Explore This Treatment Program

A toddler, her mother, and four smiling members of her treatment team sit around a table in an exam room.
Dr. Lauren Fiechtner and pediatric nutrition team with a patient

The Pediatric Nutrition Center of Excellence has two distinct clinical services for children with feeding difficulties and overweight and obesity: The Center for Feeding & Nutrition, and Raising Healthy Hearts.

Center for Feeding & Nutrition

The Pediatric Nutrition Center of Excellence has two distinct clinical services for children with feeding difficulties and overweight and obesity. 

The Center for Feeding & Nutrition offers multidisciplinary care for children with a variety of feeding difficulties. Families meet with a health-care team that includes a pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition doctor, speech-language pathologist with advanced training in feeding, dietitian, occupational therapist, feeding psychologist, and social worker. We tailor the members of the team to your child and family’s specific needs. The team meets all together with you and your child as we evaluate their feeding skills and then develop a family-centered treatment plan. We also can offer one-on-one feeding therapy on an as-needed basis.

Raising Healthy Hearts

Raising Healthy Hearts is a collaboration between Cardiology, Gastroenterology and Psychology dedicated to getting overweight children to a healthier weight. We use a multi-disciplinary approach and each child will see a clinician, dietitian and health coach. We also offer psychology support. Learn more about the Raising Healthy Hearts program.

Innovative Research

Our active research program focuses on preventing and treating childhood obesity in the community and improving care for patients with feeding difficulties. We also are examining early life diet and antibiotics and its effect on a child’s microbiome (the bacteria in the intestine).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

The Center for Feeding & Nutrition consists of:

  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist with specialized training in nutrition
  • Speech-Language Pathologists with advanced training in feeding & swallowing disorders
  • Pediatric Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists with specialization in sensory processing difficulties
  • Feeding Psychologist
  • Social Worker

What happens at an appointment?

Based on your child’s needs, a few members of our team will meet all together with you and your child.

  • We ask questions about your child’s health and eating
  • We observe your child eat
  • We assess their diet and growth
  • We ensure proper medical evaluation is performed
  • We develop a treatment plan based on your child’s needs

Prior to each appointment, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire about your child’s health and eating and a food log.

Who are the children we serve?

  • Food refusal
  • Dependency on an enteral tube (NG, Gtube, G-J tube, Jtube) and IV nutrition
  • Restricted eating patterns
  • Difficulty with certain textures
  • Food allergies
  • Oral aversion
  • Poor weight gain
  • Down syndrome
  • GI dysmotility
  • Short gut syndrome
  • Premature infants
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Children with genetic, anatomical, or neurological disorders

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 children struggle with feeding difficulties
  • 8 out of 10 children with developmental delay struggle with feeding difficulties
  • Research suggests that children with feeding difficulties are best served by a multidisciplinary team, but very few programs such as this program, exist in the country

Patient Resources

Patient Forms

Food Logs

Meet the Team

Our Practitioners
Nine members of the Pediatric Nutrition Team pose in an office.
The Pediatric Nutrition Team

Pediatric Gastroenterologists

Lauren Fiechtner, MD, MPH, Director of Nutrition
Victoria Martin, MD, MPH 

Chief of Pediatric Surgery

Allan Goldstein, MD

Speech - Language Pathologists (Specialists in Feeding & Swallowing)

Rebecca Baars, MS,CCC-SLP
Martha Bargmann, MS, CCC-SLP
Cheryl Hersh, MA, CCC-SLP
Lara Hirner, MS, CCC-SLP
Sarah Sally, MS, CCC-SLP
Jessica Sorbo, MS, CCC-SLP


Meaghan Alexander, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC
Jill Israelite, RD, LDN, CNSC, CSP
Taylor Kingston, RD, LDN, CNSC

Occupational Therapist

Sharon P. Serinsky, MS, OTR/L

Feeding Psychologist

Sarah Shea, PhD

Social Worker

Judy Burrows, MSW, LICSW


Meg Simione, PhD, CCC-SLP