DIETITIANS FOR TEENS
Dieticians For Teenagers in Toronto: How They Can Help
How Our Dietitians Can Help
As we move through life stages, nutrient requirements change. A Registered Dietitian can help teens navigate these changes gracefully.
Dietitians can help teens with the following:
Diets and Health Issues
Teens each require a unique number of calories to achieve energy balance — the diet that helps you maintain a healthy weight. This can pose issues for those struggling with health concerns such as food allergies, diabetes, or gut issues that impact the ability to eat. Our dieticians are here to ensure that these concerns don’t keep you from a healthy diet. How do we do that? Well, we focus on:
Diets might not be a curative to a health issue, but it helps reinforce your teen’s physical strength so that they can tackle mental health issues. Proper eating that follows a routine enables your teen to learn about eating habits in a responsible manner. There are always ups and downs when finding the right diet, and a nutritionist can help you navigate those bumps in the road gracefully.
Diets and Disordered Eating
Teenage years are filled with hormonal development, resulting in changes in appetite and mood. Many teens experience unexpected weight fluctuations. Even when these are perfectly normal, it can result in issues with self-image. Teens are over-represented among those with eating disorders or disordered eating. Due to the constant exposure to social media and pressure from peers, it can put undue pressure on the teen.
“I believe that successful nutrition therapy involves interaction between the mind and body. By combining nutrition science and intuitive eating, I help clients connect with their inner wisdom, learn to choose foods that are right for them and create a healthy relationship with food. In my practice, I use a weight-inclusive approach. Rather than focus on weight, I focus on the many factors that contribute to the health of my clients such as satisfaction, psychological well-being and body awareness.”
While there is no single tool to help improve mental health in teens, a balanced diet can play a role. Amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and a balanced gut microflora can all help with the production of various brain molecules such as serotonin and dopamine which are critical to mood and mental health.
Food and nutrition can be difficult to navigate at any stage of life. Teens have unique nutrition needs and concerns that can be addressed with a Dietitian. A Registered Dietitian is a regulated health care professional who is held accountable to laws and standards governed by their regulatory body. This ensures that clients working with a Registered Dietitian have access to ethical, safe and quality nutrition services. In order to practice in Ontario, Registered Dietitians must be registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Working with a Registered Dietitian ensures that teens are getting accurate and appropriate nutrition advice for their stage of development.
You may know or suspect that your teen is living with an eating disorder. If your teen is preoccupied with food, body size or shape, they may have disordered eating. Eating disorders are diagnosed under certain criteria but exclude a lot of disordered eating. Eating disorders and disordered eating can be harmful but seeking help from a professional who specializes in eating disorders and nutrition can help cultivate hope.
A Registered Dietitian is a vital part of a team that works together to address the nutrition and emotions associated with disordered eating and eating disorders. A Dietitian challenges unhealthy beliefs about food while developing a strong therapeutic relationship to support healthy eating in teens and youth.
When your teen is living with an eating disorder, eating can feel really scary. Registered Dietitians can help take the fear out of eating and heal the relationship with food and body. If you suspect your teen has an eating disorder, check-out NEDIC for more information about eating disorder recovery and support.
Eating disorders vary, but the common denominator is an unhealthy eating pattern that the teen is unable to stop. Some examples include:
Anorexia: A serious eating disorder and mental health issue, anorexia is when someone aims to reduce their weight in any way possible. Individuals with this disorder aim to eat as little as possible, depriving their bodies of essential nutrients and risking permanent damage. It can become a life-threatening concern that, because of its psychological implications, can’t be solved by simply encouraging the teen to eat.
Therapy and dietitian expertise can help significantly.
Bulimia: An eating disorder that causes the sufferer to overeat in a process called binging until they feel ill. Following this, the individual induces vomiting or purges using laxatives. It can be challenging to identify because it appears that the individual is eating. Sufferers of bulimia often struggle with control and use this binge-purge cycle to regain that sense. A nutritionist can help address this issue before it causes permanent gastrointestinal damage.
Orthorexia: A condition that causes the suffer to obsess over foods and only eat those deemed healthy, it can appear positive at a cursory glance — but don’t be fooled. This type of obsessive behaviour can result in health damage due to misunderstanding what a healthy diet actually is. A nutritionist and dietitian can assist with this in a powerful way.
Registered Dietitians help people translate the science of food and nutrition into language they can understand. They can help your teenager develop an informed approach to eating that promotes wellbeing.
Being able to enjoy food is a beautiful part of life. Unfortunately, food rules, diet culture and the belief that food choices must be rigid and complicated takes the joy out of eating. Working with a dietitian can help teens explore foods and bring joy back into eating.
Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens: Improving Your Health One Meal at a Time
To learn more about our dietitians for teens, reach out to the team and we’ll be happy to help.
Book An Appointment Now
Stay up to date with blogs, news and resources at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens