Food Cravings: Consuming Peanuts and Soy During Pregnancy

Originally published on NY Metro

Are you craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich during your pregnancy? Did you religiously consume soy products like yogurt and milk before your pregnancy, but aren’t sure if you should continue to do so? Manhattan nutritionist and mother of two says it’s OK!

pregnant woman with foodMy friends used to glare at me when I ate peanut butter and soy yogurt while pregnant. They, like many other moms, believed in the notions that parents should not introduce nuts or soy to children younger than 2, solid food to infants younger than 6 months, and food like nuts, nut butters, and anything with soy while pregnant.

I loved these foods too much though; peanut butter and soy yogurt remained a primary means for me to consume protein, fat, and calcium for the duration of my pregnancies. To my content, after giving birth, I received my Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network newsletter, confirming that there was no such relationship between these ingredients, food products, and allergies. Since then, neither of my boys has developed any type of severe food allergy either.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you, your babies, and what the latest research says on consuming allergenic products while pregnant, breastfeeding, and in the first years of life.

Food Exposure While Pregnant

If you’re the kind of mom who, like me, relied on peanut butter sandwiches for simple grab-and-go lunches while pregnant, don’t feel guilty if your child has developed a food allergy. There is plenty of proof that ensures that this is not your fault.

Eliminating specific foods during pregnancy and/or while breast-feeding, prolonged breastfeeding, and delayed weaning have not been proven to prevent the development of food allergies. New research actually suggests the opposite—that this may be the ideal time to expose children to sensitive ingredients in order to induce a natural tolerance to such items.

Rather than obsessing over which foods to limit, focus on eating a variety of items on a daily basis. Identify your cravings, and be sure to consume enough calcium and omega 3 fatty acids in a moderate manner. Craving chocolate and peanuts? Don’t eat them in excess every day. Instead, rotate the foods you love and incorporate a variety of ingredients from one meal to the next.

If you are still afraid of what ingredients like nuts and soy may trigger, try using a four-day rotation that’s known to help individuals with food intolerances. For example, if you have eggs on Monday, don’t eat them again until Friday. While this may require extra thinking and work, the four-day rotation can help to calm even the most cautious mom’s fears.

When to Introduce Food to Infants

Back in the 90s, when I studying nutrition and was pursuing my RD certifications, I learned that it was appropriate to introduce solid foods to babies between 4 and 6 months. By the time I had given birth to my first child in 2006, the word on the mommy block was to delay the introduction of solids until at least 6 months or older in order to prevent the development of allergies.

Current research conflicts with this proposal. Jonathan M. Spergel, MD, Ph.D., and chief of the Allergy Sector at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says, “Delaying food introduction after 6 months could be even more detrimental in regards to developing a food allergy.” One study, reported in Pediatrics, supports this theory, suggesting that introducing solid foods at a later age was associated with an increased risk for allergic sensitization to food and inhalant allergens by the age of 5. Another proved that introducing cow’s milk, chicken, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and gluten before 6 months was not significantly associated with eczema or wheezing at any age.

So remember, while there are always exceptions, the general consensus is that introducing solid foods between 4 and 6 months of age is actually associated with the lowest allergy risk. In other words, it’s during this time, before the 6-month-old mark, that it may be best to incorporate solid foods during mealtime.

How to Introduce Peanuts and Tree Nuts to Toddlers

Based on current research, parents do not need to delay the introduction of peanut butter or nut butters until their toddler is 2 or older. However, you should wait to introduce foods that may put your child at risk for choking, such as the actual nut itself.

Also take note that nut butters are highly sticky and can get stuck on the roof of your child’s mouth. If you do choose to feed them nut butter, be sure that they have developed sufficient tongue strength and motor skills to swallow the spread. Serving these sticky products in between two soft pieces of bread may help prevent choking or difficulty chewing as well.

If there is a family history of food allergies to peanuts, nuts, or any other food, a medical physician and registered dietitian should always be consulted. Many times, the pediatrician will try exposing the child in a medical setting if anaphylaxis is of concern.  Another option to consider, of course under the recommendation or supervision of your child’s pediatrician, is to test the potential allergenic food at home with an antihistamine available in case there is an allergic reaction.

