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baby food



Leave Baby Food to the Babies – Not Your Diet

Baby food is for babies? Not exclusively. Hollywood A-listers are eating baby food now. The Baby Food Diet, made famous by Tracy Anderson, is for those who want to control their food portions and curb cravings with pureed fruits and veggies. The diet works for celebrities, but for those who would rather not revert back to their infant days it isn’t an ideal diet.

I asked our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD if the serving size of a baby’s jar would satisfy grown adults? She tells us, “No. A little four-ounce jar of pureed baby food ranges from 40 to 80 calories, and so an adult would need many, many little jars if the diet consisted only of baby food.”

The jars of baby food might make reasonable replacements for snacks during the day, but frankly, just eating the whole fresh fruit or vegetable is going to be far more satisfying, as many if not less calories, and none of the preservatives or other additives common to jarred baby food.
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Can You Follow the Baby Food Diet in a Healthy Way?

The Baby Food Diet has taken Hollywood by storm but as more Americans who want to lose weight are jumping on the jarred, pureed food bandwagon, nutrition experts and parents are questioning whether the diet is safe and effective.

“Meeting adequate nutritional needs while following a diet that promotes eating small portions of low calorie pureed foods isn’t so easy,” said Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and mother of three. “Jars of baby food vary from 15 to 100 calories so it can really be up to the dieter to mix and match various food groups to meet dietary needs.”

While eating baby food alone can put a person at risk for certain vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, there are variations to the diet that can make it healthier, more accessible and more sustainable.


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Breastfeeding Debate Irrupts in the UK

childIn 2001, the World Health Organization that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies until six months, but now some scientists are worried that this practice may be harmful. An article published in the British Medical Journal presented evidence that failing to introduce any solid food before six months may increase a baby’s rick for iron deficiency, anemia and celiac disease.

However, Mary Fewtrell of the University College London Institute of Child Health says few mothers are able to follow the WHO guidelines, which were also recommended by the UK’s government starting in 2003. Fewtrell said that most mothers find that their babies want more food than they can provide before six months, and that few mothers feed their children exclusively breast milk before the age of six months. “About 1% were doing it in 2005, although probably more now,” she said. “But only about 20% breastfeed at all at six months. It is not a common behavior.”


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One Third of American Babies are Obese

A heart-breaking new statistic that all parents should be concerned with has just been released by MSNBC.com: nearly one third of all U.S. babies are too fat.

The long term study was comprised of more than 7,500 infants from across the country who were all born in 2001. By the time the infants were nine-months old, 32 percent were considered overweight or even obese when compared to the standard growth charts developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When the children were two-years old, the percentage had increased to 34 percent.

Luckily, just because your baby is a little chunky now does not mean he/she will be an obese adult – if you start making changes now.


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Infant Formulas Cause Differing Growth Rates

Doctors and scientists have long known that formula fed babies gain weight faster, and are heavier, than breast fed babies. It’s been surmised that the differing growth rate has to do with the composition of the formula, which is cow based. Recent studies support this idea.

Researchers know that free amino acids and proteins increase satiety in adults. They wanted to see if infants had the same result. Headed by Julie Mennella, PhD, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia randomized 64 healthy term infants whose mothers had already chosen formula over breast feeding. The babies received either cow’s-milk formula (Enfamil) or protein hydrolysate formula (Nutramigen) from ages 2 weeks to 7.5 months. By the end of the study, those infants who received the Nutramigen had weight-for-length and weight-for-age scores closer to normal than those infants who received the Enfamil, or an average of two pounds.  One of the reasons for the faster weight gain may be the comparatively higher consumption of the cow’s-milk formula despite both formulas containing the same number of calories per ounce, as reported in the journal Pediatrics.


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