Friday, December 31, 2010

Scary Statistic...

1/3 of all 9-month-olds are obese or overweight. That is the headline in a news story from Yahoo/

The statistics point out that the heavier a child is as a baby- the increased chances of that child becoming overweight later in life. The study also pointed out that putting a 9 month old on a diet is not a good idea, but that this data will help to bring more education and awareness to the issue to hopefully prevent this trend.

The most important part of the article states: "Studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding - breastfeeding alone, not breastfeeding combined with bottle-feeding -prevents obesity," said Dr. David McCormick, senior author of that study at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Getting enough fiber - eating apples instead of drinking apple juice, for example - also helps keep babies on track to a healthy weight. By contrast, improper early introduction of cereal by adding it to an infant's bottle promotes obesity."(

Once again, this just gives people the facts that exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months and no introduction of solids until the 6th month is the healthiest thing you can do for your child. 

To read the entire article, click here


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

International Code for Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes

I have never heard of this until today- but there is a code set up by the World Health Organization that specifies marketing limitations and regulations for any breast milk substitutes. All formula companies sign this agreement- but it is not regulated nor enforced here in the US. A summary of the code:

Summary: International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

Full text available from

The Code aims to protect and promote breastfeeding by ensuring appropriate marketing and distribution of breastmilk substitutes.

The Code applies to breastmilk substitutes, when marketed or otherwise represented as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk. These breastmilk substitutes can include food and beverages such as:
• infant formula    • other milk products    • cereals for infants • vegetable mixes    • baby teas and juices    • follow-up milks.

The Code also applies to feeding bottles and teats. Some countries have expanded the scope of the Code to include foods or liquids used as breastmilk substitutes and pacifiers.

  • No advertising of above products to the public. No free samples to mothers, their families or health workers.

  • No promotion of products, i.e. no product displays, posters or distribution of promotional materials. No use of mothercraft nurses or similar company-paid personnel.

  • No gifts or samples to health workers. Product information must be factual and scientific. No free or low-cost supplies of breastmilk substitutes to any part of the health care system.

  • Information and educational materials must explain the benefits of breastfeeding, the health hazards associated with bottle feeding, and the costs of using infant formula.

  • Product labels must clearly state the superiority of breastfeeding, the need for the advice of a health worker and a warning about health hazards. 
  • No pictures of infants, or other pictures or text idealising the use of infant formula.

  • Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies. All products should be of a high quality (Codex Alimentarius standards), have expiration dates, and take account of the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

Courtesy: International Code Documentation Centre/IBFAN Penang, PO Box 19, 10700, Penang, Malaysia. Full text available from

The full WHO document can be viewed online here

So what do you think? I personally have no issue with marketing of substitutes as long as the companies are being honest about all ingredients. I do not like how many free samples are given to pregnant and new Moms, and I do not like that through government programs such as WIC, you can obtain free formula because the system can be and is abused. It is my opinion that free samples make it very easy to fall back on formula feeding when breastfeeding gets tough (and it usually is for a few months!). If you know you did not have a fall back option- I think most women would push through the hard times and would see that given a bit of time- breastfeeding can be wonderful and easy.

HOWEVER- I do not agree with beating up any mother who chooses formula or needs formula for their child. It is not okay to make any mother feel badly about her choices. Everyone of us just does our best- and being a mom is the hardest job ever!

I just thought it was very interesting that this code has been agreed upon by the formula companies, and yet everything on this list is done here in the US against the very code they signed...

Let me know what you think about the topic!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Proof that your kids like healthy!

I just read a great article that talked about a study from the smart folks at Yale University...They proved that kids will enjoy a low sugar cereal jut as much as the high sugar cereals. So- the idea that many parents have that kids won't eat healthier cereals because they won't like them is completely FALSE!!

Buy your kids low-sugar cereals and keep them healthy!

Click here to read the article and the details on this study 

(picture courtesy of

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Healthiest Grocery Stores


"America's 10 healthiest grocery stores"

