#62 - Chanel Kenner on Childhood Nutrition: Tackling Your Top Questions

Mar 17, 2024
#62 - Chanel Kenner on Childhood Nutrition: Tackling Your Top Questions
***For transcript of this episode, scroll down!

🍎 Looking for expert tips on nutrition for your challenging eater? Join us as registered dietitian Chanel Kenner shares invaluable insights on childhood nutrition!


In this episode, we cover:

  • Identifying signs that your child may not be eating enough
  • Red flags for parents to watch out for in their child's eating habits
  • Exploring the debate between fruits and veggies for kids
  • Insights into supplements like collagen peptides and protein powders
  • Addressing concerns about children gravitating towards chips and sweets
  • Chanel take on body weight in children's health


Ready to get the scoop on all things nutrition? Don't miss out—hit play now! 🎧


Want to connect more with Chanel?


Don't forget to grab her FREE guide, Learn 5 Strategies to Fix Picky Eating Mistakes: https://pickyeatingrd.ck.page/5mistakes 


Or, find her at:


Sam: You just want your child to be happy and healthy, but when your child struggles to eat, you're always wondering if they're getting enough nutrition. As a feeding therapist, this is probably the number one concern I hear from parents, but here's the thing, as an ot, it's not within my scop or expertise to talk about nutrition that falls under dieticians, but I get so many of the same questions over and over.

That's why I am so excited to have Chanel Kenner, a registered dietician nutritionist joining us on the podcast to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

In this episode, she shares so much insight into what parents should look out for her thoughts on managing fun foods, really amazing tips or mealtime and so, so much more. We really covered so much in this episode, but before we begin, let me tell you a little about Chanel.

Chanel Kenner completed her education in nutrition and dietetics at California State University Northridge.

Before returning to school for nutrition science, Chanel worked in advertising and marketing on both brand and agency sides as a search and social marketing specialist. For 12 years, she was a competitive dancer and figure skater from the age of four. In her former career and rigorous athletic training, Chanel cultivated a strong foundation of professionalism, leadership, speaking and presentation, writing etiquette and work ethic. She applies these valuable skills to her work.

As a registered dietician nutritionist, Chanel believes that food is about much more than nutrition. It is how we nourish our bodies minds and relationships. As a dietician, Chanel helps clients develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food that lasts their lifetime.

As you listen to this episode, please remember that this is Chanel's personal opinion based on her experience, nutrition advice is highly individualized, so none of this is medical advice. Just general information and conversation ready to dive in.

Hey, Chanel, I am so excited to have you here today.

Like we were just chatting about, I have so many questions

that parents ask me all the time

that I just need a dietician's viewpoint on.

So I have saved them all up to ask you today.

But before we get started,

can you give our community a little introduction

to you and who you are?

Chanel: Sure. And first, thanks so much for having me.

I I'm really happy to, to help answer

as many questions as I can.

Um, I am Chanel. I am a registered dietician.

I'm a mom to two little girls myself.

So not only do I have, you know,

the expertise within the field, I also work with, um,

the demographic that I,

that we're gonna be talking about in my own

home on a daily basis.

So, um, did I answer all those questions?

I I was there anything else in the intro?


Sam: You did. You did, man,

you get it right with two kids at home.

You're like, I, I've got this.

I mean, it's mom brain all the time here. So,

So let's Start

With probably the biggest question that,

and I think the biggest source of stress for parents.

How do I know if my child is actually truly eating enough?

And I think so many parents, this is where a lot of

that pressure comes from, right?

They're so worried that they're not getting enough.


Chanel: Yeah. Or like the quote unquote good foods

or the quote unquote healthy foods.

And you'll hear me use quotes a lot

because, um, it really is such an individual experience.

And, um, and I understand where this concern comes from

because kids can either be, you know, the most ravenous

beasts you've ever seen, you know,

eating everything on their plate and then asking for more

and more and more, or they're eating nothing at all.

