Welcome to the Department of Clinical Dietetics
Registered Dietitians (RDs) are regulated health professionals within the province of Ontario. We specialize in several disease specific areas, and provide comprehensive nutritional support for each child and family. Here at SickKids our RDs specialize in particular areas of paediatric care and are recognized as experts in our filed, highlighting nutritional needs as members of the health-care team.
If you require specific nutrition or breast feeding advice please refer to resources listed above, AboutKidsHealth, or request your SickKids care team to refer you to a registered dietitian. Please visit the Breastfeeding Support to learn more about lactation consultants at SickKids.
Inquiries regarding general information about the Department of Clinical Dietetics and our staff may be directed to:
Champion excellence and leadership in pediatric nutrition.
Provide the highest quality evidenced-based nutritional guidance and support of our patients.
We have dedicated registered dietitians who provide the highest quality evidence-based nutrition care in both inpatient and outpatient programs. Our certified lactation consultants manage the Breastfeeding Program and provide outstanding care to infants and their parents to support the use of human milk.
We work in a variety of settings and contribute to clinical care, resource and guideline development, quality improvement, as well as research. We precept dietetic students and provide nutrition education to visiting dietitians, medical, nursing, and a variety of trainees across the organization, nationally, and internationally.
What we do
Registered Dietitians provide evidence-based nutritional care including nutritional assessment and growth monitoring of patients, recommend and guide nutrition care plans including specialized formulas, supplements, therapeutic diets, and parenteral nutrition, and offer nutrition-related education and counselling to patients and their families. Through the use of medical directives in the areas of nutrition support, enzyme dosing, and insulin adjustments, we maintain specialized standards of practice. Members of the Nutrition Advisory Committee (NAC) that reviews and oversees the monitoring and provision of nutritional support (oral, enteral and parenteral) to patients at SickKids.
The Department of Clinical Dietetics also provides nutritional education to other health care professionals, dietetic practicum training, and volunteer opportunities as well as participating in research, quality improvement, and resource development.
Director of Clinical Dietetics
Visit Daina Kalnins' staff profile
Get information about optimal nutrition for babies, toddlers, school-aged children and teens as well as healthy recipes. Information related to specific diagnoses and procedures is also available.
Internationally trained dietitians
Internationally educated and trained dietitians who immigrate to Canada are to contact the College of Dietitians of Ontario to initiate the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process. The College of Dietitians of Ontario regulates the profession in Ontario, and decides who is eligible to write the registration exam and practice dietetics. Toronto Metropolitan University offers a program designed for candidates who have trained overseas.
International nutrition students
The Professional Master's Diploma (PMDip) in Dietetics at Toronto Metropolitan University is a professional program that prepares students to become Registered Dietitians in Canada and requires an undergraduate degree in Nutrition/Dietetics from a Canadian accredited dietetic education undergraduate program.
International and domestic applicants who have not completed an accredited nutrition undergraduate degree and wish to become a Registered Dietitian in Canada can apply to an accredited undergraduate nutrition program.
If you are interested in the accredited 4-year Nutrition and Food program at Toronto Metropolitan University, review the admission requirements and process.
Clinical placements are only provided for students enrolled in our PMDip program.
For additional information about the dietetic profession in Canada, please visit the Dietitians of Canada website.
Please note due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions we cannot accommodate observation placements at this time.
Observational placements provide the opportunity to shadow a registered dietitian at SickKids in specialized areas.
Applicants will be required to provide a current curriculum vitae, letter of reference from their employer, and objectives detailing the specific interests to be fullfilled during their placement.
Please contact Kellie Welch, Registered Dietitian, for application and fees.
Observers can be students or dietitians that are interested in furthering their knowledge and skills in a clinical area of interest. For application and fees please refer to SickKids International Education.
Internationally trained dietitians
Internationally educated and trained Dietitians who immigrate to Canada are to contact the College of Dietitians of Ontario to initiate the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process. See more explanation of the PLAR process. The College of Dietitians of Ontario regulates the profession in Ontario, and decides who is eligible to write the registration exam and practice dietetics. Toronto Metropolitan University offers a program designed for candidates who have trained overseas.
