One push at a time…

 

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This is a little funny, depending on your maturity.

As a dietitian, I never thought a large part of my day would be analysing stools (in other words..poo!), and I NEVER thought I would be excited by a formed, smooth or brown colour poo! Many times I have arrived at work and my patients mothers have kept a dirty nappy ready for me, had little urine jars brought to me and seen numerous photos of babies poos! Yes…it is gross, but it is a natural process and for some children passing a ‘stool’ it can be extremely painful, uncomfortable and end up in tears and this could be simply due to lack of fibre and fluid in their diet.

Constipation among children is a common issue and usually happens around the time of toilet training or after a frightening bowel movement!

What will my bub do if they have constipation? 

  • Stomach cramps (pain comes and goes)
  • Your child to feel less hungry than usual
  • Irritable behaviour
  • Anal fissures (small splits of the skin at the anus/bottom) – which cause pain and bleeding at the anus (bottom) when passing poo. Straining (pushing hard) to pass a large, hard poo can cause anal fissures.
  • Holding-on behaviour to avoid doing a painful poo, such as squatting, crossing legs or refusal to sit on the toilet.
  • hHard lumps of poo might be felt when pressing the abdomen

Dietary Changes:

Giving your child enough fibre may help with constipation, here are some ideas to add more fibre to your child’s diet:

  • Aim for at least 2 x fruit serves/day (keep the skin on).
    Fruits with peel such as plums, apples, pears, apricots, peaches have loads of fibre
  • Aim for 3 x vegetables/day
  • Offer wholemeal/wholegrain breads and cereals. bran cereals, shredded wheat and oatmeal. Avoid white breads, refined cereals such as cornflakes and rice bubbles
  • Add prunes to cereals or dilute prune juice with water

Make sure your child drinks lots and lots of water!

Encourage physical activity, moving around will help get the bowels moving

This is a good indicator to rate your child’s bowel motions: 

Briston

Hope you did not read this during your dinner time!

New experiences…..new foods…..new tastes……

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This week has been all about change.

I have finally kicked started my career in an amazing hospital (The Mater Hospital), moved 957km away from home (Sydney to Brisbane), I have spent more time in my bubble car than on land due to poor navigation skills, lack of GPS, failing iphones and all the one-way/motor ways in Brisbane.

Nevertheless, so far so good…thus far! Things are finally looking up, have found myself a house and going to be enjoying the city-cycle, will probably be the only one in the whole of brisbane zooming down the freeways in the yellow helmets.

This leads me to taste buds and….change.

Taste is one way your bubs and children experience the world, as they grow and develop so do their taste buds.

Your children’s taste buds are forever changing. Recent studies have shown that the sense of taste changes throughout your life, so even though your child may not like vegetables and fruit now…there is still hope! But this does not mean throwing out all of your vegies and fruit in your fridge and waiting till they are 18!  You still need to be persistent and as I have mentioned it could take 10-15 times for a new food to be accepted.

Children are more sensitive to certain tastes than adults but because taste can be subjective, the mechanism that causes taste sensitivity in your young ones can be difficult to analyse. Taste is a composite sense that’s partly determined by the taste buds, but also affected by a food’s aroma, its appearance and even previous experiences with that or similar foods. Therefore, by changing or altering the composition of certain foods that your child my dislike initially may help for the new food to be accepted.

There are myths that taste buds change every 5-7 years…however there are no definite conclusions that this is true, So does anyone have any hard facts for or against the changing tastes every seven years theory?

The Green Eyed Monster

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During pregnancy, but also day-to-day living it is important to re-fuel your body, treat your body like a temple. Cliche, I know! But as a Dietitian I see people work around the clock, get caught up with their busy life and forget about the most important thing (your body!) which is allowing for you to run around, I am definitely guilty of this! 

I believe it is important to stop..revive and ultimately survive! So for me it starts with a simple green smoothie, which I have called “The Green Eyed Monster” once you start drinking this smoothie people will become jealous, you will be glowing both internally and externally and your body will be loving the additional goodness. By re-fueling yourself with beautiful green’s you will reap the benefits of phytonutrients, antioxidant and essential nutrients and vitamins. 

