Feeding Your Child: Healthy Eating Strategies

Parents are constantly busy and the temptation to sacrifice healthy meals for quick, on-the-go meals is extremely high. And they aren't always getting the support and education they need, especially with the rise of various food allergies. How can your infant or toddler's eating habits impact them throughout their lives? What do parents struggle with most when it comes to healthy eating? Plus, great, nutritious snacks your kids are sure to love!

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Feeding Your Child: Healthy Eating Strategies

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.


[Theme Music]

Fear has taken over the kitchen table, the truth is parents today have a much harder time feeding kids in previous generations and they aren’t getting the support and preparation they desperately need. There is more information to sort through, more pressure to feed kids right, more foodologies, more obesity, more body image concerns and not enough time, creditful information or cooking skills. Now more than ever, parents need healthy eating strategies for their kids and families.

I am Maryann Jacobsen, author of “Fearless Feeding”, and this is Parent Savers episode 70.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Johner Riehl: Welcome to Parent Savers, we are Broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on-the-go support group for newborn, infants and toddler. I am your host Johner Riehl and thanks again to all of your loyal listeners who have joined the Parent Savers’ club. Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts. You can subscribe to our monthly Parent Savers’ newsletter for free, for a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Parent Savers’ App which is available on the Android and iTunes marketplace, get you access to our episodes as soon as they are available and while you are downloading stuff, you might want to go check out “Alert ID”. We talked about it a few weeks ago. It is a really great App to keep you up to date with the latest kind of crimes in your area, give you some alerts. “I even got an earthquake notification through it one time and you can go to “www.alertid.com/newmommy” and make sure to write (unclear) through there, so that they know that we sent you at Parent Savers’.

Before we dive into today’s topic, let us go around the room and introduce everyone who is here. First joining us is Laurie, one of our super parents, you might have recognized her.

Laurie; tell everyone about yourself.

Laurie Babb: My name is Laurie Babb, and I am local yoga meditation consciousness development educator. I am 41; I have two children, a two and a half year-old boy and a five and a half year-old boy.

Cecille Neri: Hi everyone, I am Cecille Neri, I am full-time stay-at-home-mom. I have a daughter who is eight, Isabela, my middle child just turned six yesterday, her name is Sophia and my younger son is Calebin, he is three and a half.

Johner Reihl: I am Johner, I have three boys, six and a half, four and a half and two. The house is big too; they just came up as well.

Maryann; how about you?

Maryann Jacobsen: My name is Maryann Jacobsen, I am mom and Registered Dietician, family feeding expert. My kids are six and four.

Johner Reihl: Thanks for joining us!

[Theme Music]

Johner Reihl: Before we start the conversation, we do look at news headlines from time to time here on Parent Savers’ and so I brought an article for us to discuss. It actually has…this doesn’t have to do with the topic of “Healthy Eating Strategies” which we are about to dive into but instead this is about a new trend called a TotTude Tattoo Sleeve T-Shirts for kids. What they are; they are these T-Shirts where the sleeves look like inked-up arms. We've got pictures of them on our website. This is from POPSUGAR: They said, "We have to admit, we did a total double-take when we first spotted photos of TotTude's Tattoo Sleeve Tees on Etsy. We've seen temporary tattoos for kids, but an entire arm's worth? Luckily, we quickly learned that they're not the real deal and instead they are just an incredibly realistic take on the grown-up trend of having an entire arm's worth of tattoos, or a "sleeve".

These shirts are the brainchild of a professional children's photographer and mother of four who was tired of seeing the same outfits on the little subjects of all of her photoshoots. So, she was inspired to do something a bit edgier and she came up with this line of rock-'n'-roll-inspired children’s wear. They cost about $24 to $35 and go from infants to kids. So, what do you guys think of this idea of these fake arm tattoos for the kids?

Laurie Babb: Well, I think it's a great business idea.

Johner Reihl: From an entrepreneurial standpoint.

Laurie Babb: I mean, as a kid I remember, that I would have really loved that. So, I think its genius.