Toronto Metropolitan University - SickKids collaborative Professional Master’s Diploma (PMDip) in dietetics is a program that provides practical, hands-on dietetic experience in the following practice domains, including management food services, nutrition care and population public health. Practicum components of the program provide learning experiences through which dietetic students will apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings.
Successful completion of the PMDip program leads to entry into a regulated health profession. The program is an accredited educational program that supports the achievement of the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice. The program prepares students for eligibility for registration with a provincial dietetics regulatory body.
- Program duration: September to mid-June, 3 semesters
- Number of student positions: 6
For information about application process, tuition fees and more details about the program please refer to Toronto Metropolitan University School of Nutrition.
Joann Herridge, RD, MSc
Toronto Metropolitan University SickKids PMDip Practicum Coordinator
Department of Clinical Dietetics
The Departments of Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition and Food Services are proud to have contributed to the education and training of dietetic students for over 65 years. The departments are comprised of a dynamic group of registered dietitians and lactation consultants who are committed to providing education and championing comprehensive paediatric nutrition care.
Educating future leaders in paediatric nutrition to make a difference.
To prepare graduates in delivering excellence and innovation in nutrition care, through education, and effective collaboration in a variety of practice settings. The integrity of our program is founded on providing advanced training in preparing entry-level registered dietitians with knowledge and skills required to respond to a dynamic child health environment while displaying compassion and influence.
- To provide experiential learning opportunities through application of nutrition care knowledge, administration food services, and population and public health, that offer skill development in a supportive learning environment.
- To increase the number of entry level dietitians with more advanced skills in managing and improving the nutritional health of children, and in identifying preventative measures to support goals.
- To encourage professional development that will support ethical practice, innovative thinking, life-long learning, and a commitment to the profession of dietetics.
The three semester practicum programs spans over 39 weeks. Students will rotate through Management, Nutrition Care and Population Public Health, while developing their leadership and professional practice skills.
- Orientation: 1 week
- Management and Food Services: 6 weeks
- Nutrition Care: 22 weeks (includes 4 consolidation weeks)
- Population and Public Health: 6 weeks
- PMDip Graduate Course NCS8300: Winter semester (embedded within rotations)
- Study: 2 weeks
- Vacation (winter holidays): 2 weeks
Note: This program outline is subject to change.
Additional experiential learning activities:
- Monthly education sessions designed to further support clinical nutrition knowledge and skills attained throughout rotations
- Professional practice training through interactive skill development opportunities
- Student presentations, comprising of clinical cases and general nutrition education
- Departmental education activities for staff and students throughout each month
Throughout the program, students will have access to library and electronic resources, computer labs and technical support, WSIB coverage, professional liability insurance, academic and personal counselling, medical services, health coverage, athletic centre membership, student housing, discounted transit passes, learning support, and other student services provided by Toronto Metropolitan University.
Application and selection process
Applicants eligible to apply for the PMDip program must be eligible to study in Canada and have graduated form a Dietitians of Canada or Partnership for Dietetic education and Practice (PDEP) accredited Canadian undergraduate nutrition
- Please visit Admissions for Dietetics (PMDip) - School of Nutrition - Toronto Metropolitan University for information about admission requirements and application process.
- Interviews are hosted by SickKids annually during the middle to end of February. Applicants selected for an interview will meet with a committee of dietitians from various departments within the hospital.
Program admission is dependent on completion of degree requirements prior to starting the program. During July/August accepted candidates will receive student on-boarding instructions to both Toronto Metropolitan University and SickKids.
Tuition: Please review Toronto Metropolitan University's PMDip website
Hours: Schedules and hours vary by placement and may include evenings and weekends. Nutrition care rotations are from Monday to Friday, with hours according to the area of placement (e.g. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Rotation locations: All clinical rotations are completed at SickKids. Travel within the GTA for other rotations will be required.