Healthy Nutrition

Getting Your Family Back on Track After Summer

NEW-44757397_m-610x350.jpg

It is bittersweet as the end of Summer approaches. (More bitter than sweet in Minnesota!) With this transition into Autumn, families have to adjust to schedule changes, school starting, etc. This can be easier if you ease into this phase of the year. The following are some tips that may be helpful:

1. Start the day with a good breakfast that includes protein. We have all heard the importance of a good breakfast. For kids, it is very important to eat a good meal before a full day of learning. Including protein in meals will help tide you over until snack or lunch. Here are some simple ideas even for the pickiest eaters!

  • Eggs, bacon/sausage and wholegrain toast or breakfast burritos

  • Pancakes or waffles cooked with protein powder, these can be made ahead of time and frozen

  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder

2. A good night's rest is essential. Children between ages 6-11 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night, while teens need 9 hours. Ideally adults should strive for 7-9 hours. In this day and age of electronics and constant stimulation this can be hard for some families. Here are some tips:

  • Start a bedtime routine and follow it diligently each night, even on weekends if possible.

  • Turn off the TV and electronics at least one hour prior to bedtime as this is very stimulating to the brain.

  • Read a book or have your child read a book before bed.

  • A sound machine can be soothing as well as diffusing essential oils.

3. Add a supplement or two to your family’s diet. Adding supplements into your diet can help with immunity, nutrition and brain development. It is important to buy quality supplements; a good place to look is your local co-op. Here are some supplement options:

  • Multi-vitamin: a food based option is a great choice, we also like the Smarty Pants brand.

  • Vitamin D-3: This will help keep immunity strong.

  • Fish Oil: We love Nordic Naturals. The children’s capsules are small, chew-able and kids love the taste. We also like the adult version of this brand.

4. Make space for family check ins. Does your family have a regular time to check in with each other? This could be during after school snack, family dinner or bedtime.

  • Learn to talk about emotions and how to manage emotions

  • Set aside a specific time each day

  • Create a safe space in your family for everyone to be heard

5. Schedule physicals. Many schools require a physical to be done before school starts. Appointments fill up fast! If you have yet to make these appointments, Health Foundations Birth Center + Women’s Health Clinic does see female patients as young as 5 for physicals. Typically appointments can be made fairly quickly. Call us today to make an appointment, 651-895-2520.

Looking & Feeling Beautiful & Radiant

A couple of weeks ago on the Mom Show we talked about a Spring Detox. Doing a basic detox is a great way to kick into a healthy life style shift. Life's busyness can get in the way of us feeling good about ourselves. Here are some tips on how to feel radiant from the inside out!

Supplements: Supplements can be very helpful for your body to feel good and balanced. A good food-based multivitamin is a nice start. Make sure it is food-based, they are much easier for your body to absorb. Some other key supplements are B Complex, fish oil, magnesium and vitamin D-3. This regimen will help with long lasting energy, improved mood, healthy cholesterol and strong immune system.

Sleep: Eight hours of sleep every night is ideal. Sleep deprivation can wreck havoc on your body. Sleep helps your skin glow, your mood to be steady, you body to be free of illness and of course good energy levels! If you have to wake up early, plan to go to bed and hour or two earlier. Do something relaxing before bed to help you get into a deep sleep such as reading for 10 minutes, a bath or meditation.

Water: Try and make 3 liters of water per day your goal. Get a water bottle that holds a liter and keep track of how many you drink. If you need something more exciting than water, try adding fruit. You can add any fruit to water. Put it in the fridge overnight; pour it into your water bottle the next morning and you have an amazing tasting beverage! Water does wonders for wrinkles and just helps you feel good in general.

Skin Care: There really is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on skincare, unless you want to of course! If you are looking to save money and have beautiful skin, you can keep it simple. Buy a micro-fiber cloth and wash your face with a gentle soap in the morning and before bed. After washing use a toner is important; it helps your moisturizer soak into your skin. Use a moisturizer with an SPF to protect your skin from sun damage daily, even in the winter. Last, use an eye cream for around your eyes, not face moisturizer. The skin around your eyes is sensitive and needs something formulated for that area.

