids i.e. purees

  • No introduction to cup drinking

9-12 Months

  • No transition to table foods i.e. soft pieces of food

12-18 Months

  • No transition to cup drinking

  • Not eating a variety of foods from each food group

  • Not self-feeding any table foods

18 Months

  • Not self-feeding most soft table foods

2 Years

  • Not chewing pieces of a variety of food textures and consistencies



Services and Information related to Nutrition & Oral Health

If a child is choking and can not swallow, and you do not know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver for their size, please call emergency services immediately!

Having more general concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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