Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation with a Speech-Language Pathologist

Feeding and Swallowing Evaluations are completed by Speech-Language Pathologists who have specialized training in this area, for infants and children who may have the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing liquids or solids
  • Difficulty chewing certain textures
  • History of choking, or aspiration identified on a modified barium swallow study
  • Difficulty coordinating breathing with eating
  • Difficulty with breast or bottle feeding in infancy
  • Limited oral intake due to underlying medical condition, and/or requiring non-oral means of nutrition

Our team will partner with you to schedule this type of Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation if appropriate.

Important Instructions for the Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation

Where do I go for the Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation with the Speech-Language Pathologist?

  • We offer Feeding and Swallowing evaluations at several CSH locations throughout New Jersey. We will do our best to schedule your child’s evaluation at the location nearest you, at the location with the next available appointment based on your preference, or virtually, if appropriate.

Do I need to fill out forms?

  • No, but the Feeding Intake Coordinator may request documents or records from you, based on your child’s unique history and needs.

When will I get the results of the evaluation?

  • You will receive the full report within 2 weeks of the evaluation. A copy of the evaluation report can also be accessed via the patient portal.

How do I prepare for the evaluation?

  • Your child should be at least a little hungry before coming to the evaluation. We suggest no oral or tube feeding for two hours before the evaluation if possible. If this is not possible, try to limit the food to a light snack. Water is fine.
  • You need to bring preferred and non-preferred foods, and at least one liquid to the evaluation. We will review different requirements if you are the caregiver of a child who is a newborn or dependent on tube feedings.
  • Please see examples below of the types of foods and liquids that you may bring to the appointment, if appropriate. Please also bring the utensils, bottles, cups, plates, and anything you use at mealtime such as toys or an iPad.

Food or Drink



Preferred food

A food your child eats every time you serve it

*any foods

Challenging food

A food you want your child to eat but your child will not eat it

*any foods

Pureed food

Food blended or that is naturally at a smooth consistency (does not need to be a preferred food)

Applesauce, pudding, yogurt

Soft, chewable food

Food that does not need a lot of chewing to eat safely (does not need to be a preferred food)

Bread, soft cookie, cheese doodle, banana, avocado

Crunchy/hard-to-chew food

Food that needs a lot of chewing to eat safely (does not need to be a preferred food)

Raw vegetables and fruits, crackers, chips, meat

A drink

Any drink you serve at home

Milk and/or water

Specialty products

Anything you add to your child’s foods or drinks

Thickener, rice/oat cereal

Do I need to bring anything else?

  • Current photo id (e.g., driver’s license)
  • Insurance card
  • Names and addresses of individuals you want to receive the evaluation report
  • Notepad; you may want to write down your question.

What will happen during the evaluation?

  • Your Speech-Language Pathologist will discuss your child’s medical history and your feeding concerns with you.
  • They will assess your child eating and drinking, if appropriate. If your child is not safe to eat or drink by mouth, they will assess your child’s oral-motor skills and readiness.
  • You will have time to ask questions. Your Speech-Language Pathologist will discuss their recommendations with you.

How long will the evaluation take?

  • Evaluations usually take about 1-2 hours.

When will I get the results of the evaluation?

  • We will review our recommendations at the end of the evaluation. In addition, you will receive a written summary of the recommendations within 2 weeks of the evaluation.

What happens after the evaluation?

  • Your feeding expert will make recommendations based on the evaluation results. Here are some examples of recommendations that our feeding experts make after the evaluation.

Will my insurance pay for the evaluation?

  • Many insurance plans cover our services. Please call your insurance company if you have specific questions about your benefits. Our Insurance Verification and Authorization team will work with your insurance company to authorize the evaluation prior to the visit date.

View Our Pediatric Speech Therapy Services

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Need Help? Contact our Feeding Intake Coordinator, call 908-301-5915

Patient Stories

  • This team was amazing, and we are so thankful that we were given a chance to do this therapy with Lara so we could remove her tube.

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  • "There are people at CSH that want to help you. When we answer that phone and open that door, we want to help make your child’s life a little bit better. We want to take some of that strain and pressure off you and make your life a little bit easier."

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  • Riley was transported to Children’s Specialized Hospital’s (CSH) Inpatient Facility in New Brunswick for rehabilitation. “I was praying that we would be able to get her in there,” shares Breezzye. “I was familiar with the hospital, Riley’s grandmother is ...

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Patient Stories

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Children's Specialized Hospital
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(888) 244-5373

Feeding Disorders Program - Pediatric Treatment & Care

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