ARFID was generated as a mental health diagnosis to describe children with feeding problems and related nutritional risk or deficiency without coincident body image problems, as seen in anorexia.  PFD is a multidisciplinary diagnosis that includes feeding dysfunction in any one or several of the four domains, medical, nutrition, feeding skill, or psychosocial. PFD also may be applied to children with ARFID, as ARFID may be considered PFD when psychosocial and/or nutritional dysfunction is present in the absence of skill and/or medical dysfunction. When ARFID is diagnosed in young children, the standard of care should involve a detailed workup that considers the four domains of PFD to ensure that skill and/or medical factors are not contributing to the child’s atypical relationship with food.

“If a patient has a diagnosis of ARFID, it may be worth reassessing from the pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) perspective to see if the cause of feeding difficulties might include a medical or skill dysfunction, and not be purely behavioral.”

-Dr. Richard Noel, Feeding Matters Volunteer Medical Director

Feeding Matters welcomes all families with children who struggle to eat and the professionals who serve them. Information and support is inclusive of all diagnoses related to feeding difficulties. If your family has an ARFID diagnosis, you too can find helpful information within the Feeding Matters community.

Looking for more information? View the Feeding Matters Legacy Workshop Picky Eaters vs PFD vs ARFID: Differential Diagnosis Decision Tree presented by Kay Toomey, PhD.