Feeding your pregnant body and your growing baby can be a joyful and exciting, not to mention delicious, period of your life. Relax knowing that you can dine on your favorite foods while sporting your bump, introduce solid foods to your bundles of joy between 4 and 6 months old, and even let your little ones nibble on some nutritious nut butter at some point before age 2.

What's on our "Q"?

 The Skinny on Shakes for People With Diabetes

With so many meal replacements on the market, but how do you pick
which one is best? Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor. It can
be important to consider the sugar, carbohydrate or even protein content.11 Nutritious, Kid-Friendly Finger Foods

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Check out this easy to follow recipe made
from lean turkey breast, which helps turn this usual calorie fest into something
a bit healthier. And while your at it, make sure to check out the Mango Tango Tortillas!

Jet-Set With Your Picnic Basket! Fun Theme Ideas for Lunch

Themed picnics are a great way to incorporate entertainment, flavor, and
even education into a family outing. Add a clever theme to your picnic by
incorporating foods from another city or, better yet, from around the world!

Also in “Q”: Remember to tune in for Restaurant Week 2012 recommendations, this Wednesday AM on CBS’s W1NY!!

 

The Weight of the Nation

Did you know that 1 out of 5 of kids drinks three or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, accounting for an extra meal? With Mayor Bloomberg proposing a ban in New York City over sugary drinks and the Disney channel banning junk food advertisements, it’s no secret that America is facing an obesity epidemic. Along with childhood obesity rates on the rise, chronic heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes have also increased over the past few years. Type 2 Diabetes, which  was once primarily diagnosed in old age, is now a common medical concern in children. While obesity-health related problems have been a looming crisis for quite some time, recently HBO launched a documentary, drawing quite a lot of attention to  the nation’s obesity crisis. The Weight of the Nation: Confronting America’s Obesity Epidemic, is a four part series focusing on consequences, choices, children in crisis, and challenges. To those who believe that the root of childhood obesity stems from a lack of parental responsibility in educating their children or a lack of exercise, Weight of the Nation presents viewers with an all-around perspective on the complexity of the issue.

Obesity is very complex and the documentary does a good job highlighting the many factors that contribute to the issue like poverty, genetics, food culture, personal responsibility, environment, issues of diet and lack of exercise. Issues with childhood obesity are caused in part by a lack of nutrition education, over-processed school food lunches, the overwhelming access to nutrient-poor foods conveniently located everywhere you go, and how video games and electronics have replaced outdoor and sport activities as a means for childhood entertainment. If the weight epidemic is not addressed,  Americans will eventually wind up paying even more for the cost of treating obesity-related illness. As obesity contributes to 5 of the 10 leading causes of death in America, it has added a whopping $150 billion to health costs now and according to the documentary, may hit or exceed $300 billion by 2018.

While the various factors that make solving the obesity epidemic seem nearly impossible, the biggest take-away from the series is that the nation’s weight crisis can be reversed. While some critics point out that the series is “too blunt” or “too graphic,” The Weight of the Nation is a wake-up call, drawing awareness to the depth of the problem and most importantly, a chance for us to fix it. Whether it’s taking the stairs or walking to work, change begins with the individual and we can start by integrating physical activity into our daily lives. In fact, the documentary points out that losing as little as 5% of your weight can improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and also lowers diabetes risk by nearly 60% in people with pre-diabetes. The show’s statistics, backed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Medicine among others, shows hope that even small improvements can make a difference.

 

 

 

The Vogue Milk: Which milk is for you?

The Vogue Milk

Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services, NYC

Almond, Cashew, Cow, Goat, Hemp, Oat, Rice…

Almond Milk

Gone are the days of whole, low fat, no fat milk. Now one can choose milk from other animals such as a goat or from other plants like hemp! Whether you have food allergies or practice a vegan lifestyle, milk options are as plentiful nowadays as fast-food. But which option is best suited for you? Moms, these milks are not equivalent to breast milk and or formula and should therefore never be substituted for a child less than one year old.

