Category Archives: Feeding

How to Get Kids Interested in Nutrition

Is it time for your children to learn how to make their own healthy food choices? Exploring the world of nutrition can be exciting. As soon as kids can start opening the fridge to pull out an afternoon snack, the importance of nutritional education becomes even more apparent. Are you ready to have fun teaching your children how to make smart food choices? This guide will help you get started.

English: Healthy nutrition pyramid with 7 to 9...

English: Healthy nutrition pyramid with 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables to get precious phytonutrients to feed your body at the cellular level. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s All About the Motivation

Kids love to ask “why”. It’s the go-to response whether you’re asserting a rule or just walking through the park. This curiosity is what makes early education so effective. Your child will actually want to make healthy food choices after learning about the benefits.

Sometimes choices are the greatest motivator. Does your child have any favorite fruits or vegetables? He may not even know his favorite foods are healthy. Offer a variety, and let him choose. Ask why he made the choice and then explain why it’s a good, healthy choice. Make it a habit of asking, “Why did you choose this?” Most kids don’t think about why they chose a certain snack but the questioning exercise will help him remember to think about it more carefully.

The doctor’s office is also a great place to learn – pediatricians are great at explaining why good food leads to a strong body and brain, and why bad food leads to health complications. Let your child ask some of those pressing questions she may have, like what would happen if she ate only one food for a year. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit silly.

Young people prefer to follow advice they can understand. It’s hard to stick with a healthy diet if you don’t know the effects of a bad one.

Rewarding Ways to Teach Nutrition

Teaching nutrition is much easier when fun is involved. Visiting farms and snack food factories are a great way to show the distinction between the two types of food – the junk food factory may be huge and exciting, but even kids can see that the magic of the farm is all about life and vitality, and healthy living.

Cooking is also a great way to learn. Try these activities and take time to explain the health benefits: bake a meal instead of frying, cook with healthy ingredients, and opt for fresh foods instead of canned when possible. Try making a healthy dessert to remove the misconception that only junk food tastes good. Make a smorgasbord representing the suggested food pyramid portions. Kids need to know what makes a meal healthy compared to unhealthy meals.

We hope that your child can get just as excited about nutrition as you are. You have already taken an active interest, which means you’re already off to the best start possible.

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By Nelly Bee


Feeding Kids The Right Way

Many people’s feelings about food were instilled as children.

We learn good and bad food habits from our parents and friends as we grow up, and these habits shape the rest of our lives. Although some children might have a genetic predisposition to obesity, evidence shows many children as young as preschoolers have a self-regulating caloric consumption.

English: Child eating a veggie burger at a fas...

English: Child eating a veggie burger at a fast food restaurant. Français : Un enfant en train de manger un burger végétarien dans un fast-food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Environment, parental influence, food choices, and learned behavior might well contribute to the seemingly degeneration of the body’s natural system. Early education has touched health, food, and eating from a purely scientific, void any emotional connection with food. The government has created charts for food groups and made recommendations. Although this is a positive step, many children are not offered healthy food choices or are allowed to make their own decisions. A diet of processed and unhealthy food would probably disrupt the body’s ability to regulate digestion and energy expenditure.

Kids who skip meals or overeat after long periods of going hungry create a vicious cycle of gradual and progressive weight gain.

The development of a myriad of emotional responses associated with food and eating can be derived from as many environmental influences. Food can become a desired stimulation after experiencing the effects of a sugar rush. Children will adopt their parents eating habits and emotions regarding food. Just two generations ago, fast food was not as readily available or an accepted meal. Fast food restaurants began growing like suburban weeds, after years of parents rolling through drive- thrus, and when the next generation reached driving age, the lines still got longer.

Eating can evolve into a very personal battle of control. Many American parents attempt to control their children with food. Food was often a motivational tool of reward or punishment.

