Toddler Nutrition series with Natalia Stasenko – What NOT to Eat (Part II)

Toddler Nutrition series with nutritionist on Eczema Blues

Learn more about supplements in this interview with nutritionist Natalia

This is a 3-topic series focused on nutrition for toddlers, in particular dealing with picky eaters or children who cannot eat certain foods. I’m glad to know a friend, Natalia Stasenko, a registered dietitian, whose passion is pediatric nutrition and shares nutrition tips on her website, online classes and of course, with all of us here in this series!

More on Natalia, RD – Natalia has a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She founded her private practice Tribeca Nutrition and online nutrition class for parents of babies and young children at Feeding Bytes.
For further information on her latest online course on feeding toddlers, do check out this link.

My Child Can’t Eat That!
This final topic of the Toddler Nutrition series is an extension from last week, focusing on what a child cannot eat simply because they shouldn’t! If you missed the first two parts on How Much to Eat and What to Eat, do click on the links and catch up!

MarcieMom: Thanks Natalia, let’s zoom right in to What are the top 5 foods that you think under no circumstance a child should be given, or as infrequent as once a month?

Natalia: It is hard to ban certain foods from a child’s diet, especially as they become more independent in obtaining their food when they grow up. To avoid vilifying certain foods, that may only increase their appeal in children’s eyes, I prefer to focus on staying away from certain ingredients and buy or make a better version of children’s favorites most
of the time. My top 5 food additives to avoid are artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners, sodium nitrate, certain preservatives (BHA and BHT) and trans fats. The good news is that by preparing most of the food at home and reading food labels a family can easily cut on their consumption of these foods.

I also believe in watching sugar in kids’ diets because too many sugary foods not only leave less space in small tummies for more nutritious foods but also create real health risks in the future. American Heart Association recommends only 4-5 teaspoons of added sugar per day for children, while most children get 3-4 times the amount. To calculate the amount of sugar in a serving of food, divide the number of grams of sugar on the label into 4, it will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar the food contains.

MarcieMom: I’m giving my child supplements – she eats a balanced meal but I think 1. Probiotics, 2. Omega-3 and 3.Multi-vitamins (in doses below 100% of daily requirement) could strengthen her immune system. Is that the right thinking/approach or should I throw these out of the window? 

Natalia:When it comes to supplements, it helps to remember that it is a very loosely regulated market. FDA controls (somewhat) their safety, not efficacy. In our class we talk about consumer organizations that test and review supplements and I use their input in my work and personal life all the time. I see a lot of multivitamins of supermarket shelves that are mostly sugar and food coloring, missing the nutrients children are most likely to fall short on. So I think it is important to work with a dietitian to choose the supplements your child may truly need.

For example, many toddlers do not get enough iron in their diets and at the same time it is missing from most multivitamins. The good news is that there are specific additive and allergen-free comprehensive multivitamin formulas I recommend to parents of picky toddlers but they are not typically sitting on the eye level in supermarket shelves and some may only be purchased online.

Back to your question: providing your child with multivitamins, probiotics and DHA may be a good strategy to help close the potential nutrient gaps if your child does not eat many fruit and vegetables, eats no fermented foods and oily fish. But we know that nutrients are best absorbed when they come in the whole package, in foods. So I would still focus on exposing children to the nutritious foods that they are still learning to like, which I feel
you are already doing wonderfully!

Thank you so much Natalia for being with us and sharing so much tips for the past 3 weeks. I’m most happy to see that parents who sign up for your online course for toddlers will really get their money worth with your practical approach to improving nutrition!

Toddler Nutrition series with Natalia Stasenko – What NOT to Eat

Toddler Nutrition on Eczema Blues with nutritonist Natalia Stasensko

Don’t forget to get 30% off Natalia’s toddler nutrition class with code EcBlues30

This is a 3-topic series focused on nutrition for toddlers, in particular dealing with picky eaters or children who cannot eat certain foods. I’m glad to know a friend, Natalia Stasenko, a registered dietitian, whose passion is pediatric nutrition and shares nutrition tips on her website, online classes and of course, with all of us here in this series!

More on Natalia, RD – Natalia has a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She founded her private practice Tribeca Nutrition and online nutrition class for parents of babies and young children at Feeding Bytes.
For further information on her latest online course on feeding toddlers, do check out this link. Natalia is also offering 30% to readers of Eczema Blues with the code EcBlues30.

