Nutrition & Diet for Teenagers and Children
Are you feeling confused about what to feed your kids? Feeling as though mealtimes are a battlefield? Not sure how to go about helping your child gain or lose weight? Are you a teenager yourself and want to learn more about good nutrition or begin a vegetarian diet? Then seeing our Diet & Nutritionist for Teenagers and Children is a really great place to start!
Don’t continue worrying over things you aren’t sure of when you can get expert advice on healthy eating across a range of child development stages. Good nutrition is vitally important for children of all ages to ensure optimal growth and development and to minimise risks of chronic conditions later in life.
It’s also important to note that a child’s requirements for energy, vitamins and minerals change according to different developmental stages. As a parent, you are busy enough with daily life to be expected to know the ins and outs of these requirements which is where the support of a qualified nutrition specialist to help you practically understand and apply strategies to family life is so beneficial.
Whatever your child’s needs might be, we work with you and your family to find practical strategies that promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle for all involved.
How Can Nutrition & Diet for Teenagers and Children Help?
First and foremost our Diet & Nutritionist for Teenagers and Children can help by myth-busting ideas such as the following:
If my child refuses to eat his meal I have to provide another option so they won’t go hungry.
Food is a good reward to help with problem behaviours.
My child is overweight, I need to put them on a strict diet.
My child won’t eat red meat so they are missing out on important nutrients.
If I simply cut the meat out of my diet, I will be following a healthy vegetarian diet
We also provide education, resources and support in how to encourage healthy eating and behaviours and manage relevant health conditions your child is living with to improve nutritional intake important in meeting requirements of growth and development.
These conditions can include:
Weight management including poor weight gain.
Fussy eating and associated challenges.
Difficulties meeting nutritional requirements for development stage (especially considering food allergy/intolerances).
Topics often discussed to assist in managing your child’s nutrition include:
Tips to influence a healthy relationship with food for your family.
Weight maintenance as an initial goal for overweight children rather than drastic weight loss.
A healthy relationship with food rather than deprivation due to strict dieting.
Balanced diet considering likes/dislikes and food allergies/intolerances.
Importance of breakfast and healthy options.
Healthy lunch box and snack options.
‘Sometimes’ vs ‘everyday’ foods – which to offer more often and which to limit.
Benefits of involving kids in preparing meals.
Family activities to encourage exercise and reduce screen watching time.
Quick easy meals for the time-poor busy family.
How to gauge if your child is growing well and meeting requirements.
Fortifying current foods to provide additional nutrition.
Tips to address fussy eating and other eating behaviours.
Label reading and cooking skills.
Handy resources including printed information and recipes.
For teenagers, your body is going through a lot of changes during a relatively short period of time. Changes in body shape can affect self-esteem and confidence and it can be tempting to change our diets in an attempt to look a certain way. Our Diet & Nutritionist can help guide and reassure teenagers about how to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food and to establish healthy eating habits that will set them up for their long-term health. If you would like support with gaining weight or losing weight during this time, our Diet & Nutritionist can provide you with the education and advice needed to achieve this in a positive and sustainable way. Our Diet & Nutritionist can also provide advice on vegetarian/vegan diets if you are wanting to follow a plant-based diet but aren’t sure where to start or would just like to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Areas our Diet & Nutritionist can help you with:
Weight management/weight gain
Nutrient deficiencies, e.g. iron-deficiency anaemia
Nutrition for energy and concentration during stressful periods, e.g. exam time
Nutrition for skin health
Nutrition for sports and exercise
What’s Involved in Seeing a Nutritionist for Teenagers and Children?
During your initial appointment, our Diet & Nutritionist will have an open and confidential discussion with you around your/ your child’s relevant social, medical and weight background, current medications, recent pathology results, clinical symptoms, usual foods and drinks eaten, timings of meals, eating behaviours and physical activity levels to assess your/your child’s current health situation. This helps our Diet & Nutritionist to understand your/your child’s needs and personal goals to tailor your session.
Our Diet & Nutritionist will include assessment and tracking of growth status using growth charts and body mass index calculations. Our Diet & Nutritionist will be able to answer nutrition-related queries and provide explanations of the relationship between conditions and diet so you understand your condition better and why changes may be necessary for your child and family.
You will receive nutrition education to equip you with the skills and confidence to make your own educated choices. Our Diet & Nutritionist will discuss various nutrition strategies so that you can set achievable and realistic goals with ongoing support and motivation to make changes for the long term.
How Often Will I Need To See A Nutritionist for a Diet for Teenagers and Children?
After the initial appointment with our Diet & Nutritionist for Teenagers and Children, follow-up consults will usually be encouraged every 2-4 weeks. This helps to ensure you have been able to implement any negotiated strategies, make any adjustments to the meal plan and provide support and accountability while making changes to your usual diet. Subsequent consultations are then scheduled as often as people find necessary for ongoing support.
*Please note, if your child is below the age of 2 or has Type 1 diabetes or a complex medical history, we recommend consulting a specialist pediatric dietitian.