A dietitian is a health professional that has the training, skills & knowledge to assist people to make diet changes that will improve their health. Within a supportive and non-judgemental environment, dietitians work together with clients to help them meet their health and wellbeing goals.
In Australia, nutrition experts who meet strict criteria, are eligible to join the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) program. This program is governed by the Dietitian Association of Australia and ensures all APD’s are up-to-date with current nutrition science and are practising within their scope.
APD’s are required to undertake 30 hours of targeted professional development each year to ensure they are up to date with nutrition science and are subject to audits by the Dietitian Association of Australia (DAA).
APD is the only credential for nutrition experts that is recognized by Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Department of Veterans Affairs, and many private health insurers.
All of our dietitians at Appetite for Nutrition are Accredited Practising Dietitians.
Both nutritionists and dietitians have the goal of assisting individuals to reach their health goals through nutrition. However, there are a few differences between the two.
One of the main differences between dietitians and nutritionist lies within accreditation. In Australia, there is no specific authority that assesses the knowledge and qualifications of nutritionists. This means the quality and length of courses producing nutritionists can vary greatly. There will be highly qualified nutritionists who have completed a 3-year degree, whereas others may have only completed a 4-week course. The term nutritionist is not regulated.
The title Accredited Practising Dietitian is regulated by a national governing organisation called the Dietitian Association of Australia (DAA). For a dietitian to be enrolled with the organisation, they must have completed at least a 4-year bachelor or master’s degree (that is recognized by the DAA), which involves 1 year of supervised and assessed professional practice in a hospital, public health centres, industry and food service.
The workplace setting and types of clients seen is another difference. Dietitians are the only nutrition experts that provide medical nutrition therapy, such as advice for cancer patients, gastrointestinal conditions, food allergies and diabetes. Nutritionists and dietitians both work within the community in private practices, however, dietitians are also qualified to work in hospitals and nursing homes.
Ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Nutrition has a tremendous impact on our current and future health. So our answer is, anyone and everyone can see a dietitian. Dietitians may see a client for general healthy eating or to help manage a medical condition.
An assessment of your health
In your first consultation, your dietitian will ask you a variety of questions relating to your health. These questions will not only be about the types and amounts of foods you eat, but also factors that may impact the way you eat and live your life, such as medications, symptoms, blood test results and your level of mobility and exercise.
Goal setting and devising a plan
From this information collected, the dietitian will identify what health areas may need to be focused on initially, and together you will create a plan for success. This plan may involve a flexible eating plan with guidelines and goals to follow, or it may be more detailed such as a meal plan. The dietitian will work with you to provide a plan that suits you.
Following up to keep on track
Within 2 weeks of your initial appointment, it’s time to check in with your dietitian. These sessions focus on reviewing your progress and providing support and motivation. It is also a time for further nutrition education or tools to implement in the coming weeks. The sessions also provide a key opportunity to reflect on previous weeks progress, and together with your dietitian fine-tune any changes that need to be made.
This question depends on you the reason for your consultation and your overall health goals. We don’t eat a certain way overnight, so it is not realistic to change overnight. Checking in assists clients to reflect on progress, maintain focus, gain support and ask questions.
It is up to the client on how often to attend the dietitian, however, we see with clients that those that check-in are more likely to keep on track and meet their health goals. We encourage at least 3 sessions.
Another question that depends on the reason for your consultation, and also what would work best for you. Generally, checking in fortnightly is recommended until clients are confident and have established solid progress. However, for some clients, shorter (weekly) or longer (4-6 weeks) check-in periods are needed.
Yes, a referral is required to make an appointment.
Referrals often provide our dietitians with useful information that can assist with making an assessment. This may include blood test results and medical history.
We accept GP care plans, and you can receive a Medicare rebate if your GP has allocated sessions to see a dietitian.
Referral forms can be uploaded and submitted here
For NDIS bookings, please complete the contact form at the bottom of this page
If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, you may be eligible for a care plan from your doctor. This care plan will provide you with a rebate of $53.80 off your consultation. Chronic disease care plans provide patients with 5 sessions per year to use on allied health professionals collectively.
If you have extras in your private health insurance that covers dietetics you will be able to receive a rebate for each appointment.
Our dietitians believe there is no one size fits all, and that everyone needs an eating plan that suits their lifestyle. Whilst meal plans can provide meal ideas and portion control, they often don’t provide flexibility and encourage us to ignore our body’s hunger and fullness cues.
Our dietitians will create a plan for you that takes into account your lifestyle, your food likes/dislikes and ensure it’s a more educational and sustainable approach… than a meal plan.
We support our clients:
Trust us, you’ll be able to do more than follow a meal plan by the end.