Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services

Adequate and proper nutrition is important for a child’s normal growth and development. CHOC Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services aims to be a reliable source of nutrition and lactation information for our patients, families and community.

We are here to help patients with growth and development, while giving them a foundation for lifelong health and wellness. We provide family-centered, culturally sensitive care that is custom for every individual, using evidence-based techniques and best practices with a multidisciplinary approach.

Boy and girl eating bananas

We provide nutrition services on both an outpatient and inpatient basis, depending on our patients’ needs.

What is a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

Registered dietitians are nutrition experts who have completed their bachelor’s degree followed by an internship and national registration exam. Many of our dietitians have specialty certifications in areas such as pediatrics, critical care, diabetes, eating disorders and lactation.

Outpatient Nutrition Counseling

Our pediatric Registered Dietitians (RDs) are experts in nutrition and provide medical nutrition therapy for infants to young adults. The goal is to optimize nutrition, growth and overall health. Our pediatric RDs cater the nutrition consultation to the individual & family – which often includes a nutrition and growth assessment, meal planning and child/family nutrition education.

One-on-one nutrition counseling with a pediatric RD is available with a physician’s referral. Common reasons for a referral include:

  • weight issues
  • malnutrition
  • feeding difficulties
  • autism
  • food intolerances and allergies
  • tube feeding
  • special diets
  • nutrition education

Along with one-on-one outpatient nutrition services, our RDs provide nutrition services as part of a team center care (TCC) approach in many CHOC clinics and programs. Families should check with their child’s insurance provider to determine insurance benefits.

Learn more about what you need to do or bring before your outpatient visit with a registered dietitian:

Inpatient Nutrition Services

Our dietitians are an important part of a child’s care team while he or she is staying with us in the hospital. We provide comprehensive nutrition services for patients of all ages according to medical need. These services include:

  • Screening all patients for nutritional risks based on diagnosis, nutrition history and growth trend
  • Assessing nutritional needs and making recommendations on how to meet them which may include oral diet, parenteral (IV nutrition), or enteral (tube feeding)
  • Providing nutrition education to patients and families

Healthy Lifestyle Classes

Nutrition, physical activity and behavior choices are very important when it comes to a child’s health. At CHOC, we work closely with children and their families to develop healthy lifestyles and prevent serious conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Learn more about our nutrition and lifestyle classes.

Lactation Services

Mother breastfeeding and pumping

Because nutrition is one of the most important factors in a baby’s health, CHOC provides lactation services to mothers who wish to breastfeed or pump while their baby is in the hospital. Support is available in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at CHOC and at the CHOC NICU at St. Joseph Hospital, as well as other CHOC hospital units where babies may receive treatment.

Learn more about lactation services at CHOC.

Helpful Nutrition Resources

CHOC's 3-day food log is helpful for tracking your child's eating habits anytime, or in preparation for an appointment with our dietitians. Download your child's food log now.

El diario de alimentación de CHOC ayuda a llevar un registro de 3 días de los hábitos alimenticios de su hijo. Puede utilizarlo en cualquier momento o en preparación a sus citas con nuestras nutriólogas. Descárguelo ahora mismo.
Eat Right nutrition tip sheets provide practical food and nutrition guidance for healthy eating. These educational handouts are written by Academy staff registered dietitians and provided in English and Spanish.

Las hojas de consejos de nutrición de Eat Right proporcionan una guía práctica sobre alimentos y nutrición para una alimentación saludable. Estos folletos educativos están escritos por dietistas.
Easy, kid-friendly recipes with healthy eating activities and tips.

Recetas fáciles y adaptadas a los niños con actividades y consejos relacionadas a la alimentación saludable.
FARE offers tools, resources and information for families dealing with food allergies.
Have a Plant gives families tips for getting more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Easy-to-use tool to find nutrition facts for a wide variety of foods.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers Eat Right, with tips and tools for both parents and kids to make healthy choices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses the MyPlate tool to illustrate the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image – a place setting for a meal.

El Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos utiliza la herramienta MyPlate para ilustrar los cinco grupos de alimentos que son los componentes básicos de una dieta saludable utilizando una imagen familiar: una bandeja para servir comida.

Nutrition Articles

Parent and child read nutrition facts label at the grocery store

CHOC nutrition experts offer a helpful guide to parents for how to read and understand a nutrition facts label.

CHOC logo  CHOC Health

Child in cape holds broccoli - superfoods for kids from a CHOC registered dietitian

A CHOC dietitians explains superfoods, and how adding them to your child’s diet can benefit their health and nutrition.

CHOC logo  CHOC Health

Parent and daughter have fun while eating healthy - they hold bell peppers over eyes while smiling

In honor of March’s National Nutrition Month, a CHOC dietitian gives parents tips to help make healthy eating and nutrition fun for kids.

CHOC logo  CHOC Health