By Pamela Paul
Let’s face it: Your weekly (or daily!) run to the grocery store is the foundation for your good health. So it’s thrilling news that the supermarket industry is on a health kick—these days you’ll likely find organic produce and “natural” packaged foods at almost any store you go to.
But which chains are outdoing themselves to deliver the freshest and healthiest foods to you? And which ones provide the best tools to help you make smart choices?
We asked six prominent health experts (meet our judges) to help us pick the top 10 healthiest grocery stores out of the nation’s largest chains. Here are the true standouts. Happy, healthy shopping!
#1: Whole Foods
279 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.
We figured this natural-foods chain would make the list, but who knew it would hands-down top it? “It’s the Rolls Royce of healthy eating,” says Kate Geagan, a nutritionist in Park City, Utah, and one of our judges. Whole Foods has the whole package—from an extraordinary selection of fresh conventional and organic fruit and vegetables to delicious prepared foods with healthy ingredients and clear labeling. (Most other stores offer mystery meals that may very well be loaded with butter.) And Whole Foods puts a premium on products that are grown or produced locally (read: superfresh).
There’s also hard-to-find grass-fed meats, ready-to-cook organic and free-range chicken, and a well-stocked selection of just-caught seafood. The desserts are pretty good for you: Every item in the bakery is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and trans fats. Our judges also raved about Whole Foods’s snacks, singling out the store’s own dark chocolate, fresh-cut veggies, and nut and seed mixes. Alan Greene, MD, a Palo Alto, California–based pediatrician and one of our panelists sums it up best: “The store celebrates great, healthy food from start to finish.”

#2: Safeway
1,700-plus stores nationwide
Safeway is the traditional grocer you’re familiar with, but look closer and you’ll see a huge transformation going on. “They now have their own organic brands and a section of locally grown produce,” says judge Lisa Pawloski, PhD, chair of the department of global and community health at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Besides those organic brands—O Organics for packaged goods (the biggest organic brand in the country) and Eating Right for prepared foods—many of the chain’s redesigned stores have a greatly expanded produce section.
Safeway’s specialty items like organic spices and packaged nuts make it a regular stop for judge Dr. Greene. Bonus: Its online Food Flex program analyzes shoppers’ purchases based on metrics like recommended sodium consumption, and then suggests healthier choices. “They’re a major pioneer in this area,” says panelist Christine Palumbo, a Chicago-based nutritionist. “It’s like having your own registered dietitian.”
#3: Harris Teeter
176 stores in the Southeast
This grocer boasts 600 varieties of fruit and veggies, with a good selection of organic and locally grown items, as well as hard-to-find nonfarm-raised seafood. But what catapulted it to third place is its breadth of healthy shopping tools.
Harris Teeter’s YourWellness For Life program, which was originally created to help employees choose the most nutritious foods, became available to customers in 2006. Part of that initiative is shelf tags that clearly show the nutrients in various foods (an “excellent source of fiber” label means the item contains 20% or more of the recommended daily intake; a “good source of fiber” lets you know there’s between 10% and 19% of the RDI). Plus, a Green Thumb Expert at every store gives hints on choosing and preparing produce.

#4: Trader Joe's
300-plus stores in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
Shopping at Trader Joe’s is more like going to a specialty-foods store than a chain grocer—you’ll find healthy foods from around the world, all at surprisingly reasonable prices. What you won’t find: bad-for-you mainstream brands. The store’s impressive and delicious store-brand foods contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and no MSG, trans fats or genetically modified ingredients. “My daughter loves their Omega Trek Mix With Omega-Fortified Cranberries, and now I do, too!” Palumbo says.
Pawloski is just as excited about their organic prepared meals. There are fun healthy surprises, too: instead of sugary cereals, they have good-news alternatives, like fruit-and nut-packed Triple Berry O’s. Why didn’t Trader Joe’s rank higher? The limited selection in most of its stores.

#5: Hannaford
165-plus stores in the Northeast
This chain is relatively small, but Whole Foods should look out$mdash;Hannaford is the largest certified-organic supermarket in the region, and in the past two years it has boosted its produce selection to provide more than 50 local and organic products from 200 farms close by. “It’s an impressive amount of local produce, which is not that easy in temperate New England,” Geagan notes.
But Hannaford’s commitment to healthy foods doesn’t stop there. Its Guiding Stars nutrition-label program makes it a snap to pick out the healthiest fresh and packaged fare: You’ll find one, two, or three stars—with three stars indicating the highest nutritional value—on nearly every item in the store. That means you don’t have to pore over the labels to decide which loaf of bread to buy.

#6: Albertsons
529 stores in the West, owned by SuperValu
Organic food can be expensive, but Albertsons’s house brand, Wild Harvest, typically costs 15% less than name-brand organic products. All Wild Harvest items—including whole wheat pastas, soy milk, cereals, meats, and poultry—eschew artificial preservatives, colorings, sweeteners, and flavorings; hydrogenated and cottonseed oils; and phosphates and chlorine.
Our judges loved the chain’s Healthy Eaters program, which lets kids tour the store with a registered dietitian. And this month, Albertsons introduces the Nutrition iQ program, which uses simple color-coded labels to highlight nutritional benefits.

