Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Heidi Wengreen

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Martha Archuleta

Third Advisor:

Mateja Savoie Roskos

Abstract

All Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) undergo extensive training to develop the ability to improve dietary intake among individuals of all ages. Treating children (0-18 years of age) is often challenging and requires specialized training. One area that is particularly challenging is identifying children that may not be able to eat appropriately to sustain rapid growth and development. An online survey of RDNs that work specifically with children was conducted to better understand how RDNs are identifying and treating children with feeding problems. From the survey we learned that the methods and procedures used by RDNs for identifying and treating children with feeding problems are variable. A review of current literature identified many tools capable of identifying children at risk for feeding problems. One of these tools was chosen and tested in a population of children 0-3 years of age who were clients of an early intervention program. Use of this tool, the Montreal Children’s Hospital Feeding Scale, increased the number of children that were identified as having feeding dysfunction and who received nutrition services. Implementing feeding dysfunction screening into children’s health care settings would improve the quality of care a child receives and help to improve their overall nutrition status.

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