Clinical 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 health care needs, a good nutritional status helps to minimize complications from illness, medical treatments and surgery.

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

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

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

Our Programs

The Feeding, Swallowing and Nutrition Disorders Program evaluates and treats children with conditions that include dysphagia, feeding aversion (which may include oral defensiveness, tactile sensitivity, problem eating and picky eating), failure to thrive  (poor growth and weight loss) and related disorders. Located at our outpatient center, Lurie Children’s at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield)​, the program serves the growing number of children who suffer from a feeding issue.

The Department of Clinical Nutrition also collaborates with many specialized programs across the hospital to best meet our patients' needs.

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Tests & Treatments

Lurie Children’s ketogenic diet program offers one of the country’s most comprehensive and multidimensional care programs of its kind.

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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.

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