When to Take Your Child to a Nutritionist
Does your child eat poorly or suffer from some sort of intolerance. Or is your child overweight? These are some reasons why you should take a child to a nutritionist.
In this article, we’ll tell you why it’s important that your children eat well. And, at the same time, we’ll tell you when you should see a nutritionist since not only adults should go to the nutritionist but children as well.
Why take a child to a nutritionist?
Acquiring healthy eating habits from an early age is essential in order for them to last a lifetime. Thus, by taking your child to a nutritionist, you’ll ensure that their growth and development are correct, both physically and mentally.
In addition, maintaining a varied and healthy diet will help prevent short-term health problems. These include excess weight and obesity, malnutrition, growth delays, anemia, and tooth decay. And in the long term, it can help prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Parents are essential in this learning process, as are their educators and nutrition professionals. We can teach our children to be healthy, but if parents don’t eat healthily, it’ll be difficult to change these habits. This study published in Nutrients sheds more light on the subject.
When to take a child to a nutritionist
A nutritionist will re-educate your child regarding eating, analyze the child’s current diet, eating habits, and physical activity. This will help to identify the mistakes the child is making in their diet and lifestyle, and to teach your child and family to eat healthily.
When complementary feeding begins
The sooner we teach children to eat well, the easier it will be for them to learn good habits. That’s why, from the first moment your child starts to eat solids, you can take them to the nutritionist.
In this way, the professional will teach your family how and when to introduce new foods. At the same time, the professional can offer different recipes and ideas so that the child begins to eat gladly and doesn’t reject food.
Your child doesn’t eat
Your child doesn’t eat, doesn’t like anything, and you don’t know what to do anymore. That’s when you should take them to a nutritionist for advice on how to introduce food and get them to eat healthily.
Remember that juice, cookies, chocolate, and pasta don’t constitute a healthy diet and can lead to vitamin-deficiency and stunted growth.
Your child is overweight or obese
This is probably one of the main reasons why parents take their child to the nutritionist. Even so, there are parents who don’t worry about their child’s weight, thinking they’ll have a growth spurt. However, many times, this isn’t the case.
What can happen is that the child becomes an obese teenager, as they’ll continue to eat poorly.
Your child suffers from some disease
Children with diseases such as diabetes, asthma, digestive diseases, autism, Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, or any other neurological or metabolic disease should see a nutritionist. This is because their diet must be adapted to their situation. For example, studies show that childhood epilepsy can improve by eating a ketogenic diet.
You should take your child to a nutritionist if they have food intolerances or allergies
Does your child feel bad after eating any food? In that case, going to a nutritionist would serve to guide your family regarding possible food intolerances or allergies and then refer them to the doctor for the appropriate tests.
If your child’s been diagnosed with any intolerance (lactose, fructose, gluten, etc), allergy, or celiac disease, the nutritionist will recommend which foods they can or can’t. At the same time, the professional will tell you which recipes to include to prevent boredom and nutritional deficiencies.
You’re in some special situation
- For example, children who practice some sport discipline and compete, since their energy and macronutrient requirements will be different.
- Also, in the case of vegetarian or vegan families, so that the children have a complete diet without deficiencies.
Detecting eating disorders
Although they tend to be more common in adolescence, eating disorders are occurring earlier and earlier, and often go unnoticed by parents. For that reason, a nutritionist could detect them and help children in their recovery.
As you’ve seen, a nutritionist not only helps when children are overweight or obese but in many other situations. So, if your child is in any of these situations, don’t hesitate to see a professional.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cai, Q. Y., Zhou, Z. J., Luo, R., Gan, J., Li, S. P., Mu, D. Z., & Wan, C. M. (2017). Safety and tolerability of the ketogenic diet used for the treatment of refractory childhood epilepsy: a systematic review of published prospective studies. World journal of pediatrics : WJP, 13(6), 528–536. doi:10.1007/s12519-017-0053-2
- Lanfer, A., Hebestreit, A., & Ahrens, W. (2010). Einfluss der Ernährung und des Essverhaltens auf die Entwicklung der Adipositas bei Kindern und Jugendlichen [Diet and eating habits in relation to the development of obesity in children and adolescents]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 53(7), 690–698. doi:10.1007/s00103-010-1086-z
- Romanos-Nanclares, A., Zazpe, I., Santiago, S., Marín, L., Rico-Campà, A., & Martín-Calvo, N. (2018). Influence of Parental Healthy-Eating Attitudes and Nutritional Knowledge on Nutritional Adequacy and Diet Quality among Preschoolers: The SENDO Project. Nutrients, 10(12), 1875. doi:10.3390/nu10121875