Accredited Practicing Dietitian
Accredited Practicing Dietitian
“ Sometimes we get so caught up in what we eat, that we forget the importance of how we eat. My hope is to help families create calm and peaceful mealtimes that allows the whole family enjoy food!” – Stefanie Valakas
Stefanie has a strong interest and passion for paediatric nutrition, with a focus on creating positive behaviours and habits around food from childhood leading to a positive relationship with food in adulthood.
Mealtimes can quickly become one of the most stressful daily events parents engage in, especially if their child is experiencing feeding problems and/or is not gaining weight as expected. Stefanie takes into consideration the factors that are affecting your child’s feeding from their medical conditions, sensory preferences, feeding and growth history as well as what is happening during mealtimes to create a customised long-term plan to help your child not only eat, but love to eat all foods!
Stefanie also has an interest in early life nutrition from fertility, pre-conception, pregnancy and women’s health conditions to help give all children the very best start to life. The latest research indicates that nutritional factors play a role in the likelihood of conceiving and that maternal nutrition can impact the life-long chronic health risks of your future children, from allergies & eczema to the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Stefanie has experience working with women of all ages from teenagers with newly diagnosed reproductive conditions, to couples trying to conceive, pregnant women and those experiencing menopause.
Disclaimer: Stefanie works with The a2 Milk Company providing expert opinion regarding matters of paediatric nutrition and educating other health care professionals about a2 Milk™ products based on the scientific evidence. Any views, thoughts and opinions expressed on this website are her own and do not represent the views of The a2 Milk Company.
Bachelor of Science (Nutrition & Metabolism)
University of Sydney
Masters of Nutrition & dietetics
University of Sydney
training & therapy approaches
Stefanie is committed to keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in nutrition and dietetics. In the ever-changing world of nutrition, Stefanie regularly attends a wide range of professional development events.
In addition to her university qualifications, Stefanie has completed additional training in the following areas:
- Clinical paediatric nutrition & dietetics
- Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to infant & child feeding
- Division of Responsibility (Ellyn Satter) approach
- Fertility & pregnancy nutrition
- Food allergies
- Sports nutrition for recreational athletes (junior and adult)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Stefanie has also completed additional training in providing dietary advice for gut and digestive health utilising the latest evidence-based technology in gut microbiome sequencing.
Stefanie has a strong interest in paediatric nutrition and utilising a holistic assessment to help families restore positive and peaceful mealtimes in their home. Stefanie provides nutrition support that includes the whole family unit to create long-lasting changes that support the health and well being of your family or family-to-be!
REGISTRATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
- Accredited Practicing Dietitian
- Member of the Dietitians’ Association of Australia (DAA)
- Registered NDIS Provider
- Member of Nutrition Plus
RESEARCH & publications
Stefanie has a strong interest in research and in ensuring that the nutritional advice offered to the families that she works with is effective and grounded in science. She is particularly interested in challenging feeding behaviours in infancy, a topic which has been the basis of her research to date.
Stefanie is a tutor for the Master of Nutrition & Dietetics postgraduate program at The University of Sydney.
She has presented the following papers at relevant conferences with colleagues:
“A Comparison of Two Feeding Behaviour Assessment Tools in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes” Poster presentation at Dietitians Association of Australia National Conference (2018).
“Exploring Responsive Feeding in a Culturally Diverse Group of 1-5 Year Old Australian Children Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes – A Comparison of Two Feeding Behaviour Assessment Tools” Oral Presentation at Australasian Paediatric Endocrinology Group (2017).
Stefanie provides family based nutrition support, especially in the following areas:
- Poor or faltering growth
- Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
- Restrictive or selective eating
- Fussy or picky eating
- Feeding difficulties including sensory challenges, poor dietary variety, stressful or drawn-out mealtimes
- Childhood weight management
- Sports nutrition for active juniors & adolescents
- Infant Feeding & Introducing Solids
- Allergies & Intolerances
- Digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation & diarrhoea, personalised advice using gut microbiome sequencing reporting (Microba)
Stefanie is also passionate about nutrition throughout the lifespan and works with individuals of all ages with a range of clinical nutrition concerns:
- Fertility Nutrition (trying to conceive assisted or unassisted)
- Pregnancy Nutrition (weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia)
- Women’s health nutrition (PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid issues, menopause)
- Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition Support
- Weight Management
- Diabetes (type 1, type 2)
- Chronic Health Conditions (e.g., high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome)
- Nutrient Deficiencies (e.g. iron deficiency)