Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support, Inc. is dedicated to the nutritional health of women and children. We specialize in maternal nutrition with a focus on pre-natal, post-natal and lactation support as well as all aspects of pediatric nutrition.
About Us: Pea Pod Nutrition and
Lactation Support, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the
nutritional health of Georgia families. We specialize in family nutrition
including maternal health, pediatric nutrition, and chronic disease prevention
through medical nutrition therapy.
The mission of Pea
Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support is to empower families through
evidence-based nutrition and lactation education, counseling and support to
reduce the risk and prevalence of lifestyle related chronic diseases in Georgia
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first several months and years of your child’s life, you are doing everything
you can to make sure he or she has all of the food and nutrients to grow up
strong and healthy. These great intentions may result in desperation when picky
eaters seem to only want milk or cheese.
It’s only natural
choose to introduce cow’s milk following breastfeeding because it helps supply
energy and protein in a similar way baby was used to with breastfeeding or
formula. Cow’s milk can be a great source of protein and calcium, but there is
such a thing as too much of a good thing. Infants and toddlers are used to the
sweet taste of breast milk or formula and can gravitate towards that sweetness
found in cow’s milk or comparable plant-based milks. When moms see their kids
guzzling down milk and turning their heads to other foods, they might spend all
day filling up their bottles to make sure the child receives enough protein to
if you only ever ate cheese cubes for every meal, infants and toddlers lacking
variety in their diets can miss out on a number of vitamins and minerals they
need to thrive. One of the most serious risks these milk lovers face is low
iron levels or iron deficiency anemia. Infants and toddlers with low iron are
at risk of problems with neurodevelopment, language skills, fine motor skills,
mental health problems, attention, and can be more vulnerable to infection1,
What does that have to do with
or dairy consumption can affect your child’s body in various ways:
your child is filled up on just milk, he or she will not have any more room to
eat anything else such as vitamin-packed fruits and veggies2.
if you are getting enough iron in your diet normally, too much calcium can
steal the show and lower iron levels back down to where it can be dangerous1.
much protein intake boils down to excess calorie intake, which may cause kids
to build up extra fat mass, even up to 10 years of age3.
*slowly puts milk back on the
have to say goodbye to milk! It is a great source of protein, calcium, and
nourishment for your growing child. It is just important to keep an eye on how
much milk he or she is actually drinking. Children ages 18-36 months only need
about 500 milligrams of calcium per day, which comes out to about 16 ounces or
a little less than 2 cups of milk. When they get a little older, 1-3 year olds
need around 700 milligrams (~2.5 cups)4. As babies become toddlers,
they continue developing coordination and motor skills, which allow them to
advance from sucking a bottle to sipping from age-appropriate cups. Staying in
tune with your babies and encouraging transition to a cup can help them
regulate their milk consumption5. By this point, they are likely
professionals at drinking from a bottle and may guzzle extra milk down before
they realize they are full.
What about iron?
switching up your child’s plate with iron rich foods also packed with other
essential vitamins and minerals. Although animal based or “heme” iron sources
such as fish, poultry, eggs, and meat are best absorbed by the body, plant
based or “non-heme” iron sources such as spinach, chickpeas, lentils, sweet
potatoes, broccoli, apricots, and kale can also serve as great sources of iron2,6.
Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, so consider serving foods such as
citrus fruits, tomato, or red/yellow/orange peppers alongside iron-rich foods
to boost absorption6.
mentioned before, calcium and iron have a little bit of a power struggle. Because
of this, it can be beneficial to space out when your child is drinking milk or
calcium-rich foods from when they are eating iron-rich foods. This gives their
body the best chance to soak up the nutrients they need from each one2.
notice your child appears paler, more irritable, or has a worse appetite than
normal and suspect he or she may be iron deficient, consider speaking with your
pediatrician or dietitian to make sure your baby is getting everything he or
Pay attention to how much milk your child is drinking to monitor for calcium or protein overload, encourage variety in his or her meals to encourage nutrients like iron, and speak with your dietitian if you have any concerns about your child’s food or nutrient intake.
Written by: Jordan Da Silva, MS
Dietetic Intern, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Graduation Date: May 2019
University of Georgia, MS in Foods and Nutrition, BS in Nutrition Science
E. H., Souther, L. M., Gajewski, B. J., Sullivan, D. K., Georgieff, M. K.,
& Carlson, S. E. (2016). Reducing Iron Deficiency in 18-36-months-old US
Children: Is the Solution Less Calcium? Matern Child Health J, 20(9), 1798-1803.
G., & Girish, M. (2015). Iron deficiency anemia in children. Indian J
Pediatr, 82(6), 558-564. doi:10.1007/s12098-014-1643-9
V., Braun, K. V. E., Karagounis, L. G., Nguyen, A. N., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Schoufour,
J. D., . . . Voortman, T. (2018). Longitudinal association of dietary protein
intake in infancy and adiposity throughout childhood. Clin Nutr.
of Medicine. (2011). Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary
Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Elements. Retrieved from
T. L., Khambalia, A., Westergard, S., Jacobson, S., Peer, M., & Parkin, P.
C. (2006). Iron depletion is associated with daytime bottle-feeding in the
second and third years of life. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 160(11),
Red Cross. (2019). Iron Rich Foods. Retrieved from https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/before-during-after/iron-blood-donation/iron-rich-foods.html
Your body is strong. You have grown, delivered, and supported your baby and you want to lose those extra few pounds that helped keep your baby safe and healthy in the womb. You don’t need to kiss carbs goodbye or start adding butter to your coffee. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you body is working with you to grow your baby healthy and strong while you return to your healthiest weight.
Two of the most common diet trends right now are the Paleo diet and Ketogenic diet. Social media icons boast quick weight loss and indulgent, high-fat recipes. As with most diets, calorie restriction of any kind may result in weight loss; however, diets restricting certain food groups can mean you aren’t getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you and your baby need.
The Paleo diet is made up of foods that may have been eaten during the Paleolithic era. The diet is made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, and oils-which means no grains, legumes, dairy, or processed foods1. While this diet doesn’t specifically restrict carbohydrates, the limited choices of foods and doing away with grains can result in a low amount of carbs in the diet. The grain restriction may make it more difficult for moms to take in enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so they need to be sure they are getting their daily values from other sources such as increased vegetable intake1. Breastfeeding mothers can safely follow a Paleo diet if it best aligns with their beliefs, but the composition of the diet will not promote weight loss more than any other calorie restricted diet.
The classic Ketogenic diet is more restrictive than the Paleo diet and is based on a 4:1 ratio of fat to carbs/protein. This comes out to about 90% of calories from fat, 6% from protein, and 4% from carbs2. The diet may be helpful to people with epilepsy, but can be dangerous for other individuals. The brain and heart rely on carbohydrates as fuel so cutting back on them over the long term can lead to heart problems, kidney damage, and osteoporosis3. A low-carb diet such as keto can alter levels in the blood and this can happen even faster during breastfeeding4. The high fat intake of the keto diet can also lead to excessive intake of saturated fats-which can clog arteries and lead to cardiovascular problems.
Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
New mothers may be drawn to the hype of these diets without realizing their bodies are naturally equipped to care for their baby and lose excess pounds. Breastfeeding requires an average of 500 extra calories per day for the mother5. Mothers may choose to add these calories using nutrient rich foods or those interested in weight loss may return to their normal pre-pregnancy food intake6. By following a regular diet, you can ensure you have enough nutrients to pass on to baby, but the extra calories burned in milk production will lead to gradual weight loss.
Am I restricting my baby?
Each person’s needs vary, so make sure you are getting enough calories, protein, and fat by talking to a registered dietitian or using ChooseMyPlate.gov for nursing mothers. The general guidelines for breastfeeding are to make sure you are getting at least 210 grams of carbohydrates, 71 grams of protein, and 3.8 L of water each day. For fats, it is recommended you aim for 1.3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid from foods such as flaxseed, walnuts, fish, canola or soybean oil and 13 grams of linoleic acid from safflower oil, sunflower seeds, corn oil, pecans, etc7.
Mothers with obesity may greatly benefit by working with the body’s natural weight loss systems to shed excess pounds. Overweight women who lost 0.5 kg per week between 4-14 weeks post partum exclusively breastfeeding did not impact their infants growth7. These women lowered their caloric intake by 500 calories each day and exercised for 45 minutes, 4 days a week. If a woman chooses to breastfeed, this time period can be a great opportunity to get into the habit of eating a variety of foods and beginning an exercise regimen that suits her lifestyle.
