Joy Bauer https://joybauer.com Life is hard, food should be easy Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:36:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 Mac & Cheese Muffins Made With Love https://joybauer.com/healthy-eating/mac-cheese-muffins-made-love/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mac-cheese-muffins-made-love Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:49:53 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=7321 Check out the inspiration behind Joy's Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Muffins.

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Everyone in my family adores Mac & Cheese (and really, who doesn’t?). But my younger daughter Ayden Jane is completely obsessed with the comfort food classic—she considers herself a connoisseur. I’ve spent hours, probably upwards in the range of days, coming up with the cheesiest, most delicious (and of course, healthiest) version I could make until it met her super-high standards. I proudly accomplished this feat years ago, and the recipe has become a regular in my rotation. I tribute her diligent supervision and keen rating system by appropriately calling it “AJ’s Mac and Cheezy.”

But I’m always looking for new, nutritious variations to keep my family on their toes and work in seasonal vegetables and other wholesome ingredients. My most recent creation involves the fall superstar butternut squash, and transforms the usual cheesy casserole into slimming portion-friendly muffins. This recipe has not only become a huge hit in the Bauer house—but with all of Ayden’s friends and their families.

Here’s why: About a week ago, Ayden and I planned a mom-daughter day that began at the grocery store. We came upon a display of butternut squash that looked irresistible, so we grabbed a few and tossed them into our cart, unsure yet of how we’d use them. Ayden was craving mac & cheese (obviously) and I figured I’d try to work in the nutrient-packed autumn vegetable into the mix.

After an afternoon of experimenting in the kitchen, we nailed it. She was so proud of our work, she brought the leftovers into school the next day to share with friends. Before I knew it, I was getting text messages and emails from countless moms asking for the recipe because all of Ayden’s friends loved them!

Now, I want to share the recipe with you. Feel free to whip up these mouthwatering Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Muffins for your kiddos, your book club or whenever you’re in the mood for some good-tasting and good-for-you comfort food.

And don’t let the good food feelings end with a yummy meal. I’m partnering with Capital One® because you can get more out of your delicious moments with their new Savor℠ card. I love this idea: Capital One created the Savor card to help you experience those sweet and savory real moments that happen when you’re doing what you love most—sharing food with friends and family. With the Savor card, you earn unlimited cash back: 3% on dining, 2% on grocery purchases, and 1% on all other purchases, ultimately making it more rewarding to enjoy food with the people you care about.

To learn more, click here.

 

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest: @Capital One

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How to Avoid Vacation Weight Gain https://joybauer.com/healthy-eating/strategies-thrive-beach-vacation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=strategies-thrive-beach-vacation Mon, 10 Jul 2017 19:13:45 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=7034 Headed out for a beach vacation? Make sure to use these three simple tips to enjoy the trip and stay on track.

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QUESTION: I’m determined to not gain weight on vacation, but I don’t want to miss out on all the fun. What’s the best way to handle my upcoming beach trip?

Use these three fail-proof strategies:

1. Rise and sweat. A quick morning exercise session sets the tone for a healthy day. And you don’t have to just hit the hotel gym. Instead, take advantage of your unique surroundings and find vacation-like ways to move. For example, walk around the town for an hour and explore new streets, shops and cafes. Or, take a jog on the beach, swim laps in the pool, or sign up for an a.m. snorkeling class…or yoga on the beach.  

2. Stick to your regular (healthy) eating plan. In other words, continue with your normal routine: Maybe it’s eggs and fruit for breakfast, salads for lunch, and fish with veggies for dinner. However…. 

3. Enjoy a daily splurge. It’s vacation after all, so allow yourself one delicious indulgence each day. Anything goes from French toast for breakfast…a pasta entrée or paella at dinner…or an umbrella drink on the beach. Eater’s choice! Eat slowly, and savor every delicious bite (or sip). 

Have a diet or nutrition question you’d like me to answer? Send it my way.

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Back-to-School Breakfasts Made Easy https://joybauer.com/family-health/back-school-breakfasts-made-easy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=back-school-breakfasts-made-easy Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:07:45 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=5670 Back to school can mean hectic mornings and fussy kids, but one thing that doesn’t have to be complicated is breakfast. Check out these three quick and tasty morning meals.

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JoyBack to school can mean hectic mornings and fussy kids, but one thing that doesn’t have to be complicated is breakfast. One of my go-tos for a quick and yummy morning meal is whole grain waffles—they’re a warm and toasty alternative to cereal or breakfast bars, and kids love eating them.