Milk’s Muscle: Most Important To Consider –  First and foremost consider the percent of calcium, Vit D, and Vit. B12; next consider how many grams of protein, calories, and for some people even the level of carbohydrate.

For Vegan or Even Vegetarian Diets: Almond, Cashew, Oat, Hemp or Rice – look for a milk high in calcium with at least 30-50% calcium. The milk should have B12 since B12 is otherwise deficient in a vegan diet.

For Food Allergies (spec. food allergies like dairy and soy): the right choice is rice milk but make sure it is enriched in calcium, and Vit D. Be sure to get protein through food, since rice milk is not a significant source of protein.

For Food Intolerances: If you have lactose intolerance you may want to try soy, oat or cashew milk. Goats’ milk does have lactose however each individual must experiment with each type of milk to see what is most easily digested.

For Diabetes: Consider unsweetened soy milk for only 4 grams of carb/serving (Silk Brand specifically).  Be wary of flavored milks and milks lower in protein (< 6-8 grams pro/serving).

For One Stop Shopping: Consider skim milk or 1% for great taste, a good source of  calcium, Vit. D and protein. It is equal to one carbohydrate exchange being that one serving of milk equals 12 grams of carbohydrate.

For Children ages 1-2: Whole milk is recommended between ages 1 and 2 unless a child has a food allergy or has been advised otherwise by their medical doctor.

Fresh Press Pickings for April

Click below to stay fresh on Laura’s recent media adventures:

  • The 5 E’s Of Easy Eating Healthy on PageDaily
  • Top Five Servingware Products for a HealthyKid-Friendly Kitchen on MomsTown
  • Laura Dishes on Kiss Feeding with HLN:
  • Meat Your Match: Does Beef Really Kill? on Zeel
  • 9 Ways to Sneak Nutrient-Dense Foods Into Your Diet on Zeel
  • Laura shares her expertise with May 2012 Cosmopolitan readers on page 236

What’s In Your Coconut Yogurt?

 

So Delicious Dairy Free Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt is one of the many yogurt options for people with lactose intolerance or an allergy to dairy. I love yogurt! Yogurt, especially greek yogurt and soy yogurt are two of my favorite foods to eat as part of my breakfast, lunch or snack. When choosing an alternative to dairy yogurt, you may find a long list of ingredients. Below find a breakdown of the coconut milk yogurt ingredients and what each means for your health.

Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM, WATER, GUAR GUM, XANTHAN GUM), ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, PECTIN, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN), TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ORGANIC RICE STARCH, LOCUST BEAN GUM, LIVE CULTURES, CARRAGEENAN, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, VITAMIN B12.

  • ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM: A product very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. It is a smooth, thick liquid made from fresh coconuts. It is thick and very sweet and has a paste-like consistency.
  • WATER: H2O
  • GUAR GUM: A gum found in the endosperm of the guar plant. It is used in desserts, baked products, ice cream and other products due to its ability to stabilize and gel.
  • XANTHAN GUM: A microbial exudates gum produced by Xanthomonas campestris. It is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent.
  • ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE: Like regular sugar, it is a sweetener made from sugar cane,  but the juice does not undergo the same degree of processing that refined sugar does. Therefore, unlike refined sugar, it retains more of the nutrients found in sugar cane.
  • PECTIN: It is produced commercially as a white to light brown powder, mainly extracted from citrus fruits, and is used in food as a gelling agent particularly in jams and jellies. It is also used in fillings, medicines, sweets, as a stabilizer in fruit juices and milk drinks, and as a source of dietary fiber.
  • CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN): A complex carbohydrate that is a polymer of fructose. It is not digested so it contributes fiber and can be combined with carrageenan to create a creamy texture.
  • TAPIOCA DEXTROSE: A simple sugar derived from the tapioca plant.
  • ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT): A product used to form gels and films. It is a gum with mannose and guluronic acid as its principal components and with numerous salts resulting from the presence of sodium, potassium, and ammonium ions.
  • MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive that provides a source of magnesium.
  • TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive that provides a source of calcium.
  • ORGANIC RICE STARCH: A commercially refined starch derived from rice. It is used as a thickener and stabilizer.
  • LOCUST BEAN GUM: From the seed of evergreen trees, it gels with xanthan gum  and helps stabilize products such as ice cream, bologna, and sauces. It can replace up to half the starched used for thickening. It also enhances fiber content.
  • LIVE CULTURES: Living organisms, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which convert pasteurized milk to yogurt during fermentation. These may act as probiotics and help improve gastrointestinal health.
  • CARRAGEENAN: A seaweed extract that has the ability to interact with protein to aid in the stabilization of products. It is easily cross-linked with other gums.
  • DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive used for protein stabilization.
  • VITAMIN B12: Added vitamin.

