Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe of the day- frozen fruit and yogurt treats!

Courtesy of my friend Mattie, here is a great treat for your little one!

 So easy and yet, so delicious! (my kind of summer cooking!)

1 banana
1-1.5 cup of honey greek yogurt. 

Mix in food processor. 
Pour into popsicle molds. 

Add whatever fruit you like to mix it up!

(For under 1, just be sure to use plain yogurt and not the honey kind)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another possible benefit to breastfeeding

New research is showing that breastfeeding lowers the risk for SIDS in babies. The evidence, as presented in Pediatrics (The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics), is strong enough to recommend that the SIDS risk-reduction list be updated to include breastfeeding to help reduce the chances of SIDS. From the article:

"Conclusions: Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive. The recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction messages to both reduce the risk of SIDS and promote breastfeeding for its many other infant and maternal health benefits."


Check out this abstract for the information and research

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toddler Nutrition

A really helpful article about toddlers and their nutritional needs from Wholesome Toddler Food:

"Concerned your toddler won't eat 3 full meals?"

Don't panic - most toddlers will only eat between 1 to 2 "meals" per day. Yes, it is true and it's perfectly fine.

If you think that your toddler should be eating a full meal at each mealtime, take heart - your toddler won't eat 3 "full" meals and further, does not need to eat 3 "full"  meals per day! What your toddler does need is at least 1000 calories per day, according to the AAP.

My Toddler does not eat at Dinner!

You will notice as the day progresses that your toddler becomes less and less hungry. Rest assured, it is common for toddlers to eat great at breakfast, eat "ok" at lunch and come dinner time, your toddler may eat either miniscule bites or leave behind a 99% full plate.

The AAP ( American Academy of Pediatrics )  recommends that children age 1 to 3 years get about 40 calories per inch of height a day.

Translation: Your 32-inch-tall toddler ideally should eat about 1,300 calories a day for normal growth and weight gain. These calories should come from the sources listed below as shown in the apple.

So what does this mean for My Toddler?

You should prepare balanced meals and healthy snacks for your toddler. Well balanced

quick tip 
for toddlersQUICK TIP
Your Toddler does NOT need to eat as much as you think he/she does!

Medical Professionals will tell you - children grow more slowly after the age of 12 months.

Hence, their caloric needs are less than what they were during the rapid growth period of newborn to 1 yr. old.

offerings, especially during snack time, will help you to overcome the inevitable lack of food intake during a meal.

For example, if your toddler does not drink all of his milk at breakfast, give him cheese for a snack. If your toddler refuses to eat his meat at lunch, give him tofu bites dusted with Cheerio or Granola crumbs for a snack.

In these examples, while you may lament at the lack of calcium and protein intake during breakfast and lunch, you have taken the opportunity to "make up for it" during snack time!

Toss out the idea that your Toddler will suddenly be eating "like the family" does!  Remember, your Toddler is still in a stage of slow-then-rapid-then-slow growth and is going through many changes! 

How Much Should I Try to Have my Toddler Eat per Day?
Toddler Food Requirements
When planning and serving meals to your toddler, try to have him/or her consume the following on a daily basis:

  • 2 to 3 cups of calcium - milk (or yogurt, cheese or other calcium rich foods)

  • 4 servings of fruits and vegetables. (Serving size: one tablespoon per year of age.) One serving should be high in vitamin C and another in vitamin A.

  • 4 servings of grains - bread and cereal. One should be an iron-fortified baby cereal. A serving is about 1/4 to 1/3 an adult portion (1/4 slice toast, 1/4 cup pasta)

  • 2 servings of proteins - meat, beans, eggs, tofu, or peanut butter. A good serving of protein should be served at every meal. One serving equals 1/2 ounce. Courtesy of Parent'sPlace Nutritionist Q&A.

What is Considered a Serving Size for a Toddler?  

We find that feeding your Toddler becomes less complicated and frustrating when parents realize what a serving size for a Toddler really is. A good rule for serving sizes for toddlers is the following::

1 tablespoon per year of age or 1/4 of an adult serving per year of age 

At the next meal, use these measurements exactly and see for yourself how little food a Toddler should actually  be eating.  We bet you will be quite surprised!

