When Should Babies Start Using Pacifiers

For smooth nursing, the pacifier is necessary for every newborn baby; if not even hungry they want to keep something in his mouth such as his fingers as the baby still wants to suckle. Listed below are some of the things that you must consider before buying the best pacifiers for breastfeeding baby

When Should Babies Start Using Pacifiers

Size of the pacifiers

The pacifier for the newborn baby in the market is available in different sizes which highly depend on the age of your baby. If the size of the pacifier is not suitable for your baby then it definitely will not go to suit them and it may have even cause hazards. Your baby is of 6 months then the size of the pacifier must be small. If you have your baby between the age 6 to 18 months then you must choose a pacifier which is in medium size and if your baby is more than 18 months than the large pacifier will be suitable for him to suckle. The size of the pacifier depends on the shape of the nipple and the material used in it. Also, the shape of the shield plays an important role in the size of the pacifier.

The material of the pacifiers

The pacifier for breastfeeding baby is considered best if it is made up of the material which is of high quality. Most of the pacifier available in the market is made up of silicone and latex. If it is mentioned in the package, then only you must wash it in the dishwasher whereas the nipple made up of silicone is safe for the dishwasher. The pacifier made up of such strong material is sturdier and also it does not retain odors. The material latex used is softer and has more flexibility when used.

Types of pacifiers

There are various types of pacifiers available in the market for your breastfeeding baby. Some of them are:

#1 Basic pacifier

It is also known as the three-piece pacifier which is made up of the material of either silicone or latex and there are many nipples available in different colors and sizes.

#2 One-piece pacifier

This type of pacifier is available in different materials including silicone, latex, rubber and even plastic which reduces the risk of the choking and therefore they cannot be break into pieces. They are available in the market in different colors and shapes.

#3 Stuffed animals pacifier

This type of pacifier is quite cute as it consists of a push doll attached to the end of it making your baby happy to see it and they can also hold it very easily. It is easy to wash them in the machine and you can dry them in air.

Comfortable shape

The pacifier for breastfeeding baby is available in the market only in two shapes as such standard round pacifiers and the orthodontic shape. The orthodontic shape which has the top in round shape and bottom in a flat shape. Although both the shape of the pacifiers are meant to be the best to use and are safe for your babies it highly depends on the choice preferred to your baby and sees how comfortable he is in which shape. The comfortable shape must be kept in mind before buying the best pacifiers for your little baby.


The pacifier for breastfeeding baby you are planning to buy must be free to use for your baby and you must also take care of the hygiene. There are many pacifiers available in the markets that are free from BPA which is mentioned on the package itself. Even the pacifier made up of the material like silicone or the latex does not have the BPA, thus it is highly recommended to be used for your baby as it is safe. Since 1999, it is declared that for your little baby, the pacifier which is free from the BPA is safe for your baby to use.

Easy to clean

Before letting your kid reuse the pacifier to suckle in their mouth, you must wash them and clean them so that they are free from any bacteria and thus becomes safe for your baby to use it. You must sterile it to use it even if it falls on the floor or if your baby is sleeping with it in his mouth. If the package mentions that you can wash it in the dishwasher which is a very easy task for you, then you must take advantage of such opportunity and the silicone material in the pacifier has been designed in such a way that you can wash it in the dishwasher itself.

Affordable to buy

In addition to considering for the shape and size of the pacifier, you must also look for the budget that you can afford to buy the pacifier for breastfeeding baby. Because you only give comfort to your baby if your budget is comforting you and to save money you can buy the pacifier in number when you get to understand which type of pacifier your baby likes the most. S the money speaks, you must buy the pacifier in the cost that you can actually afford and store them in different areas.


We highly hope, with this article you will be able to understand that when should you let your babies using the pacifiers and allow them to be thumbsucker to feed themselves and also comfort themselves. When your baby gets 3 to 4 years in age, they got a very strong feeling to suckle their fingers or anything they want to put in their mind. Even if you are changing their sleeping position or change their rocking session you can get your babies to peacefully sleep and is also help you in getting your baby calm. So, you can buy the best pacifiers for breastfeeding baby.

