I believe that we can make a great contribution to our health, community, environment and economy through mindful nutrition.
Let Food Be Our Medicine ~ Hippocrates
General Guidelines to Strive for:
- You are the boss! Your job is to provide healthy choices for your children.
- Nourish yourself during pregnancy and especially in motherhood – modeling – they will ultimately do and learn from what you do. Foot Printing – exposing baby to a wide variety of flavors in the womb will increase taste for them in early childhood.
- Breast feed for 1-2 years optimal, certain circumstances may require other options like wet nurse, milk donors or a high quality formula.
- Food introduction @ 6 mo: variety, color, flavor, spice, explore…
- 1-year start with gluten, strawberries, peanuts, and dairy (can start earlier just pay attention and rotate to avoid intestinal irritation!
- Cook together and Eat together!
- Your children should eat what you eat, no short order cooks (you may need to look at your own diet).
- Shop the perimeter – significantly decreases intake of processed food.
- Introduce new fruits and veggies every week, try new recipes, keep it simple…I stir fry/sauté/roast everything Croc pots and smoothies are great too.
- Avoid HFCS, trans fats, dyes, preservatives, nitrates, poor food quality.
- Animal products – free range and local (conscientious) trumps organic and processed.
- Organic dairy – pesticides/drugs are stored in fats – fatty foods needs be clean.
- Keep it real, have fun at birthdays, ball games, carnivals etc…too much food restriction can create issues – BALANCE!
- Celebrate family time and community with food and flavor visit farms, check out farmers markets, and pick berries and pumpkins. There are life lessons in food.
- Make things from scratch with your kids so they can see the chemistry. Bread, ice cream, mayo, granola bars are all delicious and nutritious when homemade!
Essential nutrients and their sources:
Fat Soluble: A, D, E, K
- D – Sunlight on the skin. Vegans – by taking fortified foods such as soy milk, margarine, breakfast cereals and vitamin supplements which are made from yeast or other fungi. Non-vegans can get in from animal products like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab. Important for calcium and phosphorus absorption and healthy bones.
- A – Dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), deep-yellow fleshed root vegetables (e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes), squash (acorn, butternut, etc.), some fruits (apricots, cantaloupes) and red bell peppers. Important for vision, mucus membranes, and healthy skin.
- E -. Sources of Vitamin E include nuts and vegetable oils. Whole grains and green leafy vegetables can also be good sources. Important antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage, tissue repair and healing.
- K – Phylloquinone is the most common form of Vitamin K and is found in liver, egg yolks, butter, some oils, especially soybean oil, and in dark-green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, and fermented soy foods like miso. A serving of spinach or two servings of broccoli provide four to five times the RDA of phylloquinone. Important for blood coagulation and to maintain proper bone density.
Water Soluble: C, B complex, Folic acid
- C – Tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, potatoes, and dark, leafy greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, and watercress are all good sources of Vitamin C, as well as oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries and broccoli. Important for healthy bones, joints skin. It also promotes healing of wounds and is a powerful antioxidant.
- B Complex– All the water-soluble B vitamins work as a team to promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, muscle tone and cardiovascular function; they also protect us from behavioral and mental disorders. The best sources of B vitamins are whole grains—refinement thus wastes this essential source. They are also found in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seafood and organ meats; intestinal bacteria can also produce them.
- Folic Acid – The best source of folic acid is in whole grains. Folic acid is especially important for the developing fetus as deficiency can result in babies born with neural tube deformities like spinal bifida.
Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Iodine
- Calcium - Green leafy vegetables such as kale are as good as or better than milk as calcium sources. Other good sources include tofu, chickpeas and other legumes, nuts and seeds almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds), dried fruit, figs, broccoli, fortified soy and rice milk. Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium. Required to maintain strong bones and teeth, muscle function.
- Iron – Collards, kale, broccoli and other dark greens are good iron sources, as are dried fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Iron absorption is increased when a source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) such as dark leafy vegetables, tomatoes or citrus is served along with the iron-rich food. The use of cast iron cookware also contributes iron to the diet. Iron is necessary for the development of hemoglobin and is used in protein metabolism.
- Potassium – Bananas and avocados are a good source of potassium. Cooked greens like spinach, baked sweet potato and winter squash are vegetables that are also good sources. Potassium is critical for maintaining a normal heart rhythm and mineral balance.
- Iodine – rich seaweeds, iodized salt. Important for thyroid function.
- Zinc – Good sources for vegetarians include dairy products, pumpkin seeds, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals. Animal products are high in zinc. Zinc is an important cofactor and is thought to support the immune system.
A more heart healthy fat is unsaturated fat, generally found in vegetables. This type of fat includes both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat is found in olive, canola and peanut oils. Avocados and nuts also contain monounsaturated fat. Two important types of polyunsaturated are Linoleic acid – safflower, sunflower, corn, evening primrose & soya oils and Alpha-linolenic acid – fish, linseed, pumpkin seed, walnut, soya & grapeseed (canola) oils. Fats serve as a quick energy source, are important for inflammatory responses, and are great insulation and protection of the vital organs.
Animal products are a great source but so are peas, beans, lentils, soy products, grains like wheat, oats, rice, barley, buckwheat, millet, pasta, bread, nuts such as brazils, hazels, almonds, cashews and seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame. Proteins in the form of amino acids are used to create muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. Proteins help replace and form new tissue, transports oxygen and nutrients in our blood and cells, regulates the balance of water and acids, and is needed to make antibodies.
Daily Requirements: The number of calories a child needs varies according to the child’s size, growth rate and activity level. But in general, if you want to know how many calories your child needs, a good rule of thumb for children up to 5 years of age is to begin with a base of 1,000 calories and add 100 calories for each year of your child’s age. ASSUMING THEY ARE PLAYNG and NOT SITTING IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER OR TV FOR MORE THAN 2 HOURS PER DAY!
Remeber it’s never too late to RESET Naturally!