Archive | Vitamins and Nutrition

Achieving the Ultimate Toddler Nutrition

Toddlers need the proper nutrition because their body is still trying to develop and mature and they need all the nutrients from food for these functions. They need to have a meal complete with all the nutrients to make them grow tall, healthy, and strong. But making toddlers eat healthy foods is very hard for parents to do.

Toddlers are very picky eaters and feeding them is like a big struggle for parents. These children also love food jabbing which worries parents of the kind of nutrition their children are getting. Parents seem to face a big battle every day come meal time as they do different tactics to make their children eat their food. Often parents give in to their child’s wish on what food to eat. They would think that it is okay to feed their child unhealthy food because it is certain that their child will eat them rather than serving nutritious foods that their child will certainly ignore eating.

For parents who are having problems in feeding healthy foods to their little ones, here are some of the ways on how to achieve ultimate toddler nutrition:

  • Tell your toddler on the importance of good nutrition in a manner that levels his intellect. Toddlers are intelligent beings and they will already understand things. When they know the reason why you are always prodding him to each vegetables, there is a great possibility that they will eat them because they know that it is good for them.
  • Make sure that what you are serving your child are foods that are not just nutritious but most especially visually appealing. Toddlers are visual eaters and how the food looks greatly affects their appetites. In preparing food for your toddlers, try to maximize your creative sides. Shape foods into flowers and animals to make them curious and try to eat the food you prepared. Just see to it that the food you prepared are also appealing to the tummy as much as it appeals the eyes.
  • Toddlers do not eat as much food that they should so make sure that they get good nutrition from other sources like milk. Your toddler’s milk should give him the best nutrition he can get to compensate on what he misses from food. If your child does not love to drink milk, make it more attractive for him like chocolate or honey flavored cereals. In this way he will still be able to get the nutrients that milk has most especially calcium and protein.
  • Give your child daily multivitamins. This will make up for the nutrients that he should be getting from food. Ask the pediatrician on what multivitamins supplements is best for your toddler.

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Tonsillectomy Scare: Know How It can lead to Overweight Children

Most children under the age of 15 suffer from sleep disorders brought by blockage of the tonsils in the airway. To avoid this condition parents are often advised by doctors to perform a tonsillectomy. It is a procedure wherein the tonsils are removed from the throat. This surgical procedure is often advised for people who constantly suffer from tonsillitis and sleeping disorders, the former posing a danger to develop rheumatic heart disease if there are recurrent infections. Tonsillectomy can either be with or without adenoidectomy. The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and recovery usually takes two to three weeks. Parents will need to watch out for bleeding and frequent swallowing which can be a sign that there is perfuse bleeding in the throat.

Recent studies shows that there is an accelerated weight gain in children who undergone tonsillectomy. While some doctors will argue tonsillectomy does not directly cause weight gain but it can predispose a child into eating more because of the removal of the blockage that is causing discomfort in eating in the past. Children who often have recurrent tonsillitis suffer from dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing and this leads to poor eating habits. Thus the children are poorly nourished and underweight. After tonsillectomy the discomfort in eating is removed and children are encouraged to eat more and since they are still in their growing years the chances of growth are doubled.

Parent also plays a major role in the increase in caloric intake for children who just had tonsillectomy. Parents will naturally encourage their child to eat more thinking that they would recover faster from the surgical procedure.

Parents and children who had a tonsillectomy should work together to maintain a well balanced diet to avoid the scare of gaining weight after the procedure. Parents should be informed of the proper foods to serve to their children focusing more on vegetables and fruits rather than junk foods and sweets. Parents should also encourage regular physical activity in their children to burn excess calorie intake from food. Children are naturally energetic and playful which is why encouraging them to increase their physical activity will not be difficult.

Overweight and obesity among children is not just a problem resulting from a surgical procedure such as a tonsillectomy but it shows a deeper problem in the society wherein our kids are slowly becoming unhealthy. With increased frequency of food advertisements in tv, media and internet children are exposed to tasty, delicious yet not so nutritious foods. Fast food chains like hamburgers, fries and doughnuts are popular among kids and parents will not always be around to supervise what their children eats. Parents should really focus on teaching their kids about healthy eating at an early age to instill in them the value of nutritious foods. Parents can still prepare healthy foods that are equally tasty and delicious compared to those served in fast food chains without the excess trans fat and calories.

