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Posts for category: Nutrition

September 21, 2019
Category: Nutrition
Tags: nutrition   milk   Water   Soy   Hemp   Almond  

Children Under Age Five Should Drink Mostly Milk And Water, Experts Say

The New York Times (9/18) reports that on Sept. 18, “a panel of scientists issued new nutritional guidelines for children...describing in detail what they should be allowed to drink in the first years of life.” The guidelines recommend that “for the first five years, children should drink mostly milk and water.”

        CNN (9/18) reports, “Most children under the age of five should avoid plant-based milk, according to new health guidelines about what young children should drink” and issued by “a panel of experts with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association.” With the exception of soy milk that has been fortified, “plant-based milk made from rice, coconut, oats or other blends...lack key nutrition for early development, according to” the guidelines.


        4 Groups Issue Consensus Report On Healthy Beverages For 0- To 5-Year-Olds

August 26, 2019
Category: Nutrition
Tags: Milks   Plant-based Milks   Soy   Hemp   Almond   Rice   Malnutrition   Growth Faltering  
Why should all plant-based milks be avoided in infants?


The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against the use of plant-based milks for the first year of life. Liquids, non-dairy “milks,” based on plant foods (e.g., soy, rice, almond, or hemp) should not be used as a human milk or infant formula substitute. The caloric density of these products is typically lower than that of human milk or infant formula; protein quality is low and the protein quantity is low for most such beverages; products may not be fortified with micronutrients to levels recommended for infants and young children; and some contain high levels of phytate, which bind iron, zinc, and calcium. Use of such alternative fluids as a major component of the diet has been associated with severe protein energy malnutrition and with growth faltering. Plant-based milks should not be confused with soy-based formula, which may be appropriate for use in infants (up to 12 months of age) with galactosemia and hereditary lactase deficiency.

July 07, 2019
Category: Nutrition
Tags: pregnancy   nutrition   FDA   Mercury   Fish   Diet Advice  

FDA Updates Advice on Eating Fish for Pregnant Women, Children

Megan Brooks, July 03, 2019

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated advice on fish consumption for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children, putting more focus on the health benefits of seafood.  

"Fish and shellfish are an important part of a well-rounded diet. However, we know many parents worry about mercury in fish and even choose to limit or avoid fish because of this concern. In fact, women in the US who are pregnant are consuming far less than the recommended amount of seafood," Susan Mayne, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a news release.

"Our goal is to make sure Americans are equipped with this knowledge so that they can reap the benefits of eating fish, while choosing types of fish that are safe for them and their families to eat," said Mayne.

Choose Wisely

In January 2017, the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a reference chart to help consumers more easily understand the types of fish to eat more or less of, based on their mercury levels.

The information in the chart remains the same. However, the revised advice issued July 2 expands information regarding the benefits of fish as part of a healthy diet by promoting the science-based recommendations of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The advice pertains to people aged 2 and older.

"While it is important to limit mercury in the diets of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and young children, many types of fish are both nutritious and lower in mercury," the FDA said in the update.   

"The revised advice highlights the many nutritional components in fish, many of which have important roles in growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood. It also highlights the potential health benefits of eating fish as part of a healthy eating pattern, particularly for heart health benefits and lowering the risk of obesity," the FDA said.

Fish provides protein; healthy omega-3 fats; more vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food; iron, which is important for infants, young children, and women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant; and other minerals such as selenium, zinc, and iodine, the FDA notes.

Last month, the FDA announced it would allow certain "qualified" health claims stating that consuming eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids in food or dietary supplements may reduce the risk of hypertension and coronary heart disease.

The FDA continues to recommend that adults eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week based on a 2000 calorie diet.

For an adult, one serving is 4 ounces (about the size and thickness of an adult's palm). Adults should eat two to three servings a week from the "Best Choices" list (or one serving from the "Good Choices" list). For children, one serving is 1 ounce at age 2 and increases with age to 4 ounces by age 11.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume between 8 and 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week from choices that are lower in mercury.

