Nutritional support for patients is a vital part of providing comprehensive care at Riley at IU Health. The Nutrition Services team is available for consultation and assistance during hospitalization and also for patients receiving outpatient care at primary and specialty physician offices.
A dedicated team of more than 15 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) at Riley at IU Health works closely with patients and families to ensure each child’s nutritional needs are addressed. Our RDNs have advanced degrees and/or specialized training or certification in pediatrics. Nearly all RDNs specialize in a clinical area, which enhances the expert care your child receives.
Nutrition assistance and consultation helps patients with many kinds of needs, including special diets after surgery, nutrition through feeding tubes or IVs and diets for kidney disease and diabetes.
Nutrition services are available to every family who receives care at Riley at IU Health. From nutritional concerns related to a condition to strategies for including more fruits and vegetables in a child’s diet, and meal planning for picky eaters, our dietitians can evaluate a child’s nutritional needs and provide necessary support.
RDNs are Part of the Care Team
Working closely with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers, Riley at IU Health RDNs deliver the best possible nutritional support for patients. We collaborate with team members in all medical specialty areas, including gastroenterology, neurology, oncology/hematology, pediatric psychology, surgery, cardiology and transplant. Our RDNs also supervise the nutritional needs of newborns, including those in intensive care.
In most cases, patients are referred to nutrition services by a physician or nurse. Dietitians assist when a child has special dietary needs or receives nutrition from a feeding tube or IV.
Offering a Wide Range of Services
Whether during hospitalization, outpatient care or in the community, Nutrition Services offers a comprehensive range of services for patients and families.
Nutrition Assessment and Support
RDNs provide nutritional assessment for growth and medical needs with customized nutrition care plans for each child and family. Hands-on, personalized support is offered at the hospital bedside and during various stages of recovery and follow-up care.
Dietitian nutritionists educate children and family members about diseases and conditions with consideration for each family’s cultural, social, environmental and educational needs. Our RDNs also visit area schools each year to deliver presentations on nutrition topics, such as healthy eating, developing good nutrition habits and nutritional information related to specific conditions.
Before patients leave the hospital, RDNs work with home health care to help arrange equipment or services that may be needed when a child returns home. Dietitians are involved in outpatient care and provide additional support when patients visit Riley specialty physician offices for follow-up care. They also are available for phone consultation between office visits or when a child returns to school or daycare.
Riley at IU Health offers an advanced milk lab where breast milk and formula are prepared by trained specialists to make sure infants in the hospital receive safe nutrition. A scanning security system for breast milk ensures that babies in intensive care are given breast milk donated from their mothers.