The Best Way To Help Your Child With Their Weight & Body Image + Chaos

276e3ab26911ee2364ed25dde53b3804.jpg

If you have kids in your life, you’re probably already aware that body image challenges start early. Numerous studies have shown that even elementary school children, especially girls, believe they need to change something about their body, whether it’s their weight, their hair, their freckles, or something else. It can be heartbreaking to watch the children we care about struggling with these issues, and so many grown-ups want to know what they can do to help. As it turns out, there IS one thing that we, as adults, can do to create an environment that truly supports our kids’ development of a healthy, positive body image. It’s something we actually have a lot of control over, and best of all, when we start doing this, it will immediately make our own lives better, too.

I would like to share my thoughts on the best way to help children with their weight and their body image. Though I do not have credentials behind my name….yet (another six months and I will!), I have struggled with anorexia nervosa for almost 20 years. I have been in recovery for four years so I give myself a bit of credibility when it comes to this subject. I also do a ton of research!

We live in a time when so many people, young and old, are experiencing an epidemic of body hate and body dissatisfaction. You can read the statistics. Nine out of 10 women polled are hitting on their bodies, and 40% of girls, three to six years old, are already dieting. They’re hating on their body. They’re wanting to change their body parts.

This is crazy! This is the kind of challenge that cuts me to the core….and I hope yours as well.

Hating our body, judging it, and believing that it’s unlovable in some way is the royal road to misery and an unhappy life.

Think about it. When we’re born into this world, watch a baby. They’re not sitting there worried about how they’re looking or running around naked or if they’ve got little bits of body fat here and there. Babies and infants are in love with their physiology. It’s just all one. It’s pleasure. It’s play. However, so many people are struggling in silence with self-defeating thoughts about their own physical form. We’ve got to change that.

An unhappy and unresolved body image keeps us small in our sense of self. It limits our personal growth. It stops our best creativity, and it leaves us far short of the beautiful potential that we are born with. Body hate shuts down the soul. It ruins us. It’s a soul crusher!

If you’re a parent or you have kids in your life and you really want to help the child, especially if you’re a parent, then you want to give them the best chance of a loving relationship with their body….OR at least I hope you do! An unhappy body image these days often starts at a young age. However, there is one strategy that will help you succeed in such a brilliant and beautiful way:

Heal your own relationship with your body!

That’s it. Work on you. Work on your relationship with your body. Get to a place, please, as fast as you can where you forgive your own imperfections and where you let go of your own self-criticism. Stop the fight. Just stop the war because your children, our children pick up on who we are. Children are brilliant observers. They’re not good interpreters, but they’re brilliant observers. They will observe mommy, daddy hating on their own body. They’ll feel it. They’ll absorb it through the airwaves.

In a way, this is the beauty of our young ones. They want to be like us, and they will be like us. Therefore, it is best to look in the mirror and start to work on SELF. It is going to save your kids so much heartache and unnecessary waste of life energy as they get older.

SO AGAIN!!…….the greatest gift you can give your kids is to do your own work and do it now and stop the nonsense in your own head! Here’s how you start: Call a cease-fire on self-attack, and mean it! Just wake up and say cease-fire! Consciously choose to begin to love yourself in small ways. It’s a practice. You’ve got to practice every day.

Every day practice gratitude in some way, shape, or form, for the body that you’ve been given. I know you’ve got complaints about it and this and that and all that. However, balance out all those crazy complaints with some gratitude. Find ways every day to affirm love for your body.

Honestly, it is as simple as that because when you do work on yourself, you save future generations from pain and suffering. However, I know for some…..it isn’t that simple. Your “leading by example” will uplift them in ways that they’ll never know, and when you do that, when you do your work on self so your kids don’t have to finish up that work, we create such a better planet and such a better environment for all of us to thrive in. This is the magic of the world!

 

Chaos: Emily Rosen

 

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Enjoy fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and albacore tuna are good choices!

