starting solids

Podcast: Starting Solids with Your Baby

On this week’s edition of our nutrition podcast, Ellie Trefz, feeding therapist extraordinaire, returns to join registered dietitian Betsy and Jen in a lively discussion about starting solid food with your baby. Solid food is just for fun, says Ellie. Does Betsy agree? What about nutrition and balance? What about preventing picky eating from the start? Listen in to this episode for tips and ideas to prepare for a fun adventure with your infant.

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Infant formula

Podcast: How to pick the right infant formula

Amanda Gordon, infant nutrition expert and lactation consultant, returns to join an animated discussion with Betsy and Jen about choosing which infant formula is right for your baby. With so many choices available, what are the different purposes of each? Does spending more money mean a better product? Not necessarily! Tune in for more info!

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Learn more about our lactation services from our dietitian and IBCLC Amanda Gordon.

podcast weigh and disorderly eating

When Weight is a Symptom of Disordered Eating

Jen and Betsy, along with fellow Feed to Succeed colleague Gia Diakakis, discuss disordered eating among children and teens of different ages. Join in to hear more about signs, symptoms and prevention. 

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Eosino with Dr. Vince Biank

Eosino-WHAT??? with Dr. Vince Biank Season 2: Episode 3

Jen and Betsy are very excited to share this informative and eye opening interview with Dr. Vince Biank, pediatric gastoenterologist at North Shore University Health System! Listen in to hear about reflux disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis, an uncommon allergic condition that can’t be picked up during typical allergy testing. Not to be missed for anyone who’s child has struggled with reflux, difficulty swallowing, poor growth, and environmental allergies.

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Breast is best!

Congrats Gia Diakakis, RD on the birth of her first baby, Theodore Peter! What does a RD do in preparation of having a baby? She researches food, of course! For Gia, this meant completing a “Breastfeeding Basics” course at Evanston North Shore Hospital, which further increased her desire to breastfeed. She wrote the following prior to her maternity leave.

In working in the field of nutrition for the past 5 years, I have been made aware of the benefits of breast-feeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to breast feed until 12 months of age. If you’re like me, it’s important to understand the rationale behind something before you jump on board.

So why is it so important to breast-feed and for a full year? To begin, breast milk, specifically colostrum, provides important antibodies to newborn infants and helps to build their immune system starting at birth. Infants also receive vital fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which plays an important role in neurodevelopment. A mother’s breast milk is also specifically made to nourish the infant and provide appropriate proportions of calories, fluid, carbohydrates, fat, protein and micronutrients (for healthy newborn/infants). Lastly, studies show that children who breastfeed longer, drink water and consume vegetables and fruits more often at six years of age compared to infants who were not breastfed. They also consume less fruit juice and sugar sweetened beverages.

Much of this is common knowledge, but how about the impact breast milk and breast feeding has on intelligence? The American Academy of Pediatrics completed a study that looked at academic outcomes in children that were not breast fed, breast fed less than four months, breast fed four to seven months, and breast fed eight moths or more. They monitored their academic outcomes from 8-18 years of age. One of their findings was that those children who were breast fed eight months or more, had mean scores of 0.11-0.30 standard deviations higher than scores of those children who were never breast fed. They explained it well when they wrote,

“Increasing duration of breastfeeding was associated with small, detectable, and generally consistent increases in childhood cognitive outcomes from the age of 8 to the age of 18. Breastfed children had higher mean scores on tests of cognitive ability; performed better on standardized tests of reading, mathematics, and scholastic ability; were rated as performing better in reading and mathematics by their class teachers; had higher levels of achievement in school-leaving examinations; and less often left school without educational qualifications.”

I have been told numerous times how difficult breastfeeding can be and will be. I am going to keep these encouraging pieces of information with me when I feel like I want to give up (which I have been told will likely happen). Wish me luck!