From birth on, every conversation between a pediatric professional and Mom is a unique opportunity for education. Parents come into these conversations loaded with questions and ready to learn, but when the topic is nutrition—a topic you and many of your colleagues may not have received dedicated training in—the interaction has the potential to leave you and Mom unsatisfied.
How can pediatric professionals educate and motivate Moms to make healthy food choices for their little ones? Here are four keys that can put you on the right path:
1. Deliver the right information at the right time
That Moms can get overwhelmed is the understatement of the century. Not only are they focused on their little one day and night, but they are being bombarded with information about what to feed their child—from a variety of credible and incredible sources. You’ve told us that delivering the right information in bite-sized chunks when it is most relevant helps keep Mom from getting more overwhelmed than she may already be. At a six-month well visit, that means starting a conversation about first foods. As a child reaches school age, that means starting a conversation about healthy snacking.
2. Make it easy to understand and actionable
When it comes to educating Moms about proper nutrition for their child, no information is too basic or fundamental. Tools and resources that focus on the basic building blocks of nutrition are highly valued, and can help Mom begin to instill healthy eating habits from a very young age. Moms also love suggestions, meal plans, and recipes—ideas that are actionable and spare them having to sort through the thousands of choices they face at the supermarket. That’s why we encourage healthy food brands to be part of these conversations between you and Mom.
3. Harness your credibility and build trust
According to the 2017 IFIC Food & Health Survey, health professionals like you are consumers’ most trusted source of food information. As a pediatric professional, your recommendations are highly influential. That’s why it’s important to be knowledgeable about products in the marketplace and what recommendations are appropriate for meeting the varying needs of your patients and their parents. You and your colleagues tell us that gaining a high level of nutritional knowledge about a product—and having a personal experience with it—are keys to your recommendations to Moms. That’s why we encourage food brands to include educational materials, samples, and free trial coupons for you and your patients in all the programs we conduct through PulseConnect.
4. Offer solutions that are accessible and positive
Moms are busy and life with a little one can get frantic on a regular basis. That’s why it’s important that the solutions you recommend to Mom are easily accessible and achievable. Recommending foods and options widely available at the local store can help show Mom that there are plenty of healthy choices to be made that are accessible without significant effort or cost.
We know you spend your days helping Moms make the best choices they can for their children. When it comes to nutrition, that conversation can be aided by healthy food brands that want to educate both professional and parent—and offer healthy solutions.
If you’re interested in receiving resources and materials to educate and motivate your patient parents to make healthy food choices for their little ones, join PulseConnect!