Children who require ECI or present with developmental delays have a high risk for nutrition-related problems. The role of the Dietician within our multidisciplinary team is to identify those children at risk and to provide intervention to ensure optimal nutrition. Optimal nutrition is important as childhood, and especially infancy is a time of rapid growth. It further provides the needed energy for other therapies such as physio- and occupational therapy. Also, it boosts and maintains a strong immune system and helps to improve focus and concentration.
Children who are typically referred to a dietician include ex-premature infants as well as other infants who present with failure to thrive, children with Cerebral Palsy and genetic syndromes such as Down’s and Edward syndrome. Any other children who present with feeding difficulties, for example, because of low muscle tone, are also seen. Nutrition therapy is also important for children who present with food allergies, lactose intolerance, reflux, constipation, fussy eating and texture sensitivity. In general breastfeeding support and advice are often given, as well as the introduction of solids guidelines.