Monday, March 28, 2011

Recipe of the Day- Zucchini Pancakes

From One Hungry Mama:

Zucchini Pancakes

makes 5 app/side sized pancakes
(can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*

3 c shredded zucchini, about 2 large
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 egg
1/4 c flour
1 Tbsp dill, ideally fresh
heaping 1/2 tsp aleppo pepper**
white pepper
olive oil

1. Place shredded zucchini in a colander and toss with salt. Allow to sit and drain for at least 30 minutes. Once drained, squeeze the zucchini dry in a kitchen towel. If you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, skip straight to the towel squeeze knowing that you’ll have to squeeze a bunch of times. You want the zucchini to be as dry as possible.

2. Combine zucchini and remaining ingredients to make a batter.

3. Cover the bottom of a pan with thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, drop a scant 1/4 c of batter into the pan per pancake. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds and then, using a spatula, flatten the pancake. These are thin, somewhere between a fluffy flap jack and crepe. Cook until the pancake browns on one side, for another 30 seconds or minute, then flip. Continue cooking until the other side turns golden brown and the pancake is cooked through, another 2 minutes or so. Serve with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt.

*Note: These are a fantastic first finger food. Puree or mash pancakes for little ones not yet adept at finger food eating.

**Note: You can find aleppo pepper online or at your nearest Middle Eastern grocery. There’s no perfect substitute, so you can skip OR try 1/8 teaspoon of either ancho chili powder or red pepper flakes plus 1/8 tsp of paprika.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sorry for the light posting...

I have not been the best blogger lately. Between being super pregnant and exhausted- to having a baby and being exhausted...blogging has not been first on my to do list.

I am very excited to be breastfeeding again. I was very lucky to get Lucas on my chest right after birth and we began breastfeeding within 30 minutes of delivery.

He latched on right away and nursed for about 2-3 hours with only small breaks in between. (Just like my first son- big babies do not wait for meals, haha).

I also remembered how hard these first few weeks hurt SO bad to nurse for the first week or so for every minute of our nursing sessions. I mean, bring me to tears pain. Plus- my little chunk wants to nurse every few hours if not more.

Thankfully, the pain is now only lasting about 20 seconds when he first latches on, then it does not hurt. Hooray! Hopefully, that will be gone soon too.

It is also overwhelming to nurse so often. When I last breastfed my son, he only nursed once per day for about 10 minutes. Easy! Now, it is for 30-45 min. every few hours (and of course, every hour sometimes). I feel stuck to our couch/bed!

The wonderful parts are here too. There is nothing cuter that looking at your baby while they are nursing. It is no accident that newborns can only see about a foot in front of them- the exact distance from your breast to your face. They look at you while nursing with the most loving little eyes...I just melt every time. It is also so nice to be able to comfort my son so quickly and completely.


I will try and get back on the blog bandwagon soon- and if in the meantime, you find something interesting- e-mail me and I will post it on this site for everyone to read.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Breastfeeding Women Viewed as Less Competent...

This is ridiculous to me! Berastfeeding is such a wonderfully smart and natural thing to do for your baby...why it is still regarded in a negative light is baffling to me.

Check out the story:

"Breastfeeding Women Viewed as Less Competent"

New research finds both men and women tend to harshly evaluate breastfeeding mothers.

A study emerged out of Oxford University last week suggesting babies who are breastfed end up doing better in school. Yet despite such well-documented benefits for both mother and child, the percentage of American breastfeeding women remains “stagnant and low,” according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why are only one-third of American mothers exclusively breastfeeding at three months, and only 43 percent breastfeeding at all at six months? Perhaps because they’ve gotten a sense of how harshly they are being judged.

Research just published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reports mothers who breastfeed are widely viewed as less competent than otherwise identical females. This disturbing finding was obtained in three separate studies, one of which also found breastfeeding is a handicap for women hoping to be hired for a job.

“Importantly, we did not find evidence that gender of the participant influenced perceptions of the breastfeeding mother,” notes the research team led by Montana State University psychologist Jessi L. Smith. Women, it seems, are just as likely as men to hold this bias.

In one experiment, 30 students told they were engaging in an “impression formation study” were given biographical information on actress Brooke Shields, including the fact she had just written a book about motherhood. Half were told the volume included information on her “experiences with breastfeeding, bathing and overall care of a newborn;” for the other half, the word “bottle-feeding” was exchanged for “breastfeeding.”