My Child Can’t Eat That!
This final part of the Toddler Nutrition series with Natalia is going to be fun. If you missed the first two parts on How Much to Eat and What to Eat, do click on the links and catch up!

Today we will explore two scenarios:
i. What a Child Cannot Eat due to Allergy, Food Sensitivity or Intolerance, and
ii. What a Child Cannot Eat because he/she just shouldn’t!

MarcieMom: Hi Natalia, so good to have you back! Let’s go straight into the situation when a child cannot eat certain foods. Instead of focusing on each condition, could you offer quick insights into
i. When a parent should suspect there’s a problem with the child after eating the food?
ii. When should a parent bring a child in for test/ examination?

Natalia:In case with allergic reactions, the typical symptoms to look out for are hives, swelling of the face and mucous membranes found in the nose, ears, lungs and throat, nasal congestion and sneezing, intestinal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. With smaller kids who cannot talk yet, general discomfort and crying after eating a specific food may also indicate an allergic reaction to food. If your child has any of these symptoms after trying a certain food for the first time, food allergy may be suspected. It is a good idea to call your doctor who will probably refer you to an allergist for a testing.

Food allergy is often diagnosed by one of the widely available tests: skin prick test and blood test for antibodies, neither of which gives a 100% guarantee of true clinical reactivity. These tests may be helpful to assist in diagnosing food allergy when the patient history indicates that a specific food may be a problem. A double blind placebo controlled food challenge is considered by this and other reports as a diagnostic “gold standard”. This basically means that a person is given the suspected food once and a placebo another time, without knowing what is what.
The challenges are provided in gradually increasing doses and neither the patient nor the practitioner knows in which order they follow, thus patient and clinician biases are removed.

Once the offering food is identified, the doctor will likely recommend to remove it from a diet.Children with food allergies may be at a high risk for nutritional deficiencies if important foods like dairy, eggs, or wheat are not replaced by nutritionally optimal alternatives. For example: calorie, protein and fat contents of cow’s milk are much higher than those in most milk substitutes, including almond and rice milk. A child who drinks rice milk instead of cow’s milk may not be growing properly because he or she will not be getting enough nutrients in the diet. Soy milk, on the other hand, is closer in calories, fat and protein to cow’s milk and could be considered a good alternative. The US Food Allergy guidelines recommend nutrition counseling and close growth monitoring for all children with food allergies in order to ensure proper growth and development.

MarcieMom: We know that there are certain foods that are the more common food allergens of children, while others are likely to cause intolerance. Given that a food (say fish) has more than one nutrients, how should a parent know what is a suitable replacement food i.e. as long as replacing the main nutrition, say is a protein or replacing the more beneficial nutrients, the omega-3 or finding a food that is as close to fish as possible (but that may trigger the same allergy?).

Natalia: It is a great question and I would like to provide some background information. Food allergy is an adverse reaction to protein in food. So every time the allergen is eaten, the immune system starts fighting it using the whole arsenal of chemicals causing the potentially life-threatening symptoms. Food allergy is often confused with food intolerance, which is caused by lack of digestive enzymes, such as lactase in case with milk intolerance. However, food intolerance does not involve immune system.

Food allergy can be IgE-mediated and/or non-IgE mediated. IgE-mediated basically means that when the allergen is ingested, the body produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies, which attack the allergen causing the release of histamine and other potent mediators that cause the symptoms of a food allergic reaction. Non-IgE mediated reactions primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract lining and causes allergic disorders such as protocolitis and
entrocolitis. To complicate matters further, a bunch of adverse food reactions can be both IgE and non-IgE mediated.

As you see, there are many different ways we can react to certain foods. To answer your questions, in the case with fish allergy it is more likely to the protein the child is reacting to so the health care provider will probably recommend stay away from all fish and seafood and take a DHA supplement instead.

In case of milk intolerance, switching to lactose-free milk will help to avoid the symptoms but if your child. has food allergy to milk i.e. reacting to milk protein, all dairy products lactose free or not, should be avoided. In my private practice I worked with many kids with food allergies who needed a safe and balanced diet to meet their nutrient needs after removing the allergens. In most cases I needed to collaborate with their allergists and pediatricians to create a plan that works for a specific family.

Thanks so much Natalia, we are taking a pause till next week where I’d publish Natalia’s reply to part (ii) of this post on what foods kids simply should not be eating. This is to give some time for parents to digest the tips from Natalia – as you can see, she is thorough in her explanation, so imagine how much more you’d learn from her online class. Do sign up and don’t forget to use EcBlues30 for that 30% off.

