Children's Hospital Colorado

Growth and Parenting Clinic

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

Growth faltering (slow growth) in kids

Growth faltering is a term that is used to describe many causes of slow growth. It is most commonly associated with the following signs/symptoms:

  • Poor or slowed weight gain
  • Crossing weight percentiles on the growth chart
  • Children who are less than 5th percentile weight for length/body mass index (BMI)
  • Feeding problems or food refusal behavior
  • Eating non-food items (dirt, paper, ice)
  • Delayed development
  • Symptoms of reflux and malabsorption

Growth faltering is most common in older infants and toddlers; however, poor growth can be seen in any age group. Our typical Growth and Parenting (GAP) patients may be exclusive breast feeders or picky toddlers and children with general poor eating behaviors who are considered “underweight” by their primary care provider.

Growth faltering is typically used to describe weight-related growth; slow growth related to height (linear growth or “stunting”) is a different, more chronic concern that should also be evaluated by a medical provider.

About the Growth and Parenting Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado

Our Growth and Parenting clinic evaluates and treats underweight infants, children and adolescents with growth and feeding problems. We aim to help your child thrive and grow.

In our clinic, we perform a complete medical assessment, including physical exam, and listen to your concerns. Depending on your child’s needs, we may focus on helping you to improve your child’s eating habits, assess for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and/or evaluate for other health concerns. We also offer consultations with dietitians, occupational therapy feeding therapists and other specialists in gastroenterology, endocrinology and genetics.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado?

Our Growth and Parenting Clinic team consists of nutrition-trained medical providers and dietitians. We emphasize parent interaction and education as a key component to successful outcomes for our patients. Treatments vary depending on each child’s needs, but some common treatment goals include improved weight gain, continued linear growth, correction of micronutrient deficiencies and normalized eating skills and behavior.

What to expect in your visit to the GAP Clinic

The Growth and Parenting Clinic is located on the first floor of the Outpatient Pavilion at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Please arrive at the clinic a few minutes early so that you can check in at the front desk.

Before your first visit

  • Keep track of what your child eats and drinks: Use the enclosed food diary to record everything your child eats and drinks for 3 days. Be as specific as possible with the amount eaten.
  • Medical records and growth charts: Ask your clinic or medical provider to fax a copy of your child’s medical records (only growth chart, relevant letters, and recent labs) directly to GAP Clinic at 720-777-7282 or bring a copy with you to the appointment

During your visit

In the appointment, your child’s weight, height and vital signs will be measured. A physician or physician assistant will do a medical evaluation and dietitian may obtain a diet history. A medical student or resident may also participate in the visit. We are committed to providing you with a comprehensive assessment; plan to spend at least one hour for your first visit.

At your first visit, we prefer to meet the family members responsible for your child’s care. Please do not bring all of the children in your family. Childcare for children 8 years old and younger is available through the Creative Play Center at Children’s Colorado.

Helpful resources

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Growth and Parenting/Nutrition Clinic