Nutritional Support and Counseling
Nutrition and proper diet are essential to the overall development of your child. Dawson Pediatrics partners with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Strong4Life
to help support you and your child as they grow and develop.
At times, extra support may be needed for you and your child when it comes to proper nutrition. We are pleased to offer nutrition services at our office for your convienence with a Registered Dietician.
What is a pediatric dietitian?
A pediatric dietitian is an expert in nutrition who is familiar with the nutrition needs of children. Children’s nutrition needs are very different than that of adults. In order for you to get the most from your consult, it is important that the dietitian you work with is trained specifically in pediatric nutrition. To ensure your dietitian has the appropriate background, look for a registered dietitian that is Board Certified in Pediatric Nutrition. This will be designated by the additional credential of “CSP”. To find a list of CSP’s in your state, click here
Why is my doctor recommending a nutrition consult?
There are many reasons why your doctor may recommend a nutrition consult. A few examples may be:
- Concern regarding growth: Whether your child isn’t gaining enough weight or is gaining too much, this warrants an evaluation to make sure that your child is not under or overconsuming.
- Food allergies: The dietitian can make your life easier by providing alternatives to foods being eliminated. Also, anytime foods must be eliminated from the diet there is a risk of deficiency. The dietitian will ensure that all needs are being met so your child continues to thrive.
- Overweight or obesity: We all know the risks our children face from being overweight or obese. The dietitian will provide recommendations that will help your child achieve their weight management goals.
- Picky eaters: There is help! Speaking with the dietitian who is trained in pediatrics will help you work on increasing variety in your child’s diet.
What should I expect at the nutrition appointment?
You should arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment. This will allow time for check in and time to fill out a nutrition questionnaire if you didn’t bring it with you. The nurse or dietitian will get a new weight and height measurement on your child. The dietitian will assess your child’s growth, review their current diet and set any goals. She will provide a nutrition plan to help your child achieve the goals set forth.
What the dietitian will NOT do…
- We do not give out “meal plans” for most kids. In our experience, these do not work.
- We do not talk about “diets.” The changes that we recommend are lifestyle changes.
- We do not take away all of your child’s favorite foods!
How often will I need to follow up?
Frequency of follow up depends on the reason your child was referred to begin with. Every child is different, but typically you can expect the following:
- Underweight: monthly
- Food Allergies: 1x visit if growth is normal
- Picky eaters: 1x visit or every 2-3 months if growth is normal and there are behavioral or sensory issues
- Overweight/obese: every 1-3 months
We do understand that it is difficult with school and work schedules to bring your child in for appointments. Because of this, we do our best to increase the time between follow up visits when the child is making progress and meeting our goals.
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