We have a bunch of amazing experts giving advice about the topics we talk about on our Wellness app.
Let’s meet Clare Marcangelo, who is a registered nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition) and an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine, as well as Certificate III in Early Childhood, S.E.N.C.O (U.K based Special Education Needs Co-Ordinator) and Sleep Consultant.
What Clare specialises in
“I became a Children’s Nutritionist as I had always worked with children and families, and my own personal journey with my son made me want to help other families find their answers,” she says.
“I specialise in supporting anxious and also Neurodiverse children- reducing anxiety, digestive issues and helping with behavioural and sleep issues.
“I most commonly see differing levels of anxiety in children, whether a family have contacted me for fussy eating, allergies or emotional dysregulation, this seems to be part of their story.”
What are the most common problems you face at work?
“I think its important not to get caught up with doing it perfectly. If a child wont eat veggies at dinner, but will have them raw in the afternoon or they refuse breakfast but will have a morning smoothie, go with it,” says Clare.
“It’s normal to struggle with kids and diet, that doesn’t mean we should give up, but it does mean we should take the pressure off ourselves.
“The most common issues I see parents facing is not knowing if what they are doing is even “right”. Between other well-meaning people and social media there is an overload of information.
“So even if a parent or carer has a pretty good idea of what their child needs, they aren’t sure if they should trust this, or they worry they aren’t remedying it properly.
“We’ve made this big shift from the old school, ‘This is what you’ll eat and you’ll be thankful for it/It never did me ay harm’ kind of attitude to parenting and replaced it with an almost paranoia-like attitude, hoping we are doing the best job possible for our children. We just need to settle into a happy median, which I think will happen in time.”
Should parents change a child’s diet or do anything different?
“If your child is thriving, keep doing what your doing. I would say that everyone will benefit from eating from nature and not from the supermarket as much as possible,” says Clare.
“That one works for everyone. I think because I work with children who don’t always ‘fit’ (and we all know wanting our kids to be happy is what drives parents).”
What is your favourite quote?
Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
What are the most common mistakes or misconceptions people have about your area of expertise?
|“There are a few misconceptions about my field, some have felt its pseudo-science (as we often take our lead from studies that are a lot smaller than those run to support things like pharmaceuticals), but I do feel this attitude is quite quickly dying out as we discover more about epigenetics and our body’s biochemistry,” adds Clare.
“The other would be that a Nutritionist just ‘fixes’ a diet to make someone healthier. I literally never do this! In actual fact all Nutritionists are really there to spend the extra time helping support a person to prevent disease, or manage a condition in quite a holistic way.
“We have the time that other practitioners may not, so we are able to often help someone get to the root of an issue by uncovering the drivers. I hope that in the future it’s used more to take the pressure off the Medical industry, so that GPs are able to focus on the things they need to be able to focus on.”