In the initial assessment, I:
- Evaluate the extent of the eating problem based on concerns around weight, shape, restraint and eating.
- Carry out a nutritional health assessment based on weight, height, BMI, body functions and current diet; together with;
- Medical risks (as provided by other health professionals) including refeeding syndrome; and
- Any additional eating considerations such as vegetarian, vegan or ‘clean eating’. Sometimes these get tangled in the ED mindset. I have a flexible approach to eating and support eating that is balanced regardless of whether omnivore, vegan and vegetarian. The emphasis is on variety for nutritional health.
After considering the above, we all agree a way forward. For children, it’s important we understand how much involvement and the type of support they need from family or significant others. The appointment is supported by leaflets (including a meal/snack routine if necessary) and a summary letter sent after the consultation.
“Thank you so much for everything, I’ve learnt a lot from our appointments that will help me keep my eating healthy and balanced for life. With your guidance I have gained back control of my nutrition and you have made choices around food a lot simpler than I ever thought they could be!”