When to use diaper cream for newborn baby

Every parent has to understand and remember that the soft and smooth skin of their baby is prone to irritation and other problems such as rashes. If they are worried about the diaper rash problem of their baby and searching for the top brands of diaper creams for newborn, then they can get a list of top brands of diaper cream products. They can spend enough time to find out and buy the best diaper rash cream for sensitive skin at this time. They get the absolute guidance when they read honest reviews of successful brands of diaper creams.


Prefer and use the best-in-class nature of diaper creams

Every baby with a requirement to wear a diaper 24/7 is regularly exposed to bacteria-breeding moisture as well as excrement. If you notice any sign or symptom of the diaper rash in your baby, then you have to focus on the latest collection of high-quality yet affordable diaper creams made of a good combination of safe and active ingredients. Parents have to be conscious about how they compare and narrow down a huge collection of diaper creams. They can take note of the attractive things associated with top brands of diaper creams and choose one of these products.

As a beginner to the diaper cream, you have to know about the main purpose of this cream at first. Prevention of the diaper rash in the baby is one of the most important benefits of using the diaper cream. An outstanding quality of the diaper cream forms a good barrier between the soft and smooth skin of the baby and also potential irritants like chemicals in the diaper, excrement, moisture and acids from foods.

A high-quality diaper cream is used to heal an outbreak. This is because this cream has essential ingredients used to soothe and moisture the skin. This product provides a moisture barrier to let the skin to heal devoid of any further irritation. This product is suggested to kill yeast and heal yeast based rashes.


Choose and buy the best diaper cream

Every parent has to be aware of the best diaper rash cream for sensitive skin and the suitable method to use this cream. They can read honest reviews of top brands of diaper rash creams one after another and listen to testimonials from parents who use these creams to heal their baby’s diaper rash. Products associated with the diaper rash treatments are available in different forms like creams, pastes and ointments. A cream is a water-based product which can be easily absorbed by the baby’s smooth and soft skin. This product is designed for soothing the irritated skin as it easily spreads on the affected area.

Apply the diaper cream on time

The frequency for applying the diaper cream is based on the personal preference. Many parents apply the diaper cream on a regular basis as they use this cream as a good preventative measure against the diaper rash problem in their baby. However, some parents use the diaper cream when their child is showing any sign of skin irritation. This is worthwhile to apply the diaper cream in the following situations.

  • When your baby shows signs of irritation or redness
  • When your baby has a rash
  • When your baby has diarrhea and to prevent the irritation from the stool
  • When your baby is pooping black tar poop to keep it from sticking to the skin of the baby
  • When your baby is teething and taking antibiotics as his or her stool may be looser
  • When your baby has sensitive skin and get rash often
  • When your baby is sleeping for long stretches as the overnight is an ideal time for the skin to get ever-increasing exposure to the excrement and moisture

All beginners to the diaper cream collection on online search for the best and easy-to-follow guidelines about where and how to use the diaper cream. They have to understand and keep in mind that the diaper cream can be directly applied to the cheeks of the buttocks of the baby. This is because the main source of the diaper rash is an area between the buttocks’ cheeks and around the anus.

Join Me in Having a ‘World Vision’ for Child Nutrition

My husband, Jeff, and I have decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  It isn’t as random as you would think.  We both love the outdoors and mountain climbing.  Jeff has climbed at least a dozen 14’ers (14,000 -foot mountains) and I have climbed – about 2.  We originally talked about doing it a year ago, but in all honesty, I chickened out!  (See, Healthy Lifestyle Goals of 2010)  But this time, we have filled out the paperwork and paid our deposit.  So, we’re going.  Our expedition, led by Jeff Evans of MountainVisions Expeditions, is set to depart in August of 2012 and my physical training has begun.  This trip is sure to test me in more than physical ways – mental, emotional and spiritual as well!  I am looking forward to the challenge.  We all need to get outside of our comfort zones to keep growing and learning in life, don’t we?
I can’t even think about going to Africa without wondering how children and families live in other countries.  As many of our children in this country are overfed, others in many parts of the world are starving.  It just breaks my heart to think about a child being born into a reality where there is an inadequate supply of food to grow their young bodies.
The great news is that we can help!  Jeff and I have partnered with World Vision, “a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”  They are currently serving 100 countries including Tanzania where we will be going.  In fact, when we go, we are planning to meet our World Vision sponsored child!
Help me help others by donating to our special fundraiser.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 for the food and agriculture fund by next August.  This fund will help provide families with much needed training, tools and supplies to raise and grow their own food.
Depending on your donation, your dollar amount will provide:
2 chickens: $25
5 Ducks: $30
5 Fruit trees: $30
Fishing kit: $40
Goat: $75
Share of a deep well: $100
Sheep: $105
Pig: $195
Alpaca: $360
Dairy Cow: $500
Bull: $715

