Positioning your child at mealtimes

  • Your child needs to sit in a comfortable position that reduces the tightness of the muscles as much as possible.
  • Make sure your child can see what they are eating. Food that appears out of mid-air can be alarming.
  • Getting your child into the right position to support the body is important. It's difficult to eat or drink with the head tilted back.
  • Seat your child in a supportive chair as soon as possible rather than feed them on your lap. (Seek advice from physiotherapist or occupational therapist).
  • Allowing time to help the child into a good position several times during the meal may help.
  • Keeping the head in the middle and facing forward can help the tongue to fall more naturally.

Keep to a routine

  • Hand washing, putting on a bib and getting into a usual chair all help your child know food is coming.
  • Sing songs or play music, while helping your child eat (soothing songs for little ones but happy songs for bigger children).
  • Show or describe the food your child is going to eat.
  • Let your child see and, if appropriate, feel the cutlery you're going to use.
  • Pretend feed a toy if this makes it more acceptable.

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