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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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Frozen Pizza Rolls for School Lunches

Summer has flown by once again, and back-to-school time has arrived! Which is probably bit of relief for you if you have school-aged children. Except that you can now add "make school lunches" back on your daily to-do list!

Check out my Facebook Live video, where I share 3 Tips for Lazy School Lunches....beyond the sandwich.

Here's a brief summary:

  1. The easiest main course is leftovers. Some are fine cold and packed the night before (like pizza or pasta salad). Others might need to be warmed in the thermos and added to the rest of the lunch in the morning like a stew, casserole or spaghetti.
  2. If your kid gets sick of sandwiches (and you get sick of making them!) another good option is the bento-style such as whole grain crackers, sliced cheese and a boiled egg. Try to include one protein source (in-store made deli meat, chicken breast strips, chickpeas, bean dip, cheese, egg, turkey bites etc...)
  3. Pre-prepped frozen snacks and meals. I always have a container of frozen home-made ...
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How do I stop my Baby from Throwing Food?

One of the most common questions I get in my online Facebook Babyled Weaning group  is: "How can I stop my baby from throwing his food?!"

Throwing food is a stage most babies go through, at least once. Early on, they are learning to open and close their fist and might drop food on the floor while they practice this new skill. Later on, they are still developmentally learning what happens to food then they drop it. And if your toddler is throwing food, it's likely to illicit a reaction from you! Toddlers love your attention - whether it's positive or negative.

While it's a stage that will eventually end, throwing food still super-annoying. Nobody likes cleaning spaghetti sauce off the curtains!

Here are 5 tips to deal with baby's food-throwing stage:

  1. Don't over-react, as it will encourage the behaviour. You can calmly say: "food stays on the table" rather than screaming: "no throwing!" If older siblings react (often with laughter, egging on the throwing!), try your...
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Iron & the Lucky Iron Fish

Do you have troubles getting enough iron in your diet?

If you're pregnant, vegetarian or a baby - even if you just regularly get your period...or are a picky eating toddler...the answer is probably yes.

Pregnancy nausea can bring challenges with swallowing large prenatal vitamins.

 

Vegetarians require 1.5x the amount of iron in their diet. The non-heme iron from vegetarian foods is not absorbed as well as the heme iron from meat.

And babies between the ages of 7-12 months need large amounts of iron to support fast growth. Unless you formula feed and offer fortified infant cereal multiple times a day, they're probably falling short. Want to know more about how to make sure your baby gets enough iron? Read my blog post here.

So what's the problem with having low iron? It can lead to decreased immunity, fatigue, troubles focusing, pale skin, weak hair and nails and even irreversible neurological defects in babies.

And iron deficiency is common. I've experienced it. So has my...

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3 Tips to Help your Child Grow up to Love Food in a Healthy Way

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own.

Happy Valentine's Day! Speaking of love.......does food = love for you?

Often food is often equated with love. And this can be a beautiful relationship!

  • Think of a breastfeeding baby, learning that their food comes along with their mother's loving touch and cuddles.
  • Or eating at a romantic restaurant on a first date.
  • Or your mom's chicken noodle soup when you're sick.

These are all fantastic ways to love food! But learning to equate food with love is not always a good thing. It causes some of us to turn to food for comfort when we're depressed or lonely. This can result overeating and guilt.

As a parent, we hope to raise kids who have a healthy relationship with food. This will help prevent picky eating in young kids, disordered eating and struggles with weight later on.

While your kids need nutrients to grow - it's just as important that you as a parent help them...

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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

As a dietitian working with parents of young children, one of the most frequently asked questions is: "How to get my kids to eat their veggies?" Should you bribe them with dessert? Reward them with praise? Hide the veggies in other foods?

Watch the video below, or read on to find out!

To answer this question, I wanted to share a study that looked at whether kids ate more veggies if you rewarded them. This took place in Belgium and the researchers looked at 98 preschool aged children. they gave the kids a variety of veggies and found out the least-liked veggie was chicory (a really bitter tasting vegetable). So the authors used chicory as the study vegetable.

Twice a week, the preschool children were offered a bowl of steamed chicory. The kids were  split them into three groups:

1) The first group was simply offered the vegetable.

2) The second group was offered the vegetable, along with the promise of a reward (a toy or a sticker) if they ate the chicory

3) The third...

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Unlock the Potential of Food to Discover: Getting Kids in the Kitchen

March is Nutrition Month dietitians are helping Canadians Unlock the Potential of Food.

Today I'm going to talk more about unlocking the potential of food to DISCOVER: by teaching children to shop and cook. Starting from a young age, inspiring children to shop, prepare and cook food can set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Prefer to watch? Check out my clip on Global TV discussing getting kids in the kitchen.

A great way to teach children about food is to let them join you in the kitchen; Yet, a recent Ipsos survey conducted in 2017 for Dietitians of Canada found that 38 per cent of parents rarely or never let their child prepare a meal or snack.

It totally get that it's messy and time consuming, but it’s a missed opportunity! So today I have five tips for getting kids involved in the kitchen:

1.Incorporate learning 

Build on lessons they learn in school, such as math, science or reading! Younger children can practice fine motor skills by stirring and...

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