Children’s / Paediatric Nutrition
We have dietitians specialised in children’s nutrition particularly in the management of food intolerance and food allergies. It can be difficult identifying whether a child has a food allergy or an intolerance particularly given medical testing and investigations are challenging and often unreliable in this age group. Ensuring a child has suitable nutritional intake during any dietary elimination trial is crucial to ensure growth and development are not impacted on. Our dietitians also offer parents strategies and advice for weight management, growth concerns, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and fussy eating.
Differentiating between a food allergy and an intolerance can be challenging. Allergy testing done under the guidance of an allergist can only determine an immune response reaction (IgE-mediated allergy) and therefore negative allergy tests may not necessarily mean there is no food allergy present. Our dietitians can determine whether a food allergy might exist through elimination dietary trials and determine your child’s allergenic threshold with food challenges. It is important that any elimination diet is done under the guide of a dietitian to ensure there are no nutrient deficiencies during food restriction (e.g. calcium with a dairy allergy). If your child has a diagnosed food allergy (through positive allergy tests) then our dietitians can ensure their diet is nutritionally adequate and can provide you strategies on avoiding allergens to limit the risk of accidental exposure. Our dietitians also have expertise with coeliac disease and eosinophilic oesophagitis.
It is possible to have an intolerance to nearly any food. Our dietitians can guide you and your child through the food intolerance maze providing you with meal and snack suggestions, tips to successfully completing dietary elimination trials and provide your child with individualised food challenges. We have expertise in undertaking low FODMAP and low chemical elimination diets.
If there are concerns with your child’s growth our dietitians are experienced with interpreting growth charts and providing advice to boost their dietary intake. Depending on the age of the child this may also involve educating them on making the right dietary choices to help them reach their maximum growth potential.
Raising the issue of your child being above a healthy weight with them is a delicate task. If you are concerned with your child’s weight or a recent rapid weight gain our dietitians are experienced at addressing the issue sensitively and working with you and your child to develop family-centred goals to support them with successfully managing their weight.
Fussy eating is very common particularly with toddlers and young children. It can lead to the development of poor eating behaviours, affect growth and create mealtime battles that disrupt the enjoyment of family meals. Our dietitians can provide you with advice and strategies to help you win the battle.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Fussy eaters, children on restricted diets (elimination diets), alternative diets (e.g. vegetarian/vegan diets) or children with some gastrointestinal issues that may affect nutrient absorption are at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The extensive food knowledge of our dietitians can help you bridge any nutritional gaps.