I’ve partnered with one of my favorite waffle brands, Van’s Foods, to bring you three simple recipes. You’ll feel great about serving them and your kiddos will leave for school feeling satisfied and happy 😉

 

Waffle FaceWaffle Happy Faces

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 Van’s 8 Whole Grains Multigrain or Gluten Free Totally Original Waffle
2 to 3 tablespoons flavored nonfat Greek yogurt
Sliced fresh fruit of choice

Directions
Toast the waffle according to package directions. Top the waffle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (so the fruit sticks on). Then use your favorite fruits to decorate the waffle and create a smiley face. Anything goes—have fun with it! For example, create eyes using two slices of banana and a chocolate chip in the center; a raspberry works perfectly for the nose, and sliced kiwi fruit for the mouth.

Nutrition Facts (per waffle): calories 120, total fats 1.5 g, saturated fat 0 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 5 g, sodium 190 mg, total carbohydrate 24 g, fiber 1 g, sugar 7 g (0g added sugar)

 

eggs in waffleEgg-in-a-Basket

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
1 Van’s 8 Whole Grains Multigrain or Gluten Free Totally Original Waffle
1 large egg
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions
Toast waffle according to package directions and then cut a hole in the center.

Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray, then heat over medium-low heat. Add the waffle to the skillet. Crack an egg straight into the center of the hole. Cook until the egg sets a bit on the bottom, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, gently flip it over. Let it cook until the yolk feels soft, or about 1 minute.

Nutrition Facts (per waffle): calories 160, total fats 7 g, saturated fat 1.5 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 8 g, sodium 240 mg, total carbohydrate 18 g, fiber 0 g, sugar 3 g (0g added sugar)

 

waffle skewersApple-Cinnamon Waffle Kebabs

Makes 2 servings; 1 serving = 1 skewer

Ingredients
1 medium apple, cut into ¼-inch slices or chunks
2 Van’s 8 Whole Grains Multigrain or Gluten Free Totally Original Waffles
Ground cinnamon
Nonstick cooking spray
2 skewers

Directions
Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat on medium-high heat. Add the apples to the warm pan and sprinkle with a dash of ground cinnamon. Sauté the apples for 2to 3 minutes per side.

While the apples are cooking, toast the waffles according to package directions. Then cut each of them into 4 pieces.

Using 2 skewers, alternate waffle pieces with 1 to 2 apple slices. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of maple syrup on each skewer before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per skewer): calories 150, total fats 1.5 g, saturated fat 0 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 2 g, sodium 180 mg, total carbohydrate 36 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 16 g (4g added sugar)


This a sponsored post written by me on the behalf of Van’s Foods. All opinions are entirely my own.

 

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A Surprising Trick to Get Kids to Eat More Veggies https://joybauer.com/family-health/surprising-trick-get-kids-eat-veggies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=surprising-trick-get-kids-eat-veggies Tue, 17 May 2016 15:33:35 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=5413 Struggling to get your kiddos to eat veggies? A new study shows they’ll be more likely to eat the good stuff when exposed to other people, especially children, gobbling them up.

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Kiddie see, kiddie do.

Most parents know that children will mimic your words and actions from first-hand experience. (I can personally recall trying to end numerous “copycat” games with my kids when they were young—Me: “Stop it!” Them: “Stop it! Me: “I mean it.” Them: “I mean it.” It was maddening and funny at the same time, haha) Now, a new study finds a practical bright side to this copy chaos, and serves as a powerful reminder to moms and dads about their own eating habits, as well as those who spend time with your kids.

The study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, looked at vegetable consumption in 42 preschool aged children. The children were shown either a video of kids eating bell peppers, a video of kids brushing their teeth, or no video at all. The researchers then measured the amount of bell peppers the preschoolers ate that day, the next day, and one week later.

A week after viewing, children who watched clips of bell pepper eaters consumed significantly more bell peppers than children who did not watch. Furthermore, children who watched the bell pepper video and tried bell peppers reported a greater preference for eating them again and again compared to kids who didn’t watch the video, yet also tried bell peppers.

Role modeling can be effective in encouraging healthy behaviors, and this study suggests that peers can also serve as positive role models. Encourage your children to eat more vegetables by enjoying them yourself, and by pointing out other people (grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, babysitters, and so on) who enjoy them!

