‘A child does not have to like everything’. Dining teams help with eating problems

Just before the corona pandemic, the food team started in Hoogeveen. A group of caregivers who help parents, children and young people with food problems.

The core team consists of dietitian Geralda Perdon from nutrition counseling Diadem, cognitive behavioral therapist Ina Kuiken from Accare and speech therapist Paula Oosterhuis from speech therapy practice Klinq. Once a month on Tuesday mornings, the three hold online admissions interviews for parents requesting help. “We actually see very few overweight children. Most of the people who come to us eat poorly,” Perdon says. “For example, they eat selectively and only a few things. It can lead to a lot of stress in a family. ”

Support from other disciplines

The purpose of the three caregivers’ joint intake is to determine what a child needs and in this way provide appropriate care. The core team can rely on the help of other disciplines, such as a pediatric physiotherapist, hospital specialists and other welfare institutions. “As a result, the queues are short. You screen for your own professionalism, but you also have the support of other disciplines, and you can refer if necessary. ”

“For example, I check during an intake if there are eating disorders,” says Ina Kuiken. Or any other problem. Does a child have autism? Then it may be that he does not like the structure of certain foods. Eating problems can have different causes. ”

‘I learned to look very broad’

Also the problems around food can be medical. “The child may have an allergy,” says Oosterhuis. “While parents do not know. We had a child who ate very little. It turned out she had a food allergy. When it suddenly became clear and she was no longer offered that food, she started eating well again. This dining team taught me to look very broadly. ”

The care professionals reinforce each other and look for solutions together with the parents. It is especially important that children get enough nutrients. “It can happen that a child can not chew properly and therefore can not eat properly. For children with eating problems, food is also a way to stay in control. ”

food diary

“We think together with the parents,” says Kuiken. ,, What patterns have the children become accustomed to, and how can you change them? Sometimes it takes time, and sometimes it gets resolved very quickly. “For example, when it appears that a parent is worried that a child is not eating too little, and it becomes clear from a food diary that it is getting more than enough.

“And do not forget it”, adds Oosterhuis: “A child does not have to like everything. We do not like everything either. We teach the children to handle food without pressure. For example, by initially only asking: ‘dare you hold it to your lips’. And then you go step by step. And take as a starting point what the child likes. Does a child like five or six vegetables? Beautiful! It saves so much struggle. ”

No long waiting lists

“We have office hours every first Tuesday of the month,” Perdon continues. That’s enough for now. “There are no long waiting lists and there is room on the agenda, so we can usually start the help within four weeks. If demand rises, we will have to see if we can expand. ”

For those parents who come with a request for help, it is important that they do the preparatory work. “We ask them to keep a food diary,” Kuiken says. And also to look at what problems they experience and what patterns they recognize. It also gives the parents insight and what is also striking is that parents come together for the consultation class. ”

More information

The dining team is an initiative of Diætist Practice Diadem, speech therapy practice Klinq, Accare, GGD, Center for Youth and Family, Stichting Welzijnswerk Hoogeveen, Treant Zorggroep and Hoogeveen Municipality.

For more information email Eetteam@dewoldenhoogeveen.nl.

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