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5 Tips to Get Enough Iron when using Baby Led Weaning

One of the main 'beefs' many health professionals have with Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is the challenge of feeding your baby iron-rich foods.  As much as I love BLW, the concern about iron intake is real. A variety of studies in Canadian children show the prevalence of iron deficiency to range from 12% - 64%. And this can lead to anemia, which may cause irreversible physical and mental effects, like delayed attention and social withdrawal. So in contrast to a common quote: food before 1 is not just for fun.

By 4-6 months, your babies iron stores from before birth start to run out, depending on many things: mom's iron levels during pregnancy, delayed cord clamping at birth and gestational age at birth. Eighty percent of babe’s iron stores are built up in the third trimester of pregnancy. So I guess that's one benefit to those extra 17, 9 and 9 days I went "overdue" with my own babies :)

Babies need 11 mg iron per day from 7-12 months of age...

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Cosmic Cookies

This cookie recipe was introduced to my by Casey over at Worthy and Well on her amazing yoga retreat! Originally from Planet Organic, I've modified the recipe a bit, and they are my favourite cookies! Sub the walnuts for extra seeds, if you're sending them in a  nut-free lunch box.

2 14 cups quick oats

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup sunflower seeds

34 cup chopped walnuts

12 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

14 cup ground flax seed

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 14 teaspoons sea salt

1 34 cups dark chocolate chips 

1 14 cups raisins

14 cup water

14 cup blackstrap molasses

34 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silipads.
  3. Combine dry ingredients : from oats to raisins.
  4. Combine wet ingredients: from water to milk.
  5. Stir dry and wet together until just combined.
  6. Portion cookie dough into desired size and gently flatten.
  7. Bake for 24 minutes (will depend on size of cookie) or until lightly...
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BTV clip: Nutrition Month 2016 wrap-up

Nutrition Month 2016 has come to a close. How did your 100 Meal Journey go? I was more conscious to try and include a veggie with each lunch, which was my pledge for the month! And just because April is no longer nutrition month doesn't mean you can't make a new goal! Practice your small goal over the entire month, and by end of the month it should be a new and healthy habit. So much better than going on and off of crash diets!

Check out my clip from BTV taking about making your pledge and sticking with it. We made a Garden Buddah Veggie Bowl from the Dietitian's of Canada Cookspiration App. Yummm.

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How the division of responsibility worked for my picky eater

*This is a guest post from Sarah, a fellow dietitian & mom of three I requested Sarah share her story with you, as she has been through the experience of raising a very selective eater. Following The Division of Responsibility in Feeding, Sarah's son has finally has made it past the pickiest stage. I have many clients who are hesitant to believe that this method can really work. Well Felix is proof that patience pays off!!*

"I first became interested in pediatric nutrition after my first year of university. I had a job at the local community health unit, working for the community nutritionist as a summer student. She encouraged me to read all of Ellyn Satter’s books on child feeding. This was my introduction to the feeding relationship.   Ms. Satter defines the roles of parents and children in feeding and her 30+ years of research show how trying to do your child’s job with feeding or letting them do your job can lead to a dysfunctional feeding...

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Safe shakes for pregnancy & breastfeeding moms

Wondering if you can continue to drink your favourite shake while you're pregnant or breastfeeding? Or feed it to your child? Watch my video above for more information. Here's a quick summary:

Avoid

1) Artificial Sweeteners

2) Soy (max 1 serving a day)

3) Rice -based smoothies (due to arsenic)

4) Herbs (can mimic drugs: natrual doesn’t equal safe!)

Better options:

To your smoothies add: Yogurt (6g per half cup) and milk (9g per cup) = 16g

1) Egg whites (use pasteurized!): 4g protein for one. ¼ cup =7g

2) Skim milk powder: 1/3 cup = 8g protein, 28% DV calcium

3) Hemp hearts: 3 Tbsp = 10g protein

4) Chia 1 Tbsp = 2g

5) Red lentils: cooked 3 Tbsp = 3g protein, 3g fibre

6) Nut butter: 1 Tbsp = 3g protein, 100 cals

Pre-made alternatives:

Plain Whey powder

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Smoothie (16g protein per 4 Tbsp serving). Add to 1cup milk and have your extra 25g

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe (15-20g protein, depending on your add-in)

1 cup milk

1 small Banana

...

