Food is one of life's pleasures, but when you have a child who is a fussy eater, mealtimes can feel like a battleground. In my work teaching young children, I experienced first-hand the struggles many parents face when making choices about how to deal with problem mealtime behaviours. In the short-term, it seemed easier to let my pre-school age students eat whatever they wanted at mealtimes but I knew this was not a recipe for good long term food habits. My interest in food and travel later led to an apprenticeship as a chef and I worked for several years both in fine dining and as a private chef.
Masters Degree in Nutrition
The field of nutrition was a natural fit for my work experience and after living and working overseas for 10 years, I returned to New Zealand to complete an MSc in Human Nutrition with a focus on fussy eating in young children. In my research I discovered that alarming numbers of parents experience concern about feeding their children and it was no wonder. Problem mealtime behaviours can make social events and family mealtimes very difficult and long-term poor eating habits that can develop as a result of fussy eating are a risk factor for a number of avoidable chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
About The Kid's Fed Up
"The kid's fed up" is a pun on how fed up everyone in a family can feel when mealtimes are a struggle - but kids should be "fed up" in the sense that they should be well-nourished so they can develop and grow. I want parents to get to a place where they feel confident about their feeding practices, and secure that their child's eating habits are such that they can fulfil their potential and maintain good health during their life. A wide range of biological, genetic and social factors contribute to the development of fussy eating, and of course each family has different habits and needs. That's why I tailor all my programmes to suit you, after a full consultation.
The Importance of Consulting a Qualified Nutritionist
Make sure you speak to a university-qualified nutritionist! Because the term nutritionist is not protected, anyone can (and does) call themselves a nutritionist and it can be hard to know who to believe. "Nutritionists" who have completed a six week online course, or a year or two of alternative therapy courses abound. Look at any newspaper or magazine and reporters have seized on the results of a single study as if it were the definitive truth. But you wouldn't get financial advice from someone just because they've bought something - and nor does it make any sense to take nutritional advice from someone just because they've been on a diet. Human metabolism is far more diverse and complicated than that.
Choose a university-qualified nutritionist who has completed at least an undergraduate degree and preferably a postgraduate qualification such as a Masters degree, in Human Nutrition. Research on diet and eating is notoriously difficult to conduct and assess because there are so many confounding factors - people don't live in bubbles or only eat test foods, unlike lab rats! That's where university-qualified nutritionists come in - we stay up to date with the most recent research and have the expertise to assess it in light of the whole body of nutrition research instead of basing our opinions on a single study. Better still, while we greatly respect the work of doctors and dieticians that work in hospitals, qualified nutritionists can help you avoid landing in hospital in the first place - we work on maintaining wellness, rather than dealing with disease.
But I Don't Have Time to Cook!
I'm passionate about dietary diversity, because eating a wide range of food is a great way to reduce the risk of chronic diet-related disease. Fussy eaters restrict the range of food they eat and that's why helping families with strategies to beat fussy eating is so important to me. Unfortunately though, we don't always have the time to prepare meals - if you're a busy parent who doesn't always have time to cook, my food prep delivery service It's All Gravy might be right for you.
Contact us to find out how we can help you.