Nutrition Archives - BabyQ

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Hydrogenated Oil

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Two ingredients to look for on food packaging and AVOID: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Hydrogenated Oil (sometimes listed as partially-hydrogenated oil). High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), simply put, is sugar processed from corn. It still has the same amount of sugar and calories as table sugar, but HFCS contains the molecule fructose in higher concentration than sugar derived from sugar cane. Fructose is more readily converted into energy than glucose. If you don’t burn that energy it is more easily turned into fat by the liver. The fat stored in the liver can cause “metabolic syndrome” a pre-diabetic condition. The rapid absorption of any sugar molecule like fructose or glucose generates a big spike of insulin in your body and can lead to health problems including weight gain, diabetes, and cancer. Why do companies use HFCS instead of cane sugar? It is cheaper to make because we grow…

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What should I feed my baby? Is he getting enough to eat? Why is she so picky?

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Often questions such as these plague mothers as they try to decide on what to buy, prepare and feed their baby, particularly as their baby grows and his/her eating habits change.  Luckily for adults, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designed a Food Guide Pyramid as a recommendation for the portions and variety of foods that should be consumed to obtain a healthy diet.  In 2010, the Pyramid became My Plate, with the same categories, except a stronger emphasis was placed on having fruits and vegetables make up at least half of the plate.  Although similar recommendations are not specific for babies or children under the age of 2 years, the general recommendations of food groups and portion control are applicable for everyone.  Babies’ and young children’s diets should be made up of a variety of foods from the 4 major food groups, including breast milk &/or formula…

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When Should A Mother Start Feeding Her Baby Solid Food?

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Watching your infant move from one milestone to the next is an exciting adventure. Whether they are the first babbling sounds, the first smile, or the first steps, milestones are often reached when your baby is ready. But how do you know when your baby is ready for solid foods? It isn’t as easy as offering your baby foods and seeing if she will take them or not. In fact, many healthcare professionals agree that parents can offer solid foods too early, which can eventually lead to food sensitivities, eczema, diabetes, and even other more serious health problems. When to Feed Baby Solid Food According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should not be fed anything other than formula or breast milk, and preferably breast milk, until they are at least 4 months of age. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found in recent studies…

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Why You Need Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet

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What is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that occurs naturally in foods, like legumes, oranges, papayas, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, greens, dark lettuce and eggs. Foods high in folic acid are also high in other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is necessary for the growth of new cells. What Are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy? There are some important advantages that result from taking folic acid: It enhances fertility – In a study released in 2006,  American researchers reported their findings after having followed the progress of 18,500 nurses who planned to become pregnant over an eight-year period in the 1990s. The researchers evaluated the nurses’ diets including whether or not they took vitamin supplements. They found that the nurses taking multivitamins with folic acid six days a week or more had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovulation failure, a…

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Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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For pregnant women, in their first trimester, particularly in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, considerable effort should be taken to avoid and/or limit exposure to pesticides.  During this early stage of pregnancy, a baby’s major organs are developing and thus are susceptible to chemicals and exposures that can lead to permanent defects. Specifically, pesticide exposure has been linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Fruits and vegetables are common sources of pesticide exposure given the widespread use of chemicals to kill insects and preserve produce.  Tips for reducing pesticide exposure include shopping at farmer’s markets to purchase certified organic fruits and vegetables. As well, care should be taken to avoid household exposure to pesticides commonly found in insect repellants, pet litter, and home gardens. According to the Huffington Post, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, designated 12 fruits and vegetables as having the most…

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How Many Fruit and Vegetable Servings are needed per day during Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a time of great emphasis and concern for women about their health and the health of their unborn child. Often nutrition and other lifestyle decisions take “center stage”.  As such, women often wonder how do I eat right? How do I make smart food choices? Where do I find the best produce? How much will it cost? Will it taste good? Can I maintain these habits throughout pregnancy and beyond? To answer the question, “How many fruit and vegetable servings are needed per day during pregnancy?”, consider the following simple advice:  Do what comes natural. As a pregnant woman, you’re more likely to be hungry. Eat small snacks of fruit and vegetables several times per day to avoid getting hungry and consuming a lot at one time.  Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season avoiding canned or pre-sweetened options.  By eating often and in season, less effort…

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Juices that reduce inflammation

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A babyQ mom recently wrote: I am 15 weeks pregnant. Is it safe to drink the Nopalea cactus juice drink to reduce inflammation? This is an important question because recent scientific literature shows a link between reducing inflammation and a healthier pregnancy. Looking into the Nopalea Cactus Juice on the company website the company provides scientific literature that supports their claims of reducing inflammation. However, almost all fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables reduce inflammation. Plus it is usually less expensive to buy seasonal fruits on sale. Right now citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are in season from Florida and California, so orange juice and grapefruit juice are inexpensive compared to berries and apples and I suspect cactus juice. The citrus is fresh and loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. So that is a good food choice. The citrus season in the United Sates is November through March. Pure grape…

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Are there Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy?

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If you are expecting a baby, chances are you are taking vitamins, adding an extra glass of water or two to your daily intake, and choosing fresh foods that will provide your baby with the most nutrients possible. However, do you know which foods you should not consume while pregnant for the health of your baby? The advice from your friends and well-meaning family can be confusing, but the guidelines that have been established by years of medical research don’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you have allergies, sensitivities, or special health concerns there are basic pregnancy nutrition choices you should consider during pregnancy. Seafood Consumption Seafood can give you and your baby the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to both of you, but if you’re not careful you might be exposing your baby to elevated levels of mercury. This mercury poses a danger to your unborn child’s nervous…

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