This is the second article as a result of my collaboration with Tania Koerber, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/ Nutritionist and Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition! My Facebook friends recently shared one question they would want answered by a Pediatric Nutritionist, and boy did I get lots of questions, which was awesome. Last week I shared Tania’s answer to the question whether of not kids should take vitamins!
Today she addresses a concern many parents share regarding how to manage the potential weight gain that can come from long term steroid use. The fact that several moms out of my relatively small group of readers worry about the same side effects show that this is something that we need to address – this is important for our kids!
Question: How can parents best balance their child’s nutrition and eating habits when he/ she is on a medically necessary long-term steroid regiment?
Answer: Yes, unfortunately long-term use of steroids (for more than 2 weeks) can cause increased appetite and possibly weight gain.
• The difference in gaining too much weight, or not, is related to the nature of the home diet.
o If the child has easy access to caloric snacks, such as chips and cookies…or second helpings of pasta, potatoes, rice dishes…or high-sugary beverages… then the undesired excess weight gain can definitely happen.
o The key is to have healthy snacks available, more fruits, low fat dairy products, nuts and spreads. Apples and almond butter, yogurt and fruit parfait, smoothies to name a few.
o Limit chips and cookies to special occasions, holidays or weekends.
o Kids should learn early on they are “treats” and not “everyday snacks”.
•If your child’s BMI had a sudden increase and/or your child is gaining more than 12# per year, a consultation with a Pediatric Dietitian/Nutritionist should be considered to decrease the risk for obesity and its complications.
Our next Q&A session with Tania is focused on picky eaters: offering strategies to overcome the maddening tactics applied by our little selective eaters. Stay tuned – Tania saved my sanity years ago – and I find myself referring back to her tips and tricks over and over as we navigate this trying “phase” with our boys.
Tania practices here in Palm Beach County where I met her years ago. She made a house call to us when I had some concerns about one of our boys. She spent a considerable amount of time giving me strategies, ideas and inspiration as to how we could navigate our concerns. I have recommended her services to many of my fellow “medical moms” over the years, and they have all been thrilled with her guidance. Tania is happy to do in-home consultations from Port St. Lucie to Boca Raton, Florida. Tania’s expertise ranges from addressing Failure to Thrive/ poor weight gain concerns, feeding difficulties (including picky eating) to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Chronic GI disorders, food allergies, sports nutrition – and everything in between.
Don’t miss the first article we wrote with Tania: “Does Your Child Need Vitamins?”
Tania Koerber, RD, CSP, LD/N
Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition
Contact Tania: firstname.lastname@example.org, (561) 313-9193