This Thanksgiving, give thanks by paying it forward and helping another family.  Check out our fundraising page.  Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support our fundraising efforts.  All funds collected go directly to World Vision. No funds raised go toward the cost of the climb.
You are welcome to follow us as we have dedicated a blog entirely to our upcoming climb.  The blog is called, “Will Climb 4Food: Overcoming For a Higher Purpose.”  Come on over and read about our training progress.  We’re hoping to do some posts on our trek!

FREE WEBINAR THIS THURSDAY: Reclaiming The Dinner Table

Would you like to win 6 months of free dinner meal plans that come with their own shopping lists?  Well, then join me for a FREE webinar this Thursday, November 10, 2011 when I discuss, “Reclaiming the Dinner Table.”  Everyone that attends the webinar will go into a drawing to win to use my new recipe dinner plan, “Eat with Angela.”  One winner will be drawn.

familyHere is the information: In today’s day and age, many families are completely separated during a time when they should be connecting – during mealtimes. Schedules are tight, so many are eating on the run instead of having that intentional time to stop, relax and enjoy food flavors and company. And we know that the benefits of having family dinners goes way beyond the benefits of nutrition.
If you are ready to make family dinners a priority in your life, join us for a free webinar. Angela Lemond, Registered Dietitian and family nutrition expert will be discussing all the benefits of family dinners in addition to very practical was busy families can make dinners happen at home.
• Understand the long-last benefits that family meal have on children and families
• Explain how mealtimes are a great time to model healthy eating behaviors to children
• Offer practical meal suggestions that will get dinner on the table fast!
Presentation time: 45 minutes
Q&A: 15 minutes
Regsiter today!  There are two times to choose from:
10:00-11:00 A.M. Central Standard Time
8:00-9:00 P.M. Central Standard Time
Post Halloween: Teaching Our Kids the “Why” Behind Moderation

My 4 ½ year old son, Evan, was on quite a roll this morning!  He started off by telling me his leg hurt.  I asked him if he hit it on something and he said no.  I then explained that when his body grows, it can cause his body to hurt sometimes.  He said, “Oh, I know why!  I think I ate too much candy for Halloween.”  I stopped in my tracks and smiled.  “Really?  You think that’s why?”  He said, “Yes.  Mommy, will you give me something healthy to eat?  I need to make my leg feel better.”  I almost fell over.  I explained to him that the foods he ate for breakfast were actually healthy (whole grain waffles, yogurt, orange juice) so that should make his leg feel better soon.
I think Evan remembered me telling he and his sister about how candy can make them feel “yucky” if they eat too much.  I’ve explained that eating some candy is fine, but eating a lot can make them feel sick and can even take some of their “super powers” away.  Even when I thought Evan wasn’t listening, I think that made an impression on him after all.

My kids, Evan & Hannah, about to head out trick or treating!

As parents, let’s remember to tell our children the “why’s” behind being healthy.  Avoid making associations between food and weight or “to avoid getting granny’s sugar disease,” but instead mention things that matter to them right now.  Evan loves soccer, being strong, smart and running fast.  I tell him that eating healthy foods help him with those things and he gets it.  Get them invested in the healthy lifestyle for their own reasons; it will stick with them for the rest of their lives.  [By the way, he recently started eating broccoli after over 3 years of rejecting it on his plate and now he says it’s his favorite food.  Perserverance in healthy messgaging and exposure pays off!]

