Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breastfeeding Statistics

It is widely known that breastfeeding is the best source of food for babies. It provides many health benefits to both mother and baby that last years after breastfeeding stops.

Unfortunately in the United States, women do not breastfeed as much and for as long as other women around the world, and for the duration recommended by leading health organizations.

Some statistics I found from the CDC: As of 2006 (the most current I could find)
  • The percentage of babies exclusively breastfed through 3 months is about 33% and through 6 months is about 13%.
  • The percentage of babies supplemented with formula before 2 days about 25%, before 3 months about 38% and before 6 months about 48%
  • Overall- 74% of mothers initiated breastfeeding at birth, 43% were breastfeeding at 6 months (some with supplementation) and 23% were still breastfeeding at 12 months (some with supplementation)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding a year or longer. They also advise for induced lactation for adoptive mothers, support at work for lactating mothers and more! (Click here to read the official statement)

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for 2 years or more. (Click here for the official statement)

According to the CDC, the rate of breastfeeding in the United States has been increasing over the last several years. Let's hope that trend continues because the more moms who nurse- the more support and assistance there is for everyone!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Healthified Chocolate Chip Cookies!

One reason I love Facebook, is finding old friends that you have lost contact with over the years. Well, a short time ago, I reconnected with a friend of mine who used to live down the street from me during middle and high school, Hawlie.

She has a wonderful blog and shares her passion for healthy eating, among other things, and one post recently made me very excited! She made a healthy, no refined sugar, version of a favorite- Chocolate Chip Cookies!

She made great substitutions like agave nectar for sugar (very low glycemic index, which makes it easier for your body to process. Even can be safe for diabetics). I love this- because I hate to give my son any refined sugars. I give him all natural, low glycemic, sweeteners.

(Of course, you may need to substitute all whole wheat flour if you have not introduced nuts and put in dried fruit instead of chocolate chips if you have not introduced chocolate. Both are not recommended until 2 years of age.)


2 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cup Grape Seed Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
!/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Pieces or Chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) In a large bowl, combine almond flour, wheat flour, salt, and baking soda
3) In a medium bowl, stir together grape seed oil, vanilla extract, and agave nectar
4) Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
5) Using a cookie scoop or spoon, form 1/2" balls. Press balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes

Click here to read her entire post! (and don't worry, the recipe is husband approved)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Toddler Super Bowl Fun

So- pretty much everyone watches the Super Bowl, whether you watch it for the commercials or actually for the football. It also seems like it is mandatory to have some "football food" for the big game.

You can still make it healthy and let your toddler join in! Here are some suggestions:

Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Hummus and Veggies

Whole Wheat Pizza Bagels

Fruit Salad

Mini Turkey Burgers

Grilled Chicken Skewers

Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcakes (In this recipe, I would use much less sugar or omit completely for toddler)

And- if you have a favorite recipe, but you want to make it a healthier option for your little one, visit Eat Better America for tons of "healthified" versions of your recipe!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Chart for food introductions

So- when I started looking up information about feeding my son solids, I came across this handy chart from The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

This chart gives suggested ages for food introductions for a baby NOT at an increased risk for food allergies. (Meaning, if either parent has food allergies, you may need to wait longer before introducing those foods).

For normal babies, following this chart can help decrease the risk of developing food allergies from early introduction. I have read studies that are finding that if you introduce a food too early, even if the baby does not immediately show a reaction, it can lead to the child developing an allergy later in life. Of course, as always, talk to your pediatrician and follow your doctors advice.

Here is the chart. If you would like a copy, you can right click on the image or leave me a comment and I will e-mail it to you!