Information and support from dietary consultation for mothers of children with food allergies

Heather MacKenzie, Jane D. Grundy, Gillian Glasbey, Taraneh Dean, C. Venter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BackgroundProfessional dietetic input is essential to ensure that children with diagnosed food allergies have an individualized avoidance plan and nutritionally adequate diet. However, it is not clear what dietary information and support parents require.ObjectiveTo explore what information and support parents of children with food allergies require from a dietary consultation.MethodsFocus groups were conducted with 17 mothers who attend an allergy center for dietary advice for their food allergic child. A number of issues around food allergy dietary advice needs were explored and analyzed using thematic analysis.ResultsSix themes were identified. The mothers described how they sought to protect their child from harm, to maintain normality for their child, and to promote child independence. They described needing to become an expert in their child's food allergy and fight their corner when needed. The dietitian supported their needs by ensuring their child's diet was safe and nutritionally adequate and giving information and support to help them provide a normal life for their child. Dietitians also taught mothers about food allergy and provided advocacy and emotional support.ConclusionMothers of children with food allergies want to understand how to provide a nutritionally adequate, allergen-safe diet while maintaining a normal life. Hence, mothers value a range of support from dietitians, including monitoring their child's health and providing information, practical advice and support, and emotional support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


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