Category Archives: Health Guide

Molly’s Favorite Feeding Facts!

I love sharing my favorite feeding facts! There are so many old wives’ tales about food that are outdated or untrue. The more you know as a parent, the better prepared you will be to help your little one succeed! Some of the facts that I am going to share are part of the SOS Approach to Feeding, developed by Dr. Kay Toomey, PhD. It is important to note that if you believe that your child is having difficulties during mealtime, you should reach out to your pediatrician for suggestions or referrals.

FACT: Kids Need To Play With Their Food!

Kids learn best through play! Play is a multisensory and enjoyable experience that will lead to greater acceptance of new foods. It is important for children to feel, see, hear and smell foods before tasting them. When we introduce food through play, our tiny friends feel safe, confident and excited! You should continue to expose your child to food during play, even if they are not ready to taste it yet. I love cooking together and pretend play.
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Why Fresh Baby Food Matters

The first 2 years of your baby’s life are the most critical time to ensure they are getting the right nutrition to support their rapid growth and development.

However, the current baby food options are falling short. The baby food industry is falling so far behind in innovation and quality of ingredients that we as parents are forced to choose between dedicating hours to prepare the meals or feed your baby food that is older than they are, and may contain GMOs and harmful chemicals.

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What you should know about Prenatal and Postnatal vitamins

About to expect a baby or just had a newborn? Chances are you’ll soon start looking for a prenatal or postnatal vitamin pack to get the nutrients the both of you need for good health. A healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs, however even if you are eating healthy, you may fall short on some key nutrients – which is where supplements come in.

During breastfeeding, your body needs more of all the nutrients that a well-balanced diet can offer. Taking prenatal vitamins even after pregnancy is a recommended option. They work well as postnatal vitamins, since your breast milk will continue to provide important nutrients for your baby. Make sure your supplements include essential nutrients such as folic acid, iron, Vitamin D, fish oil, and calcium.

How long should you take prenatal vitamins for?

It’s best to take prenatal vitamins throughout your entire pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may suggest continuing to take prenatal vitamins after the baby is born — especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Which specific nutrients are recommended during the postnatal period?

  • PRENATAL VITAMINS: Continuing to take prenatals while breastfeeding is a good way to provide nourishment for your baby. Most prenatal vitamins include around 20 crucial nutrients that help meet you and your baby’s nutritional needs. Be sure to look for fermented choline, methylfolate (a form of folic acid that can be more efficiently used by the body) and Vitamin 2, as some are not included in many prenatal formulations.

 

  • FISH OIL: Women tend to cut back on fish, a main source of omega-3s, during pregnancy or breastfeeding to avoid mercury. Fish oil is a great way to get these healthy fatty acids (such as DHA) which are necessary to maintain your cognitive health. These essential nutrients also support your little one’s brain health and nervous system.

 

  • CALCIUM: Some mothers are not getting the necessary levels of calcium from their regular diets (especially vegans and people who are lactose intolerant). Calcium supports your baby’s skeletal development and maintains your bone health. It’s important to keep your levels up with supplements, as the ability to absorb calcium decreases with age. Be sure to combine your calcium intake with vitamin D and K for better absorption.

 

Consider checking if your vitamins are gentle on the stomach! Some supplements are fermented with probiotics or yeast, making them easier to digest and less likely to cause nausea. We recommend you take them with a meal for optimal absorption.

If you’d like to get a postnatal or prenatal recommendation and your very own personalized daily vitamin pack delivered right to your door, try Care/of.

 

Types of Growth Formulas: Choosing the right one

Feeling a little overwhelmed? It’s common to stumble upon a wide range of information and therefore have many questions ranging from what to feed your child to when, where and how. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. There are many studies that back this up, if you wish to learn more about it click here. After the first year, you can start introducing solid foods or even growth formulas. But what should you look for when choosing it?