Exercise: There are so many exercise programs out there today. There is something for everyone! Whatever route of exercise you use, whether it be walking, running, yoga, a home DVD or crossfit, it is important to move your body for at least 30 minutes per day.

Diet: The main thing to keep in mind for your diet is eating whole foods. If you can stick to fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, nuts and whole grains, that is key. Stay away completely from all processed foods. Sleep, water intake, exercise and diet all work together for a healthier, more radiant YOU!

How to be a Flu-Fighter!

influenza-696x577.jpg

The flu virus seems to be lurking around every corner! Thankfully, there are some ways to combat this nasty virus naturally.

What is the Flu?

Many times there is confusion as far as what the flu actually is. Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system. It is more severe than a common cold and is not the same as a ‘stomach flu’ virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.  The flu tends to come on suddenly whereas a cold usually develops slowly over a couple of days. Symptoms include:

  • Fever over 100.4 F
  • Aching muscles, especially your back, arms and legs
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

How to prevent the flu:

  • A good vitamin D supplement is a wonderful way to keep your immune system, 5,000 iu. With our months of underexposure to sunlight, we need to be particularly vigilant about getting enough vitamin D through diet and supplementation.
  • Eat nutritious, whole foods and avoid processed sugar. Load up on fruits and veggies; particularly green leafy vegetables. Keep your protein intake high as well. Eat protein with every meal and snack.
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. This can be tough a with little ones but try your best to go to bed early so that you can get your 8 hours in.
  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day. This may seem easy but it sure is effective! 
  • Avoid contact with sick family members and friends. You may find yourself having a family member or friend that needs support in their time of sickness. You can still do this. Make them a meal and set it outside their door.
  • Exercise has been shown to flush bacteria from the lungs and airways that may cause colds and viruses. It also can cause changes to the body’s white blood cells and antibodies positively impacting the immune system.

What to do if you get the flu:

Sometimes there is just no avoiding it! If you find yourself with the above symptoms there are some ways to try and shorten how long you feel miserable!

  • Rest, rest and more rest! You probably won't feel like doing much anyway but try and stay in bed and sleep throughout the day and night.
  • Stay hydrated! You can alternate water, Emergen-C and coconut water to help with this. The Emergen-C and coconut water will help keep your electrolytes up.
  • Eat simple foods such as vitamin rich bone broth.
  • Take extra Vitamin C daily.

Top 5 Things to Have a Successful Start to School

It won't be long before it is time for kids to head back to school! Along with school supplies and new clothes and shoes there are great ways to help prepare your children for a successful start to the school year.

1. Start the day with a good breakfast that includes protein. We have all heard the importance of a good breakfast. For kids, it is very important to eat a good meal before a full day of learning. Including protein in the meal will help tide them over until snack or lunch. Here are some simple ideas even for the pickiest eaters!

  • Eggs, bacon/sausage and wholegrain toast
  • Pancakes or waffles cooked with protein powder, these can be made ahead of time and frozen
  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder

2. A good night's rest is essential. Children between ages 6-11 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. In this day and age of electronics and constant stimulation this can be hard for some families. Here are some tips:

  • Start a bedtime routine and follow it diligently each night, even on weekends if possible
  • Turn off the TV and electronics at least one hour prior to bedtime as this is very stimulating to the brain
  • Read a book or have your child read a book before bed
  • A sound machine can be soothing as well as diffusing essential oils

3. Add a supplement or two to their diet. Adding supplements into your child's diet can help with their immunity, nutrition and brain development. It is important to buy quality supplements; a good place to look is your local co-op. Here are some supplement options:

  • Multi-vitamin: a food based option is a great choice
  • Vitamin D-3: This will help keep your child's immunity strong
  • Fish Oil: We love Nordic Naturals, they are small, chew-able and kids love the taste

4. Make space for family check ins. Does your family have a regular time to check in with each other? This could be during after school snack, family dinner or bedtime.

