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Structure, Nurture & Boundaries in Nutrition

Carine uses this framework in all the work she does with infants, children, teens and families. She acts as nutrition educator, guide and supporter, providing resources and strategic tools. She believes that food, feeding, eating and nutrition not only connect families in relationship, and a child or teen to their body, but also biologically via interactions between the brain and the body.

Exploring Nutritional Structure

Structure takes a close look at meeting nutritional needs, food & energy intake, key nutrients as well as physical growth and activity. In addition, the physical sensations, difficulties or symptoms via the digestive tract and gut microbiota, and also the body’s rhythms and cycles.

This information is generally obtained during a first appointment, as part of the nutritional assessment. For teens in particular, there is often further work to explore, as they work through the inevitable re-structuring towards making their own choices and taking ownership of their bodies.

Understanding the Essence of Nurture

Nurture is not only the act of providing nourishment; it is also caring, noticing, acknowledging, encouraging and reassuring. Most evident in the interactions we have as parents, including the timing, tone and quality of those interactions.

Nurturing Tone

A nurturing tone helps when children are behaving in ways that are worrying or triggering – helping to reduce tension and strain and fostering good relationships. Nurture is about learning to observe and respond rather than reacting without thinking.

Calm & Attentive

Finding ways to be calm and attentive will assist parents in managing the moment, creating just enough space to choose how to respond. Longer-term it provides a valuable modelling, promoting emotional stability and self-regulation for children.

Positive Behaviors

A nurturing tone helps when children are behaving in ways that are worrying or triggering – helping to reduce tension and strain and foster good relationships. Nurture is about learning to observe and respond rather than reacting without thinking.

Positive Encouragement

Nurture is using tools like positive reinforcement or effective praise, naming, recognising and rewarding what children are doing well. Promoting safe agency for teens whilst letting them know you are noticing and giving encouragement.

The Importance of Boundaries

Boundaries are about keeping safe and protected and are helpful with children of all ages. And parents! They help us define limits, what’s negotiable, what’s non-negotiable. Boundaries can help to bring some clarity.

Necessary also for creating the right conditions to work on making dietary change, boundaries can be when we say yes or no to something. Individual by nature, boundaries are useful in a variety of ways towards acceptance, respect, negotiation, compromise, tolerance, time out.

Importantly, when modelled calmly by parents, boundaries show children how to self-regulate both with food and other aspects of behaviour.

Get in Touch with
Paediatric Nutrition

For any general enquiries, please fill in the form with the necessary information. Any information about booking treatments or assessments can be found below.

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Online Workshops for
Happier, Healthier Mealtimes!

Carine offers accessible online workshops on a variety of topics, designed to provide a space alongside others to listen, learn, share, practice and develop tools and strategies for nutritional health.

From Kitchen to Clinic – My Latest Blogs

08/03/2023

making mealtimes better

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Iron Deficiency Anaemia in infancy

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Izzy’s Overnight Almond Oats

I really do get it - it's hard to make time on a school morning to prepare a nutritious breakfast. My teenage daughter Izzy and I teamed up to produce...

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what’s the difference between lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy?

Many people are confused about the difference between lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy. Misunderstood as same condition; the terms lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy are used interchangeably and...

30/10/2019

reintroducing lactose back into the diet

Following a 2 - 6 week low lactose diet to treat lactose intolerance, your child should now be well on their way to recovery from symptoms.  Reintroducing lactose back into...

02/10/2019

good sources of calcium

Infants and children need good sources of calcium in their diets on a daily basis. Calcium absorption in the gut is variable and ranges from 25-50%, increasing when intake is...