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Appetite for Change Workshops

Interested in a group session?

I offer group presentations and interactive parent workshops on child feeding, both at my location or at yours. Please contact me if you have questions about which option will best meet your needs.


“Feeding is Parenting”
how to raise a happy, healthy eater

family-style meal children eating with parents at table

Welcome to the world of child feeding! Do you have a picky eater at home? Do you dread mealtime because of stress, arguing, or tears? This multimedia lecture is an introduction to feeding children of all stages. The presentation walks the participant through Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding and how to apply in the home. Well-suited for parents and caregivers of children, this presentation can be delivered to a small or large group settings, at Appetite Nutrition or at your school/facility.  Includes 4 instructional videos.


Feeding your New Baby

10-11-39-5-things-that-will-happen-if-youre-a-nursing-mom1692216453.png

This 2-hour interactive workshop is ideal for parents and caregivers of newborn babies (or for parents and grandparents to-be!) This is an interactive group class, facilitated by the dietitian. It is the setting to have your specific questions answered about feeding your baby who is not yet eating solid food (0-6mo). Together we will view 8 instructional video vignettes and discuss. Participant maximum 15 (registration required).


 

Feeding your Older Baby

Baby self-feeding picnic Baby-led weaning

This 2-hour interactive workshop is ideal for parents and caregivers of older babies who starting or have started solid foods (6mo-2yrs). This is an interactive group class, facilitated by the dietitian. It is the setting to have your specific questions answered about feeding your baby as they begin their journey into the wide world of eating! Together we will view 8 instructional video vignettes and discuss. Participant maximum 15 (registration required).


Feeding your Toddler

Toddler playful eating self-feeding funnyThis 2-hour interactive workshop is ideal for parents and caregivers of young children who are in the much-loved toddler phase (18mo-4yrs). This is an interactive group class, facilitated by the dietitian. It is the setting to have your specific questions answered about feeding your toddler, as this stage presents special challenges to having calm family meals. Together we will view 8 instructional video vignettes and discuss. Participant maximum 15 (registration required).


 

 

Feeding your Preschooler

Preschool kids daycare childcare self-feeding meal

This 2-hour interactive workshop is ideal for parents and caregivers of young children who are in the preschool or young school-age phase (4-6yrs). This is an interactive group class, facilitated by the dietitian. It is the setting to have your specific questions answered about feeding your child as they grow into a person who will be exposed to different foods and different ways of eating outside your home. Together we will view 8 instructional video vignettes and discuss. Participant maximum 15 (registration required).


Feeding your School-aged Child (coming soon!) 

School-age child eating sandwich self-feeding school lunchPlease send me a message if you are interested in a workshop on this topic.


Feeding your Adolescent Child (coming soon!)

Let's All SnackPlease send me a message if you are interested in a workshop on this topic.

“Everything you know about obesity is wrong”

As a follow up to my post on the promises of weight loss dieting last week, I thought I would share the link to an American article that will give you more to chew on (much, much more!)

Comments encouraged! Let me know what you think of the stories shared. You’re gonna want to read this one twice.

Click here to see the full article by Michael Hobbes, with pictures by Finlay MacKay.

Or copy and paste:

http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/everything-you-know-about-obesity-is-wrong/

Are you tempted by the promises of weight loss dieting?

The number one request I have as a dietitian is for help with weight loss. As an expert on food and nutrition, I am well-equipped to help a person eat better. I am happy to help a client begin to take better care of themselves with respect to eating (in fact, it’s my passion!) Weight loss, however, I do not promise, or even track, in my work with adults. Why not?

All of our bodies are different; we come in different heights, builds, frame sizes. Some of us weigh more than others. Our bodies tightly regulate weight through a delicate dance of hormones and metabolic adjustments. However, some of us weigh more than nature intended, as a result of past dieting. In fact, weight loss dieting almost always makes a person fatter, not thinner, in the long-run.

On my professional experience, when we are tempted to attempt weight loss in order to feel better in our bodies (or in our lives), we are falling into a big fat trap. Often, even with huge positive improvements to eating habits and selection of highly nutritious foods, a person will not lose the weight. Or weight loss will start, and then suddenly hit a wall. What happens then? Negative self image, negative self talk. “What’s wrong with me, I will never be able to get this under control.” Self blame. “I have no will power, why did I buy so many Halloween treats? I cannot be trusted with any sweets in the house!” Or perhaps we blame the diet, the plan, so over to the next new diet craze we go. In the meantime, we’ve built up more resentment towards our bodies, and possibly lost and regained weight in a short amount of time, which only signals the body to even more fiercely hold on to the extra pounds the next time around. In other words, the war continues. And we are losing!

Sometimes a person will find a way to lose the weight and become slim, but negative self image and negative self talk does not miraculously disappear with the extra pounds. If we dislike our bodies, at any size, there are probably other things we dislike about our selves, too. Eventually, unless we work on accepting our whole selves, from the inside out, the weight will come back. We think we deserve to be fat.

You see, weight stigma is entrenched in our culture. Fat people are assumed to be lazy, uneducated, unmotivated, unable to get their lives under control. These stereotypes run so deep, that we unconciously apply them to ourselves and our own lives. If we are living in a large body, we see it as a problem to be fixed. Read this week’s article describing Obesity Canada’s views on weight bias here.

But what about health?” we cry. “Surely being overweight is not healthy?” It is true that many of today’s top chronic diseases are associated with obesity. But scientists will be the first to point out that association is not causation. Let’s break it down. Eating better can improve your health. It may lower your blood pressure, it may help keep your blood sugars controlled, it can help you feel more energized, and improve digestive woes. But recognize, eating better may or may not result in weight loss. And weight loss may or may not result in improved health outcomes. You see, it’s the eating better part that is directly tied to health. Which is actually great, because it’s the eating better part that we can control. Physical fitness is another one we can directly control. But weight … Remember those tightly regulated hormones and metabolic adjustments? Weight is controlled by the body; caloric intake and expenditure are only two of a myriad of factors that end up determining a body’s weight.