If your child won’t touch a certain vegetable, perhaps you can consider arranging a play date with a child who does eat the off-limits edible and serve it at snack time (I’m up for anything when it encourages more produce!). You can also try finding videos or TV shows with children who make healthy food choices. Hopefully those healthy veggie habits will brush off on your kids.

Check out these healthy snack ideas that your kids will love.

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Protect Your Child from Breast Cancer with High-Fiber Diet https://joybauer.com/family-health/protect-child-breast-cancer-high-fiber-diet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=protect-child-breast-cancer-high-fiber-diet Sat, 05 Mar 2016 01:19:12 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=4880 Need a reason to swap your kids’ potato chips for kale chips? A diet rich in fiber can help cut the risk for breast cancer later in life, finds a study from Harvard Researchers.

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Here’s another good reason to load up your daughter’s plate (and lunch bag) with lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains: Eating high-fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood may decrease a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, finds a new study in Pediatrics. In fact, with each additional 10 grams of daily fiber during young adulthood, breast cancer risk may be cut by 13 percent.

The study, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, looked at the food intake of women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II. In 1991, more than 90,000 young adult women completed questionnaires about their food intake at the time. In addition, more than 44,000 of those women completed questionnaires about their food intake during high school. The researchers analyzed fiber intake and monitored the group for breast cancer incidence.

What they found: Women who consumed more dietary fiber during adolescence had a 16 percent lower overall risk of developing breast cancer and a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer before menopause. Women who consumed more dietary fiber in young adulthood had a 12 to 19 percent lower breast cancer risk. Check out this produce perk: Fruit and vegetables offered the greatest risk reduction.

Breast cancer is strongly linked with high estrogen levels in the blood. Fiber-rich foods prevent the reabsorption of estrogen, thereby lowering levels of the hormone in the blood, and a possibly, woman’s risk for the disease.

Of course, fiber is beneficial for so many reasons—it has been shown to reduce the risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and it may also help keep weight in check. Need some fun and fiber-rich snack ideas? Try these kid-friendly picks.

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Chocolate…the Secret to a Healthy Pregnancy? https://joybauer.com/family-health/chocolate-the-secret-to-a-healthy-pregnancy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chocolate-the-secret-to-a-healthy-pregnancy Fri, 04 Mar 2016 00:12:24 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=4856 Expectant moms will enjoy this new pregnancy perk: An ounce of chocolate may help your baby-to-be.

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Expectant moms: Craving chocolate? (That probably goes without saying!) Well, go ahead and give in. A recent study shows that the sweet fix can benefit your baby-to-be.

The research, presented at the annual meeting for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, suggests that pregnant women who ate 30 grams—approximately 150 calories—of chocolate every day for 12 weeks experienced significant improvement in blood flow in the uterus, placenta and fetus. That basically means that eating chocolate during pregnancy positively impacted placenta and fetal growth. Interestingly, this result was consistent despite the flavanol content of the chocolate; women who enjoyed low-flavanol chocolate benefitted as much as those who savored high-flavanol versions. 

Stick to one ounce to keep calories—and pregnancy weight gain—in check and then happily, and (yes!) healthfully, indulge!


For more chocolate perks, click here.

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Moms-to be: Here’s why you should get your Zzz’s now! https://joybauer.com/healthy-living/moms-to-be-heres-why-you-should-get-your-zzzs-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=moms-to-be-heres-why-you-should-get-your-zzzs-now Wed, 24 Feb 2016 15:43:24 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=4754 Pregnant? Another reason to log those Zzzs now—before your bundle of joy arrives. Your health, and the health of your baby, may depend upon you getting the ideal amount of shut-eye.

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Expecting soon? Hit the sack! This is advice many pregnant women hear, but it’s not just because your shut-eye will be cut short once your bundle of joy arrives. New research shows that getting the right amount of slumber can help you avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

A recent study of 751 pregnant women looked at average sleep times over a week and found that extremes in sleep duration—too little or too much shut-eye—were associated with extremes in gestational weight gain. The research was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in Atlanta in February, 2016.

Gestational weight gain is a significant determinant of baby’s (and mom’s) health, so this study reaffirms the need to log your Zzz’s before baby’s arrival. Aim for seven to nine hours a night and enjoy every peaceful moment!

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Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding Their Kids https://joybauer.com/family-health/feeding-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feeding-kids Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:01:21 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2278 Joy reveals her tried-and-true ways for avoiding common pitfalls at the family table.

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Tried and true ways to avoid common pitfalls at the family table.

