Carine Henry BSc RD
I am a Registered Dietitian and Paediatric Specialist, offering a caring private service for infants and children with feeding difficulties, diet related medical conditions or who need help to eat well. Dedicated solely to infants and young children, this site is the on-line sibling to Teenage Nutrition my site for teens. Working as a Paediatric Dietitian in Cambridge, UK for almost 30 years, my aims of dietary treatment are to help support health, wellbeing and growth with nutrition education and evidence-based decision making. I work with specific medical conditions such as cow’s milk and other food allergies, gastrointestinal problems, food refusal and growth faltering. I help families with nutrition and diet when feeding and/or eating becomes difficult.
Meeting nutritional needs and supporting growth
I use a dietary assessment to collect relevant and unique information about each child’s feeding skills, behaviours, growth patterns, age related needs and nutritional story. This happens in a detailed discussion about what, when and how much is eaten. It provides a good estimate of caloric and key nutrient intake, identifies any significant nutritional gaps and is necessary background information before considering next steps and dietary treatment options. In addition, appetite, food preferences or limitations are discussed; developmental milestones relating to feeding and overall patterns of eating. Height and weight, head and/or waist circumference are reviewed or measured in clinics, and interpreted using growth charts, such as you find in your child’s red book.
Developmental feeding needs: learned skills and behaviours
Infants and young children need to learn a wide range of skills and behaviours to eat well. Both physical feeding skills like chewing and swallowing as well as feeding behaviours, like focussed eating : both are learned experiences, and like all learned behaviours, improve with regular practice. I review a child’s feeding development in early infancy and through childhood which can give clues to how feeding difficulties may have arisen, how this has been managed and what had been learned – both for the parent and child. This can provide a way to re-orientate to the situation, consider potential strategies for easeful and happy feeding, to reinforce positive behaviours and provide effective praise, all of which boost your little one’s feeding skills, learning and nutrition.
Dietary treatment options are discussed during a first appointment following the dietary assessment. I use a combination of nutritional knowledge, evidence-based strategies and decision making, in selecting the best suited option for the child. Infants and young children need specific treatment goals which often involving some kind of change: dietary changes eg. meeting calcium needs; changes in structure or daily routine to facilitate better food intake, dietary exclusions or changes in behaviours eg. food refusal.
Using this site
This website contains lots of great information but is not individual advice. Rather, it is intended as a general source of information, separated by age group along the top bar or type of condition on the side bar, on which decisions can be made about seeking further help. Do have look at my blog on various aged-related topics, or subscribe to receive updates.