Diapers and Babies: Doing Away with Rashes

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Keeping your baby’s behind smooth, healthy, and rash-free can be a real challenge when it is constantly covered with a nappy which could be wet in no time at all. However well we care for babies, the rashes just somehow find their way into the baby’s behind.

A baby’s diaper rash can range from ordinary redness to infections, inflammation, and sores. For your baby, this simple itch and soreness can be extremely irritating.

How to Deal with Your Baby’s Rashes

Diaper rash is best prevented by keeping your baby always dry and clean. This means changing diapers – whether cloth or disposable – as soon as it is wet or dirty as moisture can aid in the development of bacteria that may develop into a rash. This also means cleaning your baby and washing diapers properly. The following are easy to-do tips to help keep your baby rash-free:

Wash your baby thoroughly with clean lukewarm water when your baby wets or dirties himself. It may not be necessary to always use soap, no matter how mild, as this may encourage irritation, especially since you will be doing this more than 10 times a day. Remember that baby’s skin is milder than the average and that constant exposure to chemicals, perfume and other irritants can lead to the formation of rashes.

Before changing diapers, make sure the baby is dry. It is also advisable to apply a waterproofing layer of ointment or cream. However, test the creams carefully first before using it to make sure that your baby’s skin will not yield any allergic reactions.

Carefully wash, rinse, and if possible, sterilize cloth diapers. Rinse thoroughly as remaining laundry soap residue could also cause rashes. Avoid using fabric conditioners and ironing aids as these could contain harsh perfumes and chemicals.

Researches have also revealed that breastfeeding can help protect your baby against many allergic reactions, including diaper rash. Moreover, the stools of breast-fed babies have been found to be generally less irritating to the baby’s skin.

The change in weather can also affect the baby’s skin’s reaction to the air around him. Make sure to apply safe and gentle baby cream and moisturizer to your baby after every bath and before going to sleep to prevent any skin irritation.

However, when rashes start developing, it is advisable to supplement your usual cream with a special soak containing two to three drops of lavender oil. The scent of lavender is calming and this encourages the development of new skin cells. This stimulates faster healing of rashes and sores. Soak your baby in the morning and in the evening.

Babies’ Growth and Development Guide

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How fast do babies grow? It is hard to say. Though there are always differences in families and individuals, most of them develop at about the rate. The following is about the rate at which majority grow. However, remember that each baby grow and develop at his own pace and should never be compared with others.

Baby’s 1st Month

There is not much your baby will be doing this month, but sleep and drink milk. However, at the end of the baby’s first month, the baby can raise his head and neck while lying in his stomach.

Baby’s 2nd – 3rd Month

By this time, your baby can raise his chest as well. His eyes will follow a person around the room. He will also make simple coos and sounds when he is pleased or amazed.

Baby’s 4th – 5th Month

By the end of this month, your baby should be able to sit up if you support his back. But don’t push him too fast, or you may weaken his back. Let him take his own time to do this. He will also touch your hand and smile. Soon, he begins to laugh aloud. As he begins to play a good deal of the time with his hands, he will be glad to grab some small rattles and toys.

Baby’s 6th – 7th Month

Get ready to applaud as your baby will be rolling and squirming at these months… a lot. Now, he can also sit in a high chair. He grasps dangling objects and babbles freely to anyone near. He can easily recognize the family and knows when a stranger is present.

Baby’s 8th – 9th Month

At this month, he can roll over or sit alone, and he can also stand with help. He will pass toys from one hand to the other. By now, he has usually discovered that toys will fall down and make a loud noise on the floor! This is great fun. He calls for attention and stretches his arms for you to come and lift him up. He begins to practice such sounds as “b”, “p”, and “t”.

Baby’s 10th – 11th Month

As your baby draws near to his first birthday, he will show signs that can stand on his own and maybe walk with guidance. He creeps on his hands and knees, points with his fingers, plays peek-a-boo, and waves bye-bye with his hands. He may use one or two words, and call for attention, usually scolding the family when they fail to grant his request! Getting exciting, right?