Toddler Nutrition series with Natalia Stasenko – What to Eat

Toddler Nutrition series on Eczema Blues

Don’t forget to get 30% off Natalia’s toddler nutrition class with code EcBlues30

This is a 3-topic series focused on nutrition for toddlers, in particular dealing with picky eaters or children who cannot eat certain foods. I’m glad to know a friend, Natalia Stasenko, a registered dietitian, whose passion is pediatric nutrition and shares nutrition tips on her website, online classes and of course, with all of us here in this series!

More on Natalia, RD – Natalia has a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She founded her private practice Tribeca Nutrition and online nutrition class for parents of babies and young children at Feeding Bytes.
For further information on her latest online course on feeding toddlers, do check out this link. Natalia is also offering 30% to readers of Eczema Blues with the code EcBlues30.

Who is Picking the Food?
Come to think of it, the willingness to open one’s mouth, put food in, chew and swallow can’t be forced. So seen in that light, your toddler is the one choosing the food. The problem steps in when he/she is choosing so much, the term ‘picky eater’ soon becomes how you see your child. Natalia has a special interest with helping parents feed picky
eaters, given her own parenting experience, let’s find out more from her in today’s interview!

MarcieMom: Natalia, thank you for joining me again in this series. The one last week on how much to eat was really insightful. Before, children can ‘pick’ the foods, parents must first put the food before them. What are your top 3 must eat foods that are essential for toddlers, on-top of the standard fruits and vegetables, protein source and carbohydrates?

Natalia: I would change the term Must-eat to Must-served. I feel like when parents are under pressure that their child must eat a particular food, children sense it and are more likely to reject it.This is a very small part of the nutrition talk we share in our upcoming online class where we discuss food alternatives and supplements if the child does not eat (yet) nutrient rich foods.

The Must-serve foods are:

Orange and dark green rich fruit and vegetables, due to Vitamin A, important for eye health and immune system

Oily fish such as salmon and tuna, due to DHA, important for retinal and brain development

Red meat, fortified cereal, beans, due to Iron, important for oxygen transportation and storing it in cells. Most common nutrient deficiency in small children is iron deficiency

MarcieMom: Assume that the child is refusing to eat the healthier butternut squash, broccoli and fish. What would you recommend a parent to do?
i. Forget about these foods, try new ones
ii. Stick to these foods, try new way of cooking
iii. Keep cooking these foods and let the child ‘starve’ if not eating
iv. Keep cooking these foods and more, just in case
In the option(s) you choose or maybe another option or a combination, how long should a parent try a certain tactic?
(It’s already starting to sound laborious to me, lucky for me, my child happen to love superfoods!)

Natalia: I would suggest to keep serving these foods, in the context of family meals, alongside the foods your child has already warmed up to. The biggest mistake parents make is creating pressure at mealtimes in an attempt to get their children to eat particular foods. This does not work. Catering, i.e. giving only the foods that your child likes, also backfires. Non-pressure, pleasant mealtimes, role modeling and plenty of exposure help kids push themselves to learn to like the foods the rest of the family is enjoying. Exposure to less liked foods outside of mealtime through shopping, cooking and taste-testing also works.

New ways of cooking may also help. For example, many toddlers dislike texture of meat so in the class we will share a recipe of meatballs cooked in broth that are literally melting in the mouth. When it comes to vegetables, even the simplest of them can be prepared in a variety of ways. For example, you can grate a carrot, cut it into matchsticks, make it into ribbons, steam it, roast it or pan fry it with some butter.

We definitely do not suggest starving your child till he eats certain foods. After years of working with children with feeding problems, I know that some of them would rather starve than eat something that is not acceptable to them. Besides, it creates a very negative mealtime dynamics that leads to smaller appetites and ultimately less variety in diet. Since our class is for parents of picky toddlers, we talk about specific strategies that help streamline meal planning to include the challenging foods and let everyone enjoy the meal in a pleasant environment.

MarcieMom: Various nutritionists have shared on this blog about inflammatory foods. Would you think this is of concern to young children as well? If so, which are the top inflammatory foods that you see commonly given to children and should be avoided?