Stick with those positive messages, Mom and Dad.  They are listening even when you don’t think they are.  I was reminded today that my son is listening to me. J
Check out my post last year will give you ideas on what to do with leftover candy: Operation Halloween Candy: The Party’s Over! 

Cute Notes for Lunches & Snacks

I was shopping at a local specialty toy store near our home last weekend and came across these super cute notes and stickers especially made for your child’s lunch and/or snacks.  I’ve been using them with the food I send to school for my daughter, Hannah, and she loves them!

This little 4″ x 3″ trifold notes and stickers set is such a neat, compact set of “special touches” that  buttons up nicely and can be stored easily in a kitchen drawer.
When you open it up, there are 3 pockets.  I laid out what each pocket contains.  The right side contain the stickers in each pocket and the left side contains the note cards.  On the back of the note cards are lines where you can write your child a special little note or reminder.
You can purchase these online at Chronicle Books.
Make your child smile by sending sweet notes to school that will make them especially look forward to eating healthy. Order these, or you can start simple by just writing a little “I love you” on a sticky note.  What a great way to make them feel special!
Oh My Gourd (OMG)! Super Easy Roasted Butternut Squash

After such a sizzling summer here in Texas, I am really getting into fall festivity.   The weather here is slowly getting cooler and it feels great! I just love going to the market this time of year and seeing all the gourds so beautifully displayed.  The warm colors remind me of the colors of the changing leaves.  Displaying gourds are such an easy way to add to fall to your home décor;  you can put them in nice bowls as a centerpiece for your dinner parties and warm up the room.  When we think of edible gourds, we commonly think of our famous pumpkin.  But zucchini, squash and some melons also get categorized in the gourd family since they fall in the same plant species.  The orange colored varieties like pumpkin, acorn and squash are high in beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant. They are also rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

Roasting butternut squash is super easy,
and can be a great fall complement to
your family dinners.

Butternut squash is a tasty choice that children have a tendency to like because of its mild taste.  There are a lot of great recipes for butternut squash, but they can be very easy to prepare without a recipe.  For a nice roasted taste, all you have to do is cut one butternut squash in half horizontally and put face up on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.  Scoop out the seeds (you can wash and roast them with a pinch of salt..they are edible!).  Brush the squash with margarine, sprinkle with sea salt and a dash of brown sugar.  Roast it in the oven at 375 for 45-60 minutes until the squash is tender enough to cut with a butter knife.  Cut it up into small squares and serve as a side dish, or if you have more time, add it to some cooked quinoa pine nuts, sautéed onion and your favorite spices for a great flavor combination.  If you want to serve it with an interesting flair, present the roasted squash in-tact and stuff the area where the seeds were with other colorful roasted vegetables.

Take advantage of the great fall vegetables to add a nice, seasonal taste to your family dinners.  Food variety is best for overall nutrition and it also exposes your children to more flavors.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  What’s your favorite easy, but tasty fall recipe?  I’d love to hear from you!

Great Food Products, Nutrition Tools & Resources

Dietitians met for our great, annual conference just one month ago in San Diego, and like I mentioned before, I want everyday, busy families to be in-the-know of what we discuss when we get together and talk food and nutrition.  So, I dedicated three blog posts on my experience while there.  The last two posts I discussed the vision and education that I had, and this last post shares some of the great products and tools that were at the exhibition hall.  These were some of my favorites that were there, so check them out.  (All are active links!)

General Food Products

Stonyfield Farm: my children loved the YoBaby yogurts as toddlers, and we especially like their vanilla yogurt now.

Laura’s Lean Beef: their website has some great, low-fat recipes!

The Laughing Cow: my favorite is the light mozzarella, sun-dried tomato & basil

CalNaturelle Svelte: if you’re looking for a good, dairy-free, high protein beverage that is low in sugar, CalNaturelle Svelte is a great option.  The spiced chai is very tasty!

Silk: overall great soy products, but I like the Vanilla soymilk the best for taste and nutrition quality.

General Mills: great choices overall, but I really like their Cascadian Farm line of products.  Many of them have <10 grams of sugar per serving and at least 3 grams of fiber.

