One size doesn’t fit all: Avoid adult diet changes for kids

Everywhere you turn, you find a new diet. Cut out sugar. Cut out salt. Cut out wheat. Cut out dairy.

Many adults restrict their diets in an effort to lose weight and be healthy.

But these diets could harm kids.

A recent report suggests kids on restricted salt diets could face thyroid problems because of low iodine in their bodies.

Susan Brown, MS, RD, LDN, Carle dietitian, says restrictive diets could rob kids of crucial nutrients they need while they are growing.

“Adult nutrition needs are completely different than the nutrition needs of a growing child. Parents limiting their own carbohydrates and dairy, and swapping sea salt may actually put growing children at risk for some health problems,” she said.

“If you are worried about your child’s weight or health, talk to your child’s pediatrician and a dietitian who can come up with a healthy-eating plan.”

Carle dietitian Judy Webber, MS, RD, LDN, adds, “I just wish parents would feed their children ‘real food.’ Their growing bodies need a well-balanced diet, which comes from eating different things.

“Teach them to enjoy a variety of foods.”

So parents, don’t go it alone or try out your diet on your child. Follow daily recommended guidelines for a balanced diet, use common sense and seek help if you’re concerned with your child’s eating habits.

“Let the trained professionals guide you to help your children eat right,” Brown concluded.