Every year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports a nutrition education and information campaign called National Nutrition Month®. National Nutrition Month® encourages research through credible, scientific-based food and nutrition information. In addition, it inspires people to make sound food choices, as well as informed physical activity habits.
One of four domains in the coordinated care model encouraging a collaborative approach to pediatric feeding disorder, nutrition is the foundation for growth and development. Whether your child eats by mouth or through a feeding tube, good nutrition allows children to thrive. It directly affects a child’s brain activity and capabilities, fine and gross motor skill development, and overall health and wellness. Poor growth and nutrition for children can lead to lifelong issues and difficulties.
This year, the theme for National Nutrition Month® is “Go Further with Food.” This could mean preparing meals at home, choosing a healthy breakfast or simply picking snacks that are more nutritious. Often, adopting a healthier life style also means less food loss and waste.
That can be difficult for families navigating pediatric feeding disorder. Kristi Meyer, author of the children’s book The Adventures of Team Super Tubie and Professor at Cornell College in Iowa, considers a 504 medical plan meeting with her son’s school an important step. “In addition to the practical questions about who can replace our son’s g-tube if it were to fall out while at school, there are the emotional and social concerns that we, as parents, have in wanting our son to be accepted by his peers, never excluded from activities, yet proud of his differences.”
“In spite of all these concerns,” adds Kristi, “we have also learned there is something very comforting and reassuring about the opportunity to meet face-to-face with his teachers and school nurse whom he will get to know so well and rely on to be his support and safe haven throughout his hours away from home.”
For more information on nutrition and pediatric feeding disorder, visit feedingmatters.org/growth-nutrition.