Dealing with a child's food and nutrition struggles can be an incredibly stressful experience for parents. From breastfeeding difficulties to picky eaters to overweight children to teens with food sensitivities, dietary issues are a challenge for countless families. Many parents feel overwhelmed and powerless to help their children get back on track with healthy eating and good nutrition. If you've stumbled across online pediatric nutrition counseling, chances are that you've already spent many hours researching yet are still wondering how to provide nutrition care.
If diet and feeding issues negatively impact your child's health and wellness, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Although this may sound drastic, it's a helpful and necessary step for many families. Regardless of your child's age or what dietary issues you are confronting, a pediatric nutritionist has the skills, education, and training to address the problem and help your child develop a positive relationship with food.
At a Glance
- Is your child a good candidate to work with a pediatric nutritionist? Picky eaters, children with medical conditions, and children with disordered eating habits, are all candidates who should work with a pediatric nutritionist
- How do I find a pediatric nutritionist near me? Contacting your pediatrician, working with an online telehealth platform, and getting in touch with your insurance company, are all ways to locate a pediatric nutritionist near you
- Benefits of working with an online pediatric nutritionist: Thoroughly vetted mental health professionals, matching services, more flexibility, and better customer service, are some of the many benefits of working with an online nutritionist
Is Your Child A Good Candidate To Work With A Pediatric Nutritionist?
There are countless reasons why your child might benefit from the assistance of a pediatric nutritionist. Here are some of the most common nutrition issues affecting babies, children, and teenagers.
Your child is a picky eater or struggles with solid food
It is not uncommon for children between the ages of 3 and 11 to be picky eaters. The transition to solid food affects every child differently. Some infants quickly adapt to new tastes, textures, and flavors, while others take much longer to accept solid foods into their diet. Sometimes, toddlers suddenly decide that they dislike foods that they previously loved. Or a young child unexpectedly develops an aversion to complex flavors and only wants to eat the same meal repeatedly. Although these scenarios seem daunting, they won't shock an experienced nutritionist. Your dietitian will have the tools and experience to create a strategy to help your child expand their food repertoire and learn to love new menu items.
Your child has a medical condition like diabetes or a severe food allergy
Helping your child follow a healthy, balanced diet can seem impossible if they have a medical condition that prevents them from eating certain foods. Perhaps they have type 1 diabetes and must avoid foods that raise their blood sugar. Or they might have a sensitivity to gluten or an allergy to nuts, eggs, or dairy. In these situations, pediatric registered dietitians can help by suggesting substitutions that will appeal to your child while accommodating their health issues.
Your child struggles with disordered eating or weight management
If your child struggles with disordered eating, you aren’t alone. Eating disorders are a widespread issue in the general adolescent population. Watching your child struggle with food, weight management, and eating habits can be a demoralizing experience for parents. You might feel isolated and wonder how you'll ever help your child to reach a healthy weight and adopt a well-rounded diet. Pediatric nutritionists have extensive training and expertise in helping young adults overcome eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and problems with obesity. They'll design a nutrition and lifestyle program for your child that incorporates their food preferences, exercise habits, and lifestyle factors. And most importantly, they'll work with you to ensure that this strategy works for your family.
Learn more about the role of a pediatric dietitian nutritionist here.
How Do I Find A Pediatric Nutritionist Near Me?
When looking for the right pediatric specialist, searching online for "nutritionist near me" isn't always the best way to find the expert you need. Here are other strategies for locating the right pediatric nutritionist for your family.
Contact your pediatrician
Your pediatrician is an excellent resource for getting a referral to a pediatric dietitian. Although your doctor may not have the availability or specialized nutrition knowledge to work with your child directly, they will likely be knowledgeable about nutrition professionals in the area. Your pediatrician will also be familiar with your child's unique health needs and medical history, which will help them make an appropriate recommendation.
Online telehealth platforms
If you are interested in an online nutrition provider, telehealth platforms like Top Nutrition Coaching connect clients with best-in-class registered dietitian nutritionists. Rather than searching independently to locate a nutritionist with the right qualifications and background, our nutritionist specialist will work with you to find the ideal dietitian for your child. Top Nutrition Coaching is careful only to hire exceptional registered dietitian nutritionists. The matching service ensures you are paired with a dietitian with extensive pediatric counseling expertise.
College or university nutrition departments
If you live near a major research university, they will likely have a nutrition and dietetics department. Registered dietitian nutritionists must have at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition, which means they will have to have completed academic work at an accredited institution. Getting in touch with the nutrition science department could be an excellent strategy to find a local program graduate with a pediatric specialty.
Get in touch with your insurance company
Depending on your child's medical needs, your insurance company may cover some of the costs of clinical nutrition services. If your child has an eating disorder, diabetes, or celiac disease, there may be in-network pediatric nutritionists you can work with, or you may be able to get reimbursed for out-of-network costs.
Local parent groups
Other parents can be fantastic resources for finding healthcare professionals. Childhood nutrition challenges are more common than you might realize, and local parents are likely to be familiar with the best pediatric dietitians in your community or online. They will also have firsthand experience with various professionals and may be able to give you tips about services offered, cost, personality, and results.
How To Choose The Right Pediatric Nutritionist For Your Child
Even after you've compiled a shortlist of childhood nutrition professionals and medical providers, you must consider several factors of what to look for in a pediatric nutritionist before making your decision. These considerations should help you narrow down your options and make the best choice.
Qualifications, experience, and specialties The most critical factor in choosing a pediatric nutritionist should be the caliber of the nutritionist’s professional expertise. Take the time to review their credentials, such as their bachelor's or master's degree, internship experience, professional certifications, work history, and additional qualifications and specialties.
