Child nutrition is an emotional subject. Not only does everyone seem to have an opinion, but everyone seems to think theirs is an expert one! Yet nutrition is an important science with an evidence-base of scientific literature to support recommendations and guidelines, and it is important that consistent messages are given across society to achieve the sustained dietary and physical activity behaviour change needed to help our children improve health and well-being outcomes.
As such the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), a leading nutrition charity, delivers impartial, authoritative and evidence-based information on food and nutrition, to make nutrition science accessible to all.
BNF carries out a wide range of activities relating to nutrition throughout childhood. The Foundation works both within its team of skilled nutrition professionals and in collaboration with other academic experts in the field to produce clear, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date information for consumers, schools, health professionals, academics and the media. We also provide advice to the food industry on a broad range of nutritional issues.
The role of nutritional status and dietary intake in influencing health and disease cannot be overstated, impacting at all stages of the life cycle. There is strong evidence that health outcomes are associated with nutritionally related factors including obesity, nutritional status, and diet quality. As such, diet and lifestyle advice are important components in clinical care, and dietary habits are established even at this early stage in life.
In our child nutrition blogs we will look at key nutrition issues in childhood, from infancy to adolescence, and hope to cover diverse subjects including food allergy and intolerance, diet and cognitive health, diets and autism, fussy/picky eating, vegetarian and vegan diets, hyperactivity, obesity and school food. We will also keep you up-to-date with emerging research and nutrition stories in the media as well as any changes in nutrition policy that may impact children. And we hope to combat some diet myths and misunderstandings that are common in health professionals and the public alike.
Nurses have an important role to play in children’s nutrition, and are in a good position to identify and manage those patients who would benefit from nutritional input. As a team we hope to provide you with blogs that are informative and reflect the latest thinking in this very interesting and clinically relevant area. We do hope that you enjoy them.
Ayela Spiro, Helena Gibson-Moore and Sarah Coe are all nutrition scientists at The British Nutrition Foundation. All three work together to be expert bloggers in the Nursing in Practice nutrition resources centre. Individual descriptions are below: