Health improving aspects of a dietary advice in children.

  • Ellen José van der Gaag-Heuvel

    Press/Media: Research



    In the developed world, health, nutrition and health care has improved a lot over the last decennia. 

    However, children suffering from relatively mild health problems, such as recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, tiredness, aspecific allergies, subclinical hypothyroidism etcetera, are still frequent. These conditions, while not being directly life-threatening, can decrease the quality of life and the development of the child. 


    In 2007, we started with a group of children (aged 1-4 years) suffering from recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). The problem with these patients is that a causative therapy is lacking when a medical reason is absent. For about 5% of these children, a medical reason is found. For the remaining 95% there is no solution, they can only “grow out of the problem”. For the latter patients it can take more than 4 years with parental absence from work, lots of antibiotic use and doctors’ visits, feeding problems etcetera before eventually “growing out of the problem”. 


    We started to identify the social and nutritional aspects of children with and without URTI. In the current research we will focus on the nutritional aspects. 


    For this questionnaires were distributed among the parents of children aged 1-4 years. Careful analysis of the responses revealed that the children suffering from URTI ate less vegetables and beef. These food products are not easy to eat, but rich of nutrients. We hypothesized that a nutrient rich dietary advice could be helpful for children suffering from URTI. 


    In the following years we developed a nutrient rich dietary advice with the NEVO tables. It consists of 3 times a week beef, 5 times a week green vegetables, daily 300 ml whole milk and butter. All food products in age appropriate portions. 


    We are investigating the effects of our dietary advice on the children with URTI. We are also investigating the effects on children with subclinical hypothyroidism and tiredness. 


    Most of the parents are afraid for the possible side effects of the whole milk and butter. From previous research we already concluded that there does not seem to be an unfavourable change in the lipid profile. The HDL increases and the cholesterol/HDL ratio decreases; a favourable trend with respect to possible cardiovascular risk factors in the future. 

    The growth parameters did not change significantly either, the BMI and body weight did not increase more compared to the control groups.

    Period29 Dec 2018

    Media contributions


    Media contributions

    • TitleHealth improving aspects of a dietary advice in children.
      PersonsEllen José van der Gaag-Heuvel