Child Nutrition Specialist

Teaching healthy eating habits is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children, yet it’s not always an easy task. Feeding children can sometimes be challenging, often leaving parents feeling unsure of what to do to get their kids to eat well.

A small group of three elementary students stack on top of one another in the grass as they pose for a portrait.  They are each dressed casually and are smiling as they enjoy the fresh air.

Child Nutrition Q & A

How do I ensure adequate nutrition for my child?

Providing the nutrition your child needs can be challenging at times, but we can help!

These are the top two concerns parents often ask us about:

How much do I serve my child at meals?

t’s not easy to determine how much food your child needs to stay healthy, and just when you think you have a handle on it, their needs change as they grow, activity increases or decreases, they get sick, or their food preferences change! It can be hard to keep up on the latest research and recommendations, and sometimes it can make a parent’s head spin. We get it! Add to all this the fact that national guidelines are commonly given in terms of daily calories, which parents don’t often find helpful or have the time to calculate. And spoiler alert: we prefer NOT to focus on calorie-counting as it often interferes with instilling more healthful nutritional habits and positive attitudes around eating (this is true for kids as well as most adults!) There are many ways to help your kids eat well and adequately. The team at Essential Nutrition can help you learn and adopt helpful and healthful strategies for your kids, as well as your whole family!

How do I get my child to eat?

Parents can prepare and serve the food, but they can’t force children to eat. Engaging in a battle over food never helps children learn proper eating habits, and it doesn’t motivate picky eaters to eat.

If you need tips for getting your child to eat or you’re worried that they’re missing nutrients due to picky or restrictive eating, we can evaluate their nutritional status and give you professional guidance and support to help you manage mealtimes with greater confidence and fewer battles.

What nutritional problems do children face?

Children often fall below the recommended intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy (or nutrient-comparable dairy-alternatives.) That means they may be facing potential insufficiencies or deficiencies in various nutrients, from fluid to fiber to various vitamins and minerals, including potassium, iron and calcium. We can help find workable solutions to ensure your child gets the nourishment they need while avoiding mealtime battles.

Parents may also find themselves feeling unsure at times about whether their child is eating adequately, or too little or too much. Concern often grows when parents see their child’s eating habits or food preferences suddenly change, or foods their child used to enjoy regularly have become off limits. It can be profoundly helpful to get professional guidance to know if everything is okay, or if a situation could be developing into something more serious, such as an eating disorder or avoidant and restrictive food intake disorder. If you worry your child may be turning to food as a coping mechanism for managing the complexities of life, rather than for nourishment and simple enjoyment, such as using food for emotional management or as a form of control over food, please contact our office. We can help!