From JP in NY

I am writing to strongly recommend Richard Kahn as a nutritionist.

My husband and I had the occasion to use Richard’s services shortly after arriving from China with our twin 1-year old daughters. Our early intervention services provider recommended that we meet with Richard because our daughters weighed 12 pounds each and were unable to suck a bottle or eat solid food. Richard was amazingly wonderful in ways we hoped a nutritionist would be and in wonderful ways we had not anticipated.

Richard was helpful in that he listened carefully to our concerns and based his suggestions on a combination of his professional knowledge and how we live and eat as a family. He observed our family and we eat by sitting with us at meals and sitting with the girls at snack time.

Richard was always promptly accessible to answer questions (that seemed to us at the time to be time sensitive but on reflection were not). As we had hoped, he gave us the tools to move our children from bottles with big holes in them, to being able to suck normal bottles, to being able to chew, to being able to feed themselves.

While our daughters’ lack of weight and lack of skill in eating were certainly not out of the ordinary for children coming from third world orphanages, the issues seemed severe at the time. Richard was able to contextualize how severe our daughters’ eating problems were in a manner that was reassuring but not patronizing or dismissive of our concerns. This and other advice helped us avoid becoming overly worried and to avoid making food a lifelong issue by pressuring our children about how they ate.

He also encouraged us to feed our children the same foods that we eat because our meals were balanced and healthy rather than create special ‘child-friendly’ meals. If we were grazers, they would be grazers, if we ate one big meal, they would eat one big meal- and that our expectations for them should be no different than  what we have modeled for them. My girls now eat everything from sea urchin to Indian food. Like us, they love food and are adventurous and while it may have turned out this way anyway, there is still a chance that without Richard’s guidance, eating and food would be tinged with memories of pressure and worry rather than with memories of fresh octopus in Mexico and herring and cream sauce in Copenhagen.