Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Feeding your baby will become the most essential job that you have to perform as a mother. During pregnancy, you will mostly be concerned about personal nutrition only. However, after childbirth, you will have to take care of two people. Today, we will be discussing some common things that you should keep in mind while feeding your baby. This would ensure proper nutrition to the baby and would also help you in regaining your vitality and vigor.

What could be a perfect baby-feeding schedule?

Every baby is different and can have a different appetite as well. However, most of the parents are looking for rules of thumb when it comes to baby feeding schedule. Your first need to understand that there can be no fixed rules about a child’s diet. One size does not fit them all. There are babies that want finger food and cereal at an average time while others may want it sooner or faster. So keep a close check on your baby’s development and you will be able to find the right schedule for him. Here are some rules that can fit your child. Customize them according to your child.

Breastfeeding

A newborn will need breastfeeding about 8 to 12 times in a day. This is essential to supply them nutrients. As your baby starts to grow and gain weight, you can feed him only 8 times a day. However, during his growth spurt, the baby may need more feedings. Here is a small guideline on the frequency of feeding according to the age of your baby.

Newborn babies- 8 to 12 times in a day Aged 3 to 4 months- 7 to 8 times in a day Aged 5 to 6 months- 5 to 7 times in a day Aged 7 to 12 months- 4 to 6 times in a day More than 12 months- 3 to 4 times in a day

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should be breastfeeding your child for as long as it is comfortable for you. You should ideally breastfeed for a year. However, if you have to stop breastfeeding before 12 months, then you should definitely provide your child with an iron fortified formula.

Baby formula

Baby formula can be safely fed to a child right from his first month. About 3 to 4 ounces of baby formula can be given in every feeding when the kid is one month old. As the baby grows up, you can increase the quantity of baby food by 1 ounce. Keep doing this month by month, unless it reaches 8 ounces. Never give more than 8 ounces of baby formula to your child at a time. Moreover, you can also experiment a little with the quantity. The most favorable quantity of baby formula for most babies is 4 to 6 ounces per feeding. If you do not follow this guideline, then there is another rule to stand by. You can feed about 2 ½ ounces of baby formulation to your child for each pound of his weight. That means that a 12-pound baby will eat close to 30 ounces of baby formula per day.

However, before you find the right quantity and frequency of feeding baby formula, check out some statistics about an average baby’s baby formula consumption:

A 6 month old baby can easily consumes about 4 to 6 ounces of formula A 9 month old baby can consume between 3 to 5 bottles of formula A 12 month old baby can consume 3 to 4 bottles of formula Once a baby is more than 12 months of age, he can consume 3 to 4 bottles of toddler formula or the same quantity of whole milk.

Baby food and cereals

Most mothers are confused about the right time when they should start feeding their child baby food and cereals. They often wonder whether cereals should be started first or vegetables and fruits. An average baby can easily start having cereals and baby food when he is 4 to 6 months old. You will have to check if your baby is ready for such food or not.

When you are feeding your child cereal, make sure that it gets a good consistency. Your baby would not like food with too many lumps. In order to do this, mix at least 4 teaspoons or breast milk with 1-teaspoon baby cereal. Mix with well together. Once your baby starts eating it, you can go on reducing the amount of liquid in the mix. In the beginning, you should start with only 1 or 2 teaspoons of cereal. However, you can keep increasing the quantity to 3 to 4 teaspoons a day. Do not feed the child cereal more than twice a day.

Before buying cereal for your child, consult your doctor. The cereal should always be iron fortified and made of rice. This is the healthiest first food for your baby. Let your baby get accustomed to this rice cereal for some weeks and months. When he starts feeling okay with this kind of cereal, you can go ahead and mix oatmeal, wheat, barley and other mixed cereal to your kid. However, do not let your baby eat cereal for too long. If he is already eating 3 to 4 teaspoons of cereal a day, you should start feeding him vegetables as well.

Most people believe that fruits should be fed to the babies before vegetables. However, feeding your child with vegetables is always better. This is because children often love the sweet taste of fruits and then they dislike the bland taste of vegetables. You should be getting peas, green beans and other such mild vegetables in the diet of your kids. Just like cereal, you should also be using 3 to 4 spoons per meal. You should never make your baby eat more than two servings a day in the beginning.