The 36 types of seafood on the best choices list include salmon, shrimp, pollock, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod, flounder, haddock, crab, clams, and sole. Nineteen varieties make the good choices list and include bluefish, halibut, mahi mahi, grouper, monkfish, rockfish, snapper, and striped bass (ocean).

The FDA recommends that everyone avoid seven fish that may be high in mercury: king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), and bigeye tuna.

The updated advisory also cautions that some fish caught by family and friends, such as larger carp, catfish, trout, and perch, may contain unknown amounts of mercury or other contaminants. It advises checking local advisories for information on how often it's safe to eat those fish. If there is no advisory, the FDA advises eating only one serving and no other fish that week.

March 13, 2019
Category: Nutrition
The only site and newsletter backed by 67,000 AAP pediatricians!
Prenatal Baby Toddler Preschool Gradeschool Teen Young Adult
Focus on National Nutrition Month
March 2019 | Issue No. 183
Beyond Chicken Nuggets: Protein-Rich Alternatives for Picky Eaters
When it comes to getting protein into your child’s diet, you don’t have to get into a power struggle or give in to the daily chicken nugget diet. There are lots of protein-rich alternatives for picky eaters.  
New video: Is your baby hungry or full?

In this new video, you'll learn how to understand, recognize, and respond to your baby's hunger or fullness cues. You can practice responsive feeding when breastfeeding, bottle feeding and when providing solid foods. 

Is Your Baby Hungry or Full? Responsive Feeding Explained
Also In This Issue

How Children Develop Unhealthy Food Preferences

The Benefits & Tricks to Having a Family Dinner

Sports Nutrition for Busy Families and Busy Lifestyles

How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat? 

Food and Media: Not a Healthy Mix

June 10, 2018
Category: Nutrition


When do I start giving my baby solid foods?

Lots of parents are excited to start their babies on solid foods. Others are nervous. Starting to eat solid foods (like baby cereal and baby foods, e.g. meats, fruits, veggies, eggs, fish & foul, etc.) is an important part of your baby’s development.

Did you know that babies who start eating solid food too early are more likely to be overweight or obese in childhood and adulthood? This is one more important reason to wait until your baby is really ready before giving him solid foods.

Starting around age 5-6 months, watch for signs that your baby is ready for solid foods.

Pay attention to signs that your  5 to 6 month-old is ready for solid foods. These signs include:


Parent 2 Parent:

"When my first baby started eating solids, I fed him fruits first, which was a mistake. It was a struggle after that to get him to eat any veggies! With my second baby, we started with veggies and meat, and now she eats almost anything I give her."

Feed your baby food made for babies.

Simple baby foods, like homemade pureed vegetables, meats, infant cereals, and jarred baby foods, provide the right nutrition for your baby. 


Parent 2 Parent:

"I couldn’t afford to buy jarred baby food, so I prepared our food without any seasoning until after it was on our plates. I put little bits of unsalted veggies, meat, or unsweetened fruit in the blender separately for my baby’s meal, and he loved it!"

Prepared “grown-up” meals and fast foods can cause an allergic reaction and don’t give your growing baby the right nutrition. Also, they often have many more calories than your baby needs.

Remember: Babies don’t need desserts or sweet treats. Skip the baby desserts.


Safety tip:

  1. If you make your own baby food, be aware  that spinach, beets, green beans, squash, and carrots contain large amounts of nitrates and are not good choices during early infancy.

Have fun with finger foods!

Let your baby try feeding him/herself as soon as he/she’s ready — usually around 8 or 9 months old. Start giving him/ her foods that baby can easily feed self. 


Parent 2 Parent:

"Once my kids were eating table food, I put veggies in everything. So, if I make scrambled eggs, there are vegetables in it. That way, my kids always get some."

Try very small soft pieces (smaller than a dime) of things like:


Parent 2 Parent:

"We always present what we’re eating. We try to encourage our baby to take a bite when we take a bite. It’s like, ‘Oh, look, daddy has peas on his fork, can you put some on your spoon too?"

You can still feed your baby pureed, mashed, and jarred food, too.

Want more information?

Check out these other tips about starting solid foods: