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At PHCA, we are committed to helping your child be happy and healthy. A healthy lifestyle is not complete without proper nutrition. Food provides fuel for our bodies and nutrients that help our bodies function properly. It is up to us to consume a balanced diet with a variety of foods rich in these nutrients.
In addition to making smart food choices, we also need to think about how much we eat. Overeating leads to unhealthy weight gain. Approximately 17% of children ages 2-19 years are obese. Research has shown that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight decreases your child’s risk of being diagnosed with type II diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, depression, and a number of other conditions.
What is a dietitian?
A dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition. They understand how the body utilizes nutrients, and can help identify nutritional deficiencies or excess in your diet. Here at PHCA, our dietitian is available to provide nutrition counseling for children struggling with:
- Overweight or obesity
- Underweight or decreased appetite
- Eating disorders
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Gastrointestinal diagnoses
What to expect at your first visit
During a nutrition visit, your dietitian will learn about your child’s typical diet and make suggestions for healthier food and beverage choices. The more you and your child know about food and nutrition, the better, so nutrition education will be part of every session.
Nutrition education topics may include:
- How to add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet
- What is fiber?
- Healthy snack ideas
- Portion control
- Listening to satiety cues
- Avoiding sugar sweetened beverages
- Healthy cooking methods
- How to read a food label
- Making smart choices when eating out
Your dietitian will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have. To schedule an appointment with the dietitian at PHCA, please call (978) 535-1110. Press # 3 and then press option # 2 (well visit).
Samantha Fast, MS, RD, LDN