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Nutrition

  • 4 Squash Recipes You and Your Baby Will Love

    Easy squash dishes that will feed your whole family.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Winter squash is a favorite in our household this time of year, with acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash abound. Kids and adults love it for its bright color and sweet and earthy flavor! Many families like it with a lot of sweetness added, such as brown sugar and cinnamon, but it’s actually tasty in savory dishes too. Plus, they’re packed with nutrients that are crucial to the pregnant mama and the toddler alike.

    It’s high in vitamin C and Vitamin A that support healthy immunity, which expecting moms need extra of. For toddlers, try using vanilla extract, grated citrus zest, spices like ground nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves or herbs such as tarragon, rosemary and thyme. Below are a few of my favorite family- friendly squash recipes — also suitable for (and loved by) children. Enjoy!

    Winter Squash Fries with Hummus, (10 months old & up).

    Winter squash makes tasty bite-size fries, and your baby will love dipping them in the flavorful chickpea dip. It’s a high-fiber treat with lots of nutrients, perfect for growing bodies and grasping fingers!

    Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):

    1 cup acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch matchsticks
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1/3 tsp. garlic powder
    ¼ tsp. sweet paprika

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    Tags: Nutrition

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  • Baby Food by Stage

    Happy Family’s founder shares some of her favorite recipes for baby.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Baby’s first feeding is a huge milestone. And while we know it’s fun and exciting, it’s also overwhelming and sometimes even nerve-wracking. It’s not always easy to create healthy, nutritious meals when we’re busy or distracted or simply trying to adjust to a picky palette. But, what your child eats during those first few months and years has the potential to impact him for his entire life.

    Nobody knows this better than the founder of Happy Family Brands, Shazi Visram, who’s been helping moms provide healthy food for their babies for 10 years. “From the moment you conceive through your child’s second birthday is a vital period where everything you feed yourself and your child will ultimately shape their healthy eating habits,” she says. “Tastes develop in the womb and these seemingly small decisions will result in big outcomes for your child’s future.”

    Shazi’s celebrating Happy Family’s 10th anniversary in a big way — she just published The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler, with more than 70 easy-to-prepare recipes made with wholesome and easy-to-find ingredients for children from 4 months and beyond, AND gave birth to her second baby, Asha (son, Zane is 6 years old). Below, Shazi shares some insights on balancing her babies, business and book, and provides 3 easy recipes for your baby, no matter what his stage.

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  • 6 Meal Delivery Services for New Moms

    These services take the pressure off putting healthy food on the dinner table.

    Article courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    I used to love to cook — spending hours in the kitchen making healthy, gourmet meals for myself and my (mostly appreciative and adventurous) husband. But eight weeks in my first pregnancy, I was passing out every evening at 8 pm and my husband was ordering Chinese food so often that they knew our order by heart. All plans for an organic, nourishing prenatal diet were out the window.

    There’s so much pressure on pregnant and nursing women to eat healthy but, ironically, pregnancy and new motherhood are not ideally suited for long hours in the kitchen.

    For urban mamas and mamas-to-be who are too busy (or too exhausted) to cook for themselves, this city has everything from personal chefs to a-la-carte catering to take the pressure off putting healthy food on the table.

    Read on to find a meal delivery service that works for you!

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  • Common Pregnancy Cravings and the Science Behind Them

    We all know the trope about the pregnant woman who sends her husband out at midnight for ice cream and pickles. After all, pregnancy cravings can’t be denied! But these cravings are far from a silly joke. There’s a reason behind many of your pregnancy food cravings and why, when you’re pregnant, you might yearn for foods you usually avoid. Many pregnant women experience food cravings, and they’re usually perfectly normal. Most food cravings are safe to indulge in moderation, as long as you’re following your doctor’s advice on health and caloric intake. So what are some common pregnancy cravings, and why on earth do they pop up while we’re expecting?

    The saltier, the better, according to your cravings. During pregnancy, your body’s blood volume increases, so salt cravings could be linked to your body’s demand for higher sodium levels. As your baby grows, your body is demanding much more than usual, which is why the sudden craving for salty potato chips and pretzels can feel so extreme. Try and get that salt craving in healthy ways, like adding a dash of extra salt on a vegetable dish, instead of seeking out processed snacks with high sodium levels.

    You can’t help but spice up your meals when you’re pregnant. Craving spicy foods is common for pregnant women, even for those who usually avoid them. Our taste preferences change during pregnancy, which is why you might find yourself upping the potency on your meals. Another reason you may be craving spice, especially if you love the flavors anyway, is to keep your stabilize your fluctuating body temperature: when you eat hot foods, you sweat, which in turn cools down your body.  

    Fruit can be a binge-worthy treat during pregnancy, too. While the jury is still out on whether or not food cravings indicate a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals, craving fruit can certainly help you reach your goal for micronutrients. Fruit cravings could be for very specific vitamins, like beta-carotene, vitamin-C, or potassium, and as far as pregnancy cravings go, this is one you can probably allow.  