Baby’s 12th – 14th Month

By this time, your baby should be able to stand up firmly, pull himself up, and walk from one place to another. He also notices other babies and begins to repeat words when requested. He understands simple ideas and may answer “yes” and “no” in his own gestures.

Baby’s 15th – 17th Month

Your baby can now walk alone unguided and perhaps climb several steps of stairs. He now can open boxes, recognize pictures of people and household pets, and hold a pencil in an attempt to mark familiar objects.

Baby’s 18th – 21st Month

Your baby should be very active by now, climbing onto the furniture and going inside open cabinets. He jumps and explores everything in and around the house. He obeys simple commands and forms simple sentences of his own. If he is a normal child and still is not speaking at this time, it is not because he does not understand. For some reasons he hesitates to start talking just yet. Some, however, may surprise you with long sentences! His mind is keen in spite of the apparent delay. If his reactions seem to be normal, don’t worry. He will soon make up for any slowness in starting to talk.

Again, if your baby’s behavior is not similar to the guide above, there is nothing to worry about. Different babies develop differently, so you should just observe them closely and be there for them as they explore the world around them.

Chiropractic and Pre-Natal Care

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One of the indispensable factors of successful pregnancies and deliveries is prenatal care. It is in fact one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy to insure his or her health and his growth.

Getting Pregnant

Once you decide to be pregnant it becomes important for you to know your “fertile window” which is actually the period of time when you are most susceptible of becoming pregnant. Luckily, there exists now an interactive tool which estimates your peak fertility period. To be able to determine your peak fertility period, this interactive tool will calculate the day you are most likely to ovulate by using the date of your last menstrual period and your menstrual cycle’s usual length.

Normally, the chances of a woman getting pregnant is 5 out of 30 days every month, wherein which ovulation takes place. On the average, a woman’s ovulation period occurs for 12 to 16 days before the menstrual period starts. The key to being pregnant is determining when that ovulation happens. Considering that a sperm can exits for three to five days in a woman’s reproductive tract, a woman could get pregnant then if intercourse happens a couple of days before ovulation. An important reminder though, this tool should not be used in preventing pregnancy.

A woman’s menstrual cycle starts with the first day your period begins and ends the day before your next period commences. If you are not familiar as the number of days you have in your menstrual cycle, you can use the figure 28 days as base, which is in itself the average length of a menstrual cycle. But should you want to determine the exact number of days in your cycle, you can do so by checking the calendar and tracking it down. Remember that in reality, the length of menstrual cycles may differ from a woman to another.

Furthermore, while women usually ovulate at the 15th day, it is just as normal that a woman may ovulate well before that or after that, hence this calculator is meant only for getting an approximation or an estimate.

Pre-Natal Care

Once you have found out that you and your partner were able to conceive, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will then inform you about the proper ways of caring for your body and your baby.

Known as prenatal care, safety measures for pregnant women can be in the form of regular appointments with your doctor from the start and throughout your period of pregnancy.

You can also practice this by undergoing constant laboratory testing for potential problems with developing babies and pregnant women should some or certain symptoms appear. Similarly, you can also employ prenatal care by monitoring for abnormal changes in blood pressure, blood chemistry, urine chemistry and your weight.

It would not hurt as well to allow yourself to have plenty of exercise. However, you have to get your doctor’s approval first.

Healthy eating and ingesting proper vitamins and nutrients are also essential for you and your baby.

But most of all, pre-natal care also entails the giving up of some bad habits, such that of smoking, drinking alcohol and the use of street drugs.

It is also vital that you immediately alert you doctor if anything unusual occurs during your pregnancy like some instances as when, the baby’s movement is greatly reduced or if it stops altogether. Also, when you experience vaginal bleeding or cramping, you should not neglect to contact your doctor as soon as possible or to get yourself safely to the hospital. The same could be done should you feel swellings of the hands and face, coupled by persistent headaches, leaking amniotic fluid from the vagina or if you develop pain in the abdomen.

