Parents often ask me about giving their infant a soy formula when their infant shows signs of difficulty tolerating breast milk or cow’s milk based formulas. Soy seems to be a common go-to alternative; however, there are actually only a few scenarios where soy formula is recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics published a journal article that reviewed the use of soy based infant formulas in 2008. Here is a summary of the main points.
A Review of Infant Soy Formula:
Soy formula is not indicated as an alternative for breast milk or for cow’s milk based formulas except in the case of Galactosemia and hereditary lactase deficiency (both are rare diagnoses). Soy formula may also be an option for parents who desire a vegetarian diet for their infant, if breastfeeding is not possible.
Soy formula is not indicated for children diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy. Instead, an extensively hydrolyzed formula should be considered, because 10-14% of these infants will also be allergic to soy protein. Read more
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The general recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake is five servings per day. The serving size depends on age, but a good rule of thumb is to get your family to consume 2-3 fruits and 2-3 vegetables each day. Does this sound difficult? With a little planning and some creativity, you can achieve this healthy goal.
Tips to Get Your Family to Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day:
Blend fruit, and even veggies, into smoothies or popsicles. Most kids like treats that come in smoothie, milkshake, or popsicle form. Use yogurt, frozen fruit, a banana, and a handful of spinach to make a smoothie that tastes so good your kids will never guess they’re getting several servings of fruits and vegetables. Freeze into popsicle molds for a healthy frozen dessert.
Make fruit and vegetable dippers. Some vegetables simply taste better with a little dip. You can make an easy, healthy, savory dip by mixing plain Greek yogurt with dry Italian or Ranch seasoning packets. Have fresh vegetables chopped and ready to go for snacks or meals ahead of time. Make it more fun by arranging several different colored veggies (such as carrots, celery, baby tomatoes and yellow bell peppers), and two dips (such as hummus and the yogurt Ranch dip) in a muffin tray with six cups. Kids love this fun presentation. Fruit can be more appealing when dipped as well. Try a flavored yogurt, or mix plain Greek yogurt with a little peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon.
Create designs that appeal to kids. Take advantage of the variety of colors and shapes of fruits and vegetables to make your kids more interested in them. You can make rainbows skewers using fruits and vegetables from each shade of the rainbow. For example you can create a fruit skewer using strawberries, mini orange slices, bananas, kiwis, blueberries, and blackberries. Or have your kids make funny faces using bananas, carrots, berries, kiwis, melons or peppers. Use broccoli, olives, pineapple, a banana, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and oranges to make Sesame Street characters! This is also a great option for a child’s party or barbecue.
Fruits and vegetables provide many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients that provide health benefits such as reducing inflammation and preventing cancer. These healthy foods also provide fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Stephanie Wellshttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngStephanie Wells2013-07-15 07:26:252014-04-20 21:05:13Creative Ways for Kids to Get Five-a-Day
When you think of summers as a kid, at least one memory probably includes licking a delicious, melting ice cream cone. Ice cream is a popular summer treat for families, but some parents worry it doesn’t fit into a healthy diet plan. Parents need not worry, though. Ice cream can be included as a summer treat if you follow the guidelines below.
How can you preserve the ice cream ritual while keeping nutrition in mind?
Balance: The phrase “everything in moderation” is especially applicable to nutrition. Ice cream should be an occasional treat as opposed to a nightly routine. Refrain from keeping huge tubs of ice cream in the house, and instead buy small containers that can be divided among family members in proper portion sizes.
Portion size: The serving size for most ice cream is ½ a cup. If you imagine a baseball is about 1 cup, then half a baseball is about the amount of ice cream that should be in a serving. One serving of regular ice cream can have 250 calories or more in it. Eating an extra 250 calories per day will result in a half a pound a week weight gain. This is two pounds per month or six pounds over the whole summer. Read more
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Stephanie Wellshttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngStephanie Wells2013-07-08 06:57:522014-04-20 21:13:17The Scoop on Ice Cream and Nutrition for Kids
It can be scary and heartbreaking to watch your child with a cleft palate struggle. When treating a cleft palate, a multi-disciplinary team approach is the best way to provide the highest level of care to your child and your family. Allowing multiple team members to communicate often and coordinate approaches will result in a more comprehensive plan of care overall. One indispensible member of this team is the speech pathologist.
