Cambridge Paediatric Dietician
A paediatric dietitian is a health professional, trained to assess, diagnose and treat diet related conditions in children from birth until 18 years of age. If your infant or child is having difficulties with feeding or eating, which are causing you concern, Cambridge Paediatric Practice can help.
Diet related conditions and in children
From infancy and early years to school children and adolescents, there are some children who have trouble eating certain foods, the right combination of foods or who are unable to eat enough food to maintain growth and wellbeing. Adverse reactions to foods causing unpleasant symptoms can be difficult to identify and troubling for a child and family. A paediatric dietitian typically works to resolve symptoms, address underlying causes and devises suitable nutritional treatment plans, based on each child’s needs.
When to see your paediatric dietitian
A paediatric dietitian can help with a range of dietary or nutritional issues when symptoms are either severe or persisting, which are affecting feeding, usual activities, weight gain or growth. Situations where a paediatric dietitian can help include:
- Infants with poor weight gain
- Children with growth problems
- Unintentional weight loss
- Feeding difficulties
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Coeliac disease
Paediatric dietitians are often called upon for help and advice during breastfeeding, providing nutritional support to mothers who wish to breastfeed infants with specific health needs. This may include identifying food allergies, addressing digestive problems, supporting successful breastfeeding and/or advising mothers on their own diet using tailored nutrition treatment plans.
Examination and treatment
A paediatric dietitian uses information about public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make lifestyle and food choices. They are health professionals, trained to assess, diagnose and treat diet related conditions in children from birth until 18 years of age, typically using these methods:
- Medical investigations and tests carried out by your Paediatrician or GP
- Growth assessment – comparison with current/previous measures and norms for age, sex and family
- Dietary assessment – a detailed conversation about what, when and how much is eaten, nutrients estimated and compared with reference values for age, sex and medical condition
- Allergy focused clinical history – to determine the likelihood and type of food allergy
- Identification of symptoms in relation to dietary intake
Following a child’s diagnosis, many diet related conditions may be supported and managed without the need for further medical intervention. Your paediatric dietitian can advise on dietary treatment and will:
- Consider the most appropriate treatment to address the symptoms eg. food exclusion
- Provide practical guidance and written information including meal planning
- Evaluate the dietary treatment, check the nutritional adequacy of the diet and consider how best to normalise the diet
If your child’s feeding habits are causing you concern, you can make an enquiry or ask us a question here.
If you have any questions about your child’s digestive health or would like to make an enquiry, contact us to find out how we can help.
You can self-refer your child, or see your GP for a doctor’s referral. At Cambridge Paediatric Practice, we also accept referrals from other paediatricians for specialist opinions; and other paediatric/adult gastroenterologists for second opinions.