Esophageal atresia or tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) repair: How to help your child with eating

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Find out how to help your child with swallowing and digesting food after EA/TEF repair.

Key points

  • Your child might find it difficult to swallow food and liquids after EA/TEF repair. This is called dysphagia.
  • You can help your child by serving foods with dressings or sauces, letting your child take sips of liquid after every two or three bites, cutting food into small pieces and scheduling five or six small meals during the day.
  • If food becomes stuck, stay calm, offer some sips of liquid and distract your child while they wait for the food to pass.
  • Contact your child’s health-care provider if your child finds it hard to swallow even their own saliva, if food does not pass with the help of liquid or if their eating habits have changed a lot for two meals in a row.
Last updated: January 26th 2015