Home/urban gardening has sprung up as a pretty popular trend in recent years. Heartier plant breeds, easier DIY solutions and increased support from organizations as large as the USDA all feed into a trend that promotes healthy eating, decreased food waste and community. My area (Charleston, SC) even boasts resources like Rita's Roots, which provides garden education, design, install and maintenance.
When involved in gardening, Kids:
If you've ever thought about starting an at-home garden, know that there are many options - from services as complete as Rita's Roots to these fabric pots I found on Amazon (they're amazing by the way).
Some beginner ideas:
If you're near Charleston, visit Rita this Spring!
I'm the kind of dietitian who prefers NOT to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I steer my clients towards useful and healthy options that exist. The best part of my job is letting people know that I have already sifted through the meal delivery kits, frozen food items, and millions of other products and services being thrown consumers' way.
That being said, this is Owen enjoying Harvest to Highchair's English Pea & Mint baby food.
While I have given you many tips and tricks in the past regarding making your own baby food, you have probably found that having a few back up jars of food on hand is also important. If you're in the greater Charleston area, take note of what Harvest to Highchair has to offer. The best thing about their products?
The nutritional value and taste of the fruits and vegetables used is retained more so than products that are pasteurized and made shelf stable. Check out the "born on" date on the label.
Beyond having a few extra items on hand, you may not have time to make your own baby food. This beautiful company will deliver whatever you need right to your door (coming soon to Amazon!). So...if you truly want homemade baby food without the fuss, try Harvest to Highchair....ASAP.
This is a tricky question because Cheerios and Gerber Puffs are pretty similar. However, here's my breakdown.
Nutritionally, each product is enriched similarly (i.e., with thiamin, niacin, etc.). They also both are made primarily from a starch-based product (either rice or wheat flour).
The differences lie in fact that Cheerios have both protein and fiber, which we want our kiddos to get! Even though the total carbohydrates in Cheerios is more, the real focus is on the grams of sugar (which again, is the same) so don't make your decision off carbs alone.
My Vote? CHEERIOS
While doing some research for an adult client, I found this great (yet simple) article on whether or not low carbohydrate diets are safe for kids.
Here are the article highlights:
I get a lot of feedback about the difficulties of getting a toddler to try new foods. One big one is regarding food waste. Parents don't want to buy a whole head of cauliflower if they're not sure their toddler will eat it. Not sure if it's cool to break that head of cauliflower in half? No worries, we've got this.
This morning, I interviewed Dylan who is an Assistant Produce Manager at my local grocery store. He gave me the lay of the land regarding grocery store etiquette.
Here's what you should know:
Oftentimes we tend to simplify the meaning of "being healthy" by focusing on singular measures such as weight. Health is really defined in terms of one's overall condition, which includes factors such as dental hygiene.
Developing good oral hygiene habits early in childhood is critical to longterm health. While I spend a significant amount of my time working with mothers and children, I also have experience working with older patients. One question I always have to ask these patients is, "How are your teeth?" I even follow up by asking them to actually show me their teeth. Why? I need to know that they can eat!
To pave the way for long term oral health, keep in mind that food choices over time can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Overall, foods and beverages that are high in sugar or are acid can be particularly harmful as they erode enamel and decay teeth.
Some basic rules of thumb:
My toddler had one juice box and never looked back. I bet this is the case for most of your kiddos. It's almost as if sugary drinks tattoo the tongue, leaving a permanent impression. In some respects, it makes sense. Our bodies get energy from sugar, which means we need it and ultimately might crave it.
However, certain sugars are better than others. For instance, fruits are healthier than candy because they provide fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Alternatively, things like sugary drinks (e.g., many juices and sodas) are usually comprised of "empty calories" - meaning they provide calories, but little nutritional value.
One of the less obvious downfalls of sweetened beverage consumption is that those who drink them do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food. In the end, this results in more calories consumed and increases obesity risks. One study indicates that for every sugary beverage consumed by a child, their risk of obesity increases 60%. Similarly, sugary beverage consumption increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Overall, we have learned that people who consume sugary drinks are inclined to have relatively lower quality diets.
Besides the negatives of sugary drinks, there are many positives to drinking water; they include:
One last thing...if you believe your child is dehydrated or ill (e.g., he or she has signs or symptoms of sickness such as diarrhea) consult your physician before re-hydrating with anything other than water. Products such as kool-aid, boxed juice and broths may have the wrong make up of sugar and/or salts that could ultimately make your child sicker.
Meatless Monday is a global campaign with the goal of reducing meat consumption by 15% to decrease stress on our bodies and the planet.
I like Meatless Mondays for a variety of reasons. For one, I am reminded to include beans and other legumes into my weekly menu. I especially like leveraging organic canned beans on Mondays because it's a stress-free way of easing back into the work week. If you are not regularly including legumes in your meal planning, you are missing out!
Plant-based sources of protein, like beans, have my family eating more fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. In addition, when we're consuming plant-based sources of protein we are NOT consuming proteins high in trans and/or saturated fats (e.g., steaks).
One other huge benefit of Meatless Monday is that my family learns to "deal" with not having their favorite meals every night. We all try new things together. This doesn't mean that we all like the new things we try. In fact, my husband is on the same learning trajectory as my toddler in terms of green vegetables. They are learning to broaden their tastes together...how sweet.
Here are a few of my favorite Meatless Monday recipes:
1. Meatless Monday. "Why Meatless?" Retrieved from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless
2. Meatless Monday. "About Us". Retrievefd from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/
To the mom I saw this past Sunday...you ROCK!
I was in awe as I passed you pushing your double stroller down my street at 3pm (no doubt the warmest part of the day) towards Lady Bird Lake. Your stroller was complete with two eager boys, their fishing gear (poles and all), and a golden retriever in step. It's obvious that you value the health of your family and friends (canine included). Beyond time and patience, it takes know-how to organize a Texas summer outdoor activity. Assuming the best, here's how I imagine you prepared:
Thanks for setting such a great example for all of us! You've reminded us that all children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied. Go you!
1. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyKids/ActivitiesforKids/The-AHAs-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Children_UCM_304053_Article.jsp#.V5eQ75MrJE4
Registered Dietitian, Austinite, Mom with a 2-yr old, Dog lover