Television


About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Feed Your Child Well

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Feed your Child Well -is a new guide for parents to explain all the major stages of children's' nutrition from 0-5 with advice for coping with common problems.


Authors
Therese Dunne

BSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics, M.I.N.D.I., Therese currently practices as a senior paediatric dietician at The Children's University Hospital Temple Street, Dublin, where she has worked since 2000. She trained in the Dublin Institute of Technology and The University of Dublin Trinity College qualifying in 1998. Originally from County Kerry, she has spent eight years working within paediatric units and hospital in both Ireland and the UK, spending a total of nine years working as a dietitian, including some initial work with adults. She lectures to community dieticians working with children and is frequently contacted by public health nurses and GPs for nutritional advice for children. Therese provides consultation to several hundred children seen each year at Temple Street.

Originally from Tralee, Co. Kerry, Therese is now living in Sandycove, Co. Dublin with her husband. Therese has been working full time in Temple Street for 8 years. Her interests include travel, nature and walking.

Phyllis Farrell
BSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics, M.I.N.D.I., currently practices as a senior paediatric dietitian at The Children's University Hospital Temple Street, Dublin, where she has worked since 2001. She trained in the Dubin Institute of Technology and The University of Dublin Trinity College qualifying in 1996. Originally from County Tipperary, she has spent ten years working within paediatic units and hospitals in both Ireland and the UK. A total of eleven years working as a dietitian includes some initial work with adults. She lectures to community dietitians working with children and is frequently contacted by public health nurses and GPs for nutritional advice for children. Phyllis provides consultation to several hundred children each year at Temple Street.

Originally from Tipperary, County Tipperary, Phyllis is now living in Clontarf with her husband. Phyllis has been working full time in Temple Street for seven years. Her interests include going to the gym, make-up artistry and travel.


Valerie Kelly
BSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics, M.I.N.D.I., currently practices as a senior paediatric dietitian in the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin. From Bray, co Wicklow, she graduated from Trinity College Dublin and the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2020 and began working in Temple Street immediately. Valerie has also lectured community dietitians working with children and is frequently contacted by public health nurses and GPs for nutritional advice. She provides consultations to several hundred children a year in Temple Street. Valerie also works for the INDI dealing with media queries in relation to nutrition.

Valerie lives in Bray, Co Wicklow (born and bred) with her partner and cat. Works full time in Temple Street for the last 5 years. Interests include hill walking, surfing, tennis and playing the violin.


Why they decided to write this book.
. With so much advertising from food manufacturers and mixed messages from the media, they felt parents are vulnerable and deserve sound, reliable, practical and unbiased information from those qualified to give it.

. They are working day to day in a major paediatric hospital, seeing babies, toddlers and children and advising parents on nutritional issues. They felt they have a lot to offer in terms of advice for both healthy children and children running into problems relating to nutrition.

. With three authors, they felt it was possible to pool their experiences and use it to cover all aspects of childhood nutrition.

. They have combined scientific facts with their hands-on experience to produce something that will appeal to all parents who wish to give their children the very best nutrition they can.

 

1. Common infant feeding problems e.g. wind, colic and constipation (Therese Dunne)
 
During the first year of life an infant grows more rapidly than at any other time in life. A baby's weight trebles in the first year and length will double. Good nutrition is essential to support this rapid growth. However during a baby's first year some problems with feeding may arise. Most of these are minor and can be managed at home but they can be distressing for both babies and parents. Common problems include wind, colic and constipation. Wind affects all babies to some extent as they usually swallow air while feeding. Colic affects up to 30 percent of babies usually at between 3 and 13 weeks of age. It affects breast fed and formula fed babies equally. Constipation is one of the most common problems seen in paediatric out-patient departments but reassuringly, it is usually only a temporary problem.