    Red meat is a top pregnancy craving. Even vegetarian women have reported serious red meat cravings while pregnant, which can indicate that this craving is your body asking for protein or iron. Red meat offers a heavy dose of both, so your desire for a big cheeseburger might have merit. Of course, if you’d rather not eat read meat, this can be a troubling impulse. Try eggs, milk, or quinoa and see if that red meat itch is scratched. It might have been your body asking very nicely for extra protein.

    Ice cream and dairy make expectant mothers’ mouths water. Like pickles, ice cream is the most cliche of pregnancy food cravings. It’s also one of the most widely reported. Other dairy foods like cottage cheese, yogurt, and milk (or milkshakes!) are common cravings, too, and could derive from an increased need for calories while pregnant, or to give you and your growing baby an extra wallop of calcium.  

    Pucker up for a sour serving of lemon. Squeezing the juice of an entire lemon into a glass of water isn’t unheard of during pregnancy. It could be that you’re craving lemon, but it’s more likely your body is screaming for uber-sour foods. Your taste buds change with pregnancy (just another of the many, many changes you go through while expecting), so when you crave lemons, rhubarb, grapefruit, or other sour foods, it may be that you’re really seeking a shock to your taste buds.

    Sugary sweets can be an occasional pregnancy treat. Cravings for sugar-laden desserts, candies, and pastries are well-documented amongst expectant mothers. This is a tricky craving, because it’s possible (and very easy, sometimes) to over-do it on the sugar. This sudden interest in everything sweet could be because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, which can affect your scent and taste perception.

    You may feel the urge to load your plate with leafy greens. Like other food cravings, the sudden appetite for leafy green vegetables can be related to your changing taste buds or to your body’s need for a wallop of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens are nutrient-dense and important to include in your pregnancy diet, regardless of cravings. These veggies tend to taste more bitter, so if you find other taste changing during pregnancy, it might be that a kale-craving is actually to sate a hunger for bitter foods.

    Nothing sounds as soothing than those special comfort foods from your childhood. A common pregnancy craving is for a specific brand of food or a meal prepared in a particular way: foods from childhood, which you may have forgotten all about, are new obsessions when you’re pregnant. It makes sense that your unconscious brain is thinking fondly about your childhood when you’re expecting, and food cravings are another way to reminisce. Whether it’s the snack cakes your mom packed in your lunchbox, or your dad’s macaroni and cheese, or a loaf of bread from your hometown bakery, psychological cravings can pack a strong punch. These are the foods that remind you of simpler, calmer times.

    Pickles aren’t a cliche, they’re an actual pregnancy craving. It seems like pickles are the whole package if you’re craving salt and if your taste buds are calling for bolder flavors, like the vinegar blast that pickles pack. Many women also say that they like the crunch of pickles. Who knew pickles were so versatile in their ability to satisfy pregnancy cravings?

    Craving nonedible food is less common, but important to watch out for. Not all pregnancy cravings are for edible foodstuffs. If you’re craving chalk, clay, dirt, or other non-food items, you might have a condition called Pica, and you should see your doctor about it. It’s thought that Pica is tied to an iron deficiency, which is a fairly common issue during pregnancy. Giving into Pica cravings can actually be dangerous for you and your growing baby, so be sure to bring it up at your next appointment.

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  • 4 Ways to Use Leftover Baby Food

    Clever ideas to give new life to baby’s first foods.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    What new parent can resist a great stock-up sale? After all, starting solids is an exciting step, and you want your little one to have the very best. However, what do you do with all that baby food when your little one doesn’t finish it, doesn’t tolerate it or just plain doesn’t want it? Here are a few ways you can repurpose that pantry full of purées.

    1. BODY SCRUB
    Start with:
     Happy Baby Mango Puré e
    Add:
    – Raw sugar
    – A couple drops of essential oils, like lemon and patchouli
    – Coconut oil (room temperature, doesn’t have to be liquid)
    Directions: Combine purée, coconut oil and essential oil into a small bowl until you get an applesauce-like consistency. Slowly add the sugar till desired texture is reached. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.

    Continue reading for more recipes!

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  • Are Probiotics Good for Baby?

    While shopping for baby’s meals and snacks, you’ve probably noticed that probiotics have infiltrated baby’s food aisle. Thought of as the good bacteria in our body, probiotics can confer health benefits. For our little ones specifically, they can do as much as reducing colic and eczema, but can they actually make our babies healthier? That’s the million-dollar question that research is still trying to get at.

    Different strains of probiotics serve different purposes. Doctors, for example, often suggest that the two most commonly known groups — Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium — promote digestive health. Though we need more research to confirm this claim, these probiotics are believed to help move foods through your gut, ultimately assisting digestion and bringing relief to people who suffer from diarrhea, lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. We still know very little as to how probiotics work and what kind of health problems each strain can address. There’s also very little scientific evidence that they benefit anything other than the digestive system. So what do we know so far? Here’s the lowdown on probiotics and how they can benefit your baby’s health.

    Read more on Well Rounded NY

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