Nutrition and Food Services

About Nutrition and Food Services

  • The Department of Nutrition and Food Services at The Royal Children's Hospital incorporates the clinical dietetic service, the Main Kitchen that caters for inpatient meals and the Central Formula Room that produces formula, enteral feeds and fortifies expressed breast milk to meet the nutritional needs of patients.

    Dietitians provide services to inpatients units and to specialist outpatient clinics. A limited service is available to general outpatients (no referrals are accepted from outside the hospital).

    Dietitians are university qualified specialists in the area of nutrition and its role in health and disease.  The Dietitians at the Royal Children's Hospital are available to consult on all aspects of infant and child nutrition including assessment, recommendations for nutritional management and implementation of therapeutic diets within the hospital. Dietitians can discuss nutritional needs for the patients at home with the family and can provide education on normal nutrition and any modifications that may be needed for special diets.

    The RCH Dietitians also work as consultants providing nutrition information to both hospital staff and groups outside the hospital such as community groups, parents and other professionals.

    Basic information about infant and child nutrition, including composition of the commonly used formulae is contained in the Paediatric Handbook. Further details on infant formulae are available on request.

    Furthermore our Main Kitchen and Central Formula Room aims to provide meals and/or nutritional support to every patient. Our menu planning takes into account the medical conditions, age, cultural, personal preference and nutritional needs of all patients.

    Referral to dietitians at the RCH


    Inpatient referrals can be made by contacting the unit Dietitian directly, details of unit Dietitians are available via Allied Health reception on 03 9345 9300.

    Public outpatient service

    Referrals are accepted from the RCH Doctors only. There is no charge for this service. Please note that referrals for weight management are not accepted in our department and should be directed to the Weight Management clinic in the outpatient department.  Alternatively, there are other dietitian service options available to you that you may wish to consider that include either seeking a dietitian in your local community health centre or a private dietitian in your local area. 

    Private service  

    The Royal Children's Hospital Dietetics department does not offer outpatient consultation for private patients. Private dietetic services can be accessed on the Dietitian Association of Australia website using the “Find an Accredited Practising Dietitian” tab.  

    Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) program

    Children requiring home tube feeding can be registered for the Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) Program.  This is a government funded initiative that allows us to provide families with equipment and formula required for tube feeding.  This program is available only to public patients who attend RCH for their medical management.