Referral to a dietician


little_muffin

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As some of you will know, because of the way I choose to feed my children (!) I have been referred to a dietician by my health visitor whom was contacted by nursery. I'm not very happy about that but that is a whole other story.

I am prepared to have to fight (though don't want to) for my beliefs and I think my main argument would be that if I was feeding her sweets all day noone would bat an eyelid but because I'm not and trying to feed her good, nutritious food, everyone has a problem. She is thriving, behaviour has drastically improved, she has loads more energy, is sleeping better and she isn't complaining of sore tummies anymore. Done deal f you ask me but I know that the NHS dietician will have her own agenda.

Does anyone know what I should expect from this appointment?

I am researching the life out of myself at the minute on dairy particularly as I think that will be the main problem, and grains. Sugar is a no go, no arguments, I don't care how many letters you have after your name :P

I am totally in the dark as this is completely new territory and I wasn't expecting this may obstacles to feeding my family if I'm honest. I just want to make sure that I am prepared so if you have any advice or can guide me that would be great.

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If you are backed into a corner about the grains and dairy, I would suggest a compromise of PROPERLY PREPARED grains and dairy in the nursery setting. The Weston A Price Foundation has a great website with scientific articles about traditional methods of food preparation that make nutrients more available, inhibit anti-nutrients and makes food more digestible. An example would be milk made into kefir or grains (like rice) which have been soaked or soured first. If your daughter has serious enough intolerances to even well prepared foods then medical testing should bear that out and exceptions made regardless of the dietician's ideas.

I know a compromise maybe isn't what you wanted to hear. Maybe you can fight it and be an agent for change. If I was in your situation I think I would try to figure out how to navigate the system and work it to my maximum benefit.

Best wishes to you while you are doing this. I admire your fighting- I am fortunate that no one questions how I feed my kids but I have butted heads with hospital dietician's when my my parents and grandmother were hospitalized. Dealing with an institution is maddening.

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This is a tough one. Be prepared for the dietician to reject any nutrition information you offer (even possibly to be offended that you question her authority). There is a lot of training and conventional wisdom that will be hard to combat, but here's the thing: you don't have to convince her that her understanding of nutrition is wrong or that all people should change how they are eating (even if it is true). You only have to convince her that you are not harming your child, SO, I would focus on direct experience with your specific child. Your statement above is gold:

She is thriving, behaviour has drastically improved, she has loads more energy, is sleeping better and she isn't complaining of sore tummies anymore.

I would focus on that.

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Hi Little Muffin. First of all, the following is totally my experience here in the UK and in no way an official W30 response. in other words I've taken my 'mod' hat off.

I would be very careful here. Obviously the nursery and the health visitor have concerns, however mistakenly, with how you're feeding your child so they've referred you to the dietician. Dieticians in this country are all employed by the NHS and have absolutely no choice but to push the govt guidlines which basically is the food pyramid. Regardless of what they personally believe, that is all they are allowed to advocate.

I have been referred to dieticians in the past and also have known a couple who actually left their jobs because of not believing what they were forced to teach. No matter how much research you've done or information you go in with there's a high probability of meeting one of two responses, either a patronising 'their's any amount of quack science out there on the internet' attitude or hostility because they feel you're questioning their authority, expertise and training, or worst case scenario a bit of both.

I got a much better response by keeping it on a personal level, explaining that certain foods gave me an upset stomach or migrain or whatever and that's why I'd cut them out and how much better I was feeling without them. When asked about my diet I stressed the things I knew they'd agree with, like lots of fresh fruit and veg etc. I listened to what they had to say and asked their advice on a couple of things.

No one can advise you what to do, all I can say is, if it were me, I'd stress that my daughter had been getting upset tummies, being hyyper, whatever and I'd wondered if it had anything to do with her diet, I'd mention anyone in the family I could think of that had food intolerances. I'd explain how surprised I'd been at how much better she now was. I'd stress all the healthy food she was eating and how happy she was. At that point, I might, depending on how I felt it was going, explain that since I'd cut these things out of her diet I'd done some research to check she wasn't missing out on any vital nutrients and been reassured by studies I'd found quoting whichever ones you like. I would ask their advice, asking them if they thought there were any vital nutrients missing in the food she was eating and how could you incorporate these into her diet without giving her foods that upset her.

Basically you'll get on far better if you can establish a relationship and get them on your side over concerns about your daughter's health rather than getting involved in general arguments about 'good diet' etc. As MissMary said, all you have to do is convince them you're not harming your child, so I agree focus on that.

I would expect them to feel far happier thinking that this change of diet is you responding to your child's needs rather than you simply forcing your ideas of diet, which they will not agree with, onto your child. There are some fights you just can't win.

In an ideal world, everyone would see that you really are doing the best for your children. It's a really sad day that the optimal diet is going to be viewed as inferior to the food pyramid and standard British diet. However, since the 2004 amendments to the Childrens Act all local authority bodies like nurseries, health visitors, dieticians etc. have a duty of care to pass on any concerns about children. You really don't want them thinking you're not feeding your child properly. I'm sure the last thing any of us would want is social work involvement questioning our general parenting skills.

I wish you all the best with this and I'm sure if you can get them on your side and let them see that you're simply responding to your daughter's needs you'll have no trouble. good luck and let us know how it goes.

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First: don't go in there looking for a fight. You might get one, but don't go on the offensive until you have to. I know it's hard, but this stuff makes perfect sense when you explain it calmly and rationally. If you come in guns ablazing, they're going to put up a wall and not listen to anything you're saying.

I think it is very important for you to start by focusing NOT on what you are excluding from her diet, but what you are including: Stress the following:

Moderate amounts of high quality, lean protein, lots of unprocessed, nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, and plenty of healthy fats.

(Obviously, this is NOT the time to be swinging from the, "Yay Paleo! I can eat bacon + bacon with a side of bacon for breakfast!" tree.)

It should NOT be controversial that you want to exclude processed foods and sugar from your daughter's diet. It is VERY difficult for a dietician to argue with that. Focus on this. The only two controversial exclusions are grains and dairy, but stress that there is NO micro or macronutrient that your daughter needs that cannot be obtained from the foods that she is eating. Calcium? It's in Kale, spinach and all of the dark leafy greens. Fiber in grains? Veggies have more soluble fiber than grains do. Folate? greens again, and organ meats (i'm not sure if these are in your daughter's diet..but they should be!!!)

Also fall back on your experiences: You thought she was gluten intolerant previously. By pulling all the grains and dairy (many people that are gluten intolerant cross react with dairy because of the molecular similarity of gluten and casein) out this time, you've seen a marked improvement in her behavior.

Highlight that you are NOT asking the school to provide these things for her. You're happy to pack food for her.

Lastly, I haven't checked the other threads, but did you ever see this post I pointed you to last week? http://whole9life.com/2013/04/feeding-our-children/

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I have no advice, just wanted to tell you that as a mom, I am completely outraged by what you are having to go through to feed your child healthy food. Carry on.

I'm NOT a mom and I'm frustrated for you :( I used to work in childcare, and the insanity I saw was just heartbreaking. Take pride in the fact that you are the minority--a parent who is tuned into their child's eating instead of the ones who tune out (and send their 6 y/o to school with not one but two double big macs and supersized fries and XL pop...and then blame the teachers and daycare workers for the child's behavorial issues...I WISH I were kidding). Best of luck to you--I'm rooting for ya!

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