Natalia: While we are still learning more from research what exact benefits anti-inflammatory diet brings to adults and children, it is clear that reducing processed foods and boosting fruits, vegetables, lean protein, oily fish and whole grains is a path to good health for both kids and grown ups. However, research shows that an overall dietary pattern seems to be more important than adding or removing specific foods from diet. I often use 80 to 20 ratio in my talks and classes, where 80 percent of food in kids’ diet are minimally processed from the list above and 20 percent are fun foods including treats. That said, I do not think that hydrogenated fats and artificial colors have a place in children’s diet. Of course, eating a blue lollipop or commercially prepared french fries from time to time is not likely to have a big health effect but if parents have an opportunity to choose candy with natural colors or bake french fries at home in the oven, it is great.

MarcieMom: A final question, how would you grade my ‘food grading’ chart that I use to educate my child? Feel free to shift items around!

ood Grading for Eczema ChildNatalia: I think it definitely helps to create a balance in the diet, with the focus on more nutritious foods. I think that following a chart like this can help lay down very good foundation for healthy eating habits in the future. However I must say though that as kids are growing up and have more outside influence on their diet from the peers, I had to adjust my feeding strategy to occasionally include “forbidden” foods like soda and cookies. Research shows that kids who are restricted tend to over indulge when they are given access to foods that are forbidden at home. Again, serving the foods you want your child to eat all the time is the key to get them learn to enjoy their flavor, which is the best nutrition education parents can provide.

Thanks so much Natalia, I can’t wait for next week’s interview on What Not to Eat!

Toddler Nutrition series with Natalia Stasenko – How Much to Eat

Toddler Nutrition series on EczemaBlues.com with nutritionist Natalia Stasenko

Learn from Nutritionist Natalia Stasenko on how to feed your toddler

This is a 3-topic series focused on nutrition for toddlers, in particular dealing with picky eaters or children who cannot eat certain foods. I’m glad to know a friend, Natalia Stasenko, a registered dietitian, whose passion is pediatric nutrition and shares nutrition tips on her website, online classes and of course, with all of us here in this series!
More on Natalia, RD – Natalia has a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She founded her private practice Tribeca Nutrition and online nutrition class for parents of babies and young children at Feeding Bytes.
For further information on her latest online course on feeding toddlers, do check out this link. Natalia is also offering 30% to readers of Eczema Blues with the code EcBlues30.

Starting Solids
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to start solids at 6-month old. During the first year, the primary nutrition should still come from milk, preferably breast milk as this is still the best nutrition for infants. Before we get into what to eat, let’s first start with the basic of how much to eat.

MarcieMom: Hi Natalia, thanks so much for collaborating on this series and congrats to the launch of your new online toddler nutrition class with Adina Pearson, RD. Given the small tummies of young children and that solids have a different place in their nutrition at various stages, would you summarize for busy moms and dads what portion sizes their children should be eating?

Natalia: This is a great question and I get it a lot at my workshops and online classes. Generally speaking, babies start with a very small amount of solids and gradually progress to more solid foods in their diet by the time they turn 12 months. At around 9-10 months many babies go through the “big switch”, as I call it. At this point, more calories and nutrition start coming from solid foods than from formula or breastmilk and many babies want bigger portions of solids and also start snacking on solid food rather than drinking milk or formula for snacks. It is important to remember that any guidance on portion sizes for babies can be interpreted only as an estimation, as babies’ appetites vary greatly.

Toddler Nutrition portion What I provide in this chart is more of a “starter” for portions. Some babies need more and some babies need less food. With this in mind, babies should never be pressured to finish a portion of food or be restricted in the amount they are hungry for. Here is a link to the article I wrote on why it is important to trust babies’ appetites.

MarcieMom: With regard to picky eaters, I’ve attended a talk by Dr Sears who suggested ‘grazing’, eating small-size food portions throughout the day. Since then, I’ve seen increasing number of articles that recommended it. Would you recommend the same, and if yes, why and for which groups of children would ‘grazing’ work best?

Natalia: Toddlers need to eat more frequently than older kids – every 2 to 3 hours. And serving them snacks in a muffin tray is a great idea! I did it for my own kids and always recommend it in my classes. But I think that the word “grazing” is a little confusing here. Grazing suggests eating small portions throughout the day without any mealtime structure. Dr Sears suggests serving the tray mid-morning and mid-afternoon and I think these are great times for a scheduled snack.

Some parents may leave the tray out all day in a hope to get a few extra bites into their toddler. This will most likely result in eating out of boredom and/or no appetite for dinner. Structure in meals and snacks help kids of any ages to eat better at meals and stay attuned to their hunger and fullness signals. In the class we are providing our participants with meal plans that help them to schedule meals and snacks to provide maximum nutrition and ensure good appetites for meals!

