Tips For Transitioning Your Child To Solid Foods

Starting babies on solid foods can be a fun and messy activity for parents. The important thing to remember is that this is a slow and patient process. You have to monitor their progress continuously.See what foods your baby prefers over others and feed only those items to ensure that the baby doesn’t eat less than usual. The following are some things you must know about introducing solid food to newborns. This is just a guide and you should always consult your pediatrician for the best possible advice concerning your child.

What Foods Should You Start With?

First of all, ensure that the food is pureed and bland. This includes vegetables, fruits, barley cereal, oat cereal and rice cereal. You don’t have to spend extra money to buy pureed baby solids. This can be easily done at home as long as you remove the seeds and skin. Pureed fruits and vegetables are also nutritious and you will find out about the preferences of your baby in this way.

What Foods Should You Avoid?

For the initial two years, don’t go for foods that might cause the baby to choke. This includes foods with thick skin, seeds or nuts. Also avoid foods that are allergens like nut oils and shellfish. Stay away from cow’s milk. These foods can put some pressure on the digestive system and your baby’s system isn’t strong enough to handle it. You should also stay away from honey in the first two years.

Should The Food be Organic?

It is not a strict necessity for the food to be organic. Most foods with the label of ‘infant food’ are carefully tested in the industry and are safe for your baby. However, if you want to go for organic food for your baby, you can buy it.

What Is The Frequency of Feeding Solid Food to Newborns?

Solids are typically introduced when your baby is about 4 – 6 months old. Make sure that you feed small servings of solids once a day. The serving size should be between 1tsp to 1tbsp. As your baby grows older, the serving frequency can be increased by months. This means, that if you are serving the baby 1 serving at 4 months of age, you can move on to 2 servings at 5 months of age and so on. However, for a one year old, the servings shouldn’t be more than 6 a day.

Do You Need To Buy Special Equipment?

All you need is a feeding utensil and a spoon to feed the baby. No other special equipment is necessary. Don’t use forks or knives because they are dangerous. You might find some special feeding equipment in the market and if you can afford it, you can buy it.

What If The Baby Eats Less Than Normal?

Babies are fickle. They might eat a lot one day and not at all the next. It is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice some sort of a pattern or your baby hasn’t eaten in 3 days, you should definitely consult a doctor.

Be patient with the progress and introduction of new solid foods. This can be a nail biting experience but is something that all parents get through just fine. Here is a quick video to further illustrate some of the points above.

Stephanie / January 26, 2017 / Health

Safety Seat Buying Guide For New Parents

convertible-carseatFinding the right car seat for your little loved one is a crucial process for every parent. Getting something that offers supreme protection, a comfortable experience, fits in the backseat of your car, all in your price range can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are a high number of quality safety seats on the market that you should be able to find the perfect seat that meets all of your needs. When shopping for a new child seat, there are a number of features that you should look out for to ensure that you get the most for your money. Buying a new convertible car seat is a significant investment, especially if you are in need of more than one.

Below are just some of the key factors that you should pay attention to when researching your next big purchase. Finding the best convertible child safety seat for your family can go a long way to ensure your little one is protected while giving you something that is easy to use for your particular vehicle. It will also give some peace of mind and help reduce a lot of the stress associated with driving with a small child.

Car Seat Shopping Tips

Unfortunately, there tend to be various recalls on certain seats over time. It would be a good idea to check out the latest recalls as well as get some timely advice on how to best use a child seat to make sure that are well informed.

Safety: The is the main purpose of the seat, so you want to make sure that it has all of the modern safety features that will benefit your child in case of an accident. Proper side impact protection is one aspect that is vital. Harness functionality and position, frame construction, and meeting required safety standards are all things that you want to be aware of before buying as well. Added features like using energy absorbing foam are also great to have.

Newer models tend to have more advanced features and tend to benefit from years of testing from previous years models. A lot of manufactures learn what works best over time and they will incorporate it into their latest child seats.

Comfort: While safety always takes precedence, making sure that your child will enjoy riding in the seat is also a key factor. There is nothing worse than buying something that meets all your criteria, only to have the little one throw a fit every time that they are strapped into the seat. Plush and breathable materials will help in this area, as well as having a cup holder. Little things like this can go a long way to making the experience more enjoyable for your child.

Weight: If you plan on moving the car seat constantly between different vehicles, then the weight of the seat is going to be important. If it is too heavy, you are more than likely going to give yourself a back ache or just end up leaving it in just one of your automobiles. Getting something that is easier to move around and store is going to make you happier with your purchase, so keep an eye on how much a particular model that you are interested in weighs. This is something that is easy to overlook.