  • Learn to talk about emotions and how to manage emotions
  • Set aside a specific time each day
  • Create a safe space in your family for everyone to be heard

5. Be prepared the night before. Getting ready for the morning the night before will help the morning go smoother for you and your child.

  • Pack lunches and snacks
  • Make sure homework is complete, checked and put in the backpack
  • Have clothes ready and laid out

As the new school year approaches try and set aside a special day for your family to celebrate the new year. Best wishes to you and your family for the year ahead!

Big River Farms CSA at Health Foundations!

Written by Lebo Moore

Written by Lebo Moore

Have you ever seen First Taste, the video of babies tasting different foods for the first time? It’s precious. The babies try everything from yogurt to anchovies and their reactions, displaying the vast emotional range of food, reflect an honest beauty.

I stumbled upon that video at the Terra Madre conference, where I learned the importance of introducing food and eating at an early age. Not only does this establish a diverse palette which is  linked to healthy eating behavior as an adult, but the acculturation of welcoming a child at a dinner table, even if they are still in infancy, teaches children how to eat and care about food. It places food at the center of human development.

I care a lot about food. I work with farmers so I’m a little biased, but also, I love to eat. After years of working on farms, I’ve witnessed how farming shapes our environment. Irrigation is the biggest use of water on the planet. The way we farm, and use that water, really matters. I am not a farmer, its way too much work, but I do know that as a lover of food there are many ways I can support the kind of farming that builds resilient and healthy communities. One way is by becoming a member of Big River Farms Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.

Big River Farms is a program of The MN Food Association, and is located in Marine on St. Croix. We run a training program for beginning farmers providing education in production, post-harvest handling, business planning and marketing. Our mission is to build a sustainable food system based on social, economic and environmental justice through education, training and partnership. Farmers enrolled in the program represent over ten cultures around the world, most have immigrated to this country in the last thirty years and they all take pride in working the land to provide food for their families. We focus on providing resources for immigrants and farmers of color as they face significant barriers in land access and starting a farm business.

Through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members receive weekly deliveries of Certified Organic produce grown by farmers enrolled in the program in addition to a Fruit Share. This summer we are honored to partner with Health Foundations as a new drop site for our CSA. Each week from June-October, we will deliver produce to Health Foundations Birth Center along with recipes, farm stories, farmer biographies and invitations to on-farm, family friendly events.

We believe that our commitment to farmers and to building small-scale local food systems pairs well with the commitment Health Foundations has in providing wellness and educational services for expectant and new moms. We take great care of our land and farmers to ensure that healthy food is accessible to even the newest of eaters. Everyone at Big River loves to eat and we want to share our food with you so that your family can explore the beauty of eating together. We’d love to welcome you as a member of Big River Farms for the 2017 growing season.

Sign-up for your 2017 CSA: http://www.mnfoodassociation.org/2016-share-information

Use these coupon codes at check-out for a special Health Foundations Discount!

fullhealth to receive $30 off a Full-Acre Share

halfhealth to receive $15 off a Half-Acre Share

Dr. Amy's Guide to Food Introduction

photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

One of Dr. Amy’s passions is food introduction. It is a fundamental building block for a baby’s development, their immune system and has long-term health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or solid foods). Breast milk contains antibodies that support immune function as well as optimal nutrient ratios that change as the child grows. Until approximately 6 months of age, a baby’s digestive tract is not able to adequately digest most foods. Early introduction of foods may result in food allergies or sensitivities. Around six to nine months, breastfed and formula-fed infants will begin to develop their gastrointestinal track in a way that makes them ready to start some solid foods.

