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Hello and welcome to my latest bog. My name is Jen, I’m the Accredited Practising Dietitian here at DCNMC!

Are you or a loved one an NDIS participant seeking to improve your overall health and well-being through better nutrition? NDIS Dietitians provide diet advice to improve health and manage specific health conditions. As a Dietitian I aim to help NDIS participants to optimise their nutrition and improve health outcomes and quality of life.

When it comes to taking care of your health, what we eat plays a big role. But for some people, finding the right nutrition can be a bit more complex. That’s where a dietitian comes in!

What’s a Dietitian and Why Do They Matter?
A dietitian is a health professional who specialises in food and nutrition. They’re like your personal food experts! Dietitians have the know-how to help you make food choices that suit your body’s needs. For NDIS participants, they can offer personalised guidance to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients to stay healthy and feel your best.

How Can a Dietitian Help NDIS Participants?
Personalised Nutrition Plans: Dietitians work with you to create a nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Whether you have allergies, sensitivities, or other dietary requirements, a dietitian can help you navigate through it all.
Healthy Eating Education: Sometimes, understanding what’s good for you can be confusing. Dietitians can explain things in a simple way, helping you understand which foods can boost your energy and which ones might not be the best choice for your health.
Meal Planning and Recipes: Planning meals that are both nutritious and tasty can be challenging. Dietitians can provide meal ideas and recipes that suit your dietary needs. They’ll show you that eating well doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor!
Monitoring Progress: Working with a dietitian is not just a one-time thing. They’ll keep track of your progress and make adjustments as needed. This way, you can stay on the right track toward your health goals.

Common conditions Dietitian’s help manage:

Weight (loss/gain):
Like anyone else, you might struggle with weight management. Whether it’s weight gain or weight loss, a dietitian can create a personalised nutrition plan that aligns with the participant’s goals and health needs. They assess your current dietary habits, physical activity levels, and medical history to develop a balanced plan that supports healthy and sustainable weight management. Using counselling strategies, a dietitian empowers your to achieve your goals.

Difficulty in Eating:
You may experience difficulties with eating due to physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges. A dietitian can devise adaptive strategies to make eating more manageable. This could involve creating modified textures or finding alternative nutrient-dense foods that are easier to consume. They collaborate with participants, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to ensure the individual’s nutritional needs are met despite any eating difficulties.

Managing Food Allergies:
Food allergies can be a serious concern and challenging to manage. A dietitian helps identify specific food allergies and sensitivities, ensuring that your dietary choices are safe and well-balanced. They educate you and your support networks on reading food labels, selecting allergen-free alternatives, and crafting a diet that meets nutritional requirements while avoiding allergens.

Special Dietary Needs:
Certain medical conditions may require specialised diets, such as diabetes, celiac disease, or kidney disorders. A dietitian creates tailored nutrition plans that accommodate these specific needs while still providing essential nutrients. They monitor blood sugar levels, electrolytes, and other relevant markers to optimise health outcomes.

Gastrointestinal Issues:
Digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can impact dietary choices and nutrient absorption. A dietitian helps you identify trigger foods, recommends suitable dietary modifications, and offers strategies to alleviate discomfort while maintaining proper nutrition.

Managing Enteral Feeding Regimes at home:
Some NDIS participants may require enteral feeding. This method is often used when individuals have difficulty swallowing or absorbing nutrients orally. Dietitians are essential in developing and overseeing enteral feeding plans that meet the participant’s specific nutrient requirements. They collaborate closely with healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the participant to ensure that the enteral nutrition formula is appropriate, well-tolerated, and aligned with dietary preferences. Regular monitoring and adjustments are made to prevent complications and to optimize nutritional status.

Tube Feed Weaning: I can assess the readiness for transitioning from tube feeding to oral diets. Taking into consideration factors like oral intake, swallowing ability, and overall health status. I will create a gradual and individualised plan to reintroduce oral foods, adjust feedinging regime and monitor progress, to ensure a safe and successful transition back to eating by mouth. I work closely with your healthcre team and speech pathologist.

There are many other conditions like liver disease, high cholesterol, malnutrition, diabetes, heart disease, and even childhood fussy eating that can be managed with nutrition.

In conclusion..

When you engage with a Dietitian such as myself, I provide ongoing support, monitor progress, and make necessary adjustments to ensure that NDIS participants receive optimal nutrition and enjoy improved quality of life. Whether it’s designing adaptive strategies, offering education, or tailoring diets, I aim to be an integral partners in the journey toward better nutrition and overall well-being.

If you or a loved one is an NDIS participant and you have plan-managed or self-managed funding, you can book in to see me today! Our reception staff will contact you to confirm your funding details. Alternatively, you can book for a 15 minute complimentary phone call to discuss how I can help you.

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Darnell (APD)

Where Can You Find More Information?
If you’re an NDIS participant looking to learn more about how a dietitian can help with your nutrition, here are three reliable websites to explore:
Eat For Health: This website, maintained by the Australian Government, provides evidence-based information on healthy eating and includes resources that can benefit NDIS participants.
Dietitians Association of Australia: The DAA is the professional body representing dietitians in Australia. Their website offers a wealth of information about dietitians and how they can support various health needs.
NDIS: The official NDIS website contains valuable information about the services and supports available to participants. You can find information about how dietitians can be a part of your NDIS plan to improve your nutrition.