CONSULT REQUEST GUIDELINES                                                                         Print

Feeding Problems in Infants and School-Aged Children
(ages birth from 7 to 18 years)

Suggested Pre-Referral Evaluation and Management Guidelines

Feeding problems in children are common and determined by multiple factors, both medical and behavioral.

To optimize success in addressing behavioral factors related to eating, evaluation of medical components must occur prior to scheduling an appointment.

Appropriate referrals include:
  • Children with inadequate or slow weight gain including failure to thrive
  • Gagging or vomiting while eating
  • Spitting out food
  • Refusal to eat all or most foods, including feeding tube dependence
  • Mealtime distress or difficult mealtime behaviors (e.g. throwing food, leaving table, tantrums)
  • Overreliance on formula or supplement drinks (e.g. Pediasure)
  • Trouble with different textures, sensory problems
  • Refusal or inability to chew or swallow
  • Slow eating, long meal duration
  • Selective (“picky”) eaters
  • Trouble self-feeding

Children with the following conditions should be referred to other services:

  • Older children or adolescents with body image distortions or symptoms suggestive of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
  • Children who have difficulty with overeating, including obesity, food-related obsessions, and eating too quickly
  • Rumination
  • Aerophagia
  • Children or adolescents who became anxious about eating after an occurrence of choking
Suggested Additional Test/Management Prior to Specialty Visit
  • Screening for any symptoms suspicious for GERD or other causes of gastrointestinal discomfort with treatment as appropriate
Patient Education/Information (includes preps)  
Appointment Timeframe 12-18 months
Referral from primary care physician/pediatrician required
How to Get Results to Consultant

Parents/caretakers are asked to assemble previous evaluations if external to UMHS.

UMHS Patients: See MiChart
External Patients: Relevant patient medical records or other evaluations may be faxed to Child Behavioral Health or hand carried by families.
Clinic Contact Information Physicians: 800-962-3555
Patients: 734-936-4220
Clinic Location Sites Pediatric Psychology Clinic, 5th Floor of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
UM Consulting Physician Amy Drayton, PhD
Kim Renner MAS
Revised on: 11/19/2014



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