Afterward, the participants answered a series of questions gauging their overall assessment of the
actress. Those who read she was breastfeeding her baby viewed her as “significantly more warm and friendly compared to the bottle-feeding mother, but significantly less competent in general, and less competent in math specifically,” the researchers report.

In another experiment, 55 students were told they were participating in a study of how people form impressions of others in the face of limited information. They were asked to judge a woman they got to know by listening to her telephone answering machine.

Specifically, they heard a message in which a man talks about changing the time of their dinner date. The rest of the message varied: Some participants heard a neutral conclusion, while others heard a reference to breastfeeding (“I figured you would want to go home and breastfeed the baby”), motherhood (“I figured you would want to go home and give the baby a bath”), or sexuality (“I figured you would want to go home and change into your strapless bra”).

The breastfeeding woman “was viewed significantly more negatively compared to the neutral voicemail on all measures of competence,” Smith and her colleagues found. The woman in the strapless bra was also labeled as less competent, suggesting that the bias faced by breastfeeding woman “is similar to the once experienced by a woman for whom the breast is sexually objectified,” the researchers add.
Asked if they would hire this woman for a job, the participants gave the lowest ratings to the breastfeeding woman — even below that of the woman with sexualized breasts. Interestingly, the woman giving her baby a bath was not penalized in this respect, suggesting it isn’t parenthood per se that makes her less desirable as an employee.

Rather, the culprit seems to be the mental image of her breasts, whether they’re being used as instruments of sexual allure or infant nutrition.

“A woman may not breastfeed because of worry over how she will be evaluated by other people,” the researchers conclude. “Data from the current project suggest this worry may be warranted, to the extent that breastfeeding is a devalued social category.”

Smith and her colleagues suggest that health professionals should “teach pregnant women about the sexism they might encounter” when they choose to breastfeed. In terms of society as a whole, they argue the only way this bias will diminish is for more women to breastfeed openly.
“More visible breastfeeding mothers should prompt people to wrestle with and debate the issues,” they write. “With time, greater numbers of women who breastfeed translates to less prejudice.”


Monday, March 14, 2011

Preparing to Breastfeed

As I am about to have another baby- I am remembering that breastfeeding, while natural and amazing, is kind of tricky in the beginning. I know I cannot be totally prepared, but I do feel better this time, having so many more resources available to me.

One of my most favorite sites is Kelly Mom. That site gave me pretty much every answer I ever needed about breastfeeding. I love it. I love it so much- that I send the link to every new parent I know.

Here is a great article about what you need to know before breastfeeding:

"Information is Your Ally in preparing to breastfeed: 10 Tips for Success"

"by Eva Lyford

One of the most common questions a breastfeeding support person gets asked is "How do I prepare to breastfeed?" In the bad old days, sometimes moms were told to toughen their nipples - descriptions of which were enough to make even the most breastfeeding inclined mom shiver and reach for a bottle. Scientific research has shown, to our relief, that no toughening is needed. But there is still a lot to do in order to prepare - Before Delivery

NOTHING BUT THE MAMA: Specify on your birth plan that no artificial nipples, pacifiers, sugar water or formula be given to your baby unless medically indicated, prescribed by your pediatrician and approved by you. (If supplemental feedings are needed they can be given via oral syringe.) Make a sign for your baby's hospital bassinet that says "I AM A BREASTFED BABY... no artificial nipples, formula or pacifiers please!!" I made mine with a bunch of breastfeeding related cartoons so the nurses got a laugh out of reading the sign, too. Keeping everything EXCEPT your nipple away from baby's mouth will help prevent nipple confusion.

NATURAL WOMAN: Babies born via unmedicated labor often breastfeed more easily than those born via medicated labors - medicated labors aren't a problem for all women and babies, but you improve your odds for successful breastfeeding if you can reduce or limit interventions during labor. IVs during labor can also cause or increase engorgement, so are best avoided if possible - even if you can't avoid using them completely, try to limit the amount of fluid used. Moms whose births include more interventions have lower rates of breastfeeding - but there are plenty of exceptions! An excellent resource for information on childbirth is The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.

