Pediatric feeding disorders have been a growing issue in children. The 5th annual Pediatric Feeding Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, is hosted by the non-profit organization Feeding Matters. Feeding Matters is an organization run by parents and healthcare professionals to increase awareness about pediatric feeding disorders and provide resources for parents of children experiencing feeding difficulties.
This conference encompassed dietitians, nutritionists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, social workers, psychologists, and parents. Speakers included professionals and parents, which really illustrated the need for a successful working relationship between families and care providers to treat children with feeding disorders. One central theme among the lectures and workshops of the conference was the need for more standardized evidence based practice in terms of assessment and treatment of children with feeding disorders. The need for standardization was primarily emphasized in assessment procedures, because there is such variation between clinical interpretations of assessment findings and such variation in the definition of a pediatric feeding disorder. There was a push for a comprehensive, standardized definition for the term “pediatric feeding disorder” because it would ease the billing and insurance policy processes.
Overall, the 5th Pediatric Feeding Conference was a phenomenal learning and growing experience; not only was I able to meet and learn from several outstanding pioneers in the field of pediatric feeding disorders, but I was also able to present a research poster and gain experience presenting research that was supported by LEND. I am so grateful to LEND for the opportunity to grow as a clinician and as a healthcare professional.