Clinical Nutrition

What to Expect

Clinic Visit

If your appointment is in 1 of these clinics, learn what to expect and how to prepare:

If your appointment is in the Nutrition Clinic or is part of your child’s team-based care in 1 of Seattle Children’s many other clinics, learn what to expect and how to prepare:

  • Before your appointment
    • If your appointment relates to the types or amounts of food, breastmilk or formula your child takes in by mouth or feeding tube, fill out a food intake record (PDF) (Spanish).
    • If your child has received nutrition care from providers outside of Seattle Children’s, gather any growth charts and evaluations these providers have about your child.
    • Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
  • Who does Clinical Nutrition see?

    We see babies, children and teens up to age 21 who have a wide variety of conditions that affect diet, eating and growth. We see young adults with cancer up to age 27.

  • Who will see my child?

    A registered dietitian nutritionist will see your child.

  • What happens during a clinic visit?

    You will meet with a dietitian and share your concerns. The dietitian will:

    • Ask about your child’s nutrition history, eating habits and growth.
    • Review any medical records and test results we have about your child’s nutrition and health history.
    • Examine your child. We might check your child’s weight and height.
    • Recommend a treatment plan.
  • How long is a Clinical Nutrition visit?

    A clinic visit with a dietitian can be up to 2 hours. If your child is seeing other members of their care team too, the whole visit may be 3 to 4 hours. Ask when you schedule the visit; the scheduler can tell you how long to expect your visit to be.

  • What to bring
    • Your child. Nutrition visits are not only for parents and caregivers. We need to examine and talk with your child.
    • Clinic notes, reports or growth charts that the scheduler asked you to bring when you made your appointment.
    • Results of your child’s RAST (radioallergosorbent test, a blood test) or allergy skin tests if your child is seeing us for food allergies.
    • Any food intake record or questionnaire that we asked you to fill out.
    • Your child’s medicines or a list. Include nonprescription items like vitamins. Include name, dose and instructions.
    • Your child’s medical equipment.
    • Actual X-rays or X-rays on a CD and reports of blood work and other tests if we have asked you to bring these.
    • Any forms that you need us to sign; for example, any school forms.
    • Snacks and comfort items for your child if your appointment runs longer than planned. If your child feeds from a bottle, bring bottles. If your child uses a feeding tube, bring enough of your formula. We might not have your formula at the clinic.
  • What can I expect as a parent/caregiver?

    Dietitians work with your child’s medical providers at Seattle Children’s or with your child’s primary care provider to treat your child. Before you see us for nutrition care, a medical provider needs to diagnose your child’s condition. Dietitians cannot make a diagnosis, order lab tests or prescribe many types of treatment. We will work closely with you on nutrition and help make sure your child gets the care they need from their whole team.

  • After the appointment

    We will make sure you leave the appointment with detailed instructions about what is happening next. If we recommend follow-up visits, we will explain this and tell you how to schedule.

    We will try to answer all of your questions. We will give you phone numbers to call us if you have questions after you leave.

  • How will we find out about test results?

    If we recommend any lab tests, we will tell your child’s medical provider. They will decide about ordering any tests and will give you details about how to get the tests and when to expect the results.

  • What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

    Please call the clinic your child is scheduled to visit as soon as possible. If you are scheduled to visit the Nutrition Clinic, call 206-987-2613.

  • Preparing your child
    • If there is anything specific you should do to prepare your child for the type of visit you are having, the scheduler will tell you when you make the appointment.
    • Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.
  • Directions and parking
    • Find your location in our map and directions section.
    • Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.

More information

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for a Hospital Stay

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

Contact Us

Contact Clinical Nutrition at 206-987-2613 for an appointment, second opinion or more information.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.