Pediatric Feeding Disorder is a common medical condition that affects how or what a child eats. In this handout, you will learn about Pediatric Feeding Disorder and how to help your child if they have the condition.

What is Pediatric Feeding Disorder?

Pediatric Feeding Disorder is a common medical condition in which a child can experience any of these challenges:

  • Trouble chewing or swallowing foods and liquids safely and easily
  • Difficulty learning to eat different foods

For some children, Pediatric Feeding Disorder can lead to choking, vomiting, poor nutrition, illness, hospitalization or other health risks. These risks can affect a child’s growth, behavior, development and overall quality of life. These children often need special care and support from doctors, dieticians, and feeding specialists. Most importantly, they need support from family, caregivers and/or school staff.

What Causes Pediatric Feeding Disorder?

Many factors can contribute to the development of Pediatric Feeding Disorder. There is not one cause. Some common factors include premature birth; medical issues such as gastrointestinal or heart problems; or genetic, neurological or developmental disorders. For some children, the cause is unknown.

What Can I Do to Help My Child with Pediatric Feeding Disorder?

Each child with Pediatric Feeding Disorder is different and has unique needs. Our team at the Center for Feeding and Nutrition will work with you to develop an eating care plan that best supports your child during meals. Please encourage your child’s caregivers and/or school staff to become involved. Proper and consistent support will help your child enjoy eating and eat safely.

Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions or Concerns?

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Center for Feeding and Nutrition is always here to help! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us:

Rev. 3/2020. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.