Prevent Childhood Weight Problems

Childhood weight problems are very delicate. The way in which they are handled at every step of the way can determine whether the child grows up to have a healthy Hilary Warner offers expert nutrition counseling to prevent childhood weight problems by improving the child's relationship with food and exerciserelationship with food and exercise or whether the child begins a cycle of dieting, repeated weight gain and loss, sneaking food, self-loathing, and health problems.

In my experience, when health care providers address childhood weight issues, parents often feel blamed for or guilty about the situation. Others have struggled with their own weight and eating problems- and having the focus directed at their child’s weight brings back unpleasant memories as well as a desire to protect their child from what they have gone through. I am sensitive to these concerns and do not scold or blame parents.

Because it is becoming established that dieting with a goal of weight loss not only does not work in the long term, but also appears to lead to weight gain, I do not recommend putting children on weight loss diets. Instead I coach parents (and the child, depending on age) on how to help their child build a healthy body with good nutrition and regular activity- the exact same things that are needed by all children regardless of their size or weight.

If you would like help improving your child’s/family’s health by eating better and moving more, here’s how it would work:

  • We would meet (without your child) to discuss the situation
  • I would obtain and review your child’s growth charts with you to see if your child has always trended on the large size or if there has been a marked and unexpected increase in rate of weight gain and/or BMI. If the growth charts show an unexpected change, we would work together to try to identify what caused this mysterious change.
  • If you were interested, I would coach you on things you could do to help your child and your family be more successful with healthy eating and physical exercise with a goal of your child having a healthy body and growing up to the size his/her genes intended him/her to be.
  • If we decided it would help for your child to meet with me, I might talk with him/her about:
    • getting into a rhythm of regular meals and snacks (not skimping during the day),
    • having permission to eat some “junk food” (and not sneak it),
    • using their cues for hunger and fullness to guide their intake (with a BIG focus on not eating when bored and stopping eating long enough between meals so they have an appetite for the next meal),
    • eating more of the healthful foods they already like (but might not eat enough of),
    • moving their body more- with a focus on fun, enjoyment, and health rather than weight loss,
    • the fact that people come in all sizes and genetics plays a large role in this

For more information about feeding and raising healthy children, I suggest:
• Ellyn Satter http://www.ellynsatter.com/
• Kathy Kater http://bodyimagehealth.org/

Hilary Warner of Nutrition Works! LLC is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist offering one-on-one nutrition counseling, dietary coaching, personalized nutrition plans, fitness plans and overall wellness consultations in Concord New Hampshire. Hilary Warner has advanced training in the treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. As a registered nutritionist/dietitian, Hilary helps people lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, and counsels individuals how to improve their diet to manage gluten intolerance, celiac disease, irritable bowel disease, and other food-related health problems. If your child is overweight, Hilary can coach parents and children on how to build a healthy body with good nutrition and regular activity. Hilary Warner can help you if you want to lose weight consistently, improve your general eating habits, learn how to cook healthy meals, improve your sports performance, and get healthier through good diet! Nutrition Works! LLC is located in Concord, NH and provides nutrition counseling to individuals throughout the state of New Hampshire.