Fortunately, the advances in medical science have evolved for pregnant women. Improved technologies and more accurate prenatal tests are now available to make it possible to spot complications in the soonest possible time which would allow parents to take appropriate action in time and further guarantee the safety of the fetus as well as the mother during the period of pregnancy.

Chiropractic Adjustments as Pre-Natal Care

While not many soon-to-be moms are open to the idea of engaging in chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy, it is good to know that chiropractic can actually help a pregnant woman cope with the many changes in her body. For one, chiropractic adjustment can help with pelvic balance and alignment, making the delivery of the baby easier and smoother. It also relieves body pains at the back and neck, and reduces symptoms of nausea. Most importantly, chiropractic care improves the chances of a normal delivery and reduces labor pain and time.

With a balanced pelvis brought by chiropractic care, babies have a higher chance of positioning correctly for birth, and eliminating the possibility of breech or posterior presentations. Thus, if you want a smooth, convenient child delivery, you should include chiropractic adjustments as part of your pre-natal care list.

12 Steps to Healthier Babies

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In ensuring your baby’s health, one must actually start during pregnancy. A diet with the proper combination of body-building food, energy food, and essential vitamins and minerals plus sufficient exercise will positively affect the development of the baby.

The following are 12 easy steps for a healthy baby, healthy mommy, and healthy family:

Increase your folate intake even prior to pregnancy. Folic acid is important to the baby’s early development because it aids in the reproduction and division of the cells, prevents neurological disorders, and fosters brain development. The lack of folic acid could lead to neutral tube defects in the fetus. Legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of folate.

Get enough sunshine and Vitamin D. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium and mothers need to stock up on it to prevent tooth enamel problems in the future. Enough sun exposure is also needed for vitamin conversion in the body.

Feed in fish for the baby’s brain. Critical to fetal brain and eye development are DHA and arachidonic acid (ARA). Expectant moms are encouraged to eat more eggs and cold-water fish rich in omega-3, which are converted to DHA in the body.

Increase milk intake during the third trimester. Intense fetal growth occurs during this period and lack of calcium could lead to impaired fetal skeletal growth.

Take in enough iron to prevent labor difficulties. Inadequate maternal iron doesn’t directly harm the growing fetus, but can lead to labor difficulties. Prevent anemia by taking iron alone or as part of a multivitamin.

Have healthier snack for diabetics. To prevent gestational diabetes, avoid too many sweets and munch on smaller meals instead. Also, do some exercise to steady blood sugar.

Go, grow, and glow. Eat a well-balanced diet by combining all the go, grow, and glow foods. Simply divide your plate into three portions: 1/2 for grains and cereals, 1/4 for vegetables and fruits and 1/4 for protein foods.

Avoid vitamin overdose. Excessive amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E and B6 may actually harm the mother and the growing baby. Choose a multivitamin supplement with NO more than 100% recommended daily allowance (RDA) for each individual mineral and vitamin.

Say NO to alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol directly reaches the fetus and nicotine can impair fetal growth so it’s best to avoid both altogether.

Stay away from stress and pollution. Stress encourages the build-up of toxin, while pollutants like radiation, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), air pollution, and heavy metals could lead to birth defects.

Avoid raw foods. Pregnant women should not eat raw sprouts, raw milk products, unpasteurized juices, raw or undercooked meat, eggs and shellfish.

Increase carbohydrate intake if exercising. Increase carbo intake to compensate for the increased use of glucose. The lack of glucose makes a mother prone to hypoglycemia and could limit fetal access to nutrients.

Always remember that you are what you eat. And what you are, your baby will become. So if you are pregnant, make sure to eat the right kind of foods for the next nine months of your life.