Johner Reihl: I think it speaks to, I guess, kind of the tattoo culture that is emerging in our society, that it is becoming more and more acceptable for folks to have lots of different tattoos. But starting it at that young age is also…there are a lot of parents that want nothing to do with their kids and tattoos. So, kids may see other kids wearing these and…

Laurie Babb: You definitely have to translate it for them and say, well, maybe not, but kind of put it in a context. This is, you know, fun art for you to wear.

Cecille Neri: I don't think that they have the same interpretations as we do. We might look at it and relate it to a certain type of people, but for them it's just fun. It's colorful. It's something that they would enjoy wearing, I think. So, I think it's harmless.

Johner Reihl: Maybe like dressing up as a princess for a day, or if you are going to a rock star party, you know, it be really cute, but I think that if I saw the same kid wearing it over and over and over, I don't know. I don't really make judgments against people with tattoos, but it's one of those things, definitely a hot button issue for conversation. Allright, check out that picture on the website. Thanks, guys.

[Theme Music]

Johner Reihl: Today’s topic that we are talking about is “Healthy Eating Strategies”, as September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and it's a great time to talk about the topic that nearly every mom and dad struggles with on some level. Today we are talking with Maryann Jacobsen who is going to tell us how families can introduce, promote, and sustain healthy eating habits for their kids, and maybe even for themselves, too. Thanks for joining us, Maryann.

Maryann Jacobsen: Thanks for having me.

Johner Reihl: Maryann, so, you mentioned in the intro about eating healthy is harder for our generation than previous ones. What do you mean by that?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well, I think there are just more challenges, more barriers. So people don't necessarily know how to cook when they start a family, more parents are working, so there is less time. There is more pressure, so parents feel guilty. They know they need to feed their kids healthy. There are also more choices; there's fast food, when you go to the grocery store, there are all these frozen items that kids easily accept, so parents are torn between giving kids those items and healthier items and so it just, altogether, just there is a lot of, what I call fear out there, with feeding our kids and it’s resulting in a lot of mistakes. That’s why I want to help parents navigate this complicated issue.

Johner Reihl: I mean even though we have access to produce seemingly around the year…year round you can get, if you all want blueberries, so you can get them, maybe from South America. Even though you probably have access to more food, there is just so many other food choices and temptations at that pause.

Maryann Jacobsen: There’s also a lot of mixed messages, there’s a lot of blogs, news stories about what, how to feed your kids, what to feed them. Now there is a lot of stuff about gluten and organic and so, it’s just, there’s so much. So parents kind of, I think they tend to get overwhelmed and when you feel overwhelmed, it’s almost like you just give up. But some parents, a lot of parents don’t give up either. There is a happy medium there and yeah; I talk about that in the book.

Johner Reihl: Got it! So would you say that healthy eating, what do you mean by when you say that? Is that just about keeping kids the right way, the right place on a scale?

Maryann Jacobsen: I look at it more like balanced eating. So it’s all about balancing food intake. None of this is about restricting your child from cake and foods that they’re naturally going to like. My book “Fearless Feeding”, me and my co-author, part of the reason behind it is to help parents understand why kids eat the way they do at each stage. So when toddlers get picky there is a reason for it, their growth slows and they are growing too, kids are growing so they naturally like sweets more than we do and that’s why they… So it’s not because your kid’s going to be an unhealthy eater, all of this is normal. So you want to work with them and not against them. Against this normal development!

Johner Reihl: That’s one of the things that we struggle with. I know, especially with our middle one because what is normal eating and I don’t think he exhibits it but it sounds like what you’re saying it that some pickiness or a lot of pickiness is natural and to be expected.

Maryann Jacobsen: It is! From two to six, called “Food Neophobia”, the fear of food actually peaks and this is thought of as a survival mechanism because back in the day when kids were, when they become more mobile they would go, you know, they might pick poisonous plants. So naturally, kids, greens or they taste more bitter compounds so they don’t really love a lot of vegetables kind of naturally, but they can learn to and it’s all by exposure, not forcing them.

