Pediatric Feeding Program

What to Expect

Clinic Visit

  • Before your appointment
    • Fill out any forms sent to you by our scheduling team. Depending on the reason for your child’s visit, we may have sent you a questionnaire and a food intake record.
      • The questionnaire helps us get to know your child better and decide which team members can best help your child. Please fill it out as completely as you can.
      • The food intake record helps us understand your child’s current food and drink intake patterns and preferences. It also lets us analyze the calories and nutrition your child gets.
      • Return the forms to us before your visit. It’s important that we receive and review the forms before you come in so we can plan for your visit. Mail the forms to Seattle Children’s Autism Center, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145-5005, or fax them to 206-985-3175.
    • Ask your child’s doctor for any test results that relate to their feeding concerns. Ask your provider to fax test results to us at 206-985-3175.
    • Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
  • Why has my child been referred?

    Your child has been referred to receive care for their complex feeding concerns. We see children who struggle with eating or drinking, who weigh less or gain weight at a slower rate than is typical for their age or who are ready to transition from tube feeding to eating by mouth.

  • Who will see my child?

    We will choose team members to best match your child’s needs. The Pediatric Feeding Program team includes a gastroenterologist, child psychologists, nurse practitioners, behavioral mental health therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and speech-language pathologists. Learn about the members of your child’s healthcare team.

  • What happens during a clinic visit?

    During a visit we will:

    • Get a complete history of your child’s feeding concerns
    • Review your child’s current treatment plan
    • Watch you and your child have a snack together
    • Review your child’s current food and drink intake patterns and preferences
    • Talk with you about questions, concerns and goals related to your child’s feeding
    • Recommend therapies and approaches your child may need

    Depending on your child’s feeding concerns, we may check how well your child can swallow. Read about a Clinical Feeding and Swallowing Evaluation (PDF) (Spanish).

  • How long is a Pediatric Feeding Program visit?

    A typical visit is 60 to 90 minutes. In our Intensive Feeding Program, your child and at least 1 parent or caregiver comes in from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, Monday through Friday, for 2 to 3 weeks.

  • What to bring
    • Any completed forms that our scheduling team sent you.
    • List of your child’s current healthcare providers (with contact information) and treatment goals.
    • List of medicines and supplements your child takes (with doses) and any special diet they follow.
    • Your child, somewhat hungry. We want your child to be a little hungry so we can have a snack during your visit.
    • 1 or 2 foods and drinks your child accepts and 1 or 2 they struggle with or you are working on getting them to accept. (Our clinic is a peanut-free area, so please do not bring peanuts, peanut butter or food with peanuts.) If your child does not eat by mouth, bring a snack so the team can see how your child interacts with food and what a typical mealtime routine is like for your child.
    • Any mealtime items (like plates and utensils) your child prefers to help them feel more at ease about eating.
    • Toys or other items to entertain or comfort your child.
  • What can I expect as a parent/caregiver?

    Complex feeding concerns can take time to change. We often recommend ongoing feeding therapy — either at Seattle Children’s or in the community — and follow-up visits. Parents and caregivers play an active role in care. You will help to set treatment goals, practice treatment in clinic and at home and track progress.

  • After the appointment

    We will make sure you leave the appointment with detailed instructions about what is happening next and will try to answer all your questions. We will provide you with phone numbers to call us if you have questions after you leave.

  • How will we find out about test results?

    If your child has any tests, we will call you with the results or they will be available through your child’s Patient Portal.

  • What are the next steps?
    • If we recommend that you return to Seattle Children’s for treatment, we will talk with you about setting up appointments.
    • If we recommend treatment in the community, we will talk with you about how to do this.
    • We might send a report to the provider who referred you or call them to talk about your child’s care.
  • What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

    Call us at 206-987-0008.

  • Preparing your child
  • Directions, parking and entering
    • Find your location in our map and directions
    • Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.

More information

For more information on visiting Seattle Children's clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.