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Eating Disorder Program

We are currently the Regional Centre for Pediatric Eating Disorders for the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN 4). Our team of adolescent medicine physicians and clinicians provides a comprehensive assessment for patients referred for an eating disorders assessment. The program was established in 2001 and provides 3 levels of service (outpatients, day treatment and inpatients) to children and youth in our community.

Our staff are very skilled at working with children and families affected by an eating disorder. We are leaders in Canada in the delivery of outpatient Family Based Treatment (FBT) for eating disorders. Family Based Treatment is a treatment approach that involves the family in the recovery process.

Care We Provide

Our staff are skilled at working with children and families struggling with an eating disorder. We are leaders in Canada in the delivery of outpatient Family Based Treatment, a treatment approach that involves family members in the recovery process.

We offer inpatient, day hospital, and outpatient programs.

What type of eating disorders do we see?

At McMaster, we see a wide range of eating disorders in both children and adolescents. We provide treatment to young people who have moderate to severe eating disorder symptoms. For more information about the types of eating disorders, please refer to the following links:

Infants and young children experiencing feeding and swallowing problems should be referred to a general pediatrician or the McMaster Feeding and Swallowing Clinic.

Selective or ‘picky’ eaters

Many young children experience taste and texture preferences and may try to limit their intake to foods that they like or are comfortable with. This can be a very frustrating experience for parents who are trying to feed their child a range of healthy options. We encourage parents to discuss this behavior with your child’s family doctor.

Many family doctor’s, either alone or in combination with a Registered Dietitian or Social Worker are able to help children expand their food choices. If your family doctor does not have a Registered Dietitian, you can find one for a fee in your community by going to the Dietitians of Canada website.

The McMaster Eating Disorders program does provide assessment for medically significant selective eaters who are failing to meet growth expectations. We ask that these children are first referred to their local general pediatrician for assessment and guidance. If your child continues to struggle with intake and growth, your pediatrician can make a referral to our service.

Mental Health

The McMaster Eating Disorder Program treats children and adolescents who are experiencing moderate to severe eating disorders. Many children come to us with other mental health concerns. Parents may also choose to make a self-referral for their child for general mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety. Counselling support is also often available through your family doctor’s office.

Team Members

Our team consists of:

  • Adolescent Medicine Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Workers
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Psychologists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Child & Youth Workers
  • Business Clerk
  • Clinical Leader
  • Clinical Manager
  • Trainees from various disciplines

Referral Process

A referral from a physician or nurse practitioner is required. Some blood work and an electrocardiogram (ECG) must be completed (this is outlined on the Eating Disorders Referral Form | Fillable PDF) in order for the assessment to proceed.

To refer to the Eating Disorder Day Treatment program, please complete the following form. Please note, patients referred to the Day Treatment program must be connected with, and actively receiving treatment in an Eating Disorder program.

Completed referrals can be faxed to 905-521-2330.

All other inquiries can be faxed to 905-521-2349.