  1. Type: There are 3 main types of growth formula, either cow milk protein-based formula, soy-based formula or protein hydrolysate formula. You should consult your pediatrician when considering the type of growth formula since he or she may be informed of allergies and potential side effects for your little one regarding a specific type.
  2. Preparation: Growth formulas can be prepared using a powdered formula, concentrated liquid formula and ready-to-use formula. Choose the one that’s the most convenient for you and fits your current budget.
  3. Important components:
    1. Carbohydrates: One of the main sources of energy for your little one. Most growth formulas use some of the following carbohydrates: lactose, maltose, sucrose, glucose, maltodextrin, glucose syrup or dried glucose syrup.
    2. Probiotics and Prebiotics: They help the absorption of neuronutrients and strengthen the immune system of your little one.
    3. Vitamins: These are present in almost every growth formula, some of these vitamins include folic acid, thiamine (B1 vitamin), riboflavin (B2 vitamin), niacin (B3 vitamin), biotin and pantothenic acid.
    4. Iron: Essential mineral for the development of your little one since it is the one in charge of transporting oxygen in the blood. It is also the main producer of hemoglobin.     
    5. DHA: DHA is omega-3 fatty acid found naturally in certain foods like fish that aids in cognitive and visual development. Some growth formulas include this key ingredient.
    6. No Added Sugar: You will avoid modifying your child’s sweet food preferences and promote healthy habits.

When choosing a growth formula that contains some of the key ingredients we mentioned, such as Nestlé ® Excella Gold ®, make sure to talk to your pediatrician to know which may suit your child best.

Sources:

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/

Are pacifiers good or bad for babies?

Babies take everything to their mouths, from the smallest object they find to their own thumb, it is a stage where, through this activity, they discover the world. This primary reflex, which they use to adapt to their surroundings, is known as sucking. It is a way for them to calm down. Sucking is done in diverse situations: when they are sleepy, hungry, bored or nervous.

So, is it good or bad to give your baby a pacifier? The use of the pacifier has several advantages and disadvantages, which we are going to discuss next so you can keep them in mind when deciding whether or not to use it.

Pros

  • The use of the pacifier may decrease SIDS probability (sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby) when used during sleep.
  • It may relax your baby, reduce anxiety and help him or her calm down.
  • Reduces thumb suction time, which causes severe dental problems.
  • Its use can make any complicated situation such as air travel, blood tests, vaccines or injections much easier to take on.

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Fruit juice: New guidelines

Fruit juice is a popular drink among kids, and parents love them since they provide hydration and fruit servings (especially for picky eaters who reject whole fruits). But even though juice is natural and made from fruits, is it a drink that should be given freely without limits?

Fruit juice was allowed for consumption in moderation starting from 6 months of age on, but the American Academy of Pediatrics has just recently published a change in recommendations, suggesting new guidelines for juice consumption starting until after a year of age.

Juice consumption is notorious for filling children’s bellies and therefore replacing other solid foods or breastmilk/formula which babies need most. Although 100% fruit juice with no added sugar provides nutrients, it’s very high in sugar and low in fiber, putting children at risk for high-calorie consumption and tooth decay.

Whole fruit is always superior to juice, and if kids consume fruit, there is no need for fruit juice in their diets. Before age one, 100% fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for babies. Once children turn one they can consume some juice to complement a balanced diet but it should be limited according to their age. If you want to feed your baby fruit juice make sure to follow the recommendations below.

AAP juice consumption guidelines: Continue reading

The Benefits of Baby Massage

Give your baby some peace, here are 7 benefits of massaging your baby!

  1. Relieves pain caused by cramps, gas, constipation, and teething
  2. Lets your baby relax and reduces stress
  3. Interaction boosts verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  4. Stimulates and develops your baby’s nervous and immune system.
  5. Increases your baby’s self-esteem and helps him or her feel safe and loved.
  6. Your baby will fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
  7. Through touch, smiles, and hugs, your bond will strengthen.

How to give your baby a massage?
You can start massaging your baby to help strengthen his bones, muscles, and immune system, get him more active, get better sleep, relief colic pain, improve motor skills and enhance intellectual development! Continue reading

How to Cure Your Baby’s Hiccups

Everyone is familiar with hiccups. We have all experienced them from time to time. However, most first-time parents tend to worry when their newborns get hiccups. And they shouldn’t – hiccups are quite common in babies under one year old.

As a matter of fact, most parents may not know this, but their little one has probably been having hiccups since he was in the womb! Most likely starting around the 6th month of the pregnancy, when their little lungs were developing.

What causes hiccups in newborns?

