Part 2 – The Value and Function of Each Vitamin and Mineral

Minerals needed by the bodyIn part 1 of this 2 part series, I promised you that I would summarize the value and function of each mineral, so that is exactly what I am going to do. By reading over these descriptions, you can form ideas as to which ones you or your child might be deficient in and which ones you might have a sufficient amount of.

Calcium is necessary for: Continue reading

The Value and Function of Each Vitamin and Mineral – Part 1

pediatric nutritionist York RegionOver the past few months that I have been observing my clients’ lab work, I have noticed that the majority of us (both adults and children) are vitamin and mineral deficient. Vitamins and minerals are not usually produced by the body but need to be obtained from food or supplements. I felt it would be helpful to provide you with a brief synopsis of the value and function of each vitamin and mineral in the body. This will be a 2 part series.

Vitamin A

  • Prevents skin challenges, such as acne, wrinkling and age spots.
  • Strengthens the immune system, protecting the body from colds, flus and infections to kidney, bladder, and lungs.
  • Maintains and repairs the mucus membranes in the lungs, throat, eyes and other areas.

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Allergies/Sensitivities Part 2 – How to Recognize Allergy Symptoms in Babies

allergies in babiesIn my last blog post, we talked about the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities and why it is crucial to find out if your child is affected. In this 2nd of 3 posts, we’ll talk about how to recognize allergy symptoms in babies.

Dr. Doris Rapp, a guest on Oprah’s show, has been a pediatric allergist since 1960. She has done incredible research on food sensitivities and allergies affecting children and has written numerous books on the subject. Her observations of reactions to foods i.e. symptoms, starting in the womb, are quite fascinating.
Don’t we often wonder why our babies kick us or have the hiccups when in the womb? And why do our babies become agitated shortly after we feed them? Dr. Rapp says “I have known unborn babies who would hiccup or kick hard enough in the womb to bruise the mother. These mothers should think of what they ate half an hour before the baby started to act this way. If they do, they may be able to figure out what is bothering the baby down in the uterus. One woman found that every time she ate a cannoli her baby began to kick her. The baby was having a prenatal allergic reaction and was attempting to tell the mother not to eat cannolis. The same thing might happen after the baby is born. If a baby is totally breast-feeding and that baby becomes agitated after feeding, that mother should ask herself what she ate the previous meal. The food can come through the breast milk and make the baby sick.” Good Food, Good Mood quotes Dr. Rapp on page 13.

Babies cannot be allergic to breast milk but they can certainly be allergic to the food that that mother has eaten and passed through her breast milk. My daughter, Taylor, had projectile vomiting the first time I consumed dairy and then breast-fed her. What are other symptoms in babies that can be caused by allergies?

  • Colic
  • Excessive drooling
  • Spit-up
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Diaper rashes or any skin rashes
  • Chronic runny rose
  • Multiple ear infections
  • Poor sleeping
  • Frequent coughing/colds
  • Pale face
  • Excessive thirst

What are the most common foods to which babies react adversely?

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Sugar
  • Soy
  • Chocolate
  • Chemicals i.e. chlorine, food dye, additives, etc.
  • Citrus
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Caffeine
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries

But a baby can react adversely to any food. Rice cereal is becoming a common allergen for many of today’s babies. We are also seeing babies react to sweet potatoes and carrots, presumably due to the high sugar content in these foods. No food is exempt from causing a reaction.

What is the most accurate way to determine the food(s) to which your child is reacting? Keeping a food and symptom journal over an extended period of time is the ONLY fool-proof method for determining your baby’s culprit food(s). This involves recording what your baby has consumed on their own or in your breast milk and any resulting symptoms within 24 hours of consumption. The journal will show the patterns e.g. every time he has pureed strawberries, he gets a rash on his cheeks.

Every time your baby is exposed to a food that they don’t agree with, they cannot properly absorb the vitamins and minerals from that food and symptoms result. Please do all that you can to determine and avoid your baby’s culprit food(s)! I am always here to help you if you need me!

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As always, I welcome your feedback. Please share your stories on this topic. Would you like to connect? You can reach me via email or phone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the connect tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Meredith

Zinc – 10 Functions, 25 Signs of Deficiency & Increasing Your Stores

zinc deficiencyLike essential fatty acids and magnesium, zinc is one of the top deficiencies in today’s children. Zinc is probably involved in more body functions than any other mineral. This post outlines 10 functions of zinc, 25 signs of deficiency and what to do if you think you or your child are deficient.

