Different children have different nutritional needs, and it is their parent’s task to feed them with proportionate amounts of nutrients which will keep them active throughout the day and contribute to their physical development. Lack of even a single nutrient in diet can affect a child’s growth, both physically and mentally. It must be kept in mind that poor nutrition is difficult to compensate for once children mature.
For many parents, this can prove to be an overwhelming task, more so for new parents. The best option for them in such cases is to consult a dietician. They help you along every step of understanding your child’s needs, their medical history, their physical activities, and then come up with a food/diet chart accordingly.
However, not many dieticians realize that suddenly adding new ingredients to a child’s working diet is not always accepted happily. They are prepared for the average child, but not for the very fussy or picky eaters.
Therefore, it is important to choose the correct dietician with good credentials and enough experience. Before you finalize a dietician with a child, speak with them at length to understand whether she is a good fit for your child.
Here are a few helpful pointers which will help you figure out which dietician is the best fit for your child’s needs:
- Get to know whether this particular dietician has ever worked with children before, or whether this is her first time with your child.
- Ask her if she’s worked with fussy eaters and how she’s handled them
- Understand from her what are the latest guidelines for feeding children, and how she approaches each and every child
- Does her analysis include the child’s BMI and growth history? Any dietician worth her salt will always assess your child’s growth curve and keep you updated with it
- Also keep in mind her attitude towards you – is she accepting of your inputs or dismissive?
- Is her language regarding your child normal, or does she use derogatory words like ‘stubborn’ and ‘a pain’?
The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that parents act as the role models for their children when it comes to a lot of things, including food and physical exercise.
- You’re the one who buys the food so make sure that what you buy is healthy and has all the proper nutrients which will benefit your child. Set an example – do away with carbonated drinks and replace them with flavoured milk, Roohafza or even lemonade.
- Don’t’ serve huge portions while eating food – let them be medium in size.
- More and more Indian parents avoid cooking and instead feed themselves on home deliveries, microwavable food items or ready-to-make foods. Such activities should be kept to a bare minimum to ensure both your child’s, and your own health.