So when we make them eat, any kid that’s made to eat food is going to think “This can’t be good if they have to make us eat it.” So it’s all by exposure, it’s all about trying different preparation, role-modeling, but also its understanding their nutrition needs. I mean, a two-year-old doesn’t really need all that much food so they naturally may not eat much at meals, they may even skip a meal and we don’t want to make them eat because what are we teaching them? And in the end we want them to listen to hunger, satiety and that can be hard and I know parents right away will say, “Well an hour later they’re saying they’re hungry, they didn’t eat their dinner”. But if we do our job with feeding and so if we are feeding regular meals, structure at the table, snacks, and the kids understand that rhythm; they eat much better and don’t ask for more food.

My kids pretty much rarely ask for food in between, they love sweet and they don’t eat everything like a normal kids, but when you have that rhythm it really helps them do their job and they manage their hunger much better. And it’s not really our job to make our kids eat, it’s our job is to prepare the food and have a nice atmosphere and kids really will though. Kids could be healthy either, so we need to instill that trust in them. There is so much of distrust and kids feel that from that they have to be made to eat that healthy food, and that’s the message that I get. We need to send the message that healthy home foods are better, they are great, I am eating them and I hope you eat them, maybe it will take a while.

Johner Reihl: So if I do something like, common dude eat a couple of bites of that food, you are sitting at the table, I know you’ll eat it. That is really not a good thing.

Maryann Jacobsen: I think that depends on the kid. So, if you have kid, with a little pushes, let’s say you encourage them and they take a bite and I love them and every time that happens and it works for the kid. But if you have a kid take a bite and they gag, this happens to, they are always against it and then it’s not working. So your kid is going to tell you kind of what you’re doing is working. If they are always resisting and it’s making their meals tense, then just drop it. But you have to take every kid different and also their stage of development. My daughter is much more open, I can explain her, “You know what this food is like the other foods you like, I think you like it” and she is more likely. But when she was three there was no way, she was just... So you need to consider the development too.

Johner Reihl: How are your kids, are they good eaters?

Cecille Neri: They do go through different stages and I’ve noticed that. Each child is different. I’ve noticed my son who is the youngest, he is actually very open to foods with more flavor. So he will eat the onions and pickles, and even the things that are little bit spicy, whereas my oldest daughter wouldn’t touch anything with taste unless it’s sweet. So I try to tell to them the importance of eating healthy and try to go beyond what it tastes like but what it does for your body.

So, I try to tell them, “You got to eat this broccoli because it is going to help your muscles grow and…” or I mean I don’t know whatever it could ever do. I’ll tell them what that particular food does to help them grow and to be strong and that it’s good for your brain, that kind of thing – and I think they are open to listening to that. I even hear my older kids telling the younger ones, “You got to eat this as this is good for your body or it is going to help you grow taller”. So it does sink in, I think there is some resistance sometimes because it tastes different to what they are craving for or whatever, but it sinks in like everything else I think, if we tell them often enough.

Laurie Babb: Something that I’ve to tried to do with my kids, particularly my older one because I’ve had a complicated journey with food because of food allergies and whatever, but one thing I’ve learned is to really perceive when I eat something, how does my body feel? And notice if I’m feeling a certain way, think back to what did I eat? And try to make connections. My son has food allergies too and instead of being the food police, which I kind of have to be sometimes or maybe I haven’t found a better way to do it sometimes. But it is tiring, so I am trying to transfer it on to him to be his own monitor by actually sensing within himself I say “Okay you can eat that wheat bread but it has gluten and you are not supposed to eat that because your body isn’t going to like it.” So you pay attention and tell me how you feel or just notice yourself, how you feel later after you eat that or remember later today when you are starting to cry or get upset about something, you can remember back to what you ate and that your body is not cooperating with your body…

Maryann Jacobsen: I think that is really helpful especially with food allergies. And in the book we have a special section that talks about these problems, because it is true when you have food allergies like type 1 diabetes that there are certain foods kids can and cannot eat. And it is also true to let kids when they do over do it at a party, to bring it back to how you feel. How does that food make you feel later? And plant the seed. So if we are always trying to prevent problems, even hunger, so if a kid doesn’t eat enough and they are hungry just say “Remember next time if you only have a little, remember you are still hungry”. So they learn from it because it is good to start to instill how they are feeling and how the food makes them feel.