Zinc is crucial for:

  • Thinking (Have you heard the expression “No zinc, no think”?)
  • The proper functioning of more than 100 enzymes
  • Normal growth and development
  • Body tissue health
  • The prevention of cavities
  • Proper sexual development and function
  • The immune system
  • The detoxification of chemicals and metabolic irritants
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • The body’s healing process i.e. wound healing

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3 Top Nutrients in Pregnancy

20022397_sRecently, I began teaching from a new textbook for the Pediatric Nutrition course at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  The book, “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care” does an excellent job of emphasizing the importance of nutrition prior to conceiving and once a baby is conceived.  It correctly states that “No other society is as careless about preparation for pregnancy and birth as our own.”  Here is a summary of the importance of the 3 top nutrients in pregnancy; I think you will find this to be rather shocking information.

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15 Factors that Affect Fertility

factors affecting fertilityInfertility is the inability of sexually active couples to conceive a baby after one year of unprotected sex.  Approximately 14% of couples are infertile and the percentage is climbing.  In a nutshell, our world is more toxic than ever before.  Nutrition affects all aspects of health, including fertility.  Please read on to learn about 15 factors that affect fertility; 5 that can negatively impact it, 5 factors that can increase it and 5 vitamins or minerals that can improve it!

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Vitamin-Infused Popsicles Help Girl with Autism

healthy popsiclesI was teaching pediatric nutrition at CSNN and one of my students shared an incredible story with our class about helping a girl with Autism.  It involved vitamin-infused popsicles. I asked him to share his story with you.

My name is Pedi Mirdamadi.  One of my clients is an 11 year old autistic girl.  Initially, what started off as an effort to help her lose weight has progressed into a loving bond and special relationship that I truly cherish.  Seeing this child on a regular basis allows me to see the effects of food on her behaviour.  Some days she is engaged with me the entire time and we can carry on a conversation.  Other days, she gets off track quite often.  I can see that what she eats is clearly affecting her behaviour; clear indications of food allergies and sensitivities.

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The Radiation in your Child’s Laptop and Cellphone is Harmful

kids and technology radiationDid you know the radiation in your child’s laptop and cellphone is harmful? All electronic devices, whether it be cell phones and towers, computers, televisions, cordless phones, microwaves, or high voltage electrical lines are becoming so commonplace and convenient that we are forgetting the adverse health effect that arise from them.

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What is Causing Today’s Children to be Malnourished?

Sick Child With HeadacheOn Sat July 13th, The Observer announced that British child death rates are ‘a major crisis,’ stating that five children are dying a day due to lack of pediatric skills and a shortage of pediatric consultants.  It also stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that there are 6,198 preventable deaths a year among children up to 14 across 14 European countries, which could be avoided if they tackled children’s health.  Generations ago, children did not need access to pediatric consultants, did they?  So what has changed?  What is causing today’s children to be malnourished? And unfortunately, malnutrition is rampant.

When the majority of the world has more access to healthy food than ever before, why are today’s children suffering so much and even dying?  The majority of adults do not understand the importance of feeding themselves and their children healthy food.   Generations ago, we did not need to understand the importance of healthy eating.  Our fruits and vegetables were made in nutrient rich soil, which contained more vitamins and minerals than even our organic fruits and vegetables do today.  We didn’t have drugs that deplete our bodies of good bacteria needed to prevent all symptoms, conditions and disease.  Chemicals did not exist in our food, water or air.  Flours, sugars and cow’s milk were not refined or pasteurized, depleting them of necessary nutrients and digestive enzymes.   Electro-magnetic radiation did not exist because there were no computers, televisions or cell phones.  Even alcohol and cigarettes were more pure as they didn’t have added chemicals (For more information on the toxicity of today’s world, please see my prior post: Why are the children of today so sick?).

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4 Tips and 4 Food Ideas for Picky Eaters

iStock_000005862776XSmallOn July 4th, a Fussy Foodie seminar was held at Nature’s Emporium by Andrew Muto (chef extraordinaire) and Nanny Robino (who used to star on The Mom’s Show and now works for Slice Television).  I will endeavour to summarize the numerous, excellent ideas that were shared at the seminar.  Here are 4 important tips for picky eaters:

1.  When parents make an issue out of food, food becomes an issue for their child.  If a child knows that their parent wants them to eat a certain food or more of a food, more times than not, that child will refuse to cooperate; this is simply one area of their lives where they have control – let’s face it, there aren’t many.  Therefore, it is paramount that parents say nothing when their children refuse a food or refuse more food.

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