Chiropractic Advice for Pregnant Women

Young pregnant woman holding her hands on her back
Young pregnant woman holding her hands on her back

The chiropractic care focus is in the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal and nervous system to bring about optimum functioning of all of the body systems. At the core of the chiropractic treatment is the correction of misalignments or subluxations in the spine, through which, the communications between the brain and all of the body’s systems and organs are conveyed. This treatment involves manipulative adjustments in the spine and surrounding structures. No drugs or surgery are used.

Pregnant women are among the groups of people seeking healthcare that chiropractors give special attention and care to. The physiological and endocrinological changes to an expectant mother’s body such as protruding abdomen, changes in the pelvis, increased back curve and postural adaptations lead to increased risks of misaligned spine or joints and misaligned pelvis or decreased pelvic balance. A misaligned spine can bring all sorts of problems with the body functions. A misaligned pelvis has serious implications, including the restriction of available room for the developing baby and the risk of non-normal delivery.

Chiropractic Tips for Pregnant Women

What do chiropractors advise pregnant women to do for a healthier pregnancy?

Nutrition

Instead of the usual three large meals in a day, eat small meals every four to five hours to avoid hunger nausea. Eat foods rich in carbohydrates and protein. Keep crackers in your bag or desk drawer to stave off hunger and its negative effects.

Take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid supplement a day before and during pregnancy. This is helpful in decreasing the risk of neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. Before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement though, check with your doctor.

Exercise

Try safe exercise during pregnancy. Do this three times a week to strengthen your muscles and prevent discomfort. Do stretching before and after the exercise. Check with your doctor before starting with your exercise especially if you are not into regular exercise before your pregnancy.

Walking, stationary cycling and swimming are relatively safe as they do not require bouncing or jerking movements. Exercise no more than 15 minutes at a time.

Exercise should be stopped immediately if you notice any abnormalities or symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and increased palpitations or increased swelling.

General Health and Safety

Get plenty of rest. Take a a nap if you are tired. Lie down, elevating your feet when you need a break. Ask for help when you need it.

Wear flat comfortable shoes. Avoid high heels to prevent exacerbation of postural imbalances.
Avoid picking heavy objects up, if possible. When you have to pick up something from the floor, bend from the knees, and not from the waist.

Sleep on your side putting a pillow between your knees. This allows blood to flow unobstructed, helps kidneys function effectively, while taking the pressure off your lower back.

Maintain proper posture especially while working on the computer for long hours. Make your workstation ergonomic.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women

Chiropractors have special trainings in providing care for expectant mothers from pre-natal to post-natal stage. The particular areas of health care they provide pregnant women are in:

Spinal adjustments – This is done to to correct subluxations and bring normal functions to the pregnant women’s bodies, bring balance in the pelvis and in the reduction or elimination of pain, particularly lower back pain.
Nutrition – Pregnant women are given guidance on nutrition to boost the mother’s and baby’s health.
Exercise – A program of physical exercises is prescribed to work the muscles out and strengthen and condition the would-be mother for the delivery.

Ergonomic advice – Advice on ergonomic aspect of the pregnant woman’s office and home work is given and to enhance the mother’s posture and prevent pain in her body such as back pain, neck pain and leg pain.
Post-childbirth examination and treatment – These activities are to restore the mother’s body and functions to their pre-delivery state and also help sustain the mother’s general health.

Take it from the professionals who are experts on chiropractic healthcare. Follow their advice and avail of chiropractic care to enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Turning Breech Baby through Chiropractic Care

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A breech position is when the position of the baby is presented in a way in which the head is towards the mother’s breast, while the feet are towards the vaginal opening. This, in childbirth delivery operation, is considered by many as a pregnancy problem as it would entail undergoing a C-section because you cannot pull a baby by his or her feet.

Until the seventh month of pregnancy, it is normal for a developing baby to be in a breech or head-up position. After this time period, any position other than the head-down (vertex) is a great concern. It is a challenge for a possible vaginal birth and also presents irregular stressors on the baby.

