MARCH 2013
Enjoy the little
things in life...for
one day you’ll
look back and
realize they were
the big things.
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Pita Chips:
2 large whole wheat pita pockets
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash each of sea salt & pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Avocado Hummus:
1 medium avocado
15-oz can chickpeas
1/4 cup chickpea liquid (more as needed)
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Dash paprika
3 tbsp lemon juice
Preparation Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush both sides of the pitas with oil and sprinkle
with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
2. Cut each pita into 8 wedges, then separate each wedge into 2. Lay wedges oil-side up on the baking sheet and spread out evenly.
3. Bake 7 minutes. Do not flip.
4. Meanwhile, blend all hummus ingredients, except paprika, in a food processor or blender.
5. If needed, add more liquid from the chickpeas and pulse until smooth.
6. Place hummus in a bowl and sprinkle paprika. Serve with Homemade Pita Chips.
Nutrients per serving (1/2 cup Hummus with 8 Homemade Pita Chips): Calories: 360, Total Fats: 20 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g,
Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 420 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 38 g, Dietary Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 10 g, Iron: 5 mg.
Nutrients per Serving: (1/2 cup Hummus) Calories: 210, Total Fats: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 216
mg, Total Carbohydrates: 21 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 6 g, Iron: 4 mg.
*Submitted By: Leisa Bubel, Personal Trainer London South
*Courtesy of Oxygen Magazine
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Kids instinctively want to help in the kitchen. Have you ever noticed how children’s faces light up when you ask them to come to the counter
to stir something? Here are my top 5 tips for getting kids inspired to cook and making sure they enjoy helping out.
1. Choose No-Fail and Age-Appropriate Meals
Imagine a 10-year-old who has been given instructions to make tacos
with hamburger the parent previously browned, bagged and froze
after grocery shopping. On the evening the child is assigned to cook,
it’s a simple matter of combining ingredients, microwaving, washing
some lettuce, pulling out the shells and getting the condiments
ready… et voilà! A hungry parent arrives home from work and can’t
stop complimenting the child, and the child happens to love the cooking experience. The 10-year-old feels grown up and proud to have
made dinner. Let me tell you from experience: pre-teens are dying to
be treated like a grown-ups!
2. Keep it Simple: No More Than 5 Ingredients
Whether a new cook is 10, 16 or 43, inspiration is required. If you start them with a recipe that’s too complicated, the fun may wear off before the cooking begins! If the meal includes no more than five ingredients that they love, they will view cooking as easy and tasty. That
sounds like a good experience to me!
3. Get Them to Make Things They Love to Eat
There is nothing like catering to your own tastes. If a child can pull off a meal they just love, they will likely make it again and again.
4. Ask Them to Make Something YOU Love to Eat
The results of this are astounding! Kids start to relate to cooking as a gift that is appreciated. It also opens their culinary horizons. On one
episode of Fixing Dinner, the mom was shocked that her totally disinterested teen not only made but also ate a dish that the mom craves.
Basically, kids tend to be more adventurous if they are the ones who did the cooking.
5. Buy Them Their Own Equipment
Here’s music to a budding chef’s ears: “You make such amazing crêpes, I bought you your own crêpe
pan.” Give kids their own cooking equipment and they will take pride in both their tools and their work.
Our son even kept his egg flipping pan in his room so that, in his words, “No one would wreck it!”
*Submitted by Gino Zinga, Personal Training Director London South
*Courtesy of The Food Network
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These may look gourmet, but are quick and clean! Give them a try!
Salmon Cakes:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Dash each sea salt & pepper
2: 5oz cans wild-caught pink salmon, boneless in water
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup rolled oats
Nonstick cooking spray or 1 tsp coconut oil
Yogurt Sauce:
1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Dash sea salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Preparation Instructions:
1. Whisk egg with yogurt, lemon juice and Dijon mustard until smooth. Add seasonings, salmon, green onions and oats, and stir to combine.
2. Form mixture into 3-ounce patties with clean hands.
3. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil or add coconut oil, and cook patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
4. Combine all yogurt sauce ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.
5. Serve patties with mixed greens and yogurt sauce.
Nutrients Per Serving: Calories: 430, Total Fats: 17 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 170 mg, Sodium: 450 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 23 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 44 g, Iron: 4 mg.