Beanitos: great-tasting chips derived from beans, are high in fiber, low in saturated fat and gluten-free.  I like the black bean flavor!

Daisy: did you know that just 1/2 cup of cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein?  The low-fat Daisy brand cottage cheese has such a great taste.  You can mix it with some fresh berries for a quick, nutrient-rich snack.

GoodBelly makes a special probiotic drink for kids that is great, especially when they are on antibiotics.

Fuctional Foods

GoodBelly: a dairy-free probiotic drink (juice) that contains a proprietary Lactobacillus plantarum 299v strain that survives the acidity of your stomach acids.  It’s a great product for young children because the juice is extra tasty, which assures ingestion.  The website has a great, short video to show how probiotics work and benefit the body.  Take their 12-day Good Belly challenge!

Yakult: a small 2.7 ounce milk-based probiotic drink that contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota, which has some great science behind it for digestive health.

Gluten-Free Products

Udi’s: overall, they have the best-tasting, gluten-free breads and grain products on the market.

Kinnikinnick Foods: good tasting, what I call “sometimes” foods, baked products that are all gluten-free

Amy’s Kitchen: quality vegetarian (many are vegan, some contain cheese) convenience foods; their gluten-free frozen pizzas are very good!  Note: not all of their foods are gluten-free.  Look for their gluten-free label.

Ian’s Natural Foods: great line for kids with food allergies and celiac disease; the gluten-free chicken nuggets are well-received by children and the ingredients are wholesome.

Organizations and Associations

National Dairy Council: excellent website with great resources on lactose intolerance, dairy nutrition and childhood nutrition in general.  Their FuelUpToPlay60 campaign with the National Football League has been making a great impact on the health education.  I got to witness it in action here in Dallas.

National Beef Council: their beef nutrition site is full of great nutrition information.  The old thought that you have to give up beef to be healthy continues to die a very slow death.  Check out their 29 cuts of lean beef fact sheet.  Great info!

U.S. Potato Board: did you know that potatoes are one of the cheapest, most nutrient-rich natural foods for the price?  Potatoes have gotten such a bad wrap and unfortunately, it’s because of the fatty toppings that are put on them.

California Strawberry Commission: did you know that the majority of our strawberries come from California?  Both potatoes and strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges.  Why did oranges get the vitamin C label?  No fair!

Gluten Intolerance Group of North America: I highly recommend joining a local GIG (gluten intolerance group) if you or a family member is gluten intolerant or has celiac disease.  Chances are, there is a group near you.  Although I don’t advocate that everyone try a gluten-free lifestyle like this group promotes, I do think their website is a great resource for those that need it.  They have a great restaurant search.

Dole Nutrition Institute: they have great information on the power of produce; they also have a great kid-friendly section.

Nutrition Tools & Programs

Healthy Steps by Jokari: Healthy Steps is the maker of very helpful portion guidance kitchen gadgets that are very practical.  As you can see, I like to use the word “guide” instead of control.

Nourish Interactive: check out Chef Solis as he teaches kids about good nutrition.  This is one of the best, free nutrition educational websites I have seen.  Lesson plans are categorized by age.

Supermarket Savvy: this site is chocked full of brand names of foods based on your nutrition interest; you can join and have access to up-to-date food product information.  Check out their virtual supermarket!

Papayahead, Inc.: this website has a meal planning database that is FREE and will generate your own grocery list.
Disclosure: I have done compensated work with Heatlhy Steps on creating nutrition education videos.  But everything listed here are my own personal recommendations and not paid advertising.

Nutrition Education Highlights For Families

If I was a mother trying to feed my family healthy, but wasn’t a dietitian, I would hope that someone would give me the highlights of what dietitians talk about when they get together!  Well, here you go, part 2 of highlight series on the ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE).  If you missed the vision that was imparted on us, check out my first post, Vision: Do You Have It?.  This post discusses just some education sessions that apply to families.  Truly, I could do a 20-part series on everything because really everything ties back to families, doesn’t it?

Since I have nutrition specialties in digestive health and immunology, I have a separate section on that for those families that may have a child or family member with a chronic condition.  I am always looking out for you!


