Our Dietetic Services


Phone: 02 8970 6111              Fax: 02 9579 7979              Email: info@musculoskeletalinstitute.com.au 


  • Antenatal care including gestational diabetes
  • Post natal weight loss
  • Nutritional support pre and post bariatric surgery
  • Weight management
  • Diabetes, including carbohydrate counting
  • Chronic disease management
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Fussy eating and introduction to solids
  • Healthy eating for children over a healthy weight
  • Childhood obesity


Do I need a referral to see a dietitian?

A referral is not always needed to see a Dietitian however if you have a chronic health condition such as Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease, Obesity etc you may be eligible for a EPC Care Plan from your General Practitioner which will entitle you to 5 Allied Health visits over a 12 month period. 

If you are eligible for an EPC Care Plan we are able to bulk-bill those initial visits for you.

Alternatively if you have private health insurance with extras cover you will only be out of pocket a small gap amount.

Nutrition support pre and post-surgery

Good nutrition is important for healing wounds. Wounds can occur from falls, accidents, underlying disease, pressure ulcers or wounds after surgery or from trauma. Wound healing may be compromised or wounds may take longer to heal, without good nutrition and hydration and that’s is where a dietitian can help!

A wound will increase your bodies need for certain nutrients and energy, so in addition to a healthy and varied diet, some important nutrients include:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A

Talk to our dietitian regarding the best food choices for you whilst you recover.

Aged care nutrition / malnutrition


When a person doesn’t meet their nutritional needs over a period of time, they can develop malnutrition. A person may be malnourished if they don’t eat enough, particularly common in illnesses that increase a person’s nutritional needs, in the elderly or in those that have a poor appetite.
Malnutrition is associated with poor health, it can impact on a person’s quality of life, affect their daily activities or increase their length of stay in hospital. A dietitian can assist individuals to meet their personal nutritional needs through practical advice.

Aged Care and the Elderly

As we age, individuals may see changes in their appetite and feelings around food. Eating can be the highlight of a person’s day but can also come with enormous stress. Some health conditions may require you to change your diet or medications may have side effects that impact your intake.
Our dietitian has worked with the elderly who still live at home, in acute hospital setting and in residential aged care facilities. She can help you understand your nutritional needs as you age and will work with you and your preferences.
Our dietitian is experienced within the aged care sector and can offer a range of nutrition and hydration services to your residential aged care facility. We can assist with facilities with menu reviews, staff education sessions and supplement use reviews.

Weight management and healthy eating

Trying to lose weight? It is hard and we know it. Often people do it through restrictive dieting and whilst it works in the short term, often leads to weight regain plus some not long after. This can be draining both physically and emotionally. So we aren’t here to help with some fad diet, rather we want to not only focus on a healthy lifestyle (good healthy foods and physical activity) with realistic expectations, but also consider all the pieces of the puzzle, like your sleep levels, stress, emotional eating and other medical conditions.

I know what you are thinking, you saw some facebook ad promising rapid weight loss and that just seems so much more appealing, quick weight loss and you’ll be happy? Yes you may get short term results, but often these programs have absolutely no scientific basis, cut out entire food groups and more importantly most of the weight you lose if water and lean muscle before any actual fat is loss.
We want to help you make long term sustainable changes that suit your lifestyle and individual needs, not a cookie cutter generic approach. The Dietitian’s Association of Australia encourages individuals to eat a variety of foods from these five groups every day:

  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Whole grains such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat
  • And drink plenty of water.

And limit foods containing saturated fat, added sugars, added salt and alcohol.

Nutrition support pre and post bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is certainly not a quick fix but rather a tool that works best when done in conjunction with specific dietary changes to support weight loss and health benefits. Particularly in the case of morbid obesity, it is the most effective method of weight loss. Nutritional changes post-surgery will differ pending on the type of surgery you choose. Knowledge of good nutrition and the implementation of mindful eating habits are key to successful outcomes after bariatric surgery.

In Australia, there are different surgical approaches and your surgeon will usually discuss with you, which one is most appropriate for you. The procedures include, the sleeve gastrectomy, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding or the intra gastric balloon.

How can a bariatric dietitian help you?

  • Provides pre and post-surgical dietary counselling
  • Ensures adequate dietary intake to meet nutritional requirements
  • Provides tailored support with motivation to make dietary changes
  • Provides practical strategies to assist her clients to make sustainable, long term lifestyle changes.

Pre-surgery we can help you understand the surgery, what dietary changes are required before surgery and walk you through the initial stages after surgery, so that you feel confident in what is required.

