Seattle Children’s Pediatric Feeding Program

Is this a feeding Team?


What services are offered?

Intensive Outpatient: Once or more per day for several days/week

Outpatient: Once a week or less (overnight stay not required)

Additional information:

What is the Pediatric Feeding Program at Seattle Children’s Autism Center?

We assess and treat children age 1 to 13, with or without autism spectrum disorder, who struggle with eating and drinking in ways that either:
  • Put their physical or emotional health at risk
  • Lead to dependence on tube feedings or oral formulas
  • Cause stress for you and your child at meals
We are one of the only programs in the Pacific Northwest where experts from many areas of healthcare work as a team to give your child and family complete care. Many complex factors affect if and how a child will eat. Our team works closely with each other and with you to:
  • Understand your child’s unique feeding problems
  • Understand how feeding problems affect your family
  • Provide targeted treatment that leads to meaningful change

Who can the Pediatric Feeding Program help?

We treat children with all types of complex feeding problems, such as those who:
  • Eat or drink very little and do not gain weight or grow.
  • Eat only certain food types or textures.
  • Get some or all of their nutrition through a tube in their stomach, bowel or vein (G tubeJ tube or NG tube).
  • Struggle with the oral motor skills they need to chew, swallow, and eat or drink safely.
  • Have sensitivities that make it hard for them to eat a wide range of food types and textures. For example, they might struggle with the way eating or drinking feels or with the taste, smell, texture, bite size or sight of food. They might seem afraid of food coming near their face or mouth.
  • Learned that eating is unpleasant or difficult.
  • Felt pain with eating due to a health problem, like gastroesophageal reflux or irritable bowel disease.
  • Have severe anxiety about mealtimes linked with challenging behaviors. These may include refusing to come to the table for meals, not following directions during meals, having tantrums and being aggressive.
  • Have a condition called “avoidant restrictive food intake disorder” (ARFID).
Seattle Children’s has other programs that help children with feeding issues. To learn how these programs differ, see Intensive Feeding Program and Growth and Feeding Dynamics Clinic. Feeding problems are different from eating disorders, which are serious medical and behavioral problems like anorexia nervosa.