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Is Food Before 1 Just for Fun?

"Food Before 1 is just for fun." If you have a baby who's recently started solids, you've probably heard this saying many times! Is it really true? Watch my video here to for more details:

Here's the link to my Top 3 Mistakes with Babyled Weaning" video I mention.

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New Guidelines for Introducing Peanuts to Babies

The National Institute of Allergy & Infections Diseases just released some new guidelines about introducing peanuts to infants, to decrease the risk of peanut allergy. Headlines read "Introduce peanuts by 6 months of age, to prevent peanut allergy." The "by 6 months" part isn't totally what the research shows, or what the guidelines currently recommend. Watch my video below, where I break down:

  • The guidelines and what is actually new (the recommendation to start allergens around 6 months has been around since 2008).
  • The studies that support introducing allergens at 6 months, and do they support introducing allergens earlier at 4-6 months?
  • How to introduce peanuts into your baby's diet.

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Avocado Blueberry Mini-Muffins

I love having a stock of muffins in the freezer for school lunches. And these mini-muffins are also the perfect size for little hands. I've added a bit of fortified infant cereal to replace some flour for added iron, which is optional. With the extra iron plus the berries & avocado, these are a nutritious snack for you and your little ones!

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour

½ cup fortified infant cereal if you're feeding a Babyled Weaner (or extra flour)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray or line a mini muffin tin.
  2. Combine flour, infant cereal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat avocado. Add sugar and beat again. Add egg, vanilla, yogurt and vanilla and...
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Help for your picky eater

Click image to see Jen talk about Picky Eating on Global

Creating stress-free mealtimes, even with picky eaters!

Feeding struggles are common, making dinnertime full of stress, fights and tears. It is understandable that  you are concerned if your kid refuses to eat multiple meals in a row, or never wants to try a new food. So you enforce a “3 bite rule,” don’t offer dessert if dinner wasn’t consumed, and bring out said refused dinner for bedtime snack. Or try sneaking vegetables into your child's food. And not only does your child now seem to be eating less than ever, but there are tears. Fights. Tantrums…. on the part of both the parent and the child. And then you read that rules such as these can negatively affect your child’s eating practices for life! Possibly leading to not only an even pickier eater, but an unhealthy relationship with food  and the potential for disordered eating or weight issues as an adult.

So you stopped the...

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Is my child eating too much food?

Are you worried that your child is "overweight" or eats too much? Should you restrict the amount of food they eat or enforce a 'no-seconds' policy at your dinner table? Quick answer: no.

Restricting the amount of food your child eats does not promote a healthy relationship with food or their body. Instead, it leads to binge eating, weight gain, shame and guilt around food.

Some parents think their child (of any age) is eating too much food, and others think that their child is not eating enough food. How do you really know??

 If you have been restricting the amount of food that your child is allowed to eat at scheduled meals & snack times, it IS possible that they have reacted by overeating when they get the chance. If your child knows that she will not be allowed to eat until satisfied, she may compensate by stuffing herself when she has the opportunity to do so (and these opportunities increase as your child ages). However, if you have allowed your child multiple...

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Arsenic in Rice: How to decrease your Intake

Is arsenic in rice a concern when feeding your baby? What about older kids and adults; should you worry about the amount of rice you eat? Generally, I don't like to fear monger or make you think our food is "toxic", but I wanted to dig into this a little further today, since it's such a common question.

Watch the video, or read on:

What is Arsenic?

Arsenic is an element naturally found in the air, water and soil. The natural arsenic in animals and plants is called organic arsenic and we're not worried about that. Inorganic arsenic is the concern. It's also found in soil or water, but is more dangerous. And levels of organic arsenic have been increasing, due to pollution due to industrial manufacturing.

Arsenic is listed as one of the World Health Organization’s 10 chemicals of major public health concern. But this is mostly in areas such as Bangladesh where the water is contaminated and thousands have died.

In terms of inorganic arsenic in the food we eat, rice...

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4 Tips to Avoid Lead in Babyfood

First arsenic in infant cereal and now lead in baby food?! As a parent, you want your baby to be able to grow and develop to their potential - and a good start with food is one step in supporting this. Lead-free food, that is! There's no safe detectable level of lead in our blood. Even low levels of lead in humans have been linked to lower IQs and behavioural problems.

A new report from an independent organization called the Environmental Defense Fund analyzed 11 years of Food & Drug Administration data in the United States and found that food was a source of lead contamination.  14% of  all 1o,064 foods analyzed contained lead. Even more concerning is that a higher proportion of baby food (20% of the 2,164 baby food samples analyzed) also contained lead.  This is a problem because babies are smaller and developing quickly, so at a higher risk of being damaged by lead exposure than adults.

Lead was found most often in fruit juices, especially grape juice...

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Choking & Babyled Weaning

You may be terrified of feeding your baby finger foods: “Won’t my baby choke if I feed him “real” food?”

Yet many proponents of Babyled Weaning (BLW) believe babies are actually at less risk of choking if they feed themselves rather than being spoon-fed by a parent. This is because the baby is in full control.

In fact a new study "A Baby-led to Eating Solids & Risk of Choking" found that Babyled Weaners do not choke more often than babies who start solids with purees.

Another benefit of BLW and introducing full foods sooner, is that the gag reflex is further forward in the mouth and it moves back as baby ages. So the gag reflex effectively keeps larger food pieces near the front of the mouth, only allowing very well-chewed foods to the back to be swallowed.

Yet choking is a risk, no matter how you start solids. The #1 food Babyled Weaning babes choke on is full apples. Choking occurs when the air tube is blocked. If your baby bites off a perfectly...

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5 Benefits of Babyled Weaning

Have you heard that you can skip the mush, and start your baby on solids using finger foods? It's called Babyled Weaning and it allows you to enjoy your meal along with your baby!

As a dietitian and mom of 3, I teach parents how to start solids using Babyled Weaning in a way that's both safe and nutritious. Today I wanted to discuss 5 reasons why you'll love Babyled Weaning:

  1. Faster Dexterity Development
  2. Potential for healthier weights and relationship with food
  3. Easy and less expensive
  4. Babyled Weaning parents are less stressed
  5. May lead to less picky eating in the future.

 

For more details on these benefits, click on my video below:

Purees can be a nutritious progression to finger foods, if you decide to use them. But maybe you want to skip the mush and use Babyled Weaning to make starting solids fun, easy and healthy! If you have no idea where to start, click to register for my free webinar "How to get started with Babyled Weaning"

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Decreasing your kids intake of sugary drinks

Global Morning Show had me in to talk about helping kids decrease their intake of sugary drinks this summer. Watch it here, or read on...

It's hot out, and kids are looking for tasty options to quench their thirst! Unfortunately, sugar-sweetened drinks like pop and energy drinks are easy to find and inexpensive. The average 9-18 year old Canadian child drinks 2.5 cups of sugar-sweetened beverage per day!

Why is this a concern? The World Health Organization recommends less than 10% of our sugar intake should come from added sugar. This is about 12 tsp of sugar in a 2000 calorie diet. Yet a 500ml bottle of pop contains 17 tsp! These sugar-sweetened drinks cause cavities, but are also linked to chronic conditions like diabetes, cancers and obesity. Which can also affect kids.

To help decrease kids intake of sugary drinks, there are a few steps that the government can take to help

  1. The Canadian Federal Government is currently moving to restrict the marketing of food and beverages...
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