Post-surgery, we step you through all the different dietary stages including fluids, puree and soft foods. We guide you to ensure you are getting adequate protein and hydration. We are here to support you through this journey, help troubleshoot problems and monitor your nutritional pathology.

Most importantly, Jodie will work with her clients for the long term to ensure every person can feel confident and supported in reaching their health goals. She has a special interest in bariatric surgery and is an associate member of the Australian & New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society. She has completed the Medical Nutrition Therapy in Bariatric Surgery course, run by the DAA Centre for Advanced Learning.

Diabetes management – Type 1 & 2, gestational and pre-diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition, where a person’s body cannot maintain healthy levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. With continued high levels of blood glucose, this can lead to both short and long term complications. Diabetes requires continuing daily self care to aid in the management of the condition and whilst there is no cure, with appropriate education and management, you can still live an enjoyable life.
There three main types of diabetes and management of each will differ.

  • Type 1 is an auto-immune condition. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented.
    Diabetes Australia explains that in type 1 the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors.
    In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, stops making insulin because the cells that make the insulin have been destroyed by the body’s immune system. Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose, into energy.
    People with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin every day of their lives to replace the insulin the body cannot produce. They must test their blood glucose levels several times throughout the day.
  • Type 2 is a progressive condition. It is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors
    Diabetes Australia explains that in type 2, the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. Is managed with a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes over time.
  • Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Most women will no longer have diabetes after the baby is born. However, some women will continue to have high blood glucose levels after delivery. It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy. In pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. These hormones also block the action of the woman’s insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Because of this insulin resistance, the need for insulin in pregnancy is 2 to 3 times higher than normal. If you already have insulin resistance, then your body may not be able to cope with the extra demand for insulin production and the blood glucose levels will be higher resulting in gestational diabetes being diagnosed. Gestational diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, some women may need medication (metformin) and/or insulin injections to help manage gestational diabetes.

Ref: information from Diabetes Australia

A dietitian can help you learn how to live well with diabetes

Healthy eating during your pregnancy

Eating well during your pregnancy helps your baby develop and has health benefits for you too! 

Both you and your growing baby need extra nutrients. Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of you and baby, however it is also important not to gain too much weight. 

Choosing the right foods during your pregnancy can be confusing and overwhelming at times, this is where our Dietitian Jodie can help. Jodie being a mum of 2, her youngest is under 6 months gives her the ‘personal experience’ to assist guiding you with the right choices, and to assist with those pregnancy cravings! 

You can eat well by:

  • Enjoying a variety of fruits and vegetables of different types and colors. 
  • Increasing your grain consumption to 8 – 8.5 serves a day, mostly wholegrain in preference to discretionary choices. 
  • Choosing foods high in iron, such as lean red meat or tofu, which are important for pregnant women. 
  • Making a habit of drinking milk, eating hard cheese and yoghurt, or calcium enriched alternatives. Reduced fat varieties are best.
  • Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables , legumes, fruit and wholegrains and drinking plenty of water every day can assist with constipation – a common occurrence during pregnancy. 

Which foods to avoid during pregnancy;

  • Foods which may contain listeria bacteria like soft cheeses (brie, camembert, ricotta, feta and blue cheese), sandwich meats, bean sprouts, pre-prepared salads and pate. 
  • Raw eggs as they may contain salmonella. 
  • Alcohol – not drinking is the safest option. 
  • Fish that may contain high levels of mercury – Food Standars Australia New Zealand recommend consuming no more than one serve (100g cooked) per fortnight of shark/flake, marlin or broadbill/swordfish, and no other fish that fortnight, or one serve (100g cooked) per week of orange roughly (deep sea perch) or catfish and no other fish that week. 
  • Foods such as nuts during pregnancy only if they are allergic to the foods themselves – avoiding these foods has no impact on the infant’s risk of developing allergy symptoms. 


(ref: www.eatforhealth.gov.au – Healthy Eating During Your Pregnancy) 

Giving your baby the best start

Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby, however not everyone is able to breast feed. 

Breast feeding provides all the nutrients your baby needs for around the first 6 months and is an important source of nutrients beyond 6 months. Research shows breastfeeding protects babies against infection, obesity and some other chronic diseases such as diabetes, later in life. 

Starting other foods

At around 6 months babies are ready for together foods. They can begin to use spoons and sip from a cup. Don’t wait too ling after 6 months because your baby needs nutrients from other foods to continue to grow and develop, particularly iron-rich and iron-fortified foods. It is suggested to continue breastfeeding while introducing solid foods. 

