By children who were born with an illness or abnormality and/or who exhibit an eating problem or who are fed with a feeding tube, every day is defined by numbers – the child’s weight is measured several times a week, the calorie count of the enteral nutrition is calculated, the quantity of each meal is measured out.
Intrauterine growth retardation means that the child during pregnancy was not able to reach its genetic growth potential. If the IUGR child has had a tube placed it is important to know if catch-up growth is expected. NoTube children who are supplied with a feeding tube and are prescribed large quantities of food in order to catch-up.
Failure to thrive describes a child that fails to meet its growth expectations, and although often referred to as a diagnosis, it is only a descriptive term and word for defining the observed state. In a large number of children the cause of reduced food intake is food refusal due to behavioural or eating disorders, these are multifactorial in origin. It is important for medical professionals to identify these and try to treat them before considering tube feeding.