What’s the deal with “carbs”, anyway?
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Grains - like rice, corn, and oatmeal
are healthy and filling and full of vitamins and minerals and fiber.
These foods should be eaten at every meal. You cannot “overeat” them.
Most people think “carb” = BAD. But that's not the whole story.
There are only three sources of energy in food: fat, protein and carbohydrate. Our body mostly uses the carbohydrate called glucose for energy (and our brain ONLY uses glucose).
There are two kinds of carbohydrate that give us energy:
“Simple” = sugar, which is a combination of fructose and glucose. So, this includes all sweeteners, like table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave, maple syrup and fruit juice.
Sugars are high in calories but do not, except in very artificial situations, get changed into body fat.
However, recent research is showing that the fructose part of sugar is unhealthy; it interferes with insulin regulation and raises LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and causes other problems.
“Complex” = starch = a food that has glucose in chains (and NO fructose) PLUS the food naturally has fiber,
a small amount of fat, and is a good source of protein and other nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants).
Potatoes, beans and grains (like pasta, rice, corn and oats).
These foods are the staple foods of healthy populations throughout the world and throughout history.
These foods have enough calories to be filling, and again, are full of vitamins and minerals and fiber.
They are the only way to eat fewer calories but not go hungry. The problem is when oil and fat and sugar are ADDED to them.
Eat them with low-calorie toppings and you will be full with fewer calories and more nutrients.
See the "Meal Ideas" page.
Feeding is often a source of great anxiety and conflict for parents and those closest to them. Parents and relatives worry the baby doesn’t eat enough, or eats too much, or eats the wrong foods. We hope this article will simplify the issues for you, so that you and your baby can enjoy this wonderful time when your baby will be learning about food and developing habits for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Newborn babies should be fed only breast milk or formula. They should be fed on demand for the first 1 to 2 months, and then you can attempt to set up a schedule based on when the baby is usually hungry. Do not introduce solids to the baby until she is at least 4 to 6 months old (to avoid a higher chance of allergies developing). Cereal or other foods should never be put in the bottle. A baby’s digestive system is not ready for cereal until she is developmentally ready to take it from the spoon.
Babies and Solids:
When your baby is about 4 to 6 months old, you will probably notice the baby increasing the amount of breast milk or formula he takes. You may also notice that he is acting interested in food you are eating. These are signs that the baby is ready to try solids. Even if the baby shows these signs before 4 months, do not feed her solids. If food allergies run in the family, you will want to wait longer to introduce solids. Discuss this with your pediatrician.
When you decide to introduce solids, begin with baby oatmeal cereal, by spoon only. Mix the cereal with a little formula or breast milk, and try different consistencies as some babies like it thicker, and some like it thinner. Try feeding the baby once or twice a day about an hour before you think she would be ready for breast milk or formula. This will ensure that she’s hungry, but not desperate. When the baby is at least 6 months old, you may advance to vegetables and oatmeal or barley cereal, trying one new kind of food every 3 to 5 days. After a few vegetables, you can try introducing fruit in the same way. Watch for any sign (rash, wheezing, diarrhea, increased spitting up) that the baby might have an allergy to the food. If you home-prepare vegetables, buy organic if possible.
By 6 to 8 months, the baby should be eating 3 meals a day with cereal at two of the meals, and fruits and vegetables with the cereal at the other meal. An excellent source of nutrition that can be introduced at this age is tofu. Medium firm or firm tofu can be sautéed in a small amount of vegetable broth, or baked, and babies often enjoy it because of its soft texture. Another excellent source of calories and healthy fat is avocados. Half an avocado provides 15 grams of fat, half the baby’s daily fat requirement. If your child doesn’t like the taste alone, mash the avocado and mix with bananas, or other soft foods. Another food that should be started now is beans. Try vegetarian refried beans, and the softer beans, like lentils, adzuki, black-eyed peas, and split peas. Buy canned beans or cook in large batches and freeze in small portions. They can be mashed and mixed with avocado or water to make thinner. Other finger foods, such as Cheerios, can be given by 9 months. Always be careful that you do not give your baby food she can choke on.
You can try Stage 2 foods by 6 months and Stage 3 foods by 9 months, but go back a stage if your baby gags on the increased texture. Every baby is different.
