The weight consultant / dietician at the Center for Youth and Family

The coffee table of the CJG: many questions, just as many answers

The great thing about conversations at the coffee table of a BMO is that the atmosphere is casual. The parents and hostesses usually know each other, making conversations easy and more intimate. People begin to tell quickly, the questions and answers come naturally. Examples of problems that parents struggle with are:

  • My 10 year old child eats a lot, is ready very quickly at the table and ‘is starting to get fat’. The other (8) just doesn’t want to eat and can sit at the table for an hour.
  • My daughter of 3 only wants potatoes and rice, and absolutely no pasta.
  • My 18-year-old niece wants to get fatter, doesn’t like to eat, and wants to buy a drug in the store that stimulates appetite. What do you think of that?
  • My 2-year-old son only eats fruit if he is offered it by someone else, not if I give it to him.
  • My 3 year old daughter wants me to ‘feed’ her when I have a girlfriend to eat. If I sit alone with her at the table, she will just eat herself.
  • So much is always treated at my child’s school, they even get sweets home. I find that annoying, but I don’t know what to do about it.

Answers to questions are almost always education-related

In most cases, the core of the answers is upbringing and behavioral. For example, an unrecognized call for attention from the child or (subconsciously) wrong example behavior of a parent being copied by the child. Parents often do not seek the solution of the problem in their upbringing or their own behavior. By naming upbringing / one’s own behavior as a solution direction, they often already feel helped. Relatively simple and easily applicable tips are sufficient.

Weight consultant / dietician also a source of information for the professional

During the coffee table conversations, the consultation office nurse walks in with the question if I will stop by. He shows me the growth curve of a 10-year-old child with a too high BMI and tells me that 20% of the children from the 7th grade of primary school are overweight. Whether I want to help think about a group approach to get these young people on a healthier weight. Unfortunately, there is insufficient capacity and money to offer each individual child a counseling program that it deserves.

My presence in the BMO always feels like too short; the conversations are inviting and inspiring. Both for the parents and for myself. There is so much to do and to win. I therefore argue for ‘nutritional consultation hours’ in every BMO or consultation office.