What do other families have to say about Clinic 4 Kidz?

When you have your first baby, or any baby for that matter, having them not eat or want to eat is something that would never cross your mind.  A baby eats, and if they don't eat, just wait, when they are hungry they WILL eat - right? That's what we heard over and over, but at just 6 months old our little girl was FTT (failure to thrive) - her weight was way below the curve, her height was stunted and you could see her tiny ribs coming out.  Like any parent would, we tried everything we could think of to fix the problem, or find out what the problem was.  We had several tests done, a swallow study, upper GI, EEG, EKG, Echo, allergy tests, etc etc. In addition to medical tests, as a breastfeeding mom, I did the elimination diet, I visited countless lactation consultations and meetings - anything I could think of, we tried.  We just wanted our baby to eat and to not refuse 95% of the time she was at the breast (she would cry, push away, arch her back).  It finally came down to the fact that our baby was suffering from silent reflux.  I had no idea reflux could cause such aversion to eating, but here we were witnessing it right before our eyes.  At 11 months old we were still struggling and it was at this point that our doctor said it had come to the point that we would need to put our baby on a feeding tube as the lack of nutrition would soon start to affect brain development, unless we could get into a feeding program ASAP.

This is when Clinic 4 Kidz came into the picture.  Through a divine appointment with a pediatrician who happened to just be filling in on the day we went in for a check up, asked us if we had ever heard of Clinic 4 Kidz - I had not, but it didn't take long for me to be talking to Dr. Patel on the phone.  Dr. Patel was a breath of fresh air, it was like everything that was going on, all the refusals both with breastmilk and with solids wasn't this foreign thing, she understood exactly what we were going through and she assured me that they could bring the expertise we needed to get our baby girl eating.  By their second visit they had our baby responding to cues to open her mouth and accept a bite.  My husband and I watched with our mouths on the floor - how did they do this, and in just 2 days!?  There was still a very long road ahead but at least we could slowly start getting some calories into her.

Through hard work, dedication and commitment on Dr. Patel, our case manager, and our parts as parents, we have now, almost 2 years later come to a place where we are on the growth charts, our now toddler is eating many age appropriate foods, and even enjoying some of those foods!  We look back and wonder where we would have been without Clinic 4 Kidz, and we imagine a much different life and outcome.  We are so blessed and grateful for all the amazing therapists at Clinic 4 Kidz - we will forever be grateful!

Basically this story is about two amazing people.  That met by chance, luck, or grace.  They are Dr. Patel, which I would call a miracle worker my son Maximus which I have called a little conqueror since the day of his birth.  In my mind I can see her smiling and saying “ OH PLEASE!”.  Maximus was diagnosed with Trisomey 18 mosaic, which is such a rare genetic disorder there is only a paragraph of it in the medical books and all of it very bleak on his prognosis.  From birth Maximus was G-tube fed.  When Maximus was about 2-years-old my wife and I tried for the next 2 years to have him eat by mouth.  We went through 2 highly recommended feeding specialist with minimal results.  Maximus was getting older and refusing to open his mouth for drink or food.  Because he was getting older transitioning him from G-tube to oral feeding was getting less likely per medical statistics.  Until we meet Dr Patel and Clinic 4 Kidz.  Dr. Patel sat with us and gave us hope, but made very clear the success on Maximus being orally fed depends on the parent involvement and her methods.  Clinic 4 Kidz approach always begins with setting up the child for success prior to meals and adding positive reinforcements during the meal and celebrating success at the end of the meal.  In following the Clinic 4 Kidz feeding program under the guidance of Dr. Patel it has brought us to where we are today.  A happy boy that now is eating solid food, his favorites are winnie sausages, diced pears, and grilled salmon.  One day I was explaining to Maximus what an almond butter and raspberry sandwich was.  He just grabbed it out of my hand and started to eat it, like tell me later dad I'm hungry.  So basically this is our story, to accidentally or by chance meet an amazing person in Dr Patel and have the good fortune or luck for our son to be in her program.  Could only have happen by the “grace” of god.

In Pre-school, my daughter Morgan had to bring something from home that started with the letter Q for a class presentation.  She decided to bring Quinoa.  I couldn't have been more proud, that she knew this grain began with a Q, and that today my daughter eats quinoa along with many other healthy foods.

