At starting solids classes I always get questions about when to start solids and concern with iron levels. It's true that the most important nutrient your baby needs from food after 6 months of age is iron. Their stores from before birth run out at around 6 months of age, and iron is important for both physical and mental development. But did you know that there's something you can do during the birth that will positively or negatively affect your baby's iron stores for months? Delayed umbilical cord clamping. While iron levels are easy to check with a blood test, I would be less concerned about a baby slow to take to solids who had delayed cord clamping, as they have been shown to have higher iron levels.
What is delayed cord clamping? Leaving the umbilical cord attached to the placenta until it stops pulsing, which takes about 3-7 minutes (1). Depending on your doctor, many clamp the baby's umbilical cord within 30 seconds (midwives practice delayed clamping). The...
You likely know of the importance of pregnancy folic acid supplements. Folic acid is a B vitamin required for normal cell growth and development. It helps prevent neural tube defects (NTD) very early in pregnancy, such as spina bifida. It may also prevent oral cleft and heart problems and high maternal blood pressure in pregnancy. I am a strong believer that folic acid supplements are important, and it's been well proven that they decrease the risk of NTDs in pregnancy. In Canada, grains have been fortified with folic acid for this reason. The effect has been decreasing the prevalance of NTDs by 46%.
Health Canada has some good basic guidance on folic acid and folate (the food form of folic acid) here. Essentially the recommendation is to start supplementing with 400 - 1000 ug (0.4-1 mg) three months prior to pregnancy, and continuing through pregnancy. If you have a family history of NTDs, supplement 5mg per day.
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:
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!)
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
Plain Whey powder
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Smoothie (16g protein per 4 Tbsp serving). Add to 1cup milk and have your extra 25g
1 cup milk
1 small Banana