Alexia Beauregard, MS, RD, CSP, LD, explains how a food allergy specialist dietitian could make a life-saving difference in helping families understand food allergy.
What is the role of a dietitian in treating pediatric food allergies?
As it specifically rates to food allergies, which I was specifically presenting on, it's important to have a dietitian that really understands food allergy, and is able to provide patient education at the level patients and family can understand. And to be able to provide survival skills, and teach survival skills to the family.
There aren't that many food allergy specialist dietitians in the United States, and physicians just send families to any dietitian. And I've seen this happen all the time — sometimes families get confusing advice, conflicting advice, or even dangerous advice. Because there's not a lot of us, the dietitian's role is to be able to work with an allergist, a gastroenterologist, maybe even a primary care physician, and work as a multi-disciplinary care team that can help make sure those families have survival skills.
Especially in children — making sure those diets are nutritionally adequate so that the child could grow like they're supposed to.