Schools instituted lunch as a social event, often with rewards for eating quickly. Many schools allowed children to exit the cafeteria to go to the playground as soon as they finished eating. As many children reached their teens food became their choice for the first time. Fast food actually became a form of rebellion. The fast food industry marketed toward children and teens with characters such as Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger, and ‘Happy Meals.’ The fast food industry and Hollywood formed alliance to lure children with the latest movie action figures and toys. Fast food then infiltrated schools with sponsorships and meals. In addition, soda is now offered in many lunchrooms across the country. Soda was considered an unhealthy drink just twenty-five years ago. Soda fountains were a rare treat and self serve fountains almost unseen.

Today, the situation is different and children are bombarded with unhealthy foods. It’s time for us to teach our children healthy food habits before its too late, since childhood obesity is rising in America, and is higher than ever before.

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By Nitin Chhoda

5 Foods Healthy Moms Should Avoid Feeding Children

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)

Most mothers are keen on what they feed their children. Our number one goal is to make sure they eat food that are healthy and will keep their little bodies strong as they grow. When things are hectic and time runs low, there is a turn of events with fast food taking over the dining table. Here is a list of 5 foods that you should avoid feeding your kids whenever possible.

Processed Meats

Kids will do almost anything for a hot dog or some other processed meat. However, these come packed with fillers, artificial colors, sodium, potentially carcinogenic nitrites and nitrates as well as saturated fats. So potent is this deadly mix that kids who ate 12 hot dogs in one month were found to be 9 times more likely to suffer from leukemia. Pre-packed lunches should be avoided as well. They can have a fat count of up to 38 grams, which is more than half the amount recommended for an adult. Imagine what they can do to your child.

Fruit Roll-ups

Don’t be deceived by the word ‘fruit’ in these gelatin snacks. There is only a trace amount of fruit and the rest is artificial color and lots of sugar. If it’s in the candy section it’s candy, fruit will be on the fruit and vegetable aisle.


If the drink you are buying is not 100% juice, chances are that you are giving your child high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors to drink. Avoid these drinks like the plague and instead plan on squeezing your own juice from fresh fruit. This way you are not contending with additives. However, it is recommended that children take only 4- 6 oz of juice daily. Even though the juice you squeeze out for yourself has much vitamin C, the fiber is lost. Encourage your child to eat the fruit instead of drinking juice.

French Fries

We have all heard of this one before but it’s worth repeating. French fries have too much sodium, fat and calories to be good for your child. When starchy foods like potatoes are deep fried, heating them to extreme temperatures, acrylamide, a cancer causing agent is produced. French fries do not have much nutritional benefit at least not as much as can be found in spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots and the like. Children could eat French fries every day if you allow them, so put a stop to it or reduce the consumption of fries in your home as much as possible.

Non-Organic Chicken Nuggets

This is an all time favorite for kids and we have all been told that white meat is healthy, so what is the problem? Chicken nuggets made from organic meat are very healthy for your child. However, the commercial kind is made up of high fructose corn syrup, sodium and compressed fat. They may look like organic chicken breast, but most of them are made from left over pieces of skin and chicken meat ground together and shaped like a nugget. These are not healthy for your child and should be avoided at all costs.

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By Kelly DiLauro

Easy Meal Planning – 5 Strategies for Feeding Kids

friday night dinner

friday night dinner (Photo credit: petit hiboux)

If you’re stumped as to what to do about feeding your kids and feel guilty about giving them items like chicken nuggets for dinner, don’t – feel guilty that is. A dinner of chicken nuggets or pizza is quite acceptable, every now and then. A common goal most of us responsible parents have is to feed our kids foods that will nourish them and help them to develop. But with the busy lifestyles many of us have, meeting this goal can be quite a challenge. Here are five meal planning ideas to help you pass the dilemma of what to feed your kids.

