If you become concerned about the adequacy of your child's diet, you should consider nutritional counseling to identify any problems that may be hindering his performance.
The title "nutritionist" can be used by anyone, regardless of training. The chances are better than 50/50 that such a person will have phony credentials or deliver inaccurate information. If you want individual nutritional counseling, consult a registered dietician (one with an "R.D." after their name).
To become a registered dietician, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) requires that an individual study specific courses in nutrition and food science at an accredited university (minimum of a B.S. degree), complete a nutrition internship at an approved hospital, and pass a national certification exam. Registered dieticians are also required to continue their professional education by attending scientific meetings or by writing scientific papers and giving lectures to colleagues.
To find an R.D. you can request a referral from your child's pediatrician, contact the nutrition department of your local hospital, clinic or community health agency, or check the phone book under "dieticians," "nutritionists," and "weight control" (remember to look for the R.D. after the name).
Registered dieticians who specialize in sports nutrition usually belong to the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Group ("SCAN") of the ADA. To obtain a referral to SCAN members in your area, call the ADA at 1-800-366-1655.
Want to discuss this article or have question answered? Join us in the forums!