Monday, January 31, 2011

More Proof that Exclusive Breastfeeding Protects Infants

As if you needed more evidence, here is some more information about the wonders of exclusive breastfeeding...


"Exclusive breastfeeding protects against infections

Saturday, January 29, 2011 by: Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, citizen journalist(NaturalNews) Once more we discover the incredible value of breastfeeding for the health of infants. In a study published in the Archives of Disease of Childhood, researchers found that exclusive breastfeeding for six months resulted in less infections of many types compared to babies who did not breastfeed or babies who were partially breastfed. It also showed that the longer babies breastfed the more protection they had from infections (Ladomenoul, 2010).

Babies who were exclusively breastfed had less acute respiratory infections, less ear infections, less thrush, fewer episodes of digestive infections, and fewer hospitalizations. This study included 926 infants over the course of 12 months. An interesting finding was that the protective effect of exclusive breastfeeding for six months resulted in less infections during the entire 12 months. Previous studies have shown less infections in breastfed babies; but many of these studies occurred in populations with poor medical care, and babies who were prone to more infections because of low standards of living. This study was conducted in a population of infants with high health standards and adequate medical care.

This study was also different than others because it examined the effect of exclusive breastfeeding compared to partial breastfeeding with additional formula. Partial breastfeeding had no substantial protective effect. Apparently, formula feeding decreases immunity. The authors suggest that their findings suggest an immunomodulatory effect of breastfeeding "hampered by the introduction of formula feeding."

The fact that exclusive breastfeeding protects against serious infections and hospitalizations is very significant. This study echoes the findings of previous studies that showed the protective effect of breastfeeding on meningitis in infants. Studies in the past have shown that infants who breastfeed longer than three months have a decreased incidence of meningitis compared to infants who breastfeed for less time. The longer that infants breastfeed, the lower their risk of meningitis. In fact their risk of meningitis decreases for each additional week of breastfeeding (Silfverdal, 1997). And this protective effect can persist for many years. Infants who breastfeed have a decreased risk of meningitis even up to 10 years later (Silfverdal, 1999).

The results of this study should further encourage mothers to avoid formula feeding and exclusively breastfeed their babies for as long as possible. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies that provides for a robust immune system and protects babies from infections even long after weaning.


Ladomenou F, et al. Protective effect of exclusive breastfeeding against infections during infancy: a prospective study. Arch Dis Child. 2010 Dec;95(12):1004-8. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

Silfverdal SA, et al. Protective effect of breastfeeding on invasive Haemophilus influenza infection: a case-control study in Swedish preschool children. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1997; 26(2):443-60.

Silfverdal SA, et al. Protective effect of breast-feeding: an ecologic study of Haemophilus influenza meningitis and breastfeeding in a Swedish population. International Journal of Epidemiology 1999; 28(1):152-6.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Medication during Breastfeeding

Here are some great links to help you with questions about medications during breastfeeding!

US Government Drugs and Lactation Database:

Dr. Thomas Hale's clinic website for pregnant and breastfeeding women:

Medication and Mother's Milk Book (updated every 2 years):

Kelly Mom website:

I know that even though I rarely take medications- I used these resources several times during the 2 years that I breastfed my son...and I am sure that I will need them again in a few weeks when I begin breastfeeding my second child. Very helpful!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

50 Healthy Snack Ideas!

What a great idea! Thanks to for this great list. She pointed out how important snacks are for little ones- and how it is easy to get into a rut, serving the same snacks over and over.

Well- Here is her great list of 50 healthy snacks, plus fun serving suggestions:

Ideas are sorted by veggies, fruits, protiens, fats, grains and serving suggestions. How handy!!

Do you have a great idea not listed?? Share here! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Miranda Kerr Blogs about Baby!

Miranda Kerr is a world famous model and married to Orlando Bloom. She is also very into natural and organic living- she even has her own line of organic care products called KORA Organics.

She just had a baby and posted a beautiful picture of her breastfeeding her son. I love when celebrities talk about and share breastfeeding experiences- hopefully the more this is done- the more breastfeeding will be in the spotlight.

 (photo courtesy of

Click here to read her blog about her natural childbirth, her cute little boy and her experience with her husband by her side through it all!

Click here to read about KORA Organics

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Changes to School Meal Programs- Enough?

New health guidelines for school meals were announced and the changes are good, but some are asking if it is enough?

Here is a great article discussing the issue from one of my favorite bloggers at One Hungry Mama:

"{food for thought} Do The Changes to School Nutrition Guidelines Matter?

Last Thursday, long awaited changes to federal school nutrition guidelines were announced. It’s been 15 years since the last changes and, in that time, we’ve reached a point where 32% of children 6- to 19-years-old, many of whom eat breakfast and lunch at school, are overweight or obese. This has been a long time coming.

The changes will:
* lower calorie requirements
* eliminate trans fats
* increase the amount of allowable fat
* cut back on starchy food and reduce sodium levels over a ten-year period

They will also require two servings of vegetables at lunch, a serving of fruit at both breakfast and lunch, and that half of all grains served be whole grains.

