Need help now?

Leave a message at 623-242-5234 x306 to speak with a family support coordinator.

Family Support Group

We will be starting family support groups this fall. Sign up here show your interest and help inform the group planning!


How we provide family support for feeding challenges

Education, advocacy and mentoring for families of children with pediatric feeding disorder (PFD)

You’re in the right place if you’re concerned about your child’s eating.

When your baby or child struggles with feeding, it can be frightening, isolating, overwhelming and exhausting. You do not have to face this alone.

Pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) affects over 2.3 million children of all ages annually in the United States. The act of eating is a complex task, involving the entire body working as one coordinated unit. It takes 26 muscles and six cranial nerves working in perfect harmony to move food and liquid through the body. This process takes only seconds but is complex and physically demanding.

The definition of pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) is as follows:

Impaired oral intake that is:

  • Not age appropriate
  • Lasts at least two weeks
  • Is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill and/or social-emotional challenges

What this looks like practically can vary.

Maybe your kid rarely seems hungry. Or it takes an exceptionally long time to feed your baby.

Meals are the most challenging part of your day, while your friends’ kids happily chomp on Cheerios.

Maybe your baby only peacefully eats while half asleep, so you spend most of the night feeding.

Or maybe you mix formula bottles to be just right only to have your child refuse most of it and throw up the rest.

Maybe feeding has always been hard and now that your child is older, you can only serve a few choice foods.

Pediatric feeding disorder varies as much as the families who live with the diagnosis. There are no biomarkers for PFD, so there’s no one blood test that can confirm PFD. Instead, diagnosis usually comes from a sum of physical, mental, behavioral and emotional tests, as well as reactions to eating and feeding.

This is why it takes a multidisciplinary approach to support children with PFD. But at the heart of your child’s care for PFD is you. Trust in yourself and your child. You are strong and capable. You know your child best.

How we provide family support for feeding challenges

We at Feeding Matters provide family support for feeding challenges through every step of your experience with PFD. We help families of children with pediatric feeding disorder in the following ways:

  • Peer-to-peer support
  • Family directory of providers
  • National advocacy for better serving children with PFD
  • Participating in and supporting evidence-based research
  • Improving education and awareness among clinicians and parents

We don’t offer direct medical advice, but we can connect you with those clinicians nationally and locally who can.

Next steps for families of children with pediatric feeding disorder (PFD)

If this information resonates with what you’re experiencing, we encourage you to take the following steps:

  1. Read our Family Guide for more detailed information.
  2. Fill out the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire.
  3. Schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor. Take the completed Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire to your appointment.
  4. Find a qualified provider using the Feeding Matters Provider Directory.
  5. Get support through our Power of Two program or ask your child’s doctor about local support groups.

We know that this journey of raising a child with PFD isn’t easy. We’re committed to providing family support for feeding challenges as you navigate them.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It’s a privilege to be part of yours.

Have feedback on this page?

Let us know! We want to hear from you.