What Is A Pediatric Nutritionist/Pediatric Dietitian?
A pediatric nutritionist or dietitian, also known as a child nutritionist or dietitian, generally treats children from birth until the age of 18. A pediatric nutritionist focuses on the areas of nutrition and dietetics that are most pertinent to the areas of growth a particular patient is experiencing. From breast-feeding of a newborn to the challenges of the teenage years, a pediatric nutritionist focuses on the needs of young people and the optimal nutrition to allow them to grow. Since the nutritional requirements of young people are different from adults, pediatric nutritionists and dietitians are trained to care for those who need the specific expertise of a child nutritionist
Child Nutritionist and Pediatric Nutritionist or Dietitian Degrees.
Pediatric nutritionists and dietitians are generally trained a bit differently than other nutritionists and dietitians. In addition to the nutrition or dietetics degree that they share with other nutrition professionals, pediatric nutritionists and dietitians also complete a child development or child psychology or physiology concentration as well. They may work not only with normal healthy children, but with those with special needs, obesity, diabetes, those born premature and many others with special nutritional needs.
While many call themselves nutritionists or dietitians, a pediatric nutritionist or dietitian is usually focused entirely on children’s health. Pediatric nutritionists and dietitians generally have at least a master’s degree in nutrition, many times with an additional certification or education in pediatrics. The field of children’s nutrition is among the most demanding field of all nutrition professions. Those who are uniquely qualified for this line of work are among the most educated and skilled in the industry.
What Do Pediatric Nutritionist or Dietitian Do?
Pediatric nutrition professionals work with many other types of professionals from prenatal nutritionists, pediatricians, nurses and OB/GYN’s to many other types of child care professionals like teachers and youth councilors. Work environments also very, including daycares, schools and many types of youth facilities including hospitals, clinics and even detention centers.
Pediatric dietitians help their patients in a variety of ways, including many of the following:
- Analyze nutritional health
- Assess nutritional plans to improve health and wellness
- Plan menus
- Counsel children and their families in areas of nutrition and diet
- Monitor the progress of children on special diets
Pediatric Nutritionist and Dietitian Salaries
Pediatric nutritionists usually possess undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutritional science, health science or a closely related health care degree with an additional child development concentration. The additional education, combined with the specific demand for pediatric nutritional expertise, allows pediatric nutritionists and dietitians to earn more than the industry average for general nutrition. According to DietitianCentral.com, an industry monitor, an entry level pediatric nutritionist in the US can expect to earn at least $40,000 per year while those with experience can expect salaries above $70,000 annually depending on education and certification and the region in which they practice.
Pediatric Nutrition Organizations
Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group
The PNPG is a practice group of the ADA providing pediatric nutrition services for infants, children and adolescents. The Group focuses on the areas of education, research, networking, and service.
Children’s Health Fund
Founded in 1987 by the singer Paul Simon and pediatrician Irwin Redlener, MD, the CHF provides health care including nutrition to at risk children across the US.
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