With all the trends in diet these days, and with a growing number of people eliminating certain foods from their diet due to sensitivity and allergies, we asked a local nutritionist if we are risking balanced nutrition. Aubrey Phelps, MS RDN CLC is a registered functional nutritionist, perinatal fitness coach, lactation counselor, kangaroula, and advocate for women as they make the journey into motherhood.
Phelps says risking balanced nutrition is always a concern when we make restrictions to our diet. “Absolutely! We also make nutrition much more complicated,” she said. “At the core of my nutrition philosophy is this – eat real food. That means foods your great, great grandmother would have and could have made in her own kitchen.”
Phelps acknowledges that some people have to eliminate certain things because of allergies and sensitivities. But others who have a choice should weigh the pros and cons first. “There are merits to each of these trends, but the balance is missing and the “why” needs to be considered,” she said. “Are you avoiding gluten because your body reacts poorly to it? Or you have an inflammatory issue? Or are you doing it because the magazine in the check-out line said such and such celebrity lost 20 lbs from going gluten-free?”
Phelps said the biggest challenge to the average American diet is an “all or nothing mindset.”
“So many people feel like it’s perfection or nothing,” she said. “The extremes are what I think are most damaging: No-fat; no-sugar; “keto”; “paleo”…. there are just so many labels and people are constantly inundated with the next “best” way to eat. In reality, good nutrition isn’t hard or mysterious, but it also isn’t “quick” or “easy”. Like most things in life, it involves effort and consistency, which can be really unappealing when we’re so overworked and tapped out.”
So what are three things we can do to create balanced nutrition in our diets as much as possible? Phelps said eat protein, lots, daily, eat veggies, the more the merrier, and eat real foods and limit processed and packaged ones. Taking time to create healthy meals is worthwhile for you and your kids.
However, kids can be really picky eaters. So, how do we ensure balanced nutrition for them?
“Your job isn’t to “get” your kids to eat,” Phelps said. “Your job is to offer consistent opportunities to eat in an unpressured meal environment,” Phelps said our role is to decide what is offered, when, and where. After that, our job is done. It’s up to our child to determine how much of what was offered to eat or if to eat at all.
“Yes, that can be scary and lead to less eating at first, but with time and consistency, children learn to try new foods and eat when they’re hungry,” she said.
Aubrey Phelps MS RDN CLC
Aubrey is a registered functional nutritionist, perinatal fitness coach, lactation counselor, kangaroula, and advocate for women as they make the journey into motherhood. Specializing in perinatal and pediatric nutrition, Aubrey supports women in improving their health, cycles, and fertility so they can have a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of complications and preterm delivery. She works with women so they can thrive postpartum as they transition into motherhood and mothers who want to get their little one off to the right start with nutrition and health or those struggling with the anxiety of a child who isn’t growing as expected. She is a momma to 3 earthside babies, expecting her fourth, and 4 angels she has yet to meet. After two traumatic births, miscarriages, feeding issues, a NICU stay, PPA, a VBA2C, and more, Aubrey became even more passionate about supporting mothers in their transition into motherhood. She is the owner of Matrescence Nutrition and loves working with women and families as a part of their village.