Feeding and Swallowing Handbook

Optimizing a child’s feeding and swallowing function is an important part of the overall care for children with physical and developmental disabilities. However, achieving this goal can be a complex process for clinicians and an emotional journey for caregivers.

The Holland Bloorview Feeding and Swallowing Team, in partnership with Evidence to Care, have developed an evidence-based handbook to help guide clinical decision making during clinical evaluation and management of pediatric feeding and swallowing issues. The PDF document is available for free download by clicking on the link and/or image below.

Please tell us about yourself. By providing the following information, you will help us better understand who is using the handbook and where the handbook is being used.

Feeding and Swallowing Handbook (PDF)

This handbook is a compilation of best evidence and practice to assist clinicians in assessing and treating feeding and swallowing issues in children with physical and developmental disabilities.


Handouts for clinicians


Feeding according to developmental level (PDF)

A table about 6 developmental stages children go through as their oral motor skills develop and which foods are appropriately provided at each stage that align with typical development. The information focuses on progressive development of skills rather than acquisition by a particular age.

For more information refer to the handbook.

Handouts for families


Feeding according to developmental level (family) (PDF)

A child’s developmental stage is more important than their age when it comes to feeding skills. This table shows how a child’s mouth movement skill for eating and drinking develops over 6 stages. Examples of foods and liquids that can be given at each stage are shown.

Feeding and swallowing framework (PDF)

A versatile tool that can be used to guide your evaluations, summarize recommendations for families, and teach students feeding and swallowing practice fundamentals.

For more information refer to the handbook.

Aspiration infographic (PDF)

An infographic about aspiration. This infographic explains what aspiration is, what it looks like, who is at risk and what you can do if you are concerned about a child’s risk of aspiration.