Until the time your baby is 4 to 6 months old, you should feed three to four tablespoons cereal every day. You can also give him one or two servings of vegetables and fruits every day. Most of the infants can easily wait for 6 months of age until they can start eating baby food and cereal. Once the child is 7 months old, you can also start giving him protein food and meat. As the child grows to 12 months old, you can increase the servings of vegetables to eight spoons per day. Similarly, increase the fruit and baby food serving as well.

Table foods and finger foods

The best time to introduce your baby to finger foods is 8 to 9 months of age. This is a time when you should let your child enjoy food all by himself. Just make sure that the food is of the right size. Most parents are too worried about finger foods as they think that such foods present choking hazards to the kids. However, this is not true. You can carefully supervise your child while feeding him raisings, cheese, vegetable chunks, and even whole grapes. Some other things that your child can eat are: Cheerios, pasta, crackers, toasted crusts of bread and even small slices of banana, pear, and peach. Some yogurt snacks can also be fed to the babies.

Foods you should avoid

You should be very careful about the foods you make your child eat. Some foods like honey, egg whites etc. are strictly prohibited for children. You must have heard a lot about the health benefits of these two foods. However, they are only beneficial for the adults, not for small babies. Egg whites can often pose the risk for food allergies while honey can increase the chances of botulism.

You should also think twice before preparing baby food at home. These are usually made with turnips, spinach, collard greens, beets, and carrots. These veggies often have very high levels of nitrate. Therefore, they can be harmful for your child. If you are preparing baby food at home, you should focus on pumpkin and other such vegetables. Bananas are also a very good option when it comes to babies. Try to avoid cow’s milk for as long as possible, especially when you are using baby formula or breast milk to feed your child. Cow’s milk is very low in iron content and might not be tolerated by the digestive system of the baby.

What vitamins does your baby need?

Your baby needs vitamins too. However, the real question is whether you should be providing your baby with extra vitamins or not. Usually, a baby will get his nutrition from the food he is eating and there would be no need for extra vitamins. Hence, while planning his diet, keep in mind the vitamins he needs the most and find foods that contain a good quantity of these vitamins.

Iron- this vitamin is needed the most by babies, even in their first year. Hence, it is essential that you find iron rich foods for your baby. Moreover, look for baby cereal that consists of iron. Fluoride- bottled water usually does not contain any fluoride. Hence, you can make your baby drink fluoridated water. Vitamin D- if your baby is only being fed breast milk, and then he might need a Vitamin D supplement. However, when he is being fed baby formula, then you would not need any extra supplements. Just make sure that the baby formula contains enough amounts of this vitamin.

Baby poop is a key to his health

Generally, it might become difficult for moms to define whether their child is healthy and is following a good diet. However, his poop can tell you a lot about his health and his diet. We will now discuss about the indications that you can get:

If you are breastfeeding your baby and also supplementing baby formulas, then the bowels will likely have a very strong odor. Moreover, the bowels will be firmer. The color is usually brown or tan. On the other hand, breastfed babies usually have looser stools. At 6 months of age, your baby will be introduced to solid foods and his poop will show the same changes. Depending on what kind of food he eats, his poop color will change. If the baby is eating a lot of sweet potatoes and carrots, his stools will become orange. On the other hand, peas and beans may turn the stools green. Remember, solid foods may also mean constipation for your baby. So be very careful. When a baby is constipated, he experiences problems in passing bowels and the stools will be dry and hard. In such a condition, avoid giving any laxatives to the bay and talk to the pediatrician immediately. Breastfed babies often pass less stools because they have lesser waste to produce. The breast milk is digested very easily. Therefore, do not feel concerned if the baby is not pooping enough while he is breastfeeding. If you think that he poops too less, consult a doctor immediately. Breastfed babies often have looser stools and most mothers would easily believe that their baby is suffering from diarrhea. However, this is not true. Breastfeeding babies rarely suffer from diarrhea. Breast milk actually reduces the chances of loose motions and can even prevent infections that may cause diarrhea. When a baby really has diarrhea, he will have watery stools very frequently. The poop will be brown or green in color and will likely have a very foul odor as well. In case you notice anything like this, do not wait for a second and call your pediatrician immediately. During this time, breastfeed your child so that he does not suffer from dehydration.

We have tried to explain all that we could about feeding your baby, providing him the right nutrition and even monitoring his health. However, this is not an all-inclusive information. There is a lot more that you need to know about feeding your baby. Talk to your doctor. In the end, we would like to advise you to bond with your baby so that you can learn more about him. It helps you understand him better and solve his problem when he grows up to be a toddler.

