FEEDING AND GROWTH PROBLEMS
As growth problems are often related to feeding and nutrition, it is essential to ensure your child is getting the resources he or she needs to develop and grow. With the first few years of life being the most critical stage for development and growth, Dr Coetzee focuses on feeding issues (including breastfeeding) and nutritional intake when doing general consultations.
By tracking your child's growth on a standard growth chart, he can see if your child is matching the growth standards of other children his or her age. The positioning on the chart is not important as long as the growth curve of your child is positive. While many children lag behind in growth, it is essential to recognise faltering growth (known as failure to thrive) in infancy so that you as parents can provide your child with everything he needs to reach growth potential.
Nutrition is not only important for growth and development, but for metabolic programming and immune response. By instilling a household routine with healthy eating, as parents, you can aid in the growth and development of your child but also have a positive impact on his or her relationship with food for the rest of their life.
With his special interest in nutrition, Dr Coetzee is able to educate and provide parents with information on the dietary needs of each age and how to ensure the nutrition of your child in terms of feeding issues. From babies breastfeeding, to introducing cow's milk, starting solid foods and dealing with food allergies, your paediatrician can assist parents in food behaviours, appetites and mealtime habits of children at each age. He is able to advise parents on diets for children in infancy, toddler stage and middle childhood, varying in athletic abilities and fussy palates and can refer you to a specialist gastroenterologist when the root cause of feeding or growth problems is related to an underlying gut condition.