And that's actually really, really common.

And I think it, uh, throws a lot of parents for a loop

because they're like, why is my kid not eating consistently?

Or they go a few days with not eating much.

And the thing is that kids we're born

with natural self-regulation,

and you'll hear me, you'll hear this come up a lot in our

chat today about this idea of self-regulation

and autonomy with food choices.

We lose that through culture, through messaging,

through clean your plate, right?

That's something I think a lot of us grew up

with if we're millennials, um, the clean Your Plate club.

And it really doesn't give kids a chance to listen to

and honor their own bodies.

So one of the, some of the critical things we wanna look

for is, um, growth.

So not averages,

but what is your child's specific growth trajectory

and are they within their own growth growth curve?

Once they start to fall outside of that, we start

to really pay attention.

And, um, when kids fall below it,

when they start losing weight

or, um, you know, they're not thriving,

that's when we would start to have concern.

And that's probably when you'd wanna bring a dietician on

board to really take a look at what,

what's going on nutritionally.

So, um, so that's a telltale sign.

Also just fatigue, low energy.

Um, if your child is suddenly eating

many less foods than they did before.

So if they were a pretty, um, broad eater

and then suddenly are eating less than 20 foods,

so I usually use 20 as a cutoff.

Um, if they're eating more than 20 foods,

they're actually believing or not doing okay.

They might just be going through a phase

of being more selective,

or their best friend at school is, you know,

talking about not not liking broccoli.

And so now they don't like broccoli.

So there's very normal just ebbs

and flows with, um, this, I know it's frustrating,

but, uh, what we're looking for is really those,

those problem eaters, right?


Sam: Yeah. And something I think is so interesting is a lot

of the times when I refer a family to a dietician,

they'll come back and we'll say, oh no,

we actually talked about what they're eating

and they're doing pretty well.

And a, a parent is so surprised

and a lot of times when I'll send them to a dietician I kind of

have an idea that they're getting some more protein

than they think they're getting some more of this.

And they think, and then when they talk

to you guys, they're like, oh, wow.

Like they, they are eating more than I thought they were.


Chanel: Yeah. I think there's this idea,

and I see a lot of parents do this, where, you know,

a child can get easily overwhelmed if there's too much food

on a plate or there's too much of a certain color

or something that looks strained or off to them.

I mean, everything's very new

and, um, our taste buds change so much across our life

that everything's very intense when you're young.

And so I'll see parents put a adult portion on a plate

and think that's reasonable.

So a lot of it's also just, you know, providing education on

what a reasonable amount of food is for a child,

and especially with exposures,

which we can explore more a bit in a, a little bit.


Sam: Yeah. Oh my gosh, yes.

Especially from like a sensory standpoint,

we talk about like visual visually.

Yeah. I mean, putting a huge piece of chicken

or a huge piece of steak when they're not even eating that

yet, that is so visually overwhelming.


Chanel: Yeah. Ab absolutely.

Sam: So you already talked about some of the red flags,

but are there also any nutritional deficiencies

that can happen when a child is struggling to eat things

that parents should maybe not should be looking out for,

but, but you would be aware of? Um,


Chanel: There always can be a concern.

For example, with protein,

we would look at things like zinc, um,

and b vitamins, which zinc is really important for growth.

And, um, so we would,

there definitely can be nutritional deficiencies.

I think more often than not kids are getting

what they need from variety of foods.

Like for example, um, a lot of parents come to me afraid

of sugar cereals, things like Frosted Flakes

and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

And then they're always surprised when I

say, well, my kids eat those.

And they're like, wait, what? All the sugar?

Well, guess what those cereals are also, they also have, uh,

vitamins and minerals that are added.

They're fortified, so they contain all the B vitamins,

vitamin D, um, minerals, potassium.

So we have to really look at things overall

and understand that like a lot of packaged foods

that parents are actually afraid of are things that have,

we've people put making food.

