Identification and Management of Feeding Difficulties (IMFeD), a diagnostic tool to classify feeding disorders in children has been launched in Mumbai, India by Abbott Nutrition, a healthcare firm.
The classification has been developed by Dr Benny Kerzner, chairman, department of gastroenterology and nutrition and Dr Irene Chatoor, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Children's National Medical Center, Washington DC. The tool is being in use in 11 countries, and in India, the four-month study to identify and manage feeding difficulties in children is being started in 14 different places. A questionnaire is answered by both parents and doctors, and then analyzed to identify the kind of problem the child has. 26 children have been selected so far to take part in the survey.
Feeding problems have been classified as poor appetite because of organic causes; due to parental misperception; fundamentally vigorous, apathetic or withdrawn child; highly selective food behaviors; colic that interferes with feeding, and fear of feeding.
80 per cent of parents report some kind of feeding difficulty in children, which could result in long-term physical, psychological or cognitive development issues. Doctors feel that changing work schedules and modern technology like TVs and videogames only make this problem more deeply-rooted.
Doctors interviewed offer practical counsel to parents. Meal times must be scheduled well and they need to be family get-togethers at the table and should never be reduced to become a power struggle between parents and children.