Pediatric Feeding and Nutrition Program at Spaulding Center for Children Sandwich
In addition to providing core therapy services to children and adolescents, we also offer a Feeding and Nutrition Program designed to benefit infants and children who develop feeding difficulties due to a variety of conditions or circumstances, including:
- Mouth or throat weakness causing choking, gagging or coughing
- Reduced muscle control, neurological disorders
- Medical complications, prematurity, cardiac conditions, traumatic injury
- Non-oral feedings
- Growth and weight problems, malnutrition
- Chronic respiratory issues, reflux, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea
- Metabolic disturbances, food allergies
- Behavioral issues, autism, ADD
- Sensory integration disorders
- Extreme selectivity and food refusal
- Under-eating or over-eating
- Food anxieties or aversions
- Facial, oral, dental, pharyngeal anomalies
Pediatric Feeding Difficulties
Do you consider your child to be a picky eater? Does your child struggle to sit at the table for meals, gag on food, or simply refuse to eat? Are you concerned that they may not be getting adequate nutrition to support their growth and development?
Mealtime struggles can shake parents to their core and lead to stress in the home. Challenges around food may even impact your relationship with others, especially if you shy away from social gatherings or fear eating out because of your child’s selective eating.
Our team of professionals recognizes feeding as a complex task which can be influenced by a child’s medical history, oral motor skills, sensory processing skills, motor abilities, established mealtime behaviors, and perceptions about foods. Early identification, proper assessment, and follow up treatment is key to bringing the family back around the dinner table.
Allow our team the opportunity to support your child’s development and build a series of healthy eating habits.
Spaulding's Approach to the Pediatric Feeding and Nutrition Program
The program is led by a team of experts that includes a gastroenterologist, registered dietitian and physical, occupational and speech therapists, all specially trained in feeding and swallowing disorders.
Through a comprehensive evaluation we will:
- Work with you to understand the feeding issues your seeing and gather information about your child's birth, growth and dietary history
- Watch how your child eats and generally behaves with and around food
- Perform a general health and medical assessment, including weight and height
- Assess oral-sensorimotor, swallowing, feeding skills and digestive status
- Evaluate motor control and position when eating
- Examine neuro-developmental milestones, as well as social and cognitive skills
Once specific underlying causes for your child’s feeding and nutrition problems are identified, we will prepare an individualized, family-focused treatment program to make sure your child is getting the nutrition he or she needs and is on the right track for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Specialized feeding therapy and virtual visits helped Baby Liam thrive.
Virtual visits, the expertise of a pediatric feeding-swallowing therapist, and a determined mom helped Liam overcome a condition that prevented him from taking in nutrients to grow strong – all as COVID-19 shut down outpatient services.