Only four percent of all pregnancies from 38 to 42 weeks involve breech presentations. The causes for this situation are varied. A structurally altered or positioned pelvis is an obvious possibility. Poor development of the bone and joints and severe deficiency in vitamin D , or rickets, uterine abnormalities, multiple births, placenta previa, too much amniotic fluid or fetal abnormalities like anencephaly or hydrocephaly are some of the common causes of breeched presentations.

In the 1990’s, normal delivery for breeched babies are still common. This changed from 2003, when almost all hospitals mandated that caesarian section be performed for breeched babies. Almost 100% of all breech-positioned babies now employ caesarian section. There are still midwives who are skilled in breech presentations and may still offer assistance in normal vaginal births. Women should be informed that there are options in the prevention and treatment of breeched conditions, both invasive and non-invasive.

Chiropractic Care for Breeched Presentations

The use of the Webster Technique can help with the positioning of the baby. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association describes the Webster technique as a chiropractic adjustment hat reduces nerve system interference and balances the mother’s pelvic muscles, as well as ligaments. This results to reduced torsion in the uterus, which is identified as a cause of the baby’s intra-uterine constraint, allowing fetal positioning necessary to prepare for a safer and easier birth.

An 82% success rate of breech-positioned babies turning their head down when the Webster technique is utilized has been reported in a few studies.

The Chiropractic Pediatric Association currently strongly suggests that women undergo chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy period for a healthy pelvic function in the neuro-biomechanical aspect. It is found to be a safe and effective technique throughout pregnancy and has a huge impact in natural childbirth.

The National Institutes of Health taskforce on Cesarean Childbirth is of the stand that women with breech presentation do not require cesarean section birth. It considers as a reasonable option vaginal delivery under certain conditions especially when the doctor or midwife is well experienced in this type of birth.

A doctor of chiropractic employing the Webster technique working in collaboration with an experienced midwife or medical doctor on vaginal delivery for breech-positioned baby will most certainly be a much safer and reasonable option.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy Problems

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Pregnancy and childbirth are among the most exquisite and miraculous moments in life. However, as it requires compatibility from both parents and proper care, not all pregnancies are successful. Below are some of the most common problems that mothers face.

Damaged Egg or Sperm Cells

Upon conception, a lot of things may actually go wrong. For one, an ovary may not discharge an egg; or should it do so, the egg may be weak or damaged. A woman who is a bit older, smokes or uses drugs, or has been exposed to chemicals and radiation is said to be likelier to produce these kinds of immature and damaged eggs.

For men, on the other hand, they might have problem producing good sperms due to several reasons. A similar case may be that they are able to produce, but their production is slow-moving. When any of these situations happen, the damaged reproductive cells may not be able to join successfully, or if they do, they may produce a fertilized egg that will not survive the early stages of growth.

Blocked or Bent Fallopian Tube

There are also other problems whose causes could be rooted to the systems and organs in the woman’s body. One of which is a blocked or bent fallopian tube which in turn can prevent the entry of the sperm to the uterus. Similarly, some women may have problems with their endometrium which would not allow a fertilized egg from being implanted. Aside from these two, the abnormalities in the levels of hormones, either as being too low or too high, can actually disrupt the entire cycle. However, it is good to know that most occurrences of these problems are now medically treatable.

Improper Timing

Assuming of course that all these turn out to be in perfect order, timing is still essential for a successful conception. Hence, the sperm and the egg must be able to meet, if the sperm arrives way ahead in the uterus before the woman ovulates, the sperms will perish even before the egg comes out. If, on the other hand, they are late in coming, they will miss the opportunity to meet the egg.

Although fertilization can happen only when there is an egg, it is a fact that not all women regularly ovulate. Some women have their eggs emerge earlier or later than usual, particularly for younger women who have irregular periods still. Hence, there would always be some possibility that she may be fertile at any moment, even at times that she is having her period.

