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Eating and Drinking (EY)


Eating and Drinking

Babies and young children may find it challenging to tolerate new foods, or different textures. This may be part of a typical weaning process. However, some children will have difficulties with eating, drinking, and swallowing. This may be related to other medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. Children with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties may need a modified diet, adapted positioning or equipment for eating.

Signs that your child might have difficulties with eating, drinking, and swallowing include:

  • coughing (during or after eating and drinking);
  • choking;
  • eye watering;
  • wheezing (during or after eating and drinking – look out for any changes in breathing);
  • a gurgly, wet voice; change in facial colour (blue, red, pale);
  • uncomfortable or frightened facial expression;
  • refusing to eat and/or drink.

Please contact your health visitor or GP if you have concerns, even if you aren’t sure. It’s safer to check. In an emergency, where swallowing or breathing difficulties are life threatening, please telephone the emergency services (dial 999) or visit your nearest hospital accident and emergency department.

What can I do resources:

More Information & Getting Help:

If your child is struggling with weaning and managing food with different textures, please contact your local health visitor. Visit the Health Visiting Team webpage for further details.

To make a referral for eating, drinking, and swallowing (dysphagia), please complete the following forms:

  • Dysphagia Referral Parent Questionnaire, and
  • Single Point of Entry Form if a referral is appropriate
  • These referral forms and details on how to contact us can be found on our Service page
Sirona care & health