At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we’re committed to providing treatment that effectively addressing each teen’s overall health and well-being. In our more than 15 years of working with young people and families, we’ve found that the most thorough way to do this is a holistic approach, which considers and addresses each aspect of teens’ health. As one aspect of this, we provide a Teen Nutritional Evaluation as part of each teen’s initial diagnostic interview. The goal of this evaluation is to provide our treatment team with pertinent information which may assist in supporting teens’ larger treatment goals.
The Teen Nutritional Evaluation serves many purposes. First of all, in our efforts to support teens to gain relief from their current struggles, we want to address any factors that may be contributing to and/or exacerbating either physical or mental symptoms. In some cases, teens may very well be unknowingly eating foods that could be aggravating their digestive system and/or creating undue stress in their bodies. In other cases, things such as excessive sugar or lack of nutrient-filled vegetables may weakening teens’ immune and/or endocrine function. By eliminating potential problematic foods and/or incorporating an intentional healthful diet, we’re able to successfully address these aspects of teens’ overall health. Our nutritionist then works hand-in-hand with our professional in-house chef, who designs nutritious meal plans which teens greatly enjoy and also benefit from.
Another benefit of the Teen Nutritional Evaluation and nutrition planning program is that teens experience first-hand the positive results from eating well and feel increased energy and clarity of mind, which allows them to more fully engage in the therapeutic work they’re doing. In this way, teens become educated and knowledgeable not only about nutritious eating, but also about listening to their own bodies and the intrinsic connections between their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. While the science and research concerning mental health treatment continues to emphasize the interconnectedness between systems, it can still be very difficult for many teens to apply this knowledge to their own lives, especially when they’re facing difficult mental health issues, such as teen depression or teen anxiety. However, when we can support teens to understand tangible, effective habits and practices which they can incorporate into their lives, we empower them to take control of their own health.
While the Teen Nutritional Evaluation benefits all teens at Paradigm Treatment Centers, it tends to be extremely poignant and helpful for those teens who have struggled with eating behaviors previously and/or who have Teen Eating Disorders. While there are additional individual measures and steps put into place specific to our Teen Eating Disorder Treatment plans, the nutritional evaluation serves as a foundation for this understanding and also creates a common goal of nutritious eating, among everyone at Paradigm. We find that this commonality for all teens, including those in treatment for Teen Eating Disorder, serves to strengthen the resolve and encouragement of these young people.
The evidence behind using nutrition as a positive force in supporting teens’ overall healing and health is extreme. There’s ample evidence that shows that diet can improve numerous different physical symptoms, including these such as insomnia, energy levels, ability to concentrate, depression, heartrate and blood pressure. Moreover, diet can also help to alleviate symptoms associated with Teen Drug Addiction and withdrawal, such as drug cravings, anxiety, nausea, and more.
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, our Teen Nutritional Evaluation serves as one instrumental part of our diagnostic interview assessment process and treatment design program. By working with young people to help them address their health and well-being through nutrition and diet, we’re able to support them to learn useful practices for their lives, while also strengthening the healing and growth they experience, while at Paradigm Treatment Centers.