Spring Pickings

Celebrate Spring with Fresh Fruits and Veggies!


CSA Box
New fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Eating local and seasonal allows you to get the freshest and most nutrient dense produce. Visit your local famer’s market to see what looks bright and crisp. Many farms offer one day opportunities to pick your produce for fun. NJ/NY residents can even pick their own produce at farms like the New WIndsor Farm in NJ. If you don’t want to pick your veggies, you can find out what is in season by searching online.  NY/NJ friends can learn more here. To truly get back to wholesome basics, start your own garden or consider joining a Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) Farm. CSA Farms are great for city dwellers with busy schedules and minimal planting space. CSA’s are located throughout Manhattan or deliver your seasonal produce weekly to your door. You can find out more about CSA’s in the Metropolitan area here and here.

What’s in season for Spring in New York?

Early Spring Fennel, Garden Peas, Parsnips, Snow Peas,Turnips

Mid Spring Asparagus, Lettuce, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach

Late Spring Apricots, Broccoli, Cabbage, Strawberries, Summer Squash

Here’s a nutritious kid-friendly recipe using one of my favorite Spring fruits: Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes

Strawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes via TasteSpotting/Adventures in Cooking
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup diced strawberries
(Serves 2)
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the oil and milk, whisking until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet. Fold in the strawberries. Heat frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and cook until there are bubbles on the surface and the edges start to firm up, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is nicely browned, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with a glass of low-fat milk and extra strawberries for a delicious breakfast the whole family can enjoy! 
Recipe adapted from Savvy Eat

Mom's Universal Snack List For School

Snack Ditty from Eco-Ditty

 

So it seems many schools have a suggested snack list. Moms keep asking what is appropriate for snack and how do you make a balanced snack choice. In honor of National Nutrition Month (Get Your Plate In Shape), here is my recommended snack list. You can modify if your school follows Kosher or Allergy Free guidelines. Happy Snacking!!

Suggested foods that are ideal for health and growth:

Organic and or local foods especially dairy and fruits; No added sugars are highly encouraged. Please try to buy products with sugar as the third ingredient or more, no preservatives and no artificial colors.

 

The children often enjoy participating in the shopping for their snack week. Let them help you choose snacks for the week. Try to purchase seedless varieties when possible especially for the 2’s and 3”s. Older children may be open to varied textures and more robust flavors.

 

Refer to Web MD’s To Buy or Not Buy, Organic: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic

Chemicals in our food: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

 

Please remember to bring enough snack for ___ children for the entire week.

 

Snacks: We recommend serving a healthy protein and or healthy fat (real cheese, hummus, edamame), and 1-2 carbohydrates, 1 whole grain (spelt pretzels, multi grain cheerios), and 1 fruit or vegetable equivalent (organic apples, clementines, carrots). There must always be a fruit or a veggie option on a daily basis.

 

Beverage: Water only.

