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Nutrition

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 […]

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 […]

Healthy Portion Size for Kids

“There are starving children around the world and you are going to leave that food on your plate?” How many of you heard this growing up? I certainly did.   It’s basically parenting 101, right? And it comes from a genuine place. You spend money and time preparing food for your family; you don’t want that to go to waste! Not to mention, it’s hard to know how much a child should be eating in a day. Here are some tips that should help encourage a healthy portion size for your kids!  Serving Size Versus Portion Size Before we jump into healthy portion sizes for kids, let’s first break down the difference between a portion size and a serving size. A serving size is a specific measurement of food. Often expressed in cups, tablespoons and grams, the most common example is the Nutrition Facts Label found on the back of […]

Family Meals Means a Healthy Family, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Family Meals Mean a Healthy Family

Do you have one (or several) picky eaters on your hands? As parents, we’ve all been there. If you’re concerned about what your child does or doesn’t eat, the solution to your mealtime woes could be as close as your kitchen table. Benefits of Family Meals Family meals provide a multitude of benefits like: allowing parents to act as role models helping to create a supportive environment that promotes healthy eating teaching children about proper nutrition. Children of families who regularly eat together are also less likely to be obese, exhibit behavior problems, or use drugs and alcohol as they get older. Plus, they’re closer with their parents, which is always a good thing! Plan Ahead! Meal planning can make getting meals to the table much easier. But you might be asking yourself “Where do I begin?” or “How can I do it when I juggle so many other things?” […]

6 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season, Powered by Nermours Children's Health System

6 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for fun and family, but they can also be hectic and even unhealthy. Check out the following tips to help your kids (and yourself!) make good choices for a safe and healthy holiday season. 1. Get Up and Get Active Kids get most of their physical activity during school and at after-school activities. While they’re off on the holidays, they run the risk of being tied to digital devices, video games or the television. And although they deserve some off time and to celebrate like anyone else, there are lots of ways they can get physical activity during their time off from school. Consider the following: Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (one hour) or more of physical activity each day. That includes aerobic activity (like brisk walking or running), muscle strengthening (like gymnastics or push-ups), and bone strengthening (like jumping rope or running). […]

Is Your Child a Picky Eater?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Is Your Child a Picky Eater?

It’s very common for parents to have concerns regarding their child’s eating habits. Picky eating is typical for many children, but parents are always looking for ways to offer new foods and improve their child’s nutrition. Here are some ways to encourage your picky eater to help build a balanced diet. Is My Child a Picky Eater? Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders* Picky Eaters Eat a limited variety of foods, but have around 30 foods they will accept Lose interest in a certain food for a period of time, but accept it again after a few weeks Tolerate a new food on the plate, even if they don’t eat it Eat at least one food from most textures (i.e. crunchy, puree) Able to eat at table with family, even if a separate meal Take in enough calories a day for growth and nutrition Sometimes reported by parent as “picky eater” […]

Smart Grocery Shopping Tips, powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Smart Grocery Shopping Tips

Save time and money with these helpful grocery shopping tips! Plan Ahead Before going to the store, it is helpful to have a plan. This will help reduce the amount of time and money spent at the super market. Create a menu Write out meal ideas for each day of the week to help with planning and organization. This will help you decide what you need from the store. Consider writing this menu on a calendar or chalkboard. You do not have to create the menu alone! Ask family members to assistance in selecting meals and recipes. This will make everyone happy, as it gives each person the opportunity to suggest some of their favorite items. Having a “meal plan” for the week helps to limit frequency of dining out or ordering in. Cooking at home can be healthier and more cost effective. Plan to have a fruit or vegetable […]

Eating During Pregnancy: 5 "Go" and "No" Tips, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Eating During Pregnancy: 5 “Go” and “No” Tips

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can be a struggle for all of us. But it can be even more so for a woman who now has all the dietary restrictions that come along with pregnancy! Looking after your health and diet when you’re pregnant is extremely important because it’s not just your own body you’re providing for anymore. This is why so many women go to a Naturopath Kingston to help them learn more about how they can improve their diet and their pregnancy health because they’re so conscious about their baby’s development. So, now we know how important the diet is, let’s review the major “go’s” and “no’s” of eating during pregnancy. Protein GO Protein is an important building block for many body parts/organs in your body including bone, cartilage, blood, and muscles. In general, it is recommended we get 71 grams of protein daily. Good sources of protein […]

Introducing the New Food Label, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Introducing the New Food Label

In May of 2016, after more than 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the requirements for an updated new food label. The purpose of this change is to reflect new scientific data. This includes the relationship between diet and chronic conditions such as obesity and heart disease, current eating patterns, and–perhaps most importantly–to make it easier for the public to understand nutrition labels and make informed decisions when choosing foods. What is Changing in the Food Label? There is a lot that has changed! Here’s what those changes include: Increase in the font size of the words “Calories,” “Servings per container,” and “Serving size.” Bolding of the word “Calories” and “Serving size.” By law, the serving size must reflect amounts that people actually eat or drink. For this reason, there will be a change in the standard serving size of certain foods, including: Ice cream will […]

Meal Planning to Go Further With Food, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

National Nutrition Month – Meal Planning to Go Further with Food

March is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food,” emphasizing a healthy diet while stretching your grocery budget and minimizing food waste. With a little meal planning and preparation, your family can enjoy a variety of delicious, healthy, and affordable meals all week long. Plan Ahead Planning meals and snacks in advance will make your grocery trip quicker, easier, and more effective. All you need are two breakfasts and two lunches to alternate through the week along with three or four dinners. Overwhelmed by the idea of planning a healthy meal? Don’t sweat it! Keep it simple by focusing on making sure you have three important foods on your plate: a protein source, a starchy vegetable or whole grain, and something colorful (fruit or a vegetable). Need inspiration? Start with the grocery store’s weekly circular. It will stir ideas that are also budget-friendly, a win win! […]

Mindful Eating, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Mindful Eating

Why do we eat? While there are many answers to this question, one of the most important reasons for eating is to nourish our bodies. Think of your body as a car. Cars need gas to drive us to our destinations. Gas is the fuel that allows cars to function, and without it they cannot run. Like cars, our body will not run, or run well, without proper fuel in the form of food. What is Mindful Eating? Put simply, mindful eating is the act of paying attention to your food choices, how you are eating, and how your body feels when eating. Paying attention to your body begins with listening to the signals it displays before a meal. Hunger signals may include any of the following: growling stomach, low energy, irritability, maybe feeling lightheaded. Listening for these cues can help prevent us from eating out of emotions such as […]

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