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Spices for Baby & Preventing Picky Eaters

Check out my interview (featuring two of my children as 'models!') from Global TV Edmonton. The clip also includes the owner of a spice shop, discussing how it's so great to introduce spices (other than salty spices) to babies when starting solids. Agreed! Giving them a varied palate may help to decrease the chances of picky eating later in life. And I discuss (again!) the benefits of a no-pressure/forcing attitude when feeding picky eaters.

Click here to watch the video. Want more? Sign up below for my free webinar "How to get started with Babyled Weaning": 

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Which is the Healthier Oil: Coconut Oil vs Avocado Oil

Fat is necessary for many body functions, including absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, healthy hair, and skin. Fat also improves taste of foods and satisfies and keeps us full for longer. Today I am comparing two popular oils that I both have in my pantry: coconut oil and avocado oil.

AVOCADO OIL

Avocado oil on table close-up

Unlike most oils that come from seeds, avocado oil is pressed from the fruit of an avocado. Avocados produce mild flavoured oil, which varies in colour from light yellow to a deeper emerald green.

Avocado oil has an even higher percentage (76%) of healthy monounsaturated fats than olive oil. Monounsaturated fat was made famous by the Mediterranean Diet and promotes heart health by decreasing “bad” LDL blood cholesterol. Another reason why oils high in monounsaturated fats are healthy is that they are, by default, lower in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats unlike most vegetable oils. High amounts of omega-6 fats can promote inflammation, which is...

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Top 3 Sugar Alternatives

With new lower sugar recommendations from the World Health Organization (less that 5% of total energy intake - or 25g/6 tsp sugar per day) and more scary sugar documentaries being released, are you trying to decrease your sugar intake? Here are three of my favourite alternatives to regular (or "organic," or "natural") cane or beet sugar.

  1. Erythritol sweetener with MonkFruit

This is a new one to me. The main sweetener in Lakanto's Monkfruit sweetener is erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols have been approved for use in Canada and many other countries.Sugar alcohols are called non-nutritive sweeteners because they aren't used by the body so don't provide any calories. Erythritol is made from corn or wheat starch, which is broken down, fermented and dried into crystals.

Erythritol may have some side effects in larger doses. One study found that 50 g (about 4 Tbsp) of erythritol resulted in increased reports of nausea. Sugar alcohols can also be hard to...

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How to avoid boobytraps and meet your breastfeeding goals

Moms are pressured to breastfeed, but set-up to fail. If you wanted to breastfeeding but were not able, know that it’s NOT your fault! A lack of support and rampant ‘booby traps’ can make breastfeeding challenging. What are “booby traps?” Any of these, and so much more:

  • Stigma against breastfeeding in public.
  • Your mom didn’t breastfeed you, so thinks it’s strange and has no advice beyond “just formula feed.”
  • Free formula samples given to pregnant moms.
  • Breastfeeding education wasn’t a part of your prenatal class.
  • The hospital you plan to birth at has a high rate of interventions and cesareans, which can make early breastfeeding more difficult.
  • The doctor offers you formula samples, and measures your baby with Similac-branded measuring tapes.
  • Your hospital has a contract with one formula company. In exchange for using their formula (more often than necessary), they get it all for free.
  • Dad wants to feed the baby with a...
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5 Top On-the-go Snacks for Kids

Whether your summer is full of road trips or day-trips to the park, if your kids are like mine, their first question is “Do you have any snacks mom?” Us moms have to be prepared to avoid hangry kids and repeated, expensive trips to the lake ‘snack shack’ store. Here are some ideas for easy, portable snacks:

1) Fresh fruit is easy to grab and healthy. But can be a mushy, juicy mess at the bottom of your diaper bag! I love dehydrated fruit, which is becoming easier to find at your Cost-co or grocery store. Bonus –it’s very light to lug around!

2) Dried fruit and nuts (or trail-mix) are another go-to for my kids. It’s energy and nutrient-dense, and doesn’t take up too much space in the diaper bag! You can also make your own snack mix with add-ins like: whole grain cereal, popcorn, pretzel sticks pumpkin or sunflower seeds, nuts & your favourite dried fruit.

3) Keep baggies of sliced veggie sticks in the fridge for easy-to-grab...

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