Sadly, though, as I wrote about at The Family Kitchen, sugar is not on the chopping block, which means that flavored milks are still on the menu.

I hate to complain about such an important step forward, but (yes, there’s a but) I can’t help but wonder about this milk issue. Is it an example of the kind of concession necessary to push through game-changing legislation or a sign that the new guidelines are, well, not enough?

Before the specific guidelines were released, Chef Ann Cooper, also known as The Renegade Lunch Lady and the woman in charge of the Boulder Valley (Colo.) School District, said to the Washington Post that her guess is corporations will “find a way to make processed foods fit the guidelines.”
That may seem overly pessimistic (and perhaps she feels differently having seen the guidelines?), but given that most school kitchens are run by poorly trained staff and poorly equipped to do more than store and heat frozen foods, you’ve got to wonder. And that’s not even to mention the complication added by the USDA’s School’s/Child Nutrition Commodity Program in which cash strapped schools can buy cheaper, subpar surplus foods, some of which don’t even meet the quality and safety standards set by fast-food chains. Yuck.

Anyone deep in the school lunch system can tell you that it’s broken. Hey, anyone not deep in the system can tell you that. While I welcome any positive change, are these new guidelines enough? Or do we have to completely rebuild the system from the ground up. If so, can that happen through federal legislation or do we need local activism?

Or maybe all of the above.

I don’t have the answers, but I think we should all be asking. And so does Ed Bruske who, in a recent article on Grist, pointed out that the new school nutrition guidelines fail to take into account “that schools should not merely feed hungry children, but show them there’s another world of food besides the junk food culture they grow up in. It’s not just a matter of putting calories in kids’ bellies, not when food insecurity and obesity exist side-by-side. This is really a question of social justice for our times. Do the disadvantaged children for whom the subsidized meal program is designed deserve the opportunity to eat the same quality food as children from families who can afford to shop at a farmers market?”

He goes on to propose that “serving real food in school takes radical changes on the local level, not merely tinkering with standards originating in Washington. That means an attitude change and a commitment on the part of local school officials, parents, and elected leaders.”"


So what do you think?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Williams Sonoma Kids

I love Williams Sonoma but can never afford anything there and really don't have time to be a gourmet chef these days...but I pretend I am that woman who greets her family in pearls at 5pm with a beautiful magazine ready meal. I do this while browsing the Williams Sonoma website.

(Someday- my kids will be older and I will have time to cook great again, right??!)

I was enjoying a daydream while looking through the Williams Sonoma website and I found a great resource for us parents!! Hey...maybe we CAN have it all...

Click here to explore recipes, safety tips, family meal guides and more! It is broken up into different categories like veggies, appetizers, main dishes to make it easy to find new ideas for your kid. 

Click here to view the Williams Sonoma website

Friday, January 7, 2011

Delicious Rainbow Yogurt Recipe

I found this recipe today on my friend's blog- The Fab Life of a Housewife.

Hawlie loves everything healthy and finds great ways to make even the most simple recipes, fabulous!!

"Rainbow Parfait

This is the ultimate antioxidant parfait! It’s packed with deliciously fresh fruit, which are loaded with fabulously healthy nutrients…a treat for your buds, and for your bod! I saw this recipe on my friend Laura’s blog, Daily Dubie (check it out, it’s darling!), and I just had to try it. I made these parfaits last night, as a yummy dessert…but it could also be an excellent breakfast option too!

  • 3/4 cup Fage nonfat yogurt
  • 1.5 teaspoon raw sugar- (or agave nectar or honey)
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Fuji Apple, chopped
  • Blueberries
  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
Notes on Greek Yogurt: It’s higher in protein, lower in carbs, and just all-around thicker and creamier than traditional yogurt.

Notes on Berries: They are rich in fiber and vitamin C. They have no fat and the lowest carb count of almost any fruit. Research shows that berries may help to slow down the aging process, boost immunity, and protect against chronic diseases and many cancers. Berries can also give you leaner, more toned abs! Due to their high fiber content, absence of fat grams, low calories, and extremely low carbohydrate ratio, berries reduce bloating in the midsection and promote overall digestive health.

Notes on Kiwi: Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, the super-fruit is known for promoting respiratory healthy and pre-mature aging. You can even use the left over skins as a face mask…waste not, want not!

Notes on Fuji Apples: Fuji apples have a high amount of flavinoids, which greatly reduces the risk of heart attack and heart disease. It’s also loaded with immunity-building vitamin C. The skin of a fuji apple contains special antioxidants (phenols) which help protect the skin from UV-B rays that could damage it.

Notes on Walnuts: Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They’re rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants. Walnuts also have slightly more omega 3 fatty acids compared to other nuts.

Notes on Pumpkin Seeds: Described as one of nature’s almost perfect foods, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, fat, fiber, minerals and protein. Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities."


This recipe is great for toddlers over 18 months as is- or omit the nuts for younger babies. Or- even better- the perfect dessert for your next party! It is so elegant looking and no one will have to break their New Year's Resolutions on this fabulous dessert!

Thanks Hawlie!!