Feeding and Swallowing Center

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Better Medicine and Healthier Kids

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is the region’s premier healthcare center treating children from birth to 21 years of age. The focus of our Center is the total well-being of the child. We treat the whole child – body, mind and spirit – and recognize that patients and their families are the most important members of the team.


The Center for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing is home to a highly specialized, nationally recognized program. Our team of specialists offers a unique, methodical and multidisciplinary approach. Children of all ages may be affected by feeding and swallowing problems. The causes are numerous and include – but are not limited to – birth defects, genetic disorders, food aversions, gastrointestinal disorders, environmental issues, vomiting, respiratory problems, food allergies, trauma, injuries, or premature birth.

Treating the Whole Child

We are one of a few centers in the world with a full-time medical, behavioral and therapeutic staff dedicated to the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. The team develops and implements an individualized treatment plan for each child focusing on medical, motor and behavioral issues.


The team also has direct access to consult with colleagues in these services: nutrition, gastroenterology, pulmonology, genetics, radiology, endocrinology, general pediatrics, cardiology, otolaryngology, pediatric neurology, dentistry, respiratory therapy and members of the craniofacial team.


Feeding and Swallowing EvaluationsOur full-time multidisciplinary team includes:

  • behavioral analyst
  • developmental pediatrician
  • feeding specialists
  • occupational therapist
  • physical therapist
  • speech pathologist
  • registered nurse
  • family counselor
  • nurse practitioner
  • patient financial representative

Assessment and Treatment

Since 2000, specialists at the Center for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing have been evaluating and treating children using a highly individualized approach to care. Most children enter the program as outpatients. Day treatment may be recommended when more intensive therapy is required. Please find the attached letter for parents here; along with an intake form here; with a Food Diary and Stool Diary to be brought with you at the time of your appointment. Please also find directions to our facilities here.

  • Feeding and swallowing screenings performed in person or via videoconferencing
  • Hands-on, on-site evaluations
  • Follow-up sessions via two-way cameras


EFEED® is an extension of the outpatient and day treatment programs, designed for those patients who do not require or who have completed on-site day treatment. Here's how it works:

  • Screening: Children identified as having a possible feeding or swallowing problem can be evaluated at our center in Paterson, NJ, or screened during a scheduled EFEED® videoconferencing session.
  • Evaluation: Patients accepted into the program (following the screening process) must be seen at the Center for an initial, hands-on evaluation. 

Treatment and Follow-up: Once a treatment plan is developed by the team, patients are seen either at the Center or during scheduled EFEED® appointments. During EFEED® follow-up sessions, a two-way audiovisual system is supplied by the Center to facilitate interaction between families and staff. This direct contact among child study teams, developmental teams, individual teams, individual practitioners and our staff at the Center will allow for recommendations and adjustments to be made in real time.

EFEED® is a convenient option for every patient and referral source that accesses our team on an outpatient basis. To learn more, please call 973.754.4322.


The EFEED® Connection, it is all about Access

The Center for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing provides its services to children around the world through a unique telehealth program called EFEED®. Thanks to interactive, two-way videoconferencing, children from Clinton, New Jersey to Sydney, Australia, can be observed in real time on a regular basis by our leading team of feeding and swallowing specialists.


Thanks to interactive two-way videoconferencing, children from Clinton, New Jersey to Sydney, Australia can be observed in real time.


Our approach to care is the same whether we are sitting across the table from a patient or across the country. We recognize that feeding and swallowing disorders are associated with medical, motor and behavioral conditions and look beyond the mouth to uncover and treat the cause. We establish an individual plan for each child and modify it based on his or her medical, motor and behavioral advances. Through EFEED®, these modifications can be made with patients during scheduled dial-in appointments.


Our EFEED® Mission

To provide multimedia access to a contemporary and behaviorally-based team of professionals for families who have children with complex feeding and swallowing difficulties.


For further information, find the attached letter for parents here; along with an intake form here; with a Food Diary and Stool Diary to be brought with you at the time of your appointment. Please also find directions to our facilities here.



For additional information, please contact us:

Peggy Eicher, MD, Medical Director

Appointments: 973.754.4300

Fax: 973.754.4330


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