*Submitted by: Leisa Bubel, Personal Trainer London South
*Courtesy of: Oxygen Magazine
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Leading busy lives, many cooks have fallen into a food rut. Corbin Tomaszeski, Executive Chef of Holt's Cafe at Holt Renfrew in Toronto and
one of the hosts of Crash My Kitchen, offers these easy suggestions to help you break out of your cooking routine.
1. Never go to the grocery store on an empty stomach
Too often, people purchase many things that are unnecessary, food that will end up as refrigerator compost,
not to mention emptying out their bank account. Whenever possible, take along a shopping list.
2. Visit your local specialty shops
Visit a reputable cheese shop and ask to taste some items that you have never tried before. Cheese is a versatile ingredient and there are hundreds of flavours to choose from. A beautiful piece of cheese served with a loaf
of crusty bread and a bottle of red wine is all that you need to evoke the French countryside and offer an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Melt some St. Marceline cheese on bread, add prosciutto and fresh basil,
then drizzle with olive oil. Magnifique!
3. Drizzle flavoured oil on top of your favourite foods
Spicy chili oil on fresh seafood is amazing, and rosemary-infused olive oil is great on fresh pasta or bread. If you are more adventurous, try
varieties such as orange- and cardamom-flavoured olive oils.
4. Don't be afraid to experiment with new cooking techniques
Put your beef roast on the BBQ and slow cook it outside, or even try cooking a small turkey on the BBQ. Just rub it with some citrus fruit and
let the juices flow.
5. Take advantage of fresh seasonal ingredients
There is nothing better than fresh food; and remember, you don't always have to cook it! Raw foods are not only tasty, but they also retain all
those healthy nutrients. Mix and match raw vegetables and fruits to discover new flavour and texture combinations.
6. Experiment with marinades for meats, fish and poultry
Simply drop the ingredients into a zip-lock bag and refrigerate. There are many pre-made dressings at
the grocery store to choose from; try some and experiment. Or, make your own marinades (citrus fruit
juice mixed with garlic and ginger, for example).
7. Once you've put all that effort into preparing a meal, don't forget the finishing touches
Garnish your favourite dishes to add some pizzazz. People eat with their eyes, so take a bit of extra
time and wow your guests with the presentation. Garnishes don't need to be fancy; for example, if you
are making your favourite soup, garnish it with fresh julienned arugula or vegetables.
8. Forget about heavy sauces
Instead, make reductions with fruit juice, red wine or meat stock, and discover their intensity. Reduced
vinegars add punch and zing to recipes, too, not to mention beautiful colour. Try a reduction of roasted red pepper and white wine vinegar.
9. Commit to buying two items at the supermarket that you would not normally purchase
If you don't normally buy lemongrass, for example, buy some for your favourite chicken or fish recipe and discover a whole new flavour. Add
fresh herbs to your sauces, salad dressings, and vegetables. Sometimes the simplest things can make a recipe unbelievable.
10. Avoid rushing through meal preparation
Pour a glass of wine and put on your favourite music. Cooking is meant to be relaxing and
therapeutic, not strenuous and time-consuming. Start with simple dishes and work your way
up the culinary ladder. Cooking is also a great way to get the family working together as a
team. Get the kids in the kitchen and begin the learning process. It is never too early to
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With the amount of stress our clients are under, it’s imperative that we encourage basic nutritional
strategies that will not stress them out further. And thus, establishing a basic practice of eating
breakfast will not only help fuel our clients for their busy days, but also help establish food as a priority in their schedule – make time for a healthy breakfast and you’ll start a trend to make healthy
meals a habit later in the day.
For some, making time for breakfast may seem like just another thing to do. However, it doesn’t
have to be a project, and it doesn’t have to mean making a pit stop at the doughnut shop.
There are a plenty of options to prepare an energizing breakfast that doesn’t take up your whole
morning, which taste delicious and fuel you with protein, fat and carbohydrates – the special combination that will keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
To give you and your clients an idea of how simple preparing a healthy breakfast can be, here are 5
1. 1 or 2 Hard-boiled eggs with a piece of fruit. Many grocery stores carry peeled and hard-boiled
eggs ready-to-eat, which takes the tedious task of boiling them yourself out of the equation. Pair this
protein and fat with a carb choice like fresh fruit, such as an apple or pear. This is a great light
breakfast for those who are not super hungry in the morning but need a little something to get them
2. 1 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tbs. honey. 1 cup of Greek yogurt can have up to 20 grams of protein
making it an awesome breakfast choice. By adding a little bit of raw honey to the yogurt you are
adding carbohydrates, creating a healthy blend of protein, fat and carbs. Since this is a portable meal, you can bring this with you to work if
you must.
