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Feeding problems in children

The Children’s Mercy Interdisciplinary Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program is designed to provide a comprehensive approach to the care of children with feeding problems. At many hospitals, children with feeding disorders are referred to a variety of specialists who each see the patient separately, but not at Children’s Mercy.

Instead, the Multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic utilizes a patient-centered approach that puts the child and family first. It also helps parents navigate a complex medical environment, allows the team to concentrate on the specific feeding issues the child is having, and be more proactive with the child’s care.

Specialists all in one place

The clinic eliminates the need for the patient to spend hours at the hospital between doctor visits, or to make several visits. The clinic does this by bringing all of the specialists typically involved in the child’s care together at the same appointment to focus on the child and their feeding problem. Members of the multidisciplinary team include the physician, nurse practitioner, psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, registered dietitian and nurse. Referrals to other subspecialists are made during the visit if necessary.

Follow-up clinic visits are scheduled depending on the need to monitor the patient’s progress, and the next steps in treatment. The team also works with the child’s school and community health care providers, communicating and implementing the treatment plan.

The Children’s Mercy Interdisciplinary Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program has two clinics, one at the Adele Hall campus and one at the College Boulevard campus.

What to expect at your appointment

Before your visit

Once the appointment process has been initiated, you will receive a packet in the mail or by email. Once the packet is completed and returned, we will contact you to schedule the visit.

What to bring

  • Preferred and non-preferred foods
  • Favorite cup, bottle, utensils
  • Thickener (if applicable)
  • Video of your child eating at home (if possible)

The day of the visit

You and your child will meet with the team:

  • Physician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Psychologist
  • Dietitian
  • Nurse

During the visit, the team will ask you questions, the medical provider will do a physical exam and the feeding therapists will watch your child eat.

After you and your child have met with the team, the team will type up a specialized plan for your child, for you to take home on the day of your visit.

After the visit

We will set a follow up plan, which may include additional testing, dietary changes, individual feeding therapy, weight checks and follow up with the full team.


Below is a list of some, but not all, of the conditions we treat.

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula status post repair
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Food phobias/intolerance
  • Dysphagia
  • Gastroparesis
  • Developmental delay (CP, chromosomal abnormalities)
  • Severe constipation
  • Generalized hypotonia
  • Craniofacial abnormalities
  • Intestinal atresia status post repair
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Esophageal trauma
  • Pill esophagitis