Today we are featuring Elizabeth Young, Phd, RDN, LD, CLT, owner and health nutrition coach/consultant of B. Young Nutrition & Wellness.
Elizabeth became a passionate proponent of health promotion and nutrition due to a personal health crisis nearly 30 years ago. Also she grew up with grandparents who were passionate about health and nutrition. After years of physicians prescribing antibiotics and many other prescription drugs, her immune system failed her. She became very ill and bedridden. She was forced to investigate what was wrong with her. By doing so over many years, she discovered she had Celiac Disease, as well as multiple food allergies and sensitivities. Through this process, she changed her major from Pre-med to Nutrition. From then on, she has never looked back.
In terms of her expertise as a nutritionist with a focus on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and toddlers, Elizabeth has vast professional and personal experience and education.
She has an undergraduate degree and a Masters in Nutrition and a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior. Her research focused on the topic of children’s nutrition. She is also published on the topic. She is an experienced Pediatric Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She taught Maternal and Child Health in the university setting and worked on child nutrition issues while employed by the National Cancer Institute as a Cancer Research Fellow. She has professional experience managing and providing nutrition information at a Women, Infant and Child (WIC) Clinic. She is certified in both weight management and food sensitivities for all ages. As far as personal experience, she has an eight-year old child, as well as seven nieces and nephews and extended family, so she has experience with infants and toddlers.
So what separates her from the others? In her opinion what distinguishes her from other Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is her passion and her personal experience. Her passion is helping people transition to a better quality of life quickly due to the personal experience of becoming very ill and having to diagnose and treat herself.
In addition, there is a family passion. Her family has a love of children. Her father is a retired pediatrician and her sister is a pediatric audiologist.
She also has three degrees and her research had an emphasis on children. She was a pediatric dietitian in the hospital inpatient setting where not only did she counsel patients' families, but participated in clinics such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, metabolic diseases, weight management, allergies and arthritis. She taught Maternal and Child Nutrition courses as a university professor, worked with these issues at the National Cancer Institute, and managed a WIC clinic. She currently manages and owns a successful private practice.
On the personal side, she is a mother who has experienced many of the trials and successes of feeding an infant, a toddler, and a child and ensuring his diet is nutritionally sound.
She has to admit that her greatest achievement as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is changing her patients’ lives for the better over a short time period so they can get back to living again. She loves transitioning individuals to a better quality lifestyle quickly and seeing patients succeed long term with their goals and increasing their quality of life. This has always been her goal, since when she became ill, the route to recovery was so long.
Regarding misconceptions of parents with their children's nutrition, she has several issues to discuss. One issue is parents pushing the infant, toddler, or child to eat. Do not force feed, but feed on demand. The infant will usually eat when he is hungry. If the child is losing weight, consult your physician.
The second concern is incorrect mixing of formula by parents. For instance, too little water can cause dehydration and diarrhea while too much water can cause lack of nutrients for growth and possibly in severe cases seizures, water intoxication leading to brain damage. Follow the package instructions for best results.
The third misconception concerns the introduction of foods. Solid food should be introduced at 4-6 months of age and not earlier. The digestive system needs to be ready for solid food. The infant will show signs of readiness. It is not appropriate to feed tea or put cereal in a bottle. Parents should introduce foods one at a time to observe their child for allergic reactions. Also, do not feed honey or cows milk before the age of one year. The infants should not consume low-fat milk until after the age of two.
This year, she hopes to grow her practice in order to help more patients. In order to do this she is planning to become more active on social media, becoming certified to accept Medicare and other insurance, publishing her first cookbook, and consulting more with media outlets so that she can reach more people with accurate nutrition and health information.
We asked Elizabeth to share her best nutritional tip for moms and toddler nutrition and here's her take about it:
- The best nutritional tip for pregnant women is to find a good prenatal vitamin which includes 400 mcg folic acid (600 mcg all sources), 27 mg iron (it can be constipating, it is found in meat, fish, and plants, if consuming plant sources take a vitamin C source with it), and vitamin D 600 IU ( fish, milk, eggs, fortified juice), in addition to 1000 mg calcium per day (dairy, fortified cereal, and citrus)
- If possible moms should breast feed as long as they can. Breastfeeding should be exclusive for at least 4 months to 6 months. If using formula, mix formula per directions.
- The best nutritional tip for infants/toddlers includes making sure food is introduced correctly:
- Wait until 4-6 months of age when the extrusion reflexes are diminished and the digestive tract can handle solids.
- Space food introductions by about 5 days to watch for allergic reactions starting with a single grain cereal.
- Taper formula in a timely manner as the infant increases solid food consumption.
- Do not feed foods that are a choking hazard such as grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, and carrots.
- Offer no honey or cows milk until the child is 1 year old. Offer only whole milk until the child reaches 2 years of age
- There are certain roles that parents should remember. The parents’ role is to supply appropriate for age healthy foods while the infant’s or toddler’s role is to eat as desired. Encourage them to eat when hungry and stop when full. In other words, feed on demand"
Due to her personal experience with Celiac Disease, food sensitivities, and food allergies she is an expert in the field. Therefore, she also excels in helping patients with autoimmune diseases and unique gut issues. She is also certified in weight management and food sensitivities for all ages. In addition to more complex issues, she also excels in helping individuals with more common issues such as diabetes, weight, heart disease, fibromyalgia, migraines, etc. She can help individuals in all life stages.
Below is her mission statement and philosophy:
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of B. Young Nutrition & Wellness is to creatively, with humor and sensitivity, inspire, motivate, and facilitate clients to lead a healthier lifestyle and help clients achieve and maintain their wellness goals.
PHILOSOPHY: BEING HEALTHY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLEX. Dr. Beth's philosophy is that healthy eating should be simple, but not restrictive. Food, eating, and food prep should be creative, fun, and time efficient. Developing the proper relationship with food is imperative. Food should be an enjoyable part of your life-not your master.