 

Whether your children are overweight, underweight, or perfectly fine, you probably still worry about how they’re eating. Here are 7 common mistakes parents make and how to avoid them.

 

Mistake #1: Encouraging Kids to Join the “Clean Plate Club”
For the most part, healthy young children eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. They’re following their natural, internal cues, and you shouldn’t mess around with that by encouraging them to eat past the point of fullness. Teaching your kids to be in tune with their own hunger and fullness cues will allow them to have a comfortable relationship with food and avoid overeating as they grow older.

Recent studies have also shown that all children, regardless of age, eat more when served larger portions. In other words, the more we put on their plates, the more they will eat — regardless of how full they are.

The two takeaways from this?

1. Do not encourage or bribe your kids to clean their plate.

2. Provide small to moderate portions at meals (except vegetables — those are unlimited, of course). Encourage them to eat until they are comfortably full, and allow them additional servings if they request them.

Mistake #2: Offering Sweet Rewards
Trying to get children to eat their vegetables can be downright frustrating, and parents often resort to bribery: “Eat your broccoli and you can have ice cream for dessert.” Unfortunately, this technique teaches our kids that broccoli and other vegetables are less appealing (because their consumption requires a reward) and that dessert is the prize, something to be valued over other foods. Multiple studies have shown that, in the long run, preference for foods decreases when kids are given rewards for eating them.

What to do? Keep dessert a separate entity, and don’t make it the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Mistake #3: Depriving Kids of All Sweets
With all the loud, well-deserved messages about pediatric obesity, it’s no surprise that some parents have completely outlawed sweets. But that’s a pretty extreme measure. In order to help our kids have a healthy relationship with food (desserts included), we have to meet somewhere in the middle. While there is nothing wrong with limiting sweets and controlling the amount kids have access to, you certainly don’t want to outlaw them altogether. In fact, studies out of Penn State University have found that when kids are restricted from eating cookies or other snack foods, their desire to eat the snacks increases, and they’re likely to overeat them every chance they get.

Personally, I think it’s perfectly OK to allow school-age kids a fun food snack with their school lunch and some type of dessert after dinner. The key is to control what you can and to let them have reasonable dessert independence when you’re out and about.

  • Limit snacks/desserts to 150 calories (that’s two cookies or an ice-cream pop)
  • Read labels and choose healthy ingredients.
  • If you can sneak in a little nutrition along with the sugar, it’s a bonus. For example, low-fat puddings and ice cream provide calcium; strawberries with whipped cream provide fiber and vitamin C.

The bottom line? Control what you can, and allow your kids some freedom of choice — within reason.

Mistake #4: Letting the Little Kids Eat Like the Big Kids
A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that kids with older siblings are more likely to eat junk foods (soda, potato chips, cookies, cake, and candy) than children without older siblings. Because their older siblings request and have access to these treats, little sisters and brothers tend to be exposed to unhealthy foods much earlier than a firstborn.

Remember how you obsessed over everything your first child did, said, and ate? You probably didn’t let your baby eat junk food! Although it’s easier said than done, try your best to maintain the same age-based food standards for all your kids, not just the first.

The strategy? Allow your older kids to have snacks that aren’t appropriate for toddlers or preschoolers, but try to time them for periods when your youngest ones aren’t around. Put the treats in lunch boxes to take to school, or let your oldest enjoy them when your youngest are in another room, when they’re taking their evening bath, or after they go to bed at night.

And, of course, some foods, like soda, shouldn’t be in the house at all!

Mistake #5: Offering Too Many Snacks
Constant snacking throughout the day can leave kids uninterested in eating a proper lunch or dinner. And if they’re less hungry, they’ll be less willing to try new foods at dinner — like vegetables!

Looking for guidelines? Try these:

  • Try to stick to a consistent meal and snack schedule.
  • Allow at least two hours between snacks and meals.
  • No more than two to three snacks a day, and limit them to about 150 calories apiece.

Mistake #6: Getting Young Kids Started on Liquid Calories
An eye-opening 2008 study in the journal Pediatrics found that today’s youths take in 10 to 15 percent of their total daily calories from sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks) and 100-percent fruit juice. Further, kids’ average daily caloric intake from these beverages increased from 242 calories to 270 calories over the past ten years and continues to rise. Most of these drinks contain empty calories, meaning they provide simple sugars but little else in the way of nutrients. What’s more, although highly calorie-dense, beverages do not trigger the same satiety mechanisms as solid foods. This means that your kids are unlikely to feel full from drinking lots of soda or juice and therefore will not innately compensate for the extra liquid calories they slurp up, which can result in weight gain in the long term.