Resources & Learning More:

USDA's Searchable Nutrient Database - Enter in any food and find it's nutrient content
Feeding Infants and Toddlers by William Sears, MD
Nutritional guidelines for toddlers by Sue Gilbert, Consulting Nutritionist - Parent's Place
RDA for toddlers? by Sue Gilbert, Consulting Nutritionist - Parent's Place
Nutrient Information from the the American Society for Nutritional Sciences"

I know my toddler is not very predictable in the quantity of foods he eats. Some days, he eats more than I do and others, he eats barely anything. It is hard for us adults to get this concept, but I really think that we should just trust our little ones! They will eat when they are hungry!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Milk Sharing

Here is a great blog about a Mom who has personally experienced milk sharing. I know that if I could not breastfeed my children, donated/purchased human breastmilk would be my first choice.

Check out the article and let me know what you think? Do any of you have experiences with donating or using donated breastmilk?

Milk Sharing: Just Because We Can't Breastfeed Doesn't Mean We're Stupid

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe(s) of the Day- Healthy Summer Desserts!

Yum, Yum! There is nothing better than a cool and sweet treat on a hot summer day...

check out these great ideas for desserts the whole family can have- even your baby!!

Fruit Granita:


  • 1 cup agave nectar (or you could use honey for anyone over the age of one, or other sugar syrup substitute)
  • 1  lemon (up to 2)
  • Fruit of your choice- (quantity varies on how much you want to make. To serve 5 people, you need about 7-9 cups of fruit)


  1. Grate 2 teaspoons lemon peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. 
  2.  In food processor with knife blade attached, blend fruit until pureed. With back of spoon, press puree through sieve into medium bowl; discard any seeds.
  3. Stir in agave (or honey or other sugar substitute) and lemon juice and mix with fruit puree. 
  4. Pour into 9" by 9" metal baking pan.
  5. Cover and freeze mixture 2 hours or until frozen around edges. With fork, scrape ice at edges into center. Cover and freeze until completely frozen, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. To serve, let granita stand at room temperature 15 minutes or until slightly softened. With fork, scrape across surface of granita to form ice shards and spoon into chilled wine goblets or dessert bowls. Serve immediately. 



Fruit Kebabs With Lemon Lime Dip

4 ounces low-fat yogurt (you can use organic or greek yogurt for added health benefits, favored in citrus flavors, plain, honey or vanilla)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

(and then any fruit you like- here are the suggested fruits from the recipe):
4 to 6 pineapple chunks
4 to 6 strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 to 6 red grapes
4 wooden skewers

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.
Serves 2


Check out this blog on sugar substitutes and...

What are your favorite healthy summer desserts? Share the recipes here!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting Dad to Help with Breastfeeding



Mans Breast FriendMany an expecting mama wonders: "How will my
partner adjust to the new baby? And how will I get
him used to the idea that he has to share the
cleavage he's been admiring for the past few months?"
Having your partner's support is one of the most important predictors of your breastfeeding success, so in honor of Father's Day, here are our tips for getting your guy to be the best boob-backer he can be:

1. Take him to a breastfeeding class. Yes, we know there's a limit to how many classes he'll go to, but trust us, this one is at the top of the list. Ask midwives and doulas in your area to recommend a good one, or book a class in the privacy of your home (where you can ask ANY question). It will come in handy for looking at the baby's latch and swallows.

2. Make him a knight in shining armor. You're the one with the ta-tas, but he's the one that can slay hospital booby traps with a single blow, making sure the baby rooms with you for best skin-to-skin bonding, watching to ensure the baby doesn't get formula unless it's medically indicated (by a board-certified lactation consultant, or IBCLC) and gently ushering out any nurses whose bedside manner is lacking. That goes for the one who yanks at your boob (a serious no-no!) and for the one that tells you that the baby is starving and you have to supplement, even though the diapers say otherwise. For more on the booby traps, go to

3. Forget the quick fix. Men are programmed to want their offspring to survive (so breastfeeding appeals to their instincts), but they also can't stand to see you suffer or to be in your cross hairs. Tell him in advance that the first few weeks of breastfeeding can be challenging and to think coach and cheering squad, not a quick-fix bottle. Give him a list of IBCLCs, local La Leche League groups and websites to research should you run into trouble. Tell him you don't want him to offer to bail you out with that free formula can.

4. Give him the role of ladies' man. Ask him to charm your mother and mother-in-law. Well-meaning but ill-informed relatives may try to dissuade you from breastfeeding, and a few words from him can go a long way to putting a stop to that. Being a united front on breastfeeding is good practice for parenting (think chores and curfews) later on.

