Dr Colette Reynolds is a qualified Nutrition & Health Coach. She founded Growing Healthy Eaters to provide Fussy Eating Strategies and expert advice on How to Avoid Picky Eaters. She’s also a mum to 2 young boys, based in the west of Ireland.
We chatted to Colette to to see what sparked her interest in nutrition, discuss her nutrition philosophies and find out what she has been up to since studying with IINH.
When did you first become interested in nutrition and health?
My interest in nutrition goes way back to when I was a teenager and I was really focused on keeping down my weight. I wanted to find out as much as I could about foods and their effects, though I had a very limited view of foods at the time as I focused a lot on calories rather than nutrition!
Over the years I have thankfully developed a more holistic view of nutrition and health and now focus on eating ‘real food’ with less processed food for both my family and my clients.
So what made you decide to study with IINH?
While I have a varied background in Psychology and Health Promotion; since becoming a Mom, I’ve found that providing healthy food choices and good nutrition can indeed be challenging and frustrating (trying to keep all family members healthy, happy and well nourished!). So a number of years ago, I decided I wanted to also complete training in nutrition and specifically nutrition coaching.
I liked how the IINH offer an internationally recognised qualification in Nutrition and Health Coaching, which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. I also really liked Richard Burton’s (who’s the founder & director) philosophy and very hands on approach.
You own your own company, Growing Healthy Eaters. Tell us a bit about that.
Growing Healthy Eaters empowers parents and caregivers to create happy, healthy eaters for children. It focuses on how best to feed babies, toddlers and children; using my background in Psychology, Health Promotion and Nutrition.
I offer one-to-one support online to grow happy, healthy eaters; including reversing fussy eating, as well as ensuring healthy eating habits from a young age.
I also offer two online courses called ‘Create Healthy Eating Habits, Early’ and ‘Reduce Children’s Sugar in Positive Ways’. Both master courses enable busy families to implement straightforward and practical actions in positive ways and are delivered in bite sized videos.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I absolutely love when parents reach out to me and ask for a little help. Many parents have huge challenges with feeding their kids, despite eating well themselves. I love it when I empower parents to feed their children well and even reverse fussy eating in just a few consultations. Some parents also contact me to prevent poor eating habits from developing in the first place and I love working with parents of different aged children including babies and toddlers. I always say it’s never too early or too late to start, the important thing is to make the start.
From your experience working with clients, do you feel that nutrition and health is well understood? What simple advice would you give people?
There is so much information out there, some of it conflicting, some of it not evidence-based; that it can be difficult to know what it best to say or do when feeding our kids.
One very useful piece of advice for parents is not to wait ages if our child is not eating as well as we would like, for example, if they are eating limited vegetables, fruit or proteins. Even 6 months is a long time for these patterns to continue and then they are more likely to become long-term habits. Of course the longer these habits continue, the more challenging it can be to reverse (for both kids and parents!). Therefore it may be better to reach out and get a little expert help if you feel your kids eating isn’t improving and you have tried different things over the last few months.
What is your personal nutrition philosophy?
My personal nutrition philosophy is all about variety, the more variety in a diet the better; as kids (and all of us!) can get bored of eating the same foods repeatedly and want to stop eating them, even our favourite foods. And if kids are not open to other ‘new’ foods then their diet becomes more and more limited over time.
And what advice would you give to someone who is considering studying Nutrition and Health Coaching?
Thankfully there is more and more awareness and interest in the importance of nutrition and well-being so this is a great field to be involved in at the moment and going forward. While there’s lots of free advice available, some people really want and benefit from expert advice for example, from a coach. There’s lots of opportunities in the field for those who have an interest in the area (including those who would like to specialise like myself) and for those who would like to help others improve their nutrition and health.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr Colette Reynolds and her journey as a Nutrition & Health Coach, you can visit her website Growing Healthy Eaters or connect with her on the below social media channels.
Facebook: Growing Health Eaters