Yeah, there's some things in there that are questionable

and, uh, I won't go too much into that,

but they also contain things that help.

So, um, very unlikely

that a child is actually deficient given our food

environment now and how many options are available

and how many fortifications

and, um, enrichments there are in foods.

Um, but if a child is actually falling off growth,

growth curve, then that's when we would get concerned.

So as long as they're staying on track,

they're likely doing okay.

Now, small things like iron deficiency, um, that

that can easily be resolved with just some iron drops.

And so it's anything that would be flagged could

really easily be, be, um, addressed

with just some supplementation.


Sam: So I love that you pointed out that some of these foods

that we tend to avoid so much

can actually contain these alternate forms.

You know, nutrients and vitamins and protein.

When you look at it, it's actually really cool that some

of these things that kids naturally veer

towards are also helpful.

Chanel: Yes. And sure they contain things like sugar,

but that's not the only thing we're feeding our kids, right?

We're also promoting

and, um, modeling through our own behavior, fruits

and vegetables and these nutrient rich foods that, um,

are also important, right?


Sam: Yeah. And I, I

love that you pointed out role modeling too,

because I don't know about you,

but how many parents come to me and we'll say,

but you know, I don't eat this, but I want them to eat it.

And my sister was a culprit of this, and she called me

and she was like, I really want my kids

to eat this vegetable and this vegetable and this vegetable.

And I'm like, but you don't eat that.

And I'm like, let's work on the things that you eat,

and if you want them to guess who needs to start eating it.


Chanel: Yeah. It's, it modeling the behavior is

really, really important.

And also it's not just about showing yourself eating it,

but showing yourself enjoying it

and talking about it in a positive way.

That doesn't have to be,

because we're also, we have to consider age appropriateness.

What's appropriate for a 2-year-old versus a four year olds,

you know, that language is going

to look very, very different.

So it's not helpful to talk about health with a 2-year-old.

We wanna talk about color and texture and the crunch

and the smell,

and so we really engage the senses more so that we can, um,

encourage e exploration through senses.


Sam: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I love that.


Chanel: So, and

I know you do a lot of that in your work, the sensory exploration. 


Sam: Definitely I think one

of my favorite things is helping kids find

their own love of food.

And it might not look exactly the same as ours,

but like finding a love of food might look different for,

like you said, a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old,

but we wanna have fun with it.


Chanel: Yeah. We want them to enjoy these things,

and you're right, we wanna show them that

we enjoy learning about new foods.

Sam:  So kids who maybe do have some nutrients deficiencies,

a lot of times parents will ask me, could the fact

that they have a nutrient deficiency be a cause

for eating challenges?


Chanel: Um, I haven't seen a lot of nutrient deficiencies leading

to food challenges.

Um, it's more so the other way around where

food challenges can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Um, so I think it's always better to focus more on the,

uh, food expansion piece

and exposure, you know, exposing to new foods

and supplementing as needed where possible.

But, um, it's usually, you know, the lack

of diversity

and variety in, in the diet that's going to lead to,

um, the deficiencies.

Certainly deficiencies can lead to low energy, can lead

to some, uh, physical

and emotional, um, issues, right?

Mental and cognitive issues.

Um, so we can see behaviors and,

and physical response to that.

Um, so that's very, very likely. Mm-Hmm.


Sam: Yeah. Let's talk a little bit more about

that lack of variety.

So especially fruits

and vegetables, this comes up kind of quite a bit.

Kids tend to really like fruits more than vegetables, right?

Because naturally, biologically we're more inclined

to like sweet foods.

They're a little bit easier, I think,

texture wise from a sensory standpoint.

So often when I see kids come in, they are eating

a lot more fruits.

 And I will say a lot of the time

that vegetable food group is the one

that gets totally excluded, totally refused.

Is that a huge concern?

Or can kids get many

of the nutrients they need from just fruits alone?