1. Commit to a Goal

You’ve being disciplined. You’ve given your meal plan quite a bit of thought and have planned out what you will cook for the week. Monday goes well, Tuesday is a bit hit and miss, and Wednesday is a disaster. Don’t give in or give up. I’ve been there and I’ve felt your frustration. What you may need is a small win. And here is where items like chicken nuggets may come in. At times like this try to keep the end in mind – a healthy, growing kid. Give yourself permission to not feel guilty about occasionally substituting the ultra healthy lentil loaf for something like pizza or a burger. Think about what your kids really like that you feel would be o.k. to feed them once in a while and add that to your weekly meal plan.

2. Understand You Child’s Eating Habits

Do you have a morning eater, an all day grazer, or an evening eater? By understanding what type of eater you are dealing with you can plan meals accordingly and avoid the feelings of failure that might consume you when your child, who for instance, may be a morning eater, is defiant at dinner time.

3. Be Creative

If you only have a couple of recipes that you regularly cook for your family, try expanding your repertoire. By being creative, and astute, you will hit on a family meal idea that will be a home run with your picky eater. This requires resolution on your part, but it can also be lots of fun and you’ll learn a lot on the way as well.

4. Be Deceptive

Your kid has decided that vegetables are evil and he’s just not going to eat them, ever again. Don’t fret. A simple, ingenious (but somewhat deceptive) way to help your little one to chow down on the good stuff is to add puree vegetables into his meals. Add puree squash or cauliflower into your next batch of mac and cheese, or a bunch of mixed vegetables (whatever you have on hand) into a tomato sauce. They’ll love it, and they’ll never know what’s hidden inside.

5. Be Forgiving

If it seems that no matter what you cook for dinner, your child is just not having it, don’t force the issue. The truth of the matter is they won’t starve if they miss a meal or two. Forgive them, forgive yourself, and try again tomorrow.

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By Carla Richardson

Child Nutrition: Help Your Child Be Healthy

Cover of "Solid Start (Penguin Original)&...

Cover of Solid Start (Penguin Original)

The food your child eats is important not only now but also for the rest of his or her life. A small child is going to need various types of foods for energy to play, grow, and to build a healthy body. Muscles and bones are forming over the first fifteen years of life, and when eating the right types of foods and including smart nutrition your child is more likely to avoid sickness and to ward off some types of disease.

Your child’s nutrition

Your child’s nutrition is going to start with you. You child is going to see what foods you eat, and when you are more likely to eat them, and your child is going to build their own habits from those habits he or she sees you following. If you eat breakfast on the go, all the time, your child will feel this is normal and ok, but you should be sitting down to a breakfast every morning for good nutrition basics. Even if you are eating a bowl of cereal or you are enjoying a glass of juice, taking five minutes will encourage better eating habits.

Nutrition for your child’s health

Healthy beginnings start with fruits, vegetables and good portions of meats. The food pyramid is going to be important in the early stages of life so that your child will learn to eat many types of foods, and not only the foods they like the taste and looks of. Giving your child many options in life will help them pick foods that are better for them in the long run. Healthy children are not going to eat burgers and fries for every meal, but they will have a well-rounded life with nutrition builders such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and variations of these builders.

Teaching good habits for your child’s nutrition awareness will start with reading labels. Learn about what preservatives and additives are in some of the foods you are eating, and then talk about these with your child as they grow. Include foods that are all natural, or that contain very little preservatives for a solid start in their understanding of nutrition.

Be patient

Don’t try to force your children to eat if they refuse to finish their meal. By creating drama in the kitchen, you set a bad tone for the future. Kids will automatically think of mealtime as a negative experience and will only become more reluctant when it comes to eating. Be persistent by offering a variety of foods along with those you know they like. As new foods become familiar, your children will be more likely to try them.

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By Dhames Wary Karthiges

Baby Feeding Options for the Working Mother

Significant events in the 20th century resulted in changes in family dynamics. War, technological advances, and shifts in economics caused women to work outside of the home. Women traditionally stayed at home to take care of the home and the needs of the children. While initially many people scoffed at the idea of a woman leaving her children while she worked, it served the purpose of additional money coming into the household. Nowadays, people seldom give the idea of women working outside the home a second thought. There are, however, some issues that working mothers still need to handle when they make this choice.