What about keto and paleo?
There is not much research studying how these diets affect milk production, but both of these diets can restrict nutrients your body needs to function normally and to produce milk. The keto diet can be dangerous, even for patients under the direct supervision of a physician. To ensure you and your baby are getting all of the elements you need, it is best to follow a diet with variety, low in saturated fat, and meets the minimum requirements suggested through MyPlate or your registered dietitian.
Written by: Jordan Da Silva, MS
Dietetic Intern, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Graduation Date: May 2019
University of Georgia, MS in Foods and Nutrition, BS in Nutrition Science
Mayo Clinic. (2017).Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Paleo Diet. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182
Charlie Foundation. (2019). Diet Variations. Retrieved from: https://charliefoundation.org/diet-plans/
Bilsborough, S. A., & Crowe, T. C. (2003). Low-carbohydrate diets: what are the potential short- and long-term health implications? Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 12(4), 396-404.
von Geijer, L., & Ekelund, M. (2015). Ketoacidosis associated with low-carbohydrate diet in a non-diabetic lactating woman: a case report. J Med Case Rep, 9, 224. doi:10.1186/s13256-015-0709-2
Dewey, K. G., Heinig, M. J., & Nommsen, L. A. (1993). Maternal weight-loss patterns during prolonged lactation. Am J Clin Nutr, 58(2), 162-166. doi:10.1093/ajcn/58.2.162
Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002)
Lovelady, C. A., Garner, K. E., Moreno, K. L., & Williams, J. P. (2000). The effect of weight loss in overweight, lactating women on the growth of their infants. N Engl J Med, 342(7), 449-453. doi:10.1056/NEJM200002173420701
Exercise- we know that it is great for getting in shape, relieving stress, and busting personal records. But have you ever thought of diabetes when thinking of exercise?
When it comes to diabetes, you may automatically think of sugar, carbs, or even checking blood sugars. But some studies show that exercise may be a key factor in the health of patients with gestational and Type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes develops during pregnancy, and like other kinds of diabetes, it affects how your body’s cells use sugar. It typically causes high blood sugar, which can cause complications in pregnancy and must be treated.
Pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes have an increased risk of complications such as excessive fetal growth, birth injuries, and preeclampsia. Babies of gestational diabetes pregnancies are also at increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes and Exercise
You may be wondering how does exercise fit in to gestational diabetes? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy pregnant women reach at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Studies have found that only vigorous exercise has been associated with decreased odds of excess gestational weight gain, which may cause complications with pregnancy.
One study comparing active lifestyles and sedentary lifestyles showed highly active women were less likely to have gestational diabetes. Research shows that women with Gestational Diabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
It has been found that few individuals with type 2 diabetes exercise, even though exercise is a preventative measure and way to treat type 2 diabetes. Getting active when you have type 2 diabetes is an important part of your treatment plan, just like maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is. Staying active actually helps keep your blood glucose level in a healthy range, which prevents long term complications! You may wonder, ‘How can exercise even do that?’. Basically, type 2 diabetics carry too much glucose in their blood because their body doesn’t make enough insulin, or because their body doesn’t use insulin correctly. Either way, exercising can reduce the glucose in the blood by muscles throughout the body using up that glucose. Aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking, basketball) is recommended for its beneficial effects on glucose control for type 2 diabetes along with dietary intervention from a Registered Dietitian. Aiming for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week is a great goal for a type 2 diabetic interested in getting active. Before you start a new exercise plan, ask your doctor what is right for you!