When I’ve worked with clients in the past under the weight loss agenda, I saw the same sad story repeat itself every time. My client would be doing well with eating, having made many sustainable changes: eating at more regular times, making plans to feed themselves, including a balance of nutrients in meals and snacks, even finding a happy place with regards to including sweets and treats. But get them on the scale…. All of a sudden they are failing. They want to give up. “What’s the point?” And so slowly (or suddenly) they give up. All the healthy habits they have built, out the window. On to the next weight loss diet plan. (After a period of feeling like a failure and eating ice cream directly out of the tub, of course)

What’s the moral of the story here? Change the way you think about yourself. Don’t start eating better based on an ever-elusive promise of weight loss. Don’t fall into that big fat trap… Unless you want to eat better for a little while, then give up, then eat worse for a while to make up for your injured pride, and end up back where you started. Don’t be fooled! There is another way.

Start eating better for you. For health, for satisfaction, for the way it makes you feel, for the role model it sets to your family and friends. Many of us have past food issues, and misunderstandings about nutrition based on bad information that abounds. Many of us need help, and a plan to get us better set up for eating well. I can help you with that. No scale required.

Spinach Squares

I learned this recipe from the fabulous folks at the Dartmouth Family Centre when my child was young enough to participate in their fantastic drop-in programs. The kids just gobble them up, and even the adults were sneaking seconds and thirds! I like these squares because they make such a nourishing and satisfying snack. With nutritious ingredients like spinach, eggs, cheese and flour, they really provide a great combo of carbohydrate, protein and fat. And they taste fantastic!

Make a double batch and freeze some. Kids can shred cheese, measure flour, etc. These are great for snacks, picnic lunches, or serving as a fancy appetizer at your next family gathering. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 300g package frozen spinach
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 gently beaten eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Thaw spinach overnight, or in the microwave on defrost for about 5 minutes. Drain in colander and squeeze out extra water.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in large bowl.
  3. Combine eggs, milk and melted butter in a small bowl, add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Add chopped onion, shredded cheese, and spinach. Stir just until combined.
  5. Pour into a 9×13 greased baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick in centre comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and cut into 24 squares.

Weight Watchers offering free teen memberships

This is happening in the States… will WW Canada be next? What do you think about teenagers joining WW? I will tell you what I think.

I think it is an excellent marketing move for this giant in the weight loss industry. It is a great way to increase their client base. Because, of course, a certain number of teen members will continue to be (paying) adult members. Brand loyalty is especially strong when forged in our young years. Perhaps this is even be a genius marketing move, because research strongly suggests that adolescents are even more likely to become lifelong dieters if they start dieting as teenagers.

So I think it is a good business move. But does it help, or harm, the teens in the process? Medical doctors take an oath to “first, do no harm” with their patients, and allied health professionals have similar codes of ethics. Would you trust the largest player in the weight loss industry worldwide to have the best interests of your adolescent child in mind? Or to just be really smart business strategists?

American Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, authour of the book Body Kindness, has written her opinion of Weight Watcher’s new teen promotion for the Washington Post, here. Take a look!

Breastfeeding has health benefits for moms

A well-written article in the Globe and Mail this week reports new research findings about the benefits of breastfeeding for moms. You can read the article here:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/longer-breastfeeding-tied-to-lower-diabetes-risk-for-mothers-study/article37619180/

This research suggests that mothers who breastfeed for at least 6 months have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. In the study, the diabetes risk decreased as duration of breastfeeding increased. Additionally, breastfeeding had a protective effect even for women who had gestational diabetes during their pregnancy (which is a strong predictor of developing type 2 diabetes later in life).

I’m certain there will be more research coming in the future to corroborate these new findings. With 11 million Canadians having either diabetes or prediabetes, it’s great to hear about something a woman can do to help decrease her risk, especially if diabetes runs in her family.

When discussing the health benefits associated with breastfeeding, we often think mostly of the child. This research adds to a growing body of evidence supporting health benefits for mom as well. Other proven benefits of breastfeeding for mom:

  • Lower risk of breast cancer
  • Lower risk of post-partum depression
  • More likely to return to pre-pregnancy body weight

Add to this:

  • The bond between nursing mother and child
  • Easier time with nighttime feedings
  • Increased natural spacing between pregnancies
  • Significant cost savings!

It seems to me there are plenty of benefits for mom, on which we don’t necessarily focus.

There are some challenges, however, to long-term breastfeeding (longer than 6 months). We are so fortunate in Canada to have government-supported maternity leave, now an option for up to 18 months. That’s pretty awesome! However, for moms returning to work, being able to pump milk or feed their babies during breaks is wroght with challenges. Is your break long enough to pump, as well as feed yourself? Where can you pump? Is there a private, clean place available? (No, the staff washroom is not appropriate). Is there a place to store your milk at the correct temperature?

Some women are more fortunate than others in these areas, depending on work environment. Creative solutions are sometimes required. Personally, when returning to work I could find no option for a place to pump at work. My solution was to find a daycare close enough to my workplace to feed my son on my lunch break, at the daycare. It worked for us and I continued to nurse him at lunch time until 18 months. I was also able to continue nursing in general for 3 years. Like other moms, I often think of this accomplishment in terms of benefits to my child’s health. This new research is a great reason to remember all the reasons that long-term nursing was right for me, too.

Are you returning to work and need help coming up with a plan to help you continue nursing? Contact a le leche league in your area for support!