Your best bet? Limit the beverage choices offered in your home to water (including seltzer and sparkling water), nonfat or one-percent milk (after age two), and diluted 100-percent fruit juice on occasion. Don’t start introducing young kids to sugary, calorie-dense flavored waters, juice drinks, or soda at a young age. Set a good example by not drinking them yourself!

Mistake #7: Serving the Same Meals You Did Before Having Kids
Your vision of a healthy, satisfying meal might include plain grilled chicken, fish, salads, and plenty of steamed veggies, but chances are young kids will find these foods bland, unappealing, or downright disgusting.

If you want to persuade your picky kids to try healthier foods, you’re going to have to be a bit more creative in the kitchen. Try jazzing up meals with fun, flavorful marinades and condiments to make bland food more appealing and tasty, or play around with shapes, colors, and textures to liven up your dinner plates.

Need ideas? Try some of these on your brood:

  • Serve cut-up raw veggies with a fun dip, like low-fat ranch dressing or raspberry vinaigrette. If your kids like only one or two veggies, it’s okay to repeat often. Serve fruits with a sweet, low-fat yogurt dip — just like fondue!
  • Top poultry or veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus, with your favorite jarred marinara sauce and/or part-skim mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.
  • Cut vegetables or fruits into fun shapes with small cookie cutters. This works really well with red and yellow bell pepper, raw beet (which is actually really sweet!), cucumber, apple, pear, and melon.
  • Take it a step further by using veggies to create fun objects, like celery boats. Fill celery stalks with low-fat cream cheese and top with red pepper “sails.” Cut veggies into strips and other shapes and use to design faces or artwork on whole-wheat mini pitas spread with low-fat cream cheese or ranch dressing.
  • Mix chopped or grated veggies (zucchini and carrot work well) into meatloaf, soups, chili, marinara sauce, casseroles, or other mixed dishes.
  • Dump extra veggies (frozen, bite-sized mixed veggies are ideal for this) into canned soup or frozen dinners at lunchtime. Your kids will hardly notice the extra vegetables!

I realize that food battles with your kids can be incredibly frustrating, which is why it’s important to keep issues like picky eating and veggie avoidance in perspective. Celebrate the small victories (even if it’s just getting your son or daughter to try one bite of a new, healthy food), and continue to model healthy eating behaviors for your children. As your little ones get older, your good habits will begin to rub off (really!), and you’ll reap the rewards of your persistent focus on good nutrition.

 

Learn more about Food Cures for Healthy Living.
Discover more Food Cures for your health.

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Should Your Child Take Vitamins? https://joybauer.com/family-health/vitamins-for-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vitamins-for-kids Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:55:03 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2262 Is a daily vitamin necessary for your kids — or even a good idea?

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Is a daily vitamin necessary for kids — or even a good idea? Before you reach for the chewables, find out what the experts have to say.

Like many parents, you may be worried that your children are not getting enough nutrients from food — especially if you have a picky eater in your brood. Is a multivitamin the answer? What about other dietary supplements? Here’s a guide to who needs what, and what to buy if your child’s diet does need an extra boost.

Multivitamins
Some parents make a multivitamin part of the breakfast routine, others never do, but whether to multi or not to multi is one of the most frequently asked questions in my practice. There is no real consensus on it — experts disagree about vitamins for children who don’t display signs of deficiency. The naysayers claim that children don’t need large amounts of vitamins and minerals and say that even picky eaters should get enough from food. On the other side are those who think of a basic children’s multivitamin as an “insurance policy” that can fill in the gaps of a not-so-great diet.

In my office, we approach this on a case-by-case basis. If it’s clear that a kid is not eating a well-rounded diet, we may recommend a children’s “multi” — and possibly “calcium plus D” (more about that below). If we conclude that the child is doing fine, we try to reassure the parent that a multi isn’t needed.

If you do decide to give your child a multivitamin (and your pediatrician agrees),choose one that’s formulated specifically for children, and make sure it provides about 100 percent (not much more!) of the RDA for all the vitamins and minerals listed. Here are a few reputable children’s multivitamins:

  • Flintstones Complete
  • Puritan’s Pride Multi Gummies
  • One-a-Day Kids Complete (chewable, not their gummies)
  • Freeda Vitalets (100% vegetarian, and yeast-, gluten-, and lactose-free)

Follow the dosage listed on the label, keep the jar tightly capped on a high shelf, and make sure your kids know that vitamins are NOT candy. Children can overdose on vitamins, so be vigilant!