Written by: Rachael Day
Dietetic Intern, Southern Regional Medical Center
Graduation date: May 2019
West Virginia University, BS in Human Nutrition and Foods
Ming, W.-K., Ding, W., Zhang, C. J. P., Zhong, L., Long, Y., Li, Z., … Wang, Z. (2018). The effect of exercise during pregnancy on gestational diabetes mellitus in normal-weight women: a systematic review and meta-analysis.BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 18(1), N.PAG. https://doi-org.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/10.1186/s12884-018-2068-7
Ehrlich, S., Sternfeld, B., Krefman, A., Hedderson, M., Brown, S., Mevi, A., … Ferrara, A. (2016). Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Exercise During Pregnancy and Gestational Weight Gain in Women with Gestational Diabetes. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 20(6), 1247–1257. https://doi-org.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/10.1007/s10995-016-1926-z
Padmapriya, N., Bernard, J. Y., Shen Liang, See Ling Loy, Shirong Cai, Iris Shen Zhe, … Chan, J. K. Y. (2017). Associations of physical activity and sedentary behavior during pregnancy with gestational diabetes mellitus among Asian women in Singapore. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 17, 1–10. https://doi-org.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/10.1186/s12884-017-1537-8
Kgosidialwa, O., Egan, A. M., Carmody, L., Kirwan, B., Gunning, P., & Dunne, F. P. (2015). Treatment With Diet and Exercise for Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosed Using IADPSG Criteria.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 100(12), 4629–4636. https://doi-org.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/10.1210/jc.2015-3259
McCulloch D. Patient information: Diabetes mellitus type 2: Overview. UpToDate Web site. December 4, 2008. Available at: http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~X0jjLnBn4._ko&selectedTitle=4~150&source=search_result. Accessed April 20, 2009
The fall weather is rolling in, slowly but surely, which means it is time to start looking for those hearty casseroles and stews that are perfect for those Georgia nights. This week’s Monday Munchies comes from the blog Hummusapien. You won’t miss the meat and cheese in this healthy take on lasagna and it is, without a doubt, a kid-friendly favorite. Some Pea Pod tips to make this dish even more amazing is to use lentil based lasagna noodles instead of traditional lasagna noodles or if you’re short on time we recommend using no-boil noodles instead.
Original Recipe can be found here: https://www.hummusapien.com/skinny-vegan-lasagna/
6-9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
5 oz garlic hummus (heaping ½ cup)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ cup chopped spinach (I used frozen that I thawed in the microwave)
½ – 1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp dried basil
1 26 oz jar of marinara sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook your lasagna noodles according to package directions until they’re a bit underdone (mine took about 6-8 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, crumble drained tofu with your hands until it resembles the texture of ricotta cheese.
Add in hummus, nutritional yeast, spinach (squeeze water out if using thawed from frozen), garlic, salt and basil. Using your hands, mix ingredients together until a creamy, ricotta-like texture is achieved.
In a baking dish (I used a 7″ by 11″ but 8″ by 8″ would work too), pour in enough sauce to cover the bottom. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top, breaking them if necessary to fit the pan. Top the noodles with enough cheese to cover evenly. If you made 9 noodles, you can make three noodle layers with less cheese. I used 6 noodles and only made 2 layers with more cheese.
Top cheese mixture with more sauce, then noodles again, then more cheese. Top cheese with the rest of the sauce. It’s ok if it looks like a lot of sauce!
Major and Degree: Masters in Public Health (Health Management & Policy)
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Where are you originally from? Stone Mountain, GA
What made you decide on your chosen career path?
I have always been extremely interested in women’s health ever since I was a child. It was always fascinating to me that women were the amazing humans that had the joy of bringing life into the world. After taking a few public health courses during undergrad I knew that I wanted to delve deeper into the world of public health. In my Masters program I have learned even more about health disparities, especially as it relates to maternal and infant health. I quickly became interested in learning how policies can help shape the advocacy in addressing these health disparities for women and mothers living in disadvantaged areas.
What activities are you involved in?
Currently, I am the Program Coordinator for the T.E.E.M.S. AmeriCorps program housed in the Alonzo A. Crim Center in Georgia State’s College of Education and Human Development. We work with providing STEM mentoring and educational support to students in urban communities and schools around the metro-Atlanta area.
Why did you choose to intern at Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support?
Working with this organization has allowed me to witness the intersection of many of my public health interests. Improving and maximizing maternal health, women’s health, infant health, and health promotion are all at the crux of the mission of this organization. I am continuously learning about the importance of nutrition and how a healthy lifestyle can help address other public health issues.
What is the best thing about working with Pea Pod so far?
I really enjoy the research and projects that I have been able to work on so far. While working on these projects I have learned so much about nutrition and I am able to relate the research back to real life for the patients at Pea Pod. I also really enjoy shadowing the nutrition and lactation consultations. I have been able to identify barriers to access as it relates to the built environment and continue to use the information gained with each consult to build on my public health knowledge.
