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    Feeding Program

    When your child has a medical, behavioral or developmental problem that hinders the ability to eat normally, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU's interdisciplinary team of specialists helps overcome feeding issues and establish good habits.

    Specific feeding issues a child may experience include:

    • Failure to thrive (low weight for age)
    • Food or swallowing phobia
    • Food selectivity (by type, texture)
    • Inability to chew, swallow
    • Mealtime behavior problems (tantrums, lengthy meals)
    • Nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes
    • Recurrent gagging, vomiting
    • Refusal to eat/drink

    Some medical problems that can lead to feeding problems include:

    • Autism
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Cranio-facial anomalies
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Dysphagia
    • Failure to thrive
    • Food allergy
    • Gastrointestinal pain
    • Gastroesopohageal motility disorders
    • Gastroesophageal reflux (emesis)
    • Genetic syndromes
    • Human immune deficiency virus
    • Metabolic disorders
    • Oral-motor dysfunction
    • Prematurity
    • Reactive airway disease
    • Short bowel syndrome
    • Status post organ transplant

    The program serves children from birth to age 21. 

    Feeding Clinic and Treatment Programs

    The first stop for you and your child is an appointment at The Feeding Clinic where a physician, nurse practitioner, psychologist, feeding therapist and nutritionist assess medical, oral motor and behavioral problems, and observe eating patterns. Children with moderate to severe medical problems who are medically stable are admitted to the day patient program; children with mild to moderate feeding problems only are admitted to the outpatient program. Outpatient therapy and follow-up visits continue afterwards, providing ongoing support.

    The family is an important part of treatment, as are other caregivers like teachers, day care providers and relatives. All receive training and education. Aftercare, including outpatient therapy and follow-up visits, provides further support.

    Virtual Tour: Feeding Program

    Appointments and Location

    To make an appointment with the Feeding Program, call (804) 228-5818 or (800) 443-0893.  Services are provided at the Brook Road Campus.

    ›› Meet the Team

    The medical staff of the Feeding Program comprises a pediatric physician, pediatric nurse practitioner and nurses. The team also includes licensed clinical psychologists, registered dietitians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, feeding technicians, and scheduling coordinators.

    This program is accredited by The Joint Commission as part of an ambulatory survey process.

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    For Appointments,
    Call 1.804.828.2467.

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