3. Fruit smoothie with protein. Smoothies are an excellent breakfast choice not just because they are quick
to make, but since they are super easy to transport. What’s even better is that you can make your smoothie
at night before you start your day, pour it in a plastic shaker bottle, and give it a little shake in the morning
before you drink it. One of my favorite fruit smoothies has 1 cup of coconut water, 1 banana, ½ cup mixed
berries, 1 tbs. of raw cacao powder and 1 scoop of protein powder.
4. Dinner leftovers for breakfast. Most of us associate cereal and bagels with breakfast, so the thought of
eating leftover baked chicken and sweet potatoes for breakfast may seem a bit odd. However, leftovers
make some of the best breakfasts – no extra cooking, easy to transport, and you already know they’re
yummy because you made it.
5. Scrambled eggs with orange juice. If you have a bit more time
in the morning to actually cook something, you can scramble a couple of eggs in a skillet and
pair it with a glass of OJ. This may take a little more time in the morning, so it’s a great breakfast
for the weekends or when you have a few more minutes in the a.m. You can spice up your eggs
with a little bit of taco seasoning, or throw in some fresh veggies like peppers, mushrooms or
Not only are these great breakfast ideas, but they can also be used as snack options as well. And
since one of the biggest concerns with eating breakfast is not having the time to do so, these
ideas will give you more quick meals to choose from, and less excuses.
*Submitted by: Gino Zinga, Personal Training Director London South
* Courtesy of: www.ptonthenet.com
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New parents hear all kinds of contradictory advice about how to feed their babies. But with a few simple guidelines – and some advice from
PN parents – you can be sure you’re getting your infant off to the healthiest start.
In life, as in other things, where you start can determine where you finish. Infancy — the first year of life — is a prime time for growth and
changes throughout the body. What we eat as infants strongly affects our long-term body weight, health, metabolic programming, immune
system, and overall aging.
The first 6 Months:
Breast is best for both mom and baby.
Babies can be exclusively breast-fed for their first six months of life.
Breast milk is the optimal nutrient mix for infants. It’s full of good stuff like
antibodies, antimicrobial factors, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory factors
along with fatty acids (which promote optimal brain development).
Breastfeeding keeps the baby developing and growing properly, helps infants
fight off disease (such as gastrointestinal and respiratory infections) both now
and in the future, and may even ensure that the baby grows up to prefer
healthy food.
Because breastfeeding stimulates the release of beneficial hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin, it can help the mother lose weight and
bond with her baby.
Breast milk is delivered in a biodegradable “organic package”, so mom doesn’t need to use as much plastic packaging (since tiny humans
easily absorb plastic-contained endocrine disruptors).
Do your best. And get help if you need it.
Not every mother takes to breastfeeding naturally or quickly. If breastfeeding is difficult, seek support from a doula or a midwife.
And while breastfeeding is best, don’t feel guilty if you can’t breastfeed exclusively. There are many circumstances that might make breastfeeding difficult. For example, you might not be able to breastfeed if you have a health problem, or are taking particular medications.
You are not to blame. Just do your best. Don’t feel you’ve failed if you have to resort to some formula, talk to your pediatrician about the best
formula option. Avoid soy-based infant formulas.
What mom eats/drinks can pass into breast milk.
What you as a pregnant or nursing mother eat, your baby eats.
Limit your alcohol, caffeine, etc. Limit your toxin exposure. Eat organic when
possible; scrub your fresh veggies/fruits; and avoid most seafood. Of
course, breast milk will be especially healthy if mom eats nutritiously while
she’s pregnant and breastfeeding. But it doesn’t have to be that sophisticated. Just follow simple and fundamental habits and take advantage of our
quick-prep tips (such as zipping up some fruits and veggies in the blender
for easy and nourishing Supershakes).
Supplementation while breastfeeding
Breast milk will provide all of the nutrients the infant needs for the first six months of life. However, some babies may need a bit of supplementation at times.
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Vitamin D
Because modern life — especially in northern latitudes — leaves so many of us with low vitamin D
levels, many mothers are deficient in vitamin D while pregnant and breastfeeding. Additionally, preemies are often low in vitamin D.
This means that infants may need a vitamin D supplement. The American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) recommends a daily vitamin D supplement of 400IU for all breast-fed infants, starting at two
months of age.
Some babies can get enough vitamin D from breast milk, but the mom needs to have solid D levels
for this to happen. Formula-fed babies will likely be getting enough vitamin D.