Also hunger fullness is really important, because s as they get older studies show that kids do not regulate as well. Part of that has to do with the pushing that they get and bigger portions. But remember something that we always talk about, “What does your tummy say?” Studies are starting to show that people that use hunger and fullness to guide their eating are at healthier weights. External cues, we go out to eat, I mean let’s look at how big the portions are and every time you see food, but always asking “Are you hungry?” You don’t have to eat and you can eat at another time. So I think that is important too, but that is a great way to you know with kids is to let them…food isn’t just about... they are motivated by taste, all studies show kids are most. So we can talk about what food does and different foods play different roles and help us be healthy, but they also taste good too. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness. It is all important.

Cecille Neri: I think there is a lot of miss education out there too. I remember when I gave birth to my first child and you go on your regular visits and they give you a list of the things that your child should be eating and they tell you “Well they should be eating every 1.5 to 2 hours.” And so you feel like you need to follow these guidelines as opposed to feeling out whether they are full or whether they’re hungry or what they’re telling you. I know that even from the very beginning with breastfeeding they told me to breastfeed my child every 1.5 to 2 hours and so I had a real struggle with my second child because she was not feeding for 4 or 5 hours straight. So I was always in a panic thinking that she was not getting enough food and so I would try to force her to breastfeed and I just think from the very get go we are given the incorrect information and that is challenging as a parent because you think you are doing the right thing by following these guidelines but in reality its really wrong for that particular child. So if we had maybe more informed nurses or health care providers so that would certainly be a big help.

Johner Reihl: It’s almost like some parents may want to control what their kids but instead you need to guide it and get their feedback right, you are not controlling with their eating you are helping them make the choices.

Maryann Jacobsen: Your point is very true the hallmark for especially early on is growth. So if your child is growing well as a baby, they don’t necessarily look at how much they are eating. So you have a two-year-old not eating much, you got to look at the growth and make sure that’s on track. That is how pediatricians really monitored; it’s not by how much that child is eating and of course if they are hardly eating something you know you are looking at.

Johner Reihl: It can be frustrating you don’t understand where that growth is coming from but it’s coming?

Maryann Jacobsen: I always tell parents because I had a hard time breastfeeding my daughter and it was a negative experience for her because she didn’t want, but she had a weird suck and all these lactation consultants come into my home and finally once she refused I just pumped but then feeding was enjoyable for both of us and then at four-month she started to... I still gave her opportunity with no pressure and she started to breastfeed at four-month. It was incredible and that shows you that, if feeding your child, if it is a tensed negative experience, they are not learning they are not going to eat as well over the long term.

Johner Reihl: We are going to take a quick break here when we will come back let’s talk about some more specifics and give you some specific foods or tips we are dealing with picky eaters, that type of things.

[Theme Music]

Johner Reihl: Alright welcome back everybody! Today we are talking about “Healthy Eating Strategies” with Maryann Jacobsen, author of “Fearless Feeding”. So let’s get into some specific tips, what are some good ways to introduce the healthy habits for families?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well I think it really depends on where you are? How old your kids are? In my book “Fearless Feeding” we talk about, the first two years, kids are really open to food. So as much variety as you can bring them to the table, don’t keep them on the bland purity food. Once they can start feeding themselves they can eat a lot of what you are eating as long as it is small enough and get them used to the flavors in the family. What do you like to eat? Get that started early, when they become pickier between two and six, the Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility is really important because, don’t focus and make it a battle. Your job is to provide the food, set the structure when to eat, take their preferences and when you’re making your decisions but let them decide whether in how much.

And one thing families can do which can be hard but I serve family style, so we put bowls of food out on the table and we pass it around and we let kids serve themselves. Take as much as they think they can encourage and they take a little bit of everything instead of pre-plating and say, “Here!” Because that gives kids more control, that’s what kids would want. They don’t have a lot of control over the control over the food and other things. So, the family style and just a lot of exposure and it’s not, take how they’re eating over the week, just not one day or one meal and give them lots opportunities to eat fruits and vegetables, snack time, breakfast, lunch, don’t save everything for dinner.

