Pediatric Feeding Disorder


Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) is impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate and is associated with medical,nutritional, feeding skill, and/or psychosocial dysfunction.


  1. Medical

  2. labored breathing with and without feeding

  3. color changes in lips or face when eating or drinking

  4. sweating when eating or drinking

  5. gurgle or squeaking sounds with and without feeding

  6. Reoccurring upper respiratory infections

  7. crying, arching, coughing,

  8. grimacing when eating or drinking

  9. suspected food allergies

  10. multiple formula changes

  11. vomiting

  12. never seems hungry

  13. physical discomfort when eating or drinking

  14. Nutrition

  15. unable to eat or drink enough to grow or stay hydrated

  16. insufficient or too rapid of a change in weight or height

  17. lack of a certain nutrient, i.e., iron, calcium

  18. need for nutritional supplements

  19. reliance on a particular food for nutrition

  20. need for enteral feeds for nutrition-NG, GT, TPN

  21. constipation

  22. limited dietary diversity for age

  23. too few fruits and/or vegetables

  24. limited or no protein source

  25. too few foods eaten on a regular basis

  26. Feeding Skill

  27. labored, noisy breathing or gasping

  28. coughing, choking, gagging or retching

  29. gurgles or wet breaths

  30. loud and/or hard swallows or gulping

  31. unable to eat or drink enough for optimal growth

  32. excessively short mealtimes (˂ 5 minutes)

  33. excessively long mealtimes (˃ 30 minutes)

  34. need for thickened liquids

  35. need for special food or modified food texture

  36. need for special strategies, positioning or equipment

  37. grazing between scheduled mealtimes

  38. refusal to eat, drink or swallow certain food textures

  39. needs distraction to eat such as screen time

  40. needs excessive praise/threats/bribes to eat

  41. difficulty chewing age-appropriate foods

  42. unable to eat in new or unfamiliar situations

  43. Psychosocial

  44. unable to come to or stay with the family at meals

  45. refusal to eat what is offered or to eat at all

  46. disruptive mealtime behaviors

  47. unable to eat with others present at mealtimes

  48. child stress, worry or fear during meals

  49. caregiver stress, worry or fear when feeding child

  50. presence of bribes, threats, yelling at mealtimes

  51. need for distraction and/or rewards for eating

  52. unpleasant mealtime interactions between caregiver and child

Reach out to us for a feeding evaluation if you have concerns with any of the signs and symptoms listed above. We can reached at (920) 803-1617.

Blog written by: Mazal Karan, MS, SLP-CF

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