 

Pregnancy can really change how you perceive the world around you. As an expectant mother, you are already eating for two. Your hormones have gone on a roller coaster ride and you feel everything from morning sickness to diabetic symptoms. However, the joy of being a mother conceals every problem that you go through and when those 9 months are over, you get a healthy and beautiful baby. However, most women are very confused about their health status during pregnancy. Regular visits to your OB Gyn are suggested by us. However, apart from maintaining your visiting schedule to the doctor, you also need to make sure that you eat a very healthy diet during pregnancy.

Understand the changes in your body

Most of us are guilty of eating too less or going on fad diets to lose weight. For some women, undergoing diet changes during pregnancy is all about staying lean. They will still avoid calories and carbs and say a total goodbye to fats. As a result, their body is deprived of essential nutrients during pregnancy and their child also has to suffer the consequences of the same.

You need to understand that weight gain during pregnancy is not bad. In fact, it is healthy to gain weight during pregnancy. Remember, you are eating for two. Most of this weight will be gone after delivery. So don’t feel too alarmed at the ascending numbers on the weighing scale. It is a good sign that your baby is developing in a healthy way. Do not think that a diet is all about maintaining the ‘right weight’ during pregnancy. That is just a fad and does not really work well in the favor of your baby. Here, diet means eating a balanced meal and getting all the essential nutrients that help you and your baby stay healthy.

A pregnant woman often faces issues like lowered blood pressure, problems in sleeping and using the toilet, problems in walking or standing for long and more. Sometimes, women may also feel light cramps in their legs. The hormones in a woman’s body are running the race of their life and they work tirelessly day and night to nurture your baby. You would be surprised at the pace at which your baby develops. Hence, do yourself a favor. Don’t believe any fad diets during pregnancy. Only focus on getting the right nutrition for yourself. Your body will change now and the diet has to be according to these changes only.

Does a pre-pregnancy diet help?

If you have planned a pregnancy, then a pre-pregnancy diet is certainly going to help you in a lot of ways. If you want to take this route for your pregnancy, then you must definitely give yourself a few months in order to get in the right shape for pregnancy. First of all, go to the doctor and check whether you have any deficiencies. This could be a folate deficiency, a certain vitamin deficiency or something similar. If you are obese, underweight or a diabetic, then you must consult your doctor before pregnancy. The same rule applies for women with cardiac troubles.

You have to check if there is any significant risk factor related to your pregnancy. If yes, then you must work on these issues before you conceive. Work on your diet and fill up the nutritional deficiencies in the first place. A detoxification routine will also be helpful for you in this case. Some health issues have nutritional deficiencies as their underlying causes. So such problems will be gone. You can try a combination of diet, exercise or yoga in order to lower down your risk factors after that. This shall help you in making your pregnancy healthier.

The pregnancy diet

For pregnant women, it is high time that they take good care of their diet. You can meet a diet consultant in order to find the best diet according to your age and body type. However, there are a few general rules that you can keep in mind while preparing a meal for yourself. Before we can talk about these ideas, let us check out how you can make your breakfast healthier. Why are we focusing on the breakfast? It is because you must be able to kick start your day with a power packed meal. A good breakfast can give you a lot of energy through the day, minimize cravings and also ensure that you get a good dosage of nutrients right when you start your day.

Breakfast Battles- winning the day

 

You should ideally be starting your day with some fresh fruits or fruit juices. Try to stay away from packaged juices as much as you can. They include more sugar than nutrients. The good old pancakes can actually come in handy for busy moms who need to go to work. A glass of milk is also a good option. You can also opt for a glass of orange juice. However, make sure that you don’t stop here. Don’t just drink a glass of milk or juice and start working. You need something more filling at this point. Eggs can be good option but avoid the sunny side up variety. Go for omelets. Oats can also be a good option to start your day. However, make sure that you are eating some fresh fruits or vegetables along with the oats. It will keep you fit, provide fiber and also ensure that you feel full. It will be better to avoid coffee in the morning. If you love coffee, then cut back the intake to merely 2 cups a today. Anything more than that is not healthy for your baby. Try some beans if that works well for you. A fistful of nuts can be helpful in providing you something to munch on throughout the day.