 

Daily Inspiration 

new-1045954_1920.jpg

 

 

Premature infants may get metabolic boost from mom’s breast milk

74b8a9ab306ff023626e43999933e54e--a-call-mom-baby.jpg

The breast milk of mothers with premature babies have different amounts of microRNA than that of mothers with babies born at term, which may help premature babies catch up in growth and development, according to researchers. In a study, researchers compared the breast milk of mothers with babies born prematurely between 28 and 37 weeks gestation and at term after 38 weeks. They examined whether there were differences in the composition of the breast milks’ microRNAs, snippets of RNA that affect gene expression and can be passed to the infant.

“We found that there are differences in these microRNA profiles, and that the majority of the altered microRNAs influence metabolism,” said Molly Carney, medical student in the Penn State College of Medicine. “If those microRNAs are being transferred to the infant, that could potentially impact how the newborn processes energy and nutrients.” The researchers said the results, recently published in Pediatric Research, could help better match babies with donated breast milk and give insight into how to develop better infant formula.

Babies born prematurely are at risk for a host of problems, including failure to thrive and neurodevelopmental delays. They also tend to be born at a lower weight than term infants. Because of these issues, premature babies have different nutritional needs than babies born at term.

Previous research has established that the macronutrients, fats, sugars (carbohydrates) and proteins, in the breast milk of mothers with premature babies are customized to meet the unique needs of these infants. However, although researchers have suspected that microRNAs in breast milk have a role in infant health and development, no study has specifically looked at whether microRNAs differed between premature and term breast milk. The researchers collected 36 samples of breast milk from mothers with infants born at term and 31 samples from mothers with infants born prematurely. They then processed the samples in a lab, extracted the microRNAs and compared them to the human genome to pinpoint the differences between premature and term breast milk.

After the analysis, the researchers identified nine microRNAs that were significantly different in the premature breast milk. They found that these microRNAs target metabolic processes and may help regulate gastrointestinal function and energy use in premature babies. Steven Hicks, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Penn State College of Medicine, said the results may help explain why premature infants tend to do better when breast-fed by their mothers.

“We know that babies born prematurely have better health outcomes with breast milk than with formula, and our results may explain some of these health benefits associated with breast-feeding,” Hicks said. “The unique microRNA profiles that we found in premature breast milk seem well suited to premature infants, because they target metabolic pathways that could spark catch-up growth.” For example, microRNAs found in premature breast milk block both ADRB3 and NR3C1 gene expression, both of which negatively affect adipogenesis, or fat storage. Blocking these pathways could help boost fat production in premature babies that are having difficulties gaining weight.

Hicks said the results could have several applications, including matching babies with donated breast milk. “For a variety of reasons, babies who are born preterm often rely on donated breast milk,” Hicks said. “Oftentimes, that milk comes from a mother who gave birth at term, and has been breast-feeding for months. That milk may not be optimal for a 32-week premature infant who was born two days ago.”

Hicks also said the findings could lead to opportunities to create better baby formula in the future. “MicroRNAs are an epigenetic material that is made by our bodies and is not present in formula. So even though formula is made to mirror the nutritional components of breast milk — carbohydrates, lipids and proteins — it doesn’t have any of these epigenetic factors,” Hicks said. “It is possible to create microRNAs in a lab and put them in formula. This approach might help bridge the health gap we see between formula- and breast-fed infants.” The researchers said the study helps reinforce that breast milk has multiple nutritional benefits, and may be adapted to individual infant’s needs.

Adapted from: Penn State. (2017, September 14). Premature infants may get metabolic boost from mom’s breast milk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 15, 2017 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170914084048.htm

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Have a vegetable at breakfast! Most people save their veggies for dinner, but it’s perfectly healthy to think outside the cereal bowl and veg out at breakfast, with veggies. For example, add a sliced tomato to your cheese sandwich or some mushrooms to your eggs.

