RD Spotlight: Meet Coach Kari
How to Manage Special Diets with Kids
Meet Coach Kari
She has an innovator style. She admits she loves anything that features romantic vampires Shhh, it’s supposed to be a secret but she spilled the beans. Guess what Kari, us too.
For Coach Kari family nutrition is personal and professional
Being an expert in nutrition as a Registered Dietitian is
my profession, but it has always played a big part in being a mom. Both my kids
had very different nutritional needs growing up. I have had personal experience
with my own kids from failure to thrive to severe gastrointestinal (GI) issues.
She is ready to help you manage food allergies and intolerances, de-pick a picky eater, and empower your children to make healthier choices. Want more? Check out how she approaches food and nutrition at home.
Coach Kari shares some tips for how she managed food and nutrition with her family.
Focus on food
I believe that food is powerful medicine. My child with the GI issues was physically suffering and was even hospitalized, and we had seen so many types of specialists. Once my son and I together focused on what he was eating and made dietary changes he started to heal. In just 3-months, his suffering was greatly reduced and he was able to finally live a more enjoyable life and like all sons get a kick out of pushing my buttons.
Bring kids in
I helped by empowering my child and giving him the tools to discover what foods caused flare-ups. Together we researched his condition and talked about it a lot. I had him pick out recipes that we could make together. This was when he was a fourth grader, he was 10.
I remember we had a teacher who kept bringing cupcakes into the classroom, sound familiar? Every time he ate one he would get so sick and end up right back at the doctor’s office. That teacher cost us so much money just in co-pays. Maybe I’ll send her a bill? I think that is why it is so important to bring our children into decisions, and to empower kids to think for themselves.
Now that my son is 15, he totally gets it. He makes his own choices so he can feel good and spend less time in the bathroom and more time chasing girls. His food choices turned into a lifestyle.
Create an environment where kids can also enjoy “sometimes foods”
I do my best to be a role model. Eating well is a part of who I am. My family eats most everything, even some of the things I call “sometimes foods”. In my counseling we talk about how to balance the diet based on what your family likes, but also find ways to keep some treats. When kids are involved in food decisions and feel like they can make them, they will be happy eaters. My son loves our famous chocolate “get things moving” smoothie that contains about ½ fruit, ½ veggies, with a smidge of peanut butter. I’ll be happy to share that recipe on our first counseling session! (If your child has a peanut allergy then I’ll be happy to share our famous “get things moving” very berry cherry smoothie).
Give kids the credit
When kids make the decision (of course with your help), then they are more likely to comply with a specialized diet. Let’s give them the credit so they can feel proud!
What an awesome coach! Read more about how you can access Kari and our other experts here.
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