Recently I posed this question on my blog because I have been interested in learning from toddler parents about their most preferred sources of information on nutrition. This is one of the questions in my weekly Global Toddlers survey, but I also wanted to open it up to everybody else. I collected a total of 147 picks from 51 voters on the blog and 18 Global Toddlers respondents.
Here is the original question:
Where do you go for advice on toddler nutrition? Pick 3
- Your pediatrician
- Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian
- Trusted friend/family
- Books or Magazines
- Networking group
And here is chart showing the results:
These results may seem surprising – after all, it would be quite reasonable to expect that most parents would pick either the Pediatrician or Trusted friend/family since they would give the most credible advice. In fact, only 29 parents picked Pediatrician (42% of 69 parents who responded). The number for Trusted friend/family was even lower at just 20 out of a total of 69.
But if you give this question a little thought, these results are hardly a surprise. After all, you see your pediatrician usually when your child is sick or if you are going there for a routine exam. There isn’t much time during those visits to get all of your nutrition questions answered in detail. At least that’s what we have experienced. Things seem so rushed when visiting the doctor’s office. We seem to spend more time waiting than talking with the doctor!
And as far as trusted family and friends are concerned, sure they can provide sound, well-meaning advice based on their own experiences, but it is unlikely that they would truly understand your unique situation. We all live busy lives, and just like our doctors, it might not be possible to talk to them often enough to get nutrition related information. I also have a hunch that when you ask for their advice, there is a part of you which feels kind of “pressured” to act on it since you want to be able to “report” the results when you talk to them again. I would love to hear your feelings about this.
From this point of view, it is not surprising that a lot of toddler parents rely on indirect sources of information like the internet and books or magazines. There surely is a lot of nutrition information on the internet, but in my experience it is fragmented across many different websites, some of which may not be completely reliable. On top of that, the topic of toddler nutrition rarely is the main topic on these websites, and as such, does not receive the attention it deserves.
To address this gap, I recently launched a weekly column called Ask the Expert. It is my sincere hope that this column can provide highly credible nutrition information in a simple question-answer format to toddler parents. In the coming weeks, you will hear from several experts (pediatricians, registered dietitians). Please post your questions so I can continue to bring their professional advice to you through this blog.
I would love to hear your opinion on the results of this poll. If you did not get a chance to vote in this survey, please feel free to leave a comment with your picks.