Daily Inspiration 

ama-dablam-2064522_128360-min.jpg

 

 

Infant gut microbes linked to allergy, asthma risk

Microbiome_QuoteBox_thumb.png

Our digestive tracts are home to trillions of microbes—including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This microbial community, known as the microbiota, plays a role in illness and health. Scientists have suspected that infants’ gut microbiota could influence how their immune systems develop. A team led by Drs. Christine C. Johnson at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and Susan V. Lynch at the University of California, San Francisco, set out to examine the relationship between an infant’s gut microbiota and subsequent development of allergy and asthma. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Results appeared online on September 12, 2016 in Nature Medicine.

The researchers analyzed stool samples from almost 300 infants, ages 1 to 11 months. The infants were part of a large, diverse study group born in and around Detroit between 2003 and 2007. The children and their families were followed over time to better understand how early-life exposure to environmental factors might affect the risk for allergy and asthma.

To determine the composition of gut microbes in the stool samples, the scientists examined sequence variation within ribosomal RNA (rRNA), a central component of the protein-manufacturing machinery of all living cells. The investigators found that the infants formed 3 groups characterized by distinct bacterial and fungal gut microbiota. Blood samples obtained from the infants at 2 years of age were tested for sensitivity to allergens. The researchers found that the 3 microbiota groups had substantially different risks for allergen sensitivity. The “high-risk” group had a relatively lower abundance of certain bacteria (such as Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia, and Faecalibacterium) and a higher level of some fungi (such as Candida and Rhodotorula). This high-risk microbiota group was also more likely to be diagnosed with asthma at 4 years of age. The relationship between gut microbiota and allergy and asthma held when the researchers controlled for other factors associated with allergic disease, such as breast feeding and dog allergens in the home.

The team analyzed metabolites in some of the infant’s stool samples. They found extensive differences among the 3 groups. Notably, the high-risk group had greater levels of metabolites that promote inflammation.

The scientists next exposed immune cells from healthy adults to metabolites extracted from the infant’s stool samples. The high-risk group’s samples increased the proportion of allergy-promoting immune cells and production of interleukin-4, an allergy-associated cell-signaling protein. These samples also reduced T-regulatory cells, a key group of immune cells necessary to prevent allergic responses. The team identified a lipid found at high levels in the highest risk group, called 12,13-DiHOME, that could suppress T-regulatory cells.

“We have been working for over a decade trying to figure out why some children get asthma and allergies and some don’t,” Johnson says. “It seems that the microbial communities within the body could be the keystone to understanding this and a number of different immune diseases.” “Humans have co-evolved with microbes, and as a result we rely on their genomes for a range of critical functions. Understanding the basis of human-microbial development may prove critical to unraveling the basis of allergy and asthma and to developing preventative therapeutic strategies,” Lynch adds.

 Neonatal gut microbiota associates with childhood multisensitized atopy and T cell differentiation. Fujimura KE, Sitarik AR, Havstad S, Lin DL, Levan S, Fadrosh D, Panzer AR, LaMere B, Rackaityte E, Lukacs NW, Wegienka G, Boushey HA, Ownby DR, Zoratti EM, Levin AM, Johnson CC, Lynch SV. Nat Med. 2016 Sep 12. doi: 10.1038/nm.4176. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27618652.

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Grocery shop with a friend so you can split large packages and take advantage of volume discounts such as, club packs or ‘buy one, get one free’ deals.

Daily Inspiration 

pexels-photo-24558-min.jpg

 

 

School Cafeteria Meal Options for Kids with Food Allergies

Food.png

Does your child have a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity? Partner with your school’s foodservice and nutrition staff (many of whom are registered dietitian nutritionists) to find safe and nutritious options. The best way for schools to meet the needs of children with food allergies is to work together as a team with the child, the child’s parents and the healthcare provider, says Wesley Delbridge, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a school food and nutrition director in Arizona. “Effective communication is key to helping everyone understand the specifics of each food allergy and to try to serve appealing menu items that the children enjoy eating,” he says.