The Recipe:
1. Handful of spinach

2. 2 x stalks of celery
3. Handful of kale
4. Grated ginger
5. 1/2 cucumber 
6. Ice (optional)

Simply blend together and feed your body the amazing goodness! 

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Stayed tuned for more exciting recipes to come…

One mouthful at a time

Does your child make your dining experience a nightmare?

After slaving away in the kitchen and presenting your child with a delicious meal does he/she turn their nose up and push the plate away or even throw you food on the floor?

Do you feel you are constantly battling, never wining and want to pull your own hair out, every time you are faced with breakfast, lunch and dinner?

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Let me reassure you, that you are definitely not alone in this world. There are so many parents that experience the same issues when it comes to feeding their child…I like to call it ‘fussy eaters’. For parents, meal times can often be the most stressful part of the day. It can be concerning because parents worry their little bubs are not getting all the nutrition they need for optimum growth and their diet is not incorporating all of the 5 food groups.

A common questions parents ask, why is my child fussy with eating?

  • Your child’s appetite could be affected by growth cycles, it is normal from 1-5years of age for your child to be very hungry one day and then picky the next day.
  • Children’s choice of food can change daily, as their taste buds are adjusting. It is normal for your child to like one food for one week and then refuse another
  • Children are active and cannot determine the feeling of hunger and always need prompting
  • Children learn by testing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. They can be very strong-willed when it comes to making decisions about food, as it can be a way of communicating something else. It’s all part of their social, intellectual and emotional development.

My 8 No-Nonsense Strategies to combat fussy eating:

1. Do Not Bribe:
Never bribe with ‘junk’ food, this will set up bad habits and expectations. It can be the easy route to offer sugary, fatty or salty snacks as substitutes and this could lead to refusing all healthy foods altogether. Children are smart, they know what the tastier options are!

2. Create a pleasant atmosphere during meal times
Try to eat dinner as a family, studies have shown children that eat with their parents have better vocabularies, more concentration, healthier diets and better grades! More importantly, when eating together make meal times enjoyable, fun and social occasion. Serve the family the same foods and create positive actions and talk when eating your meal e.g. how delicious is this chicken and carrot? Your children watching you enjoy foods will encourage them to do the same. It is a good idea to turn the TV off and engage with each other.

3. Independence with foods
Allow your child to choose food choices within a healthy range, offer 2-3 options e.g. what fruit would you like, grapes or bananas? Another good idea is to get your child involved with cooking, allow them to stir or encourage them to look through cook books that are bright.

4. Avoid sneaking in vegetables or fruit
Children are not stupid, they know if you are trying to finely chop carrots into their sauces! I try and tell parents if your child is extremely fussy then start hiding in foods. Firstly, it is a lot of effort for your to continue to grate everything, instead make your child aware of the foods they are eating. Encourage positive language when eating healthy foods and make it fun e.g. cut vegetables or fruits in fun shapes. Worst case scenario, your child refuses EVERYTHING, you will need to hide and sneak the vegies into meals!

5. Encourage food play
Little fingers poking at foods, throwing foods, smell foods will hopefully lead to bringing food to the mouth. Allow your child to get messy during meal times, this will lead to fun and positive environments.

6. The try it once rule
Introduce new foods with familiar foods, e.g. carrots with a piece of broccoli. On their plate add a small portion of a new food, so your child is not overwhelmed. Continue to offer the new food and eventually he/she may try it, for children it can take up to 7-10 times before they bring the food to their mouth….be persistence, do not give up and get frustrated! Allow your child to eat off your plate or eat new foods with other children if possible.

7. Your child with not starve
At the end of the day, children are active! It is hard for parents, to see but if your child refuses food take it away and do not offer a food to the next meal. At the next meal you might find they will be so hungry they will eat all their meal.

8. Work up a appetite 
Hunger is the best sauce. If your child is hungry, they are more likely to appreciate their dinner. Avoid grazing in between meals, offer fruit or vegetables if necessary. Working up a healthy appetite never harmed anyone.

Remember: You are NOT alone, just be calm and breath! And hopefully this will happen…..

Fussy-eater-child_thumb  Equal—> happy-kid