 SUPPORT YOUR BREASTS: Educate yourself about breastfeeding and have a support network ready to answer questions and support you in breastfeeding. Check out a LLL meeting if you get a chance! La Leche League welcomes pregnant mothers at their meetings. You can locate a group near you at the LLLI website. Here are some recommended books and a list of books to avoid. Does your hospital or birth center have a lactation consultant on staff? If not (or if you birth at home) arrange to be able to see one within the first 24 hours if things aren't going well. Here's info on how to find a lactation consultant. Call a few before your baby comes, select one you like and keep her contact info with you in the hospital in case you need it. Hopefully everything will go really well and you won't need to call, but that way you'll have the info if you need it.

 STOCK UP in advance: at least 2 good supportive nursing bras, nursing pads, 100% purified lanolin for sore nipples, pajamas with easy access for nursing (not necessarily expensive nursing pajamas, even pajamas with button up or pull up tops will do), and frozen peas/gel packs and cabbage to ease any breast engorgement/soreness/inflammation. This is the bare minimum equipment; some moms also find it helpful to have a rocker, a sling, a pump, breastmilk storage bottles or bags, a nursing pillow, or other items, but you can do fine without these, too.

 PLAN YOUR WORK & WORK YOUR PLAN: Writing up a birth plan and reviewing it with your doctor, midwife, doula and pediatrician to make sure that there are no issues with it prior to the birth is an excellent step. Note, a birth plan is not something that just granola-eating, Birkenstock wearing nudist hippy moms use! Plenty of moms use them to help identify what would make a good birth experience, and allow them to plan for and work towards it. In this day of the professional, educated working mom, birth plans seem to many like a natural extension of the analytical process used for event planning. Many of us had wedding plans, which is usually a less stressful event! Clearly, a birth plan should not be a document that you confront your health care providers over, but something you agree to work together on.

Immediately After Delivery
GET IT ON: Breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after you deliver. Babies who are breastfed within the first hour generally have more successful breastfeeding experiences than those who aren't. Any medical procedures that aren't urgent may be delayed to accommodate this important first step, and many procedures can be done while the baby is breastfeeding.

LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER: Room in with baby, so that you can breastfeed frequently and also ensure your wishes aren't ignored with regard to baby. (For example, they tried to take my 1st son three times for medical procedures; I had to keep defending him from eager residents!)

OUT OF YOUR SHELL: Nipple shells can be useful immediately postpartum to help draw out the nipple and to shield sore nipples from contact with fabric. These are different from shields, which CAN be useful but are often overused, and used in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, purified lanolin ointment can help if you have sore nipples. Have some on hand or know where you can get them right away, if needed.

Postpartum Period
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ: When they say to sleep while baby is sleeping, it is definitely true that you should! This is NOT just a friendly piece of advice to pamper the new mom - it is a necessity. Your endorphins/adrenaline will carry you for about a week before you crash - hard. Don't let that happen - get help from family and friends, and focus on recovering from childbirth and on breastfeeding.

 WHO'S NORMAL ANYWAY: Understand what normal breastfeeding is like. See What is Normal? and Breastfeeding as Baby Grows and the wonderful descriptions of normal breastfeeding in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLL International. Hang out with a breastfeeding friend for a while, or visit a La Leche League meeting and see nursing moms in action.

Good luck, and enjoy your new baby!"



What about you- what are your most helpful hints for new breastfeeding mamas?


Click here to visit Kelly Mom!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Quick Start Guide to Making Baby Food...

A GREAT article from one of my favorite baby food resources- Wholesome Baby Food:

"Wholesome Homemade Baby Food - A Quick Start Guide®©™"

"Homemade baby food is a simple, inexpensive way to feed your baby.  By making your baby fresh homemade baby food, you can offer your baby more flavors and variety and only the finest quality ingredients.

Tips for Safe Baby Food Preparation:
  • Always wash your hands before preparing foods for your baby.
  • Ensure your cutting board, utensils, pots and pans, processing equipment and storage containers have been thoroughly washed and cleansed.
  • Wash, peel and pit fruits and vegetables as needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate or freeze cooked food immediately once you have processed or prepared the food.
  • Store pureed foods in the refrigerator for no more than three days.

The Tools You Will Need
  • Blender, Food Processor, Food Mill/Grinder, Potato Masher, Fork, Sieve or Strainer
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Pots, Pans and a Steamer Basket
  • Ice cube trays or other freezer safe containers in small sizes (2oz-4oz)
  • Freezer bags and permanent marker

Various Methods for Making Baby Food - Here are a few ways you can make homemade baby food.   

Mash It! 
Many foods can be mashed with a fork or potato masher.  Foods such as ripe bananas, avocados and soft cooked foods such as sweet potato, apples or squash can all be made with a fork or potato masher.  Using a fork or masher will depend on what type of texture your baby requires.