Meet with Staff

Make time for a field trip to the school to meet with the cafeteria manager. Be sure the staff recognizes your child and they know the problem foods or ingredients. Additionally, identify a go-to person because there should be at least one individual your child is comfortable asking if a food is safe to eat, Delbridge suggests.

Once you’ve made the initial contact with the foodservice and nutrition department, obtain the monthly menu, Delbridge says. Review it with your child so you both know the acceptable menu options. Feel free to ask for ingredient lists of prepared foods and recipes for scratch items. “Schools should do their best to make sure they have accurate labels and information on all of the food items they serve,” Delbridge says. “Having your food ingredients and nutrition facts online can be an excellent resource for parents and students to use when choosing what works best for their specific diet.”

Peanut Allergies

Peanut allergies are on the rise. According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, the number of children with a peanut allergy in the U.S. more than tripled between 1997 and 2008. Many schools avoid peanuts and peanut butter in their menus, but not all schools. If peanuts are a concern to your family, be certain to ask which foods may contain them. Peanut butter cookies are an obvious example, but peanuts and peanut products may be hidden in sauces, gravies, salad dressings, chicken salad, egg rolls and a variety of foods from global cuisines. Many schools serve a popular peanut butter substitute made from sunflower seeds, says Delbridge. If your school doesn’t already offer it, ask them to have it on hand.

Gluten-free Options

Because of celiac disease or other intolerances, some students avoid gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye. Some easy-to-spot sources of gluten are bread, pasta, pizza and breaded items like fish or chicken nuggets. “Children with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should be taken very seriously and every ingredient should be analyzed to ensure there are no hidden sources of gluten,” Delbridge says. “Cross-contamination of serving and prep utensils in the kitchen can be a source of this as well as processed foods, powdered mixes, seasonings and many snack items. Check all labels in advance and be sure to have a specific set of kitchen prep dishes and utensils in the kitchen for food allergies only.”

The good news, he points out, is that so many wholesome and delicious foods naturally are gluten-free. Among them are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils, eggs and unflavored milk. Swapping bread and flour tortillas for corn tortillas is another option. So is requesting that your school offer gluten-free bread, he adds. Most importantly, be prepared by talking to both your child and the school staff. And help your child feel comfortable by focusing on what is safe to eat and not just what must be avoided.

Adapted from: Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Trying a new food or new recipe every week helps to ensure you are adding variety to your diet. Experiment with new vegetables and fruits as well as different seasonings.

Daily Inspiration

43537-289.630w.tn.jpg

 

5 Whole Grains to Keep Your Family Healthy

large

Next time you go shopping, help keep your family healthy by choosing whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains (such as buckwheat, brown rice, hominy and oatmeal) are more nutritious than refined grains because they contain the fiber-rich outer bran layer, the nutrient-packed germ and the starchy endosperm. Refined grains (such as white bread, white pasta and white rice) contain mostly the endosperm. In the past, whole grains were thought to provide mostly fiber to promote digestive and heart health, but newer research has revealed that they provide additional vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients. No matter which whole grain you prefer, make sure the ingredient list includes whole grains or that the label reads “100-percent whole grain.”

Amaranth

Gluten-free amaranth is considered a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids in proportions that humans need, including lysine which other grains tend to lack. Additionally, it’s a good source of minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc, plus it offers some calcium and potassium. In South America, amaranth is popped like miniature popcorn. “Most kids love pasta, and amaranth can be used as a substitute for couscous or orzo,” said Nancy Z. Farrell, MS, RDN, who is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Use amaranth flour to make tasty baked products like zucchini bread, carrot cake or blueberry muffins and pancakes.”

