As your baby grows, so does the diet!

It’s an exciting time in your life and the life of your baby!

All sorts of milestones like laughing make the time fly and so much more fun. Maybe little one is rolling over now and enjoying the new mobility, or trying to sit up, chattering away all the time and smiling. (I know my little man is.)

Little ones digestive system is developing, too! At around 4-6 months, your infant may be ready for some solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula.  Your baby’s pediatrician will probably suggest starting him/her with iron-fortified rice cereal or other high iron foods. And before you know it little one will be moving on to other types of pureed veggies and fruits. My little one is already getting rice in his formula which helps him stay full longer (in my opinion).
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Starting Baby on Solid Foods

When your baby is growing, every day seems to hold new milestones and new adventures.  When she sees you and smiles; when she rolls over; when she reaches for objects; when she can hold a toy in her hand.  Surely no other parent ever had such an accomplished, amazing child as you do!

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Monkey See, Monkey Do: Copy Kids DVD Giveaway

copy kids dvd giveaway

Several months ago, I received an email from Cai Dixon, a very friendly mother who came up with the idea of Copy Kids, asking if I would be interesting in reviewing their “Copy Kids Eats Fruits and Vegetables” DVD once it was released. This sounded very interesting to me and I have been waiting with anticipation for the release (read about Copy Kids in the media). Well, it came in the mail last week and I have been playing it for Anneliese almost every day since then.

toddler eating veggies
Anneliese is ready to watch Copy Kids in her big girl chair.

toddler eating vegetablesI have to admit, I was a little skeptical as to how well it would work on my baby because she can be pretty stubborn. The concept is pretty simple though- monkey see, monkey do. I am shameless to the fact that I like to brainwash my child, so this is right up my alley. But, is it really so easy to just show your baby that other children are enjoying their vegetables, and your child will enjoy them too? Well, Anneliese answered that question for me.

I was surprised to see the excitement she had about eating a raw bell pepper just because she saw the children on Copy Kids having a grand time eating them. We went to the grocery store the other day and I let her pick out her own bell pepper, then when we got home she went over to her television. I played the Copy Kids DVD and she immediately started munching her bell pepper along with the children on the DVD.

toddler eating vegetables

I started to laugh because I was so amazed that she took to it so quickly. As you may remember, I have a goal to get my family eating more fruits and vegetables, so this was a big encouragement to me. I love the “Copy Kids Eats Fruits and Vegetables” DVD and think every parent needs to show it to their children.

Where to buy it: You can get the DVD right now at with free shipping in the U.S. By the way, this DVD would also make a great gift for a friend or family member. (In the meantime you can check out their YouTube videos and see how well your children enjoy watching other kids eat fruits and veggies.)

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My Family’s Healthier Diet

As I mentioned in the New Year’s resolutions post, I plan to incorporate healthy changes in my life and that includes some tweaks to my family’s diet. We eat pretty healthy most of the time but there are some areas that need improving. I would like to encourage you to jump on this healthy eating bandwagon with me, if you are up to it.

Healthy Diet Goals:

healthy diet changes1. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our meals. I have been buying more fresh fruits and vegetables because when I buy them fresh, I feel the need to eat them before they go bad. I want my baby to love fruits and vegetables, so I am trying to introduce a good variety of them into her diet.

2. Consume more protein and less simple sugar. One of the best ways for me to get more protein is by eating cottage cheese with pineapple as a snack during the day,since a half cup of cottage cheese has 11grams of protein. I am also trying to drink a glass of milk a day for protein and calcium, and eating more eggs (the best kind are free range).

*According to recent scientific studies, most Americans do not get enough protein from our high carbohydrate diets. Eating plenty of protein helps build lean muscle which can help burn off fat. Also, it makes you feel better. Type 2 Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions here in the U.S., and one of the ways to prevent it from getting worse is by cutting down on simple sugars while increasing our protein intake.*

3. DRINK WATER! If I forget to drink enough water and I get dehydrated, I develop horrible headaches which occasionally turn into migraines. Dehydration can also cause poor memory function, irritability, and various aches and pains. I am trying to drink water more regularly throughout the day and encouraging my family to drink water too.

healthier diet4. Cut down on processed foods and excess preservatives. I am tired of preparing packaged box meals with unknown ingredients and a slew of preservatives in them. I have also stopped buying snack cakes and “questionable” hot dogs. I have been encouraging my husband to cut down his soda intake too.

It is not easy to change bad eating habits, especially when they taste so good. I have never loved to cook and prefer to take shortcuts whenever possible. So, I am trying to stop buying prepared meals with little nutritional value and make wholesome, well-rounded meals for my family instead. If you want more tips on how to make the transition toward healthier eating habits, then I highly recommend reading Fit Moms for Life, which also includes some great recipes and meal plans.

Now it’s time for me to prepare some lunch: baked chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and carrots, all made from scratch. Do you have any goals for eating healthier this year? What do you think of my family’s new diet plan? I would lover to hear your advice or suggestions.

The Importance of Healthy Eating

healthy eating habitsAs my baby has begun eating more and nursing less, I have been more concerned and vigilant about the food that I buy. Along with this, my Mother-In-Law recently showed me an interesting article about the connection between food, allergies, and autism. Plus, just today (October 4, 2011) I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of healthy eating for you and baby in pregnancy and even before you become pregnant.

Importance of Healthy Eating Habits

The following are some highlights from what I have learned concerning nutrition and healthy eating habits for pregnant women, babies and toddlers. Because the foods we eat affect more than most people realize and affect our bodies for years afterwards, it is important to be sure we are instilling healthy eating habits in our babies. For instance, in the Wall Street Journal article “Healthy Diet May Cut Risk of Birth Defects,” a study by Stanford University School of Medicine has shown that a woman’s diet affects the health of her baby at least a year before she even becomes pregnant.

Healthy Eating in Pregnancy

pregnant healthy eating habitsThe study found that women who followed either a Mediterranean type diet or the U.S. dietary guidelines were 36-51% less likely to have a baby with a brain defect and 24-34% less likely to have a baby with a cleft lip. Both diets are high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and “good” fats, emphasizing the importance of healthy eating habits for everyone.

If a woman is planning to become pregnant, it is imperative to follow a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fiber. Also, although all pregnant women should take their prenatal vitamins, it is even more important to get those necessary nutrients directly from the source. That means legumes, fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats in moderation are very important for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Baby’s Healthy Eating Habits

baby eating solid foodEven after baby is born and no longer nursing, we need to stick to those healthy diets to set the proper example for our children. It is very important to give children the chance to establish healthy eating habits from the very beginning of their lives. Eating vegetables should not be a chore to dread, but something enjoyable to do. Also, what we feed our children may actually influence their behavior.

In the article “When Food Affects Function,” Dr. Diana Fatayerji has described a connection between foods and certain autistic behavior in children. Essentially, some children may have an allerigic reaction or an inability to break down certain types of grains and casein- the protein in milk. According to her, children with autism may not be able to properly digest these proteins and this can cause an increase in autistic behavior.

It is amazing how much our diets can affect our lives. For more information on becoming a dietitian check out these Let’s give our children a good start towards healthy eating habits. If you need some baby food meal ideas, check out my Baby Food Recipes post.