Nutrition Archives - Nemours Blog

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Nutrition

A Healthy Spin on Comfort Food

A Healthy Spin on Comfort Food

As the fall and winter seasons are upon us, so are the celebrations and comfort food that follows. How can we add to our favorite comfort foods for a fun and balanced holiday season? Check out these helpful tips on how to get the most out of your favorite dishes. Include proteins into your favorite dishes. Try adding a protein source like pulled chicken or ground turkey to macaroni and cheese for added satisfaction and strong muscles. In substitution of sour cream, try Greek yogurt for added protein and calcium. Hidden veggies can keep our favorite foods enjoyable AND provide the micronutrients our bodies need to be strong. Try these recipes for your next holiday meal: Mix pureed cauliflower into mashed potatoes for a light and creamy side dish. Add shredded zucchini to a meatloaf mixture for a moist, flavorful slice. Incorporate whole grains into your favorite treats. Here are […]

Keeping Summer Meals on Schedule

Keeping Summer Meals on Schedule

Summertime – sometimes synonymous with camp, vacations, sleeping in, relaxing outside in the sun, spending time with friends and family, and having a break from school. During these months, sticking to a meal schedule can be difficult when a child’s day-to-day schedule may be changing. It may be a challenge to keep kids on a schedule and ensure they are fueling their bodies for all the summer activities they are interested in. Here are some tips and tricks that will keep your summer meals on schedule! Plan Ahead Every week or every other week sit down with the members of your household and brainstorm some meals for the coming weeks. This will get kids involved in meal choices and encourage trying new foods. Plus, organizing ahead of time will take some of the stress away from the person responsible for planning, shopping, and preparing food. Meal planning options: Keep cut […]

Navigating Early Picky Eating Concerns

Navigating Early Picky Eating Concerns

Who recalls the joy and excitement of their baby gobbling up all sorts of messy foods? One of my favorite photos of my son is him at 7 months old with a yogurt beard. As parents and caregivers we often work so diligently in those early introductions of solids — whether it’s spoon fed purees or baby led weaning. But something tends to shift in those toddler years. Our little ones have more awareness of hunger and satisfaction cues and their preferences for flavors emerge. We often see children start refusing those previously accepted foods and showing a liking for specific foods. It can be daunting not to comment on our child’s negative responses to food or trying to persuade them to “just take a bite.” Listed below are some tips to help you navigate these picky eating behaviors. Understand Hierarchy of Feeding Ellyn Satter, a dietitian who is recognized […]

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 […]

Food Prep During Extended Stays at Home

Food Prep During Extended Stays at Home

As the country tries to re-open amidst this global pandemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still encouraging people to stay home to help minimize the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Are you struggling to keep your pantry and fridge stocked? It’s easy to make the most of your grocery store orders, whether shopping at the store or ordering online, it just takes a bit of planning and meal preparation in some form. This may mean simply stocking up on food essentials on taking the time to plan family meals. Stock Your Shelves, But Do Not Hoard No matter what works best for your family, what is important is that you do what you can to have about two weeks’ worth of food at home (per U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommendation). Below are some tips for food shopping during this unusual time. Check what you already have. […]

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Are They Safe for Kids?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Are They Safe for Kids?

What is the difference between vegetarian and vegan diets? Vegan and vegetarian diets are primarily plant-based, meaning all meals consist mostly of plant foods including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, with little to no animal products. A person following a vegetarian diet may consume limited types of animal products. There are many types of vegetarian diets: Lacto-vegetarian: consumes dairy; does not eat meat, poultry, eggs or fish Ovo-vegetarian: consumes eggs; does not eat meat, poultry, dairy or fish Lacto-ovo vegetarian: consumes dairy and eggs; does not eat meat, poultry or fish Pescatarian: consumes fish; does not eat meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs A person following a vegan diet does not consume any animal products including meats, dairy, eggs, and seafood. This diet sometimes excludes honey and gelatin as well, depending on the individual’s decision. Why do people choose to follow plant-based diets? There are several reasons why someone may […]