Barley

Barley is a fiber powerhouse. Hulled barley has more fiber-rich bran than pearled barley, “but both contain beta-glucan soluble fiber that slows the absorption of glucose, and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, thus providing sustained energy throughout the day,” says Farrell. Barley also contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant. Barley is great added to soups or used to make a pilaf. It can even be made into a hot breakfast cereal. Hulled barley will take more time to cook than pearled barley, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Oats

Oats also contain beta-glucan fiber which can lower cholesterol and help strengthen the immune system. Oats boast polyphenol compounds that have antioxidant and anti-itch properties. Besides the age-old favorite oatmeal for breakfast, oats can be added as a binder to meatloaf and burgers. Oats also work well in baked goods including oatmeal cookies, as a crunchy topping to crisps and crumbles, and even in casserole dishes.

Quinoa

Like amaranth, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids and is gluten-free. Moreover, quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium and a good source of zinc, iron and folate. “Quinoa is easy to make,” said Farrell. “While not required, toasting quinoa before boiling it in liquid enhances flavor, as does cooking it in vegetable or chicken broth.” Quinoa can be made in a rice cooker, as well. Before cooking, use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the quinoa and remove the outer coating, called saponin, which can give the quinoa a bitter taste. Quinoa is fun for kids because it pops in the mouth when chewed and comes in several colors: beige, red, black and even purple. Mix quinoa with beans or nuts for a tasty side dish, or add to salads and stir-fries.

Teff

Of these five grains, gluten-free teff is highest in calcium and protein. Teff also is a rich source of fiber, iron and thiamin. Teff grains are tiny and have a mild nutty flavor. It’s an indispensable grain in Ethiopia where it’s used to make the traditional flat bread, injera, and it’s grown in the United States in Idaho. Cook the grain into a creamy hot cereal or a tasty polenta. You can also mix teff with veggies for a side dish.

Adapted from: Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Keep tomatoes on the counter, out of direct sunlight, so they stay fresh and flavourful.

Daily Inspiration 

39691-245

 

 

Preschoolers benefit from peanut allergy therapy

Clinical-trialencouraging-news-for-kids-with-peanut-allergy-blog-title

Peanuts are one of the most common causes of food allergies. Allergic reactions to peanuts can be mild, but they may also be severe and lead to a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Peanut allergy usually starts in early childhood and lasts a lifetime. Avoiding exposure is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction. However, steering clear of peanuts is difficult, since it can be in foods you may not suspect.

Recent studies have shown that an experimental treatment called oral immunotherapy can reduce allergies to some foods, including peanuts. A team of researchers led by Dr. Wesley Burks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tested the approach as an early intervention in preschool-age children newly diagnosed with peanut allergy. The work was partly supported by the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Results were published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on August 10, 2016.

The team enrolled 40 young children (9 to 36 months old) newly diagnosed with peanut allergy. The treatment involved eating small, gradually increasing amounts of peanut protein each day. Participants were randomly assigned to either a high-dose (target daily dose of 3,000 milligrams peanut protein) or a low-dose regimen (target dose of 300 milligrams). Data from a group of 154 peanut-allergic children who had received standard care and avoided peanuts were used as a control.

Nearly all treated participants experienced some side effects, such as abdominal pain. These were generally mild and required little or no treatment. Three people withdrew from the study because of adverse effects. Two others withdrew for other reasons.

After receiving treatment for 29 months on average, participants ate a peanut-free diet for 4 weeks and then were evaluated for their ability to eat 5 grams of peanut protein. Almost 80% of treated participants had no allergic response. There was no significant difference between the low-dose and high-dose arms. In comparison, only 4% of the control group successfully introduced peanuts into their diet. These results are substantially better than those in older children who had a longer duration of peanut allergy.

“This study provides critical evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of peanut oral immunotherapy in treating young children newly diagnosed with peanut allergy,” says NIAID food allergy expert Dr. Marshall Plaut. Researchers continue to monitor the participants to assess how long the treatment effects may last. Scientists note that this experimental therapy is still being tested in clinical trials and should be given only under medical supervision. Consult with a doctor before giving peanut products to an allergy-prone child.

