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What Is a Private Child Nutritionist?
A private child nutritionist, also called a child dietitian or paediatric dietitian, usually treats children from birth to 18 years of age. Our experts focus on the areas of nutrition and diet that are most important to the growth of a child.
From newborn nutrition to adolescence, child dietitians focus on the needs of young people and optimal nutrition to help them grow. As the nutritional needs of young people are different from those of adults, a child nutritionist has been trained to provide care to younger clients.
How a child nutritionist and paediatric dietitian can help:
Childhood obesity is increasing. This exposes children to an increased risk of certain diseases later in life including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and respiratory problems. Eating a healthy balanced diet during childhood is of utmost importance to prevent any lifestyle diseases later on in life.
It is important to note that weight management for children should be approached with sensitivity, and the approach is very different from an adult. Emphasising intuitive eating, food environment, balanced meals, and overall health is crucial rather than solely focusing on weight loss. We can provide guidance on healthy weight goals and help create a positive body image in children.
When you’ve got a fussy eater to deal with, it’s easy to get into battle after battle at mealtimes, and you may feel frustrated when your little one simply refuses to eat certain foods. Rest assured, most children go through a phase of fussy eating so you are not alone! The way that we deal with the situation impacts our toddlers’ eating habits. Around 90% of children go through at least one phase of fussy eating.
A dietitian will help you so that you can see positive results!
Cow’s milk protein allergy
Cow’s milk protein allergy is increasing in the United Kingdom. There are two forms of cow’s milk protein allergy: IgE (which is immediate reaction after exposure) and Non-IgE (delayed reaction after exposure). Depending on the type of cow’s milk protein allergy, which will be discussed during the consultation, the treatment and steps differ. Children may outgrow a mild cow’s milk protein allergy, however those with severe allergies will need to eliminate cow’s milk protein from their diet. This puts them at risk of calcium, Vitamin D and iron deficiencies so an comprehensive assessment is necessary. A specialised prescription formula is needed when there is a cow’s milk protein allergy in infants.
To meet the needs of growth, children have higher energy and nutrient requirements for their body size compared to adults. It is important that they consume food that will provide adequate energy and nutrients for their needs.
Growth faltering is usually caused by undernutrition and tends to be due to many factors including dietary deficiencies or insufficient feeding.
Having an infant that is experiencing reflux (excessive vomiting) can be an extremely stressful period to go through. Often due to the reflux, an infant may not be meeting all their nutritional requirements, whether they are being breast fed or formula fed. Therefore, it is important that an assessment is to done , to ensure that there is adequate growth and nutrient absorption.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, following an ADHD nutrition plan rich in proteins and vitamins can help control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you suspect a food sensitivity may be contributing to your child’s ADHD symptoms, it is necessary to seek help from a registered paediatric dietitian.
Children with autism experience severe sensory sensitivities when it comes to eating. This could range from smell, texture, appearance and taste. Often children with autism are extremely selective eaters, and therefore making sure you have the necessary tools and techniques when it comes to feeding as well as ensuring that they are still meeting their nutritional requirements and growth is important.
Children often suffer from constipation, due to various factors, which include infant formula, low fibre intake, sedentary behaviour and not using the toilet at school, to name a few. Diet can have a direct influence on constipation and can relieve constipation entirely. Chronic use of laxatives is not recommended and a dietary approach is the first line of treatment when it comes to constipation in children.
Coeliac disease (CD) is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, leading to intestinal inflammation, villous atrophy, and malabsorption. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed, in which after the diagnosis of coeliac disease and specific tests are done, a strict lifelong gluten-free diet is needed. In the UK , those that have a confirmed diagnosis are allowed to have specific gluten-free products prescribed. Furthermore , those that are on a gluten-free diet are often at risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to seek help from a paediatric dietitian to minimise the risk of deficiency and ensure adequate growth as well as to obtain education and knowledge on how to follow the correct diet. Accidental exposure to gluten can aggravate symptoms and be detrimental to health. Our paediatric dietitians will be able to give you clear guidelines on which foods you should incorporate into your child’s diet to minimise nutritional deficiencies.
The most common causes of iron deficiency in children include insufficient intake of iron rich food sources together with rapid growth, low birth weight and gastrointestinal losses. Certain food combinations can directly enhance or inhibit iron absorption. Iron deficiency anaemia is first confirmed through a blood test, supplementation may be necessary as well as dietary adjustments.
There is often confusion when it comes to introducing solid foods, and at what age. Ensuring your child is meeting all of their nutritional requirements is important and therefore receiving adequate guidance when it comes to what type of foods and in what quantities is vital to ensure adequate growth and development, and if any supplementation is necessary.
Infants who are born premature may need specialised high energy formulas/ breast milk fortification as they have increased nutritional requirements to allow for catch-up growth. Therefore, careful consideration and guidelines have to be followed.
The Role of a Paediatric Dietitian
As our client, we want you to have all the necessary tools to better manage your child’s wellness and health. That’s why we work closely with your child to teach you and them the best diet for their needs.
- Assessing Nutritional Needs: Our child nutritionist will evaluate your child’s nutritional requirements based on their age, growth, and medical conditions. We take into account your child’s specific needs, such as food preferences, food allergies, intolerances or dietary restrictions.
- Addressing Medical Conditions: Our paediatric dietitians are skilled in managing various medical conditions such as childhood diabetes, obesity, gut health (including constipation, reflux and diarrhoea) and food allergies.
- Helping with picky eating & fussy eating: Our nutritionist can help your child develop a gradual exposure plan to new or disliked foods. This includes slowly introducing new foods in small quantities and in a positive and supportive environment.
- Helping with a smooth introduction to solids: Step by step, our dietitian will help you evaluate if your child is ready to solid foods and create a tailored and step by step feeding plan, and address a common feeding challenges
- Educating and Empowering: Our child nutritionists educate parents and children about optimal nutrition and the importance of a healthy diet. We provide practical tips, meal suggestions, and guidance on making nourishing food choices to encourage a lifelong habit of healthy eating.
Providing the greatest care and highest levels of service to our clients
Your child’s safety and well-being are our top priorities. At Dietitian Fit, we understand this and want to do all that we can to improve your child’s health. If you’re ready to make a difference in your little one’s life, we encourage you to give us a call.
Our experienced paediatric dietitian experts will work closely with you and your child to ensure that you both maintain a healthy, nutritional diet for optimal results. What’s more, we offer our services in several convenient ways.
As such, we can work around your busy schedule to make sure that your child gets the care and attention they need. You can choose to meet online via video or in person at one of our office in London or Surrey!