MarcieMom: Obesity is a rising problem among kids, actually not just in US but in Singapore as well. I’m thinking that the main meals or snacks which are planned and prepared ahead by parents and caregivers are likely to be ‘correct’. However, some parents (me included!) may slip and offer ice-cream, ice milo, juice (even diluted) and grandparents may offer chocolate-coated snacks (who can resist?!). What is the practical way to look at and control these ‘extras’? 

Natalia: Those delicious extras can be a legitimate part of your child’s diet. In fact, research shows that it is important to serve your child’s favorites from time to time because kids tend to value restricted foods even more. It is up to parents, of course, to decide how many treats their child will get per day or per week. A good rule of thumb I use with my kids and clients is that anything marketed to children or with added sugar is a treat. To help kids feel in control around “forbidden foods”, we recommend serving them in unlimited amount from time to time (an example will be a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for snack once a month). If served for dessert, the treats should be smaller (think of a size of an oreo cookie) but they should never be served as a reward for eating dinner. Instead, try to serve a small dessert alongside the meal, to “neutralize” it as much as possible. And do not forget that a bowl of fruit with plain yogurt also makes a great dessert!

MarcieMom: A final question on how much to eat – is the BMI-chart for kids accurate or should looking at a kid and assessing whether he/she is all chubby/flabby or look firm and fit be a better gauge? !

Natalia: The most important information we can derive from growth chart is if the child is growing consistently. Some health professionals call it “following the curve”. We aim for comparing the child to himself, not to other children. Some children are consistently on the 90th percentile and completely healthy while others thrive on the 5th percentile. If the child suddenly starts “dropping” or “climbing” percentiles on a growth chart, on the other hand, it may indicate a medical or feeding problem. For the most accurate results, it is also important to pick the right chart. BMI chart is available for kids only 2 years and older and breastfed babies are best assessed on the World Health Organization charts, not the CDC ones. You can read more on growth charts in this post.

Thanks so much Natalia, it was great fun to learn these tips and particularly, having a practical angle to it rather than theoretical and hard to implement. Am sure many of the parents reading this will be grateful! Next week, will be on What to Eat.

Rise and Shine Feature – Parenting with Angela Jacobsen

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, gave a talk for moms at Rise and Shine Expo

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, gave a talk for moms at Rise and Shine Expo

From 27 to 29 September 2013, Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children was held in Singapore. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, including cooking demonstrations by Angela Jacobsen. Angela Jacobsen also gave a talk on the Sunday afternoon, ‘Preparing for the arrival of a newborn for today’s working mothers’.

Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, has worked with children in different countries for more than 15 years, including for celebrities and also ordinary parents needing help. Angela has studied child care, personality development and pediatric first aid. We have been hanging out over GooglePlus and many of our hangouts are here.

Last week, we shared Angela’s tips for pregnant mothers on what they can prepare medically, physically and on their environment. Today, we will cover the rest of her talk on parenting.

Parenting Styles

There is no set parenting style and you can mix and match various ideas, including changing parenting styles. The important thing is that both parents should decide and agree on how to raise the child. Brainstorm with your partner on your beliefs and values as a family, perhaps involve your extended family. Do discuss any conflicts that arises and try to find solutions, before the baby is born!

Parents are Role Models

Children learn from watching their parents, and they are like little sponges, taking all in long before they can talk. Therefore, model appropriate behaviour, and be consistent in what you teach and also surround your child only with people who follow the same behaviours. Those with alternative caregivers should make sure they know and follow your parenting rules. Update the rule list for your carer and be vigilant to monitor and ensure that your baby is taken care of as you would desire them to be.

Giving Time

Angela often gets asked how much time is appropriate to spend with your child, but each parent will have their own answer to this. It is important though to spend regular time doing enjoyable activities as a family, without the interruptions of phones, iPads and computers. Set your own priorities, including that between career and family. Time spent do matters to the child and therefore it is not unexpected that some children grow attached to their carers who spent the whole day with them.

Sneaking in a question on parenting eczema children here: Very often, children with eczema itch terribly and parents usually end up saying/shouting (in exasperation!) ‘Stop Scratching!’. Do you have any positive reinforcement ideas to distract from scratching as I understand encouraging a child works better than saying no all the time?

Angela: You can also try to redirect children into doing something else rather than scratching, use positive words and also say please don’t do that. Perhaps suggest applying cream rather than scratching.