Sometimes vegetables at dinner and like we do a lot of smoothies and sometimes my kids aren’t eating. You know it’s a smoothie day and I don’t tell them that but they love it. I can put greens in their smoothie, fruit and yoghurt.

Johner Reihl: We have a rule that any time our kids ask for an apple, they can have it. I don’t care if we’re about to sit down.

Maryann Jacobsen: Fruit anytime, that good!

Johner Reihl: You want an apple? Sure, take it right now even if we’re literally sitting at the dinner table. If they want a healthy fruit or vegetable, just go for it.

Maryann Jacobsen: That’s one thing, not feeding between the meals and snacks. But if they want fruit, that’s always are like, “We talked out in the book.” If a kid usually doesn’t want fruit or usually not hungry, they may just want that snack food. So, it’s a good policy…

Johner Reihl: What about when serving food, like is it okay to instill them the whole, “Don’t waste food?” It seems like that sort of one of the issues that we talked about earlier with portion sizes and control but you also at some point, you need to teach them. If you’re taking some food and putting it on your plate, if you’re letting them serve themselves that’s sort of a promise that you’re going to eat it or is that kind of tying it into?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well, young kids won’t usually take too much at first. You know they like it. It’s kind of fun for them. It’s like they’re older and they can understand and take as much as you can eat. What we do with the family style, we just put the leftovers back in the fridge. You know there’s no use in having the kid eat, finish if they’re not hungry for it. So, I think the waste, we do want to try and decrease waste but so many people when I hear from them all the time, adults because I work with adult before I went into the family nutrition, “They had to clean their plates.”

I just wrote an article in New York Times another load that you know, “There’s a really lot of research that shows like boys asked to clean their plate, ask for bigger portions outside the home. Adults, they have more, remember more rules of cleaning their plate are tend to have higher weights.”

So we really have to think, “What are we teaching our kid?” I know the waste is very important but for me, if I’m serving home foods, it’s going to be wasted because sometimes things go bad that’s just, no matter what, that’s kind of, part of but I try to minimize that. We do want to teach kids not to waste but at the same time we don’t want to make them eat more.

Laurie Babb: We actually, we live on a ranch and we, we grow worms and that eat organic garbage like that and we also have chickens and dogs and so it doesn’t really go to waste if they don’t eat and they see that and they will say “Okay we will put it in the chicken bag or give it to holly which is our parrot or give it to Abbey which is our dog” So they can see that it actually… if they didn’t eat it, it doesn’t just go to waste

Johner Reihl: Even if you do not raise your own worms you can do something simple like a compost procedure (crosstalk)

Laurie Babb: A lot of people do raise their own worms and that can be fun things for kids, “Okay will be feed it to your worms then”...

Johner Reihl: My sister has older kids than us and her daughter is 13 years and to this day at family dinners a lot of time, she will eats chicken nuggets or only white meat chicken or just certain kind of macaroni and cheese and my wife and I have always been in this impression that the habit started when she was younger that picky eating was just catered too, we love her and if they are happening to be listening to this we love you and we are not judging you poorly but it is something that we think about and don’t want our kids to turn into picky eaters when they are older. So what are some ways to deal with that as they younger to not have that outcome or is it related?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well the catering! There are a lot of fear if your kids not eating now, it depends sometimes it is a sign of deeper problem like the kid might have a sensory issue or they may have reflex when they were little or they may have chocked, in our book we really specify each stage when it is problematic and then we have picky eating section where you can look and see if these are the signs you might need to go get some additional help. So sometimes just that exposure might not be enough if there is an underline, but there are some cases where the kids only get those that foods that they prefer and they never get the opportunity to try different things.

So I always recommend one meal but also make sure that there is one or two things you know your kid will eat at the table so don’t make it foreign meal and then say eat or starve. But have one or two and then also one or two nights likes I have a really…I love the chicken tender recipe and we all love it. So you can make foods that kids make like more and still have it be healthy. It doesn’t have to be a packaged item.

