Nutritional Disorders Telehealth Network Project

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Correct Nutrient Imbalances and/or Deficiencies

A primary area to consider for a child who eats too little is the risk of micro and macro nutrition imbalances and/or deficiencies. Our goal is to provide strategies which will correct and/or prevent imbalances through food selection changes or supplements.
 
Background Education for Providers
Deficiencies or imbalances can vary widely from one child to another. Therefore, clinicians must assess the full range of nutrition for each child. Macro nutrient assessment includes estimating the proportionality of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Micro nutrient assessment includes estimating intake of vitamins and minerals.
 
First, we encourage families to follow the recommendations of the USDA to meet their nutrition needs through their diet. Please refer to www.choosemyplate.gov for specific recommendations. This may require support by the clinician to help the family find and understand basic nutrition for a healthy diet. The second, and perhaps the easier strategy, is to supplement nutrition by adding a daily multivitamin.
 
Clinicians are advised that a child with a well balanced diet does not need nutrition supplementation (e.g., vitamin). Also, for families that require or desire a vitamin, NOT all vitamins are equal. Recently, gummy vitamins have increased in popularity but be advised that this product is nutritionally incomplete (does not contain a broad coverage of vitamins and minerals). Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of any herbal or holistic supplements, and any use of these products should be made known to the providers. These products may or may not have an affect on the nutritional or medical disposition of the child.
 
Instructions for Provider
A primary practice is to recommend vitamins that are “COMPLETE” and should be designated as such on the label. Dosing of the vitamin should also be checked on the label. Generally, a toddler between 1-2 years of age is given ½ of a tablet, and children older than 2 years receive 1 full tablet.  Above 12 years children are recommended 2 tablets. Individualized micronutrient supplementation should only be provided in consultation with your medical treatment team.
 
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Page Updated 04/15/2014