Growth and Nutrition Clinic

The Growth and Nutrition Clinic (GNC) is an interdisciplinary, family-centered, outpatient clinic located in downtown Baltimore, that provides comprehensive evaluations and interventions to infants and toddlers with failure to thrive or feeding difficulties.

Established in 1989, GNC is a statewide referral resource that has treated more than 1,000 children. The interdisciplinary staff has the expertise to treat children whose growth deficiency results from medical, nutritional, psychological, family, or environmental causes.

Backed by federal funding, GNC staff have published more than 250 scientific papers and chapters. The Clinic is part of Children's HealthWatch, a national network of pediatric and public health researchers who study how public policies are related to children's health.

The clinic's mission is to:

  • Treat feeding difficulties;

  • Improve children's growth patterns;

  • Meet the individual needs of each family;

  • Promote healthy eating habits early in life.

Referral Package:

Patients receive five visits over six months:

Visit 1: Comprehensive, Interdisciplinary Evaluation

  • Full medical review and exam

  • Nutrition assessment

  • Psychological/developmental/family evaluation

  • Videotaped feeding observation

  • Personalized workbook to assist family in implementing recommendations and following child's progress

Visits 2 - 4: Intervention Follow-up Visits

  • Growth monitoring and nutrition counseling

  • Developmental/behavioral counseling

  • Feeding interaction coaching

  • Liaison with health care providers and community agencies

Visit 5: Re-evaluation to Assess Progress

  • Full medical review and exam

  • Nutrition assessment

  • Psychological/developmental/family evaluation

  • Videotaped feeding observation
  • Discharge - A second 6-month intervention followup package

The Growth and Nutrition Clinic invites families to participate in an ongoing, confidential research study that explores recovery from growth and feeding difficulties.

Community Resources:

Because growth and development problems can increase a child's vulnerability to long-term height and weight deficits, risk of infection, depressed cognitive, motor, and language development, and poor academic performance, GNC staff connect families with community resources to minimize associated risks.

The Growth and Nutrition Clinic works closely with the following organizations:

  • Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program (ITP)

  • Head Start and Early Head Start

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • Specialty providers in allergy, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genetics, neurology, psychiatry, and speech therapy

  • The Center for Infant Studies

  • The Hearing and Speech Agency

Referral Criteria:

Children under age three years are referred by health providers if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Weight/age below the 5th percentile

  • Weight/height below the 5th percentile

  • Height/age below the 5th percentile

  • A decline of two major percentiles on any of the growth criteria

  • Concerns about feeding

Successful Recovery:


The majority of children followed by Growth and Nutrition Clinics successfully sustain growth after recovery. In a follow-up of 8-year-olds treated in the Growth and Nutrition Clinic as infants, more than 75% maintained a weight-for-age above the 10th percentile, a clear indication of adequate growth.1

Contact Us


Department of Pediatrics
737 W. Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-706-4140
Fax: 410-706-5090
Web: http://medschool.umaryland.edu/growth



  • Black, M.; Dubowitz, H.; Krishnakumar, A.; Starr, R. Early Intervention and Recovery Among Children with Failure to Thrive: Follow-up at Age 8. Pediatrics. 2007;120(1):59-69.

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This page was last updated: September 24, 2014

         
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