I think it taste better when you make it yourself but definitely catering, what we are say to our children when we cater to them is I don’t believe that you can learn to like lot of foods, we need to look at eating like we do reading and writing that it take times, we will never say that to a kid that had problem reading, like you are going to read. It is the same thing with food but what we end up doing is we pressure them and then we give up. It is like a lot of times what may have happened in this case is that, there are so much and it becomes a huge battle and parents know that’s not good and so they just give up and give the child the food they want instead of just having them to be part of the meal and don’t make a big deal out of it.

Johner Reihl: Is it a point where it becomes too late?

Maryann Jacobsen: No it’s never! There are a lot of actually adult, picky eaters and that’s kind of a new… it’s coming out of the closet that there are some that can’t go out to social. So, I don’t think it’s ever too late, it’s always better to catch it early, if there’s an underlying…but there’s resistance eaters can be a problem. I mean…

Johner Reihl: How much more expensive is it to eat healthy because that’s one of the things that, sometimes I hear that it’s a misconception but sometimes, it is a go to whole foods, for example, is more expensive than going to a different grocery store. I mean, have you found that maybe that’s kind of a cop-out excuse or that it, there’s something too that it’s a little bit more expensive to eat healthy?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well, you don’t have to go to whole foods and you don’t have to buy organic. I mean, we don’t really have any research… it’s more of a kind of prevention. We’re not really sure if, we know that organic foods have less pesticides but it still has. So, you can eat conventional produce, it’s still important to have produced, whether it’s organic or not. So, you can do sales…there is some good websites like $5 dinners, her meals are nice and balanced. She says “Each one of them is less than $5”. That’s less than really cheap fast food. So, if you’re really creative and go out there, I mean, you may not be able to go whole foods and get, or you may not be able to get local food and all that but you can still eat, you know, balanced, healthy meals. There are, becoming more and more, options for even organic and those kinds of whole foods where people I know, they good in collapse together and they buy it, a buying cup and then also even… what do they call it, community supported agriculture, where you buy from organized local farms and it’s an organized thing where they even, sometimes, deliver it right to your neighborhood and you go pick it up. So, those are a lot of cheaper ways to go into like a major…

Johner Reihl: We did that through our school and both the pre-school and our school offer something like that to buy a farm box.

Laurie Babb: Or grow your own!

Cecille Neri: That’s a cheap…

Johner Reihl: We’ve already tried to grow our own and we couldn’t get it. That’s a whole other topic, maybe.

Cecille Neri: I know I’m not particularly good at that either.

Johner Reihl: Our neighbor across the street is like; I have too many tomatoes, take them off my hands. We’re like; we want to have too many tomatoes…

Cecille Neri: Right, well sponsored his gardener.

Johner Reihl: Nice

Maryann Jacobsen: But I think whenever there is something like, I don’t have time or… you have to look at what’s really behind that because sometimes, you may not enjoy, you may look healthy eating something that won’t be as taste… so, you got to, that’s not true. Every family needs to do it in a way that works for them. Start where you are now, you don’t have to revamp everything, just make some small changes.

Johner Reihl: Let’s talk some specific tips. What are some healthy snacks that you like, specifically for your family or maybe you guys can add in as well?

Maryann Jacobsen: Healthy snacks, I really like to fill nutrition gaps like me and my daughter doesn’t drink milk, might do yogurt, with some toasted almonds or fruit, like banana and smoothies. Right now, for the summer are been, we do a lot of smoothies

Johner Reihl: You’re doing them with yogurt

Maryann Jacobsen: Yes she likes the strawberry and bananas, spinach yogurt. And my son likes peanut butter. I’ll put like pear and I’ll change it blueberries. There is always some green; that’s a kale or spinach.

Johner Reihl: Just throw it in there because they can’t even taste it.