Protein/Fats: Choose 1/day to serve

Real Cheese:  Mozzarella, Cheddar (the sticks tend to be very popular)

Hard boiled eggs,

Hummus, Guacamole

Edamame

Greek yogurts (Oikos), Yogurt Squeeze (Stonyfield or Horizon, no Danimals)

Olives

Soy Butter, Sunflower Butter (class specific)

 

Carbohydrates: Whole Grains: Choose 0 -1/day to serve

Ak-Mak crackers, Wholegrain crackers (Kashi), Kalvi Rye Crackers

Baked Tortilia Chips, Kale Chips

Multigrain Goldfish

Multigrain cheerios or cereal

Whole Grain Rice Cakes

Whole Wheat Matzos

Natural Air Popped Popcorn (Bearitos and Naked Popcorn)

Spelt, whole wheat or whole grain pretzels (Snyder’s, Annies Organic)

 

Carbohydrates: Fruits and Vegetables: Choose 1/day to serve

Organic Apples

Unswtned organic applesauce

Bananas

Organic Blueberries

Carrots

Clementines

Cucumbers – peeled and sliced, seedless

Dried fruit with no added sugars and or oils

Organic Grapes

Melons – seedless

Organic Pepper Slices

Organic Strawberries

Salsa

String-beans

Organic raisins

Or any fruit/veggie your child loves!

Love Your Heart With Oats

Love Your Heart With Oats

The oats found in oatmeal are a rich source of beta-glucans which provide a source of dietary fiber to the body. The beta-glucans found in oats and other grains such as barley and rye contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and can also regulate blood glucose levels due to the way it is digested in the body. The insoluble fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular! Beta-glucans have also been claimed to boost immunity.

 

5 Tips for Getting the Grains:

Add oats to a cookie or muffin recipe.

Include barely in soups and stews.

Swap sprouted barely bread for other sandwich breads.

Hide oats in your turkey meatloaf.

Start your day with hot oat bran cereal and slivered almonds.

Recipes to Rave About:

American Heart Association’s Oat Recipes – http://bit.ly/y8KOq9

Heart Healthy Living has a list of 21 oat and oatmeal recipes so you can have a nutritious breakfast that never gets boring. (Oatmeal also makes a great snack!)

http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/cholesterol/lower-cholesterol/healthy-oatmeal-oat-recipes_ss1.html

Picture: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=901″>Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

Happy Heart Month (and Day) Part 2

You need to love yourself, in order to take care of yourself. On this Valentine’s Day, learn to how to keep your heart healthy. Get you cholesterol and coconut questions answered!

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

www.MomDishesItOut.com

Q)   Does eating cholesterol really impact cholesterol level?

We have know for years that saturated fat is the true culprit to raising LDL production by our body. One should decrease their saturated fat intake to decrease their LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein- aka bad cholesterol). Many people have misunderstood this for years. The focus should not be on a cholesterol free product such as palm oil but rather a lower saturated fat and higher monounsaturated fat like almonds. Decreasing dietary cholesterol intake lowers your LDL about 3-5% where as decreasing your saturated fat intake decreases your LDL by 8-10% as reported by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

Q)   Will this depend on other nutrients that the food contains? If it’s not, what does impact cholesterol levels then?

Yes, levels of saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, exercise, stress and genetics all effect our cholesterol levels. A favorable fat profile of a food should look like this >Monounsaturated fats> Polyunsaturated Fats> Saturated Fats (need more research as to which saturated fats may be more beneficial).

 Q)   What about coconut oil and is it true it may help you to lose weight?  

The American Dietetic Association does not recommend consuming tropical oils such as Coconut oil. According to the Natural Medicines Database, ”there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of coconut oil for weight loss, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and thyroid conditions.”

 Q)   From the types of saturated fats such as stearic acid, lauric acid, etc, are there any with health benefits?

Per the research I have found, there are not saturated fats with absolute health benefits. To be prudent, one should continue to limit their saturated fat intake at this time and replace them with unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For additional reference there is a chart that clearly identify the roles of saturated fat on medscape: Role of Different Dietary Saturated Fatty Acids for Cardiometabolic Risk, By David Iggman; Ulf Risérus Posted: 04/28/2011; Clin Lipidology. 2011;6(2):209-223. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

 

 

Picture provided by: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=982″>Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>