Chanel: Absolutely. Yeah. Fruits are, they're so vilified now,

and I think it's, it's a shame

because, um, you know, everyone's afraid

of sugar these days, and the sugar

and fruit's naturally occurring.

Fruits also contain, um, many, you know,

phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, um,

so they are so nutrient rich.

They also contain fiber.

And when we eat fruit in its whole form,

so we always wanna promote over juice whole form as much

as possible because they're also getting the benefits

of the fiber, and that's gonna slow down any sort

of blood sugar spike response.

So, um, any concerns that parents have about that can be,

or just minimized with the fiber piece.

Um, so yeah, I mean, we want to do exposure

with vegetables absolutely.

When it comes to actually consuming the foods,

we wanna also ensure

that there's food on the plate they're going to eat.

So what I would generally recommend is

that if fruit is the preference, that you include it so

that they'll eat it and get the vital nutrients they need.

And then with exposure, we do very small amounts.

I, I am, you know,

it's like we're talking the size sometimes

of like a fingernail, so we get the,

the vegetables on the plate,

but we're really doing a small amount so

that it's about exploration, not expecting them to, um,

eat a bunch of it.

Um, we also, um, I would recommend, uh, serving vegetables

and different visual display so you know,

you can serve, um, baby carrots, you know, I would serve it

cut, or you can do different shapes with them if you'd like.

Um, I don't expect any parent

to spend hours in the kitchen doing these things,

but, um, we can prepare

or serve them in different visual formats so

that it's different each time.

One thing I will note on that though is that, um, you know,

and as we talk about some more specific eating concerns

and issues, things like arfid, which is an area

that I really specialize in, um, foods that are packaged,

things like sugar cereals, cookies, um, chips,

they're consistent, right?

They're the same every single time.

So when kids do find something that they like,

especially if they have, um, you know,

more ex like extreme sensory experience with food or,

or preferences, um, they like the same preparation.

So if they find the form of vegetable that you serve

and they like it that way, well make sure

that it's something you can do on a consistent basis.

But it might just take, um, you know,

trying different things out to see what works for them.

And to keep in mind that it can take many, many,

many, many exposures.

Um, I think one of the latest

stats I read was 50 plus exposures

before a child will actually try it.

And that can sound frustrating,

but I think it's helping parents level their expectations

with where their child is at.

So it minimizes stress for everyone.


Sam: Yeah. I always talk with parents about sushi,

and I'm like, when was the first time like you tried sushi?

Can you like think back to that?

I'm like, did you immediately like it, did you even

enjoy it after the second time?

Like, if it was anything, like my experience with sushi,

like I, I was not about it

for like a good 30 times, right?

And then all of a sudden now it's my favorite food

because that exposure.

Just trains your brain every time a little less,

it's a little more familiar, it's a little less threatening.


Chanel: So I love that you pointed that out.

It's a funny, so she's one that both my kids love

and I just, you know, I'll go to sushi restaurant

and people look at me like, what, what are you doing?

I'm like, I don't know. I just gave it

to them when they were, I just tried, you know,

just like every other parent,

even though I specialize in this, each of my kids is

so unique in their own preferences.

So I would just give them fish, like,

here's some salmon, here's some tuna.

Those are very strong tastes.

But now there are the kids ordering the

salmon at a restaurant.

And I'm like, well first of all, thanks for being so fancy.

Can we just bring it down? Can you

just eat the chicken nuggets?

But, um, it, it really is just case by case.

And, um, the earlier that you do ex expose foods though,

it does, it does help

because they can develop a palate for it. So

Yeah, absolutely. And

with fruits and started at

Six months old for them.

Six months old.


Sam: Wow. The tuna.

I love it. So, um, also when you mentioned fruits

and veggies and the consistency. 

A lot of people don't realize that fruits

and vegetables are so inconsistent at the store.

Every time you go, you,

you really are getting something different, right? So one

of the things I love is using like the freeze dried fruits

and vegetables or the vegetable chips.

As like those first introductions.

