Inpatient Feeding Program Overview

The inpatient treatment offered by the CHOC Multidisciplinary Feeding Program is intended for children who have struggled with feeding issues and have not been successful with traditional outpatient feeding therapy. Children who participate in the CHOC Feeding Program typically have a G-Tube (feeding tube), are at risk for G-Tube placement, or present with severe food selectivity or not eating an age appropriate diet.

The Inpatient Feeding Program at CHOC is different from most other programs because our goals are tailored for every child. We make an individualized plan based on the needs and skills of each child with the input of their parent or caregiver on what they would like to see their child achieve. Goals may include:

  • Increase the variety of liquids and food consistencies accepted
  • Improve oral motor skills for acceptance of age appropriate food
  • Accept new foods
  • Encourage larger volumes of foods
  • Decrease the need for G-tube feedings
  • Establish a positive relationship with food
  • Provide education on skills and strategies to lead mealtimes at home
  • Improve independence and participation during meals
  • Decrease mealtime duration
  • Enhance parent-child mealtime interactions
  • Empower the parent to become the bridge to success between the Program and home

These goals are accomplished through various interventions that include:

  • Close medical oversight
  • Consolidated feeding schedule
  • Intensive therapeutic feeding sessions
  • Behavioral feeding strategies
  • Food-based play
  • Nutrition education
  • Direct parent coaching and guidance
  • Use of technology to incorporate other remote care providers

Following discharge from the Inpatient Feeding Program, a thorough discharge plan is developed that may include:

  • Follow up with primary care physician/gastroenterologist/referring provider
  • Return for team re-evaluation
  • Return to outpatient therapy
  • Consultation as needed to assist with transition to the home