"The smile of a child in consultation reminds me why I chose this job"
My biggest experience with children started at the Necker Hospital in Paris. When a child comes to see me, the priority is that they leave me with reassurance, without being worried but especially without the impression of having made a mistake or being punished.
Unfortunately, children are often stressed of the idead to meet a nutritionist but feel relaxed after a few minutes.
The first consultation is to evaluate the child's diet in his environment (family, school ...). The goals set will be accessible and achievable for the child and his family. You must not create stress. It's never about dieting in children! This term is to be avoided. A reorganisation of the diet in children is not a diet to lose weight. It's about rebuilding the food structure of the week at home and only a little bit at school to prevent the child from feeling sidelined.
In the context of a weight control, the first goal, is that the child is not frustrated by changes too fast or too brutal. The goal is to gradually change the food environment. I never do a restrictive diet in pediatrics, it's failure assured. The child will no longer be fulfilled and may develop excessive eating behavior.
I also work with parents to learn how to manage or avoid a food conflict. A conflictual relationship makes parents and the child unhappy and causes a failure to restore a balanced diet.
With each child, the priority is not to lose weight, but to stop gaining weight. Growth then makes it possible to correct the progression of the weight / size ratio. If the child loses a few hundred grams or a few kilograms, it is because the body decides to destock a slight surplus of mass. It is not in any way a diet, but only the response of the body which then wants to lose weight naturally and smoothly.
I do not remove any food from the child's food, except on written medical request, accurate and presented in consultation. I do not do an exclusion diet by removing foods on request from parents, without specific tests and presented. This weight loss is considered a side effect of the gradual restoration of the balanced diet.
During the follow-up consultations, we re-evaluate the food program with the child and the parents, to overcome the difficulties encountered, to continue to progress in their knowledge, application and involvement. permanent encouragement remains my priority.
On the technical side, the child will eat without depriving themselve. It is the choice of foods that will be decisive.
Being a nutritionist in pediatrics is not an obligation: it's a choice, a passion!