Food introduction is one of the most important times in your child’s health; it becomes the building blocks and foundation of health for the rest of your child’s life. The gastrointestinal tract is an extension of the immune system. Introducing foods in a way that will not cause allergic reactions will help build a stronger and more solid foundation than if your child is always fighting off immune reactions. So many early health problems in children are related to food introduction. It is pertinent that you observe your child for signs of a reaction, such as red marks around their mouth, red cheeks, eczema, diaper rash, constipation or diarrhea, etc. (see below more complete list). If these early warning signs are not headed, more serious reactions may result as the immune system becomes more and more compromised.

Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Foods

•      Is at least 6 months old

•      Able to sit unsupported

•      Can push away food

•      Can turn head from side to side

•      Shows interest in what you are eating

Since breast milk is all your baby needs in terms of nutrients, there needn't be any rush to start your baby on solids. Let your baby lead. If she is always grabbing for your food, then allow her to explore it. But if she isn’t interested, don’t force her to try it. Most babies will become interested in food between six to nine months. If your child hasn’t started trying solids by nine months, start offering it to him and see how he responds.

This transition in life can be a source of stress for many parents. Take your time and be patient with your child. Know that she is getting all the nutrients she needs from your breast milk or formula.

Up until the first year, the benefit to babies of trying solids is being exposed to new textures and learning hand mouth coordination; prior to a year most babies gastrointestinal tracts are not mature enough to be absorbing many nutrients from solids, so if your child isn’t eating a lot of solids, it is not compromising his nutrient intake as long as he is still drinking breast milk or formula.

Introducing Foods

New foods should be introduced one at a time. Wait a few days after introducing each new food to see if your baby reacts to the food. If your baby has any of the following symptoms below, remove the food from baby’s diet for 2-3 months, then try again.

If your child has a life- threatening reaction to a food such as difficulty breathing, call 911.

Your baby will show you he has had enough to eat. Stop feeding him when he spits food out, closes his mouth, or turns his head away.  Let him control how much he eats.

Symptoms that may indicate a reaction to a food include:

•      Rash around the mouth or anus

•      Hyperactivity or lethargy

•      “Allergic shiners” (dark circles under eyes)

•      Skin reactions/rashes

•      Infections/cold/flu

•      Diarrhea or mucus in stool

•      Constipation

•      Runny/stuffy nose or sneezing

•      Redness of face/cheeks

•      Ear infection

•      Other unusual symptom for your child

Use the following schedule as a general guide for introducing foods to healthy, full-term babies. You can hang it on the fridge and put a date next to each new food introduction so that it is easier to remember what your child is eating and for reference if your child develops a reaction. If your child has chronic illness, special needs, or has signs of allergies or sensitivities such as asthma, chronic respiratory infections, or chronic ear infections, a modified schedule may be necessary.

Even though it is a common practice in our culture to give babies powered rice cereal, this is not an evidenced based practice and is not recommended by nutritionists. Start with vegetables and fruits. When it is time to introduce grains, use whole grains whenever possible, instead of processed grains.

Finally, enjoy this new time in your baby’s life as he explores new textures and tastes. Be playful with your child and let meal times be a fun game or a time to be social and sing songs about foods. Use it as a time to learn colors or numbers, instead of always focusing on getting your child to eat. If they don’t like something, introduce it again in a few months. Try to make it easier on yourself by modeling good nutrition to your child and giving them some of your meal, instead of always having to make something completely different for them. Enjoying our meals improves digestion and overall quality of life, so do what you need to for yourself to de-stress mealtime and enjoy.

Join us on March 26th at 10:00am on the MyTalk, 107.1 Mom Show to learn more and visit https://www.health-foundations.com/mom-show/ after the show to download a specific food introduction schedule.