Morgan is an ex-preemie, the smaller of twins, and she has had trouble eating and breathing since the day she was born.  I carried her around for hours just trying to syringe formula into her mouth.  No OT "feeding therapy" ever helped.  She then got a feeding tube.  Food or drink for my daughter was tantamount to torture.  She had pain and reflux and frequent vomiting after every meal.  Worse, she sometimes stopped breathing because of the reflux.  I didn't think we would ever get our daughter to eat and I didn't blame her for not wanting to try.  She turned her head away from any bottle or spoon and cried.

Fortunately, I met another twin mom who had discovered Dr. Patel and her clinic for kids with pediatric feeding disorders.  I immediately got on the waiting list and shortly afterwards Dr. Patel came to our home to work with Morgan.  By the end of the first appointment she was taking bites from a spoon and drinking from a squirt cup.  By the end of our therapy with Dr. Patel, Morgan was eating a regular diet and trying many different foods.  I am delighted to say that her eating is NOT "age typical" because her age-matched peers are picky eaters and most of their lunches go in the trash can.  Morgan eats what is on her plate, including a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Patel provided a consistent, easy to follow protocol to get Morgan to eat.  Dr. Patel was always kind and professional and all 4 of my kids looked forward to her visits.  To me, Dr. Patel was a miracle-worker.  Not only did she teach my daughter to eat but she taught me how to get the rest of my kinds under control as any distraction would interfere with Morgan's feeding.  Our family dinners are now peaceful affairs with everyone eating a well-balanced diet with many different foods.

As a physician and a mother of a child with a feeding disorder, I highly recommend Dr. Patel and Clinic 4 Kidz.  It changed our lives.

I highly recommend Dr. Patel and Clinic 4 Kidz to anyone with a feeding disorder.

From the time Tommy started jarred baby food at 5 months, he showed signs of a feeding disorder.  We didn't know that's what it was at the time.  We thought he just wasn't into the taste or the texture.  He gagged and cried and pushed the food away for no obvious reason.  His pediatrician kept telling us he would "grow out of it" but it only got worse until the only thing Tommy would eat was yogurt.  His only drink was baby formula.  His pediatrician eventually suggested a food therapy group at our local Children's Hospital in San Diego.  After spending about a year and a half playing with food in therapy, Tommy was still eating only yogurt and drinking only formula.  One day Tommy refused his formula and the yogurt.  He said it tasted "yucky".  His pediatrician thought it was a stomach virus.
After 4 days he was hospitalized for dehydration.  The doctors said he could not leave the hospital until he ate something.  I knew then that we were in trouble.  Tommy spent a week in the hospital, went through many medical tests (showing no medical problems) and eventually left on an NG tube because he still would not eat.  My husband and I took this incident as a wake up call.  We came home from the hospital in no better shape than we went in.  The only difference is now our son was getting his formula through a tube.  We searched the internet and after a lot of research focused on St.Joseph's Center for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in Paterson, New Jersey.  They have a 4 week program for kids with feeding disorders and we immediately got on the wait list.  My family lives in New Jersey so for us it was a relatively easy transition.  At the end of the 4 week program, Tommy was eating 22 different pureed foods!  I was very anxious for him to move onto chewing foods before our 4 weeks was up, but the hospital said it was too soon.  He needed to get used to the variety and quantity of the pureed foods first.  They said we would have to work up to table texture foods on our own.  We went back to San Diego and things were great for a while but when it was time to transition him to table texture foods, it became an ordeal.  I couldn't get Tommy to take a bite of anything.  He needed help taking the next step.  It became obvious that we couldn't do it alone so we decided to travel back to NJ again and pay a visit to St. Joe's again.  They were only able to schedule three appointments for Tommy and that was not enough time.  He was scared and confused and he sort of regressed.  He didn't want to eat anything there.  Before we left, one of the doctors at St. Joe's told me about Clinic 4 Kidz.  He gave me Dr. Patel's phone number and I couldn't wait to get out of there and get to a computer and a phone.

When I found out that Clinic 4 Kidz provides therapy in your own home, I knew this is what we needed.  This is the only therapy that I believe would work for Tommy.  It is one thing to learn a skill outside of your home, but to transition that to your own home and other environments like restaurants, schools and parks, was a daunting task.  Tommy soon started therapy with Dr. Patel's clinician, who specializes in pediatric feeding disorders.  She came highly recommended by Dr. Patel.  She was like Nanny 911.  Not only did she help with Tommy's feeding issues, she worked on his behavioral issues as well.  She worked very closely with Dr. Patel in working out a schedule and a plan for Tommy to succeed.  The same day the clinician came into our home, she had Tommy eating a waffle.  We started gradually with short chewing sessions and kept his familiar assortment of purees on the menu too.  I couldn't believe it when they suggested we try eggs and toast for breakfast.  The only breakfast Tommy knew at that point was oatmeal, yogurt and mashed bananas.  The thought of him eating the same thing as the rest of the family was like a dream.  After a few months, Tommy was completely off pureed foods and was eating more of a variety of table texture foods than his 9 year old brother! 