Thank you Angela for sharing baby recipes, baby preparations and parenting tips for the past four weeks. Look forward to more parenting tips from you and glad to be part of your Family360 too!

Rise and Shine Feature – Newborn Arrival with Angela Jacobsen

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, gave a talk for moms at Rise and Shine Expo

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, gave a talk for moms at Rise and Shine Expo

From 27 to 29 September 2013, Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children was held in Singapore. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, including cooking demonstrations by Angela Jacobsen. Angela Jacobsen also gave a talk on the Sunday afternoon, ‘Preparing for the arrival of a newborn for today’s working mothers’.

Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, has worked with children in different countries for more than 15 years, including for celebrities and also ordinary parents needing help. Angela has studied child care, personality development and pediatric first aid. We have been hanging out over GooglePlus and many of our hangouts are here.

For the past two weeks, we shared Angela’s recipes and tips which she gave at the hands-on workshops at Rise and Shine. Today, we will cover her talk on preparing for newborn’s arrival.

Once a woman finds out she is pregnant, there are various aspects of preparation shared by Angela:

Medical/ Physical

Appointment with gynaecologist, and also decide and book the hospital for delivery.

Physically, relax as stress is not good for the mother or baby. Look into yoga and other gentle exercises. Swimming & water aerobics can be great gentle exercises too, if you can swim! Alter your diet and lifestyle suitably. Talk to your doctor about this. Sign up for prenatal and antenatal classes for you and your partner. Get more sleep! Rest when you can.

Environment

Avoid dangerous places filled with smoke or pollution. Also create a loving and nurturing environment between you and your partner. It is worth interacting with your unborn child by touching, singing, talking, reading stories and playing music. Plan for the nursery, write a list of what you will need and a list in Angela’s book Baby Love can be used as a reference.

Feeding Baby for Working Mothers

For working mothers, there are various options how to continue to feed your baby:

If your baby is breastfed, you need to decide whether you will express milk for your carer to provide or whether to have your baby brought to you at work to feed throughout the day (if possible). Various equipment are required, namely:

Baby Bottle – A bottle with a teat that has features similar to mother’s breast is sought after for the benefit of baby’s development as well as avoiding nipple confusion. During the day, about 3-4 bottles are required.

Breast Pump – Working mothers will need to look into an electrical breast pump for frequent and faster expressing.

Breast milk Storage Devices – Working mothers will need to prepare larger quantities of breast milk for storage. Different products will cater for the needs of different types of usage. The easiest option is storage bags as they can be stacked up.

Breast milk Warmer – A breast milk warmer becomes an essential item for working mothers as they to have one for their caregiver to use. Please always test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your arm before you give to your baby. If your helper is feeding the baby while you work, she has to be taught how to use a baby warmer safely.

Breast milk Cooler Bag – This is needed for use by working mothers to transport their expressed breast milk from office to carer.

Thank you to Angela for sharing her seminar at Rise and Shine here, and next week, we will cover more issues related to parenting!

(Video) Parenting tips for Christmas

Hanging out with OzSuperNanny for Christmas tips for parents!

Hanging out with OzSuperNanny for Christmas tips for parents!

Angela Jacobsen, aka OzSupernanny’s google hangout on Christmas tips, and there’s Marcie in the participants’ window – she’s grown, I know! Click on the picture or here to watch the full hangout, and my questions on allergy for Christmas:

Angela suggested to bring your child’s food to be safe and also, if you’re bringing food to a potluck for Christmas, bring a yummy treat for everyone and one that you know will be safe for your child.

You can read of other moms’ food allergies’ stories and precautions here:

Gail – On managing eczema baby and nut allergic child

Janice – On managing children with eczema and allergy

Louise – On managing child with severe peanut allergy

Kristin – On allergy testing for child

Rise and Shine Feature – Cooking Baby Food with Angela Jacobsen (Part 2)

Vivian and Angela Jacobsen, on recipes from Baby Food!

Vivian and Angela Jacobsen, on recipes from Baby Food!

From 27 to 29 September 2013, Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children was held in Singapore. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, including cooking demonstrations! Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, shared recipes from her book Baby Food.

Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, has worked with children in different countries for more than 15 years, including for celebrities and also ordinary parents needing help. Angela has studied child care, personality development and pediatric first aid. We have been hanging out over GooglePlus and many of our hangouts are here.

Last week, we shared Angela’s recipes on Baby Dahl and Baby Chicken Hotpot. Today, we will cover more nutritious and practical recipes!

