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Nutrition for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Washington State
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Nutrition Services
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Nutrition Services

Nutrition Services for CSCHN Good nutrition is essential for all children to achieve their physical and developmental potential. Children with special health care needs are at increased risk for nutrition-related problems such as:

  • Delayed growth, underweight and overweight
  • Feeding delays, oral-motor problems, or altered feeding interactions
  • Inadequate or excessive diet quantity or quality
  • Medication/nutrient interactions
  • Elimination problems, i.e. constipation, diarrhea
  • Altered energy and nutrients needs, i.e. inborn errors of metabolism
  • Dental caries including early childhood caries (ECC) that may be related to inappropriate breastfeeding or bottle-feeding
  • Poor or excessive appetite

It has been estimated that up to 40% of children with special health care needs have nutrition risk factors that could be helped by referral to a registered dietitian (RD).

Preventive nutrition services, as well as intervention for identified problems, can help assure a well-nourished child who is healthy, can participate in education and therapy programs, and is better able to function in all activities of daily life.


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