Would My Child Benefit from a Special Diet?

Would My Child Benefit from a Special Diet?

Your child’s diet is one of the most important ways to maintain their health. For many children, the dietary guidelines for children include nutrient-dense foods like protein, vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy. However, your child might have specific dietary needs that require a special diet.

At Neighborhood Pediatrics, we’re a team of nutrition experts led by board-certified pediatricians, Rachel McConnell, MD, Sharon Lucas, MD, who can pinpoint what foods your child should avoid and which ones can nourish their bodies. We can help control your child’s allergic reactions and triggers with a customized diet to keep them healthy and thriving.

The different types of special diets

Some children require different nutritional needs because of issues, such as diabetes, food allergies, or being overweight. With many types of diet options, your child needs the right one to give them a healthy, normal life. 

Common special diets include:

Gluten-free

Gluten is a natural protein found in certain grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Some foods that contain gluten can also alter the taste and texture. Gluten can be added to most foods, but if your child has celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, they can have severe symptoms, including:

If your child can’t tolerate gluten, the slightest bit can cause problems. However, a gluten-free eating plan can stop any triggers and keep your child healthy and happy. 

Vegetarian and vegan

Vegetarian and vegan diets are plant-based diets that consist of fruits and vegetables, eliminating meat and sugary, fatty, greasy foods from their diet. Many put their children on these types of diets for ethical reasons. However, they can also have their health benefits, too.

The Academy of Pediatrics endorses vegetarian and vegan diets as healthy for infants and toddlers. It helps children avoid fatty foods that cause their arteries to clog, and they eat far less sodium when compared to other diets.

Plant-based diets keep their risk for heart disease low, and their weight typically stays within a healthy range. They also have a much less risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is prevalent among children these days. 

Outside of these common diets, your child might need additional dietetic boundaries because of allergic reactions to foods like:

Our team of nutritionists can get to the root of your child’s nutritional issues and develop a personalized plan for them. We can identify what foods might cause triggers and eliminate them as we give nutritional guidance while we monitor their progress.

To learn more about the right special diet for your child, call our friendly office staff in Shenandoah, Texas, or schedule an appointment online today.

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