Minestrone Soup

Make 500ml of vegetable/chicken stock. Add 2 chopped carrots, 1 cup corn kernels, 1 chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 chopped celery sticks, 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of pureed tomatoes. Simmer for an hour.

Tuna and Sweet Corn Bake

Boil 2 cups of penne pasta. Drain 1 can of tuna and 1 can of sweet corn. Mix all the ingredients in an oven dish.

Make cheese sauce. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of plain flour, stir. Add 1 cup of milk and bring to boil. Stir continuously until thick. Add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius.

Rabbit Juice

Peel and juice 2 carrots. 1 orange and add minimum 1 cup of cooled boiled water. Mix and stir.

Baby Smoothie

Peel and juice 1 apple and 1 pear. Blend 1 banana with 1 tablespoon of yoghurt. Add juice and stir. For older children, ice cream can be used instead of yoghurt. Ice can be added to further cool and dilute.

Angela’s Tips

Juices – Juices can be given to a baby when weaning has started and the baby has been introduced the fruits and vegetables. Always water down the baby’s juice, approximately 1 part juice and 10 parts water. Acidic juices should only be given from a year old. Juice ideas include grapes, kiwis, apples, mangoes, watermelons, oranges, tomatoes and pineapples.

Smoothies – Smoothie is a delicious and fun way to include nutritious fruits and yoghurt. Ingredients such as banana, berries, chocolate, date, mango, pineapple, vanilla and strawberry can be used. Smoothie can be taken by baby over 9 months and for pineapple, over a year old.

Vivian Pei helped with the cooking demonstration at Angela’s workshop and more of Vivian can be read at this post on our google hangout! Next week, we will cover Angela’s talk during Rise and Shine Expo on preparing for newborn’s arrival for today’s working mothers.

Rise and Shine Feature – Cooking Baby Food with Angela Jacobsen

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, shared recipes from her book 'Baby Food' at Rise and Shine Expo

Angela Jacobsen, OzSuperNanny, shared recipes from her book ‘Baby Food’ at Rise and Shine Expo

From 27 to 29 September 2013, Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children was held in Singapore. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, including cooking demonstrations! Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, shared recipes from her book Baby Food.

Angela Jacobsen, also known as OzSuperNanny, has worked with children in different countries for more than 15 years, including for celebrities and also ordinary parents needing help. Angela has studied child care, personality development and pediatric first aid. We have been hanging out over GooglePlus and many of our hangouts are here.

 Angela’s Tips

Angela shared a few tips on weaning and baby feeding during the cooking demonstration, including:

Weaning – Weaning is when your baby goes from milk to solid food, usually at about 6 month-old. Parents can also observe that your baby has strong head and neck control as well as the tongue thrust reflex is gone. Some first foods to try with your baby are potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, apples, pears & bananas.

Cooking Tips – Foods like banana and avocadoes can simply be mashed, without cooking. Foods that require cooking can be steamed or prepared using baby food cooker that has multiple functions. Pureed foods can be frozen or kept in the fridge for 3 days. Ice cube trays can be used to freeze the pureed foods, and when frozen, transfer the cubes to ziplock bag and labelled. They can then be used, one cube at a time, when required.

Allergic Reactions – When giving foods for the first time, give only one new fruit or vegetable every 2 days so that any allergic reaction can be observed. Foods can be mixed after each has been given to your baby and no adverse reaction observed.

Baby Food’s Recipes

Angela shared a few recipes from her book ‘Baby Food’, and listed below are the recipes shared during Rise and Shine Expo Cooking Demonstration!

Baby Dahl

This is for babies 8 months and over.

Cook half a cup of red lentils. Dice and cook one carrot. Place red lentils and carrot into the blender and add a pinch of ground turmeric, fresh coriander and cumin. Blend to puree.

Baby Chicken Hotpot

This is for babies 6 months and over but be sure to test each ingredient (to observe any allergic reaction) before mixing them for this recipe.

Boil ½ cup red lentils for 45 minutes. Drain. Dice and cook 1 chicken breast, 1 carrot, 1 celery stick and 1 onion. Cool 1 cup of frozen corn kernels. Mix all the ingredients together in blender and pureed.

This recipe can be for the whole family; for the younger ones, check for lumps and allow the dish to cool before serving. For older children, this can be served as it is. For adults, seasoning such as salt, pepper and chilli can be added.