Calcium and D
After multivitamins, calcium supplements are what parents ask me about the most. It’s true that children don’t drink as much milk as they used to — and therefore aren’t getting calcium from one of the best sources around. But that’s the reason a lot of kid-friendly foods are now fortified with calcium. So before going the supplement route, parents should do a weekly “calcium tally” with their children to determine whether it’s needed. (Don’t worry if they fall short on certain days, since it’s their overall weekly intake that matters most in the long run.)

Calcium Requirements:

  • Ages 1–3 = 500 mg a day
  • Ages 4–8 = 800 mg a day
  • Ages 9–18 = 1,300 mg a day

If your child comes up short on the weekly tally and you can’t find a way to get more calcium-rich foods onto the menu, talk to your pediatrician. If you decide to add a supplement, look for one that contains vitamin D, which we need to help absorb calcium. (We used to get it from exposure to sunlight, but now that we’re slathering on sunscreen, vitamin D deficiency has become a big problem in this country.) D3 — or cholecalciferol — is the most potent form of D, so always look for it on the bottle.

Viactiv calcium chews come in a variety of flavors and tend to be well accepted by children of all ages. On the other hand, if your child has braces or is anything like my 14-year-old daughter, Jesse, who will not go near a chewy, you can resort to a pill. And if your child cannot swallow a pill, you can mash up one “Caltrate 600 plus D” and mix it in vanilla yogurt or pudding.

Fiber
Fiber is also important for kids: Fiber-rich foods help regulate weight and mood, and they help prevent constipation. A great rule for determining how much daily fiber your child needs is “age + 5 grams.” For example, a ten-year-old child requires about 15 g of fiber a day.

First and foremost, try to increase fiber through kid-friendly whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. High-fiber breakfast cereals and grains are an easy way to provide a fiber fix. But if your child is struggling with chronic constipation and requires an extra dose, talk to your pediatrician about adding a fiber supplement. You can try some of the following:

  • Benefiber powder
  • Juice+Fibre (10 g fiber per 8-ounce box)
  • Now’s Inulin Powder (found at Trader Joe’s)

Last but not least: Make sure your kids brush their teeth after taking chewable vitamins. Do not leave vitamins or any other supplements within reach of children. And be sure to talk to your child’s doctor before you begin any vitamin or supplement routine.

 

 

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Parents, Break Your Kids of This Unhealthy Habit https://joybauer.com/family-health/parents-break-your-kids-of-this-unhealthy-habit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=parents-break-your-kids-of-this-unhealthy-habit Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:48:31 +0000 http://www.joybauer.com/?p=2252 Giving your child beverages that contain empty sugar calories can set them up for major issues down the road

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No matter your child’s weight, you probably care about what’s going into their growing bodies. One of the habits that can set your child up for major issues down the road is developing a taste for sugary drinks like soda and fruit punch. These beverages are essentially “liquid candy” because they contain empty sugar calories and little else in the way of nutrients.

An eye-opening study in the journal Pediatrics found that today’s youths take in 10 to 15 percent of their total daily calories from sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks) and fruit juice. And according to some reports, kids’ average daily caloric intake from these beverages continues to rise. Most of these drinks contain empty calories in the form of simple sugars, but little else in the way of nutrients. Even worse, although these drinks are calorie-dense, they don’t trigger the same satiety mechanisms as solid foods. This means that your kids are unlikely to feel full from drinking lots of soda or juice and therefore will not innately compensate for the extra liquid calories they slurp up, which can result in weight gain in the long-term.

What’s a parent to do? Don’t start introducing young kids to sugary, calorie-dense flavored waters, juice drinks, lemonade, or soda at a early age. Limit the beverage choices offered in your home to water (including seltzer and sparkling water), nonfat or one-percent milk (after age two), and diluted 100% fruit juice on occasion. You can also keep a pitcher of fruity unsweetened iced tea – like my refreshing Peach-Raspberry brew – on hand in the fridge. If your kids get bored with plain H2O, try jazzing it up with a few fun ice cubes made with frozen fruit or 100% fruit juice. As the cubes melt, they’ll get a shot of fruit flavor. And, of course, set a good example by not drinking sugary drinks yourself!

 

Looking for more ways to give your kids the best start possible? Check out these tips.

The post Parents, Break Your Kids of This Unhealthy Habit appeared first on Joy Bauer.

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