As long as your baby does not suffer from constipation, it is best to avoid all juice, as it only will get your baby used to drinking sugary drinks, and it can be harmful to the emerging teeth. Juice is not a substitute for fruit.
Stay away from all sugary foods, except fruits, as long as possible. Children who are not given sugar at an early age may not crave it the way other children do.
Meats and Cheese:
Small amounts of meats (red meat, chicken, other animal meats) and cheese may be introduced as early as 6 months. However, other foods are much healthier sources of vitamins, minerals, protein and fat. Fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains contain all the nutrients needed.
Wait until after 1 year for fish and shellfish; these foods are very high in mercury, pesticides and other contaminants. It’s best to just not give them to babies.
Weaning from bottle:
It is recommended to give your baby water in a cup beginning around 6 months. If you are formula feeding, you can try introducing it in a cup by 6 months to begin the process of getting the baby off the bottle, which should be complete by 15 months.
If food allergies run in the family, be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that infants at risk of developing food allergies should avoid eggs until 2 years of age and avoid peanuts, tree nuts, and fish until 3 years of age. However, recent studies have not shown decreased food allergies by waiting past age 4 to 6 months to introduce foods.
No honey until the baby is 1 year-old, as it can cause botulism in babies.
Be careful not to give your child any food she could choke on, such as popcorn, hot dogs, nuts and seeds (unless they are ground up), grapes, or unripe fruits.
It is best to continue to breastfeed two or three times per day until the baby is two years old. As long as the baby is breastfeeding, she does not require (and probably won’t want) any other milk.
At age one year, formula-fed babies are often switched to whole milk. A healthier choice is to give a follow-up formula, like Nestle Good Start 2, until age two years. Or, if cost is an issue, give plain, organic, calcium-fortified soy milk, along with a high-fat food (see below) once or twice per day.
If your baby has been on soy or special formula, discuss the change with the doctor.
By one year of age, she should be eating 3 meals a day, with snacks in between. She should have no more than 16 to 20 ounces of formula or milk per day (this provides 16 to 20 grams of fat). If she’s breastfeeding, she should be nursing no more than 3 to 4 times per day. If a baby takes more milk or breast milk than this, she will not have enough appetite to eat the other foods she needs. Milk and breast milk are not complete nutrition for a baby at this age.
High-Calorie, Healthy Foods:
Give one or two servings of the following foods every day to children over one year old:
1. Finely chopped nuts and nut butters: peanut butter (the kind made with only peanuts and salt), cashew butter, and almond butter.
2. Seeds: sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin (chopped or ground).
These are healthy, high-fat, high-calorie foods.
The nut butters will need to be mixed with some non-dairy milk (like soy or rice or almond), or water, to thin them for the baby. They can also be added to foods, like oatmeal.
Flax seeds need to be purchased ground up, or you can grind them in a coffee grinder. Whole flax seeds are not digested. May give one to two teaspoons per day.
Adding 14 grams of fiber per day will cause you to eat 10% fewer calories throughout the day, without even trying and without being hungry. Fiber is filling but has no calories.
For example, an apple, a cup of broccoli, and a half a cup of beans together provide 14 grams of fiber. If you typically eat 2,000 calorie per day, once you add the fiber, you will eat 200 fewer calories per day.
Fill up on fiber, cut your calories without even trying, and reduce your risk of colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Pretty neat.
BEANS AND LENTILS:
Half cup has 7 gm of fiber
Baked potato 3 gm
Sweet potato 4.5 gm
GRAINS (one cup, cooked):
Brown rice 3.5 gm.
White rice 0.6 gm.
Whole-wheat pasta 4 gm
Corn 4.5 gm
Oats 4 gm
One piece has about 3 gm.
For example, apple, banana, peach, cup of strawberries, each have 3 gm.
Blackberries have 7.5 gm per cup and raspberries have 8.5 gm per cup!
VEGETABLES (one cup, cooked):
Broccoli 4.5 gm
Carrots 5 gm
Kale 2.5 gm
Spinach 4.5 gm
Romaine lettuce (two cups, raw) 2 gm
I have to change hosts, so I'm starting a new blog.
All of the old recipes are available on my sister's blog: http://www.vegheadfamily.com/p/my-recipes.html
Please let me know how this blog can be helpful to you.