Maryann Jacobsen: I have them make it with me so I don’t sneak. Because when we sneak we are sending the message again. We have to think are we making healthy eating negative. Just bring them and say “Look, try it and we’ll try it with and without”. That’s what I did with my daughter. And she was like “Oh It tastes the same”. So she helps me put the spinach in there. So smoothies are fun in the summer. It kind of depends on… and if they are really hungry and you know dinner is not on, maybe it’s a half a sandwich with some fruit, crackers and cheese. So I always say two to three food groups are good for a snack. So that is like a protein, a whole grain, a fruit, a vegetable, maybe a healthy fat. Instead of them always thinking “Oh I have crackers or granola bars” That’s okay if you want to do that, Pretzels. But it really can help fill nutrition gaps. If you know that your kid doesn’t eat a lot of protein, maybe you have a good protein source and maybe you do not butter with… Because you know they are not getting... It really helps parents when filling gaps with the snacks.

Laurie Babb: We have a bowl of fruit and what I do is I’ll wash it every time we get home from the grocery store. They know where it is, I always tell them the fruit here is washed and there is a section in the fridge where it is kind of their section where they can reach it and they know that if they are hungry they can go there and everything is washed. Of if they wake up before I do, I tell them this is where the fruit is, this is where the cereal is and that way they can make their own choices. I know that the things that they are picking are healthy choices. I don’t really do yogurt, because I have noticed that they have quite a bit of sugar in them. I think that is part of the problem, you think you are doing something good for your child. A lot of parents think that yogurt is really good for their kids but a lot of the yogurt brands out there, even the ones geared towards kids, they have a lot of sugar or sugary things that you can mix into them like M&Ms and Oreos. Even things like Nutella. There was that lawsuit by a woman who thought she was feeding her kid something healthy with Nutella.

Johner Reihl: Well the ads were actually kind of… If you want to be a good mom then you got to have a healthy kid

Laurie Babb: You have to be a smart consumer because if you think if you follow what the advertisers put out there, you’re going to be feeding them …

Johner Reihl: Really Captain ‘n Crunch because it is part of this nutritious breakfast.

Cecille Neri: You do try to lessen the sugar. My son actually eats plain yogurt. I realize with my daughter when I had her, I introduced her to that…I forget which one it is…the baby yogurt. After that she went...But she has sweeter taste. My son does not have this really sweet taste. So he eats plain yoghurt. But there is also, we have to balance that, some sugars Okay, especially if it is, in study show, if it increases, if we pick the lowest sugar cereals we can, but they have the taste that they like, so it is all that balancing act, and there is the beneficial bacteria in yoghurt, that pro-biotic, so we need to find a way to…

Johner Reihl: Sometimes we will do that, and they go to the grandparents’ house or something, and they discover the like, old Golden Gramm’s…

Maryann Jacobsen: Yeah, you can. I wrote actually a post about that. Why I am Okay with what happens at grandma’s because my Mom, every time I go there, it is once a week, a couple of hours. They actually get their fill they don’t even ask for it. So it is if I make a big deal, like, don’t eat it, So, we really can’t control, I think if we are relaxed about food but then we show them this is how we eat at home, I think this is much more powerful than always trying to make sure that they, we can’t control them all the time. I mean, it is different if they have a food allergy or if they react to artificial colors, which some kids do, and you have to empower your child but I think, if it is not every day, I mean, obviously, if your parents or your grandparents are watching them all the time, you have to have a talk with them. It is more about that how you handle it.

Laurie Babb: The yoghurt thing, actually I buy plain yoghurt and I put “Stevia” drops and I get flavoring like vanilla extract or banana flavoring extract, and they have like cherry and all kinds. It is like they get to chose what they make or you can blend fruit into it. But the other thing is I will make sort of like special things like they love seaweed “Nori” and the little…I guess it is just usually “Nori“. But they just love it, like it is like such a treat for them. I think sometimes the way you present it. And also these little fruit, what are they, the fish oil fruit, fruity flavored fish oil pearls. They are like a vitamin, supplement. And I present that as treat, like, whoever does this, they get their fruity strawberry pearls. That is like their candy. They don’t get it all the time, they only get a certain amount every day. But this is the way they get excited about it. It is not what you would think they will get excited about.

Johner Reihl: We had a bunch of strawberries and Christina made a strawberry jam, and then we realized that that was great for them to mix into the plain yoghurt as opposed to some of the other stuff too like a homemade. What are some other things real quick there, that the parents might think are healthy, they really aren’t?