Price: We all would love to save money, but we may feel like we are compromising safety if we look to save a few bucks. While more expensive car seats may have added safety features, more budget friendly models still should meet all safety standards. If you buy from a reputable store then should not have to worry as these seats should meet all regulations. Typically, the top rated convertible car seats will range between $150 and $350.

Graco makes some car seats that get great reviews and are a good option for those on a tight budget. They don’t sacrifice on safety, and they get nice scores from parents. On the higher end there is Britax line of car seats. The Britax Marathon is one of their best selling convertible car seats that is a good alternative for parents with a little more money to spend. The point is there are plenty of high quality options available no matter your budget.

Do not buy used: While it may be tempting to save a few bucks to get a used model, avoid it if you can. You should never buy a convertible car seat that has already been through an accident, even if there is no apparent damage as the forces of the crash may have weakened some of the vital components of the seat. Car seats also have expiration dates so it is always advisable to be buy a brand new seat from a reputable dealer to ensure that you are getting a seat that is in perfect working condition.

Owner Reviews: One of the best ways to judge how a particular child seat performs, you should read the online ratings from those who have purchased the item and have used it. It is best to look at models that have a lot of feedback as they will give you a more complete picture of how well it is made, how easy it is to use, how easy it is to clean and how well children like riding in it. You will also get a better sense of what some of the weaknesses of a seat may be as people tend to complain more than they do praise something in customer reviews. This is a great source of information for perspective buyers.

Stephanie / March 27, 2016 / Health

Why Getting A Juicer Is A Great Investment For Your Health

Juicer review buying guideMany of us will understand the health benefits that come from eating fruits and vegetables, though we still prefer junk foods such as cheeseburgers, fried chicken, doughnuts and many of the others. If you find it difficult to consume veggies, buying a quality juicer is an incredible idea to help improve ones’ health. With a juicer, it is possible to maximize intake of nutrients from both the fruits and veggies since it is convenient compared to preparing two separate meals.  Plus, with all of the possible healthy juicing recipes to experiment with, you will never get bored with all of the different combinations that you can try.

Studies liken ingestion of freshly made veggie juice to a shot of intravenous infusion of enzymes, minerals and vitamins as they are directly absorbed by the body. For example, light energy is present in a raw fruit juice and helps to restore body energy faster.

A morning intake of the juice gives one an immense natural energy boost instead relying on stimulants such as coffee. This is because the juice already exists in a digestible form that readily revitalizes the body’s energy levels in a very short period. Freshly made fruit and veggie juice increases body energy. This is because with sufficient nutrients under optimum balanced pH, you ought to feel positively energized. Although it does cut out fiber which is beneficial to the digestive tract, juicing does have numerous benefits that can positively impact your overall health.

Helps Reduce Health Risks

Fruits and vegetables offer a variety of minerals and vitamins, which actually does not matter whether it is in solid or liquid because it is vitally beneficial to our health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that fruits and vegetable nutrients reduce risks of getting bone loss, kidney stones, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, most households fall short of the recommendations for consumption of fruit and vegetables. Juicing enables and guarantees us meet the daily threshold consumption of a healthier amount of fruits and vegetables more efficiently.

Still Nutritious

Liquid calories are easily received and handled by the body as compared to solid ones. This is thus it is comfortable and easy to consume more of the juice than eating them whole. For instance, it takes four to five passions to make one cup of liquid, which avails the same quantity of minerals and vitamins, but in a larger portion than taking each fruit at a time. At some point, you get fed up before finishing them.

The same is to veggies as it is possible to broaden the variety of veggies in our diet. A lot of people consume the same type of vegetable-salads throughout the year, which violates the principle of constant food rotation and risks inviting an allergy condition for certain foods. It restricts the number of various phytochemicals in a diet that crucial to boost immune system, as each vegetable contains unique nutritional benefits. With juicing, all these are combined in one meal.

Efficient Digestion

Indeed, juicing process removes fiber from vegetables as well as fruits, however, the liquids digestion process requires less energy than solids one. So, juices are readily digestible thus allows for the efficient digestion process. Additionally, juicing leaves the fruit and vegetable enzymes intact, unlike cooking, heat sometimes destroys them. The enzymes are very important catalysts for chemical and metabolism reactions.

