Sometimes people with
cerebral palsy have problems trying to eat. Problems
Coughing and choking, which can lead to breathing
pneumonia if food is inhaled into the
Poor jaw control, making it difficult to
Difficulty sucking and swallowing.
You can help your child with cerebral palsy eat more easily
Providing appropriate utensils, such as special
plates and large-handled spoons.
Serving oatmeal, pudding, mashed
potatoes, and other semisolid foods.
Placing the child in a secure
sitting position for eating. Bring his or her arms toward his or her chest to
prevent the child from getting into a position that will make feeding and
swallowing more difficult (such as arching the back and throwing the head
Holding one hand against the child's cheek to help him
or her open and close his or her mouth if jaw control is a problem.
A person with severe cerebral palsy
may need a feeding tube in order to eat. For short-term use, the tube is placed
into the nose and passed into the stomach. For long-term tube feeding, a tube
can be placed directly into the stomach through an opening in the abdomen
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics