Feeding Issues and Nutrition in Adoption

What are some of the unique feeding and nutritional issues facing adopted children who may have challenges from not having had enough food, being fed too quickly or with little attention, or food limited in texture, nutrients and variety? Join our guests Dr. Julian Davies, pediatrician at the University of Washington Adoption Medicine Clinic; and Dr. Katja Rowell, the Feeding Doctor.

Hit the Highlights
  • What are some of the diseases and disorders that poor nutrition can cause?
  • What is the critical time for nutrition to support brain development?
  • How does prenatal malnutrition affect the child’s brain?
  • How does malnutrition or poor nutrition in the first year of life affect cognitive functioning?
  • Is poor nutrition or malnourishment only an issue for children living in orphanages abroad or adopted internationally?
  • What are some of the signs of malnourishment that adoptive parents should be aware of for a child that was malnourished prenatally?
  • What are some of the signs of malnutrition in infancy?
  • When a newly adopted child is undergoing a growth spurt post adoption, how can parents support this growth so that the child does not deplete his meager store of iron and micronutrients?
  • Internationally, what countries do you see with the greatest nutrition issues in the children being adopted to the US?
  • What are the long-term issues with infants being feed cow’s milk or severely watered-down formula? Can this cause long term problems?
  • Why are children in either neglectful homes or orphanages at risk for Vitamin D insufficiency and what can that cause?
  • What are some typical feeding issues with adopted children and what can parents do?
  • Why do some children have a hard time swallowing and chewing when there is nothing physically wrong with the child’s mouth or throat? What can parents do to help the child?
  • Food hoarding is not an uncommon problem with newly adopted kids especially if food was not always reliable and consistent in their prior life. How should parents handle this complex and often vexing problem?
  • What are some good general tricks for adoptive parents that crucial first year home in feeding their kids?
  • What is the best approach to handling extreme pickiness with children?
  • How to handle if kids only want to eat junk food?
  • In orphanages, children are often fed very fast. How does this affect a child’s eating habits? Pushy feeding?
  • Should parents allow their children to play with their food?
  • How to slow down a child’s eating?
  • Should you ever force feed your child?

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Image Credit: Saad.Akhtar

Show re-aired in 2016.