Due to less-than-optimal diet choices over several years, it ends up impairing our digestion system. This is likely to limit the body’s absorbency ability of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Juicing helps “pre-digest” such essential nutrients hence avails a great portion of the nutrition to the body saving it from excretion.

Weight Loss

Other than the aforementioned benefits, juicing helps promote weight loss. A health research has revealed that adults who integrated fruit and vegetable juicing in their diet, and drank more than seven ounces of the juice shed off four pounds over three months. Whereas the rest who stuck to the diet, but ate them as a whole meal managed to lose one pound. This is attributed to a significant increase in potassium and vitamin C intake and reduce overall carbohydrate consumption.

Lead a healthy life by juicing all the fruit and vegetable meals to avoid losing such freshness and nutrition. Processed products come with intoxication that overtime pile up to eventually harm different body organs like liver, kidney to mention but a few. Take control of your health by producing your own customized drinks for a better lifestyle.

Buying A Juicer

If you have gotten to the point where you are ready to take back control of your diet and the foods that you depend on every day for energy, it is time to pick yourself up a juicer.  But where should you begin your search?  We recommend Veggie Files juicer reviews for the latest juice extractor details and how well they rate with owners.  There are several high quality centrifugal and masticating juicers that will get the job done.  There are also several brands that make dependable high end juicers such as Breville and Omega.  Reading the latest reviews will give you a solid foundation to help you find something that will best serve your needs.  If you don’t want to spend a lot of time juicing, then a centrifugal juicer is a better choice.  If the highest quality, nutrient dense juice is most important, then a masticating juicer is the way to go.

No matter what type of juicer you end up purchasing, you will be well on your way to reclaiming your health and improving how you feel.  Juicing is here to stay as more people realize just what it can do for them.  Do something good for yourself today and get a juice extractor for your kitchen.

Stephanie / October 7, 2015 / Health

Preparing For Laser Hair Removal

what you should know about laser hair removalPart of feeling good for a lot of people is looking good and laser hair removal is a way that a lot of people try to accomplish this. It is not just for straight women, but it is growing in popularity across the board for men and women alike. If you plan on trying this method of hair removal, there are a few things that you can do before your appointment to make things go a little bit smoother (pun intended).

Individuals undergo laser hair removal to get rid of unwanted hair from body parts such as the chest, genital area, arms, fingers, feet, neck, face, fingers and armpits among others. While mostly safe and effective, there are extra precautions that customers should look into in order to prepare the skin for treatment.

People intending to undergo laser hair removal should first get a consultation to make sure that their hair and skin color/type is ideal for the treatment. Those with dark skin, or light hair may not see positive results or may even experience some possible side effects. This is important because the process involves some risks and treatment results are not always the same for all people. However, it is worth noting that majority of the patients who have undergone laser hair removal have achieved good results and do not regret at all.

Before undergoing a laser hair removal session there a few steps that should be taken to make sure you get the most out of the process. Not only can proper laser hair removal preparation ensure that the treatment will be effective, but it can also help lower the risk for possible complications. If you have scheduled a session or are looking into doing so, it will be prudent to know some simple steps to prepare yourself before going under the light.  In most cases, the clinician or facility that you have chosen will go over some of the following when you schedule an appointment.

Two to Four Weeks Before Session

Preparations for laser hair removal normally can begin twenty to thirty days after an individual has made the decision to undergo laser hair removal. The initial steps are not mandatory, but they can be extremely beneficial to the overall success of the treatment. If these steps are chosen they should commence a month or so before the first treatment to ensure that the skin and the unwanted hair are in good condition.

During this time, it is recommended that the patient stop some of his or her routine practices such as waxing the skin, tweezing or bleaching. This ensures that the laser removal is done on the hair and skin when in a healthy state. It is also important to avoid applying tanning creams and lotions from 4 weeks before undergoing laser treatment and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun because sunburns give poor results due to reddening of the skin. Therefore, patients should apply sunscreen if they intend to stay outdoors for an extended period of time.

The Day Before

A day before the treatment some of the preparations that should be made include shaving off all the hair from the parts to be treated and confirming your appointment with the laser hair removal specialist. All the hair should be shaved within 24 hours before undergoing the treatment. The shorter the hair the more effective the treatment will be, thus providing better results. Longer hairs can sometimes end up getting burned and this can filter down to the skin which is probably as painful as it sounds.  If you forget, don’t have time or are running late, whoever is doing the treatment will more than likely have equipment to shave the area being worked on for you. Avoid applying anything to the skin, such as moisturizer or other lotions on the day of treatment.

