Growth and Nutrition Program | Frequently Asked Questions

What will an evaluation involve?

During the initial evaluation, you and your child will be seen by a pediatric gastroenterologist or pediatrician, a nurse practitioner, a nutritionist, and a social worker. In addition, there may be a consultation with a behavioral psychologist, speech pathologist or a nurse that visits the home. Parents and other family members involved in your child's care are encouraged to be present for the initial evaluation. During the evaluation your child will receive a health and nutritional assessment and a complete physical exam. Blood and urine samples may be taken for laboratory tests.

Do you offer appointments at any of the satellite locations?

Yes!  Our clinic runs on Wednesday mornings in the Waltham location, as well as Friday afternoons in the Boston location.

How long will the initial appointment take?

The first visit can last from two to three hours. It is important that you come on time for your appointment. Follow-up appointments will be shorter, lasting approximately thirty minutes to an hour. If you need to cancel an appointment, please call the program as far in advance as possible. The direct number is 617-355-7713. Please leave a message with all of your child's information and telephone contact information for rescheduling.

What should I bring with me?

Upon scheduling your child's appointment, we will send you a packet with information about the program as well as an Intake Form, and a Food and Beverage Diary. We asked that you fill both these forms out before your initial visit and bring them with you to your child's appointment. It is also a good idea to bring some toys to entertain your child during this longer first visit. Please also remember to bring your insurance or Medicaid card, and any additional information you think will help our clinicians better understand your child's eating patterns.

What will happen after the evaluation?

As the evaluation progresses, impressions and results of medical tests will be shared and discussed with you. When the assessment is complete, you and your team of providers will create a treatment plan. This plan may include return visits to Children's. At the end of the visit you can expect to take home written recommendations to help you follow this plan.  A written summary of the evaluation will be sent to your child's primary doctor.

How will I pay for my child's care?

If you have Medicaid or an insurance plan that includes doctor visits, you will not have to pay for care other than the usual copay. If your insurance does not cover visits, please discuss this with our staff members on your first visit. Check all bills and call Outpatient Accounting at 617-355-7114 if you have any questions.

Recommended readings

  • SOS! Help for Parents: A Practical Guide for Handling Common Everyday Behavior Problems, by Lynn Clark

  • The Challenging Child, by Stanley Greenspan

  • 1,2,3, Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2 to 12, by Thomas Phelan

  • Just Two More Bites! Helping Pickey Eaters Say Yes to Food, by Linda Piette