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Benefits of Working With a Pediatric Nutritionist

There are many benefits of working with a pediatric nutritionist to improve your child’s health. Read on to learn more.
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Parents everywhere only want what is best for their infant or child, but sometimes it can be difficult to know without a doubt what is best in terms of nutritional and dietary needs for growing children. There are many reasons that a parent may look into finding a pediatric nutritionist for their child, but whatever the reason, parents can count on a pediatric nutritionist to understand the best way to help their children’s health by focusing on dietary and nutritional health. 

There is not only one good reason that a child may need the help of a pediatric nutritionist or dietician. There are many reasons that a parent may call in the help of a pediatric nutritionist because pediatric dietitians and nutritionists are well-trained in the dietary needs of infants and children. Parents may seek out help from a pediatric nutritionist for help with allergy restrictions caused by food allergies, finding ways to incorporate healthy eating into a regular routine, and a better understanding of proper nutrition. If you feel that you would benefit from the help of a pediatric nutritionist or dietitian, continue reading to learn more about what a pediatric nutritionist is and what they do to help children. 

The Bottom Line

  • What is a pediatric nutritionist? A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist understands the nutritional needs of infants and children and applies this knowledge to help families. A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist will consider the best foods and nutrition to support your child’s growth and development.
  • What are the benefits of working with a pediatric nutritionist? There are many benefits that come with working with a pediatric nutritionist. When you choose to work with a pediatric nutritionist, you gain access to their wealth of knowledge about the human body, proper nutritional needs for growing children, and the best dietary suggestions to make to children based on a child’s individual health needs.
  • How to get started with a pediatric nutritionist? One of the best ways to get started with a pediatric nutritionist is to find a nutritionist through a trusted company, like Thrive. 

A pediatric nutritionist is more than the calorie police

Pediatric dietitians and nutritionists do not monitor or track calories, but instead, they do so much more for a pediatric nutrition. There are many benefits of finding a pediatric dietitian or nutritionist for your infant or child, and these benefits could impact your child’s health for years to come.

Better understanding of nutritional needs

A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist has an in-depth understanding how nutrition impacts a child’s growth and development, and this will help parents have a better understanding of the nutritional needs of their children. Pediatric dietitians and nutritionists will give you, as a parent, the tools you need to offer your child nutritious foods that fit their individual nutritional needs. A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist will also give you an idea of how to best create a sense of balance in your child’s diet based on health needs and lifestyle factors. Additionally, when a pediatric dietitian or nutritionist gives you a better understanding of your child’s nutritional needs, you’re better equipped to promote optimal growth and development for your child through food, diet, and nutrition. There are countless benefits of having a better understanding of your child’s nutritional needs, including restricting any foods because of food allergies.  Learning more about your child’s nutritional needs and implementing this learning can also help prevent health issues that can develop later in life.

Lower risk of developing health issues

When families develop an understanding of better nutritional and a child’s individual nutritional needs, families are more likely to prevent the development of health issues as their children grow. You can make a significant difference in your child’s life by working with pediatric dietitians or nutritionists to learn habits that will prevent health issues in the future. There are several chronic diseases that are caused by poor nutrition, and the risk of developing these chronic diseases can be lowered by working with a nutritionist who specializes in pediatrics. Poor nutrition can lead to obesity, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. These chronic diseases can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. When you choose to find a nutritionist for your child, you can help your child in the long run by encouraging your child to gain a better understanding of their nutritional needs and lower the risk of these health issues from ever occurring. 

Healthy practices taught at a young age

When you choose to work with pediatric dietitians or nutritionists to pursue optimal health for your child, you’re giving your child knowledge of health practices that will last a lifetime. As a parent, you’re also better equipped to encourage your children to make the best health choices for their bodies based on a nutritionist’s recommendations. When your child learns healthy habits and practices from a young age, they’re able to make better choices into adolescence and young adulthood. A nutritionist can help empower your child to make healthy food and beverage choices. This will help your child incorporate a healthy balance of foods they love and foods that are good for them into their daily eating habits. When children are taught more about nutrition from an expert nutritionist, kids are more likely to make food and drink choices that fuel and nourish their bodies and help them feel their best.

Comprehensive assessments about your child’s health

Working with a nutritionist can also be beneficial in that they can give you more insight on your child’s health through comprehensive assessments about your child’s health. While you know your child best, a nutritionist can help you understand the specifics of how nutrition impacts your child’s growth and development. Comprehensive assessments can help you understand your child’s health because comprehensive assessments are used as a tool to evaluate your child’s growth and development. This helps shape your understanding of how your child is progressing as they near adolescence, and these comprehensive assessments can give you as a parent a wealth of knowledge. 

Comprehensive assessments performed by a nutritionist can help you better understand any clues that point to potential health conditions that can impede your child’s growth or potential cognitive delays. These assessments can help a nutritionist pinpoint items of concern and help combat those concerns with best practices in nutrition to help your child achieve optimal growth. It’s essential that your child is given their best chance to thrive in their health, and a nutritionist can help by giving your child personalized nutritional advice.

Personalized nutritional advice

Pediatric dietitians and nutritionists give you the tools you need as a parent to help your child achieve optimal health by providing personalized nutritional advice that is specific to your child’s health. Because pediatric dietitians and nutritionists typically have a bachelor’s degree and a strong background in nutrition education, they are equipped to help families by providing insight and information on food science and nutrition services. Some dietitians and nutritionists also hold a master’s degree which can be helpful in recommending nutritional foods to families. Dietitians and nutritionists don’t just provide information on healthy eating habits, but they give you and your child personalized information regarding your child’s needs. Other health care professionals may give you generic advice on what foods to introduce or avoid with your child, but a nutritionist goes much deeper. They typically provide you with foods specific to your lifestyle and child’s lifestyle as well as meal plans intended to help your child reach optimal health. 