Food processing.  There isn’t an official definition for processed foods – anything that has been done to get your food to your table is processing, really.  However, we all agree that minimally processed foods are usually the best choice.  But do know that some processing has been shown to be beneficial.  For instance, our fortification process of grains in the U.S.  has virtually eliminated illness and death associated with B-vitamin deficiencies like pellagra and beriberi.  When you get technical with the words “processed foods”, you do get foods that I recommend for busy families like bagged salad, pre-cut veggies and even dried fruits.  Don’t be completely averse to the reference of processed foods, but instead focus your attention on minimization.

Create a short video showing how
you build a healthy plate with fruits
and veggies on a budget and you
could win some serious cash for
your family!

Update on MyPlate.  The MyPlate website is getting even more full of practical applications for families.  There is an entire section on eating healthy on a budget, you can analyze your own diet quality and you can get personalized plans for each family member.   Anyone want to participate in the MyPlate Fruits and Veggies Video Challenge?   They are giving a lot of cash for prizes out on this one!  There will be 3 winners picked to win $1500, 3 for second place that will win $1000 and 3 “Popular Choice” winners that will each receive $500.

Farm to School Initiatives.  This is a super cool trend that is spreading (not fast enough) across the US.  California is a really good example of how connecting children to food at the farm level grows their appreciation for foods.  I sent an e-mail to my daughter’s school foodservice manager encouraging them to do something in this arena.  Even if you can get them to do a field trip to a local farm, this will give kids a bit more insight than just seeing food on their plates.  Go to the USDA Farm to School site for more information on these type of programs.

Digestive Health and Other Conditions

Gluten-Free (GF) Diets.  There was some interesting investigation presented on current gluten-free products currently sold in the U.S.  Here are the highlights and recommendations:
•Whenever possible gluten-free consumers should choose labeled gluten-free grains, flours, & products made from them.  Even GF flours such as buckwheat, soy, sorghum and millet have been shown to have 29-2900 ppm of gluten!
•When choosing processed foods not labeled gluten free consumers should look for 6 ingredients on the food label, namely wheat, barley, rye, oats, malt, & brewer?s yeast; for starch, starch, & dextrin.  Glucose syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, caramel color, & sugar alcohols that contain wheat must have wheat listed in the ingredient label under FALCPA. (Even when derived from wheat or barley these ingredients are exceedingly unlikely to cause an otherwise gluten-free food to contain 20 ppm or more gluten)
•While gluten-free foods may be allowed to contain < 20 ppm gluten, the vast majority of products tested by Gluten Free Watchdog contain < 5 ppm gluten

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.*   Gerard Mullin, MD, Associate Professor at The John Hopkins Hospital, presented some current research on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and it looks very promising:
• Nutraceutical supplements such as peppermint oil, STW5 and melatonin may be helpful to control IBS symptoms• Commercially available herbal preparation STW 5: bitter candytuft, chamomile flower, peppermint leaves, caraway fruit, licorice root, lemon balm leaves, celandine herbs, angelica root, milk thistle fruit.• Elimination of “FODMAPs” may help a subset of IBS patients with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth [The acronym, ‘FODMAP’—Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Monosaccharides and Polyols—was coined to describe a previously unrelated group of short-chain carbohydrates and
sugar alcohols (polyols). They comprise fructose, lactose, fructo- and galactooligosaccharides (fructans, and galactans), and polyols (such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol).
• Probiotics (VSL #3 showed great results) appear to control IBS symptoms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).*
  The great GI dietitian queen herself, Dr. Laura Matarese, RD, presented on functional and superfoods for IBD.  There was some decent research on things such as high levels of omega-3’s, curcumin, probiotics and diet.  For those that are interested, let me know and I could discuss these with you.

Update on autism and diet.  Dr. Timothy Buie, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School presented an accumulation of current studies and recommendations on autism and diet.  This is the take home as of now per Dr. Buie.   Current studies, including survey studies from complementary providers do not support diet changes for the treatment of autism (*Note: Current studies do suggest that 5-8% of pediatric patients may have food allergy). Some individuals with history consistent with food sensitivity may merit testing or trial of diet.  However, available research data does not support the use of a casein-free diet, a gluten-free diet, or combined gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet as a primary treatment for individuals with autism.  Could GI issues CAUSE autism? Environmental/nutritional factors modulating genetically predisposed individuals.  GI inflammation where some body processes (colitis, allergy, infection) release chemical or immune mediators that affect brain function.  Further studies need to be done.

