Clinical Pediatric Nutrition

The Department of Clinical Nutrition’s registered dietitians (RDs) provide a wide range of services for patients of all ages, including assessment, developing care plans, monitoring and education. For children with special healthcare needs, a good nutritional status helps to minimize complications from illness, medical treatments and surgery.

Experience

Our RDs have nutritional training and specialized experience with divisions or conditions, such as digestive disorders, diabetes or kidney problems. Their expertise helps provide high-quality care as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Nurses, physicians and family members may also request the services of an RD at any time during a child's hospital stay. An RD will discuss concerns or questions about a child's diet, growth or special needs.

Approach

Nutritional services are incorporated into our patients’ overall treatment plans. RDs provide nutritional assessments, with intervention and counseling as needed. Services include:

  • Calculating caloric daily needs
  • Recommending nutrition support
  • Developing goals for individuals receiving intravenous nutrition
  • Creating individualized nutrition care plans
For patients who require in-depth nutritional evaluation or treatment, the Nutrition Evaluation Program brings together a dietitian, social worker, speech pathologist, exercise physiologist and a physician for nutrition-focused care.

Conditions

We partner with medical teams to provide specialized care tailored to your child and their needs. We also treat children for nutritional risk, including:

  • Weight for age below the fifth percentile or over the 95th percentile on a standardized growth chart
  • Special diets (i.e., food allergy, diabetic, kidney or cardiac restrictions)
  • Total parenteral nutrition (TPN), tube feedings or special formula use
  • Recent unintentional weight loss
  • Difficulty chewing, eating or swallowing

Appointments

After discharge, a child may still require the services of a dietitian through outpatient services. If your child was treated by a registered dietitian during an inpatient stay at Lurie Children’s, please follow up with the dietitian directly. You may also contact the division that cared for your child. The nutrition services follow up is often incorporated into a general outpatient appointment.

If required, appointments may also be scheduled solely with the outpatient dietitian. If you need further assistance, please call the Department of Clinical Nutrition at 312.227.5067.

Philanthropy

Your support is important in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please contact the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.