By Cathy Monaghan B.Sc, M.Sc, H.Dip, MINDI, RD.

What is a child nutritionist called?

A child nutritionist is called a paediatric dietitian. You may also here the terms baby dietitian or children’s dietitian.

Are Paediatric Dietitians regulated?

Yes, by law only those registered and regulated by CORU can call themselves a Dietitian in Ireland. 

What is CORU?

CORU is Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator responsible for regulating health and social care professionals. It includes the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the Registration Boards established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. 

What does a paediatric dietitian do?

Paediatric dietitians help families with children of all ages meet their nutritional needs and enjoy family meals.

A Paediatric Dietitian can:

  • Help ensure your child is growing and tracking centiles as expected. 

  • Identify and address any nutritional deficiencies

  • Offer advice and support on Vegan and vegetarian diets

  • Support you through weaning and introducing solids

  • Help you with introducing allergens

  • Help manage cow’s milk protein allergy and intolerances and support you as your child progresses through the milk ladder or egg ladder

  • Help manage food allergies

  • Support you and your child with reflux or colic

  • Treatment of constipation

  • Help with weight management

  • Support around feeding a toddler or fussy eating

  • Management of Coeliac Disease

  • Provide Dietary assessment: reassurance that your child is eating a balanced diet and meeting all of their nutritional needs.

  • And much more!

Which is better, a nutritionist or dietitian?

Many people claim to be experts in nutrition yet have very limited knowledge, are unregulated and do not offer protection to the public. Unfortunately, for those who use the services of unqualified ‘nutrition practitioners’, the advice or therapy provided may be ineffective, inappropriate and potentially unsafe. The term nutritionist is currently not protected by law so people with widely different levels of training and knowledge can call themselves a “nutritionist”.

The title nutritional therapist is also unregulated.

The key differences between the roles and functions of Dietitians, nutritionists and nutritional therapists are outlined below:

Dietitian

  • BSc. (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or master’s degree in Dietetics. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law (CORU).

  • Dietitians are qualified to work with healthy people and those with medical conditions in a broad range of settings including hospitals, primary care and private practice. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals who can be employed by the HSE to work in a hospital or a community setting.

  • Dietitians do not sell any nutrition supplements in relation to their nutritional advice in the clinical setting.

Nutritionist or Public Health Nutritionist

  • BSc (Hons) or MSc in Public Health Nutrition, Human Nutrition or Nutritional science.

  • Nutritionists or Public Health Nutritionists are qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating and often work in roles including public health, health improvement, health policy, local and national government as well as in education and research.

  • As this profession is not regulated by law, anybody can call themselves a nutritionist. However, those who hold the appropriate qualifications can register with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN). There is no similar register of Nutritionists in Ireland.

Nutritional Therapists

  • There are all sorts of courses of differing lengths which claim to train nutritional therapists, many of which are online. Nutritional therapists are not eligible to register with CORU nor with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists.

  • Nutritional therapists usually operate in private practice. Some may offer non-evidence based nutritional tests such as food intolerance testing or hair analysis. Some may also offer treatments such as supplements, detox diets and food exclusions for which there is little robust scientific evidence.

  • Products or supplements may be sold as part of the consultation process.

Please see www.indi.ie for more. 

How much does it cost to see a dietitian?

The cost is typically between €140 – €150 for a one hour initial consultation. Review consultations are usually €80 for 30 mins. We also offer bundle options. Please email us to learn more. 

Are dietitians covered by health insurance?

Yes, as we are registered with CORU and members of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute you can claim back the cost of the consultation from your health insurance. Please check your policy but each consultation is usually covered for 30 – 50%.

How do I make a booking?

To book a 1:1 online consultation please see here. Being online means you have experienced Paediatric Dietitians near you – where ever you are!