Dr. Patel's clinician would come with us to restaurants to transition Tommy from eating at home to eating in other environments.  She went with Tommy to pre-school so he could sit at the table with his buddies and eat a sandwich.  We went to the park and practiced eating on the playground.  Situations like this that most people take for granted are huge obstacles for kids with feeding disorders to overcome. Tommy was able to transition easily.  We can now eat on the run, eat in restaurants and eat at the park and I don't have to pack mashed potatoes and pureed broccoli anymore.  I can literally walk out the door without worrying about all that.

It has been over a year since the last visit and Tommy is doing great.  He eats the same food everyone else in the house is eating.  No more preparing special meals.  We never could have done it without Clinic 4 Kidz. 
I still keep in contact with Clinic 4 Kidz by email and they are always quick to answer my questions or offer suggestions when something comes up.  I would highly recommend Clinic 4 Kidz.  Not only were they a huge help to Tommy, but to our whole family and my own personal sanity!

Thank you Clinic 4 Kidz and Dr. Patel!


My 5-year-old son had been diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder since he was 1 and 1/2 years old. He was unable to manage any type of solid foods and would only eat selective baby foods and yogurt.  After relentlessly pursuing a solution for years to no avail i.e.: occupational therapy, psychiatry, speech therapist etc. I came upon Dr. Patel 's website and in desperation emailed her.  She responded immediately with the resounding message that she could help my son.  And she has.  In one day she had him completely off the baby food.  In 1 month he was chewing regular textured foods and in 2 months he was eating all new foods at regular texture without any issue at all! Dr. Patel's program is concise and informative as well as easy to follow.  She is a pleasure to work with and my son adores her.  And as I begin to cry while writing this in gratitude to her, I cannot stress enough the joy we experience each time we sit down to a normal meal with enthusiasm.  Dr. Patel had the solution to a difficult problem others were unable to help us with. I recommend her services highly and hope that other desperate parents are lucky enough to find her.

A Grateful Parent


My daughter was diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder when she was a year old.  At birth she was very uncoordinated at drinking from a bottle and her difficulties progressed as she grew older.  She refused to drink anything but formula and gagged or vomited when presented with anything else.  She refused to let anyone feed her, so pureed foods were never successfully introduced.  She eventually was able to eat only cheese and ramen noodles in very small quantities,1 tsp. per day.  A year ago she was diagnosed with acid reflux and has been treated with medication to keep the vomiting under control. 

Meanwhile, her growth has been almost nonexistent and she has been diagnosed with a condition known as failure to thrive.
We have tried numerous treatments, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and an NG tube.  However, none of the treatments have successfully helped her gain the growth she needs to be healthy or learn to eat on her own.  We were strongly opposed to placement of a G-tube and appealed to our daughter's doctors for another solution.  After nearly a year with the NG tube, we were referred to Dr. Patel with Clinic 4 Kidz by our daughter's GI doctor for feeding help.   

Dr. Patel and her staff were eager to help.  In fact, they had our daughter eating pureed foods on the very first day of treatment.  My husband and I watched with tears in our eyes as our daughter took bites of food and said, Yummy!?  By the second visit, our daughter was eating enough calories on her own that we were able to remove her NG tube.

Dr. Patel's program is successful, easy to understand, and simple to follow.  This program has greatly improved our daughter's quality of life and overall health.  I highly recommend Clinic 4 Kidz to all parents whose children have suffered through the disappointment of failed therapies, painful medical procedures or stress that accompanies a feeding disorder.


Nicholas could just never transition to solid foods. Even at 2.5 years old, he was still eating only smooth foods, baby food and some pureed foods. We sought help at our local pediatric hospitals, but the therapies provided still could not make Nicholas eat solid food. None of the professionals (and there were many!) could figure out what to do for us. This was, after all, very uncommon in an otherwise healthy child. After he turned 3, we were becoming desperate and did a lot of internet research, where we found the Clinic 4 Kidz and Dr. Patel. She and Jennifer King came out to do their evaluation of Nicholas on St. Patrick's Day, which turned out to be a very lucky day for us. We finally found the hope we needed, someone who understood his problem and believed they could help him. Though we couldn't help but be skeptical.

