Every year from January to April I teach a lifecycle nutrition course at our local university. And each year I am in awe, all over again, at the amazing way that nutrients are used for growth and development from conception through to adulthood. And I think what fascinates me most is that we all need the same nutrients, but we need them in different amounts, and sometimes even for different primary functions!
But when I think about nourishing infants, toddlers, children, and teens, there are a few things that come to mind. First of all, needs individualize more and more each year. All healthy, full term babies have similar needs. Not exactly the same…but similar. Then as these little ones grow we see different metabolic rates, activity levels, and food preferences that affect their intake and needs. Then as they go through puberty, their needs individualize even more! And eventually we hit adulthood where there are a multitude of factors that consider! When we think about it this way, it is very apparent why we cannot consider dietary recommendations a “one size fits all” option! The second this I think about leads us to the main purpose of this post. It is this…
There is SO much more to talk about that just nutrient needs!
March is Nutrition Month and the theme this year is More Than Food. I love this theme because it highlights the fact that our overall nutrition status and health is about so much more than knowing which foods have the most vitamins and minerals. It is about our relationship with food, our daily habits around food, our perspective of food-related situations, and so much more. Many of these aspects are greatly affected by our early exposures with food.
So I decided that it would be wonderful to dig into both the nutrient side and the behaviour side of nutrition from early days of feeding through to adolescence. I am so excited to announce that I will not be doing this alone! I have 4 fellow dietitian friends, who are experts in their field, that will be sharing on their instagram stories all week long.
Here is the exciting schedule and what you will hear about when you tune into our IG stories:
- Monday and Tuesday Megan from @feedinglittles will talk about Baby Led Weaning and Strategies for Nourishing Selective Eaters;
- Wednesday I (Noelle from @motherhoodandmeals) will talk about strategies for feeding your school-aged child – with a special focus on school lunches, sports nutrition, and managing busy schedules;
- Thursday Angela from @nourished_beginnings will give tips for feeding a child with ADHD or iron deficiency;
- Friday Bracha from @adolescent.nutritionist will talk about helping our teens navigate the adolescent years while keeping a positive relationship with food and their bodies.
When the week is done, I hope you will have a new understanding of how food-related behaviours and conversations can greatly influence our life-long healthy status. And stay tuned as we dive into this topic even more as nutrition month continues! And as always, let me know any questions in the comments below!