To avoid these pregnancy problems, it is best that both the mother and father maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well balanced meals, getting enough sleep, taking in essential vitamins and minerals, avoiding drinking and smoking, engaging in proper exercise, and getting massage therapy or chiropractic care,

How Chiropractic Care Helps with Pregnancy Problems

In general, chiropractic care remove sublaxations or damages in the nervous system. And when the nervous system is free from any pain, discomfort, or damage, the body goes back to functioning normally and healthily. This includes helping the body cope with infertility and pregnancy issues.

Regular chiropractic adjustments get rid of back pain and spinal problems which may contribute to the irregularity of an individual’s reproductive system. When these irregularities are removed or minimized, the chances for a man or a woman to produce the right amount of reproductive cells may increase. Moreover, chiropractic care also helps relieve stress, headaches, and even mental and emotional strains that also negatively affect conception.

To discuss these infertility and pregnancy problems, it is best to consult with a chiropractor to know what proper steps you need to take.

Chiropractor’s Advice on Things Pregnant Women Should Avoid

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During pregnancy, women should be more careful about themselves. Everyday, there are existing dangers all around them that pose risk to their health and their baby’s health. They are more vulnerable to these dangers than women who are not bearing a child. Therefore, there are more things that they should avoid and keep away from.

Chiropractors who treat pregnant women and deal with many pregnancy problems give advice on the common things that soon-to-be mothers should avoid.

Exposure to Hazardous Materials

At home, exposure to cat litter may cause toxoplasmosis that can cause miscarriage, preterm labor, or serious health problem to the newborn. Assign someone else to take care of your cat for the time being. Avoid handling chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides, cleaning formulas, paint fumes and solvents. Another material that can cause miscarriage, preterm labor and low birth weight is lead.

Prohibited Food

Avoid certain foods that can cause delays in the development of your baby such as seafood. Other food such as unpasteurized milk and raw or undercooked meats, fish and poultry may contain a type of bacteria called listeria that can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

Medicines and Herbal Remedies

Do not take medicines or herbal remedies without consulting your doctor. Many of these remedies have adverse effects to the health and development of your baby.

Alcohol and Caffeine

Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Aside from miscarriage, low birth weight, and development problems, these drinks can affect your physical and emotional well-being which in turn can affect the development of your baby, as well.

Soaking in Hot Tubs

Soaking in hot tubs can cause the pregnant woman’s body temperature to rise and cause birth defects to your baby. Also, germs easily develop in warm and moist places such as hot tubs. Lastly, the chemicals used for cleaning and maintaining the water can be dangerous for you and your baby.

Smoking and Inhaling Second Hand Smoke

Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage and premature delivery and may hinder the growth and development of the fetus. Not only should you stop or at least minimize smoking, you should also avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can cause low birth rate and health problems for your baby such as sudden infant death syndrome.

Tension and Stress

Stress may cause miscarriage, low birth weight, and preterm birth. So avoid stressing too much. Try to relax. What you should do during your nine-month childbearing period is to take lots of stress, avoid too much work, spend quality time with friends and family, meditate, and relax.

Radiation

Radiation can cause babies to have physical and mental birth defects. Avoid undergoing x-rays and being exposed to other sources of radiation during the period of pregnancy unless it is absolutely necessary.

If you want to take care of your body and your baby during pregnancy, you should keep in mind that pregnancy is a totally different period in your life and, thus, there are a lot of things that you need to say “no” to.

Nutrition for Kids: What Your Children Need to Eat

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Just like adults, children should eat along the guidelines of the food pyramid, getting the recommended number of servings daily. The difference for children comes in the sizes of the portions served. The number of recommended servings from each group is as follows.

