14 answers

Have You Ever Used a Child Nutritionist? How Did It Work for Your Child?

My almost 8-year-old daughter told me this morning that she feels bad because she thinks she's fat and she's feeling left out because none of her friends are. She IS significantly overweight, and this has been going on since she was 3-4 years old but hasn't been something that we have been able to successfully get under control. I've talked to her pediatrician and he gives me the run-of-the-mill food group education and portion control and exercise... the stuff I know like the back of my hand. She has had one blood test when she was 6 and everything was normal, except for an elevated c-peptide which is apparently a marker for people who may be susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes. She is very active, gets plenty of exercise.

Anyway... I am considering taking her to a child nutritionist. However, my insurance doesn't cover it, which is fine, I'lll pay for it myself, but I wanted to hear if any of you have used a nutritionist before and how it worked? Did it work for you? What benefits did you get out of it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your gracious advice- I was worried I would get presumptuous accusations- I have contacted three nutritionists today that I will speak to and will decide which one works best for us. I am focusing on a program that our whole family can take part in so my daughter doesn't feel singled out. After all, the focus IS on health and not on weight.

And, not to be tacky, but Carrie W.- in the future, please stick to answering the questions that Moms ask, and not making judgments based on evidence you don't have. We don't keep sugary drinks, cereals, or sweets in our home and never have. :)

Featured Answers

I have not gone to one. If you can afford it, why not. It is a great idea to do that. They are experts and can be that extra bit of outside help you may need. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

A nutritionist may just go into a little more detail that your pediatrician.

It sounds like you've been doing what you can, but I'll give you my best advice. My step-daughter is obese (same age as your daughter) and I see everything her mother is doing wrong to cause this...so it's just my best advice based on that.

First, portion control. When she's here, she'll ask for seconds on everything. No child needs seconds. We, as a nation, overestimate what a portion size is. Does any child need two hot dogs? Or two hamburgers? And even with healthy foods...she wants two oranges, or two apples, two cheese sticks, etc. We serve well balanced, healthy meals...and I limit her to one serving of everything. She always asks for more, I say no, and she is fine after she gives her brain time to catch up to her body after each meal.

Second, activity. This girl's mother insists she's very active because she does dance class...well, that's 45 minutes once a week. Really, children should get at LEAST an hour of active exercise a day...or more. This girl will complain if we go to the nature center for an hour to walk...because she's just not used to it. My own children are used to it, because we do it almost every day...so they can handle it better. It takes a bit to build up your endurance.

Third, look at empty calories. Does your child drink pop or juice? Does she eat a lot of empty carbs...white bread, white rice, etc? Those are all just converted straight to sugar, and if it's not burned off, then fat. I would stress lots of water, and well balanced portion control meals. If she likes treats, sweets, etc...just don't buy them any more.

Also, school lunches in a lot of places are terrible...look at what they're serving, and consider sending a packed lunch with her instead.

I feel for you, honestly...sometimes it's hard to get control of these things.

5 moms found this helpful

Ditto MrsLa below..and ditto again.

I personally have not used a nutritionist, but I know many personally and professionally through my husband.

Most nutritionists professionally treat those with diabetes, or epilepsy patients on the Ketogenic diet, etc. So their education is geared more towards people with medical problems or diseases. Since your daughter has tested normal, she does not have an underlying medical condition - yet. Although she is posed for developing diabetes.

N., you need to be honest about the types and quantities of food you have available in your home. And you need to honestly assess 'plenty of exercise.' 1-2 x week is not enough.

My personal observation of over weight kids is that they are quite lethargic at home, usually parked in front of the TV eating, or reading with a bowl of snacks next to them. And there are lots of big portions of processed foods, snacks, desserts around. And they whine for these types of foods, and become upset if they don't get them.

You must go back to basic foods, meaning Protein, Complex Carbohydrates and fresh fruits and veggies. Nothing more.

For instance, I only make desserts for birthday's in our home. Otherwise, we don't eat dessert. I do have a few chocolates around. And will make cookies at Christmas. But it's not a big part of our diet. OK, I'll be honest, my husband picked up donuts for the kids this week. But, I have skinny kids and a treat once in a while is no biggie...every day and every week is a problem.

I would also recommend watching the Dr. Phil segment with Kim Snyder and the show of a mom with her very over weight child. It's hard to see ourselves in these situations. This mom could totally not see herself and how she over fed her kid.

