Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy holidays

I love this time of year.  Last year I had a six week old at Christmas. Breastfeeding was crazy hard, Mia was colicky and my postpartum hair loss started to really kick in. Oh, and Mia had baby acne and resembled a teenage boy.  This year things are different. I have a healthy, active 13 month old who's learning new words and showing me new parts to her personality every day.  It's a blast. 

In the spirit of the season, I've got to address overindulging and it's not just about you.  Kids can overindulge too!  I have a mother who loves giving my child candy whenever I'm not looking (WHY?!)  Here are some tips I'm integrating this holiday season to make sure Mia gets to enjoy the season, but also gets the essential nutrients she needs:

*Be prepared. For me this means snacks for long car rides and meltdowns at family members' homes.  I like having sliced raw veggies, dried fruit, string cheese, yogurt tubes and whole wheat crackers on hand.  Always good to pack a cooler.  Healthy snacks might also prevent a husband meltdown too. Bonus.

*At holiday gatherings, bring a veggie tray with hand-held veggies, lean meats and cheeses you know your child will eat (think carrots, broccoli, edamame beans, turkey and low-fat cheese)

*Bring a healthy dessert.  Oatmeal cookies are a great way to increase fiber and you can hide all kinds of fruit in them (try blueberries, raisins, dried cherries and cranberries).  You can also make an oatmeal bread using similar ingredients. 

*Encourage exercise.  The holidays offer lots of time for family interaction, but don't just spend the time in front of the TV.  Get the family outside for a nice walk in the fresh winter air. 

Above all, don't stress and enjoy the season.  This year I'm happy my little one is colic and acne-free.  Weeeeee!

Happy holidays to all of you moms and dads out there.  See you in 2011.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vitamin D Frenzy

In the past few weeks new vitamin D and calcium recommendations have been released. The requirements didn't change much, but it got me thinking about the adequacy of Mia's diet when it comes to micronutrients.  I can't get her to take the liquid multivitamin for infants.  I can't blame her. Poly-vi-sol has really stinky iron and you can smell it on your child for hours after you give it to them.  Not fun for me, her or the neighbors.

Given that Mia is eating a variety of foods I'm not too concerned about certain nutrients.  But when my endocrinologist told me I was vitamin D deficient a few weeks ago, I felt embarrassed (a dietitian deficient in a nutrient, the horror!) but also concerned for Mia.   She she's still nursing 5-6 times a day -- is she mainlining the vitamin D out of me?   Just to be on the safe side I bought the Carlson vitamin D drops and have been pleasantly surprised.  Not only will Mia open her mouth like a baby bird when I get the drops out, they don't smell and they have 400 IUs per drop.  I've even started giving myself a few drops here and there.  One thing I didn't do was put the drops on my breasts and then nurse like the instructions said. That was a little too weird for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's all Yiddish to me

There's a Yiddish saying that goes "It is better to take food into the mouth than to take worries into the heart."  But what if the worries in your heart are about the food you're giving your toddler? 

There is so much conflicting advice when it comes to introducing certain foods to a baby.  Peanut butter, citrus fruits, wheat, cow's milk, eggs. The list goes on.  It's all trial and error and as a new mom, I can't help but worry about what I'm giving my daughter.  At her 9 month appointment the doctor told me peanut butter was OK, so I didn't worry too much when she grabbed my peanut butter sandwich and licked part of it. But then an hour later she had hives all over. Of course, I freaked out, called the doctor and gave her Benadryl.  The hives went away and she was fine, but it made me totally gun-shy about giving her anything. 

So I've resigned to slowly giving her "off-limits" foods and then hovering over her for the next few hours waiting for any sign of a reaction. In the past few weeks we've given her scrambled eggs, cow's milk and oranges.  She developed two small red blotches on her back.  My first thought: allergic reaction with anaphylaxis (or "a decrease in the ability to breathe, which may cause a coma.")  Why do I immediately go there?  She ended up fine and the red blotches were actually a couple of pox as a side-effect to her recent chicken pox vaccine. 

Call me Nervous Nelly, but does the worry in your heart ever go away?