Kennedy Krieger Institute Pediatric Feeding Disorders Institute

Comprehensive Treatment of Feeding Disorders

Established in 1987, the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the leading programs in the nation designed to help children with feeding disorders participate during daily meals with their parents and caregivers.

Our program was one of the first for infants and children to combine the medical expertise of gastroenterology and the therapeutic techniques of behavioral psychology. Using an interdisciplinary approach that includes pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric nurses, behavioral psychologists, pediatric nutritionists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and social workers, we can assess the factors affecting a child’s eating behavior and create an individual treatment plan. After creating a treatment plan, our staff will train the family and caregivers to implement the plan at home.

Over the past 20 years, our methods have become a national standard in the treatment of feeding disorders. It is this ongoing commitment to trying and implementing innovative methods to address increasingly complex feeding disorders that helps to ensure our positive outcomes.

What Are Feeding Disorders?

A pediatric feeding disorder refers to a child’s inability or refusal to eat and/or drink sufficient quantities of food to take in appropriate nutrition for their age. Feeding disorders can take many forms, from refusing to eat only certain food groups to not eating at all, requiring tube feeding. The difference between a fussy eater and a child with a feeding disorder is the impact the eating behavior has on a child’s physical and mental health. By completely eliminating food groups from their diets, children with feeding disorders are at risk for compromised physical and mental development.

Additionally, the treatment of feeding disorders in children with development disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation can be even more complex, requiring a highly trained interdisciplinary team of specialists. Learn more...

News & Updates

JHU CME Pediatric Feeding Disorders Conference.
Kennedy Krieger program models national standard by implementing innovative methods through an interdisciplinary team approach. Learn more...

Kennedy Krieger Feeding Disorders Program Featured on CNN.
Story on Learning to Eat. View video...

"Appetite for Life" - Potential Magazine
Kennedy Krieger's intensive inpatient program helps children battle severe feeding disorders. Read article...

Success Stories


When Jeffery and Rebekah Fish found out that they were going to have a baby, they were understandably thrilled. They had big dreams for Laura, but they also wanted that most basic of things: a happy, healthy baby girl. Learn more...

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Kennedy Krieger Institute


Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, Baltimore, Md.’s Kennedy Krieger Institute serves more than 13,000 children each year through inpatient and day treatment programs, outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Learn more...
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