I absolutely love it when people get in touch with me and ask really great questions! Whether you have read a recent blog post that has left you wanting to know more, you have a specific symptom/complaint you would like to support nutritionally or you’ve read contradictory information and are left confused and wondering…. I LOVE YOUR QUESTIONS!
I receive a great many questions from Blog visitors and clients and there are a few that I get asked so often I thought I’d dedicate a Blog Post to them!
HERE ARE THREE OF THE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS I GET ALONG WITH THE ANSWERS SHARED
My Child is an extremely “picky eater”, there are a limited number of foods that he/she will eat. I'm not sure how to help him/her embrace a healthier diet and I wonder if he/she should be on a supplement of some sort as well.
It is always best to get our nutrients from food items but it is not likely that you will be overly successful introducing a whole array of new food items all at once; you can try introducing new items to see if he/she is receptive. Try introducing a new food item weekly; if, for example, your child likes apples, bananas, watermelon and red peppers then try some of the following that are close in taste/texture:
honey dew melon
Having your child help with the preparation and finding creative ways to make the food look fun and interesting can also help to increase the variety of food items your child will eat. There are 6 key nutrients (protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and water) that are vital and that should be incorporated daily so it’s important to keep trying new ways to incorporate these items into the daily routine.
You could try making “smoothie bowls” if , for example, your child likes apples, bananas and watermelon you could make a smoothie out of these and overtime add additional choices to the smoothie.
Due to the limited variety of food items currently being eaten, there is a higher risk of being deficient in vital nutrients. You could add a good quality liquid multi-vitamin to ensure that your child is getting all of the important nutrients that may be missing from his/her diet; you can also get a good quality children’s Omega 3-6 blend to make sure he/she is getting essential fatty acids. If you are concerned about protein intake, you can also incorporate a small amount of protein powder into the routine (smoothies are a great way to add this in the beginning)
Here are a couple of good children’s multivitamin choices
KINDERVITAL - 250ML by Floradix/Salus
KIDS CHEWABLE MULTI - 60 TAB by Quest
there are many others to choose from, the important thing is to ensure that it is a good quality, whole foods product (if you are unsure check with your local health food store or pharmacy for assistance)
2) Hi. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the importance of maintaining a healthy PH balance and the health problems we can encounter if our body is too acidic. I’m not sure what the best food choices are to help with this?
If you’ve had a chance to view the Webinar: Balanced Nutrition/What Is A Balanced Dietyou will have heard me speaking of the 80/20 rule. When it comes to a balanced diet, the 80/20 rule basically means that we should be choosing good quality, nutrient dense, whole foods at least 80% of the time to help us remain as healthy and active as possible. The same can be said when we are talking about alkaline/acidic foods… 80% alkaline and 20% acidic should be what we are aiming for to maintain a healthy PH balance.
It’s important for our health to maintain a normal pH balance; disease occurs in an acidic body. Raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline to the body; vegetables should be incorporated freely in the diet with no more then 3 servings of fruit (due to high natural sugar content). Dairy products, grains, chicken, fish and eggs are more acid forming foods and although the acidic part of the diet is as important as the alkaline, the consumption should be monitored.
Eating a balanced diet and following some of the following recommendations will help to ensure a healthy pH balance.
Drink the juice of half a lemon in water as a beverage.
Eat one cup of alkalinizing greens daily (kale, collards, mustard greens).
Eat millet and quinoa as an option to the acid forming grains like wheat and spelt.
miso broth is a great addition: (1 tsp of miso dissolved in one cup of hot water, not boiling water).
Make blender drinks using alkaline juices, green powdered supplements and fruits.
Choose fish and lamb over beef and chicken for less acid forming animal protein.
3) Hi. How long should I continue to breastfeed and when should I be introducing first foods? Are there food items that are better to introduce first?
If you are able to continue breastfeeding your little one right up until age two that is great! It is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed until about age 6 months (so no additional nutrient sources are added) however at around 6 months it is recommended to begin introducing first foods and to continue doing so slowly (usually one new item per week so that you are able to monitor for intolerance/allergy). If you notice that your child may not be tolerating an item well, remove it from the diet and monitor to see if symptoms improve.
As your little one begins to eat more foods you will notice that this will lead to a natural decrease in the amount of breast milk he/she is wanting. This is quite natural and to be expected; as baby is receiving more nutrition from food , he/she will require less of the nutrition previously relied on from breast milk.
The introduction of foods is important for a few reasons including making sure that nutritional needs are being met (particularly iron), to support increased activity levels (crawling/walking), to promote continued development of the digestive system and it has been shown in research that babies who are delayed with the introduction of foods have a higher incidence of eating disorders.
If, for whatever reason, you are unable toor you choose not to continue breastfeeding, then your little one can be transitioned to an alternate source (good quality iron fortified formula) and then transitioned to whole milk at around age one. You will notice the same gradual decrease in a need for formula/milk as noted above.
The routine can look quite different for all babies and is dependent usually on age and on your own specific and individual routine and circumstance. There is no “one size fits all” or “one best way”… it is very individual and unique to each child and each situation.
For example at 6-7 months of age after the introduction of foods the schedule could look very different for a stay at home mom vs. a back at work or school mom (or whatever your individual circumstance is)
a "stay at home" Mom's schedule may look like: breastmilk before or after breakfast, then again before or after lunch, mid-afternoon, before or after dinner and then before bedtime
a “ back at work" Mom's schedule may look like: breast milk prior to work with a lunchtime bottle (of expressed milk or formula), a mid-afternoon bottle (of expressed milk or formula), an after work breastfeeding and a bedtime breastfeeding
As your little one continues to become more active and eat more foods you will continue noticing a natural decrease in breastfeeding needs: for example by 8 months baby may not be interested in breastfeeding at lunchtime or perhaps is showing no interest in a mid afternoon breastfeeding and by age one he/she may only be breastfeeding in the morning and before bedtime.
I always recommend that Mom's (or if Dad has posed the question: Dad’s) pay attention to activity level and weight; low energy and/or low weight can indicate that your little one is not being adequately nourished. It is important that you are always seeking the assistance of your medical professional if you have any concerns regarding little ones daily nutrient intake needs.
Keep your questions coming! I look forward to them and enjoy answering each and every one of them! You can contact me hereor visit me on Facebook where you can message me as well!
I attempt to answer all questions in a timely manner and as thoroughly as possible so that you have all of the information you are seeking. I draw heavily on my education, experience, empirical research findings and the work of many experts when providing answers. Please note though that the answers provided are intended to be informational and educational only. I do not diagnose or treat and my information, education and resources are not intended to take the place of your medical professional.
I am pleased to announce our commitment to Canadian Feed the Children, an organization dedicated to providing support to children and families in Canada as well as internationally in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda.
We have committed to donating a portion of our monthly sales to Canadian Feed the Children to help provide children and families in need with such things as increased access to nutritious food and quality education, and community support. Together we are creating a healthier and brighter future for children around the world.