MIB had a dietician appointment earlier this month. It’s a regular appointment that we’ve had over the last 2½ years*. Each visit reveals some further information or leads to a referral to the allergy clinic and we are always grateful to the NHS for their help and guidance.
This time the conversation was around his calorie intake. MIB has always been a skinny minny. He eats tons but doesn’t seem to put a lot of weight on. However, they’ve always been happy with his growth chart.
The explanation for why he snacks so much was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. Most toddlers need regular topping up, of course, because they rarely stop still for longer than an episode of Numberjacks. However, because most of what I can give MIB is inevitably unprocessed and ‘healthy’ he doesn’t get many calories. Breadsticks and grapes don’t really give him the energy that he needs to run around between meals. The Oatly milk he has is low in calories compared to the full-fat cow’s milk he’d otherwise be on, he doesn’t chew on cheese, and the most exciting biscuits I can buy for him in a packet are rich tea fingers or fig rolls. I had been a bit concerned about the amount of snacks he demands and how regularly but hadn’t really thought about it. It makes sense now.
She did make me feel terribly guilty about not baking more for MIB. Not her fault, of course but since I can’t buy stuff off the shelf for him it’s the only way he can actually eat cakes and muffins, etc. More calorific snacks means I have to open the baking cupboard and get busy.
We also discussed sandwiches. I struggle to find interesting fillings for MIB for lunches and, more importantly, picnics. The media is always telling me that processed meat is not good to eat, so I worry about too much ham. Marmite is our only real other option as we are still waiting for the fish allergy investigation. Besides, MIB has never been keen on tinned fish and quite frankly, I’m not that organised when we plan days out to buy and cook stuff in advance. Surprisingly, jam was the recommendation. Well, fruit spread, which is what we use in the house already for toast (it doesn’t have any sugar added and you can see the fruit in it). I was surprised though and wondered what the reaction would be of judgy mothers when my son turned up somewhere with a jam sandwich with lashings of Pure spread (yes, she recommended slathering the stuff on).
So, it was all good and I felt I learned a lot. I have been avidly applying the Pure spread on all bread-like surfaces that go near his mouth and relaxed my views on jam. I have also been trying my best to ensure there are baked goodies in the kitchen at all times. I have even managed to rope husband into this task – for that alone I thank the dietician as he never bothered before. I am not sure I have noticed a difference so far in MIB, but it has only been a couple of weeks. I certainly put more effort now into matching his snacks to the level of activity and have been finding more recipes that I can convert.
All suggestions welcome!
*MIB’s diet is varied and he loves food. However, there are things he can’t eat. He has problems with dairy proteins so all cow’s, goat’s and other animal’s milk products are out as well as eggs and peanut butter.
This is a post about the NHS dietician appointment I attended with my son. It is not a guide for you to use with yourself or your children. I have included some of the details for interest only and so it may help you to ask questions and open discussions at your own appointments or to encourage you to find out more. Am also ready to accept that I am a twit and should’ve been able to work all of the above out myself.