If you’re pregnant or a new mom, check with your doctor and pharmacist about testing your vitamin D
levels, and the best and safest options for your infant.
Vitamin B12
Breastfeeding mothers who eat an exclusively plant-based (vegan) diet should supplement with vitamin B12.
A fetus will store iron from the mother’s blood while in the womb. Premature babies need extra iron because they do not build up enough
Breast milk doesn’t have much iron, but it is well absorbed. Iron stores will last until about six months of age, thus no iron supplement
should be required during this time. Formula-fed infants will likely get enough iron.
Babies are born with a sterile environment inside. As they pass through the birth canal, the mothers’ bacteria colonize infants’ mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. This is normal and desirable — just how Nature intended.
However, in an environment of modern cleanliness, or perhaps after a C-section, this bacterial colonization doesn’t happen as easily or well.
This can lead to later gastrointestinal, respiratory, and/or ear-nose-throat type infections in babies, as well as a lower immune system.
In this case, parents can supplement with an infant probiotic formulation — talk to your pharmacist to find out what’s best.
Fluids & hydration
The amount of fluid in breast milk or formula will usually be enough, so normally you shouldn’t
need to supplement with water.
However, infants easily and quickly become dehydrated under certain conditions, such as if the
infant has a fever or is vomiting a lot; or if the climate is very hot.
Rehydration is also crucial if infants have diarrhea. (In this case, add a little sugar and salt to the
water to make a simple electrolyte solution.)
Use urine colour as a guide: Dark yellow urine will signify dehydration. Clear urine signifies
potential over-hydration. You want to see something somewhere in the middle. (Baby will
undoubtedly oblige with a urine sample, probably at the most socially inconvenient time.)
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Months 6 to 12
Introducing solid food
Until about 4-6 months old, infants can’t digest most foods.
Infants are ready for solid foods once they have doubled their birth weight, providing they can hold their heads up, sit in a high chair, open their mouths when food is
presented, and swallow. This usually occurs around six months old.
At first, offer solid foods in addition to breast milk, not as a replacement for it. The
first “solid” foods should also be liquid-like. (Don’t give your baby beef jerky right
off the bat.)
Take your time when introducing new foods.
Don’t rush. It is suggested that you should be offering one new food every 3-4 days. This gives you time to see how your baby responds.
Pay attention. If you notice any type of negative reaction (such as respiratory, skin, or GI issues), wait 1-3 months before trying that food
Solid food timeline
Step 1: Rice cereal (maybe)
Rice cereal with breast milk or formula is a common first food. It’s generally well-tolerated with low potential for allergy.
However, rice cereal is rooted in tradition rather than science. There’s no strong evidence that this is a better option than other single-grain
cereals (or grains in general). Try it and see how it goes.
Step 2: Vegetables
Vegetables are full of nutrients and not as sweet as fruits. Puréed vegetables such as
sweet potatoes, beets, squashes, or carrots are easy to cook and mash.
Step 3: Fruit
Introduce fruit after vegetables. If fruit is the first food, baby might expect every food
to taste sweet; an important factor considering that food tastes formed early in life
can persist.
Also, babies don’t yet have the ability to digest fructose effectively. So, unless you
want explosive diarrhea, keep fruit intake moderate and avoid high-fiber fruits like prunes for a while.
You can try things like:
mashed banana with breast milk
cooked and puréed fruit (such as pears, peaches, or apples)
Step 4: Higher-protein foods
This includes well-cooked and mashed beans/lentils/green peas, and finely chopped meats. You could even add a little undenatured, unflavored whey protein to pureed foods, formula, etc.
It can take a while for the infant’s GI tract to adjust. Some undigested food might be found in the stool; this is okay and all part of the process.
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12 Months & Older
By around one year old, you can add a pretty good roster of foods, such as:
tree nuts
string beans
puréed fresh fruit
egg yolk (note: iron from egg yolks isn’t well absorbed)
mashed lentils/beans (make sure these are adequately cooked)
meat, chicken, or mild-tasting fish
Finely chop, mash, and/or purée most of these, especially meat or any little bits that can’t be easily
gummed — or that can cause choking.
Introduce with caution
While fish is usually tolerated easily, experts vary on when to introduce shellfish/crustaceans. The general consensus is to wait until the child
is a little older. Shellfish is a common childhood allergen, along with:
whole eggs/egg white
cow’s milk
Also look for any reactions when introducing nightshades — potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. If or when you add these to your child’s diet
later on, observe carefully and look for any reactions before adding something else. Most kids will do just fine with many of these foods.
