Food allergy, most notably to cow’s milk, egg, peanut, and tree nut, affects a significant number of young children and their families. Getting a timely accurate diagnosis can be difficult, and this is often accompanied by unjustified and multiple food eliminations, which can increase the risk of faltering growth, nutrient deficiencies, and delayed development of eating and feeding skills. Quality of life for all family members is frequently very negatively affected. Registered dietitians can help to ensure that nutrition for typical growth and development is maximized. As part of an allergy team they have a role to play in managing and compensating food elimination and providing education and support in identifying and managing risk.
Ruth P. Charles, BSc (Hons), is a registered dietitian (pediatrics). She is Practice Placement Education tutor and specialist lecturer in pediatric dietetics to students undertaking the MSc program in clinical nutrition and dietetics at University College Dublin. Ms Charles established and is honorary secretary to the Irish Food Allergy Network (www.ifan.ie).
Correspondence: Ruth P. Charles, Nutrikids, Clifton Court Medical, Centric Health, Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 DO2V279, Ireland (firstname.lastname@example.org).