How a Speech Pathologist Can Help Your Child with a Cleft Palate:
A speech pathologist is a critical part of your child’s cleft palate team. Speech pathologists provide support from the early days by assisting with feeding and into childhood as your child masters speech with the continuous changes they will undergo the first few years of life.
From birth, feeding a child with a cleft palate may be a concern for parents. A speech pathologist will be able to provide strategies for adaptive techniques and useful tools to ease this difficulty. He or she will work closely with nutritionists and nursing specialists to provide the most effective care for your child and to ensure your child can maintain adequate nutrition orally.
As your child grows and develops, regular, consistent assessment of your child’s articulation skills is critical to determine if any production errors are the result of structural difficulties or compensation for your child’s weak/insufficient muscles. The cleft palate team will determine if your child’s speech and language is appropriate for development. A trial period of speech therapy may be suggested prior to an additional surgery. A speech pathologist will also screen for hearing impairments, which may co-occur with a cleft palate. This can cause difficulty with understanding and/or acquiring sounds and language.
Finally, the role of advocate is also a critical piece to the team offered by the speech pathologist. The speech pathologist can assist you by providing information regarding useful websites, helpful publications and information regarding local school districts and the care that is available to you and your family.
Helping your child with a cleft palate can be a difficult journey, but with the right help, your child will overcome the challenges of this condition.
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Kate Connollyhttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngKate Connolly2013-06-26 05:34:402014-04-20 21:43:39The Role of the Speech Pathologist in Treating a Cleft Palate
Whole grains are an important part of any diet. Whole grains are more nutrient-dense than their refined counterparts. Refined “white” starches have been stripped of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins and minerals are re-fortified into these processed grains, but refined grains remain nutritionally inferior to whole grains. The fiber in whole grains also helps create feelings of satiety, which in turn helps prevent overeating. Many typical kids’ foods are not made with whole grains. However, it’s easier than you think to sneak these healthy whole grains into your child’s daily diet.
Children’s Foods Made with Healthy Whole Grains:
Whole grain Goldfish
Whole grain bagels or English muffins
“White” whole grain bread, or 100% whole wheat
Multigrain pancakes or waffles
Whole wheat pasta
Soft corn tortillas (made with corn, salt, and water)
Brown rice cakes
Whole grain cereals (look for those with less than 5 g of sugar per serving and 3+ grams of fiber per serving)
Cooked quinoa or uncooked oats in meatloaf, meatballs, stuffed peppers, muffins, pancakes, etc
How to Spot Whole Grains at the Grocery Store:
When at the grocery store, labels can be a bit confusing. There are two ways to tell if a product is truly whole grain. First, look for whole grain as the first ingredient listed on the ingredient list. In other words, look for “whole wheat” or “brown rice.” Second, look for a gold and black, whole grains symbol on the box. Just be sure that your whole grain pick is an otherwise healthy choice; whole grains are only a part of the whole healthy food equation.
To learn more about nutrition services at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, call us at 877-486-4140.
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Congenital heart defects in the pediatric population are a serious condition. Many defects require surgical intervention to correct or improve the problem. Often, there are nutrition-related implications associated with heart defects. Here is more information about how nutrition may be affected to help you understand this aspect of your child’s health.
The Link between Nutrition and Congenital Heart Defects:
Digestion and absorption of nutrients. The major job of the human heart is to pump blood throughout the body. The blood carries nutrients and oxygen to be used for energy and to support all body functions. With a heart defect, blood circulation may be suboptimal, since the heart may not be pumping strongly or efficiently. This can result in poor blood flow to the gut, which means that the gut is not getting the nutrients and energy it needs to perform digestive functions effectively. Nutrients may not be absorbed well, which can lead to poor weight gain and general intolerance of feeds (diarrhea, reflux, delayed gastric emptying). Read more
There are a variety of reasons why a child may need feeding therapy. To many of us, it would seem like eating should be a basic instinct. However, eating is one of the most complex activities we do, especially for the developing, young child. Eating involves several processes in the body, including sensory, oral-motor, muscular, neurological, digestive, and behavioral systems. Feeding problems can arise involving any one of these systems, and often more than one of these is implicated.
