Helping Raise Kids Through Research
Building good nutrition into one’s diet isn’t always easy. And as most parents know, it’s all the more challenging when doing so for young children.
Addressing questions related to pre-, post-natal and childhood nutrition is the core of Sarah Remmer’s business. As a registered dietitian, nutritionist and mom of three based in Alberta, Sarah lives and breathes nutrition “from stork to fork” whether she is communicating through the media, via her blog or one-on-one with families. And in a world of celebrity recommendations, conflicting online advice and food fads, Sarah bases all of her recommendations in evidence derived from nutrition research.
“One client had questions for me regarding timing and process for introducing solids to her baby,” Sarah said. “I encouraged her to introduce a wide variety of foods and textures within the first three months of starting solids (and to continue to do so until one year of age and into toddler-hood) in order to help widen his/her palate for later and decrease the chances of picky eating.”
The basis of this recommendation? A 2005 study entitled “A prospective study of food variety seeking in childhood, adolescence and early adult life” from Appetite, an international research journal specializing in cultural, social, psychological, sensory and physiological influences on the selection and intake of foods and drinks.
The study suggests that the acquisition of food repertoire may be influenced by food exposure and food choice behaviours before the age of four
The study followed a cohort of 339 children between the ages of two- to three-years-old between 1982 and 1999, with a follow-up in 2001. Their food choices were recorded and used to calculate early variety seeking scores, both globally and by food group. Follow-up variety seeking and food neophobia were evaluated using questionnaire instruments.
Among other detailed results, the study clearly demonstrated that for each food group, variety seeking at follow-up was related to food neophobia.
“The study suggests that the acquisition of food repertoire may be influenced by food exposure and food choice behaviours before the age of four,” Sarah noted. “While this was only one study, it demonstrated clear patters of behaviour related to dietary choices and underscored my recommendation to my client.
“It’s a great example of how research—of the type funded annually by CFDR—supports my practice and helps me to provide clear and concise answers to Canadians seeking nutrition information.”