'cause they are a little more,

a little more consistent, right?


Chanel: Yeah. Dried mango is a really popular one I see

with the little, little ones that, um, you know, you have

to be careful with some of the texture.

So they have soft, the softer ones that, um,

are not super like beef jerky type texture,

but yeah, they work really, really well

and they're sweet and delicious. So

Yeah. Also why I like

the frozen fruit too. Yeah.

Sometimes I feel like frozen fruits a little bit more

consistent and friendly for kids.



So proteins, tends to be one of those areas that is harder for children.

So a lot of parents will ask me about things like collagen

peptides and protein powders

and those additional forms of supplementation.

Um, do you like those?

Are there specific ones you recommend to parents?

So I'm, I'm not a big fan of protein powders for kids.

So first

and foremost, I, your child,

child is probably getting enough protein.

Um, their needs are just, you know, in line

with their own proportions.

And, um, just in general we tend

to weigh over prior prioritize protein

and I see just Overconsumption

and waste of it.

And, um, so just rest assured,

like we don't have protein deficiencies very often, um,

at least in younger populations.

So if there is a concern with growth, then we would um,

you know, wanna supplement with something like an OR gain

for kids, that's a popular one.

And they have a fruit loop flavor.

A lot of my, um, arfid kids like

that 'cause it tastes like cereal.

Um, there's other flavors.

There's also, you know, insured Boost have

kid formulas as well.

So adding additional protein, um, would be more of a,

like if there's concern with growth

and they're falling off their curve, um,

if there's a failure to thrive.

But, um, I'm not a big fan of it

'cause they just don't need as much.

They can get enough protein from milk. Right. Cow dairy.

It's also another one that people are now, you know, giving.

It's, I don't think it's ever appropriate, like to,

on the flip side of the, the protein powders,

I don't think it's appropriate to give kids plant-based

milks that don't have protein in them.

So oat milks and almond milks, they don't have any protein.

And I see this all the time and it, it's frustrating

because it's not enough nutrition, it's not enough energy

for them, it's not enough really of anything.

So I, I promote as much as possible cow dairy

unless there is an allergy.

Um, because there's lactose free milk there.

Um, there's also soy milk

and that's, uh, an acceptable alternative.

So yeah.

So we can get it from food sources right

before we go to the powders.


Sam: Oh, that's so interesting that

really right now, I mean there is a big kick

with the almond milks and the oat milks

and so I love hearing your take on that.


Chanel: I see it a lot with, um, yeah, with parents giving it

to small kids and it's, it's something I really discourage.

So start with the milks first.

Either a cow dairy or a soy

or there's um, you can get a pee pea milk.

I think there is also protein enhanced almond milk,

but if there's no allergy, we don't need

to create complication.

Right. It's cow dairy is a really excellent, um,

protein source and it's also fortified

with calcium and vitamin D.

So good stuff. Yeah.


Sam: And protein is another one of those ones

that when I send them to you guys a lot of the time

they're like, oh, I didn't realize

that they were eating all these proteins.

'cause those things like hit peas, the things like puffs,

a lot of them do have protein in them.

Small little sources that parents just maybe didn't realize.


Chanel: That is a really great point.

And we, we often don't consider plant sources either,

you know, when they are consuming the, um,

I know Uncrustables are a big one

and that's protein, it's peanut butter and bread.

So it's your grain

and your, your plant, um, you know, the peanut together,

it makes a complete protein.

So yeah. It's hidden in so much.


Sam: It is. I know one of the things you got me hooked on on

your Instagram was the day's killer bread.


Chanel: Oh yeah. It's so good, isn't it?

I just had, it's so good morning.

I love that. Yeah.


Sam: So you mentioned this too, um,

already a little bit,

but I wanna talk a little bit more kind

of about those sweets and those chips and Mm-Hmm.

'cause parents get really nervous about that.

And that's actually how you and I originally connected was

because I came onto your page through intuitive eating stuff

and I thought it was so interesting.

