Mango, Lunch and Picky Children…

My colleague “Mango” invited me for lunch…

She has 3 little kids… 1.5 years… 3 years and 5 years of age…

The lunch was great… the food was delicious …
But, “Mango” was frustrated… continously shouting at her kids to eat their food…

You have picky children??? here it goes….

It’s normal to have your children picky with food…

Children between 1 and 3 years of age nudge at their food and this is normal due to growth and development reasons.

They may eat only fruits on Monday and only vegetables on Tuesday. Such eating habits are normal. Thus, it’s important to expect the child to eat well one day and eat nothing the next day.

Children from 1 to 3 years need approximately around 1000 – 1300 Kcal per day. But they might not eat this amount every day.

Accordingly, it is always recommended that children have a balanced diet over the week, not over a single day.

Here are some tips to encourage eating:

1) Give the food some playful names, names that the child is familiar with, for example:

Apples: Moons
Avocado: Boats
Banana: Wheels
Broccoli: Trees

2) Young children love dipping foods. Let them dip slices of apples, colored bell pepper pieces, carrots, broccoli in sauces
for examples:

Cream cheese
Fruit juice
Peanut butter
Pureed fruits or vegetables

3) Show them how to use a knife, a spoon etc. to spread cheese, labneh, peanut butter, fruit concentrates, vegetable concentrate onto toast, or bread; children love playing and spreading their food. The more they play with the unappealing food the more they’ll get to like it.

4) Let them help you prepare the food. Let them cut their sandwiches, vegetables, pizzas, fruits etc. into various shapes using children cookie cutters.

5) Plant a garden with your child: let the children help take care of the vegetables, fruits etc… wash and prepare them.

Important Remarks:

– Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have NO meaning to a child. If your Child wants to eat pizza in the morning or fruit and cereal in the evening let him/her go with it.
– Keep food servings small. A young child’s stomach is approximately the size of his fist.
– A hungry child is NOT a happy kid. Thus, be strict when possible, a hungry child will cry yet, when there’s nothing available he/she will end up eating (so don’t worry).
– A child taste preference depends on exposure. Children will prefer sweet tastes, salty taste, bitter taste etc. depending on what they were mostly exposed to during their first years of life. Thus try as much as possible to expose them to the healthy tastes and keep them away from the sweeties (Don’t add sugars/salts etc. to the food).
– Eat all together, children eat better when they see their parents eating.

Children… Eczema… and Diet

Yesterday night I received an email from “Eggplant”…


Dear Blue Strawberry…
Hope this email finds you well…
I have two children and they both have eczema…
Do you have any food/nutrition recommendations related to eczema???
I’m a bit worried…

“Blue Strawberry”

Well… first I need to know if your children have any food allergies… however for now it’s good to know that…

Most children with eczema do not have any reactions to food. Though, in some children, food allergies
may prompt some skin reactions.

The diet for eczema varies depending on the sensitivity of the child towards certain foods.
For example, milk may prompt eczema in some children, while it is safe for other children.
Thus, the diets vary from one child to another.

For me to plan a food related eczema diet, the first important step, is to identify the type
of foods that might affect the eczema.

I’ll give you a list of items that MIGHT trigger some reactions:

Milk and dairy product: Milk, cheeses, yogurt, chocolate that contains cow’s milk…
Wheat based products and cereals: Bread, crackers, donuts, pancakes, barley, oats and rye…
Nuts: Peanuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios…
Seafood: Shellfish, salmon, tuna, lobster, mussels, crabs…
Acidic fruits: Orange, lemon, strawberries, plumps, blueberries, prunes and tomatoes…
Eggs and soy products
Food colorings and food additives: Sodium benzoate, glutamate, tartrazine…

I can’t surely detect what is relevant to your children; nevertheless I insist that you get back
to your children doctor… and upon the doctor’s prescriptions, tests etc… we can move forward to the next step…

One Sweet Summer Afternoon…… How about “Breastfeeding”…..

While I was sitting in my garden… enjoying the sweet afternoon on the seesaw… I received a phone call from a friend…

Blue Strawberry what’s up??? I need a favor… can you write a 300 word assay on a topic in your field that can be transformed into a workshop or something??? Several topics came up… Here it goes…How about “Breastfeeding”???

How to provide a Healthy Diet to your Infant from Birth to 12 months of age…

Nutrition care is essential for promoting health, growth, and development of a healthy infant.

To begin with, mothers should be aware that during the first year of life, the organ system of the infant is not yet fully mature thus; the capacity of the digestive system to metabolize and excrete foods is not completely developed. As a result, the infant is supposed to be supplied with the sufficient energy and macronutrients that promote optimal growth on condition the amounts do not exceed the infant’s digestive capacity.

Furthermore, during the first 6 month of life the only diet allowed is exclusive breastfeeding; where the infant is fed every 1.5 to 3hrs; 20 to 30 minutes on each breast. Water supplementation is unnecessary at this stage because mother’s milk water content is sufficient.

After the age of 6 month, age appropriate foods can be introduced with the continuation of breastfeeding. Vegetables are initially introduced followed by, fruits then by meats. Fish, wheat products and eggs are recommended after the age of 1.

Moreover, the mother ought to be informed that some dietary products causes colic (coffee), gases (onions, garlic, cauliflower, beans etc.), and altered mother’s milk taste and smell (spices, onions and garlic) if introduced in her diet within the period of breastfeeding.

Finally, after the age of 12 months the infant must be consuming a well balanced diet containing a variety of food items consisting of all food groups from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats with the maintenance of breastfeeding up to the age of 2 years.

So don’t forget… “Breast is Best”….


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