Personality and approach Although the nutritionist's knowledge and training are indispensable attributes, you also want to choose a nutritionist with a disposition and techniques that are compatible with you and your child. Taking part in an introductory session and getting to know the nutritionist's coaching style and overall nutrition strategy is an excellent way to ensure that you are all on the same page before committing to multiple sessions.
Success with similar clients Knowing that your nutritionist has successfully helped previous clients achieve improved health outcomes is a great way to decide whether the dietitian is likely to succeed with your child's nutrition care. First, find out what your nutritionist considers to be a positive outcome. Then, ask your nutritionist for scenarios in which they set previous clients on the path to long-term healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes.
Convenience and availability Make sure that your nutritionist offers appointments at times that fit your family's schedule. Consider the location of their office and the logistics of getting your child there. You might also think about the benefits of online nutrition support providers so that you can join sessions from the comfort of your own home and have access to out-of-hours messaging.
Benefits Of Working With An Online Pediatric Nutritionist
Working with an online pediatric nutritionist may be new to you. When deciding between virtual and in-person nutrition support sessions, there's plenty to think about. Consider these benefits of online nutrition counseling to help make your choice.
Thorough vetting of background and credentials
Choosing a managed marketplace like Top Nutrition Coaching gives you the peace of mind that all the nutritionists in the network have been thoroughly vetted as part of the hiring process. The Top Nutrition Coaching pediatrics team consists of registered dietitians who have completed the necessary training to earn that title, including a bachelor's or master's degree. They have all completed dietetic internships, gained professional experience in various clinical and outpatient settings, and earned further qualifications in pediatric nutrition. To join Top Nutrition Coaching, they successfully navigated our extensive interview process. We guarantee that our pediatric dietitians have the professionalism, empathy, and critical thinking skills to work with a wide range of clients.
Free matching service that pairs you with the right professional
By choosing a telehealth provider, you can access some of the country's top nutrition professionals rather than being limited to dietitians in your local area. No matter where you live, you can connect with a pediatric nutrition expert with the skills and experience to help your child. Top Nutrition Coaching's matching specialist will carefully review your online questionnaire and telephone consultation to pair you with the best pediatric nutritionist for your wellness objectives. During the initial consultation, you'll get to know your dietitian and ensure they are a good match for you and your child. You are also entitled to a two-week risk-free trial of Top Nutrition Coaching. If you decide that the service isn't for you after two weeks, you'll receive a full refund.
Flexibility and customer service
Many people choose virtual nutrition counseling over in-person appointments because the customer experience tends to be better. Rather than travel to consultations, you can connect with a pediatric nutritionist online from the comfort of your own home. You'll also have greater flexibility to schedule appointments at convenient times, even if these are outside of traditional office hours. Few in-person nutritionists are willing to communicate with clients outside of scheduled consultations, but Top Nutrition Coaching's dietitians are always reachable, thanks to the unlimited 24/7 messaging service.
Pediatric Nutrition Plan Checklist
You may consider various nutrition services and health professionals as you search for the right one for your child. Use this checklist to keep the most critical factors in mind throughout your search.
Ensure that the nutritionist you are considering is a registered dietitian (also known as a registered dietitian nutritionist). These professionals will have the letters RD or RDN after their names. Pediatric nutritionists should have completed additional training in working with children and adolescents, including continuing professional education on eating disorders, picky eating, children's health, food sensitivities, child development, special diets, feeding difficulties, pediatric obesity, and more.
Child-focused counseling sessions
Although qualifications and experience are essential, personality and demeanor are just as vital. Working with kids and young people requires a different approach than working with adults. Your nutritionist should have provided nutrition support to young people in the past to develop their communication and counseling skills.
When choosing a pediatric nutritionist, select one who offers appointments at flexible times. For busy parents, the logistics of incorporating nutritionist sessions into their schedules can be a real challenge. Your nutritionist should make themselves available at times that fit the needs of busy families.
Helpful cooking, shopping, and lifestyle tips
Choose a pediatric nutritionist who is more than a diet plan provider. Rather than imposing strict rules, they should look at your child's health profile and suggest achievable lifestyle changes and food modifications that have a significant impact yet are easy to implement.
Understanding of special health concerns
Ensure your nutritionist understands your child's health and nutritional status, including medical conditions, developmental challenges, feeding concerns, and food allergies. You'll want to be confident that the nutritionist keeps these factors in mind as they create a nutrition roadmap for your child. A pediatric dietitian can help you provide good nutrition for your growing child, whether they have developmental challenges, food allergies, or other health conditions.
Before recommending a course of action, an excellent pediatric dietitian will conduct a growth assessment that looks at various factors to determine how your child is growing or gaining weight. This is especially important if your pediatrician is concerned about your child's growth and nutrition needs.
Guidance on picky eating
Your pediatric dietitians should have specialized training in dealing with fussy eaters. Sometimes, picky eating is just a regular aspect of development. But it can also indicate a more significant issue. A good pediatric dietitian should be able to provide you with feeding strategies and communication techniques to use with your children to make mealtimes more successful.
Advice about starting solids
It can be terrifying to start feeding your child solid food for the first time! These concerns are amplified if your child has other health, growth, or feeding challenges. A pediatric dietitian can help you look out for crucial indicators of readiness and determine the optimal strategy for introducing solids – all while helping you design healthy meals that satisfy your child's specific nutritional growth requirements.
Need a Little More Time to Decide? Take the Quiz, and Let us Help you Decide if a Pediatric Nutritionist is Good for you!