Your Child’s Nutrition
At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at Pelisyonkis Langone, we know that what your child eats is essential to his or her overall health, recovery, and wellbeing. So whether your child is dealing with a diet-related diagnosis, such as celiac disease, or is in our care for the treatment of other conditions, the registered dietitians at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital ensure that your child is getting the best nutrition possible. Our programs are made possible in part through the support of the Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care.
If you have questions about our nutrition programs, please talk with a member of your child’s care team.
Inpatient Nutrition Support
During your child’s hospital stay, registered dietitians ensure that your child has the foods he or she needs to get better and thrive.
For infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, we encourage breastfeeding when possible. A mother’s expressed milk can be used through bottle feeding. We also contract with approved agencies to purchase donor breastmilk.
In other inpatient areas, including the pediatric intensive care unit and the congenital cardiovascular care unit, we offer a variety of foods aimed at addressing your child’s dietary needs while also recognizing that some children are picky eaters.
For children with allergies, we review all recipes to ensure food contains no hidden nuts, gluten, or other potential irritants. If your child has cultural or religious dietary restrictions, please let us know, so we can accommodate your child.
Outpatient Nutrition Programs
Our registered dietitians work with children managing conditions that affect the digestive system.
We work with the Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten-Related Disorders Program to help children and their families adapt to a gluten-free diet. This includes ensuring a nutritious diet but also one that includes delicious foods kids will want to eat.
We also work with children with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and eosinophilic esophagitis. We create elimination diets to help pinpoint the source of your child’s gastrointestinal symptoms and educate you on ways to adapt special diets to your family’s everyday eating habits.
We also provide nutritional support and education for children who have been diagnosed with diabetes, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, and congenital heart defects. Special dietary guidance is available for children who need to gain or lose weight.
When medical treatment is interfering with appetite and digestion—which may occur, for instance, in children who have cancer—we provide assistance in coping with nausea, loss of appetite, mouth and throat pain, and swallowing difficulties.
For children who have physical abnormalities, such as cleft palate or facial trauma, that make eating difficult, we create specialized meal plans that take into account the child’s physical ability to consume solid foods.
Through our Pediatric Interdisciplinary Nutrition and Feeding Program, we assist children whose selective eating is affecting their overall nutrition, and children who need nutritional support and guidance to ensure they are growing at the right rate and that their feeding skills are progressing properly.
Robinson Family S.Q.U.A.S.H. Program
The Robinson Family S.Q.U.A.S.H. (Smart choices, Quality ingredients, Unique, Appetizing, Simple, and Healthy) Program provides nutrition education programs for children being treated at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. The program is rooted in the belief that excellent nutrition is crucial for all children but especially important for our youngest patients while they heal. S.Q.U.A.S.H. is made possible with generous support from Linda Gosden Robinson and James D. Robinson III.
As part of the S.Q.U.A.S.H. program, we host the following events.
Gluten-free cooking classes are available through the Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten-Related Disorders Program. Classes are free and available to children 7 to 12 years old.
We provide food-related activities for young children. This helps them pass the time while waiting for medical treatment. It also introduces children to new foods and educates them about nutrition. Children make their own healthy snacks and create edible “food art.”