Hiccups are usually caused by a full stomach, taking in too much air while feeding, or a sudden change in temperature. It’s important to note that they don’t typically bother the baby.

What should you do if your newborn gets the hiccups?

First, don’t worry and try to relax. It’s not dangerous to your baby. You could try burping her, but chances are you’ll just have to wait it out.
Check out the following 3 tips you can try at home:

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How help my little one take medicines that taste bad?

We all know medications that make us grimace! Even as adults we don’t like to take them. So if we avoid them, imagine children! But despite their terrible flavor we cannot avoid them. Sometimes they are necessary for our health. Here we will talk about our favorite tips to help make this moment a little less stressful.

• Begin by telling your child you love him very much and that you’re giving this medication to make him feel good. Explain in simple terms why medicines are important and how they destroy viruses that make us sick and feel bad. Recognize that you know they don’t taste very good and that you understand him.

• Give your child a popsicle to numb his mouth, and provide a good taste in his mouth. He can taste the popsicle, take the medicine and keep enjoying the popsicle afterwards.

• Store the medication in the fridge to administer the medicine cold; it helps to reduce some of its bad taste.

• You can channel your inner Mary Poppins and give him a spoonful of sugar after the medication or with the medication.

• Sit with your little one, caress him and give him the medicine slowly.

• If your child needs to chew a pill you can crush it and give it to him on a spoon with ice cream, chocolate syrup, honey or maple syrup or any other food that doesn’t require chewing. It’s recommended to give a few tablespoons of the food on its own, and tell your little one to pass it without chewing, and so he will have sufficient practice for when you give him the spoonful with medicine.

• Give him a sweet after the medicine to reduce the aftertaste.

• Prepare a glass of milk, chocolate milk, juice or any drink he likes; he can take it right after the medicine.

• You can choose to give the medicine slowly in a syringe instead of a spoon. This way you can see which way he prefers to take it. If you put the syringe to the bottom of his cheek, he may swallow the medicine more easily. Try to avoid ejecting the medicine at the back of his throat to prevent nausea or suffocation.

Remember that it’s sometimes difficult to take medication. Sometimes, despite all attempts, young children don’t want to take it. If this is the case, don’t forget to show empathy. Tell your child that you understand him and apologize for the bad taste. Don’t try to trick him or become frustrated, instead use love, and praise his courage. Explain the reason why he has to take his medicine, and acknowledge his effort to take bad tasting medications. If your child still resists, you’ll have to give the medication by opening his mouth and inserting medicine gently, pointing the liquid to the cheek and not directly to his throat to avoid choking. Don’t forget that you can stir it with something sweet or a stronger taste to disguise its bad taste and apologize at the end. Finally, do not forget to contact your doctor if you need further help, he can help you identify what is best for your child.

How to reassure my baby after a vaccination?

Despite being extremely important and necessary, vaccines are painful and can increase anxiety in your child. Such is the pain that you will begin to notice that most babies will end up crying inconsolably after the doctor’s visit. What can you do to comfort your baby after his vaccines? Here are some tips:

• Wrap your baby in a blanket; place him on his side or on his back and quietly rock him back and forth to provide comfort.

• If your baby uses a pacifier, give it to him as suction provides comfort.

• You can give your child a small dose of sugared water before an injection, as studies have shown that it decreases pain after vaccination.

• Breast milk also helps. In fact, babies who are exclusively breastfed are less likely to suffer from fever after an injection.

• Talking calmly to your baby before and after the injection is also very beneficial. Explain to him calmly that injection is for his own good, to help maintain him safe, and because you love him so much.

• Hug him and embrace him. This is an excellent opportunity to cuddle with him and show him all your love.

• Use his favorite toy to distract him.

• Breathe deeply together. Hold your child to your chest and breathe deeply to convey your calmness.

• Ask your Doctor about anesthetic cream. If he recommends one, it must be applied before the vaccine, since it will take about an hour to start working.

• At home, gently move his leg or arm (depending on where the injection was administered) to reduce pain.

• Massage the skin around the area of injection to distract him from pain.

• Don’t forget to praise your baby for his courage, positive reinforcement is very important.

• If your baby suffers from a fever after his vaccines, remember to follow your doctor’s instructions. Most likely, he’ll give him paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce fever or pain.