Module 6: Putting It Into Practice
Communicating About Food in a Diverse World

6.4 Issues and Concerns

Fast FoodIt can be tempting to gloss over issues and concerns related to the intersection of a family's culture and nutrition in a provider/client interaction. However, these conversations are more important than ever if our nation is going to turn the tables on the obesity epidemic.

Bright Futures suggests specific topics for providers to discuss with their clients during health supervision visits. When paired with the guidance provided earlier in this curriculum, providers can better connect with families and provide nonjudgmental, culturally sensitive guidance regarding nutrition, food choices, and obesity.

Use the Down Arrow buttons for nutrition-related topics to be aware of and discuss with families that may have cultural dimensions to them.

 

  • Parents must decide whether to feed their infant breastmilk or infant formula. Health professionals can help identify barriers to breastfeeding and provide referrals to lactation consultants
  • Parents may need help determining when to introduce solid foods into their infant’s diet. Health professionals can provide information related to the infant’s nutrition needs and developmental abilities.
  • Parents will need to know when it is OK to introduce juice into their infant’s diet, and how much.
  • Parents will wonder how they know whether or not they’re feeding their baby too much, or not enough.
  • Parents might ask if they should give their baby sweets such as cookies or sweetened drinks during the first year of life.
  • Counsel parents about what they can do if their child is overweight or obese.
  • Address whether a child should eat low-fat foods.
  • Have suggestions for dealing with picky eaters and how parents can convince children to try new foods.
  • Explain how children can get enough calcium.
  • Iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia are common in children, especially children from families with low incomes. 
  • Ask about the frequency and amount of milk and milk products consumed daily.
  • Ask about the consumption of sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks.
  • Address the intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Point out when consumption of foods high in fat, especially saturated and trans fats (chips, etc.), is higher than recommended.
  • Address overweight or obesity.
  • Address body image concerns.
  • Ask about the frequency and amount of milk and milk products consumed daily.
  • Ask about the consumption of sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks and sports drinks.
  • Address the intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Point out if consumption of foods high in fat, especially saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium, is higher than recommended.
  • Address overweight or obesity.
  • Inquire about daily and weekly physical activity levels.
  • Address any signs of eating disorders, body image concerns, excessive dieting, etc.
  • Note that iron-deficiency anemia in females is prevalent.
  • Note that hyperlipidemia is prevalent.
  • Address any food insecurity among adolescents from families with low incomes.

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