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Archive for the ‘For Kids’ Category

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How much convincing (and money spent) do we need that the chemicals used in non-organic farming are bad for babies and our kids? This study highlights the role of chemicals in relationship to ADD / ADHD. If your child suffers, or if you want to prevent – I recommend choosing organic wherever possible. Need ideas, see my Back-to-School nutrition segment from GMA Health (8/24) http://wp.me/smkEm-831

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Today, at Good Morning America Health, I tackled the issue of back-to-school nutrition.

What’s important to consider is that a) you and your child(ren) “break the fast” to get the body in energy usage mode b) that you aim for a balance of nutrients – some carb+protein + healthy fat (+unlimited veggies) at each eating occasion …too often kids’ breakfasts, snacks are too carbohydrate dense thus setting them up for an energy spike…and crash – I provided some examples to add protein and healthy fat to help balance their eating occasions. And 3) eat organic as often as possible, and definitely avoid chemicals and preservatives in food – there are many great companies making organic options as well as those without added preservatives that are tasty and kid-friendly. And because despite even the best laid plans, life happens, I showed a favorite kids’ nutrient supplement that works as a safety net for ensuring their nutritional needs are met.

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I was recently asked to comment on supplements for kids so here are my thoughts. I also liked this article from Vitamin Retailer (attached 2 MB PDF)

Today, I read a lot of articles about all of the threats to children’s health, the exponential increases in levels of disease, allergies, intolerances etc and they paint a very bleak picture. Parents send me emails or shoot their hands in the air at lectures all voicing their concerns about this food or that, this nutrient or that, this environmental toxin or that one, the threats of cyber predators or school safety, and so on. It all seems so scary …and yet, I don’t do “Debbie Downer” very well. So, I wanted to write this to say – it’s okay mom and dad (or mom and dad to-be, or mom and mom, or dad and dad, or grandma, or …you get the point) – it’s so okay, at least when it comes to nutrition and environmental toxins. We actually know the issues, we have the solutions, we can make it easy to be healthier, and we even have the tools to heal when health crises arise. So take a deep breath and read on, this should be music to your ears.

Key Principles for Optimal Health for Kids (and Adults):

  1. Give a body what it recognizes. Organic food is just food. The body understands that and it responds beautifully to it. The bonus here is that it means that any food – in its high quality, organic form – can be part of a nutrition plan for optimal health. Want something red, nature gives us apples, beets, cherry tomatoes, red meat – lots of options so you can choose. Want something smooth, nature offers avocado, creamy cheeses, natto, and beans we can puree into a small dip. The body recognizes, anticipates and desires different textures, colors, and tastes. And nature delivers. (more…)

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I’m not sure if it’s the photo accompanying the section entitled ‘Nirvana,’ India’s baby cupcakes, or mama mantra recommended to be displayed in one’s kitchen, but altogether this cookbook / guide [Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers] delivers on the health trifecta: great taste, nutrient-dense, doable.

With recent research pointing out the lasting health threats of chemicals used in food production, fear and frustration seem to dominate many conversations  about food ingredients, products and ‘should-do’s’ for new parents, grandparents and caregivers.  It’s so refreshing to open up a book that speaks to the beauty, freshness, ease and love that can make feeding a new child a rewarding adventure for the whole family.

Organically Raised inspires.  With sub-headings like ‘the adventurous eater’ and ‘ the Cultural Café’ this book embraces all, from the most novice kitchen food preparer, to persons of all socio-economic levels (pointing out how cooking and especially breast milk are cost-effective and healthIER options), and invites the whole family unit to participate in raising a new baby or toddler, organically (let me be clear: there isn’t a dish in there – even the purees – that any adult and even a curious older brother or sister wouldn’t find delicious).

On a serious note, Daulter tackles one of the biggest issues of our time: conscious eating.  For those with a newborn, newborns, toddlers or a crew of all the above, I give them the most slack when it comes to choosing convenience. Many parents will describe the early days as ‘sleep walking’ or ‘sleep feeding’ through life.  However, from what experts like Dr Alan Greene (drgreene.com) teach us, those early weeks, months, and years are when food exposure matters the most.  I love Anni’s ‘mindfulness tips ‘for their ability to remind us in the hectic moments that convenience that sacrifices health is a lose-lose for us all.

Take time to get a copy of Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers by Anni Daulter (Rodale 2010) – what a treat!

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This past weekend could have been a recipe for disaster and dissatisfaction. I was thrilled to join a panel of the amazing Dr. Greene (Feeding Baby Green), Anna Getty (Easy, Green, Organic) and Anni Daulter (Organically Raised) at Whole Child Whole Planet Expo to help parents navigate better food choices for their kids (and themselves). However, my participation meant the dreaded red eye to NYC so that I’d make NYC Grows with events and booths from my friends at Nature’s Path, Organic Valley, and Rodale (Organic Gardening magazine and Maria Rodale’s new book –Organic Manifesto). Let me be clear, for all reasons health and sanity, after age 30, I made it a core policy to not take red eyes. And that said, what unfolded, with a little help from my own AKA flight kit tips, proved to be one of the most energizing experiences. It had everything to do with my prep and my recovery being organic fare, even the AKA flight kit remedies are organic too. Gee, I bet Mother Nature never knew that her bounty would be promoted as the solution to red eye travel recovery. (more…)

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Exerpt from a recent interview with Ashley Koff RD (read more at Teen Vogue.com)

Recently I learned that less than ten percent of teens are not getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Many teens may think it’s no big deal to eat mostly processed foods and snacks rather than fruits and vegetables. Are there real health consequences that teens should worry about if they’re not eating any fruits and veggies? What are some of those potential consequences, both immediate and long-term? (more…)

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According to Kellogg’s, their kid’s cereals contain vitamins that “help support immunity” …AKA says NO WAY!

Whether it’s gummy candies fortified with vitamins or cereals done the same way – the KEY ISSUE is the SUGAR.

We know that while vitamins MAY help – and this depends on quality and dosage – support the immune system, we know for CERTAIN that SUGAR suppresses the immune system and feeds the bad bacteria often responsible for colds (not a virus).

Parents who want sure fire immune supportive solutions should look to Nature’s Candy bowl – fruits in a variety of colors, nuts and seeds – as well as limiting the amount of sugar their child consumes…think Apples vs Apple Jacks!

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