Pediatric Nutrition Services

To talk to a pediatric registered dietitian or to schedule an outpatient nutrition consult, call 317-338-8943.


Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent
2001 W. 86th Street, Main Lobby
Indianapolis, IN 46260
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Good nutrition is vital, especially when your child is sick. Our pediatric registered dietitians (RD) are available to children (newborn to age 23) with a physician’s referral as part of hospital inpatient care or outpatient nutrition services. We provide a family-centered approach to nutrition and health and focus on a sustainable, well-balanced nutrition plan that fuels growth and development. We always take into account the family’s community setting and aim to adapt cultural food preferences whenever possible.

Our pediatric dietitians are all certified by the State of Indiana and have national credentials. They are also part of Pediatric multi-disciplinary teams at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital:

  • Adolescent Medicine – eating disorders, food allergies, and appropriate growth
  • Childhood cancers – nutrition support during and after treatments
  • Children’s Heart Center – heart healthy meal planning, treatment of failure to thrive related to congenital heart disease
  • Critical Care Medicine & ECMO – specializing in enteral and parenteral nutrition management
  • Developmental-Pediatric Behavior Clinic – (picky eaters) spectrum disorders and meal planning, newborn follow up from NICU discharge
  • Down Syndrome Clinic
  • Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic – chewing and swallowing problems
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes – nutrition management and education
  • Gastroenterology – digestive disorders and feeding management
  • Nephrology & Hypertension Clinic – diets for kidney disease, low sodium diets
  • Perinatal Care our Level IV NICU, St. Vincent Womens – newborn feedings
  • Pediatric Neurology Clinic – ketogenic diet program for the treatment of epilepsy
  • Pulmonary medicine –specializing in children with MDFF
  • Surgery – special diets after surgery

Pediatric Frequently Asked Questions

What to feed a sick baby or child?

If diarrhea is present always consult your pediatrician or family medicine provider. Keep your child hydrated with clear fluids (water, broth or electrolyte solutions). Avoid giving sugar-packed juice or soft drinks. Sugar can make the diarrhea worse. If appropriate, start a bland diet often referred to as the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast).

Are there truly healthy snack for kids with diabetes?

Food choices are determined based on your child’s medical needs. For children with diabetes or kidney disease, the healthy snacks help a child recharge and manage their blood glucose levels.

Snacks help them sustain the energy they need until their next meal. Diabetic food planning can be achieved but families and the kids involved need to understand how to balance their carb intake to keep blood sugar levels under control. It is also important to make healthy food choices that control the fat intake to keep the blood lipid levels in a healthy range.

What to give a picky eater?

Nationally, children are eating more fruits but the level of daily veggies is basically flat, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the fruit findings are encouraging, US children are still not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Here are 3 tips:

  • When offering food, include a fruit and vegetable
  • Learn how to make these food choices more accessible (they are easily seen by the child) and more appealing (shapes, sizes, smoothies)
  • Create hands-on learning opportunities for your child to use all of his or her senses (taste, smell, etc.) and encourage them to help wash and prepare the food, or even grow it in a garden. (Source:
Are there great salt alternatives for our kids’ diets?

Nine out of ten children eat more sodium than the daily recommendation. Learn more at

  What to Expect

A pediatric registered dietitian will coordinate with your child’s physician as part of your child’s overall care plan. A physician referral is needed before scheduling an outpatient consult. Before the appointment, contact your health insurance provider to verify coverage for these services.

Bring a list that details the dose of all medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) and any supplements.

Record everything your child eats or drinks for 3-5 days prior to the appointment and bring that list to the dietetics appointment. Click here to download a 24-hour food intake log.

Your pediatric dietitian will review and ask you and your child questions to create a eating history. She will take body measurements and review your child’s medical history. A personalized recommendation will be made based as part of your child’s comprehensive care plan.

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