Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
UNC Pediatric Feeding Team
The UNC Pediatric Feeding Team is an interdisciplinary team consisting of:
• Pediatric gastroenterology physicians and nurse practitioners
• Pediatric speech pathology
• Pediatric nutrition
We treat children from birth to 18 with a variety of simple to complex feeding and swallowing problems using a medical/nutritional, motor, and behavioral approach. Because of the complex nature of many feeding problems, we feel strongly that children with feeding and swallowing difficulty should be seen by a Feeding Team (a team of professionals with specialty training in all of the aspects of feeding and swallowing difficulties).
How do we treat feeding problems?
Your child will see the whole team at one visit
• Evaluation and treatment of medical issues that contribute to feeding problems (such as gastroesophageal reflux, constipation, motility disorders, and allergy/intolerance).
• Nutritional labs, further testing and consultation with specialty services.
• Specialized nutritional intervention including assessment and intervention for weight gain and growth
• Oral motor therapy
• Evaluation and treatment of swallowing problems including specialized testing (modified barium swallow studies or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing).
• Feeding therapy for improved meal time behavior and better eating.
Care Close to Home
We offer care at two convenient locations in the Triangle:
• N.C. Children’s Outpatient Center, located on the ground floor of N.C. Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill
• N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic, located on the UNC REX Healthcare campus in Raleigh
Common Feeding Difficulties
Feeding and swallowing difficulties come in all shapes and sizes and affect children of all ages from birth to 18. Because of our specialty training and experience with feeding, we are able to treat any kind of pediatric feeding problem. We regularly help children with the following:
• Oral motor skills development (such as improving suck or moving from sucking to chewing).
• Swallowing difficulty (also called dysphagia). We provide 2 types of swallowing tests: modified barium swallow study (MBSS) and a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).
• Transition off of a G-tube or tube feeding.
• Weight gain and growth.
• Treatment for GI issues that can interfere with good eating such as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), constipation, motility disorders, eosinophilic esophagitis, and food allergy and intolerance.
• Expanding a child's diet to include more variety and types of food as well as eating the right amount of food.
• Food refusal, grazing throughout the day and poor intake.
• Making eating easier and more enjoyable for the family!