Sample Answer for NURS 6512 ASSESSMENT OF NUTRITION IN CHILDREN Included After Question


  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider factors that impact the validity and reliability of various assessment tools and diagnostic tests. You also will review examples of pediatric patients and their families as it relates to BMI.
    • Based on the risks you might identify consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
    • Consider how you could encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive toward the child’s health.


Assignment (3–4 pages, not including title and reference pages):

Assignment: Child Health Case:

Include the following:

  • An explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you were assigned.
  • Describe additional information you would need in order to further assess his or her weight-related health.
  • Identify and describe any risks and consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
  • Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information.
  • Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.


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A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6512 ASSESSMENT OF NUTRITION IN CHILDREN


A seven-year-old Hispanic female who is in second grade is brought in severely underweight. On physical examination, she has a weak pulse, bilateral pedal edema, and is apathetic. However, she has an overweight mother who she lives with during the week and an average-weight father who she lives with during weekends. The purpose of this paper is to address the child’s health issues and risks and create strategies to make the parents more proactive with their child’s health.

Health Issues and Risks That Are Relevant to the Child

Undernutrition directly causes micronutrient deficiencies such as iron, vitamins A and D, folate, thiamine, and zinc. As a result, the child has an increased risk of developing nutritional anemia, night blindness, rickets, poor growth, and poor muscle activity, deteriorating their quality of life (Dipasquale et al., 2020). Additionally, fat and muscle mass depletion is due to reductive adaptation, where the child’s energy source is drawn from muscle, adipose, and bone. This results in reduced muscle function, fractures,and alteration in electrolyte balance.

Malnutrition may also affect the child’s cardiac function. Reductive adaptation causes cardiac muscle loss, resulting in decreased cardiac output and low blood pressure (De Sanctis et al., 2021). In addition, there is micronutrient deficiency and alterations in electrolyte balance which alter cardiac function. Decreased cardiac output leads to poor tissue perfusion, causing delayed wound healing. Reduced cardiac output and electrolyte imbalance may further worsen renal function by reducing renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate.


Malnutrition affects gastrointestinal function, resulting in changes in pancreatic exocrine function, intestinal blood flow, villous architecture, and intestinal permeability, reducing the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. In addition, the colon loses its ability to reabsorb water and electrolytes, resulting in diarrhea and worsened nutritional losses. The liver is also affected, and all its metabolic, synthesis, detoxification, and excretory function are affected resulting in hypoglycemia and accumulation of toxic metabolites (Schuetz et al., 2021). Immune function is also affected, increasing the risk of infection due to innate and adaptive immunity predisposing the child to respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract infections (Fontane et al., 2023). However, due to a failed immune system, most signs of infection, such as fever, may be absent.

Additional Information I Would Need to Further Assess Her Weight-Related Health

Undernutrition causes multisystem organ dysfunction. It is thus crucial to inquire whether the parents have noticed whether the child has had persistent vomiting or diarrhea. In addition, it is crucial to note any temperature changes, signs of shock, open skin lesions, edema, dehydration, tachypnea, and cyanosis (Brits et al., 2020). I may also need to look at her growth curve to check for any previous abnormalities and compare her growth versus the standard. I would also need a mid-upper arm circumference, Z-scores, and basal metabolic index. Laboratory tests are also essential for assessing malnutrition(Kabashneh et al., 2020). Necessary tests include complete blood count, hemogram, septic screen, liver and renal function tests, urinalysis, protein tests, urea-electrolytes and creatinine test, and tests for inflammatory markers. While performing a physical exam, I would need to look for any hair, nail, eye, skin, and mouth changes, such as fissures, cheilitis, and stomatitis (De Sanctis et al., 2021). I would also need to check for distended abdomen and hepatomegaly, observe for behavioral changes, and assess for development.

Risks and Further Information I Would Need to Gain a Full Understanding of the Child’s Health

Undernutrition occurs when one does not have an adequate diet or has malabsorption conditions. In assessment of the child’s weight-related health condition, it is essential to take note of the quality and quantity of the food she takes through a food diary history (Vassilakau, 2021). Inadequate diet and non-nutritious foods like processed juices predispose to micro and macronutrient deficiencies. Additionally, it is crucial to inquire whether she has any food allergies, fads, restrictions, and preferences, as they may predispose her to undernutrition.

