Melissa Whitelaw

Melissa Whitelaw

B.App.Sc.(Phys.Ed.), B.App.Sc. (Hlth.Sc.), B.Nutr.Diet., PhD candidate, A.P. D.


Clinical Interests:

Melissa has a range of dietetic clinical interests in children and adolescents. This includes weight and growth concerns, eating disorders, obesity, vegetarian diets, fussy eating, and gastrointestinal concerns (for example low FODMAP, low lactose, constipation, coeliac disease).  She also provides dietary analysis and education about age appropriate nutritional intake.


Background and Experience:

Melissa worked as a physical education teacher before a career change to become a paediatric dietitian.  She brings over 35 years of experience working with children and adolescents. Melissa has worked as the dietitian for the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital since 2004 and as a private practitioner at Melbourne Children’s Clinic since 2005.


Melissa also lectures in schools, undergraduate and postgraduate courses about nutrition issues for adolescents. She is in the final stages of undertaking a PhD at the University of Melbourne and is investigating the clinical course of anorexia nervosa patients compared to patients who meet all diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa but are not underweight.  This is an emerging group of patients who have the severity of life threatening clinical and psychological complications not previously identified in young people who restrict nutritional intake and lose weight but are not underweight.


Practice Philosophy:

Melissa strives to provide the highest quality, evidence based practice for all her patients and their families.  She promotes a positive relationship with food and body image. She encourages a healthy lifestyle with advice about physical activity, screen time and enjoyment of good nutritional choices. This is also relevant to those with restrictive diets in conditions such as coeliac disease. Melissa is passionate about providing sensible nutrition advice in a world of confusion regarding inappropriate information about nutrition and fads that are currently prevalent in the media.