 

Many women feel morning sickness during pregnancy. As a result of this, they are unable to eat a breakfast. However, even in this case, you must eat at least something. It would help you in staying full and give you a little morning boost. In such a case, you must eat very small portions again and again as they will help you in getting the energy you need throughout the day. Women who feel morning sickness should also avoid eating a heavy dinner as it may aggravate the symptoms. Your small meals can include crackers, toasts, roasted nuts, dried apricots and other such healthy food items. A grilled cheese sandwich can be avoided but it can be had as an occasional indulgence for sure. You will certainly enjoy it. If you like burgers and pizzas, then ensure that you stuff them with fresh cheese and vegetables.

The pregnancy diet should always be full of fresh and organic products. Yes, canned and processed foods are a good option for the days when you are running late for your work. However, you should try to avoid them as much as possible. Also, try to opt for all organic products. Going to a local farmer’s market will certainly help you in packing all the nutrition you need with farm fresh produce that is produced locally. During these 9 months, eat seasonal fruits and vegetables more than their frozen counterparts. This shall help you get better nutrition. Moreover, you should focus only on whole grains. Do not give in to products that have ‘green’, ‘whole grain’, ‘organic’ etc. written on their packaging. You must check yourself whether these products are what they are being marketed as. ‘Gluten free’ is the word that you will come across most often. Don’t just look at the labels. Look at the real ingredients of the food that you are buying.

What to drink during pregnancy?

It is very important to stay hydrated during a pregnancy. In fact, you should ensure that you are drinking more than 8 glasses of water every day. Coffee is best avoided during this time. However, a couple of cups during a day will not do much harm. Alcohol must be avoided completely during pregnancy. It could be very harmful for your child. In addition to this, you are at a greater risk of physically damage the fetus during this time.

As alcohol affects our body balance, you could easily lose balance and fall down. Alcohol addict mothers also develop greater chances of having still births or inducing some nutritional deficiencies in their children. Hence, avoid substance abuse to the best possible extent. Make plain water your best buddy during pregnancy. You can have green tea as well during this time. Fresh fruit juice can also be a good option for you. You should not replace a meal with a green smoothie at this time. However, smaller green smoothie shots can work really well if taken as snacks rather than entire meals.

What do doctors suggest?

Doctors often suggest women to eat what they like, if they are following a few simple diet tips. The most important thing about pregnancy diets is nutrition content. You can have pizza if you like or munch on some stir fried veggies if you like. Just keep the following things in mind when you are pregnant.

You should be eating dark leafy vegetables. Two servings of such veggies are enough for a day. Citrus fruits are the most important for pregnant ladies. Opt for one serving each day of a citrus fruit in order to get the best results for your health. You should also have orange vegetables. The darker the orange, the better the vegetable for your health. One serving of such veggies will be good. Don’t forget about dairy. However, focus only on low-fat or non-fat varieties of milk and dairy products. You should have at least three servings of these products. Cereals and breads are the most essential. Make sure you have at least 6 servings of these. The meats you eat should be extra lean. Opt for fish or chicken sans the skin. However, if you are a vegetarian, then take three servings of bean instead. At least eight glasses of water is a must.

There is no hard and fast rule about what you should eat and when. The women who can eat a bigger meal during breakfast must continue to do so and decrease the size of the meal through the day. The women who suffer from morning sickness can eat the smallest meal in breakfast and increase the size of the meal during dinner. However, it is advised not to eat a very heavy meal. Some doctors suggest smaller breakfasts and larger dinners during the first trimester as morning sickness becomes very likely for all women. They also suggest that women should reverse the diet during the last trimester in order to avoid heartburn. You can eat whatever you like as long as you are eating in moderation. The nutrition comes first.

Does it sound too confusing?

If you have already been living a very healthy lifestyle, then you must already be familiar with these rules. However, if you feel that these rules are too confusing, then you must start following them one by one. It would help you during your pregnancy. Simply abstain from alcohol and smoke and limit caffeine intake. Then start including fresh veggies and fruits in your diet one by one. In this way, you will get all the benefits of this diet.

Some moderate form of exercise will also be good for you. You can focus on yoga or talk to an instructor regarding light exercise for yourself. By the time you find the right exercise routine, focus on 30 minutes of activity every day. This could even be in the form of 15 minutes of walk in the morning and evening. In the end, we would like to welcome you onboard for a healthy and safe pregnancy. We hope that you will have a healthy and beautiful baby who will bring a lot of joy in your life. In the meanwhile, follow the steps that we have mentioned above to get the right diet.

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