Use a Food Mill 
Cut the food into pieces. Put the cooked food through the food mill. (The skin and seeds will stay in the mill.)

Chop or Grate Baby’s Food
Foods can be finely chopped or grated (with a cheese grater), then mixed with liquid.  This is great for babies who are self-feeding.

Food Grinder
A food grinder can be used to grind up foods for your baby.  This is a simple way to prepare meats and more textured foods.  The food grinder is also great to take on vacation or when dining out with baby.  You can quickly and easily grind up fresh baby food in your hotel or at the restaurant.

Blender or Food Processor
Add your cooked food to your blender or food processor and blend to the consistency your baby requires.  If needed, add liquids such as breast milk, formula, water or the cooking water from the food you cooked to thin out the baby food.

Sieve or Strainer to Finish Homemade Baby Food
Many parents like to use a sieve or strainer to further thin homemade baby food.  These gadgets may be particularly useful for foods that have stubborn skins, such as peas and green beans. Put the food into the sieve or strainer and push it through into a clean bowl.  Repeat the process as many times as you need.

Storage Methods for Homemade Baby Food

An easy way to freeze homemade baby food is to use ice cube trays.
Freezing in ice trays will give you food cubes that are the perfect size.  These food cubes are also easily portioned. 
Each ice tray cube slot equals approximately 1 ounce of food.  Using the food cubes method, you will have minimal waste and will be able to “mix and match” foods for your baby. Remember to never freeze foods in glass that is not manufactured specifically for freezing!

How to make and store baby food cubes
  • Spoon the baby food you made into ice cube trays using a clean utensil.
  • Freeze baby foods in ice cube trays.
  • Once the food cubes are frozen, pop them out of the trays and store in clean freezer bags.  Your food cubes will store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • If you have difficulty popping out the frozen food cubes, simply run warm water on the underside of the tray to loosen the cubes
  • Be sure to label your freezer bags of food cubes; include the date you froze them as well as the name of the food.

Heating and Thawing Methods for Homemade Baby Food

Here are a few ways you may thaw and heat homemade baby food. Baby food does not always have to be heated to be served.  Offering your baby a few meals that are room temperature will be helpful in the event you are out and unable to find somewhere to heat baby’s food!

  • Microwave Thawing of Baby Food Purées - If you are using a microwave to thaw or reheat baby food cubes, be sure to stir food to ensure no hot-pockets are left to burn baby!  Many parents do not like to use the microwave for a variety of reasons. It is up to you to decide if heating or thawing your baby food cubes in the microwave is right for you and your baby.

  • Refrigerator Thawing of Homemade Baby Food Cubes - If you do not wish to use a microwave to thaw your baby food cubes, you may thaw your baby food cubes in the refrigerator over night (ensure that the cubes remain a closed container and not in an uncovered bowl).
  • Submersion Thawing of Baby Food Cubes - Place the frozen baby food cubes in a small bowl and then place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with hot water.

Basic Ways to Prepare Foods for Baby Foods

FRUITS (4)6 months +

For Fruits That Need to be Cooked
Wash the fresh fruit and peel and pit if necessary. Frozen fruits do not need to be washed however you may give them a quick rinsing.  Steam or bake the fruits until tender and soft.

Ripe Banana and Other Fresh Fruits
Ripe bananas and avocados do not require cooking.  Pears and peaches may not require cooking if they are fully ripened. Simply peel, pit and mash!

Using Frozen Fruits
If your choice of fresh fruits is not available, frozen unsweetened fruits may be used.  Give these frozen fruits a gentle steaming prior to pureeing and refreezing.  You may always take a handful of the fruits out of the bag and puree or mash them as needed; keep these prepared fruits in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.

VEGETABLES (4)6 months +

All Vegetables Should be Cooked
Wash the vegetables and peel and deseed if necessary.  Cook the vegetables by steaming or baking them.

Do not use lunch meats and do not use smoked meats such as bacon due to the high levels of salt and additives.

Basic Meat Recipe
Puree or grind 1 cup finely cubed and well cooked meat with as much liquid as needed to make a consistency your baby will tolerate.  Grating or shredding meats is an option for babies used to texture and finger foods.

