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Paediatric diet specifications

Diet specifications are needed by dietitians and food service providers to facilitate the development of menus for patients, especially those with higher or special nutritional needs. Diet specifications give guidance about the type and quantities of suitable foods for paediatric inpatients needing a range of therapeutic diets.

These documents are part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Paediatric Inpatients. They are not to be used for patient education.

Breastfed and/or infant formula fed alone

Exclusive breastfeeding and/or infant formula, without any solid foods.

Breastfed and/or infant formula fed and solids

Breastfeeding and/or infant formula fed, as well as on a solid diet.

Infant first foods

Developmentally appropriate foods of a manageable consistency for first introduction of solids for infants.

Infant 6 months+

A developmentally appropriate range of solids of manageable texture for children from approximately 6 months of age who have been introduced to solids and are ready for a puree texture.

Infant 7 - 12 months

A developmentally appropriate range of solids of manageable texture for children 7-12 months of age who are tolerating purees and are ready for texture progression to mashed, cut-up and finger food.

Toddler 1 - 3 years

A balanced diet with a variety of foods for children 1-3 years of age who are managing a range of textures, finger food and family foods.

Child 4 - 8 years

A balanced diet with a variety of foods for children 4-8 years of age who are able to eat at an age appropriate level.

Child 9 - 13 years

A balanced diet with a variety of foods for children 9-13 years of age who are able to eat at an age appropriate level.

Adolescent 14 - 18 years

A balanced diet with a variety of foods for adolescents 14-18 years of age who are able to eat at an age appropriate level.

These documents are part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Paediatric Inpatients. They are not to be used for patient education.

Summary of texture modified diets

Diet specifications for infants and children requiring texture modified diets for dysphagia additional to developmental stages.

Soft diet < 5 years

A diet of soft-textured foods that can be easily chewed, requiring minimal biting and is suitable for infants and children less than 5 years.

Allergy diet - milk, egg, soy, wheat, seafood, peanut and tree nut free

A diet suitable for patients with allergy to milk/dairy, egg, soy, wheat, seafood, peanut and tree nuts.

Diabetic paediatric diet - no set CHO

A reduced simple carbohydrate (CHO), low Glycaemic Index, reduced fat diet with lower saturated and higher poly- and mono-unsaturated fats.

Diabetic paediatric diet - CHO in grams - pump

A diet that optimises blood glucose and lipid levels in patients with diabetes and specifies carbohydrate (CHO) content of items to allow precise insulin dosage.

Energy diet (low) - weight management

An energy-controlled diet with a wide variety of foods that will allow steady weight loss or prevent weight gain in low activity patients. For children over the age of 2 years only.

Energy diet (high)

A diet containing approximately 120% energy than can be achieved on the Full diet alone.

Fat diet - minimal total

A diet with no more than 10g total fat per day.

Fat diet - low saturated

A diet to provide a low saturated fat intake.

Fat diet - minimal LCT plus MCT

A diet low in long chain triglycerides (LCT) and high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT).

Ketogenic diet - classic and modified MCT

A diet to provide a very high fat, very low carbohydrate (CHO) diet that is adequate in protein to assist in the management of seizures.

Ketogenic diet - modified Atkins

A carbohydrate (CHO) controlled diet to assist in the management of seizures.

Protein diet - high

A diet containing approximately 120% protein (average 15g extra per day) than can be achieved on the full diet alone.

Protein diet - reduced (metabolic)

A reduced protein intake but adequate energy intake, for patients who are unable to metabolise normal protein intake

Protein diet - minimal (metabolic)

A minimal protein intake while maintaining adequate intake of energy, for patients who are unable to metabolise normal or low protein intake.

Sodium diet - low (no added salt)

A diet limiting the sodium intake while including foods from all food groups. No specific goal for sodium.

Phosphate diet - low

A diet that is low in phosphate: approximately 400-800mg per day depending on the age of the child.

Potassium diet - low

A potassium-controlled diet to minimise the occurrence and degree of hyperkalemia.

Rehydration fluids

A source of clear fluids to replace or maintain the body’s water balance.

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