Feeding difficulties need to be addressed in order to prevent undernutrition, growth failure, micronutrient deficiencies, osteopenia and nutritional comorbidities.1
Asking the caregiver the following questions may help you better evaluate the situation:2
- Does feeding time take longer than 30 minutes?
- Are mealtimes stressful for you and your child?
- Have you observed a lack of weight gain for the past 2-3 months, especially in the first 2 years of life?
- Does your child have a history of respiratory illnesses?
- Have you observed an increased nasal congestion at meal times?
- Have you noticed a change in voice quality during meal times?
If possible, in order to help you identify the specific feeding issues of your patient with CP, you can simulate a meal at your consultation office to better observe how your patient eats.
If you suspect the presence of a swallowing disorder, it would be preferable to have a further evaluation with a video fluoroscopic swallow study,2 also known as modified barium swallow.
- Romano C et al. European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Gastrointestinal and Nutritional Complications in Children With Neurological Impairment. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017;65(2):242-264.
- Scarpato E et al. Nutritional assessment and intervention in children with cerebral palsy: a practical approach. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017;68(6):763-770.