With the addition of labor-related laws, it is now possible for women to bear children and return to work. However, managing common bonding activities such as breastfeeding can often take creative strategies. A woman could easily start her baby on formula and return to work without any hassles. However, there are many advantages of breastfeeding. The mother is able to pass on essential nutrients to her baby, it creates a bond between the mother and baby, the mother can lose the extra weight she gained during pregnancy, and it’s inexpensive. When a woman works outside the home, she has to contemplate how she intends her baby to be fed. At one time the only choice for working mothers was to feed the baby formula. The introduction of breast pumps has made it possible for mothers to experience the benefits associated with breastfeeding while continuing to work.

There are essentially two types of breast pumps: manual and electrical/battery-operated. The difference between the two breast pumps is in how the mother’s milk is extracted. Breast pumps are designed to extract milk from a mother’s breast using the same cycle of motion as when the baby is feeding. A manual breast pump involves the mother using some type of control to dictate the cycles. A breast pump that operates on electrical or battery power performs the cycles automatically, however, the mother is typically able to specify the speed of the suction cycle. Determining the best breast pump is a matter of the mother considering her personal situation. It is a good idea to use factors such as cost, the availability of an electrical outlet, and portability to determine the best breast pump for your situation.

When choosing to buy a breast pump, you will discover there are numerous manufacturers. Medela is by far the most recognized name in breast pumps. This company, which originates from Switzerland, brought to the forefront the issue of working mothers being able to provide milk for their babies when they were away from home. Like most products, Medela offers a full line of products that feature product options for different situations. For example, the Medela classic offers breast pumps for situations when a mother requires frequent or infrequent pumping. With more than 10 product offerings, you should have no problem finding the breast pump for your particular situation.

Other reputable companies that provide breast pumps and other breastfeeding products include Ameda, Whittlestone, Whisper Wear, and Avent.

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By Nicky Pilkington

Feeding Your Baby, A Parent’s Job and a Baby’s Job

Feeding a baby just starting out on solid foods is not just your job; your child has a major role in this as well. Feeding will be easier, more interesting and more nutritionally and emotionally satisfying if you follow your baby’s lead. Don’t worry about them needing to eat a certain amount of a certain food at a certain time of day. By carefully observing your child you will soon become quite good at realizing when they are hungry and when they have had enough to eat. New eaters won’t eat much at first as they are becoming accustomed to new textures and tastes. Most of their nutritional needs are still being met from breast milk or formula. Closer to 1 year of age your baby’s solid food intake will expand in quantity and variety. Then their nutritional needs can be met by the solid foods. Use the list below to keep feeding focused on your baby’s needs, not yours. Mindfully observe your child, let them do their jobs and you do yours.

Baby eating baby food (blended green beans)

Baby eating baby food (blended green beans) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parent’s Concerns 
  1. Choose appropriately textured foods
  2. Choose 1-2 foods, if rejected- meal is over
  3. Baby strapped in high chair
  4. (Hold baby in lap for beginner eaters)
  5. Keep baby upright to avoid choking
  6. Have baby face forward, looking at you
  7. Talk calmly to baby, don’t entertain
  8. No toys, TV, games
  9. Allow baby to explore food
  10. Use spoon or let baby self feed, or both
  11. Follow baby’s lead for hunger and satiety
  12. Follow baby’s lead for tempo of eating

Baby’s Choice 

  1. How much to eat, by signaling fullness
  2. Whether they eat or not, whether they open their mouth or not
  3. Paying attention to each spoonful
  4. Touching food in dish or spoon
  5. Set tempo for feeding
  6. Self feed if they want, with which ever hand or both

