omega 3

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

  You’ve probably heard about omega 3 fatty acids and that they are essential for human health. But do you know what they are? Without getting too detailed about the chemical structure of fats, omega 3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats are crinkly in nature, compares to saturated fats, which are flat. Comparison between pile of logs and pile of branches 3 main types of omega 3 fatty acids Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA): High sources: flax seeds and hemp seeds Medium sources: canola oil and  soybean oil, and walnuts Low sources: spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, and other … Read More


Jessica Penner, RDUncategorized2 Comments

Your baby’s first foods should be good sources of iron.  If you choose to concern yourself with any nutrient for your child, this is it!  The unborn baby collects iron from his mother while he’s in the womb so that he has sufficient stores to last him approximately 6 months after birth.  The majority of this iron transfer happens in the last month of gestation. So, if a baby is born early, iron is even more important! What Iron Does Iron is needed to transfer oxygen from the air we breathe to the cells in our body. Oxygen is needed for … Read More

how to choose a box of baby cereal

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

The baby cereal aisle can be a bit overwhelming. There are different grains, fruit mixins, probiotics… and then of course, should you buy organic? For a look at organic food, read this article. Let’s look at the different types. There are two types of infant cereal: Add breastmilk or formula: This kind only has the grain and added vitamins/minerals (some brands also add pre or probiotics). Add water: In addition to the grain and added vitamins/minerals, this type also has milk powder and a vegetable oil (some brands also add pre or probiotics). Essentially, the “add water” variety already has formula powder … Read More

is homemade baby cereal a good idea?

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

There are numerous benefits to making your own baby food: All the ingredients are handpicked by you The food options are endless: you aren’t limited to the foods the manufacturers have chosen for babies Control over the texture: you can gradually change the texture to challenge your baby’s developing eating skills You’re going to save a ton of money! You might as well make your own baby cereal too, right? Wrong. homemade baby food, yes… homemade baby cereal, no? First, let’s back it up and talk about why we start babies on solid foods. It’s because… their iron stores from the womb are running … Read More

can babies digest starch?

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

If you’ve ever googled “infant cereal” you may have come across this damning article on The Food Renegade. Part of the author’s criticism of infant cereal is her claim that babies can’t digest the starch in it.  Here’s a snippet from her rant: This is a classic case of someone with limited nutrition knowledge taking a piece of information that’s correct and then jumping to a conclusion that’s incorrect.  Yes, the enzyme amylase is needed for starch digestion. The enzyme breaks down the structure of carbohydrates in starch into smaller sugar molecules. Yes, babies make very little pancreatic amylase (made in the pancreas and released into … Read More

pros & cons of baby cereal

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

It’s not strictly necessary for babies to feed them baby cereal. Parents can definitely choose other high iron foods in its place. Baby cereal is simply one option parents can choose. Let’s look at the pros and cons of feeding your baby iron-fortified cereal. Pros: Babies need iron, and infant cereal is a good source of iron for them. For maximum benefit, feed along with a food high in vitamin C such as strawberries, oranges, kiwis, red peppers, broccoli, or kale.  Most babies accept infant cereal pretty readily. Other foods with stronger flavours, such as meat or fish, don’t tend to be accepted quite … Read More

a brief history of baby cereals

Jessica Penner, RDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

In the late 1920s Helen McKay conducted studies on young children and noticed a slight decline in iron stores from birth to 2 months, no decrease from 2-6 months, and then another drop from 6 months through to the second year. Before this time, the condition of iron-deficiency anemia, as we now know it, was defined but a cause hadn’t been found. This studied helped to link the nutritional intake of iron to anemia.  During this decade, it was common to wait until a child was 1 before introducing solid foods. First up was a sieved vegetable soup, potatoes at 18 months and then … Read More