Two months later, Dr. Patel and Jennifer came to our home (from California all the way to New Jersey) and spent three (7 hour) days working with Nicholas and teaching us how to feed him as well. By the end of day one, Nicholas had eaten 4 solid foods. We were stunned. He did better and better with each meal largely due to the enthusiastic support and affection from Dr. Patel and Jennifer. I thought he would really dislike them because they were making him eat, but he loved them! By the end of day three, Nicholas was eating 12 solid foods (fruits, vegetables, proteins... and pizza and french fries too!).

As they left, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that a miracle had taken place in my home that weekend.  That was the only way I could explain if when people asked. But of course it was really an extreme amount of experience, knowledge, patience, dedication and some silliness, that got us through that weekend. As the weeks went on, we continued to add foods all the time using the same protocol that was put in place during our 3-day visit. It works every time! Nicholas can now eat anything we present to him. In fact, I stopped counting how many foods he eats once we hit 40! We still have follow up visits from Jennifer.

It has now been almost 4 months and we are working on self-feeding, which is going well. We have conquered a major battle. Our life feels regular now. They worked so hard to keep his attention and help us through the hard parts, and are there consistently and quickly if we run in to a problem. In my life, I would never have thought I could encounter 2 people who were so dedicated to children and the work they do. Dr. Patel and Jennifer were put on this earth to do this job. If you can relate to our story, then I know you can probably understand the frustration of not being able to just go through a McDonald's drive thru and get your child a meal to go. But with Dr. Patel's help, we have now achieved the "Happy Meal Dream"!


For no known reason, our daughter, Jenny, did not like to eat. A G-tube was put in at age 3, because we were only able to get her to take 300-500 calories/day orally, but only with a great deal of cajoling and frustration.  On the G-tube, Jenny's oral intake decreased to 100-200 calories/day.  This continued for almost 5 years with little to no improvement.  When Jenny was almost 8 years old, we were referred to Dr.Patel.  During the first appointments with Dr. Patel, which were done on three consecutive days, Jenny went from eating 100-200 calories/day to 1000 calories/day! For the next 3 months we gradually increased her oral intake to 1200 calories/day.  Soon after that, we were able to stop G-tube feedings all together.  Our family feels blessed that Dr. Patel came into our lives.  We would highly recommend Dr. Patel and her clinic to anyone experiencing feeding problems with their child.
Thank You Dr. Patel,
Scott and Jean 

My daughter suffered from acid reflux as an infant. At 5 months old we were able to find a medicine that eased the symptoms for her.  I started to notice at around a year that Marley was not interested in table food.  At first I thought she was not ready, always seeming to gag or choke on the food.  There were times when she would start to vomit.  This was the beginning of her food selectivity.  At her two year old well visit I discussed with my pediatrician my concerns that she would only eat commercial baby food and a select group of foods with a hard, crunchy texture.  Any time we would offer her table food she would refuse, throw tantrums, gag, and choke; anything that would release her from the table or highchair.
She was seen several times at our local hospital in the Feeding and Swallowing clinic.  They felt there was no medical reason and that the behaviors were probably learned early on and reinforced over time. We tried several of their recommendations but nothing seemed to bring us closer to Marley eating more.  It was finally recommended that she enter the intensive day feeding program at the hospital.  This would have required that Marley be at the hospital 5 days a week from 8-5 for a minimum of four weeks.  There were several reasons why this would not work for us and we felt that there had to be other options.  We were given the name of Dr. Patel and Clinic 4 Kidz at our third visit.  

After looking into Dr. Patel, reading the information on the website and emailing back and forth with her I had the chance to speak with her over the phone on what happen to be both my daughter and her birthday.  That was the only sign I needed.  Call it instinct call is crazy; I knew I had my answer.   My daughter was evaluated by Jennifer King a month later and within two months of the first time I spoke with Dr. Patel my daughter had undergone the 3 day intervention with Jennifer. 

At the end of the second day my daughter was eating 7 different table foods! I could not believe it!  She showed no signs of stress and would grab Jennifer's hand at the end of the meal to play with her.  My husband and I started to take over the meals late in the second day and we were introducing new foods to her on the third day.  By the end of the third day she ate 9 different foods. In one week Marley is up to 20 different foods. 

I felt assured that Jennifer and Dr. Patel were in close contact throughout the three days and was more than pleased with the service and the results.  It is said that hindsight is twenty-twenty; looking back I would use Clinic 4 Kidz again in a heartbeat! 

Leslie Kronemeyer
One Happy Mom!