What does baby like?
Every mom and dad has a feeding-time horror story of their baby deciding to redecorate the wall, floor, ceiling, or hapless parent’s shirt.
Bbbbbbtttt goes baby. Splat go the mashed peas everywhere. OK, let’s try that one later.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what babies will like from one bite to the next. Be patient and persistent. Here are some tricks and tips for helping your baby eat a wide variety of foods despite an often-picky infant palate.
Eat a wide variety of foods while pregnant.
What you eat can affect what baby will tolerate and like.
Use timing to your advantage.
Introduce new foods when babies are hungriest. For some moms that was in the morning. So
that’s when a good time is to try new foods.
Add a touch of sweetness.
Humans are born with an innate preference for sweetness, which in nature signifies valuable
energy-rich foods. Blend up a little bit of sweet potato or fruit into otherwise less-sweet foods
(such as more bitter vegetables).
But avoid processed sugar.
Again, remember that what your baby starts with will affect their adult food preferences. So avoid processed sugar — especially hidden in
commercial baby foods along with fruit purées and juices — as much as possible. And avoid honey for the first year or so, as it can contain
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Keep at it.
If your baby refuses to eat a particular food, that’s okay. (This might happen more often with vegetables.) Leave the food out of the routine for a while and come back to it later. Often babies and children need to try novel foods over and over before they adjust to them. Keep the experience as positive and relaxed as possible, and do your best. Don’t worry; if baby’s eating various other foods, nutrient intake should be adequate. Let baby lead the way when it comes to solid foods.
Stick with whole foods.
Infants are intuitive eaters. They know how much they need.
But there is a catch – the conditions have to be right. Force-feeding and/or introducing processed
foods (such as juice or jam) before whole foods can destroy this delicate self-regulation. Follow your baby’s hunger levels and food preferences, while seeking to gently expand their repertoire with high-quality, nutrient-rich choices.
Feeding schedules
Learning hunger cues is important for both parents and babies. (And parents, why not re-learn your own natural hunger cues along with discovering your infant’s?)
Remember that infants will be highly self-regulated. They’ll want to eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full. Try not to pressure
your baby into a set schedule in the early days, or wake them to feed during the night.
Relax and see if you can find their rhythms. (Trust us, babies will wake up just fine on their own and let you know when it’s midnight snack
time!) If baby is spitting up a lot or making large watery stools, especially if they’re supplementing with formula, they may be over-feeding.
Back off slightly and see if you notice a difference in their hunger signals and bowel habits.
Weight gain & growth
Each baby is unique. Just like in Scrawny to Brawny, some are fast gainers. Some are slow gainers. Some will gain fast right out of the gate
then stabilize, others will lag and then blast off.
As babies slow down their growth, they’ll be less hungry on average (although 60% of their intake is feeding their brains rather than the rest
of their developing bodies). But again, appetite will vary day to day. Some days, babies will be ravenous all-consuming beasts. Other days,
there’s not a mashed banana in the world that’ll interest them. So don’t panic if your baby doesn’t seem to be sticking to a steady weight
gain or eating schedule. These are just average guidelines:
During the first three months, you can expect your baby to gain around 2 lb/month.
6 months – 1 lb/month
9 months – less than 1 lb/month
Consider the time of day when the infant is weighed (e.g., when they last eliminated and ate). Babies usually only get weighed when they go
to the doctor. This is often enough (and might be often enough for some adults).
Making food at home
It’s easy and cost-effective to make baby food at home. All you need is a food processor or small blender such as a Magic Bullet. (Or a bit of
elbow grease and a fork for mashing.)
Early on, your baby’s food choices will be limited, but over time you can mash, chop, and/or purée most of the foods you happen to be eating. Makes food prep simple, and more importantly — you know exactly what your baby’s getting. Make sure you blend/mash the food well,
and avoid any foods that might cause choking. Chunks/clumps of any food, hot dogs, candy, nuts, grapes, nut butter, and popcorn all tend to
cause problems. Of course, follow the basic rules of food safety. Wash your hands, refrigerate or heat food appropriately, discard uneaten
food promptly, etc. If you use commercial baby food, check the ingredients. Only feed out of the jar if you are going to use the entire jar.
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Nutrient requirements
If you’re feeding your older baby a relatively wide range of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods when they’re hungry, that’s probably all you
need to worry about. But here are some general guidelines for nutrient intake in older babies and young children (6 months – 2 years).
