What is a Registered Dietitian?
Dietitians are qualified to address health concerns through evidence-based nutritional medicine. In New Zealand, a Dietitian is a registered health professional who holds a university qualification. Dietitians must be registered with the Dietitians Board and hold a current practicing certificate. Dietitians must meet strict requirements to maintain their professional development and are subject to regular audits. You can search to see if your dietitian is qualified here.
What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietitian?
The term nutritionist is not protected, there are no minimum requirements or qualifications. This means that a nutritionist may be someone with a PhD in an area of nutrition or someone without any formal qualifications.
I have seen a Dietitian before, will seeing a Healthy Foundations Dietitian be any different?
Traditionally, Dietitians are viewed as the ‘food police’. It is often expected that they would get out a big red pen and circle all the ‘extra’ foods in your food diary; with the assumption that if they highlight them you will stop eating them.
At Healthy Foundations, our dietitians are different. They are still trained in medical nutrition therapy and have an understanding of the complexities of food and nutrients and how they interact and impact your body, as well as the development and management of disease. However, they don’t use this knowledge alone. If they did, they would be neglecting the most crucial factor in their consulting room; you.
They also know that what you eat and how much you eat, is only one small part of the puzzle. What is of greater importance, is why and how you eat. Rather than telling you what to eat, they will help you to improve your relationship with food, understand your unique body’s needs, and eat according to physiological cues.
What do I do before seeing the Dietitian?
Sometimes a person close to you or a health professional you are working with will recommend that you speak to a dietitian. Before your initial appointment it is important to consider the following:
- What is important to you with regards to your health and well-being?
- What you are hoping to take away from your work with our dietitian?
- What barriers you are experiencing and what support you may need to overcome these barriers?
It is also very helpful if you gather together any information which may be helpful in our assessment. This might include bringing along any blood test results.
Take a look at our PLAN Resource to help you prepare for your appointment.
What happens during an appointment?
In your initial appointment, we will begin by gaining an understanding of what your goals are, what you hope to gain from working with a dietitian, what your strengths are and where you experience barriers to making changes. Depending on these factors we may ask about your medical history, diet history, exercise patterns and clinical symptoms. From here we will work together to develop a plan moving forward.
During ongoing consultations we will review your progress and support you in developing strategies and awareness to bring a balance to your nutrition. This can involve identifying barriers and strategies to continue moving forward. Throughout the process there will be a focus on supporting you in becoming a competent eater.
Will I have to wait to see a Dietitian?
We make every effort to ensure our clients receive appropriate treatment in a timely manner. Healthy Foundations aims to see clients within 7 days of initial contact.
Are there any costs involved?
Healthy Foundations is not publicly funded. Please see our services page or contact our helpful team for further details on fees. If you have private health insurance you may be eligible for a rebate on your consultation. Please contact your private health insurance provider for more information.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral from your GP to access our services.
If you have other health professionals involved in your care, it can be useful for us to communicate them (eg. GP, specialist, nurse, psychologist etc.) to ensure that we are working together to help you to achieve your health goals. Please bring along their details as well as any assessments or test results which may help us in determining the best way forward for you and your health.