Soy? Almond? Rice? Pea? What’s the Deal with Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

Soy? Almond? Rice? Pea? What’s the Deal with Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

After reading my last post (you can catch it here if you missed it), you know that cow’s milk is not a required part of a child’s diet as long as they are eating a wide variety of foods.  But let’s say that your child might not be the most robust or diverse eater and you are wanting to include a beverage that can help to balance out their diet. You might be wondering if traditional cow’s milk is the best choice because if the milk aisle at your grocery store is anything like mine above, you know there are many milk alternatives that are now available.  Read on to find out about these other milk choices and see which might be best for your kiddos. Cow’s Milk Ok, so you might be thinking that I did not give much love to good ol’ cow’s milk in my last posting after saying that it is not really needed for most children.  However, cow’s milk does have good nutritional value if you are choosing to include it as part of your child’s balanced diet. Here’s the nutritional low down (per 8 ounces): Calories: 150 kcal Fat: 8 g Protein: 8 g Calcium: 280 mg Vitamin D: 128 IU (international units) Iron: < 0.1 mg The Good: As you can see, whole cow’s milk is a great source of calories, fat, protein, vitamin D and calcium.  If you are choosing cow’s milk for your child, between 1 and 2 years of age, most children should drink whole cow’s milk and then drop to 2% (or less) after 2 years of age....
Got Milk? Need Milk? Maybe not…

Got Milk? Need Milk? Maybe not…

  Ahhh the first birthday!  In the blink of an eye, a year has gone by and after the party is over and the smash cake has been cleaned off of your little one’s face, you realize you now have a toddler on your hands.  Perhaps one of the biggest questions I get from families is “What should my toddler be drinking?” Well, you may be surprised to find out. “For children who are eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and dairy such as cheese and yogurt, there is absolutely no reason that your child MUST drink milk.”   Prior to 9 months of age, the majority of nutrition that infants receive comes from what they are drinking whether that is breastmilk, formula or a combination of these.  Around 9 months of age as infants are starting to do more substantial solid foods (i.e. eating from the table and not just pureed baby foods), the balance of nutrition will begin to tip a bit, and by their first birthday, children should be getting a solid amount of their daily intake of fat and calories from the foods they are eating.     When that first birthday comes around, what goes in your toddlers cup should be considered more of an accessory to the foods that they are eating.  Whole cow’s milk in moderation of no more than 16-20 ounces per day total is typically what I recommend. Now, let’s say your child hates whole milk and wants nothing to do with it.  That is perfectly A-OK!!! Wait? You might be thinking, “Did she mistype something there?” NOPE! For...

I scream, you scream, we all scream for sunscreen!

School is out which means summertime is here!! As your kiddos jump for joy and you are getting your summer plans set, I am sure that time outside whether for swimming, sports or just having fun in the sprinklers is on the agenda.  One of the most important things to remember to pack in your bag for the summer is sunscreen.  I had the opportunity to stop by WBRZ 4 o’clock newscast to talk with Brittany Weiss about what to look for in a sunscreen as well as other ways to protect your skin this summer.  Here is what you need to know about sunscreens as well as some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when it comes to protecting your little one’s skin this summer. Look for sunscreen that is labeled as “broad spectrum.” This means it will provide protection against both UVA (these cause aging of the skin) and UVB (these cause burning of the skin) rays from the sun. Sunscreen needs Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.  Going higher than SPF 50 probably doesn’t give you much more protection so don’t worry about spending extra money for sunscreens with SPF higher than 50. Everyone 6 months and older needs sunscreen.  For babies under 6 months of age, ideally they should be kept out of the direct sun.  If sun exposure is absolutely unavoidable in this age group, a small amount of sunscreen is ok. Make sure to apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes BEFORE heading outside.  Applying sunscreen and then jumping right into the pool means that the sunscreen is just going to come right off!...
From the Archives: How we almost became a drowning statistic

From the Archives: How we almost became a drowning statistic

School is almost out and the thermometer is flirting with the 90 degree mark which means summer is just around the corner. As you are making plans for fun times at the pool, beach, or lake, please take a moment to read this post that I originally wrote 3 years ago.  I remember this like it was yesterday.  I have tears in my eyes every single time I read this.  I will never forget it.  Read and share with those you love and those that might be caring for your children when they are around open water.  Remember, drowning in children is SILENT and it takes just seconds. Originally posted May 26, 2015 It was our first swim of last summer. Mr. J (3 at the time) and Miss M (2 at the time) could hardly wait.  They had gotten suited up and each had waited their turn to get their sunscreen applied.  During their “wait time” to let the sunscreen soak in, Miss M was sitting right next to me on the porch while Mr. J wanted to sit on the top step of the pool and make “handprint art” with the pool water.  Standing about 10 feet from the pool steps, I applied my own sunscreen and was a bit distracted by Miss M explaining something about her princess pool toys for all of about 15 seconds or so.  And when I looked back to check on Mr. J, he was no longer on the step.  As panic set in, the adrenaline immediately kicked on, my mind slipped into the slow-mo that only happens in dire emergencies,...
Becoming Red States

Becoming Red States

Nope..this is not a political post. Instead this is all about the flu! As you can see by the map below, much of the United States is quickly becoming red which indicates the highest level of flu activity. I can assure you that here in South Louisiana, my office has been inundated with kiddos with the flu over the past 2 weeks. So let’s talk about this year’s flu season so far.   Flu is bad this year…there is no way around that! At this time the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the most common circulating strain of the flu virus is an influenza A (H3N2) strain. There are also influenza A (H1N1) and some influenza B strains circulating as well, but just not as commonly as the H3N2 strain. So why is an H3N2 flu season a bad thing? Well, H3N2 viruses are more likely than their H1N1 and influenza B counterparts to make small changes to their structure that can allow them to evade the protection offered by the flu vaccine. The CDC estimates that in prior flu seasons, the flu vaccine has been 50-60% effective against H1N1 and influenza B strains while only about 30% effective against H3N2 strains. However, we will not know how effective the flu vaccine really is until much later in the flu season after more testing can be done. About a week ago, I saw several news headlines stating that the flu vaccine this year is only 10% effective. While that makes a great news headline, there is some fine print that comes along with that statement. The CDC...