The following are reasons why a child may have a feeding problem:
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Summer is a perfect time to focus on getting healthy, especially for kids. Read this list for healthy ideas for your family that take little effort and can make a big difference.
5 Tips for a Healthy Family This Summer:
Buy healthy food that’s in season. During the summer, there are plenty of healthy foods available in the store and at the farmer’s markets. Take advantage of this abundance of produce and give your kids fruit at meals and for snacks instead of packaged foods. Make salads a staple for lunch or dinner. Use fresh, cool vegetables that taste great on hot days such as cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and spinach leaves. Mix it up and make summery green salads with fruit accents, such as spinach tossed with strawberries, blueberries, or grapes. Read more
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For families dealing with ADHD, nutrition concerns or questions may arise. Although there is not clear evidence for diet modifications that can treat the cause of ADHD, there are nutritional guidelines that can affect symptoms and accompanying behaviors.
The Following are Some Nutritional Considerations for Children with ADHD:
Meal Patterning: There is a reason why there are traditionally 3 meals a day. During the day, our body’s physiology requires periods of being fed followed by periods of activity (physical and/or mental). In order to best fuel physical and mental tasks, we need to ensure regular, balanced meals for our kids. This means no skipping breakfast or dinner. Snacks should also be scheduled and finite. Grazing all day can decrease appetite for more nutritious foods at mealtimes and can lead to overeating less nutritious snack foods. Proper meal patterning also helps keep energy stable throughout the day.
Protein, Fiber, and Healthy Fats: These three nutrition components are key to balancing blood sugar. Our brain and red blood cells use glucose as primary fuel, so it is important to keep that fuel running steady without peaks and valleys that affect energy and mood. Protein, fiber, and fat all slow gastric emptying compared to a meal of simple carbs, which means sugar is digested and absorbed into the blood stream at a slower rate. Also, protein food sources are building blocks for neurotransmitters involved in all brain signaling. And finally, healthy fats like omega-3s are used for developing brain and other nervous system tissues.
Reduce Refined Sugar (and anything else that you notice exacerbates problem behaviors): Refined sugar tends to provide quick, drastic bursts of energy when consumed alone and/or in large quantities. Often following the energy burst is a crash, since the sugar is quickly used up from the bloodstream and so is the energy. For kids, a little sugar can go a long way since their systems are smaller. Consider things like cereals, sweet beverages, and of course candy and desserts. Try to avoid keeping sugary foods and drinks in the house.
Side Effects from Medication: Some ADHD medications have a side effect of decreasing appetite. I have worked with kids on these medications who report they “forget to eat” because their appetite is so impacted. This can lead to weight loss, or in some cases, weight gain because the kids end up overeating junk food later in the day. To remedy this, act as a meal and snack advocate for your kid. Make sure you put the food in front of them and encourage them to eat, since they may not seek it out themselves. It may be easier for them to drink something nutritious like a smoothie, or eat a nutrient-dense bar such as a Clif Bar or Larabar when they don’t have much of an appetite.
Compulsive Decisions: Depending on how your child responds to ADHD treatment, he or she may still struggle with compulsive behaviors. When presented with junk food, they might go overboard, or they might seek out unhealthy food. Try to educate your kids as much as possible about the importance of nutrition in settings where they are not faced with snap decisions. That way, they will hopefully remember to make good decisions. Be a role model for them by stocking the house with healthy options and eating the way you hope for them to eat.
https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Stephanie Wellshttps://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngStephanie Wells2013-05-28 15:10:432014-04-21 18:11:54The Impact of Nutrition on ADHD
Prader-Willi Syndrome is a congenital disorder that is caused by a missing gene on part of chromosome 15. These children are found to have cognitive skills in the below average to mild mental retardation range.
Physical symptoms associated with Prader-Willi include:
Newborns often present with low tone
Almond shaped eyes
Delayed motor development
Very small hands and feet
The main symptom associated with Prader-Willi is a very strong interest in food with a lack of sensitivity to the physiological sensation of satiation. This means that the child will continue to eat with no sense of feeling full. Research has found that these children are at a very high risk to develop obesity and diabetes.
The main intervention that should be offered to these children is that the child works with a behaviorally trained therapist (psychologist or social worker) and a dietitian in order to develop healthier eating habits as well as behavioral incentives to decrease eating.