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Nutritional and Psychological Counseling

A team of feeding psychologists serves children who display high levels of anxiety around food. This includes patients with significant food aversion following allergic reactions to foods. Behaviors that arise include restricting their diets beyond what is necessary, repetitive food checking, contamination issues, and a decrease in eating foods in other settings besides home and/or with people other than their parents. These can affect social functioning and quality of life. We use cognitive behavior therapy and anxiety reduction techniques, exposure, logical versus illogical thinking, problem solving, and positive interactions around food, to help patients be more comfortable around food and resume an appropriate diet.

We provide services to patients with food allergies within the “The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics” and work with children who display a wide range of feeding problems. These include:

  • Food refusal
  • Food selectivity – only eating certain foods or certain brands of foods
  • Food aversion – from choking or food allergy reactions
  • Disruptive mealtime behaviors

We also see children with a variety of developmental disabilities (including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome), medical complications (with reflux, tube feedings), and children who display high levels of anxiety around food.

Evaluations consist of two parts. First, we interview the family and then we observe the child eating a meal. We decide if basic recommendations are needed or if further outpatient assistance is warranted. Therapy usually lasts 6-8 weeks while we work on having meals in clinic and developing strategies for families to use at home.

Our team includes a Pediatric Psychologist, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology, and a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Contact Information

Call (585) 275-2986 to schedule an evaluation.