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On Raising Vegetarian Children

Being a vegetarian may entail a lot of different meanings to various people.  There are those that simply represent diet, while there are others that embody some ethical or religious beliefs.  In essence, being a vegetarian simply means a person who does not consume meat of any kind – and this includes seafood.  Majority of vegetarians are ovo-lacto which means that they do not eat meat but do consume dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheese.  Ovo-vegetarians on the other hand only eat eggs but not dairy products.  The term vegan represents vegetarians who do not eat any animal products at all.

Health is primarily the most popular reason for being a vegetarian.  However, a vegetarian diet does not always equate to a healthy balanced diet.  One may not eat meat at all but may still be involved in high consumption of chocolates, soda, and chips.

If you have children who are vegetarian, it is important to provide the support and knowledge to them.  The perfect time to educate your child about good eating habits is during their early childhood years.  Studies show that diets that are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which lead to risks in heart disease, start in the early childhood years.  You may find it difficult to explain to your child vegetarianism but at that young age, a broad explanation of the different aspects and benefits of being a vegetarian is helpful.

A child usually eats what is given to them, which makes it a perfect time to begin developing their eating patterns and taste preferences to food.  Children start to choose their own preference in food at the age of three and this is based on the familiarity with the food they are accustomed to.  This is the time when your child begins to build their own opinions about food which makes it very critical that you get them used to eating healthy foods, like vegetables, early.

As they grow older, they get more opportunities to experience different foods outside your home.  But this is also the time that they would understand you or your family’s viewpoint about having a healthy diet.  However, there is still no denying the fact that there are absolute requirements for a child’s diet.  Eliminating a whole food group will not yield overall health benefits as certain nutrients needed by the body are depleted or deprived. A balanced diet of each food group will promote wellness and optimum nutrition to your growing child.

Iron deficiency, for example, that leads to anemia is the most common problem amongst vegetarian children.  This is because meat products have the best source of iron.  However, iron may also be found abundantly in vegetables like grains, broccoli, beans, nuts, and dried fruits.  Consumption of foods or drinks that are rich in Vitamin C is advised as this greatly improves iron absorption.

Raising your child to become a strong and healthy vegetarian child is pretty straightforward.  All it entails is a little bit of research.  It’s also a good practice to teach your child to do research on his or her own.  The fundamental part is that your child gets all the recommended number of servings and nutrients.  Being a vegetarian may just prove to be not only adequate but very healthy as well.

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Know Why Organic Food is recommended for Children

We love our children and we always want to keep them healthy and away from harm as much as we can. Unfortunately our kids cannot be contained in one place and we cannot always dictate what they eat and do. In order to promote the path to a healthy lifestyle to our kids we as parents should take the lead in being a good example.

One way of promoting health to our lovely children is to introduce them to organic food. In the world of instant food and fast foods we need to be cautious in what we advise our children to eat. The toxins and chemicals in artificially prepared and processed foods will greatly affect our children’s health over time and this will lead into the development of diseases.

Organic food is produced from organic farming wherein farmers grow agricultural foods such as vegetables, fruits, dairy products and meat in a non-conventional way. They don’t make use of fertilizers or insecticides to grow their vegetables and fruits. Instead of using fertilizers to enrich the soil organic farmers use natural mulch or manure or they practice crop rotation. For animals, organic farmers do not use antibiotics or vitamins to spur growth and keep them free of disease. Organic farmers instead feed the animals with organic feeds and maintain their surroundings clean to prevent diseases.

Organic foods are known to be enriched with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the body to be healthy and strong. These foods are also free from artificial chemicals and toxins which can potentially destroy cells, the building blocks of the body. These toxins in the food we eat also contribute to the prevalence of cancer, a devastating disease with no cure. With all these benefits it is no wonder that it is ideal to feed our children with organic foods but why are there so many kids out there still eating junk foods? Many parents haven’t made the right decision yet because of factors such as costs, availability and taste. Organic foods are slightly pricier than their ordinary counterpart. In the groceries, an apple in the organic section may cost twice as much as the ordinary one outside of the organic section. This is because it is generally hard to grow organic foods because it cannot be mass produced with the help of conventional practices. Not all countries practices organic farming and exporting organic food from other places will add to the cost. When children are exposed to non-organic foods at an early age by media, friends and peers they will have a hard time switching into organic food eating. This is where parents play a crucial role. Although the price can be a little higher the benefits still outweighs the costs. With a little discipline and creativity parents can be able to prepare delicious and delectable dishes and snacks from organic foods.

Our society is slowly learning how to live healthy and many advocates of living a healthy lifestyle are becoming more available to the public with the growth of organic farming and organic produce being widely offered in the market within reach of ordinary families. Let us take this opportunity to build better eating habits in our children and promote health and wellness in our families.

