An upcoming conference hosted by CHOC Children’s will highlight the impact of diet on the human microbiome, food allergies, and neonatal and surgical nutrition, among other critical topics for infants and toddlers. We spoke to Caroline Steele, director, clinical nutrition and lactation services at CHOC Children’s about what participants can expect at this event:
Q: What is the importance of the “Nutrition and Feeding in Infants and Toddlers” conference?
A: Held on Sept. 27-29, at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa in Newport Beach, the conference will give pediatricians, neonatologists, registered dietitians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, lactation consultants, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and other pediatric healthcare providers a unique opportunity to receive advanced level education on infant and toddler nutrition. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of diet on the human microbiome, feeding strategies, food allergies, human milk and formula handling within the healthcare setting, and optimizing care for the surgical infant.
Q: What excites you most about the conference?
A: I am excited about bringing together such an impressive slate of speakers from a variety of disciplines. We have many nationally known speakers presenting their areas of expertise including Dr. Josef Neu, professor of pediatrics, division of neonatology at University of Florida Health, as our keynote speaker discussing the microbiome and having presentations from four of the authors from the definitive publication on handling of infant feedings within the hospital setting. The opportunity for attendees from all over the country and from a variety of disciplines to network and share best practices is also going to be a highlight of this conference.
Q: What can attendees expect to learn about infant and toddler feeding?
A: Participants will take away specific tactics for setting up a new centralized human milk and formula preparation room or specific guidelines surrounding allergies from use of the elimination diet for breastfeeding to timing and content of complementary foods to reduce risk of allergies, to the management of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Q: What other topic are you looking forward to at this conference?
A: I am looking forward to learning more about the physical and tactile aspects of eating such as what can be done from a pre-feeding standpoint for infants who will have a prolonged NPO status to help promote oral feeding when the time comes or how to prevent picky eating from developing into problem feeding.