Episode 2: Diet and Nutrition
NB: This programme was only available for 21 days and has now expired.
Marc is an energetic 4 year old who loves his food! His mum Kathleen was concerned that he had a tendency to overeat and may be developing early signs of childhood obesity. Consultant dietitian Niamh O'Connor turned her attention to Marc for a closer look at his weight, rate of growth, and his diet, to see if indeed there was a problem which needed to be tackled.
Marc weighed 21.6Kgs, and is 110cm tall. His weight and height were plotted a special graph or centile chart, which is used to measure a child's growth. Although he is tall for his age (in the top 10% for height for boys his age), his weight is in excess of the 97th centile which means his weight could potentially be a significant problem , particularly in light of his eating patterns and current calorie intake.
Niamh carried out a detailed dietary assessment on Marc - and analysed it using a software programme. The results certainly explained why Marc was gaining weight. His average daily calorie intake was a 2800, which is double what he needs. All other nutrients were also present in excess, so there was plenty scope to cut back his food. Niamh designed a tailor-made eating plan for Marc and encouraged healthier eating for the family as a whole. Although sugary treats and high fat snacks were tightly controlled in Marc's house, he still had a huge appetite for healthy food, and even too much healthy food can cause a weight problem if eating in the quantities that Marc was consuming. Marc and his mum will attend Niamh's clinic once a month for ongoing reviews, monitoring and assessment of his growth. It is vital that parents seeks the advice of a qualified dietician (clinical nutritionist) when making changes to a childs diet. Check out www.indi.ie for a qualified dietician in your area.
Little Grace O'Toole is just 7 months old, and has been diagnosed with reflux, which causes her to bring back up her feeds. If untreated it can lead to growth failure and other health problems. Grace has been seen by her family doctor and has also a consultant paediatrician.
Simple tips for tackling reflux are:
- Have it diagnosed by your doctor
- Find a good upright feeding position
- Don't bounce the baby after feeding
- Choose bland rather than acidic foods
- Change to thickened infant formula
The O'Tooles were assessed by:
Niamh O'Connor BSc (Human Nutrition) Dip (Dietetics) SRD, MINDI
Niamh is a Consultant Dietitian & clincial nutritionist with 15 years experience. She is based in Carigaline, Co. Cork.
MOBILE: (087) 2655975