* If you are interested in trying some of these supplements or nutraceuticals, do check in with your physician and your local registered dietitian first.  They can advise you if any therapies are right for your particular situation and specifically how to implement them if at all.

My last post in this recap series of the dietitian’s conference will be food products and tools that were presented in the exhibit are – that I thought were the best.  Don’t miss it!

Healthy Resolutions: A Healthy Parent = A Healthy Family

Well, it’s the end of the first month of the new year. Have you set any healthy resolutions?  Have you thought about how you plan to make 2011 healthy/healthier for your family?  What message does your personal lifestyle communicte to your children?  I think these are all questions we should contemplate for the sake of our family’s future wellness.

I was contacted by Everyday Health to provide answers to very important questions regarding New Year’s Resolutions and wellness goals. As a big advocate for being a healthy role model for children, I felt it was important to answer these questions for all moms and dads trying to make 2011 the healthiest year yet. Many of these questions discuss weight loss and getting fit, however, they can be used for other nutrition and wellness goals as well.  So here we go!


1) We all make New Year’s resolutions, and often these resolutions involve weight loss or fitness goals. But many of us quickly lose traction and don’t achieve our goals. What are the psychological and emotional reasons behind these failures?

A person truly needs to be ready to make changes.  Any purposeful, positive change in life is rarely an easy thing, so you must be dedicate time and effort.  In those that come to see me for nutrition guidance, I usually can tell in the first session if they are truly ready to make the changes needed to achieve their goal.  Confidence and optimism at the start of any effort are both critical. Confidence certainly feeds into optimism and vice versa. Believe that you can achieve the goals that you set before you. Check your confidence level – and make sure you go into your resolutions with the right attitude.

2) What is the biggest mistake people make when making a resolution?

They don’t get specific enough with that their resolution(s). They cannot just say, “I want to be healthier in 2011.” Well, what does that mean? And how do you plan to go about doing that? Goals need to be written down along with a game plan on how to get there and posted with a completion date. Lastly, choose an accountability partner that knows about the goals you have set and have them follow-up with you on your progress.

Are you setting yourself up for failure when you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit?

I don’t believe so. I believe every single day brings with it a new beginning – a renewed opportunity to head down the optimal path in any area of your life. Your past mistakes should be seen as learning curves, and not as a gauge to how you will do going forward. So, whether it’s a new year, a new month or even a new day – they all bring with it a chance to start fresh.

3) How do you set reasonable, healthy expectations when you resolve to lose weight or shape up at this time of year or any other time of year?

One must resolve not to fall prey of fad diets or quick fixes. Many out there are desperate to get the result and this is the cause of that temptation. Instead, set very specific, realistic and measurable goals that include just a couple impactful nutrition goals and a couple exercise goals. Again, write them down and have someone else sign the document with you for accountability. Re-evaluate those goals and objectives every six weeks or so to work through any stumbling blocks or just to adjust goals to fit your progress. This helps to keep the challenge going as you get closer and closer to your goal.

4) What kind of support should you seek to help you achieve your goals?

I truly believe the guidance of a Registered Dietitian (RD) in the area of nutrition expertise is extremely helpful. RDs are nutrition scientists that practice evidence-based nutrition that are also equipped to assist in goal setting, accountability and practical tools that will help you get there. Dietitians that work specifically in weight management and wellness have experience working with many types of people and can tailor a plan that fits your specific needs. You can find an RD in your area by going to the American Dietetic Association website at http://www.eatright.org/.

5) What are three things you can do to improve your chances of success before you make a healthy lifestyle change?

