Jennifer Lester MS, RD, CSP, LDN, CNSC, Author at Nemours Blog

Jennifer Lester MS, RD, CSP, LDN, CNSC

Breastfeeding and COVID

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for a newborn. It contains the right amount of nutrients, immune-boosting antibodies, and is easily digested. Babies who are breastfed tend to have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation, less reflux, more protection against ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma, and a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  The benefits of breast milk seem to be endless. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to start breastfeeding as early as one hour after birth and to continue exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. They also recommend continuing breastfeeding even after solid foods are introduced, until at least 1 year of age.  Can You Breastfeeding If Positive for COVID-19? But what if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19? Is it safe to start or continue breastfeeding? While there are still so many unknowns when it comes to coronavirus, it’s widely known that you can spread COVID-19 to your infant through tiny […]

Choosing the Best Yogurt for Kids

Choosing the Best Yogurt for Kids

A walk down the yogurt aisle can be overwhelming to say the least.  There is Greek, French-style, Icelandic, drinkable, squeezable, organic, fruit on the bottom, whipped, non-GMO, and dairy free. Supermarkets may have up to 500 different varieties of yogurt on the shelves. So which is the best yogurt for kids?  What is yogurt? According to the FDA, yogurt is defined as a fermented dairy product.  It is derived from the fermentation of milk by two species of bacterial cultures, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.  Other cultures such as Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, or different species of bifidobacteria may be added for taste, texture, or for their probiotic properties.  There is no FDA standard for plant-based yogurts, which may be fermented using S thermophilus and L bulgaricus.1  Live cultures are living organisms which change milk into yogurt during fermentation. Some yogurts are heat-treated after fermentation and most, if not all, of the […]

Which Cereals and Bars are Best for Kids?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Which Cereals and Bars are Best for Kids?

A trip to the grocery store can quickly become overwhelming once you turn the corner and head down the aisle with cereals and bars. You could easily end up leaving the store empty handed in frustration. Cereals and bars for kids are an easy alternative for a quick meal or a snack. With so many options, how do you know if what you are buying is the best and healthiest one?  In 2018 the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report stating that food additives are particularly harmful to children since their metabolic systems are still developing. These chemicals may disrupt endocrine function, delay puberty, cause weight gain and trigger insulin resistance. Because of all these risks, it is important to choose cereals and bars that emphasize organic and natural ingredients.  Bars: The “bar” market is not just limited to granola bars. There are protein, fiber, and nut bars all […]

Vitamin D: Is your baby getting enough?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Vitamin D: Is Your Baby Getting Enough?

Vitamin D helps to ensure that our bodies absorb and retain calcium and phosphorous, which are both needed for building strong bones. The need for vitamin D begins even before a baby is born; insufficient intake can put an infant’s bone development at risk. Why is Vitamin D so Essential? Severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to nutritional rickets, which can cause softened and weakened bones. This disease is most often seen in children younger than 2 years of age. Because recent studies have shown that most infants in the United States have not been consuming enough vitamin D, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that all infants have a minimum intake of 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per day beginning soon after birth. How Does the Body Get Vitamin D? Vitamin D can be obtained in two ways: first, from the foods we eat; and […]

Nutrition 411: Introducing Solid Foods from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

Nutrition 411: Introducing Solid Foods

Starting your baby on solid foods can feel daunting for any new parent. Hopefully these answers to a few frequently asked questions will help prepare you and your little one for the big transition. Question: When can my baby start solid food? Answer: Babies can have an upset stomach, gas, pain and constipation if their digestive tract isn’t ready for solids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months of a baby’s life. After that, they recommend that moms continue to breastfeed and introduce complementary foods until their infants are at least 12 months old. After baby’s first birthday, you can keep on breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby desire. Before starting solids, babies should be able to hold their heads up, sit with support, open their mouths when offered food, and be able to move semi-solid food from the front […]

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