How Often to Feed 

  1. Offer solids once per day until 2 tablespoons is consumed, then increase to two feedings per day
  2. When that feeding reaches 2 tablespoons, add another feeding
  3. Continue until you are feeding 4-6 times a day
  4. Formula or breast milk can be fed with or separate from solids
  5. Where to Feed
  6. At the table and in a baby safe chair
  7. In an adult’s lap
  8. Never feed in a reclining position
  9. Watch your baby carefully the next time you feed them or share a meal

The newest solid food eaters are usually willing to let a parent feed them, but many want to touch the food and/or spoon before it gets to their mouth. This being impolite behavior for an adult, we stop this action. But remember that this whole experience, sitting in a chair, having a spoon move toward your mouth, having something solid in your mouth, and having new taste is all novel.

Of course babies want to examine the food before they let it in. So let your baby check out the situation. Let them know that now they will be eating in a chair just for them. Show them the spoon, without food, let them mouth it. Then tell them that you are helping them learn to eat. Try not to push their inquisitive hands back to their laps. Put some food on their tray and let them explore. While this is happening, offer a small spoon of food by putting the food up to their mouth. If they are ready, they will open their mouth. Their table manners will conform to societal norms as their coordination develops and they start to observe others eat.

Each baby experiences foods in their own way. Some babies will grimace, some will smile, and others will look surprised or excited. However your baby reacts, don’t read meaning into it. When your baby is done chewing, offer another bite. Keep this up until they show you that they are done exploring and eating. As your baby becomes accustomed to foods, they will not need to explore as much. But they will probably still want to use their hands, and/or try to use the spoon to self feed. They want to do it themselves and are very proud of this accomplishment. So your job is to sit back, smile and let them know, “I see you can feed yourself.”

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By Beverly Pressey

How To Start Baby Feeding Schedule

Parents are often faced with a challenge with all the decisions that are involved in taking care of their baby. As a parent, there are few points you should always remember, as you start creating a baby feeding schedule. Before your baby’s 6th month of life, it is ideal to decide ahead on what your baby should eat. According to experts, most health care providers’ recommend that you provide your baby only breast or formula milk for the first four to six months.

 Four To Six Months

To start, you should focus with your baby taking food from spoon and swallowing, as they have begun eating solid foods under the guidance of your paediatrician. You can continue breast or formula feeding plus semi-liquid iron fortified rice cereal then gradually move to other grain cereals.

Six To Eight Months

At this time, you can introduce new foods to your baby and this is the best time to check for allergies. If your child becomes allergic, you can immediately eliminate the food in his diet. This is also the best time to schedule your baby’s meal in breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can feed him same as with 4 to 6 months plus pureed or strained fruits like banana and peaches and strained or pureed vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and squash.

Eight To Twelve Months

As your baby continues to develop, you can start to add more variety of foods. A ten-month-old baby is able to eat foods from your own plate as long as you can mash them. And once your babe reaches twelve months, he can eat almost anything that is not hard for him to chew or swallow and is easily digestible. You can feed him same as with six to eight months plus soft, bite-sized biscuits, macaroni, cheese, egg, strained meats, small pieces of ripe fruits, soft-cooked vegetables and non-citrus fruit juices.

Tips To Start Solid Foods

• You can introduce solid foods sometime between four to six months if you can see your baby showing signs of being ready and can eat from a spoon.

• Make a record to figure out the best time to feed your infant solids, for example before, after, or at a divided time from formula or breastfeeding.

• In most cases, an iron fortified rice cereal is the first solid food that your baby should eat. And continue to try on other cereals, like oatmeal, and then slowly introduce strained fruits, vegetables and lastly, meat.

 • Gradually introduce the food to check for food allergies, do it by giving one food at a time, take note of the ingredient, and wait three to four days before introducing another.

• Use a teaspoon first or smaller than that when you are first introducing solid foods and the gradually shift to a tablespoon or more as your baby grows and tolerate eating solid foods.

• Consult your health care provider if your baby won’t eat any solid foods by the time he is seven to 8 months.

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By Lynn Shannon M Bailey