Egg Yolk
Boil the eggs (they will spin when they are fully cooked) and then allow to cool.  Peel the shells and remove the cooked yolk; mash with a fork. Do not serve the egg white until baby is 12 months old."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Hungry Mama Blog Honored

If you have not already become a loyal follower of One Hungry Mama- you need to. Even someone without kids can find amazing recipes and tips for healthy eating.

Now- the site has been named to the Babble Top 100 Food Mom Blogs for 2011 and is apart of the Top Ten Healthiest Eating List.

The site is amazing and easy to use. At the top of the page, you can search/sort recipes by age, ingredient or type.  The recipes start at 6 months and continue for the entire family.

 (photo courtesy of

Click HERE to check out ONE HUNGRY MAMA

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Cancer, arthritis, diabetes, even acne - is breast milk the new wonder cure?"

Cancer, arthritis, diabetes, even acne - is breast milk the new wonder cure?

By Louise Atkinson
Last updated at 8:15 AM on 27th April 2010

"There's little doubt that breast milk helps keep babies healthy, but could it be a miracle cure for adult illnesses, too? That's the suggestion from a number of studies on its use as a treatment for conditions as varied as cancer, diarrhoea and diabetes.

In the latest research published last week, a Swedish team reported that the sizes of bladder tumours were reduced just five days after patients were injected with a breast milk compound. The team at Gothenburg University had been looking at the antibiotic properties of breast milk when a researcher noticed that cancerous lung cells in a test tube died on contact with breast milk.
They then isolated the key compound - a protein called alpha-lactalbumin.

Subsequent tests showed the compound becomes lethal only when exposed to acid, as it is in the stomach, so the scientists mixed it with oleic acid, which is found in babies' stomachs, to form a compound they call HAMLET (human alphalactalbumin made lethal to tumour cells).
The Swedish team, led by Professor Catharina Svanborg, have shown that HAMLET attacks cancer cells, causing apoptosis - a form of cell suicide - in 40 kinds of tumour.

Studies with rats showed that after just seven weeks a highly invasive brain cancer called glioblastoma was seven times smaller in those treated with HAMLET. The product has also been made into a cream and tested on warts (which share the same growth properties as tumours) and found to reduce their size by 75 per cent in 20 volunteers.

Researchers believe this could have implications for the treatment of cervical cancer, which is linked to the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Its extraordinary ability to attack rogue cells could be why breast milk appears to protect babies from all sorts of illness - a protection that scientists believe could linger in the body for years.
Research shows that breast-fed babies have a reduced risk of many adult illnesses, including cancer. But cancer is not the only focus of breast milk research:


Breast milk could be a new, and easier, source of stem cells. Stem cells are one of the most exciting discoveries in medicine, thanks to their remarkable ability to develop into many different cell types in the body, serving as a sort of internal repair system.

Stem cells are already being used to treat leukaemia and could soon help treat eye conditions.
Scientists are also researching their potential in the longer term for treating conditions such as spinal injuries, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

A molecular biologist at Perth University, Australia, has discovered stem cells in breast milk.
Dr Mark Cregan and his team cultured the cells of human breast milk and found the result was positive for a stem cell marker called nestin. 'These cells have all the physical characteristics of stem cells,' he says. 'What we will do next is to see if they behave like stem cells.'If so, this promises to provide researchers with an ethical and easier means of harvesting stem cells for researching treatments. Indeed, Dr Cregan believes this development could be possible within five years.


Chronic diarrhea kills up to 2.2 million people worldwide every year, mostly children in developing countries. Scientists are looking at whether breast milk could help treat it. One approach is based on indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharides, many of which occur only in human milk. These sugars protect a baby from pathogens to which the mother has never been exposed. It's thought oligosaccharides might be used to boost elderly people's weakened natural protection against pathogens. They could also be used after a course of strong antibiotics by helping re-colonise the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria. So far, scientists have been able to genetically engineer mice to produce oligosaccharides in their milk and are working on bioengineering bacteria to produce human oligosaccharides to put into baby formula milk (to protect bottle-fed babies) or as supplements for adults. Other compounds found in breast milk, called lysozyme and lactoferrin, have been tested on children with diarrhea and have been shown to not only be an effective treatment, but to offer some sort of protection against future bouts.


Breast milk contains lactoferrin, which helps prevent babies' immune systems from overreacting.
This is being looked as a potential treatment for auto-immune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and septic shock.