Vivian Pei helped with the cooking demonstration at Angela’s workshop and more of Vivian can be read at this post on our google hangout! Next week, we will cover more of Angela’s recipes from her Baby Food book.

Tackling Obesity in Eczema Children with Nutritionist Rania Batayneh (Part 3)

A 3-part Nutrition series discussing childhood obesity with celebrity nutritionist Rania Batayneh

A 3-part Nutrition series discussing childhood obesity with celebrity nutritionist Rania Batayneh

This is a timely series that focuses on obesity in children, not only because of the rising rates of childhood obesity and its adverse effects, but also due to studies associating obesity with asthma symptoms and eczema in children. In this series, I’m privileged to have nutritionist Rania Batayneh to help with key eating strategies (suitable for a child with eczema).

More on Rania Batayneh – Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH, also known as America’s Eating Strategist™, is regarded as an expert in the field of Nutrition and Wellness. She is the author of The One One One Diet (Rodale, 2013) and has been a practicing nutritionist since 2001. She is a certified Wellness Coach through the American College of Sports Medicine. Rania has been featured in many TV, radio, print and online media, including MSNBC, NBC Bay Area and has also been the Health and Wellness Contributor for a CBS affiliate in Portland, Oregon on KOIN Studio 6.

MarcieMom: We have covered with Rania the basics of weight management (in part 1) and alternative food sources for some common allergens last week. Rania, you have blogged about the likelihood of someone being obese if there is a friend or family who is, i.e. ‘contagious’. Do you have any example to share where you’ve helped the whole family (parents and child) to overcome obesity? What is usually the key motivation for these families who have successfully lost weight?

Rania: Yes, eating is a contagious behaviour not only between groups of friends but also within our own families. Clients come in and they see the effect they have on their families. They may be bringing donuts home or they like to snack on the couch. Of course, we like to share but sometimes this is not always caring!  Oftentimes, I will have a client come in who wants to lose weight and sometimes couples decide to get healthy together. They also realize that their diets/lifestyles affects their children’s food choices and preferences (frozen and fast food preferred to fresh/home cooked meals). When working with families it is important to get the children involved. Take them to the grocery store, get them involved in menu planning, and find ways to get them excited about being in the kitchen. You also want to keep in place some of their favourite meals but find a way to make them healthier and fun.

MarcieMom: From what I’ve read in magazines, advice on snacking or no snacking and eating before 7pm or not seem to be changing all the time. For children, what do you think is the right approach? Is there a difference if the child is obese?

Rania: The belief about the healthfulness of snacking is constantly changing–studies have found that people lose weight when they snack, and others have found that people gain weight when they snack. It seems as though there’s no hard and fast rule; instead, it’s an individual thing. Some kids may perform and feel better with snacks; others might do better with three square meals. It’s helpful to teach your child about mindful eating and to listen to his body–as opposed to external cues, like the amount his friend’s are eating–to determine when he’s had enough food. If he eats when he is hungry and stops when he’s full, your child should naturally fall into an eating pattern that’s ideal for him.

MarcieMom: You have shared some recipes on your blog such as Yummy Zucchini Chip Muffins, Spooky Pumpkin Chip Muffins, which dessert recipes would you recommend for eczema kids?

Rania: Because dessert’s main ingredients–sugar, saturated fats, and refined grains–are inflammatory, it’s best to limit desserts. Desserts that include anti-inflammatory foods, like the zucchini chip muffins, can help counteract the effects of those ingredients and add valuable nutrients at the same time. Look for desserts that include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices (like cinnamon), which can display less healthy ingredients and add flavor. If desserts with healthier ingredients are unavailable, it’s okay to indulge in less healthy desserts once in a while.

MarcieMom: A last question on the other part of the equation to lose weight – through exercise. What is your recommended type of exercise for children, and number of hours, taking into account that some children with severe eczema may not be able to go swimming or tolerate excessive sweating?

Rania: The CDC recommends that children get 60 or more minutes of aerobic exercise per day. Exercise doesn’t have to be planned; just running around on a playground during recess contributes to a child’s daily 60 minutes. Exercise can exacerbate symptoms of eczema, but even moderate exercise, like brisk walking, is beneficial to a child’s health. Team sports are another good option: in one study, it was found to decrease depression and emotional upset in patients with eczema.

Thanks Rania, we have learnt much from your sharing in this series! And for those who love desserts, it certainly pays to include healthy ingredients, something I’ve got to work on. Right now, I’m working on getting my sweet potato chips right!

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