Management of Nutritional Issues

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The Missing Link: Including Nutrition Services in Early Intervention Programs A Trainer’s Manual

Components of a Comprehensive Nutrition Care Program

  • Identification of children who have risk factors which place them at increased nutritional risk. The table below lists common nutritional problems seen in children with special health care needs.

  • Referral of at risk infants and toddlers to a qualified nutritionist for a complete nutritional assessment and development of a nutrition care plan.

  • Inclusion of nutrition concerns and services to be provided in the child’s IFSP.

  • Interventions for nutritional problems.

  • Follow up care and continual monitoring of progress and nutritional status.

Common Nutrition Problems Seen in Children with Special Health Care Needs

 Condition Altered* Growth Rate Altered** Energy or Nutrient Needs Constipation or Diarrhea Feeding Problems Drug Nutrient Reactions
Cerebral Palsy X X X X X
Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder   X X X X
Muscular Dystrophy X X X X  
Down Syndrome X X X X X
Prader-Willi Syndrome X X   X X
Metabolic Disorder (PKU, MSUD) X     X  
Congenital Heart Disease X X   X X
Cleft Lip/Palate X     X X
Autism X     X X
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome X     X X
Other Mental Retardation          

*altered can be inadequate or excessive

** altered can be increased or decreased

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