Start with small amounts of iron-fortified cereal or pureed foods on a spoon. It is likely that most of it could end up on the floor or on your baby! But that is just part of learning. Babies may need to be offered foods many times before they learn to like them. 

If you’re struggling introducing solids to your baby, our Accredited Dietitian Jodie has hands on experience with introducing solids to her two young children.

(ref:www.eatforhealth.gov.au – Giving your baby the best start)  

Healthy eating for children

Childhood is a time of learning. Children who grow up in families that enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from the Five Food Groups are more likely to make their own healthy choices as they get older. 

You can help by teaching your whole family to: 

  • Choose ‘everyday foods’ for home and school from the Five Food Groups. 
  • Save discretionary choices for special occasions.
  • Provide a variety of types and colors of fresh vegetables and fruit that are in season. 
  • Enjoy reduced fat varieties of milk, yoghurt cheese (once they are 2 years or older)
  • Eat mainly wholegrain cereal foods and breads 
  • Drink plenty of water instead of sugary drinks like cordial, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks, vitamin waters and soft drinks.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day 
  • Learn about how foods are grown and where they come from 
  • Try new foods and recipes – help with cooking and preparing foods and drinks too. 
  • Turn off the TV and computer at mealtimes – make meal time family time 
  • Wash their hands before eating or cooking 
  • Be physically active – play outside, walk the dog or run around at the local park 

Foods to limit: Discretionary choices

‘Discretionary choices’ are called that because they are not an essential or necessary part of our dietary patterns. Discretionary foods are high in kilojoules, saturated fat, added sugars, added salt, or alcohol. If chosen they should be eaten only sometimes and in small amounts. 

Examples of discretionary choices include: 

  • Sweet biscuits, cakes and desserts 
  • Processed meats and sausages 
  • Ice-cream, confectionery and chocolate 
  • Meat pies and other pastries 
  • Commercial burgers, hot chips and fried foods 
  • Crisps and other fatty and/or salty snacks 
  • Cream and butter 
  • Sugar-sweetened cordials, soft drinks and sports drinks 

It is also important to remember that young children (less than 3 years of age) can choke on hard foods. To prevent this from happening; 

  • Sit with them when they eat and don’t give them hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, hard confectionery or crisps 
  • Cook or grate hard fruit and vegetables to soften them 
  • remove all bones from fish or meat.

Healthy eating for adults

Tips for choosing nutritious foods and drinks 

Eating for health and wellbeing is about choosing foods from the Five Food Groups every day, while limiting foods that are not essential to our health. 

  • Plan ahead and stock up on basic nutritious foods like wholegrain cereals and other grain foods, reduced fat milk, lentils or other legumes, eggs, and frozen or canned foods without added sugars or added salt – this way you can eat at home more often and cook meals yourself by adding fresh ingredients.
  • Choose a variety of types and colours of fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season.
  • Try new ways of cooking with vegetables like roasting, baking, barbequing and stir-frying. Add extra vegetables and legumes to your recipes.
  • Use fruit for snacks and desserts 
  • Lean red meats are important, but a maximum of 445g a week is recommended. 
  • Include at least 1 or 2 meat-free meals each week – include eggs, legumes such as beans and tofu, and nuts and seeds.
  • Choose reduced-fat varieties of milk, yoghurt and cheese.
  • Include small amounts of foods rich in unsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado 
  • Drink plenty of water instead of drinks with added sugars or alcohol.
  • Choose carefully when eating out-limit creamy, commercially baked or fried foods 
  • Store unused cooked food in the fridge 
  • Older people who have trouble with their teeth, may prefer softer textured or cooked vegetables and fruit, finely milled wholegrain cereal foods and dishes like soups, casseroles or stews. 

Foods to limit: Discretionary Choices 

‘Discretionary Choices’ are called that because they are not an essential or necessary part of our dietary patterns. Discretionary foods are high in kilojoules, saturated fat, added sugars, added salt or alcohol. If chosen, they should be eaten only sometimes and in small amounts. 

Examples of discretionary choices include; 

  • Sweet biscuits, cakes and desserts 
  • Processed meats and sausages 
  • Ice-cream, confectionery and chocolate 
  • Meat pies and other pastries 
  • Commercial burgers, hot chips, and fried foods 
  • Crisps and other fatty and/or salty snacks 
  • Cream and butter 
  • Sugar-sweetened cordials, soft drinks, fruit drinks and sports drinks 
  • Alcoholic drinks 

(ref: www.eatforhealth.gov.au – Healthy eating for adults) 


Helpful Advise For Healthy Eating, Fussy Eating & Introduction To Solids