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Nutrition

Behind Their Bite: When is “Picky Eating” Something More?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Behind Their Bite: When is Picky Eating Something More?

Everyone knows one, has one or was one – a picky eater. The logic behind why a child does or does not eat something is difficult to understand. Sometimes picky eating is as simple as a food being too bitter or too bland. Other times, it can be more complex. I like to remind parents that it can take anywhere from 10-15 tries before a taste becomes likable or even familiar. Coffee is a great example. The first time you tried it, I bet it wasn’t your favorite food. But over time — and early wake ups, dance recitals, baseball practice, carpool, swim lessons and potty training — it probably holds a pretty significant place in your heart (and your sanity). Introducing new foods to picky eaters Introduce a new food with old foods and favorite foods (example: mac and cheese with broccoli) Consider “taste-ability.” Crunchy, sweet, good-looking foods will […]

Fueling Your Growing Athlete, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Fueling Your Growing Athlete

It’s back to school time, and for some families, this may mean the start of a new sports season as well. The challenge with young athletes is meeting their nutritional needs for growth, while fueling them with the right types and amounts of food for lasting energy during practice and games. The goal is to eat in preparation for exercise, rather than from a depletion in nutrients after exercise. Here are a few tips for fueling your growing athlete. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are found in foods like pasta, rice, bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. They are the body’s preferred source of energy during a workout. During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and used immediately for energy, while some of this sugar is stored in the muscles or liver for later use. Carbohydrates should provide about half of your child’s caloric intake. Limit simple carbohydrates like chips and sweets, […]

Sugar Versus Added Sugar, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Sugar versus Added Sugar

Sugar tends to be a hot topic in the world of nutrition. It’s important to realize sugar can be a natural part of the food we eat. For example, lactose in milk and fructose in fruit are considered natural sugars. But sugar also implies added sources that tend to be in most of our packaged foods and beverages, with the key word here being “added.” One challenge with our current food label is there is no way to distinguish natural sugar from added sugar unless you review the ingredient list. It’s hard to believe, but there are over 60 terms for added sugar that are approved for use by the FDA. Some common labels for added sugars (besides sugar) include honey, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, and glucose. Other labels for sugar you might see and not recognize include barley malt, maltose, and buttered syrup. Where do most sources […]

Is Organic Food Healthier?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Is Organic Food Healthier?

Let’s play a game. When I say “organic,” you say the first words that come to mind. Ready…Organic! Okay, let’s check your answers. Did you say something like healthy, nutritious, clean, natural, expensive, and/or safe? These are common words used when we talk about organic versus non-organic foods. But is this always the case? Is all organic food healthier, cleaner, more expensive and safe? Before we fully answer this question (spoiler alert: the short answer is no), let’s breakdown what it means when food is “organic.” What is Organic Food? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certifies and labels certain foods as organic if they are produced “using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics.” Pesticides and antibiotics are used to extend shelf life in the grocery store, reduce plant spoilage and mutation, and prevent illness in livestock. They are GRAS, or […]

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 […]

A Garden Grows a Healthy Child - Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

A Garden Grows a Healthy Child

A garden is a place of mystery, adventure, collaboration and accomplishment. It’s a place to learn about our environment and where natural, whole foods come from. It’s where children can laugh and play while developing valuable social and cognitive skills for a brighter future. If your child has never been introduced to gardening before, these are just a few reasons to start. Children Who Help in the Garden May Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. Research has shown that children engaged in gardening projects may eat more fruits and vegetables, become more knowledgeable about nutrition, and continue healthy eating habits into adulthood. Gardening can also improve social skills, behavior, academic achievement in math and science, and attitude towards the environment.  With all of these positive outcomes, let’s dig in! Below are some ideas adapted from kidseatright.org to help you and your young one get started. Involve kids in every step of […]

Gestational Diabetes and Diet: How the Right Foods Can Help | Armando Fuentes, MD | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health

Gestational Diabetes and Diet: How the Right Foods Can Help

You probably know someone who’s had gestational diabetes mellitus, or may have been diagnosed yourself. By any measure, it’s not rare. It’s estimated that about 200,000 cases of gestational diabetes—a condition that’s marked by glucose intolerance in pregnancy—occur every year. In fact, gestational diabetes may be present in up to 9.2% of all pregnancies. But the fact that gestational diabetes is pretty common doesn’t make it any easier to live with—especially when you’re dealing with all the other challenges of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs when hormones from the placenta block the action of the insulin that the mother’s body produces. Insulin’s job is to help the body transform glucose in the bloodstream into useable energy. When the body can’t make or use insulin properly, glucose builds up in the blood, causing higher blood glucose levels that can be dangerous for a mother with diabetes and her baby. Women with gestational diabetes mellitus […]