Growing babies and children need plenty of fat, particularly saturated, monounsaturated, and
omega-3 fats. Look for naturally occurring whole-food fats such as:
butter and other high-fat dairy
fatty fish from healthy animals. (But be aware of heavy metals in fish).
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters (including flax, hemp, and chia seeds) can come later once
you’re sure that your child tolerates them and can eat them properly. Omega-3 fats (DHA/EPA)
in particular are critical for overall health; body composition; and eye, brain and nervous system development. Consider an infant-appropriate DHA/EPA supplement.
Babies need iron for cognitive, neurological, motor, and behavioral development, and they start to require additional dietary iron around 6
months. Start adding iron-rich foods around this time. This can begin with iron-fortified rice cereal and over time include other iron-rich foods
such as:
leafy greens
orange-fleshed squash
nuts & seeds
peas & lima beans
chicken or beef liver (try sneaking a little bit in to blended meat)
red meat (beef, venison, ostrich, etc.)
chicken (dark meat) and duck
While some iron is important, don’t go overboard. Check to be sure you aren’t overdoing the iron if you rely on a lot of fortified baby foods.
Note: Cow’s milk contains very little iron, can cause iron to be lost in the feces, and can damage an infant’s GI tract. Don’t give babies
younger than 1 year old soy/almond/hemp/rice/cow’s milk.
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Cells need zinc. Infants older than six months of age who eat a 100% plant-based (vegan) diet might need a zinc supplement.
Foods rich in zinc:
peas & beans
nuts & seeds
napa cabbage
hearts of palm
sun-dried tomatoes
cocoa powder
meat, poultry (especially darker cuts), fish
Vitamin B12
Infants older than six months of age eating a 100% plant-based (vegan) diet will need a vitamin B12 supplement.
If water isn’t fluoridated, a supplement might be necessary. Too much will also cause problems.
Iodine keeps the thyroid healthy. Infants older than six months of age who eat non-iodized salt and a
limited variety of foods might need a supplement.
Foods rich in iodine include:
dried prunes
sea vegetables
iodized salt
You can often sneak sea vegetables in particular into baby food to hide the taste — sprinkle a little
crumbled dried seaweed into mashed veggies and blend it up.
Stick with mostly water or herbal tea. Save vegetable and fruit juices for special occasions, unless you make them yourself from blending up
fresh/cooked fruits and vegetables.
The first couple of years of a child’s life can establish life-long taste preferences and their metabolic environment. Sugar now means cavities,
body fat, and over-sweet taste preferences later.
Juice is high in sugar and is often the leading source of sugar for infants. And despite package claims, juice is also a poor source of fruit and/
or vitamins. Artificially sweetened beverages can make naturally sweet foods taste less appealing. Also, artificial sweeteners might have
negative health outcomes.
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Summary and recommendations
Infants don’t shop and prepare their own food. That means they depend on parents and caregivers to shop and prepare foods that promote
optimal health. And that means you and me.
To give your baby the best start:
If you can, breastfeed for at least the first six months of the infant’s life.
If required, add a vitamin D and/or B12 supplement after 2-3 months.
At around six months of age, start with some basic solid foods.
Start with something like rice cereal, then vegetables, then fruits and protein-dense foods. Introduce only one new food at a time, and see
how it goes.
Choose whole foods. These are nutritious and satiating, and develop appropriate taste preferences.
Follow your baby’s hunger signals, and food preferences, while also gently and patiently adding food variety and mealtime structure. Don’t
rush new foods, but be persistent and stick with it.
Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about supplements (calcium, greens, iron, zinc, iodine, omega-3 fats, probiotics, etc.) if appropriate.
Go for organic and/or food items with lower levels of pesticides.
Minimize added sugars. This includes fruit juice and other processed foods. Read labels.
For the first six months of life breast milk usually provides enough fluid. After six months of age, water and herbal tea are fine. Avoid cow,
soy, and other processed milks for the first year.
Do your best. Parenting is hard enough, and each child is unique. Don’t try to get it “perfect”.
*Courtesy of Precision Nutrition
The Athletic Club is pleased to be able to offer TAC News, our new electronic newsletter to our
members! Sign up today to receive your monthly edition electronically.
Simply email Lauren Tinline at [email protected] to add your name to the list!
TAC News is filled with lots of great club and health information for everyone. Don’t miss out on this
educational and informative newsletter, and keep up to date on all the exciting things that The Athletic
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