Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire

1 million kids nationwide are diagnosed earlier with pediatric feeding disorders; intervention begins to reduce pain and complications.

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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

Emilie was born at 25 weeks gestation. She spent several months in the NICU, and was released home to eat 100% orally even though she showed signs of distress while feeding. Once home, Emilie’s distress worsened during feeds and she was batting at the bottle, her lips were turning blue, she was vomiting and her body would become listless. Emilie’s parents desperately expressed their concerns to their pediatrician, who dismissed the situation because Emilie was gaining weight; the pediatrician told Emilie’s mom that she was a ‘first-time mother’ and to relax and keep doing what she was doing because Emilie was obviously growing. But Emilie’s parents knew something was wrong, and sat in an E.R. and refused to leave until Emilie was evaluated. Emilie was readmitted to the hospital and found to be silently aspirating, where her food was spilling into her lungs. The weight gain observed by the pediatrician was false weight. Her weight gain was fluid retention, and at only 4 pounds, Emilie was developing aspiration pneumonia which could have been fatal. After fighting for Emilie and experiencing fear, desperation, and defeat, Emilie’s mother’s mental health suffered and she had to seek treatment from a psychiatrist for situational depression as a result of the anxiety and stress. Emilie’s case underscores the lack of awareness about pediatric feeding struggles, and the serious deficit in medical training for identifying and caring for pediatric feeding struggles.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French, Caucasian)


Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • Arizona

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]


Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • Arizona

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

Nationwide, including research administration in Scottsdale, AZ, and research sites in Madison, WI and Salt Lake City, UT.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Emilie’s case underscores the lack of awareness about pediatric feeding struggles, and the serious deficit in medical training for identifying/caring for pediatric feeding struggles. In fact, Emilie’s parents had to take her out of state to find the multidisciplinary treatment she needed, and much of it was at their own expense. Emilie’s mother quit her job to take care of her, and the entire process put an immense strain on the family dynamics and economics. In addition, at age 3, Emilie was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder attributed to the trauma of negative painful experiences associated with feeding. For Emilie’s family and thousands of others like them, the system was disjointed, and providers were disconnected from one another. Severe feeding struggles require medical attention and threaten long-term growth and development are estimated to affect 3-20% of children.

The deployment of the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire (ICFQ) will help medical professionals earlier identify and treat pediatric feeding disorders, and will help parents better articulate their concerns about their child's feeding patterns to their provider.

Early intervention will help children receive appropriate referrals and treatment, and hopefully avoid the developmental delays often associated with mis- or under-diagnosed feeding disorders. 

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Children who are differently abled

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Other

If you chose "other," please share the sector you work within here:

public health

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages, and has demonstrated success)

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Annual Budget

  • $1mil - $5mil

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Email

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Relevance: Does this project seem to help children (ages 0 to 12 years) develop a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose?

5 - Yes, this is great! The project lays out a strong, compelling case for how its model nurtures children’s wellbeing. - 0%

4 - It seems like a good fit, and the model talks explicitly about children’s wellbeing. - 66.7%

3 - I think so. The project seems related to children’s wellbeing, but the logic is vague. - 0%

2 - Not sure. The project doesn’t have much to do with wellbeing, or it doesn’t give enough information. - 33.3%

1 - Nope, this project definitely doesn’t fit the challenge brief (e.g., It doesn’t help kids younger than 12, isn’t in the U.S., etc.) - 0%

2. Innovation: Does this project tackle children’s wellbeing from a new angle?

5 - I loved this! The project describes a novel model that addresses important cultural or systemic barriers. - 0%

4 - This is pretty cool. The project is addressing an important problem in a new or compelling way. - 33.3%

3 - I feel like there’s something there, but I want more details about what makes it distinctive. - 33.3%

2 - It’s a good project, but I’ve seen others like it before. - 0%

1 - It was confusing or hard to tell what it made it different. - 33.3%

3. Social Impact: What is this project’s potential for creating positive social impact?

5 - Lots of potential. This project is achieving impressive results, and it’s growing quickly. It could absolutely inspire changes in the ways we approach caring for kids nationally, across sectors (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 50%

4 - Pretty good potential. This project demonstrates significant positive impact so far, and it could scale regionally or nationally one day and fundamentally change how a system operates (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 0%

3 - Budding potential. This project is creating local impact, but it would take a few adjustments before it could scale. - 0%

2 - Some potential. This project demonstrates some initial positive impact, but it would require major changes before it could scale. - 0%

1 - Limited potential. This project has great intentions, but it looks like it does not include key drivers of a shift towards children’s wellbeing. - 50%

4. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 50%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 0%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 50%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

5. Offer some feedback. Where should this participant spend some time revising?

DEFINING THE PROBLEM. Make sure to articulate the root causes or main barriers of the social issue your project addresses. (Founding Story, Problem, Solution). - 0%

CLARITY OF MODEL. Make sure to mention (a.) the beneficiary, b) the main activities, and c) how those activities drive social impact. Keep it streamlined! - 100%

MARKETPLACE. Make sure to research other players in this space and articulate how this project is different. I didn’t get a complete sense of how this project compares to others. - 33.3%

IMPACT POTENTIAL. Make sure to use specific numbers to describe what your project has achieved so far! And consider how you might scale the model or its insights, through partnerships, trainings, or franchising. - 100%

WRITING STYLE. Try to stay concise and make it vivid. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

Attachments (1)

Feeding Matters Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire© _ Feeding Matters.pdf

14-question interactive tool designed by Medical Professional Council consisting of 30 medical experts in their respective fields. The tool has undergone one year of preliminary research and showed 97% sensitivity and specificity. One additional year of research will further validate the tool so that it ultimately may be taken to the NIH and the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in well-child visits.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Fred Cardenas

Thanks for your response Kristie.  Absolutely that the focus should be on kids who quality for Part C but sometimes the issue is dropped when kids turn 3 and schools dont pick up on those issues as readily. At least that has been our experience in Texas.  Sometimes up to 80% of kids who qualified for part C do not qualify for services for Part B.  This can be attributed to a good outcome if kids no longer needed the services but often it has to do with elementary schools having different criteria to qualify for special services.  Look forward to hearing about he dissemination process. Regards

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