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Music! Life would be so boring without it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m honestly open to traveling anywhere! I will be studying abroad in India in December 2018 with Georgia State University to study Ayurvedic practices and gain a better understanding of how holistic medicinal practices can alleviate stress and trauma. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to use the knowledge I gain from this experience to further advance my public health understanding and practice around maternal health in America.
Favorite TV show to binge watch?
Insecure. This show is very relatable for 20-somethings trying to navigate this newfound adulthood. It’s also very reassuring in letting us know that mistakes are going to happen, but that’s ok. Because we all make mistakes.
Family, friends, co-workers – it seems like we all know someone trying the ketogenic diet and reporting stories of instant weight loss, increased energy, and better moods. With reports like that, who wouldn’t want to try it? Far too little people, however, know the details of the diet and the risks associated with it. Read on for everything you need to know about the keto diet from a dietetic professional…
The popular “Modified ‘Keto’ Diet” is different than the “Classic Ketogenic Diet.”
The “Classic Ketogenic Diet” was released by Russell Wiliams at Mayo Clinic in the early 1920s.1 It was used as a novel therapy for epileptic patients before anti-seizure drugs had been developed, and is still used today. It is also currently being investigated for use in neurologic disorders such as Alzheimer’s, brain cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.2 The “Modified Ketogenic Diet” has gained recent popularity for its weight loss claims.
The “Classic Ketogenic Diet” is not the most appetizing.
Classic KD consists of 4 grams of fat for every 1 gram of protein and carbohydrate combined. To put that in perspective, a classic keto breakfast is 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon of mayo + 1 Tablespoon of butter. The diet is strict and requires specific monitoring of nutritional supplementation, electrolytes, hydration, and activity levels. Thus, using the diet for epilepsy treatment is only recommended under the guidance of a dietitian and other healthcare professionals.
The Ketogenic Diet works by changing the body’s main source of fuel from carbohydrates to fat.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. When we eat carbohydrate-containing foods like breads, grains, and starchy vegetables, our body breaks these down into a usable form of energy (glucose). Limiting carbohydrate intake mimics starvation and forces our body to break down fat as the main form of energy. The byproduct of this reaction are ketones, and when we reach this state, we are said to be in “ketosis”.
Both the Classic and Modified KD are high in fat, adequate in protein, and low in carb.
Classic: 4 grams of fat for every 1 gram of protein and carbohydrate combined. Modified: 3 grams of fat for every 1 gram of protein and carbohydrate combined.
Consuming a Ketogenic Diet has potential health risks.
Current research suggests that a KD can result in rapid weight loss, specifically when used short-term in pre-bariatric surgery patients.3 However, following the KD does not come without risks. In patients with diabetes, use of the KD resulted in weight loss and improved blood glucose control, but put patients at high risk for episodes of low blood sugar, which can be fatal. Following a KD was also shown to increase total cholesterol and triglycerides, which can lead to heart disease and fatty liver disease. Aerobic exercise may reverse these levels, but more research is needed to understand the full effect of KD on health.
Following the keto diet does not always address behavioral patterns for weight management.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires understanding portion control, consuming high-quality foods, staying active, and being mindful to hunger and fullness cues. Using a restrictive diet to achieve weight loss does not address these issues, and weight regain is a prominent occurrence in people who stop adhering to the Keto Diet.
Bottom line: The short term benefits of the keto diet do not outweigh its risks and potential long-term complications.
Because the diet nearly eliminates an entire food group, it is low in fiber and puts individuals at risk of nutrient deficiencies and other complications. Thus, it is NOT recommended by dietetic professionals for weight loss.
So if you’re wanting to lose weight, what should you do?
Maintain a diet of 55-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 10% from fat. Focus on whole grain carbohydrates and limit processed chips, snacks, and desserts. Add healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and fish, but remember that these are high in calories, as well, so be mindful of your portion sizes. Talk to your dietitian for the specific recommendations that are right for you.
Written by: Renae Brown, MS
Dietetic Intern, Memphis VA Medical Center
Case Western Reserve University, MS in Nutrition, BS in Biology & Anthropology
The Ketogenic Diet. Charlie Foundation. https://charliefoundation.org/. Accessed May 30, 2018.
