Nutrition for Children and Teens


Children’s nutrition is so important.  Understanding and maintaining a healthy diet in childhood may pave the way for a healthier adulthood and reduced risks of health concerns in later life.

Healthy Eating for Children

When it comes to our children we want the best for them.  If they are out in the sunshine we like to cover them from head to toe in sun cream and make them wear a hat.  When they need new shoes we get their feet measured by an expert and then buy the best fitting shoes we can….but we aren’t always as good when it comes to what our children eat.

Children’s nutrition is so important.  Understanding and maintaining a healthy diet in childhood may pave the way for a healthier adulthood and reduced risks of health concerns in later life.  Children are constantly growing and developing which requires them to have a diet that is rich in energy and all nutrients needed to support this period of rapid growth.  Unfortunately, many children aren’t getting this nutrient dense balanced diet and the exercise they need and this is thought to be linked to the increases the nation is seeing in the childhood incidence of food allergies, learning and behavioural problems, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, frequent infections, digestive problems and skin disorders such as eczema

Children can be little pickles and parents can have real power struggles at the table.  They can be quite stubborn, fussy and avoid trying new foods and it isn’t always easy to get them to eat their fruit and vegetables.  As parents we can be super busy and so quick and easy shop bought foods such as chicken nuggets, fish fingers and pasta meals can help save time but they aren’t always right for our children’s health.  There is also the issue of childhood obesity which is at an all-time high.  It’s an area that I feel very passionate about and want to help families

I love working with children and helping them to understand why it’s important to eat the right foods.

Parents come to my clinic with their children for different reasons.  For some it’s about education, others have issues with food allergies or intolerances, weight management, frequent coughs and colds, behaviour issues and tummy troubles.  My sessions with children are always a little different from the ones I run with adults.  Depending on the age of the child I often play games which can be educational and also help me to assess the current level of understanding.

As with all my consultations, once booked, a questionnaire must be completed which includes a health history and a 3 day food diary so that we can start to look at nutrition right away.  Realistic and child friendly meals, lunchbox ideas and healthy snack ideas are given to help make the recommended changes.  I will also recommend lifestyle advice to include physical activity, portion sizes and tips on fussy eaters.

Nutrition for Teens

As our children become adults they undergo a significant transformation in the growth and development of their body and mind. It blows my mind that between the age of 10 and 18 a child doubles their weight and grows between 7-8cm on average per year.  Hormones are a big change too and may take time to settle if they aren’t getting the nutrients they need or if the teen is very stressed.  These significant changes requires a lot of nutrients and a lot of energy…………it’s no wonder many teens are always so tired and grumpy!

Good nutrition really is critical during this time for supporting the process and creating a healthy adult.  As parents, we don’t always know what the nutritional needs of a teenager are and we aren’t always in control of whether they are skipping breakfast or what “snacks” they are purchasing on the way to and from school….often junk foods and usually denied!

In fact, a 2016 survey revealed that teenagers are the age group with the worst diets in the UK and fail to get basic vitamins and minerals needed for growth and good health – What an upsetting finding and may have negative consequences for later in life.

The teenage years can be plagued with acne, reduced energy, low mood, eating disorders, irritability, painful periods, growing pains and weight problems.  All of these symptoms may be supported with nutrition as part of your teens health and wellbeing.

When I see teens in clinic it is important for me that I educate about what we consume and encourage a healthy relationship with foods.  I never talk about weight or calories – it has to be about energy and strength and nutrients to look and feel your best.

I like to talk about healthy eating, a balanced diet and avoiding fad diets and encourage teens to get involved and become independent with their food choices.

If you have a child or teen that you feel may benefit from nutritional therapy to support any health concerns, why not contact Apples to Zinc Nutrition to see how I might be able to help.

If you have a child or teen that you feel may benefit from nutritional therapy to support any health concerns, why not contact Apples to Zinc.

"My daughter has coeliac disease and just cutting out gluten didn't ease her symptoms. Janet helped enormously with her diet and with these changes her stomach pains eased considerably. I would recommend Janet, she listens and then acts accordingly. "

- Mrs B

My Healthy Child Nutrition Package

This £300 package is for all people under the age of 16 would require nutritional support for their health. It would suit those with children who are seeking:

  • better energy
  • improved skin health
  • digestive support
  • weight management
  • balanced hormones
  • pain support
  • suspected food intolerance
  • behavioural issues

The package should be completed within a 12 week period and is suitable for anyone under 16 – a parent or legal guardian must be present at all sessions. The package includes:

  • 3 x 90 minute consultations.
  • 2 x phone catch-ups.
  • Email support
  • 10% discount on supplements.

Further Healthy Eating Articles & Resources

  • Why is Allergy Increasing? Allergy UK 2013.
  • Children and Diabetes.Diabetes UK 2013.
  • Child Obesity. Public Health England 2013.
  • Fiocchi A, et al (2004) Dietary treatment of childhood atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome(AEDS). Allergy, 59: 78-85
  • Sinn N, Bryan J (2007) Effect of Supplementation with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Micronutrients on Learning and Behavior Problems Associated with Child ADHD. Journal of Developmental & BehavioralPediatrics,28: 82-91