Post Treatment

After treatment it is also important for patients to take good care of their skin to ensure faster healing. Ice packs or cooling gels are normally provided to cool down the skin. At times the skin may look reddish after the treatment and be very sensitive to the touch. It is important to avoid direct sun rays and ensure that your skin is well hydrated. Apply post laser lotions as directed by your provider to speed up healing and reduce sensitivity and redness. This way, the skin can be back to its normal its condition usually within 2 days after treatment.

Preparing for your laser hair removal treatment can be extremely beneficial to seeing positive results. Always ask when you schedule a session what steps your particular establishment prefers their customers take before treatment begins. They all may be slightly different based on the equipment being used and their experience with patients.

Stephanie / April 26, 2015 / Health

The Link Between Sleep And Depression

Healthy sleep

Sleep problems and depression are often linked and intertwined. Some of the signs of depression can leave a person feeling moody, listless, low, easily angered, down in the dumps and overburdened. The contradiction of being tired all throughout the day, while not being able to go to sleep at night or just wanting to sleep the entire day away are often indications that something is wrong.

This is a common scenario nowadays which takes place due to depression and lack of sleep. Depression is an illness that affects at least 20 million people in the US. It is not something that you can assume to be cured on its own, or simply ignore. The cause of depression is not known, but with the help of various treatments it can help to be controlled and sleep patterns can return to a more normal routine.

Lack of sleep and depression, have a tendency to travel together. The relationship between both the conditions is complex and the presence of one of these conditions can contribute to or be the cause of the other condition. In some people, issues with sleeping appear before the onset of depression. For others, depression symptoms appear first. Let’s discuss them in detail, one by one.

How Depression Can Affect Sleep Patterns:

Depression is a health condition that affects the brain functions to a huge extent, which includes the sleep-wake cycle. If the sleep-wake cycle or the biological clock is disturbed, it can lead to irregular sleeping patterns, and that further contributes to the depression. Over a period of time, this can turn into a vicious cycle. People suffering from depression have been found to experience a common condition of not being able to fall asleep. However, the manner in which depression affects one’s sleep differs from person to person. Difficulty in falling asleep may be the major problem for most people with depression, but in some cases (10-20% of people) depression leads to excessive sleeping. Depression can affect sleep patterns in the following ways:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble staying asleep-Sleep that never feels like “enough”
  • Lack of quality-sleep
  • Difficulty going back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Waking up too early
  • Difficulty concentrating and irritability
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Feeling tired once awake

Depression and sleep are co-related and regardless of the type of sleep disorder, one of the long-term effects of depression is the development of sleep debt, which further creates new problems.

How Disruptive Sleep Patterns Can Affect Depression and Mood:

Sleep is the most naturally efficient way for our bodies and minds to rejuvenate. You don’t need a sleep expert to tell you that disruptive sleep patterns make you more vulnerable to worry, stress, and anxiety. When we don’t get sufficient amount of sleep, even the simple issues appear to be complicated and overwhelming. Without enough sleep, we can quickly lose our ability to concentrate and maintain perspective, which in turn gives rise to unwanted stress and decreases our ability to calm down. Evidence suggests that individuals with insomnia have a greater risk of developing depression as compared to those with no problems with sleeping. Insomnia has been found to be common among depressed patients since years, but a new research shows that it may actually trigger the mental disorder! In a study, depressed patients suffering from insomnia were seventeen times more likely to not overcome depression after a year compared to the patients who were having a good amount of sleep all year round.

Recurring insomnia can lead to severe depression, so depression and sleep are linked and the diagnosis for your problem needs to be correct. Depression and mood swings are related to disruptive sleep patterns, and disruptive sleep patterns further aggravate depression. But here’s the good news! Treating one of these conditions may have a spillover benefit for the other! The natural solution to get rid of your blues could be as simple as getting enough sleep. If you can look for ways to sleep better during the night time, it will surely help combat your depression over a period of time.

A lot of people who suffer from disruptive sleep patterns are hesitant to go for Western sleep medications as they’re concerned about the possible side effects and addiction. However, if your insomnia is at an initial stage and not too serious, there are a lot of natural remedies that can help you! Various herbs (such as kava kava, passion flower and valerian) have a calming effect on the mind and body. Yoga is yet another non-invasive and a calming way of dealing with depression and sleep disorders. Getting quality sleep is vital to both physical and mental health and problems in this area should not be ignored.

Stephanie / April 23, 2015 / Health