Oral Aversions and Tube Feeding

child displaying oral aversion
Many children with feeding tubes develop oral aversions. Learn more about this issue, why it occurs and helpful treatment and resources.

What Is an Oral Aversion?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information defines an oral aversion as the reluctance or refusal of a child to eat, manifested as gagging, vomiting, turning the head away from food or avoiding any sensation in or around the mouth.

Why Do Oral Aversions Develop?

Oral aversions are particularly prevalent among children who required tube feeding since birth. These children often display discomfort with eating orally, brushing their teeth and related activities.

However, some children may develop an oral aversion due to medical issues – reflux, food allergies, aspiration, etc. Therefore, the child may already have this issue before introducing the feeding tube.

Treatment and Resources

A therapist can utilize several means to tackle and address oral aversions. Feeding Tube Awareness provides resources and tools for addressing oral aversions. They also provide information on feeding therapy.

Finally, for more information on nutritional support, supplies and equipment, view our enteral/nutritional blogs page.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.