 

Pregnancy Nachos Loaded with Fiber, Calcium, Protein and Folate

Pregnancy Nachos

You probably didn’t think it was possible that someone would recommend nachos as a healthy food while you are pregnant. It sounds just about as likely as your midwife recommending you visit the McDonald’s drive-thru. But, believe it or not, these nachos are actually healthy. Loaded with fiber, calcium, protein and folate, here’s how to feel like you’re cheating without actually cheating.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of corn chips
  • 1/3 cup of kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped olives
  • 1/4 cup of shredded reduced-fat cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded lettuce of your choice
  • 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of fresh salsa
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Layer corn chips with kidney beans, olives and shredded cheese on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake in oven or toaster oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  3. Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and Greek yogurt.
  4. Enjoy

Recipe transcribed from: Parents.com
 

 

Protein Packed Lentil Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Getting enough protein during pregnancy can be tough if you’re a vegetarian. This savory vegetarian recipe is not only full of protein but much needed fiber too! Served as a main dish or a side, these Lentil Stuffed Peppers are sure to fill you up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 4 red or green peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 ¾ cup of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup of vegetable stock
  • ¼  teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ cup of spinach, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Lemon Breadcrumb Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 of a cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon of thyme
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put lentils and 2 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside and drain lentils.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and grated carrot and sauté for five minutes.
  5. Add garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, vegetable stock and dried herbs and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat and add spinach and lentils. Season with pepper and pinch of salt.
  7. Place the pepper halves cut-side up on a lightly greased baking sheet and fill with lentil mixture, distributing evenly.
  8. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top of peppers, then cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  9. To make the topping, heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and thyme and cook for several minutes until breadcrumbs are well coated. 
  10. Add lemon zest and parsley and remove from heat.
  11. After 20-30 minutes, uncover peppers and sprinkle with topping. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown and the peppers are soft.
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: Mother & Baby

Mediterranean Chickpea Pitas with Tahini Dressing

mediterranean chickpea pita

A good sandwich during pregnancy can be hard to come by with the limitations of what is safe to eat. Deli meats are out due the listeria risk and tuna fish is high in mercury. What’s a hungry pregnant gal to eat for lunch? Try this yummy Mediterranean Chickpea Pita with Tahini Dressing to satiate your midday tummy rumbles. If you’re wary about eating feta during pregnancy, just skip it (though it should be perfectly safe when pasteurized). 

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ English cucumber diced
  • 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped 
  • ½ cup of finely diced red onion
  • ½ cup of chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) of pasteurized feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of chopped black olives
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 4 whole grain pitas, sliced in half

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together chickpeas, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, cilantro or parsley, red onion, feta cheese, raisins and olives.
  2. Place the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add tahini mixture to the chickpea mixture and stir to coat.
  3. Stuff chickpea mixture into pita halves.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: fit PREGNANCY

Tofu and Spinach in Garlic Sauce

Tofu & Spinach in Garlic Sauce

Nothing says pregnancy nutrient quite like folate! And to meet your minimum daily need of 500-micrograms, folate rich vegetables and beans become an easy answer. Try this highly nutritious tofu and spinach recipe for not only folate but protein also.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • ½ cup of low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 pound of firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced into coins
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 1 tablespoon of chicken stock and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine with remaining stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and add vegetable oil.
  4. Add shallot and tofu and stir-fry until the shallot is translucent. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry for an additional minute.
  5. Add spinach and toss until wilted then add soy sauce mixture. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir cornstarch mixture well and scrape into stir-fry. Simmer and stir until sauce thickens, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add soy sauce to taste and serve over brown rice.

Recipe transcribed from: fitPREGNANCY

The Mega Green Smoothie

Mega Green Smoothie

It’s National Nutrition Month and what better way to celebrate than with a nourishing pregnancy smoothie packed with essential vitamins for you and your babe. With calcium, healthy fats and folate, this smoothie is not only delicious but nutritious too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup of coconut milk
  • ½ cup of baby kale or spinach
  • ¾ cup of cucumber chunks (with the skin)
  • 1 cup of frozen green grapes
  • ¼ teaspoon of peeled and grated ginger
  • Agave nectar, to taste

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth (approximately 30 seconds)
  2. Add agave nectar for sweetness as desired.

Recipe transcribed from: Parents.com