How a pediatric nutritionist or dietitian can help you create healthy lifestyle choices

A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist will likely offer services or plans to help you create healthy lifestyle choices. This will take dedication on your part as a parent to help your child achieve success, but these services will do wonders to help you help your child create healthy lifestyle choices. 

Picky eaters

Sometimes it can seem impossible to break your child’s picky eating habits, but a pediatric dietitian or nutritionist can help. A nutritionist will not force your child to eat anything they don’t enjoy, but they will help your child resolve any negative feelings they might have about certain foods when eating. A nutritionist can also help you understand the best ways to introduce or incorporate new foods to avoid your child’s development of picky eating habits.

Food allergies

It can be scary living with food allergies, especially if they’re newly developed allergies in your children and you don’t know a lot about them yet. A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist can create meal plans that exclude certain foods or food groups that can trigger food allergies. This meal plan will come in handy when avoiding food items that can cause a reaction. A nutritionist can teach you and your child which foods and drinks are safe for your child to consume and how to best avoid foods that can cause an allergic reaction. 


Same as a food allergy, living with diabetes can be tough because you’ll need to do more planning and learn more about which foods to eat and which to avoid, and a nutritionist can help you with all of that. A nutritionist can help you and your child make healthy food choices that will help manage diabetes. Your nutritionist or dietitian will also give you a meal plan with information especially for children who have diabetes, if that applies to you. This will help you and your child learn more about safe foods that will lead to optimal health for your child.

Healthy development

Pediatric dietitians work in the same way that nutritionists do to help families develop habits to improve overall health with expert advice. Nutritionists help your child achieve healthy development into adolescents and young adults by giving your child the tools they need to succeed, like meal planning, understanding and working with their food preferences, and how to work towards overall wellness. Healthy development includes giving your child what they need to grow, but it also helps children understand how they can continue to strive for optimal health as an adolescent and young adult.

Chronic disease

If your child has a chronic disease, a nutritionist will help you improve your child’s health and reduce symptoms by helping you plan a diet for your child that recognizes the chronic disease. A nutritionist can also create a meal plan that will help you prevent chronic diseases from forming as your child grows and matures. Prevention is one of the most effective and affordable methods of dealing with chronic diseases.

Neurological disorders

A nutritionist can help you if your child has neurological disorders because adequate food intake and an abundance of dietary nutrients can have positive effects on brain function. A pediatric dietitian or nutritionist can help you better understand which foods can positively impact brain function, and possibly which foods would be best to avoid.

What are the benefits of working with an online pediatric nutritionist or dietitian vs going at it alone

You might wonder if there are any benefits of working with an online pediatric nutritionist or dietitian rather than just going at it alone. Here are a few of the benefits of working with an online pediatric dietitian or nutritionist.

An expert’s contribution to your child’s health

If you’re going at it alone, you won’t have an expert’s knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your child’s health. An expert nutritionist can give you insight into how nutrition can directly impact your child’s health, either positively or negatively. This information is crucial for your family as you strive to help your child achieve their optimal health. This will in turn help them mature into a mindset focused on nutrition as an adolescent and young adult making more food choices for themselves.

Individualized, specific help instead of generic information

If you decide to work alone instead of with a nutritionist to find solutions for your child’s health, you will only have access to generic information online or in books, not individualized, specific help. The best way to help your child achieve their optimal health, especially if they struggle with picky eating, diabetes, food allergies, or more, is with the expert advice from a dietitian or nutritionist. The knowledge that a nutritionist shares with you in regards to your child’s nutritional needs will allow you to best help your child reach their health goals. 

Lasting results

Working with a dietitian or nutritionist will help you as a parent see lasting results in your child’s health. If your child is a picky eater, a nutritionist can help them better understand foods and open up a world of new possibilities when it comes to the foods they eat at mealtime. If your child has diabetes, a nutritionist can help understand what foods work best with their bodies and which don’t, and this is information that can last a lifetime. 

What to ask during your first free consultation with one of our pediatric nutritionists

If you find yourself curious to learn more about pediatric nutrition and working with a pediatric nutritionist, you’ll benefit from a free consultation. Here are some examples of things you can ask in your first free consultation or registered dietitian.

How long will you work with my child?

This will be a good question to ask, because children go through many changes as they grow and mature. This could impact the information that a nutritionist shares with you, so it’s important that you have enough sessions with a pediatric nutritionist to help your child through these sometimes difficult growth spurts. A nutritionist can also help your child work on developing healthy eating habits that can impact your child's health as they grow.

Should I let my child’s pediatrician know they’re working with a nutritionist?

It’s a good idea to ask your nutritionist about how much to share with your pediatrician and whether or not your pediatrician recommended working with a nutritionist. This will likely help the nutritionist define any goals that can best help your child reach their goals.

Is the health assessment different from an adult’s health assessment?

You may want to ask more about what the child’s health assessment involves and how it differs from an adult’s health assessment, especially if you’ve had experience taking an adult health assessment before. This will help you better understand the process of how they’re assessing your child’s health and making recommendations for them.

Do you offer support outside of consultations?

To be successful, your child will need support from you and from an expert nutritionist. You might want to ask how much support your child will get outside of regular consultations, because this support can mean the difference between your child struggling or succeeding in reaching their health goals.

What is something you suggest isn’t working?

If something isn’t working for you or your child, it’s important that you have a firm understanding of the next steps you should take. It’s best that you, as the parent, are prepared to move forward in the way that is best for your child. That might be simply discussing what isn’t working with the nutritionist and trying something else.

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About the author

Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with education from Boston University and clinical training from both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I specialize in helping the military and non-military individuals embrace nutrition as a partner in both their mental and physical health.

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