So kind of like we mentioned,

I'm just gonna give a little bit of back story here, is

that often again, kids with feeding challenges

really veer towards those chips and those sweetss

because they are more consistent, they're more friendly,

they're sweeter from a texture perspective,

they're very pleasurable a lot of the time.

But parents are nervous

that their kids are eating maybe so many,

so many chips or so many cookies.

And we start to get into some of those trying

to restrict them and trying to tell them, you know,

like you said, those healthy versus unhealthy.

Can you give us your take on all of it as a dietician?


Chanel: Yeah. So as parents, we wanna create boundaries, right?

Boundaries are important

and we're not letting our children just

eat whatever all the time.

Um, so I'm, I have really firm stance on, um, environment.

You want to make sure that your food environment

feels safe and secure.

Um, you want it to be consistent.

So, um, so having just a place that feels welcoming for food

and, and sets that positive tone.

Um, also setting meal times.

We just work and I think parents can really benefit from

this advice too, is that in our busy days people skip meals

and they go in inconsistent eating patterns

and we really thrive on consistency.

So breakfast, lunch

and dinner, having them around the same time.

Now that's not always possible every single day,

but we try to set that time so

that we can align our hunger

and our, our appetite cues around it.

Our body becomes really, um, reliable when we do this.

So we have kit, you know, our kitchen times

and what I tell my kids

and I tell parents to do the same thing is when

kitchen's closed, kitchen's closed.

So if you're hungry, absolute,

I'm always gonna let you have something,

but these are what your options are.

It's an apple and milk or something like that.

Or it's, um, if we have some leftover veggies from a meal,

it's that vegetable and some milk.


Um, but you know, we're not short order cooks as parents.

So I think it's setting this from boundaries

around meal times meal environment and um,

and then, you know, snack times is needed.

But, um, that's, that's first and foremost.

Um, so in terms of what you serve,

you get to decide as the parent.

So if you don't want

chips in your house, that's your choice.

Um, I'm always going to encourage including, you know,

what I call fun foods, um,

because your kids are going to be exposed to them.

You're not shielding them in your home,

or maybe you're shielding 'em at home,

but you're not shielding them in the world from these foods.

And we want first and foremost

to develop a health healthy relationship with these foods.

And we do that by creating

a positive relationship with them.

So what I usually recommend is serving things like chips

alongside other foods.

So we still have our, our, you know, our growing foods,

we have our protein, our carbohydrate, whether that's rice

or potatoes or something like that.

And then we have our vegetables or fruit or both

and we can serve chips or a cookie

or something like that alongside it.

So you're establishing those boundaries.

But what we're trying to do is take the hierarchy out of it.

The more we remove language, like good

and bad, which is so unhelpful, especially

for small children, the more we remove morality from the,

from our table, the more we can co

cultivate a healthy relationship.

And I see this, I'm a product of it.

My siblings are a product of this.

We grew up with no food rules

and we were able to cultivate that for ourselves.

And it's what I model for my kids. And so yeah.

Are there meals where my oldest, who's five

and a half only eats the chips?

Yeah, sure. That's her choice.

But I serve the options

and she has, you know, full decision over what she eats so

that this is part of, um, Ellen Satter's approach

to feeding, which is, um, uses the,

uh, division of responsibility.

So as parent, you decide what and when and where,

and your child gets to decide what

and how much from what's served, and it's their choice.

And it's frustrating for parents.

It's really hard to give up that control,

but I promise you, your child's relationship

to food is not yours.

It's theirs. And as soon as we give up that kind of battle,

it makes things so much easier.

So hopefully that's a helpful explanation.

So, you know, I encourage buy the chips, you know,

also buy the other foods, have a little bit of everything.

I think that's so hard for parents giving up

that control of

The what they eat from their plate. 

It's so hard to sit back and watch

as they make their own choices.