It is crucial to ask whether the child has any underlying medical condition that may affect the ability to swallow, digest, or absorb foods. It is crucial to assess whether they have nausea and anorexia or are taking medications that may be causing both. Additionally, it is vital to rule out any cause of dysphagia, which can limit oral intake of food (Schuetz et al., 2021). Medical conditions such as chronic diarrhea or childhood malignancies have been linked to undernutrition due to increased metabolic needs. One may also need to inquire about malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease that may cause excessive nutritional loss.

Undernutrition can also be caused due to mental health conditions and feeding environments. It is thus crucial to screen for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia that may have an impact on the child, considering that the mother is overweight. Additionally, one may need to consider behaviors that discourage eating, such as bullying at school and childhood depression and anxiety disorders. Additionally, one may need to inquire about parental involvement in meals to inquire whether there is a source of discouragement to feeding (Engidaye et al., 2022). Lastly, it is vital to inquire about the ability of the parents to access nutritional foods and their feeding habits.

Specific Questions to Ask About the Child to Gather More Information

  1. What type of food do you occasionally give your child, and does she have any preferences?
  2. How do both of you contribute and participate in your daughter’s feeding patterns?
  3. Are there foods you prefer not to give your daughter, and why?
  4. Has your child ever been diagnosed with health conditions that may have affected her nutrition?
  5. Have you noticed any behavior change that may have affected your daughter’s well-being or her relationship with food?

Strategies to Encourage the Parents to Be Proactive about Their Child’s Health and Weight

The strategies I would employ to encourage the parents to be proactive about the child’s health include educating them on child nutrition. I would provide them with resources and inform them of signs of child malnutrition to empower them with knowledge to make right decisions (Vassilakou, 2021). Secondly, I would encourage the parents to involve their daughter in discussions regarding nutrition and have a feedback session with her. I would also organize regular follow-ups to monitor for improvement and highlight positive changes.


Undernutrition is a common malnutrition condition that affects children. It is crucial to note the effects it has on different organ systems. Causes of undernutrition are organic, inorganic, or both. It is thus crucial to identify the cause before initiating management. Active management of malnutrition in children requires parental and child’s active participation to achieve necessary nutritional goals.


Brits, H., Botha, L., Maakomane, W., Malefane, T., Luthfiya, T., Tsoeueamakwa, T., &Joubert, G. (2020). The profile and clinical picture of children with undernutrition admitted to National District Hospital. The Pan African medical journal, 37, 237.

De Sanctis, V., Soliman, A., Alaaraj, N., Ahmed, S., Alyafei, F., &Hamed, N. (2021). Early and Long-term Consequences of Nutritional Stunting: From Childhood to Adulthood. Acta bio-medica :AteneiParmensis, 92(1), e2021168.

Dipasquale, V., Cucinotta, U., & Romano, C. (2020). Acute Malnutrition in Children: Pathophysiology, Clinical Effects and Treatment. Nutrients, 12(8), 2413.

Engidaye, G., Aynalem, M., Adane, T., Gelaw, Y., Yalew, A., &Enawgaw, B. (2022). Undernutrition and its associated factors among children aged 6 to 59 months in Menz Gera Midir district, Northeast Ethiopia: A community-based cross-sectional study. PloS one, 17(12), e0278756.

Fontaine, F., Turjeman, S., Callens, K., &Koren, O. (2023). The intersection of undernutrition, microbiome, and child development in the first years of life. Nature communications, 14(1), 3554.

Kabashneh, S., Alkassis, S., Shanah, L., & Ali, H. (2020). A Complete Guide to Identify and Manage Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients. Cureus, 12(6), e8486.

Schuetz, P., Seres, D., Lobo, D. N., Gomes, F., Kaegi-Braun, N., &Stanga, Z. (2021). Management of disease-related malnutrition for patients being treated in hospital. Lancet (London, England), 398(10314), 1927–1938.

Vassilakou, T. (2021). Childhood Malnutrition: Time for Action. Children (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2), 103.