What is the Pediatric Feeding Clinic?
The Pediatric Feeding Clinic at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is the only multidisciplinary program in Iowa designed to help children from birth to age 18 learn – or relearn – how to eat. This team of specialists includes a gastroenterologist, psychologist, dietitian, and oral and speech pathologists – those who specialize in diseases and disorders of the mouth – working together to address the internal and digestive issues that make it difficult for your child to eat and to improve your child’s feeding and nutrition.
Your family will meet with all members of your child’s care team on one day, at one location, eliminating the need for scheduling several appointments with different specialists over multiple days. Your child’s specialists work together and stay updated on your child’s progress in all of these areas, making your visit more convenient.
The Pediatric Feeding Clinic:
- Works with you and your child to address those issues that make it difficult for your child to eat;
- Provides a nutrition-based program that not only helps your child eat, but ensures your child is following a healthy diet;
- Performs necessary diagnostic procedures during your child’s appointment
- Works with you and your child to wean your child from a feeding tube, if possible.
What to Expect
Each family will begin the program with a comprehensive evaluation. The evaluation may take up to two hours, during which time our team of experts will look at your child’s current medical status, nutrition history, feeding skills and behaviors, and the parent-child relationship around eating. At the end of the evaluation, you will be given specific recommendations to help your child progress in his or her feeding abilities.
Some children may be invited to attend our intensive feeding program,undergo diagnostic procedures,or have a formal swallowing evaluation done with fluoroscopy.
Who benefits from the Pediatric Feeding Clinic?
The Pediatric Feeding Clinic is designed to help those children with:
- Gastrostomy (g-tube) or naso-gastric (ng-tube) dependent, regardless of a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Malnutrition, or failure to thrive nutritionally
- History of esophageal surgeries
- Food allergies, including eosinophilic esophagitis
- Suspected or diagnosed micronutrient deficiency
- Oral aversion, or a picky eater
- Choking, gagging, or vomiting when eating
- Oral motor and sensory issues
- Feeding difficulties or feeding disorders