Vickery BP, Berglund JP, Burk CM, Fine JP, Kim EH, Kim JI, Keet CA, Kulis M, Orgel KG, Guo R, Steele PH, Virkud YV, Ye P, Wright BL, Wood RA, Burks AW. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Aug 4. pii: S0091-6749(16)30531-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.05.027. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27522159.

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Having trouble getting kids to eat vegetables? Try changing the shape. Grate carrots, make cucumber ribbons with a peeler, and cut peppers into stars using scissors. Give them creative names too — kids eat more power peas and X-ray vision carrots than plain ol’ peas and carrots.

Daily Inspiration 

35477-salt-and-light.png.jpeg

4 Infant Supplements to Ask Your Pediatrician About

shutterstock_76156198-3952x2223.jpg

Starting your baby on solid foods is exciting — and messy! Most babies start with a very small amount of solids at around 4 to 6 months old, slowly increasing their portion size. Then, at around 9 to 11 months old, you may start noticing a dramatic drop in how much breast milk or formula your baby drinks as he or she starts getting more nutrition and calories from solid foods.

Because of their changing dietary needs over this transition, it is important that infants get the nutrition they need to grow and develop. For some children, this means filling nutritional gaps with carefully chosen supplements.

Iron

Babies are born with a store of iron that lasts them for about 4 to 6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that full-term infants who are exclusively breast-fed be given an iron supplement starting at 4 months of age. Talk to your pediatrician to see if your infant needs an iron supplement. Children born premature or with a low birth weight may have reduced iron stores. If so, your pediatrician will probably recommend iron supplements until your baby’s first birthday. Formula is generally iron-fortified, which means formula-fed babies rarely need an iron supplement.

As infants begin to eat more solid food, serving them iron-rich foods such as iron-fortified cereal, meat or beans at least twice a day will help them meet their iron needs. But, if your baby is over 6 months old, is breast-fed and is not eating iron-rich foods, your pediatrician may recommend an iron supplement. To promote iron absorption from plant foods, combine iron-rich solid foods you serve to your child with vitamin C-rich foods in one meal. For example, pair a bean and rice puree or finger food meal with tomato sauce, fruit or a fruit puree.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for healthy bones and prevention of chronic disease. Because low levels of vitamin D are so common, the American Academy of Pediatrics says all breast-fed infants — and formula-fed infants who drink less than 32 ounces of formula per day — should take a supplement. When starting solids, you can mix vitamin D drops in purees as well as add them to formula or water.

Fluoride

Before you determine if your baby needs fluoride, which is important for cavity prevention, you need to know levels of fluoride in your local water supply. Fluoride supplements are only available by prescription, so discuss this with your pediatrician.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, which prevents anemia and supports healthy neurological function, is found in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and is not a concern for most children. However, if you plan to introduce only plant-based foods into your child’s diet, he or she may need a B12 supplement. Formula-fed vegan babies can get their vitamin B12 from a special fortified formula, most often soy-based. Vegan mothers who exclusively breast-feed should be sure to consume adequate vitamin B12 through fortified foods and supplements in order to provide ample B12 to her baby via breast milk.Vitamin B12 is typically included in most over-the-counter infant vitamin drops and many ready-to-eat cereals and milk substitutes.

Before giving your infant any supplements, always consult with your pediatrician. Not all infants automatically need supplements when starting solids. Make sure to introduce your baby to a variety of foods in order to develop his or her palate and meet nutritional needs.

Adapted from: Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Put meat and poultry into containers on the bottom of the fridge so juices won’t drip and contaminate other foods. Split bigger packages and freeze in meal-size portions for easy defrosting.

Daily Inspiration 

34067-walk-faith-cannot-see.png.jpeg