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What to expect in your first session with our Paediatric Dietitians

What to expect in your first session with our Paediatric Dietitians

If you have never seen a Dietitian before, we appreciate that you might have some questions about the process. We hope this guide can help you and your child start to understand what to expect when you meet us.

Before your session:

If your child is a private or Medicare client, you will be emailed our online intake form, which will prompt you to fill out some background information about your child.

If your child is an NDIS participant, you will likely be sent a link to help us gather some background information about your child, including their disability and NDIS plan details (only those that are relevant). We will not ask to access your full NDIS plan.

If you have any relevant documents, including letters from Specialists, blood test results or referrals, please bring these alone with you to help your Dietitian complete their assessment.

Session location:

If your child is a private or Medicare client, we will be meeting you in one of our clinics or online via telehealth depending on your preferences.

If your child is an NDIS participant, we can meet you in clinic, online via telehealth or at your own home, if your funding allows for this.

During the session:

The assessment session is an opportunity for the Dietitian to get to know you and your child. Topics covered may include medical and mental health history, growth and development patterns, mealtime experiences, gastrointestinal health, activity levels, sensory preferences, relationship with food, and food choices (safe foods, challenging foods etc). Your Dietitian may also arrange for a session to observe your child eat and/or drink, called a “mealtime observation”.

If at any time you or your child does not feel comfortable talking about a specific topic, please let us know and we can accommodate.

An assessment typically spans over anywhere between 1-3 sessions.

At the end of the session your Dietitian will provide you with an overview of what the next steps in the process are. This may include access to resources, planning at home activities, food or supplement based recommendations or discussing a plan for the next session.

Interventions are tailored to your child’s special interests and readiness for change, and may include:

  • Working with preferred foods to support nutritional adequacy
  • Utilising supplements if appropriate
  • Advocating for accommodations to your child’s environment, to help them feel more comfortable in the eating experience
  • Interaction with food, if this feels like a good fit for your child, such as cooking or grocery shopping tours
  • Coaching parents on how to support their child’s relationship with food

When starting with the Dietitian, you may feel very eager to get started on multiple strategies with your child, as you care so much about their health and wellbeing. We invite you to be gentle with how you may introduce new foods or routines to your children, as in our experience, a child’s relationship with food is very sensitive to any perceived pressure. Our Dietitians will be very happy to discuss this more with you in session and guide you through this process.

After the session:

The Dietitian may ask you to send through any information/documentation to help them complete their assessment. If your child’s’ Dietitian would like to talk to any of your children’s other health practitioners, they will be sure to obtain your consent first.

If your child is an NDIS participant, we typically create a formal assessment report after the assessment process is complete. Again, our Dietitians will discuss this option with you in case this is something you would like to opt out of.

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