Why You Should Use A Child Nutritionist Surrey

A healthy balanced diet is important for all age groups but is particularly important for children as they are growing and developing rapidly. Ensuring they have all the nutrients they need will help them to reach their potential. A healthy, balanced diet should include starchy carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, some dairy or dairy alternatives, some protein foods and a small number of unsaturated oils or fats. It sounds simple but food preferences, fussy eating, special diets and untrustworthy information can sometimes make it tricky to provide your child with everything he or she needs. 


Children have different nutritional needs compared to adults, particularly young children. Getting advice from a qualified health professional, such a Child Nutritionist Surrey will help you to provide your child with the foods they need. Establishing healthy food preferences from an early age has also been shown to track through into adulthood which could help to reduce the risk of diet-related diseases as they grow up. 


Everyone seems to like to have a say when it comes to what to feed your child but who can you trust? Nutrition is not a straight-forward science and finding someone who is appropriately qualified is essential if you want evidence-based information. The title ‘Nutritionist’ is not protected, meaning anyone could call themselves a ‘Nutritionist’ or ‘Nutrition expert’. However, to become an AfN Registered Nutritionist you need to have at least a degree in nutrition, 3 years experience and provide a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate competency. If you are looking for a qualified Nutritionist, look for ‘RNutr’ after their name or check the Register held by AfN.  This is the only register of qualified nutritionists recognised by Public Health England and the NHS.


What are the nutrient requirements for children? Here are just some of the important nutrients a child needs for healthy growth and development.


Calcium is important for the development and maintenance of normal bones. Calcium can be found in milk, yoghurt, cheese, soya beans, tofu, green leafy vegetables, dairy alternatives fortified with calcium, bread and fish that contains edible bones.


Iron is needed for normal brain development, transporting oxygen around the body and helping the immune system work as it should. Iron can be found in meat, wholegrain cereals, pulses, beans, nuts, sesame seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and fortified breakfast cereals. Iron is particularly important in young children and menstruating teenage girls. 


Vitamin A is important for normal skin and eyes and for a normal immune system. Vitamin A can be found in milk, yoghurt, fortified fat spreads, cheese, eggs, green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers. As too much vitamin A can be harmful it is important to follow the instructions on any supplements given and make sure they are age-appropriate.


Vitamin D is important for normal bone growth and also helps to keep muscles and the immune system healthy. Vitamin D can be found in eggs, oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals and fortified fat spread. However, it is hard to get all the vitamin D we need from food alone. It is recommended that children up to the age of five should be given a daily vitamin D supplement. This includes breastfed babies and formula-fed babies having less than 500 ml of infant formula a day. Like with adults, it is recommended that children over the age of five should have a daily vitamin D supplement from October to April, when the sun’s UV rays are not strong enough to produce vitamin D in our skin.


Long-chain omega 3 fatty acids are essential for normal brain development. These fatty acids can be found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines. It is recommended to have two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.


A Child Nutritionist cannot only help you to make sure your child is receiving adequate nutrients in their diet but also help them to maintain a healthy weight and develop a positive relationship with food. If you would like some practical advice to get your child’s diet on track, get in touch. Our Registered Nutritionist is here to help.

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