For the first time in my practice I received a referral from a pediatrician from Danville, CA for a 6 year old girl with prediabetes. Diane took Carly to see her doctor in Danville, Ca. because all of a sudden she was wetting the bed, having to go to the bathroom often and always wanting to go to sleep on the couch. Carly’s Doctor took a blood and urine test and saw that she had an elevated blood sugar. Needless to say mom was terrified and called me from the doctor’s office to make an appointment. I have to tell you that not surprisingly Diane is obese and does not have any sense about basic nutrition. Well this diagnosis was a wake up call for her child and herself.
I asked Diane to bring in a food diary of what Carly had eaten for the last 3 days. It is interesting to see that Carly is not overweight but I am sure over time if this way of eating continued she would follow in the footsteps of her mom. For breakfast Carly always ate the high sugar cereals such as Fruit Loops, Sugar Pops or Pancakes with lots of maple syrup and butter. She would have a glass of orange juice in addition to her breakfast. She always snacked on granola bars, high sugar yogurts and gummy fruit snacks. Oh my goodness I said no wonder she is always feeling tired in the morning. Lunch was typically a peanut butter sandwich or cup of noodles and lots of fruit. The saving grace here is that Carly loves fruit which honestly was the only good nutrition she was having. There was no existence of veggies until maybe dinner. Mom works and Carly on most days stays with her grandparents that of course indulge her royally. Since Carly is not overweight grandma thinks she can bake cookies and take her out for ice cream. The specialty at grandma’s for lunch is macaroni and cheese or pasta. Diane picks Carly up most days after her dinner and honestly had no idea what she was eating there. I often see this happen that parents put unhealthy just pizza or pasta on the table with no veggies and do not realize that the child has not had a substantial meal all day, possibly had not eaten their lunch and ate lots of snacks at childcare or at a friends home.
In my initial session with Diane I taught her how to read the food label specifically protein, fiber and sugar. I calculated that Carly may eat only a few ounces of protein a day when she needs at least 6 oz. and the only fiber she is getting is in fruit which clearly she is eating too much of.
For breakfast I suggested to Diane to replace all cereals with oatmeal, serve whole wheat toast and eggs or french toast, toast with peanut butter along with hard boiled eggs for more protein or even leftover chicken from last nite. For lunch I recommended to take grandmas macaroni and cheese that is now being recalled anyway and make her own whole wheat pasta and add cheese, chicken and broccoli to balance it out. I emphasized that fruit should be considered a dessert and not to be eaten in between meals that will cause a spike in the blood sugar. If we reduce Carly’s fruits then she could have a dessert each day such as a portion sized frozen treat such as fudgeisicles or creamsiscles. In terms of veggies I realized that Diane consumes very little veggies. I was adamant with Diane that she has to be a role model for Carly and show her how veggies can be tasty and must be added to lunch and dinner. I also explained to Diane that she must start a walking program or a bicycle ride each day with Carly which will undoubtedly burn sugar especially when she has had too many treats.
I was really thrilled after 2 months of our work together that Carly’s blood sugar was back in the normal range. Diane then decided to start working with me to lose her weight because she now knows how important this is for her daughter and herself. When I first worked with Diane I had to teach her how to listen to her body for real hunger signals vs. cravings. Diane realized that she was always eating Carly’s leftovers and often found herself stuffing food in her mouth when she was in the kitchen and saying to herself “what am I doing”. I know this mindless eating was a great contributor to her obesity.
Diane has agreed to work with me for 6 months to lose 50 pounds for once and for all.
I am glad to inform you that nutritional counseling is covered by many health insurances such as Aetna, ABMG, Hill Physicians, Health Net, Sutter Select and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or email me at email@example.com and tell me about your nutrition concerns. Please refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for past articles and info about services.