The Feeding Team at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health was the first of its kind in Indiana. Our experts look at all aspects of nutrition and feeding in children with or at risk for medical, developmental or behavioral problems that affect feeding and growth.

An individualized program is developed for each child by a multidisciplinary team. This team can include:

  • Developmental pediatricians
  • Nurses
  • Occupational and speech therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Child psychologists
  • Social workers

Inpatient and Outpatient Evaluations

The feeding team performs both inpatient and outpatient feeding evaluations. Most evaluations occur on an outpatient basis first. 

A program is developed that meets each child’s specific needs. Our team works with the family to make sure the program fits their needs as well. The plan is also communicated to the child’s primary care physician so it can be followed up locally, particularly if growth and weight gain are a concern.

Some patients need the more intensive feeding therapy and coordinated assessment that inpatient care provides. Inpatient stays are typically four days, Monday through Thursday.

Causes of Feeding Challenges

Feeding challenges may be caused by many issues, including:

  • Craniofacial anomalies
  • Cleft palates
  • Small jaw
  • Jaw anomalies
  • Developmental or neurological causes
  • Conditions that make swallowing difficult
  • Autism or autistic-like conditions
  • Premature birth