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know

Prebiotics and probiotics are likely words that you’ve come across while reading a magazine, watching the news, or browsing the supplement aisle at the store. But do you know what they actually are or what they do? Prebiotics and probiotics have been recognized through nutrition research as “functional foods.” Simply put, “functional foods” provide benefits that may improve health, wellbeing, and/or reduce risk of disease. An example of a functional food is live-culture yogurt that contains probiotics and prebiotics. Many supplement manufacturer utah companies make probiotics and other supplements that are a source of these “functional foods.” Though keep in mind that this is not the only way to incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics can easily be incorporated into your daily diet with a variety of natural, everyday food sources. In fact, your body is often better able to absorb and digest the prebiotics and […]

National Nutrition Month: Put Your Best Fork Forward, by Michelle Reed, RD, CSP, LDN | Promise, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

National Nutrition Month: Put Your Best Fork Forward

March is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is Put Your Best Fork Forward, emphasizing that a healthy diet is the sum of many individual healthy choices. Revamping your family’s diet may sound daunting. But by focusing on small healthy choices you’ll be eating better with ease! Focus on Fruits and Vegetables Add fruit to your breakfast routine. Top cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, or peanut butter toast with banana slices or berries. Whip up a quick smoothie with frozen fruit, skim milk, and a tablespoon of almond butter. In need of a quick breakfast? For quick mix-and-match breakfast options, stock the kitchen with on-the-go fruit options (like bananas, apples, and pears) and portable snacks (like peanut butter crackers, whole grain granola bars, and cheese sticks). Make vegetables your go-to-snack. Pair sliced raw vegetables with hummus, cheese, guacamole, or a Greek-yogurt-based ranch dressing. Go meatless on Mondays. By taking a […]

Ingredient Swaps for a Healthier Holiday Meal, by Jaclyn Constantino, RD, LDN, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Ingredient Swaps for Healthier Holiday Meals

It’s no secret that traditional holiday recipes contain high amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar — three ingredients that can be harmful to our health when consumed in excess. These are also ingredients that can be easily substituted with healthier alternatives. Try some healthy holiday makeovers by using the following ingredient swaps to improve the nutritional quality of your favorite holiday meals, snacks and desserts. Saturated Fat Use low-fat or skim milk in place of whole milk or heavy cream. Choose baking, grilling or steaming as your cooking method instead of frying. Use equal parts of applesauce (no sugar added) instead of butter in baking. Use Greek yogurt to replace or decrease the amount of oil, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, heavy cream and buttermilk. Use vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil, in place of butter for a healthier fat source. Salt Choose low-sodium, reduced-sodium or no-salt-added products such as […]

Portion Control: 10 Tips for Enjoying Holiday Dining, by Marlene Rafferty, RD, LDN, Promise, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Portion Control: 10 Tips for Enjoying Holiday Dining

The holiday season is ready to kick in to high gear. For many families this can mean family functions and friendly get-togethers. And that, of course, will include lots of amazing food and beverages. The abundance of treats and savory dishes can feel overwhelming and portion control can be difficult. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) reports that Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. Don’t Deprive Yourself: Enjoy in Moderation As a registered dietitian, I often hear parents’ concerns about trying to control food intake during social events. Eating in moderation is something we should practice and teach our kids every day, including the holidays! Portion control and moderation is critical to weight management. It allows you to enjoy all food without the guilt or weight gain, unlike dieting which can leave you feeling deprived. Below are 10 tips to help you and […]

Coffee and Kids: Keep the Caffeine in Check, by Kate Cronan, MD, Promise, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Coffee and Kids: Keep the Caffeine in Check

On these cool autumn days, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a fresh cup of hot coffee. And with fall comes the bevy of tantalizing flavors – pumpkin, spice, caramel, and more – to liven up our morning cup of joe. Many of us even get combination CBD Bulk coffee wholesale to help us have high energy levels with less amounts of stress. But these tasty treats aren’t just being consumed by adults. More and more, I’m seeing teenagers enjoying coffee – and the caffeine that goes with it – on a regular basis. Coffee and kids: Is this a good idea? A 2010 survey of 11,400 teenage students by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that: 15% of high school students drank a serving of coffee, coffee drink, or any kind of tea every day. 24% were also drinking regular soda daily. More than 16% drank […]

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