Keep MyPlate in Mind for the Holidays

Keep MyPlate in Mind for the Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate traditions with family and friends. But it can also be a tricky time, when we veer off track from our health goals at various social events with all of the delicious food and beverages. Keeping Myplate in mind around the holidays is a helpful way to control portions while still enjoying your family traditions. MyPlate reminds us to make: half of the plate fruits and vegetables a quarter of the plate include protein and the other quarter to include grains or a starchy vegetable. How to Stay on Track During the Holidays Snacks: Consider having a healthy snack before you leave for that holiday gathering. Your snack should include a fiber and protein source so it is guaranteed to help you feel fuller, longer. This will also help with portion control and ensure you are still satisfying your holiday cravings and […]

Healthy Snacking

Healthy Snacking

Snacks can be a part of a healthy diet. Think of snacks as a little bridge from meal to meal, especially if meals are consumed longer than four hours apart. Snacks may not always be necessary every day, or between every meal. Aim to limit no more than 2-3 snacks per day, and be sure that healthy snacking is only offered/consumed at appropriate times.  Pair Protein and Fiber Pairing protein and fiber-rich foods can help fill your child up. The term “satiated” is used to define the feeling of fullness or no longer feeling hungry. To improve satiety, be sure to offer one protein item or one fiber item. Or consider offering a combination of the two.  Protein sources include: dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt nuts and seeds beans eggs meat fish Fiber sources include: fruits vegetables whole grains such as whole grain crackers, granola or a […]

Seasonal Eating: Fall and Winter Produce

Seasonal Eating: Fall and Winter Produce

Typically the idea of eating fresh fruits and vegetables seems easiest in the spring and summer when farm stands and markets are more accessible. Thankfully the fall and winter months provide a bountiful amount of fresh fruits and vegetables with many nutritional benefits. Examples of fall and winter produce: Fruit apples cranberries grapes pears pumpkin clementines grapefruit kiwi pomegranate oranges Vegetables beets broccoli brussel sprouts cabbage carrots cauliflower celery collard greens kale mushrooms onions parsnips potatoes radishes sweet potatoes and yams winter squash Benefits Fruits and vegetables provide ample amounts of dietary fiber along with specific vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Notably Vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables really shine in the cooler months. Pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots all contain this essential vitamin. Vitamin A plays a critical role for our eye health & immune system. When choosing seasonal produce, you are making not only a […]

Breaking Down the Nutritional Breakdown of Milk Varieties

Breaking Down the Nutritional Breakdown of Milk Varieties

When making a trip to the grocery store, milk is usually a staple on the shopping list. Over the years, milk has started to take up more and more real estate in the grocery store as different varieties have become available. A quick scan of the milk aisle can lead to confusion and curiosity about what milk should be chosen for your child. Gone are the days when cow’s milk was the only option! In general, milk varieties can be broken down into two main categories: dairy (cow’s) milk and dairy-free alternatives. However, not all dairy-free alternatives are nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk. Being familiar with the nutritional impact of changing to a dairy-free beverage helps to ensure that your child is still getting all of the nutrition that is provided from cow’s milk. What is the difference? Cow’s milk provides several important nutrients, including protein, fat, vitamin D, and […]

The Importance of Iron

The Importance of Iron

What is iron? Iron is a nutrient found in many proteins in the body. This includes hemoglobin, which is responsible for the transport of oxygen to tissues throughout the body for metabolism. Iron also supports brain and nerve development in infants and children.  How much iron does my child need? What foods contain iron? Meat, poultry, pork, fish Tofu Dried beans and peas Dried fruits (raisins, apricots) Dark leafy green vegetables Iron-fortified breakfast cereals, breads, and pastas Peanuts, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts There are two forms of iron in the diet: heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is in animal products including meat, pork, fish, and poultry and is the most easily absorbed form of iron for the body. Nonheme iron is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. However, nonheme iron is not completely absorbed by the body. Its absorption may be enhanced when […]

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Kids?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Kids?

Most Americans consume some form of an artificial sweeter daily. This type of sugar substitute can used in a variety of packaged products from low-calorie flavored drinks to light flavored yogurts. The benefit of using artificial sweeteners is to help reduce the amount of added sugar in a product, which will also lower the total calories. A concern for parents and caregivers tends to be:  are they safe for children? Let’s breakdown some facts. What are artificial sweeteners and how are they regulated? Artificial sweeteners are known to give a more concentrated sweet taste to food and beverages. If using sugar substitutes at home it’s best to use less than you would of regular sugar.  Artificial Sweeteners are made by some means of chemical processing. They are high intensity sweeteners and tend to be hundreds of times sweeter than regular table sugar. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes an […]

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