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Strengthen Your Child’s Immune System

Children like the elderly are susceptible to catch infection and diseases. The children’s immune system is still developing that is why even a simple change of weather can give your child cough and colds. Because their  immune system is weaker, this explains why there are a lot of children who get sick than adults do. All of us need to have a healthy immune system because it serves as our shield that protects us from harmful viruses and bacteria that are the culprit of diseases.

In any conditions, prevention is far better than cure. Even if children are prone for infections, it does not mean that it cannot be prevented. There are a lot of ways on how we parents can help our children become healthy and free from diseases. Here are some of the ways on how you can strengthen your child’s immune system:

  • Give your child good nutrition. A good health starts with having enough nutrients to keep the body functioning well. Meals should also be balanced with enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits and vegetables should be part of your everyday staple and see to it that your child eats these foods well.
  • Make sure that your child has enough sleep. Children need to have 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep to allow the body to heal itself. Sleep is not only good in helping the immune system to function at its best; it is also needed by the children for proper brain development and the release of growth hormones.
  • Give your child foods that are rich in probiotics or good bacteria like yoghurt and other drinks. They fight bad bacteria in the body especially in the digestive tract needed to prevent the occurrence of gastro-intestinal disorders.
  • Engage your child to sports and encourage him to be active. The more active he is the lesser chances that he will catch lifestyle related conditions like diabetes and hypertension later on. Active children maintain a normal weight which prevents them from being obese. Obesity is linked to many conditions like those diseases mentioned above.
  • Give multivitamins to your child daily. Sometimes food is not enough to give the body the needed vitamins and minerals so children need other sources. Vitamin C, D, and zinc are specifically good for the immune system.
  • Let your child be free from stress. Stress can lead to a lot of conditions like certain cancers. Stress can also lead to depression which can greatly affect the child’s immune system. When your child is in too much pressure from school and from peers, help your child manage it well. Do things that your child loves like going to parks and watching movies. This will help relax their young bodies from things that may be bothering them.

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Homemade Baby Food

By the time the pediatrician allows mixed feeding or the incorporation of foods other than milk at around six months, most parents do get hyped about the infinite possibility of feeding the baby foods that are served at the table. The pleasant feeling of serving your baby with a variety of foods is an occasion any parent will certainly want to experience.

These days, a handful of parents venture giving their babies foods that are prepared at home. Apart from the assurance of serving healthy foods, home made baby foods are less costly. When you buy those jarred foods, you are paying for the processing, the container and the brand but when you choose homemade, you are only paying for the food. You will not be bothered a lot by the expenses you incur in crushing or blending the food as these are only minimal; you can just use a fork to mash a banana than to utilize an appliance.

Another advantage of homemade baby foods is that you are in control of almost everything. You can leave out the extra sugar and salt present in some commercial products. As a mother, you also have the take in giving your baby a variety of nutrients the natural way. You can spice things up by controlling the taste as well as the texture of the food. Although it is rather unconventional to put a lot of time in preparing foods for your baby, it will prove worthwhile as you know that your baby is naturally getting the nutrients needed. Moreover, you are also able to control the possibility of encountering specific allergens that can harm your baby.

Undeniably, when you do the preparation at home, you know that you are not putting your baby at risk of ingesting foods that are not thoroughly washed or cooked. Your baby’s stomach is expectedly adjusting; it is obviously sensitive and only a sensible mother or father will understand such condition. Nonetheless, the most important aspect to remember is to always consult your doctor for specific guidelines that you must always take note when preparing food your baby. Ascertain that what you are doing is right and ask for more suggestions or recommendations.

Inasmuch as the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, homemade baby food can spoil quickly and will require refrigeration which consequently is not apt and convenient when one is traveling.

When you choose the natural option, there are some useful tips that come in handy like thoroughly cleaning the equipment to be used as well as the food. This is to avoid foodborne diseases and rather than boiling the vegetables and fruits, it is better to steam or bake to keep the vitamins and minerals intact.

If the pureed foods are too thick, you can use water or your breastmilk or formula milk to achieve the desired consistency. If the foods are too watery, you can use yogurt, sweet potato, wheat germ, broth,cheese or eggs as thickeners. However, make sure that your baby is not allergic to eggs. Furthermore, when it comes to allergies, make sure that you introduce new foods per week to ensure that in case of allergies, the allergen will be quickly determined.

Finally, make sure that you do not give your baby leftover foods as bacteria buildup happens so fast and the effects can be very disastrous.

