Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eating For Your Bones

The bone is a very essential component of the skeletal system, and plays an essential role in support, protection of the body vital organs, movement, production of body blood cells and mineral storage. For the bone to be able to perform these above functions it has to posses the following characteristics; it have to be light for the body to be able to carry it along in movement, be strong to support and protect the body and above all be healthy.

To maintain a healthy, strong and light bone the first thing that comes to mind is “diet”, yes the food you eat have a great way of controlling the general look and function of your bone. Whether you will end up with bone conditions like osteoporosis, pagets disease, osteoarthritis etc depends partly on your dieting

So here is a list of do’s and don’ts if you are eating for a healthy bone

Excessive intake of protein can be a don’t, protein especially red meats are known to produce sulfates which can displace calcium in the bone and cause a decrease of bone density
Excessive intake of Table salts and all sodium containing foods is not advocated for, for they can indirectly reduce bone calcium

Excessive intake of caffeine is known to reduce calcium absorption, so mind your intake of energy drinks and coffees
Excessive alcohol intake affects vitamin D and calcium absorption
Excess soda is not allowed

Now the do's.

Eat food rich in calcium example green leafy vegetable, milk (not in excess)                                 

Eat foods rich in vitamin k examples; spinach, onions, cabbage, mustard greens, lettuce etc
Go for vitamin D, this has its main source as sunlight and also can be gotten from: cod liver oil, mushrooms, sardines etc

A diet rich in magnesium is also advocated for, magnesium can be found in broccoli, raw plantain, peanuts, spinach etc
A good diet of potassium is also needed to retain calcium in the body; this potassium can be derived from foods like avocado peers, apricots, cocoa powder, seeds of pumpkin and sunflower.

A strict adherence to the above will play a part in building up a strong light and healthy bone.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Complementing Breast Milk.

A recent blog comment on my post on breastfeeding called my attention to a prior encounter with a mother who refuses to breastfeed her child exclusively for the first 6 months of life because she believed that it was the reason why her older kids turned out to be picky eaters. The truth is that breastfed babiesare less likely to be picky eaters as toddlers.

Here is the blog comment.
I love this infomation on breastfeeding. I am having difficulty in getting my 7 month old accept other foods apart from breast milk. Someone told me that its common with babies that are exclusively breastfed for 6months.Do you have any suggestions that will help?


Transiting from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods is usually tasking for many parents. Knowing that the period from 6 to 24 months of age is a vulnerable period and it is the time when malnutrition starts in many children. The parent worries not just about food allergies and the nutritional adequacy of the complementary food, but also how to get the little one who has been used to taking just breast milk to accepting complementary foods.

One of the first strategies to apply is patience. Patience indeed is a virtue and every parent should get some of it. Give the child time to adapt to the change. Ever wondered why babies scratch their ears and raise their leg when they suck the breast? Perhaps it’s because breast milk is sweet and they love it. So when introducing that cereal or pureed food, please be patient, babies are humans too.

Differentiate between discomforts and child’s hunger cues. Apart from hunger, children also cry when their diaper is soiled and for several other reasons. Your child will not likely accept food when he or she is not hungry.

Go easy on heavily spiced meals and consider the texture of meals. It is important that after months of having only breast milk, the first food you offer your baby is smooth and soft in texture and not lumpy, so that it is easy to digest. The food should have a bland taste and be unlikely to provoke an allergic reaction. An example of an ideal baby food that meets this quality is baby’s rice mixed with either breast milk or baby formula.

Your baby may not be developing in the same pace with other babies of the same age, watch out for signs of solid food readiness in your child. Such signs may include; your baby having good head control, reaching out for other people’s food and a reduction in tongue-thrusting reflex.

The feeding environment is important. Avoid distractions and also ensure that the child too is not distracted by things like toys.

Introduce one new food at a time. This helps the child to slowly become accustomed to eating adult-type foods and familiarizes with a wide range of textures and tastes. More so, it makes it easy to determine the exact food that the child may be allergic to.

Avoid force-feeding. This can lead to chocking and in many cases, the child grow up having a dislike for that particular food. Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation. Do not forget to be responsive to the child’s cues.

Finally, ensure that these foods complement rather than replace breast milk.  Breast milk continues to be an important source of energy, protein and micronutrients. Consider improving the quality of the home food as this will reflect in the quality of the food offered to the child.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

To Breastfeed or not to.

As a child, I once watched my cat gave birth to her six kittens in an empty cardboard box. After cleaning them up with her tongue, she lay down and breastfed the six of them. This she continued for days until they were able to join her in feeding from her daily spoils.

When I gave birth to my babies, like I did to an 8.4 pounds baby boy three months ago, breastfeeding just feels like the right thing to do even without considering the benefits of breastfeeding. Making a decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one, but we already know that the benefits of one outweigh the other.  Like grandma would ask, ’why give the food made for a cow to a human?’

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended breastfeeding as best for babies for its defense against infections, prevent allergies and protect against a number of chronic conditions.

Often called the ‘perfect food’ for baby’s digestive system, breast milk contents are easily digested by the newborn’s immature digestive system therefore breastfed babies have fewer incidences of diarrhea or constipation.

Rich in many of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn needs, many of which commercial formula companies can not exactly duplicate, breast milk provides perfect nourishment for babies and great is the bonding experience between the breastfed baby and the mother.

Breastfeeding is not only cheap, many researches has found that breastfeeding protects babies from infections and frequent hospitalizations than formula fed babies. Imagine not having to take frequent permission from work to take a sick child to the hospital and also having to save the money that would have been used for hospital bills.

The benefits of breastfeeding your babies far overshadows any challenges you may have doing it.
Let the only reason for not breastfeeding be a specific medical condition that the mother might have.
Did you breastfeed or currently breastfeeding or know someone who is? Share any challenges you had/ are having in the comment section below.