A child with a feeding disorder does not consume enough to gain weight and grow normally.

The causes of pediatric feeding disorders and eating problems include:

  • Medical conditions
  • Oral-motor problems
  • Sensory issues
  • Appetite
  • Behavioral problems

These issues should be addressed within a program that encompasses all a child's medical, psychosocial and rehabilitative needs. MWPH's Comprehensive Program for Feeding Disorders offers patients and their families a comprehensive, structured, therapeutically appropriate approach.

Recognizing Feeding Disorders

Does your child:

  • Have a small selection of foods they will eat?
  • Eats only a few textures of foods, such as, only smooth foods (yogurt or baby food) or crunchy foods (crackers or snack foods)?
  • Refuses to eat certain types of foods or has eliminated a food group?
  • Refuses to eat or drink?
  • Has mealtime tantrums or runs to hide when it is meal time?

Are there any other health concerns?

Many children who do not get enough nutrients through their food have other health issues or developmental issues. We often work with children who have:

  • A history of long hospitalizations or many medical procedures
  • Developmental delays
  • Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy
  • Chronic illnesses (such as heart or lung problems)
  • Gastrointestinal problems (such as gastroesophageal reflux, constipation or esophagitis)
  • Complicated food and environmental allergies

Additional Resources

  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is the nationally recognized professional association of approximately 35,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and students of occupational therapy.
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 115,000 members and affiliates who serve as audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language and hearing scientists.
  • Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.
  • Baltimore-Chesapeake Autism Society is a volunteer organization created to help serve Maryland families of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Feeding Matters has established a virtual directory of resources that assists parents and medical professionals with early identification and comprehensive treatment for the complex issues of pediatric feeding struggles.
  • North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) strives to be a world leader in advancing the science and clinical practice of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition in health and disease.
  • The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) aims to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education, and advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.