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Clinical Feeding Evaluations and Treatment

(Click here to learn about feeding milestones)

Feeding disorders are conditions in which an infant or child is unable or refuses to eat, or has difficulty eating, resulting in weight loss, malnutrition, lethargy, impaired intellectual and social-emotional development and growth retardation.

Feeding disorders develop from a combination of medical/physiological, developmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors.

Our Feeding Disorders Program at Play Works is a multidisciplinary team consisting of:

  • Registered Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech/language Pathologists

We are experienced treating children with: 

  • nervous system disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy)
  • gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., reflux)
  • prematurity and/or low birth weight
  • cleft lip and/or palate
  • autism
  • muscle weakness in the face and neck
  • multiple medical problems
  • problems with parent-child interactions at meal times

Feeding your child is emotional: It’s about nurturing, bonding, love and responsibility as a parent.  When feeding is challenging, it’s stressful and it impacts the entire family on a daily basis. Let our therapists guide you and your child through your child's individualized program. 

Picky Eater? ... Or Problem Feeder?

Picky Eaters:

  • Decreased range or variety of foods that will eat = 30 foods or more
  • Foods lost due to “burn out” because of a food jag are usually re-gained after a 2 week break
  • Able to tolerate new foods on plate and usually can touch or taste a new food (even if reluctantly)
  • Eats at least one food from most all food texture groups
  • Frequently eats a different set of foods than the rest of the family, but usually eats with the family
  • Will add new foods to repertoire in 15-25 steps on Steps to Eating Hierarchy
  • Sometimes reported by parent as a “picky eater” at well-child check-ups

Problem Feeders:

  • Restricted range or variety of foods, usually less than 20 different foods
  • Foods lost due to food jags are NOT re-acquired
  • Cries and “falls apart” when presented with new foods
  • Refuses entire categories of food textures
  • Almost always eats different foods than the family
  • Adds new foods in more than 25 steps
  • Persistently reported by parent as a “picky eater” across multiple well-child check-ups