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: Last week, we have covered with Rania the basic of eating strategically and monitoring our children’s weight and learning more on calories. Rania, for a child who has eczema and obese, what do you think is a sample meal plan to ensure that the calories to be consumed include sufficient fruits and vegetables, fish and other sources of omega 3, and probiotics?
Rania: Breakfast: Steel cut oats with blueberries and almonds; Lunch: Hummus and chicken wrap with vegetables (tomato, lettuce, onion, etc.); Dinner: Salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, and a salad; Snack: Yogurt with probiotics
MarcieMom: I read on your blog the benefits of Vitamin D and calcium. For children who dislike milk or have a milk allergy, what would be your recommended alternatives to ensure they get the protein and calcium?
Rania: Quality sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans. Different types of dairy, like cottage cheese, kefir, and Greek yogurt, combine both protein and calcium. Besides milk, good sources of calcium include leafy greens like kale and spinach, white beans, cheese, some fish, tofu, and fortified products like cereal.
MarcieMom: The common food allergens for children are egg, cow’s milk, wheat, peanuts and soy. Which of these do you consider important to be in a child’s diet and what are the alternative sources of food to get the same nutrition benefits?
Rania: None of these foods are absolutely essential for a child’s health, but they do contain valuable nutrients.
Eggs and milk are probably the two most important foods in this group, but there are other foods that provide the same nutrients as they do. Eggs are a great source of protein and contain vitamin D and choline. Vitamin D can also be found in certain fish and fortified orange juice, milk, and yogurt. Choline, which maintains proper cell functioning and communication between muscles and nerves, is also found in chicken, turkey, shrimp, grass-fed beef, collard greens, swiss chard, and cauliflower.
Cow’s milk is another good source of protein, and it also contains calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is found in leafy greens like kale and spinach, white beans, cheese, some fish, tofu, and fortified products like cereal.
MarcieMom: Obesity is linked to chronic diseases, and chronic inflammation. Which are the anti-inflammatory foods that you would recommend as part of a child’s meal plan? Do you have a recipe that includes more than one type of anti-inflammatory foods?
Rania: An anti-inflammatory diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables; omega-3 rich foods like salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts; and herbs and spices, especially turmeric and ginger; and whole grains (refined grains exacerbate inflammation); nuts and seeds.
Thanks Rania for all these food tips! My daughter’s not much of a meat eater, and somehow never had a taste for formula milk since she had to take the hypoallergenic ones. Glad though she is big on mushrooms and cauliflower! Next week, we are covering reducing obesity tips, applicable for the parents too!