Helping all children form healthy eating habits
Our feeding specialists help children who have medical conditions that have affected their feeding and growth. Your child is not alone in this – in fact, 25% to 40% of children are affected by a feeding disorder. Our treatment is designed for children to overcome their feeding issues – which are often associated with complex medical conditions – and establish proper feeding and nutritional habits. Developing good habits now can also avoid larger problems later.
Family-centered feeding care
An interdisciplinary team of specialists works with your child and you to address the multiple factors involved with eating. Our program takes a supportive, comprehensive approach that not only incorporates a child's medical and developmental needs, but addresses behavioral and oral-motor feeding issues as well as family education and training.
Treatment is only successful if the education and guidance you and your child receive carries over into daily life. Family is a crucial part of treatment and parents and other caregivers are important part of the care team. Training and education for parents or caregivers begins once an effective treatment has been established.
In addition, we provide training for teachers or relatives, which often occurs in the child’s daily living setting. Aftercare, consisting of outpatient therapy and follow-up visits, provides further support and ensures strides made during treatment are maintained.
We serve children from birth to age 21 with feeding issues including:
- Food/drink refusal
- Inability to chew and/or swallow
- Recurrent gagging or vomiting
- Food or swallowing phobias
- Food selectivity (by type or texture)
- Mealtime behavior problems (tantrums, lengthy meals)
- Failure to thrive (unable to gain proper weight for age)
- Tube-dependency (nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes)
How our feeding programs work
Initial appointment: Our first meeting with you and your child includes medical and nutritional services. If we determine that feeding therapy is needed, we will schedule follow-up appointments with a feeding therapist and behavioral psychologist. There are two co-pays for the initial visit.
Mild-to-moderate feeding problems: Kids may be recommended for our outpatient program, which involves weekly visits for feeding therapy with a feeding therapist and psychologist, follow-up visits in the feeding clinic, and additional appointments as needed.
Moderate-to-severe feeding problems: Our day patient feeding program for children whose cases need closer attention includes up to four hours of therapy each day, Monday through Friday, for six to eight weeks. We assemble an interdisciplinary care team to address each child's specific needs. Our feeding teams include behavioral psychologists, doctors, dietitians, feeding therapists (specially trained occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists), nurse practitioners and a social worker. Recreation therapy is also consulted as needed.
Healthy Lifestyles Center
At the Healthy Lifestyles Center, we partner with families to help children develop age-appropriate health habits that can last a lifetime by supporting their nutritional, physical and emotional needs.
Preparing for Your First Visit
The following documents and forms will be sent to new patient families to complete/review prior to their first visit:
Feeding program flow chart
Three-day food diary form
Parent intake form