Very often people are surprised when they hear what I do.
Dietitian who promote weight loss? Not so surprising.
Dietitans who counsel patients on managing specific diseases? Definitely.
A dietitian who is supposed to help parents figure out how to feed their kids? I get more than my fair share of eye brow raises. I mean come on it’s just good and they’re your kids…you should totally know how to feed them right?
Your kids being super specific about their food choices is just normal kid stuff- right?
Totally refusing all foods at meal times but eating all the snacks? We’ll just call those “mini meals”?
If you’re so stressed you’re ready to pull to pull your hair out at meal times- you’re probably doing this whole parenting thing right…..right?
All of these to some extent might be true. Sometimes our kids just aren’t as hungry as we think they “should be”, and they might eat less at that meal than we think they “should” (**maybe as a result of the snacks**).
Sometimes our kids have legitimate preferences that might be different than ours.
Sometimes we all go through phases of favourite foods. Personally I only change by breakfast once every six months! It’s an easy way to shorten my morning routine to just stick with one thing.
The stress- yes…partially just does come with dealing with little people who may or may not have the skills to communicate their preferences or who have learned the skill VERY well.
But when your child refuses all meals offered, or will only eat the specific foods they have requested- IT IS TIME TO SEEK HELP!
If you ask yourself “how stressful out of 10 do I find meal times” and find yourself scoring a 6 or higher – IT IS TIME TO SEEK HELP!
When you start seeing your child’s growth slow or seeing unintentional weight loss- IT IS TIME TO SEEK HELP!
And as for the supposed knowledge that as parents we are all supposed to have to know how to properly feed our kids- we’re parents, not psychics. I have yet to see a parent come into my office who wasn’t making the choices they were making from the best of places. If anything, sometimes it’s all the above and beyond we do for our children that prevents them from becoming good eaters in the first place. So for anyone who thinks that they will walk into a dietitian’s office only to be judged for not doing enough- let me set the record straight. I’m a parent too- and I know that sometimes corners have to be cut, and sometimes you just don’t have it in you that day, and that we’re all doing everything in our power to raise our kids right.
With any parenting questions it’s important to have a tribe in your corner, people who have done all this before you, and who can support you judgement free. When it comes to meal time and nutrition questions, feeding challenges or weight concern, that’s where a dietitian may come in! We’re all just members of the tribe who have the necessary training to help you through!