healthy breakfast alternatives

Ask Amanda: Pasta Not Pop Tarts Your Nutrition Questions Answered By Expert RD

I am not a food blogger, but this is my daughter’s breakfast from Friday and I couldn’t help but photograph it.  She was my inspiration for this week’s Ask Amanda: Pasta not Pop-Tarts.

Mornings can be rushed in our house, especially now that school is starting.  I often don’t have time to prepare eggs or the other whole foods that I would ideally like to feed my kids in the morning. However, I am often dismayed at the foods marketed for kids, especially breakfast foods such as waffles and breakfast bars that are loaded with sugar, fat and processed ingredients.  I am finding leftovers from dinner and non-traditional breakfast foods work great!  This past week, my daughter asked for the leftover pasta in our refrigerator from the previous night’s dinner. I took a pause…was this really a healthy option and then decided it definitely was. It had no added sugar, no high fructose corn syrup or other ingredients that are so often in breakfast foods that are marketed for our kids. I heated up the pasta, poured canned organic tomatoes over it and topped it with some fresh parmesan cheese – she loved it!  She even asked for seconds!

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.

nutrition podcast

Back in the Routine: Breakfasts and Dinners for Busy Families

Do you have the time and energy to make sure your family is eating healthy breakfasts and dinners daily? We don’t! Betsy and Jen discuss tips and ideas to getting a well-balanced meal planned and ready for busy mornings out the door, and crazy evenings balancing the schedule of an active family.

probiotic supplements

Should Toddlers Take Probiotic Supplements Ask Amanda: Your Nutrition Questions Answered By Expert Dietitian

Hi Amanda.  I hear a lot these days about probiotics and how they can be good for kids.  Is this something I should consider for my toddler? Does he need a supplement?

This is a great question and a good follow up to the question last week about yogurt and its benefits for toddlers.  Probiotics contain strains of living bacteria that are similar to the healthy bacteria that are found in our digestive systems.  Probiotics help to populate our gastrointestinal tract with “good bacteria” which helps balance or predominate over the potentially “bad” or pathogenic bacteria that can invade our digestive systems.

Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, some cheeses and sourdough bread. While probiotics are found naturally in some foods, there are also dietary supplements that contain higher concentrations of probiotics.  There is some research that has shown that taking probiotics may have health benefits for children.  Probiotics are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with gastrointestinal conditions and eczema in children.  In addition, probiotics are also being studied to boost immune health in toddlers and children.

It is important to remember that not all strains of probiotics are used to treat the same medical conditions. Be sure to consult a health professional before starting any supplemental probiotic regimen for your toddler.

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.


Back to School! Snacks and Lunches

Back to School! Snacks and Lunches

Need to get back into the routine and want a little inspiration? Tune in for lively discussion of lunch and snack packing ideas, a blast from the past Twinkies, and Betsy’s personal plea regarding Goldfish crackers. But seriously…let’s get on board for a great school year with the Feed to Succeed community!

IBS and the low FODMAPS diet

IBS and the Low FODMAPS Diet Podcast Season 2: Episode 7

Have you or your child been told you have “IBS”? Or do you or your child have ongoing GI symptoms of upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, reflux, gas and bloating; but every doctor you’ve seen has said there is nothing wrong?

If so, you will want to hear this week’s podcast! Betsy and Jen explore a dietary treatment option for IBS that has been reported by some to have up to an 80 percent success rate! Not only that, but the diet is short-term and no medicines are required!

How much yogurt is too much

How Much Yogurt Is Too Much?

Do y0u have a toddler eating loads of yogurt? You’re in good company. Recently, a mom asked me the following: I have an 11 month old daughter who loves yogurt. She would eat it all day long. My question is: how much yogurt is too much?

Yogurt is a great food for most babies and toddlers!  A 2-4 oz serving of whole milk yogurt at mealtimes or snack times is perfect!  It is packed with calcium and also has a good amount of calories. Also, since most babies and toddlers are not great meat eaters, yogurt can be good protein source. Unfortunately, most of the yogurt marketed for kids is packed with sugar.  The kids’ section of the yogurt aisle at the grocery store is filled with yogurt with sprinkles, cookie bits and M&M’s.  A good option for an 11 month old is full-fat, plain, greek-style or strained yogurt. If you buy sweetened yogurt or a baby yogurt, look for a yogurt that has 5 grams of sugar or less per serving. You can sweeten yogurt naturally by mixing mashed banana in or other fruits. Lastly, greek-style yogurt stays on a spoon well, so it is a great food for babies and toddlers to eat to practice self-feeding (even though it can get a bit messy!)

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.

Do breast-feeding babies need supplements

Ask Amanda: How Long Should I Breastfeed Your Nutrition Questions Answered By Expert Dietitian

As World Breastfeeding Week comes to an end, I think about a question that I often get asked as a pediatric dietitian and lactation consultant, which is: how long should I continue to breastfeed?

I recently heard a colleague refer to breastfeeding as a journey. I like this description because a journey does not imply a set beginning or end, it depicts a personal path. Breastfeeding is a journey or personal path that can be both rewarding and challenging for mothers and families. The answer to how long a mother should breastfed is: as long as it continues to work for that mother and her baby, whether that is two days, two weeks, two months, two years or longer.

Breastfeeding should be a public health priority in the United States to help support mothers to breastfeed for as long as they want. Feed to Succeed celebrates all breastfeeding mothers, no matter what their breastfeeding journey is or has been!

Food Intolerance

Food Intolerances – Lactose and Beyond Series 2: Episode 6

Food intolerances is one of Betsy’s favorite nutrition topics and personal areas of expertise. Jen and Betsy explore the difference between a food intolerance and food allergy, as well as how to know if you have a food intolerance. Did you know it is more common for adults to have lactose intolerance than kids? But do you know that one out of every three kids has an intolerance to another sugar that can cause very similar symptoms to lactose intolerance? Listen in for more information and simple tips that could make a big difference in your child’s digestive health!

Click here to listen on iTunes

Drink more water

Ask Amanda: Drink More Water Your Questions Answered By Our Expert RD

This week’s Ask Amanda is a public service announcement of sorts from your friendly pediatric dietitian. Most of the kids and parents I have worked with this summer are not drinking enough water.

Water is important for everyone, including toddlers and kids, especially during the summer months when we tend to be outside more. In most cases, for healthy children, water is the very best fluid for hydration. It helps regulate our body temperature, helps with weight control and helps prevent and treat constipation! Dehydration can even negatively affect mood (in other words, it can actually make kids cranky).

It is important to remember that thirst is actually a later sign of dehydration. However, if your kiddos are like mine, they won’t ever ask for water. I try to keep a water bottle easily accessible and whenever I go for a drink of water, I try to offer some to my kids as well. Having water available, offering often and modeling good habits by drinking plenty of water are helpful ways to keep our kids well-hydrated this summer and all year long!

Ask Amanda is a weekly column from Feed to Succeed dietitian Amanda Gordon. Have a question? Email Amanda and let her know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.