Sam: Yeah. And I've heard so many parents though when they

actually took kind of that approach that you said,

I've had a lot of parents start to serve dessert with dinner

as opposed to after dinner.

And they're like, I just feel so much weight taken off of me

to not have the fight every night about how many bites

of this do I need to take to get my dessert.

They're like, it is just so, such a relief

to not have to fight about that anymore.


Chanel: Yeah. It, it really helps.

Um, and you know, I'll do this a lot of times, um,

my husband and I eat at a different time than my kids

because we're working later usually.

Um, but what we'll do is like, they'll have like kind

of a second thing or like a dessert

with us when we're eating.

So we're still eating together and having that experience.

But, um, it's not about, oh,

dessert is special or this or that.

It's like now we're having some, we're having our meal

and you're having kind of like a second mini meal.

Um, so there's a bunch of different ways

to do it depending on your family and what that looks like.

Um, but yeah, there's, it helps to serve things together

as much as possible so that it minimizes that hierarchy

and um, you know, they kids know, right?

They know a cookie tastes different than broccoli.

You don't have to tell them that.


Sam: Yes. So let's talk a little bit more

before we go about weight.

You mentioned weight when you were kind

of talking about the growth curve,

and I love your take on that

and parents of kids with eating challenges,

they do become really consumed with the weight

because maybe they've been told they're underweight

and that's really concerning to them,

but maybe they've also been told that they are overweight.

I do love how body positive you are when it comes to food,

but can you speak a little bit about how a parent can

navigate this when maybe they were

told one thing or another?


Chanel: Right. We're just so weight obsessed in our culture.

We're so weight focused and, um, and I wish we weren't.

Right. Um, kind of going back to a child's natural

curve, their trajectory.

Um, we all come in different body shapes and sizes,

and I think we need to do more work to celebrate

that, embrace it.

You know, you wouldn't expect a bulldog

to be the same size as the chihuahua.

That would be really unreasonable to ever think that

that can happen in a healthy way.

Right. Um,

but somehow we think that people should be able to do that.

Um, so that's on the, um, you know, larger body spectrum.

And then on the smaller ends,

when a child is quote unquote underweight, we do the same.

Oh, they need to gain to some certain size.

Well, if they've always been on that smaller side, who's

to say that that's wrong for them?

So I'm always looking at what a child's normal is

and making sure that they're healthy, they're thriving, um,

they're getting a wide variety

of foods within their preferences

and you know, parents can work on exposures.

Um, but yeah, I think we need to let go of weight focus

unless there is, um, concern that a child is falling weight

outside of, of that.

So, um, either gaining or losing, right?

Then we wanna look at behaviors

and what else could be going on.

Is it the food or is it a coping strategy

because of something that could have happened

that's traumatic

or, um, you know, there's

so many contributing underlying causes, right?

And we see a lot of food issues, um, develop out of trauma.

So, um, it's never about food.

We make it about food, we make it about weight,

but there's usually something else going on.


Sam: Oh, I love that. 'cause one of my questions for you is

what should we look at instead?

So definitely sounds like there's some other areas

for us to consider there.


Chanel: Yeah. Is there an eating disorder? Right?

Is there concern,

and again, eating disorders are, they're about control,

they're about coping.

They're, they're about many other things

and food is the way that they, um, that they present.

Right? The behaviors with food

and body are how, um, eating disorders present.

So yes, weight can be a red flag that something is going on,

but, um, we, we have to shift our thinking about this

to look at the whole person

and what's going to be best for them to, to approach that.


Sam: Yeah. Well, where can our audience find you

to continue some conversations with you

to continue to learn from you?


Chanel: Sure. I am Chanel Kenner Nutrition everywhere, uh,

on Instagram, it's chanel dot kenner dot nutrition,

and, uh, websites, uh, chanel kenner nutrition.com.


Sam: Thank you so much for being here today. This was so helpful. I feel like I learned

so much in this short amount of time.

Chanel: I'm glad it's helpful and always,

always great connecting. Thank you.

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