Wind

1. Babies vary in how often they need to be winded during a feed. Some may only need to be winded at the end of a feed whereas others may need winding quite regularly e.g. after every 2 oz of feed

2. If a feed is taken too slowly or too quickly, the amount of air swallowed may increase. It is important that the rate of flow from the teat suits the baby.

Colic

3. Babies normally cry more in the second month of life. On average newborn babies cry for around 1 ½ hours each day and by 6 weeks this increases to 3 hours a day.

4. 2 possible common causes of colic are build-up of wind and 'over-stimulation'.
Babies can be over stimulated by too much loud noise, bright lights or the presence of several people at one time.

Constipation

5. It can be normal for a breast fed baby to stool after every feed or as infrequently as once a week. It can be normal for bottle fed babies to stool from once to three times a day to once every two to three days.

6. Inadequate fluid intake is the most common cause of constipation in infants.


2. Reading food labels, shopping for your child (Valerie Kelly)

The supermarket can be a confusing place when trying to shop for a healthy diet for your child. In fact, the National Children's Food Survey (IUNA 2005) found that 68% parents find it hard at least some of the time to provide a healthy diet for their child. The second most common reason they listed for this was 'food advertising'. Nutrition for children is big business and both parents and children are strongly targeted by food manufacturers. Manufacturers often heavily advertise one side of a food, for example that it is full of vitamin C, to grab a parents' attention and then downplay the fact that that food may be full of sugar. This leaves parents confused and frustrated when all they really want is to provide the best nutrition that they can for their child. Media reports about food additives and salt in foods only adds to the confusion. So how can parents decide for themselves if a food is healthy or not?

. Read the nutritional label.
Look specifically at the levels of fat, sugar and salt in the food.

A lot is  more than  A little is less than
Total Fat  20g per 100g   3g per 100g  
Saturated fat  5g per 100g   1g per 100g
Sugar   10g per 100g   2g per 100g
Salt   1.3g per 100g   0.3g per 100g


In the case of salt, keep in mind the maximum daily amounts recommended for children under 5 years:
7-12 months 1g/day
1-3 years 2g/day
4-6 years 3g/day

Food example:
1 sausage = 0.5g salt
1 weetabix = 0.1g salt
1 bowl shreddies = 0.2g

. Children's foods
o No need for children to have 'special' yogurts or any other type of food
o Generally higher in sugar than 'adult' counterparts
o Again, check labels and compare brands

. Food Additives
o All have been tested and considered safe by the EU Scientific Committee on Food
o No evidence that they cause hyperactivity until recently - in light of recent evidence it may be useful to avoid certain colours for kids who are hyperactive or have ADHD

3. Fussy Eating (Phyllis Farrell)
Children refusing to eat their meals and turning their back to wholesome foods can cause huge distress to parents as well as being detrimental for their child's growth, health and development.  Food refusal or fussy eating appears to be a very common phenomenon in many households and to such an extend some parents almost expect it.
Inappropriate weaning, excessive intake of drinks, poor routine, limited exposure to variety of foods, distractions at meals times,  children exerting their independence, or commanding attention and even parents' own anxiety all contribute to the problem.
The National Children's Food Survey (IUNA) 2005 found that children likes and dislikes is one of the main reasons that parents found made it difficult to provide a healthy diet for their children. 

1. There is a proven link between early food exposure and subsequent food acceptance.  Establishing a taste for a range of foods needs to start early in life, ideally while weaning an infant onto solid foods. 
Also advance the texture of food through the stages of weaning, as delaying the baby's exposure to lumpier foods may contribute to fussy eating.

On the other hand changing behavior is never too late to start

2.  Have regular mealtimes and establish a routine, don't allow them to snack randomly all day.
Don't make mealtimes a battle of wills.
Look at the habits that affect your child's appetite

3.  Share the same menu for the whole family and eat together as much as possible.

4.  Don't resort to bribery or force feed as a way of getting your child to eat more.  Never let your child hear you talking about how fussy he or she is.

5.  How you respond to your child's refusal of food is very important. 

Archive
Go