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How to Make Children Love Vegetables

Children are very picky eaters. It is expected that children love to eat pork, chicken, sweets, and junk foods. But making them eat vegetables seems to be the hardest thing for parents to do. Yes, it is hard to include vegetable to your child’s diet. However, parents should respond to that challenge so their children could be healthy as much as possible.

Most children think of vegetables as bland and tasteless that is why they do not even attempt in eating it. But there are a lot of ways on how parents can prepare vegetable dishes their kids will sure love. Here are some of the ways on how to make your children love eating vegetables:

  • Practice what you preach. Children love to imitate what their parents are doing. Make sure that your children see that you eat vegetables too. In this way they will learn to love eating vegetables.
  • Make your own vegetable garden at your backyard. Make your child involved in cultivating and watering the vegetables. Tell your child that once the vegetables grow you will cook and eat them together. You can also instill teaching the importance of vegetables while gardening. This simple way will help them to love eating vegetables.
  • Dip, dress, and top vegetables with dressings that your kids would love. It can be cheese, mayonnaise, or chocolate syrup; your children will surely love to eat vegetables when you add them over to your vegetable dishes.
  • Bring them to the grocery and let them pick the vegetables that they want to eat.
  • Cook vegetable dishes together. Ask suggestion from your child on how he or she likes the vegetable dish to be done. While cooking, let your child taste the dish from time to time. It can help develop their taste buds to eat vegetables.
  • Make sure that you always have a vegetable dish every meal time. This will help a child to get used to eating and having vegetables during meals.
  • Be creative in preparing vegetable dishes. Children are visual people and they love to see colors and shapes. Try to shape potatoes and carrots into animals to catch their attention. This will make them intrigued and want to eat the vegetable dish you are serving.
  • Try the reward system. If it seems impossible to let your child eat vegetables, then it is time to resort in giving rewards.

Letting your child eat vegetables is ever easy. But once your child learns to eat vegetables, all the sacrifices will be worth it knowing that your child will be getting the nutrition that vegetables provide.

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Vaccine Myths Busted

Vaccinations are one of the most important discoveries in healthcare. Thru immunizations children have lesser chances of acquiring diseases like rubella, measles, mumps, diphtheria, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, influenza, chicken pox, and tuberculosis. When children are immunized they gain active and passive immunity. Once vaccinated, children have the capability to fight harmful substances that can cause the body to have the conditions mentioned above.

The importance that vaccinations give cannot be denied especially now that many diseases have emerged without any known cure. Research is still on going to find vaccines to prevent one from having dreaded diseases like AIDS and H1N1. Recognizing the importance of vaccines, most countries in the world require its citizens to have vaccinations.

Although the significance of vaccinations is spread worldwide, a number of people do not believe in them or are too lazy to have one. Parents who are living financially challenged may think of vaccinations as pure waste of money and they rather buy food rather than submitting to vaccinations. Some religions and cultures still use traditional medicines. To them having vaccinations is disrespecting their belief and norms. However, even highly intellectual people do not believe on vaccinations.

Being vaccinated is very important. But what keeps people from believing on them are the myths that offer false information about them. Here are some of the myths associated with vaccines and the truth behind them.

  • Myth- Vaccines can cause my child to become autistic.

Truth- There is no evidence linking vaccinations to any brain disorders like autism.

  • Myth- Vaccines can cause the child’s immune system to weaken and be more prone to other disease.

Truth- Although an infant can have fever after being given a certain like those for diphtheria, it is just a normal reaction after an immunization. Your child may be weak a few days after a vaccine was given but it can be relieved by simple fever medications and vitamins. The slight reaction the child experiences for a few days is worth compared to the benefits that he or she will be getting from vaccinations.

  • Myth- It is better for a child to have measles and chicken pox naturally to acquire natural immunity rather than being vaccinated for them.

Truth- Yes, one can have natural immunity if they have already experienced having measles or chicken pox. But, it is better not to have the disease at all.

  • Myth-There is no need to be vaccinated because the infectious diseases does not exist anymore.

Truth- Although the numbers of people who are affected with the diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations have decreased over time; in actuality these diseases are still affecting a number of people. If your child is not vaccinated, you might be one of the few.

  • Myth- Vaccines have components that are harmful to the baby.

Truth- Vaccines in the past used thimerosal, a preserving agent that contains mercury to prevent the vaccine from bacterial contamination. However, this is now not used to ensure safety of the baby and other children.

There are a lot of make beliefs about vaccines, what is important is to consult your physician about your questions.

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