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Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Program

Feeding a child is usually one of life's simple pleasures, but if it's not, we can help. The Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Program at Lowell General Hospital is a unique outpatient sub-specialty clinic supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) committed to helping families with children experiencing growth delay or feeding difficulties. A statewide network of seven clinics was originally established in 1984 by the MDPH through the research and efforts of Deborah A. Frank, MD, director of Boston Medical Center's Grow Clinic.

What is the Growth and Nutrition Program?

We provide medical, nutritional, developmental, swallowing/feeding and social service assessments and treatment to children under the age of six years referred for underweight, poor nutrition and feeding difficulties who may have additional issues including:

  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Reflux, frequent ear infections affecting appetite, anemia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, vomiting, G-tube feedings
  • Developmental delays and/or disability, Autism spectrum disorders
  • Prematurity, difficulty transitioning to age appropriate foods
  • Respiratory disorders, asthma
  • Genetic syndromes associated with growth problems
  • Sensory difficulties, food aversions, refusal, gagging, “more than picky”, food selectivity-will eat only specific brands,  may consume only liquids or solids
  • Insufficient food, housing, employment, education in their families

What is the Feeding and Nutrition Program?

The feeding program provides above services with focus on nutrition and speech / feeding evaluations for older children. Most children also enroll in our feeding group for school age children.

  • Children over six years of age with difficulty gaining weight, feeding difficulties and any of the above issues
  • Children/toddlers of any age struggling with overweight especially when combined with feeding difficulties, poor transition to table foods or any of the above issues 

When feeding is hard, it is hard to feed!  Many parents feel sad, guilty, frustrated and even angry when their child is difficult to feed or cries a lot especially when being fed.  Meals take a long time for just a few bites.  It is exhausting for everyone.  We work directly with families to help parents and caregivers resolve important issues related to feeding and nutrition and help improve the feeding relationship.

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