 

Bread-cereal-rice-pasta

 

For children, six servings from this group are sufficient. Grains contain important complex carbohydrates. The selections should come in the form of whole grain products, from wheat bread to brown rice, etc. Portion or serving sizes are as follows: 1/2-1 slice of bread, 1 1/2 large or 3 small crackers, 1/3 cup of cooked rice, cereal or pasta, 1/2 cup of cold cereal, 1/2-1 roll, biscuit or muffin, 1/4-1/2 bagel, English muffin, hamburger or hotdog bun. Cakes, pastries, cookies and corn chips should be used sparingly.

 

Vegetables

 

Three daily servings from this group are recommended. Vegetables should remain fresh if possible, or cooked to retain a fair amount of freshness and nutrients, as is done by steaming. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and celery can be chopped fresh and served with a small amount of vegetable dip or ranch dressing. If you serve veggies this way, be sure to count the dip as a fat serving. Portion or serving sizes are 1/3 cup cooked or raw vegetables, 2/3 cup raw leafy greens (leaf lettuce varieties or spinach, for example). Go with the darker green and deeper red/orange varieties, such as broccoli and spinach or sweet potatoes because these vegetables are high in vitamins A and C, both of which are essential for growth. Dry beans and peas are also included in this category and one creative way to get your child to eat them is to put them in soups or salads. Fried vegetables and chips should be used sparingly.

 

Fruits

 

Two daily servings of fruit are recommended for children, and they, too, should be prepared and eaten fresh. Fruits are rich in many vitamins, namely vitamin C. Fruit flavored drinks do not count as a fruit serving but freshly squeezed juice does. Portion or serving sizes are a small piece of fruit, a small melon wedge, 1/2 cup of fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of fresh fruit juice, 1/3 cup berries, 1/3 cup sliced or cooked fruit, 3 tablespoons of dried fruit. Dried fruit should be served with water to aid in digestion. Fruit pies of fried fruit, such as apples, should be used sparingly.

 

Meat, fish, dried beans, eggs, and nuts

 

Two servings are suggested, totaling 3-4 ounces daily from lean sources. This food group brings the major sources of protein. All food in this category needs to be well cooked, except nuts. Meat served should be lean cuts, with all visible fat trimmed, including removing the skin from poultry. The use of egg yolks should be limited. Meats should be cooked by baking or broiling instead of frying. Portion or serving sizes are 1 oz. of lean meat, poultry or fish, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans. Remember, the daily intake should be 2 servings which can equal 3-4 ounces. The foods to avoid in this group are hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon/sausage, peanut butter and fried foods.

 

Milk, yogurt, and cheese

 

Two daily servings are recommended. Dairy products should be low-fat or non-fat, and are essential as a major source of calcium that is essential for strong teeth and bones. Children under two years of age, however, should not be cut down to “no-fat” unless directed by a physician, which would be unlikely. Some children over tow, however, need to be limited on their fat intake, so low fat products are recommended. Portion or serving sizes are 1 cup of milk, 8 oz. yogurt, 1 1/2 oz. of natural cheese or 2 oz. of processed cheese. Ice cream and pizza should be used sparingly.

 

Other nutrition tips for kids

 

Fats-oils and sweets can be partaken of on occasion, but more than four of these on a daily basis is not recommended. These items include sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salad dressings and oils, sugar, candy and soft drinks. Even natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup, as well as molasses should be limited. Check packages for portion/serving sizes and deduct about 1/3 of that for a child’s portion size.

 

Spices can be used according to a child’s likes and dislikes, but salt should be limited. Selecting fresh foods will automatically limit salt intake, but you can also cut back on salt used in food preparation. Omit salt when cooking and buy low salt items such as unsalted butter. If your children love soup, make your own. Avoid processed foods and pickled foods.

 

Avoid sugary drinks. Fresh fruit juice is good, as is lo-fat milk, as long as you consider the number of daily servings your child is taking. Water is the most important beverage, and should be encouraged whenever a drink is desired. Children need water for healthy skin and cell function at their young age, as much as adults need it when they get older.