how to raise a competent eater

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Nutrition, Picky Eaters2 Comments

how to raise a competent eater

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting Smart Nutrition. How can we raise our children to be competent eaters? Some kids have it in them naturally. The other day I observed a friend’s family eating dinner. When dessert was served, there were options: chocolate chip cookies, cream puffs, or whole wheat spelt blueberry muffins. My friend’s older son chose the muffin. Her younger son chose the cookie. Same household, same parenting style, two different choices. If your kid chooses fruit over chocolate, you’ve won the kid lottery. No mealtime battles with that one!  But what about the kid who chooses … Read More

Power Up – How To Get Teens To Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Nutrition2 Comments

How to Get Teens to Eat Fruits and Veggies

This article originally appeared in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s health and wellness magazine called The Wave when I worked as a Public Health Dietitian. It was published in September 2012.  Power Up The findings hardly come as a surprise. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, more than half of all teenagers eat less than five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. That’s well under the seven or eight servings a day recommended by Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. What might be surprising is that the lack of fruit and vegetable consumption does not appear to be a result of poor … Read More

3 Key Nutrients for Your Toddler

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Nutrition2 Comments

Key Nutrients for your Toddler

Toddlers need all the same nutrients as adults do, but they are growing fast, developing quickly, and typically very active.  Certain nutrients standout as either being more critical for this age group or more challenging to get enough of. 1. Iron One of the key nutrients for toddlers is iron. 9% of toddlers in the United States are iron deficient. Some great sources of iron include meat, poultry, fish, seeds, nuts, and legumes such as soya beans, lentils, and chickpeas.  2. Vitamin D Another important nutrient, which is needed for proper bone development and a healthy immune system, is vitamin D. Although … Read More

starting solids: how to know when it’s right for your baby

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Baby Health4 Comments

a guide to starting baby on solids

There are many conflicting recommendations about when your baby should start solids.  It can be tough to know exactly when to do it, which can be particularly stressful for parents since there several aspects to this decision.  Reasons to add solids Let’s start with the reasons why baby needs to start eating solids.  Nutrition: To maintain adequate iron stores. Until approximately 6 months, your baby doesn’t NEED food other than breastmilk. After that age, breastmilk can no longer keep up with the body’s high demands for iron and other minerals. Reduced risk of Celiac: There has been some interesting research recently … Read More

why can’t anyone tell me when to start baby on solids?

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Baby Health2 Comments

why can't anyone tell me when to start my baby on solids?

Having trouble figuring out when to start your baby on solids?  It’s no wonder you’re confused, the recommended age to introduce solids to infants over the past century has ranged from 2 weeks to 12 months! Currently, the major health organizations such as the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Health Canada recommend waiting until 6 months. Yet a lot of people (including many pediatricians) believe this is too late.  So who’s right? Why don’t the experts agree? It can be confusing and frustrating to be told different recommendations. The Limitations of Targeting Everybody The recommendation to start at 6 months is aimed at nearly all babies. … Read More

3 things baby led weaning gets right

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Baby Health3 Comments

I have my issues with the baby-feeding ideology known as Baby Led Weaning.  Like many fad diets, it takes a good thing and pushes it to extremes that aren’t helpful and are potentially dangerous. But let’s not throw out the baby led weaning with the bath water.  (ha!)  We’re all positive people here, right?  If you’re not, you’d probably like to be.  Let’s try that out and look at three positive aspects of baby led weaning that you can incorporate into your baby’s eating routines without going full Baby Led Weaning. 1. Pressure Free Eating Under the ideals of Baby … Read More

beef stew for baby

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Baby Health, For Baby, Recipes5 Comments

beef stew for baby

To season or not to season, that is the question. Some people believe that all food given to baby should taste exactly as is, with no flavour or seasoning added to it. They believe that bland food is best for babies and think additional seasoning can be overwhelming for their tastebuds. Others believe that each food should be given separately; no mixing allowed! They believe that babies should taste and get to know each food on its own. The truth is that there is no evidence to support either one. The only rules to seasoning baby food are as follows: … Read More