Working side-by-side with specialists from all over Nemours, our food and nutrition experts do whatever it takes to deliver the best outcomes for kids. We provide education, guidance, and motivation for children with chronic illness, failure to thrive, obesity, or other problems that impact nutrition, healthy growth, and development.
Nutritional issues in children can also be related to certain conditions:
- general failure to thrive
- gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- metabolic disease
- disorders of the pancreas
- liver disease
- inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn's disease or
- short bowel syndrome
- cystic fibrosis
- celiac disease
- food allergies
- eating disorders
- weight management
When Your Child Needs a Tube Feeding
Sometimes your child might benefit from a tube feeding (also called enteral feeding). This is when liquid nutrition is delivered by a tube directly into the stomach or into the small bowel. There are several methods of tube feedings, some short term and some long.
Child Nutrition Given Through an IV
If your child is not able to digest and absorb oral or tube feedings, he or she may need total parenteral nutrition (TPN), which is nutrition given intravenously (through an IV).
For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
General Information: (407) 650-7617 | Fax: (407) 650-7256
Clinic Location: 2nd Floor
- Mandy Layman MS, RD, LD/N, CDE
- Christina Lewis RD, LD/N, CNSC
- Carol Mellen MS, RD, LD/N
- Sandi Conrad RD, LD/N
- Suzanne Sheres MMSc, RD, LD/N, CDE
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Pediatric nutrition is part of our Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology (Liver care) and Nutrition at Nemours Children's Hospital. We are committed to providing a truly family-centered model of care. This means we involve you, the parents, every step of the way — including you in decision-making and always listening to your thoughts and concerns.
We provide a thorough evaluation of your child's nutritional status, which typically includes:
- interviews with you and your child about your child's daily dietary habits
- an assessment of the adequacy of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals in your child's current diet
- analysis of a "food diary" that is kept over the course of several days
- detailed body measurements, including weight, length or height, head circumference, weight-for-length, BMI, and skin fold measurements. We can assess your child's growth by comparing these measurements to reference standards on a growth chart
- education and guidance for you and your child about how best to manage nutritional needs related to a particular disease or condition
We will work closely with you and your child to create a plan that ensures your child gets the nutrition he or she needs to promote growth, especially during times of serious illness. Our recommendations may include individualized feeding plans, special diets, and advice on behavioral approaches to better nutrition.
Our registered dietitians provide individualized nutritional assessments and recommendations in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Please indicate when you schedule your appointment if you would like a registered dietician to see your child with the Nutrition team.
For infants and toddlers with swallowing problems or food aversions, we may encourage intervention by feeding therapists (speech or occupational therapists with special training in feeding disorders).
Nutrition issue problems can touch nearly every aspect of your child's life, so we take a multidisciplinary approach to your child's care.
Our team includes:
- pediatricians specially trained in nutritional assessment and treatment
- nurse practitioners
- licensed clinical social workers
- registered dietitians
- pediatric psychologists
- registered nurses
- medical and executive assistants
Working together, we provide compassionate care for children with a wide variety of nutrition issues, including problems related to complex conditions like cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, celiac disease, eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and developmental delays.
Your child's initial visit with us will include a thorough physical exam, medical and family history, and questions about the frequency and severity of your child's symptoms. We always ask "What are your concerns?" as you are the expert on your child.
Based on our findings, we may then suggest getting more information, including:
- food and symptom diaries
- blood, stool and urine tests
- specialized X-rays, such as an Upper GI study
We may plan for future procedures such as endoscopy (evaluating the esophagus, stomach, or intestines through a tiny scope)
We offer the following:
- feeding tubes (when a tube is inserted to deliver nutrition directly to the stomach via the nose — called a nasogastric, or NG tube — or through an opening in the abdomen — called a gastrostomy, or G tube)
- advanced breath hydrogen testing for malabsorption and lactose intolerance
At Nemours Children's Hospital, we also offer a wireless capsule endoscopy. Essentially a "camera in a pill," this state-of-the-art procedure provides high-quality images throughout the entire GI tract. This technique allows doctors to see parts of the small intestine that are often difficult to see using other means.
If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area's most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours Children's Hospital, including:
- Interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image-guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
- Abdominal and Pelvic MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists use this highly specialized imaging for children with complex conditions.
Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns. We have also pledged our commitment to the "Image Gently" campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.
Nemours Children’s Hospital is an academic institution as well as a pediatric medical facility. This means that pediatric research is a priority for us. In fact, the opportunity to pursue safer, better ways to treat children has attracted some of the finest pediatric specialists in the country to our hospital.
Our nationally and internationally recognized physician researchers will continue to improve the knowledge, research, and outcomes for pediatric nutrition. They will also be teaching and mentoring the next generation of pediatric specialists in this area.
A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families
At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.
At Nemours Children's Hospital, we provide inpatient services for children with:
- general pediatric GI problems
- kids receiving total parenteral nutrition (when no food can be taken by mouth and nutrition must be given intravenously)
If your child needs to stay overnight, you'll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who understand what it's like to have a child in the hospital.
Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and flat-screen TVs.
Other in-room features include:
- full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
- refrigerator for family meals and snacks
- wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
- GetWellNetwork interactive television, uniquely based on your child's age, medical condition and more, so your child can watch TV, surf the web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team
Our "hospital within a garden" setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.
We have many more comforts and amenities, like:
- free parking
- complimentary valet parking
- kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
- café & coffee shop
- non-denominational chapel
- concierge services
If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the 1st floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.
A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment, and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.
Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.