We are in the know about helping your child grow
Feeding challenges are common and can affect all aspects of your child’s development. They create tension and cause worry. At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we have the right ingredients – experience and expertise – for getting everyone well-educated and well-fed.
We address a wide range of feeding concerns, from infancy through adolescence, including:
- Difficulty sucking, swallowing or chewing
- Support for children who have neurological impairments and developmental delay that hinder oral feeding
- Failure to thrive (FTT) — low rate of increase in weight
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) — when stomach contents flow back up into the food pipe (esophagus)
- Gastrostomy tube/nasogastric tube feeding
- Developmental/genetic concerns that limit oral feeding
- Abnormalities of the mouth and throat that affect eating
- Infants who have swallowing and/or bottling concerns or known aspiration
We help families with feeding techniques and guidance to assist with:
- Moving from liquids or soft foods to more textured foods
- Transitioning from gastrostomy tube/nasogastric tube feeding to oral feedings
We provide specialized support and education to address:
- Feeding concerns of adopted children, autistic children, medically-fragile children or children with sensory integration disorder
- Behavioral feeding issues
- Children who do not feed themselves at appropriate ages
We also help families better understand normal feeding routines and approaches.
Advantages that set us apart
As a team, we are committed to finding all the ways to help your child’s mealtimes be more complete, calm and comfortable. We take the concerns of parents and the referring doctor or practitioner into consideration. Here’s just a sampling of what makes our program so exceptional:
- A “one-stop” solution for your child’s feeding concerns that includes dedicated clinical time and the broad knowledge necessary for completing a comprehensive evaluation
- The only pediatric feeding clinic in the region that uses this complete team approach
- Specialized treatment that addresses behavioral aspects and feeding techniques
- Ongoing support with referral to Children’s rehabilitation feeding therapy, with occupational or speech-language therapists, or referral to a clinic close to home for feeding therapy
Thoroughly troubleshooting feeding concerns requires knowledge of specialized diagnostic services, which we regularly provide as determined necessary, including:
- Videofluoroscopic Swallow (VFSS) — a video X-ray taken while the child is eating or drinking, may be used to evaluate aspiration.
- Upper Gastrointestinal Series (UGI) — internal imaging of the esophagus (food pipe), stomach and first part of the small intestine, to examine for possible abnormalities or inflammation.
After the comprehensive evaluation, we provide a custom feeding plan in writing, and if needed, provide referral for additional assessments and services if needed. Our treatment addresses behavioral, developmental and sensory aspects and feeding techniques.
As an organization dedicated to family-centered care, we offer many child and family services and resources, such as interpretive services.