5. Have him do some non-booby bonding. Baby bonding is good for Daddy, too, and skin-to-skin contact is yummy on Daddy's chest, especially if mom had a C-section. Baths, diapers and baby-wearing are all skills he can excel at that will give you a break, and he gets extra points for bringing you food, water and helping with the house. Tell him he's your hero and you'll make it up to him soon. Even if you're nowhere near feeling amorous, a sly wink will let him know he's still the man for you…that just has to wait a few weeks! Breastfeeding or not, a new baby is all-consuming, so enroll him in protecting and taking care of his new family. Isn't that what Father's Day is all about?

The Best for Babes Foundation is the only mainstream nonprofit devoted to helping parents beat the booby traps™—the cultural and institutional barriers that prevent moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals, whether that's two days, two months or two years! Co-founders Bettina Forbes and Danielle Rigg, who were themselves booby-trapped, are building the "mother of all causes" to ensure that ALL moms are able to make an informed feeding decision without pressure, judgment or guilt, and that ALL breastfeeding moms are cheered on, coached and celebrated to a successful finish! For more on how to beat the booby traps™ or to get involved, go to"


What did you do to get your husband involved?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brown Rice Cereal Recipe- (No more store bought white rice cereal please!)

I have written about using brown rice over white rice before...(if you have not read that post...go ahead and then come back. VERY important stuff!)

Well- how about saving money and making your own brown rice cereal?! Here is the recipe!

Brown Rice Cereal
2 oz brown rice powder
8 fl oz water
a little breastmilk

To make the rice powder, grind brown rice in a blender or food processor. This is best achieved by grinding in small quantities - but to make the powder REALLY fine, I recommend trying a coffee grinder.

Bring the water to a boil.

Add the rice powder, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.

Simmer for about 10 minutes (don't forget to keep stirring, or the rice will stick).

Then stir in enough breastmilk  to give the consistency that's best for your baby.

Voila! Easy as pie and SO much healthier and cheaper than the white rice cereal you buy from the store!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Giveaway!! A free date night!!

Want to win a great date night?? Check out Lil' Luna's website for details on how you can win a $50 gift certificate to Oregano's and 2 tickets to see The Academy CenterStage Show this Friday night!

Friday, June 3, 2011

New USDA Food Pyramid

The old food pyramid is out and the new "My Plate" guidelines are in.

Check out this article from the Associated Press:

The Agriculture Department says "My Plate," its new healthy eating symbol, aims to show that nutrition doesn't have to be complicated.

"My Plate" - a simple circle divided into quadrants that contain fruits, vegetables, protein and grains - will replace USDA's food pyramid, which has been around in various forms since 1992. It comes with an accompanying website.

USDA officials say the pyramid was tired out, overly complex and tried to communicate too many different nutrition facts at once. The new symbol, unveiled Thursday at the department with first lady Michelle Obama in attendance, is simple and gives diners an idea of what should be on their plates when they sit down at the dinner table.

"It's grabbing the consumers' attention that we are after this time, not making it so complicated that perhaps it is a turnoff," said Robert Post of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. "There is something really inviting about this familiar setting for meal time."

The department is planning to use social media as one way of grabbing attention, posting advice every day on Twitter, for example. The accompanying website,, will be written on the chart. It will eventually feature interactive tools that help people manage their weight and track exercise.

Post, who has spent two years developing the plate and the website, said the new chart is designed to be "more artistic and attractive" and to serve as a visual cue for diners.

Gone are any references to sugars, fats or oils, and what was once a category called "meat and beans" is now simply "proteins." Next to the plate is a blue circle for dairy, which could be a glass of milk or a food such as cheese or yogurt.

Even though the plate is divided into four sections, the servings aren't supposed to be proportional. Every person has different nutritional needs, based on age, health and other factors.

The symbol, based on a new set of dietary guidelines released in January, is a general guideline.
The dietary guidelines that provide the foundation for the symbol are released every five years. In addition to telling people to drastically reduce salt and continue limiting saturated fats, the most recent set of guidelines asked diners to enjoy food but balance calories by eating less and taking smaller portions. It also suggested making half of your plate fruits and vegetables, a message easily translated on the dinner plate.

"Our approach here is to make it very simple," says USDA's Post. "One icon cannot deliver everything a consumer needs to know.""

Click HERE for a link to the My Plate website- with tons of health and dietary advice and information. A great resource!
What do you think about the new guidelines??