In Italy, studies are under way to see if a breast milk molecule called glyerophosphocholine (GPC) can improve mental function in people with dementia or victims of stroke and traumatic brain injury.
In many separate trials, GPC appears to improve memory, attention and orientation in people with various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's.
It works like a brain nutrient, feeding the most energetically needy cells of our body, such as the brain cells.


A science student at the University of California recently discovered that the lauric acid in breast milk reduces irritation and spots, and has developed an acne cream that is undergoing clinical trials.
The cream uses tiny gold particles to carry lauric acid into pores where its anti-microbial properties fight bacteria. As breast milk is difficult to source, researchers are working to develop new sources for its healthgiving compounds. The compounds lysozyme and lactoferrin are harvested for research from a specific variety of rice, and the milk from genetically engineered goats and cows. Though some of these beneficial compounds are found in milk from other animals, others occur only in human milk, and the nonhuman versions are less potent when given to humans.


Breast milk has a long history in healthcare. The ancient Egyptians used it as a medicine, blending it with honey. And in the Sixties, Albert Sabin, inventor of the oral polio vaccine, conducted a study that showed mice recovered from polio when fed human breast milk. Today, some patients suffering from immunological diseases - such as HIV, leukaemia or hepatitis - or those receiving therapy that reduces the immune system, such as chemotherapy, have drunk breast milk in the hope that it can help adults, just as it helps sick babies. It has also been taken by cancer patients who claim it slows the progression of the disease. In the U.S., some milk banks provide it to adults. However, the benefits of drinking breast milk are unproven, and scientists maintain any beneficial effect may have more to do with placebo. While British milk banks do sometimes receive requests to supply milk for adults, they are not able to provide it, says Gillian Weaver of the UK Association of Milk Banking. 'This is partly because of a lack of clinical evidence of benefit, but also because milk banks are not funded or organised on a scale in which they could provide it,' she says. There is also understandable concern about diverting breast milk from needy babies."


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

Thanks to my friend Mairi for finding this great article from Dr.

"Brown vs. White Rice: A Fork in the Road"

"It’s time to change America’s first food. What if white rice helped trigger diabetes and brown rice helped to prevent it, regardless of lifestyle? That's just what a 2010 Harvard study suggests. Brown rice is a delicious whole food, packed with flavor and with protective nutrients. But all of the sugar-stabilizing fiber and all of the essential fatty acids are stripped out to make polished white rice, along with most of the magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and lignans, and half of the phosphorus and manganese. To make baby food rice cereal, the white rice is even further processed. And this depleted, out-of-balance, processed white flour becomes the eagerly-anticipated first bite of solids for most babies in the US.

How we feed babies in those early days matters for years to come. Most core food preferences are learned during critical early windows of opportunity (see Feeding Baby Green). In America we have raised a generation where most children learn to get zero servings of whole grains daily by the time they are 18 to 24 months old.

One in three babies born today is expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime, unless something dramatic changes. If we just made the simple switch from white rice to brown rice for babies we might cultivate a taste for whole grains and prevent millions and millions of people from developing diabetes.
For that very first bite of solids, though, I prefer choosing something that doesn’t come in a box or jar. Let your baby see a real whole food in its natural state, something she’s seen you eat before, such as a banana or an avocado. Let her handle the whole food. Let her smell it. Let her see you eat some, and then let her see you mash up a bit, perhaps with some breast milk. If you are nursing, she will already have experienced the flavor in your breast milk before.

Her strong desire to imitate you and to learn from you, coupled with this powerful combination of seeing, tasting, smelling, and touch creates a profound learning experience that is deeply satisfying and fun. Let a whole food mark this momentous occasion – or a whole grain cereal. But not processed white flour rice cereal.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed rice eating and diabetes in about 200,000 people. Those who ate white rice 5 or more times a week had a 17% increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate it less than once a month. Separately, those who ate 2 or more servings of brown rice a week had an 11 % decrease of type 2 diabetes. But the biggest difference came in those who chose brown rice or another whole grain instead of white rice – with up to a 36% reduced risk.
If we have a future population of 300 million in the US, with 100 million expected to develop diabetes, a 36% reduced risk represents a huge savings of life, limb, eyesight, money and health.

Shortly after babies begin to walk, neophobia begins to set in, the fear of new flavors, textures, or sources of food. Let’s teach a love for whole grains (and other whole foods) while they are still so eager to learn!"

June 15, 2010
Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, Holmes MD, Malik VS, Willett WC, and Hu FB. “White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. June 2010; 170(11):961-969.