Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD): “More than a symptom, pediatric feeding disorder is its own diagnosis”

Feeding Matters ( is the first organization in the world serving kids with pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) developed by mothers and guided by an interdisciplinary team, of professionals across communities to improve the system of care for children with pediatric feeding disorder. Founded in 2006 by mothers of infants and children with persistent all-encompassing feeding problems, it has partnered in the latest developments to advance the research and treatment of pediatric feeding disorder.

Their efforts have now made possible an amazing milestone in the evolution of accessing support for infants and children with feeding problems, and their families.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially approved Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) as a diagnostic code (R code) to the International Classification of Disease edition (ICD-11) in October 20201.

This creates a stand-alone diagnosis and definition for PFD to provide common diagnostic criteria to ensure early and accurate diagnosis among clinicians when assessing children with feeding difficulties.

For so many years, pediatric therapists  have been ​advocating little patient by little patient to bring recognition of the need for this stand-alone diagnosis. I remember starting out back in the late 70s when we had no advocacy group like Feeding Matters and the team of experts assembled  to articulate the need and open the doors for so many infants and children in a timely comprehensive way. Mothers especially were often left to feel that “failure to be able to feed” your child was like “failure to be a mother, as one of the founding mothers of Feeding Matters told me years ago.

All of the pediatric clinicians in the trenches, like me,  thank the professional team for the diligence to see this through. And we thank the founding mothers of Feeding Matters who had the courage to advocate and persist in their search for a change, despite such arduous odds.

This successful effort has the potential to change the trajectory of the lives of many infants and children, and their families. We are blessed to be a part of it!

Click on this link for a free download of the seminal article DOI: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002188).

Click on this link for the Feeding Matters press release:

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