Our guest blog today comes from Raquel Durban, a Registered Dietitian specializing in immediate and delayed food allergies in Charlotte, NC. Raquel is a medical advisory board member for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) and an active participant in the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI), American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) and International Network for Diet and Nutrition in Allergy (INDANA). We would like to thank Raquel for this post.
How do I know if I need a registered dietitian?
Food allergies result in the elimination of more than just food, they can lead to decreased quality of life and nutrition. A registered dietitian can ensure adequate nutrition, aid in meeting feeding milestones and improve quality of day to day living with food allergies. You can also be educated on how to find appropriate substitutions and label reading. Whether you have just been diagnosed with a food allergy or have been embracing one for years, a consult with a registered dietitian would be beneficial.
How to find a registered dietitian?
First let’s start with why a registered dietitian is the best choice for nutritional counseling. We have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities (eatright.org). We are also required to recertify our credentials every five years through a minimum of 75 continuing education credits.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website offers a list of registered dietitians in your area with a variety of expertise. You may also contact your healthcare team to see if they may refer you to an RD specializing in food allergies.
Preparing for your appointment
Providing the RD with a list of what is typically eaten in a day or over a few days is a great starting point. I like to start by asking what the patient eats during a weekday versus a weekend day. I also like to include beverages. For children, a growth chart helps to assess weight and height over time. You can ask your primary care physician for a copy. A copy of all current medications, vitamins and supplements is useful to complete the nutrition picture. If you are able to bring pictures of the labels or the containers for vitamins and supplements that is a bonus!
How has your food allergy dietitian helped you or your child?