Also, make sure meal time is a loving, nurturing experience. I always sit down with my kids when they eat....always. We chat. It takes up a lot of my time..but being emotionally satisfied is just as important as being nutritionally satisfied.

3 moms found this helpful

we did visit a child nutritionist once and a dietician another time. The dietician was a little more aggressive on weight loss. The child nutritionist wanted to make minor changes in diet and said she would probably start growing in height and everything would balance out. You can also check with the YMCA - some of them have special programs for kids and teens. The program is divided into eating healthy, exercise (individual & group) and self esteem building. Great job to take action now while you can still give guidance on food.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, I have and it worked out very well. It was pricey, but I didn't have to go too many times to get the gist, if you know what I mean. She took a bit of her blood and put it under a microscope and found that she had a lot of fungus in her blood, probably due to many antibiotics in her past. (ear infections mainly) She put her on a cleanse, which excluded most grains, except for anything from Berlin Bakery (spelt flour) because she explained that most grains sit in silos and become moldy. bla, bla, bla it also excluded dairy and sugar. She could resume dairy when the 8 weeks were over. I really liked her. Janice Picking was her name and she is in NJ, which I see is far from you. Anyway, it was rough, but I saw such improvements with her. Her final advise when we were through was to keep an eye on her energy level. That is the key to making sure she is eating the foods her body likes. So, I like the idea as long as you can afford it and you find a reputable one. Good luck. So long as your daughter knows to eat for health, not beauty,and that the weight will come off slowly, but as a benefit of healthy living.

2 moms found this helpful

My niece is quite over weight and she spends a month with us every summer. One thing I noticed is that she is used to drinking sweet tea non-stop. I only serve her water and skim milk when she is with us, and she adjusts just fine. But why not try a nutritionist? Better to make improvements now before the tween and teen years when she will really start to feel the social pressure. Good luck. :)

2 moms found this helpful

I have had the same situation with my son who had always been a bit over-weight. Most assume that we drink soda, eat fast food , etc etc.. However, quite the contrary, in fact, he eats better than his classmates (as can be seen from the lunches they bring to school) that often have processed foods and or sugary drinks included. Anyway, my son LOVES water, loves most vegetables (even more so when they are raw) and will eat pretty much anything I give to him.. However, what I come to realize it's not that he is eating poorly perse but it's a couple of things, his portion even if healthy food has been too big.. Additionally, we've cut back on the white flour and or other insulin raising foods..by that, I am not talking sugar (he gets very little of that) I am talking about the myriad of foods that can make your insulin rise and therefore, block the fat... in other words, cause belly fat.. So far, since keeping to this strategy, over time, his belly has slimmed down ... I notice a big difference on a day when he may have had pasta for example.. I can see the next day how he looks slightly "puffier" as it were :) it's subtle but I can see the difference.. Also, like your child, he exercises a lot (we are big walkers in our family) and seldom drive to many places. it's not uncommon for us to take him on a walk that will be 5 to 7 miles..

try eliminating some of the insulin raising foods (that is IF you haven't already) ..Oh and I have also eliminated Bananas and other High Glycemic fruits.. for now, it just makes sense and has been wking..

try this approach and see how it goes. you may notice a big difference..

good luck to you and your family

1 mom found this helpful

I have been to 2 for our dd and make sure you ask about their area of focus because while it was great the the 1 st one was passionate about peds diabetes we were there due to celiac disease. So ask if they specialist in pediatric weight issues, positive nutrition teaching and guidance for the whole family not just one child.

I had a grand fear with our obese family history that my kids would head that direction. So as soon as they could be enrolled they have been in 2 hours of organzied sports a week and also play outsidde after school an hour everyday. No electronics can go with. If it is below 15degrees or raining we then have a dance party in the house. My kids don't eat sandwiches and no whites....white flour, no sugar, no french fries, and no high processed foods. We have bowls in the fridge of cut up fruit, veggies and clean nuts on the counter in bowls. All food must be eaten sitting down at the table and we don't drink any juice at our house. My kids do drink coffee and tea with no sweetening along with milk and water. Frequent small meals and no overload meals. A quick breakfast will be the green goo smoothie. Frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple, frozen oranges, a dallop of yogurt and a splash of almond milk and a few spinach leaves. I know you asked about the nutritionist but I added. Good luck on your quest for a healthy family.

1 mom found this helpful

I have not gone to one. If you can afford it, why not. It is a great idea to do that. They are experts and can be that extra bit of outside help you may need. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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