#7: Food Lion
1,300 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic
This megachain is owned by the same company as Hannaford and has taken some healthy cues from its smaller sister: It stocks organic fruits and vegetables (though not as many local items as the top chains), has its own natural-foods brand, Nature’s Place, and also uses the Guiding Stars nutrition-labeling system.
But it’s Food Lion’s boutique offshoot, Bloom (61 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia), that’s leading the way for the entire chain. “Their produce is fresh and smells wonderful,” Pawloski says. Bloom also boasts kiosks that provide nutrition info and healthy recipes that can be printed in-store.

#8: Publix
952 stores in the Southeast
Publix scores high for making healthy eating a family affair. Pregnant moms can sign up for the Publix Baby Club and receive coupons and a news­letter about infants’ developing needs. The Preschool Pals program for 2- to 4-year-olds provides kids with fun free CD-ROMs and emails that teach nutrition and safety. And its free FamilyStyle magazine has simple tips on cooking family dinners fast.
The store’s own brand, GreenWise, features fresh and packaged natural and organic foods. And like Food Lion, Publix has launched an offshoot store that focuses on natural and organic foods—Publix GreenWise Market (currently only in Florida). Our judges also couldn’t stop talking about Publix’s At Season’s Peak program, which points customers to the produce that’s most in season. “It helps shoppers choose food when it’s freshest and most nutritious,” says panelist Frances Largeman-Roth, Health’s senior food and nutrition editor.

#9: Pathmark
141 stores in the Mid-Atlantic
Pathmark doesn’t make a big deal out of its commitment to buying from area farms and producers, but it is in fact the largest retailer of locally grown produce in the Northeast, stocking area finds like Long Island corn on the cob.
It also provides a welcome incentive to eat right: The company’s Live Better! Wellness Club includes discounts of up to 15% on fresh-cut fruit and veggies. And if you never know what the heck to make for dinner, here is a perk you’ll appreciate: You can go online and get creative and healthy menu ideas, courtesy of Pathmark’s resident registered dietitian, Jacqueline Gomes.

#10: SuperTarget
239 stores in 21 states, primarily Texas and Florida
Tar-jay, a healthy grocer? Yep. These Targets with minimarkets offer good-news brands like Kashi, Quaker, Sahala Snacks, and Barbara’s, plus a limited amount of organic dairy items and produce. And you’ll also find inexpensive, high-quality house brands like Market Pantry (cooking staples, etc.) and the trans fat–free Archer Farms (which includes baked goods, appetizers, and snacks)—and this makes it easier for shoppers to stock up for less.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Greatest Thing Since...

You can finish that sentence...haha. I am just SO excited about a new product I found while grocery shopping last night.

I have always liked the little containers of cut fruit...they are convenient, travel well, and are the perfect serving size. HOWEVER, they are always packed in syrup, light syrup or have tons of added sugar. Yuck. (I have never understood adding sugar to is already sweet!?)

NOW...drum roll please...Dole has come out with little fruit cups packed in 100% fruit juice with no added sugar or sugar substitutes!!!


They are more expensive than buying the fresh fruit- but they were on sale at Fry's and it is worth it to me for the convenience.

Perfect for lunches, play dates and more! You do not need to refrigerate them before opening and they are cut in perfect baby/toddler sizes.

Click here to view the nutritional information and learn more!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Great article about Dad's role in breasfeeding

For me- having my husband's support regarding breastfeeding was the single most important reason I was successful. Before we had our son, he was encouraging and helped me learn about what to do. When our son was born, he was very helpful (especially when it was so tiring and painful!). He was supportive and was there with water, kind words and love. And throughout the next TWO years, he never complained or made me feel weird for wanting to breastfeed long term. He gave me praise to family and friends and made me feel like a superstar for breastfeeding our son.

I really believe that having a partner (or even a family member or close friend if you are not married) can help get you through the tough times. Breastfeeding is NOT easy!

Here is a great article to read for Mom and Dad about starting/continuing a successful breastfeeding relationship from The Connected Mom:

Share it with those expecting- definitely good advice. Also- if you have some advice for Dad- leave it here!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy Hanukkah Recipes!

Happy Hanukkah!! The best part, in my opinion? The fun lasts 8 days/nights! More time with family, more time to eat delicious foods and more time for happy celebrations.

Here are some recipes to try out that are a bit healthier than the originals. And if you are not Jewish- why not introduce some new foods to your family and little ones. You will not be sorry- the food is delicious!!!

Healthy Hanukkah Recipes form Eating Well

Some new latkes recipes to try- from

Kosher Recipes from

Hundred's of traditional and new recipes from Food Network