1. Be motivated to live a healthy lifestyle for more than body weight only. In my experience in working with hundreds of weight loss clients, I find that most of those only motivated by weight loss or attaining a number on the scale are the least successful. But those wanting to have more energy, optimize their health, feel better – are the ones that do better. The cool thing is that the weight takes care of itself! I believe that this is true because the desperation leaves the scene and it allows a person to fully grasp healthy lifestyle concepts. Come to the realization that everything flows from a healthy body and you want to be healthy for more than a jean or dress size. Do you want to be a better parent? Do you want to climb the ladder in your profession? Do you want to positively influence others? It is all more achievable from a healthy and well body.

2. Clear the clutter out of your life. What are you involved in that is keeping you from living a healthy lifestyle? Many times we are involved in too many activities and they are not really nourishing to our lives. You may need to make a life goal list and then tailor all that you are involved in to that life goal list. Bow out of things that do not align to that list.

3. Know what a healthy lifestyle is and what it isn’t. Healthy lifestyles ebb and flow with the changes and adaptations of life. It should not be a militaristic approach that doesn’t allow for flexing. It is the simple changes made over time that have their biggest and long lasting impact.

6) Why is it so hard to keep the weight off after a diet, and what can you do to maintain weight loss?

Many people go on fad diets and they are very impractical – some 500 calories a day or less. Crash diets do nothing to train you for the real world. Again, seek the advice of a Registered Dietitian so they can put together a reasonable plan that will allow for a modest weight loss per week. Modest, but consistent weight loss preserves lean tissue – which is what drives the rate at which you burn calories. We lose lean tissue just by aging. We don’t need a fad diet’s help to do that for us!

But also, much research has shown that people that have previously been overweight need to be even more active to maintain a lower body weight as compared to others that have never been overweight. High levels of physical activity (one hour most days of the week) must be a regular part of a successful weight loser’s life. Other great things have been learned by the National Weight Control Registry out of Brown Medical School. Check it out!

7) Can you rearrange your life in any way to make it easier to avoid diet temptations?

If there is any food in your home or office that sends you into poor eating patterns then I would suggest keeping those foods away to avoid the trigger. Instead, enjoy them in moderation away from your everyday location. Also, your taste buds change as you start eating more nutrient-rich foods. After having lowered sugar and fat in your diet for a period of time, many people find when they go back to eating those foods they seem much richer and more sugary than before.

We also must dismiss all those reasons why a person may eat when not hungry. Be sure to address any emotional reasons why you might be turning to food when making changes to your lifestyle. If needed, seek the help from a counselor or psychologist and they can help you identify your deeper issues here.

8) What advice do you have for people who just don’t like to exercise or who avoid it for other reasons?

I say that a weak heart wants to stay weak. What I mean by that is that your heart is a muscle. When you are sedentary, the heart muscle gets easily fatigued. I don’t know about you, but it’s a scary concept to think about having a weak heart! It’s the organ that pumps blood to everything else. So I say, challenge yourself. Start off slow and observe the feelings after exercise. The body is made to move and must do so in order to be healthy. Don’t’ decide to work out or not to workout based on emotions. Do find something that interests you, but don’t decide to work out because you “don’t feel like it.” I absolutely love running, but there are still times that my mind tries to talk me out of it – and I teach this stuff! Set your exercise goals by detailing what days and times you plan to do them and follow through. I never regret going for a run. On the contrary – I say, “whew. I am so glad I did that!!”

9) When you’re making a resolution to improve your health, who should you recruit to be on your wellness team?

Annual medical checks by your physician are vital. In addition to being followed by a dietitian, encourage your loved ones to join you. Surround yourself with like-minded people and you will be more successful. As your lifestyle changes, you may surely find that the things you used to like to do will change as well. And that may involve a shift in the people you hang out with on a regular basis.

10) It’s easy to make excuses when you’re juggling work and family responsibilities. How can you make time for your resolutions in a hectic schedule?

Prioritize. If you truly feel something is important in your life, you will find the time. Bottom line: If you think you don’t have time for something, it’s truly not that important to you yet.  Ouch!  Yep, I said it.  It’s just the truth.

If you have set any healthy New Year’s Resolutions, I would love to hear from you by commenting below. Or, if you have had past success by setting New Year’s Resolutions, let me know what component(s) of your plan helped to make you successful. Let’s all learn from each other!