Maryann Jacobsen: Well, I thing you know, the “Granola bars”, anything you buy packaged…

Johner Reihl: Anything packaged is something…

Maryann Jacobsen: It is not that it is…a lot of things you can sometimes make at home, in a book we have Homemade “Granola bar”. You know it is not that hard and the kids like it. So you always want to consider, if they like something, you try making it at home with ingredients you feel good about. But anything packaged, you want to, you look at the ingredient line and find out what is in there; a lot of the time there might be artificial colors that we know might make some kids hyperactive. So it is all about like just making sure you know what is in the food. A lot of times there is sodium, sodium is packaged food and processed food. That is why we get 70% of our sodium, most people get too much. So if you can try and stay with the whole food most often then, your children aren’t going to get…decides what their favorites are and maybe you find a way. We restrict our kids from foods and they feel deprived sometimes when they go out and they over…So you want…it is all about striking that balance with kids.

Johner Reihl: Cool! Aright! Well thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for our panelist as well. For more information about “Healthy Eating Strategies” or more information about any of our panelist, visit the episode page on our website. The conversation is going to continue for members of our Parent Savers’ Club after the show. Maryann Jacobsen is going to tell us a little bit more about healthy eating habits. I am going to ask her some tips for eating healthy at birthday parties because those can be trap sometime when you go there. You get got off guard.

For more information about our Parent Savers’ Club or our website, got to www.parentsavers.com

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Johner Reihl: Now we have a question from one of our listeners, Gabby Castro asks “Hi, my daughter is barely two months-old and she is already growing two sets of teeth. The only thing that seems to work is her pacifier, yet she still can get a grip to it. Do you have any other tips or advice?

Tara Zam: Hi Gabby! This is Doctor Tara Zam, live here in San-Diego. Well I am not sure if you mean two individual bottom teeth that your daughter is growing or two whole sets of teeth? But I will answer for both. Babies can actually be born with teeth. King Louie XIV, was reportedly born with teeth and if they are solid in the mouth then I will agree they can stay and the rest will come in naturally.

Teeth do not have a proper time to come in but they usually come in between two months and ten months-old with the average of six months. In terms of two whole sets of teeth, it is rare but some children have two sets of baby teeth, either one grows right behind the other and they erupted the same time or they lose one set and they grow what everyone thinks as their permanent set but then it loosens and falls out too in the pre-teeners when their real permanent teeth come in.
If one is right behind the other, one of the sets of teeth needs to be pulled later on to help that the permanent teeth coming in. They call this “Shark Teeth” for the obvious reasons. Now teething itself can be pretty rough on some children causing mild fevers, congestion, irritation, crying and sleepless nights all round. The most helpful is to have them bite on pretty much anything. This puts pressure on the gums from above and it evens out the pressure that the teeth are putting on the gums from below. Amber Teething Necklaces are pretty as well as useful but be aware of the chocking risk of necklaces. So always monitor them.

Cold is the other key, anything cold on the gums helps. You can try freezing a wet wash cloth or refrigerate the teething toys, frozen grapes or other fruit in a netted bag or even in a piece of nourish cheese cloth is good too when they are older. When they are so little like your little on, they can’t hold on to these things by themselves so it is labour intensive for mom but they do love your figures.

If your baby is really agitative and cannot settle down to eat or sleep you can use about 1 ounce of camel milk tea without any sweetener. No more than 1 ounce a day, but it has a wonderful calming effect on your child. You can even soak that frozen watch cloth in camel milk tea and then freeze it.

Herbal tropical gels and creams can numb the gums and some help your Pasic remedies are really nice choices as well. Natural tropical remedies can include the old one from grandma, ground cloves made into a paste with even butter unsalted or water and use sparingly or you could use ground ginger with water.

Well I hope this helps for your little one.

Thanks! Bye-Bye!

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Johner Reihl: Well that wraps things up form today’s episode of Parent Savers’, we appreciate you listening. Don’t forget to check out our sister show Preggie Pals “for expecting parents” and our show The Boob Group “for mom’s who breastfeed their babies”.

Next week, we will be talking about another topic of interest to parents so please joins. This is Parent Savers’; “Empowering New Parents”.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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