Posted on : 11-04-2014 | By : Cindy | In : Babies, Kids nutrition
When my baby hit six months I freaked out. Breast feeding had been easy – no planning or thought. Now I had to start cooking for this tiny human and my brain was still in sleep deprived mush. So I dug up all the articles I had ever written about feeding babies to remind myself what to do!! Advice has changed since then so The New Zealand Healthy Food Guide (a great magazine which you can read online) asked me to write an update to the fraught subject of Baby’s First Foods. Here is a shortened version of it.
When should I start giving my baby solids?
Start your baby on solids at around six months. As with adults every baby is different and some may need solids a little earlier but definitely not before four months of age.
Starting solids too early (before 4 months) will stress your baby’s immature digestive system and kidneys, and increase the risk of developing eczema, asthma, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease or food allergy. If food replaces some of the milk at this early age, your baby may miss out on vital nutrients and energy for growth.
A full term baby is born with enough iron and zinc stores to last around six months. Around the six month mark it is very important that your baby start to eat some iron rich foods. Breast milk contains just small amounts of iron. More than 90% of a breast fed baby’s iron requirements must come from food once the initial iron stores are used up. Starting solids later than six months also increases your baby’s risk of developing a food allergy.
Breast milk is the number one source of nutrients and energy for babies. Babies should be exclusively breast fed for around six months and ideally during the introduction of new foods.
What should I start with?
Most mums start off with an iron rich food such as iron-fortified baby rice cereal thinned with breast milk or infant formula.
Fish has been known as brain food for decades, if not longer. Now we have the science to prove it. The WHO and FAO jointly recommend that pregnant and nursing mothers eat seafood twice a week to optimise brain and nerve development in the growing fetus and infant.
For toddlers and older kids it’s all about creating healthy habits. Whatever food kids learn to enjoy will be the food they most likely choose once they leave home. Teach your kids to love seafood. Don’t give up at the first screwed up nose. Set an example. Make it a habit. How about making Friday ‘Fish Day’?
Posted on : 03-07-2011 | By : Cindy | In : Uncategorized
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. This was the saying I pondered as I watched six nerf gun battle-weary, soccer saturated boys devour lollies and lemonade at my son’s tenth birthday party. The low fat, high fibre, extremely economical, home-popped popcorn sat like a big white elephant on the picnic rug. The fresh strawberries and peeled mandarins fared slightly better but only after the lollies had almost gone. Despite being the middle of winter it was a glorious sunny day at the park right on Sydney Harbour. The boys were hot and thirsty but none wanted the water I’d brought. After a glass of half juice, half lemonade most of them wanted straight lemonade – unadulterated by anything remotely healthy.
What’s a health conscious mum to do?
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Blog Carnival
This article was written for inclusion in the blog carnival hosted by http://www.littlestomaks.com to promote awareness of childhood obesity as part of the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Please read to the end of this article to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Last week my cousin and his 10 year-old son popped over to say hi. It’s been eight months since I last saw them. My cousin looked pretty much the same but I hardly recognised his son.
“Have you lost weight?” I asked him in the understatement of the year. He grinned and said proudly, “I’ve lost 11 kilograms since Christmas!” Eleven kilos is a lot for anyone to lose but for a ten-year-old kid it’s like almost a quarter of his body weight!
The change was incredible – not just in his external appearance but within himself. He was more relaxed and confident. His dad confirmed it. “Recently we went rock-climbing and he raced to the top faster than anyone else. In the past he has always struggled. Each time he finds he can do something really well that in the past he struggled with, it boosts his confidence even more.”