Ismayilova N, Leung M-A, Kumar R, Smith M, Williams RE. Ketogenic diet therapy in infants less than two years of age for medically refractory epilepsy. Seizure. 2018;57:5-7. doi:10.1016/j.seizure.2018.02.014.
Pilone V, Tramontano S, Renzulli M, et al. Metabolic effects, safety, and acceptability of very low-calorie ketogenic dietetic scheme on candidates for bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2018. doi:10.1016/j.soard.2018.03.018.
Leow ZZX, Guelfi KJ, Davis EA, Jones TW, Fournier PA. The glycaemic benefits of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in adults with Type 1 diabetes mellitus may be opposed by increased hypoglycaemia risk and dyslipidaemia. Diabetic Medicine. 2018. doi:10.1111/dme.13663.
Masood WM., Uppaluri, KR. Ketogenic Diet. StatPearls. May 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/#article-23879.s1. Accessed May 30, 2018.
Breastfeeding and breastmilk have long been touted for the health benefits for both moms and babies include lowering the risks of asthma, allergies, ear infections, ovarian and breast cancer, and just to name a few. Recent research has established that breastfeeding can also decrease the risk of maternal type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Results from a thirty year study showed breastfeeding for 6 months or more can lower a mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 47% compared to mothers who do not breastfeed at all. Women that breastfed for 6 months or less lowered their risks by 25%.
The study included 1,238 women ages 18 to 30 years old . The study showed that the risk of diabetes declined as the breastfeeding duration increased regardless of the multiple factors of race, body size, lifestyle behaviors, and other influences prior to pregnancy. Possible explanation of the benefits includes, “the influence of lactation-associated hormones on the pancreatic cells that control blood insulin levels and thereby impact blood sugar levels.” (Gunderson, et al. 2018).
Research continues to provide evidence of the many healthy benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the optimal health feeding choice for moms and babies, but often times mothers get discouraged or experience barriers. Support and education is extremely important to uplift our breastfeeding moms to help them reach their goals. For any moms that are experiencing any hesitation, discomfort, or just simply need encouragement, please feel free to locate a lactation consultant to receive the counseling and support you need.
Kirsten E. Kearse
Life University, MS Nutrition ’16
Erica P. Gunderson, Cora E. Lewis, Ying Lin, Mike Sorel, Myron Gross, Stephen Sidney, David R. Jacobs, James M. Shikany, Charles P. Quesenberry. Lactation Duration and Progression to Diabetes in Women Across the Childbearing Years. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2018; DOI: 1001/jamainternmed.2017.7978
Introducing solid foods to infants can be such an exciting time. Discovering their likes, dislikes, and exploring new foods is such an amazing milestone for babies. The foods we prepare are just as important as when we offer those foods to our infants. A recent report indicated that more than half of babies are currently introduced to complementary foods prematurely. Complementary foods include foods or drinks other than breast milk or formula. Early food introduction tends to occur among infants who were never breastfed or breastfed for less than four months. It is very important to introduce complementary foods at the appropriate age to receive the most benefit from breast milk or formula and to avoid missing out on important nutrients. Introducing foods too late may cause issues as well such as micronutrient deficiencies, allergies, and poorer diets later in life.
Current recommendations encourage parents to introduce complementary foods to their infant at around six months. Based on the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 32.5% of babies in the United States are following the recommendations at six months, 16.3% were introduced before four months, 38.3% were introduced at four to five months, and 12.9% were introduced at seven or more months. Recommendation inconsistency may be attributed to healthcare professionals or caregivers that are not up to date on the current guidelines. Recommendations regarding the appropriate age has changed from introducing foods at three months in 1958 to four months in the 1970s, and now six months which were established in the 1990s.
The United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services will release the first federal dietary guidelines for children under two years of age in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines. This effort should help and educate parents and healthcare providers with a consistent message on the most up to date recommendations. For any advice or tips on how and what to feed your baby at six months, please register for the A Solid Start: How to introduce solids to create adventurous eaters class at Pea Pod Nutrition or schedule a consultation with a Registered Dietitian.
Kirsten E. Kearse, RKT
Life University, M.S. Nutrition
Chloe M. Barrera, Heather C. Hamner, Cria G. Perrine, Kelley S. Scanlon. Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods to US Infants, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2014. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018; DOI: 1016/j.jand.2017.10.020