Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I'm Missing on Weekdays

I've been stuck at home for two days now. Doctor's orders.

And these past two days are one of the most memorable days I've spent at home. For one, it was just me, Maia and Yaya. I felt like I was king and queen for two days. With no Tibs butting in to contradict my orders. Kidding.

What really made these two days memorable were these chance:

- to watch Maia go straight to the potty trainer after waking from a nap and successful empty her bladder with out our prodding. Added bonus was her cheering "YEY! GALING!" after rising from the potty seat.
- to learn that Maia loves to eat cheese. We used to think she only likes those ensaymada toppings that she likes to pick but I thought of handing her a few cheese slices and she devoured them instantly. There's even a matching, "yummmm sarap sarap!" when she finished the cheese off her plate. I don't know yet if the liking would take her as far as one week. But at least we have alternative calcium source for the next few days since we're really trying to wean her off the bottle.
- to listen to Maia respond to her dad's call. Usually, when I'm on the other line she'd just keep quiet and listen to me talk. But these past 2 days, she'd immediately say 'dad?dad?' when I hand over the phone to her. Now this somehow convinces me that this little girl is a Daddy's girl. *sob*sob
- be around when Maia's on her extra sensitive/attentive mood. Or maybe it's because yaya kept telling her Mom's sick so she has to behave. Entire Monday, she kept to herself. Played while I rested. And easily took a nap when we asked her she needed to. She demanded to be read a story only once in the afternoon. Today (Tuesday) was a bit different though. But she really only demanded for a few minutes of tickle, tickle with Mommy and a couple of hours of playtime. I felt better today anyways so I'm glad I had the energy to give in to her demands.
- to have the luxury to really pick a time to explain to Maia the reason why she can't do this or do that without going really negative on her. And I could see that she's also paying a lot more attention when I talk in a patiently manner (slowly probably and without raising my voice).
- to finally get to remember how wonderful it was to really nap luxuriously in the afternoon. I forgot that feeling a long time ago (I think I last had the same wonderful experience during sembreaks in college way back...hehe nevermind).

I'm going back to work a lot more energized tomorrow. Today I can say with conviction that everything do happen for a reason. Even if you're forced to miss work on closing week. Wehehehe.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maia at the mall

We were waiting for Tibs to get back so we hanged out in our of the abubot shops in ATC. 

Maia wanted to touch each and every figurine in sight but I was still able to stop her from doing it. She found a couple of clips though and notepads with cute prints on them and picked up 2 of each. I asked her, "may pambayad ka?". Guess what she did, she handed all the goodies to me. Signalling me to pay for them. That really made me laugh hard. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicken A la King

Description:
This is one of my comfort foods in college. In one of the office birthdays we used to celebrate at work, I was asked to bring in a different dish since everyone's already 'umay' with the usual menu of pancit and litson manok.I was missing UP then and I thought i'll try if I can whip out the same chicken ala king that I used to enjoy when I was still a student.

I got the original recipe from http://homecookingrocks.com/chicken-a-la-king/. I tweaked it a bit to include my fave sweet corn and carrots (because the one at JD had them). JD served it with toast but my family loves to partner it with a hot steaming bowl of rice.

Ingredients:
1/4 c. of butter
1 med white onion, chopped
2 to 3 pcs chicken breast, boiled and diced
1 can button mushrooms, diced (or fresh mushrooms if available about 200g)
2 medium bell peppers (red and green, preferably)
1 can sweetcorn kernel
1 med sized carrots, diced
1 small can pimientos (sweet bell peppers)
½ c. of all-purpose (single) cream
3 c. of chicken broth (from the boiled chicken) (or combination of chicken broth and liquid from canned mushrooms)
around 6 tbsps. of flour

salt and pepper, to adjust taste


Directions:
Boil chicken in approximately 3 ½ cups of water till tender. Add half of the chopped onion. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Save the broth for later.

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Cook all the vegetables in hot butter for about two minutes. Remove from the butter and set aside. If using fresh mushrooms, cook them in hot butter as well for about a minute, then remove and set aside.

Reheat the butter. Add the flour, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Cook over medium heat for about a minute — DO NOT allow to brown. Pour in the chicken broth little by little, stirring as you pour (I use a wire whisk to prevent lumps). Add the cooked chicken and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cream, stir and simmer for another minute.

Serve hot with rice or toasted bread. May also be served cold with buttered toast.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Baggy Confession

I have a secret love affair with bags.

I say secret because you can never tell that by looking at me. Or by looking at my lousy bag collection.

I do not own a pricey bag. Or a flashy bag. My bag acquisitions were always fueled by the demise of its predecessor. You probably get the picture by now.

Now that I've become a mommy, my love affair has shifted to diaper bags. I'd ogle at diapers bags I'd see online or while window shopping. But despite this over fascination, my attitude hasn't changed yet. I still am the same ol stingy Faye that I was before I became a mommy.

But I think I am going to be a convert soon from being the stingy diaper bag crazy mom that I am. And I think Manilababyshop has a lot to do with that. And even without my financial advisor's blessing (a.k.a. The Hubby) I'm starting to save my allowance to buy maia and myself a piece of this multi-functional, stylish and very affordable diaper bags.

And since they have a contest going on, I am trying my luck as well :)) Head on to the Manilababy Shop's multiply site and check out their collection. You might find one that you'll like too!

Please see contest mechanics here. Good fellow mommies! :))

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello Toy Kingdom

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we told the little one that we're going to visit Jesus. I was shocked when she responded - "Simba, Mommy? Hello Jesus." It's really amazing how fast kids can pick up these days.

The last time we heard mass at the Baclaran Church was when we learned we were pregnant.Last Sunday, we brought that baby with us. She was surprisingly quiet and patient the entire time we were inside the Church. It didn't bother her that it was a bit crampy and humid. I guess she's finally realized that simba means silence. :))

After mass, we went to MOA to buy her shoes because she's outgrown her only pair within 2 months :( We decided to drop by Toy Kingdom so the little one can have her own time. Believe it or not...it's Maia's first time inside Toy Kingdom.

I was so scared we might run into Mr. Mega-Tantrum while we were inside but the little girl was so behaved the entire 1 hour that we were inside the store.

 

Monday, July 26, 2010

A nosy and scary surprise!

I am the eldest among a brood of 5. My mom is the eldest among a brood of 7. She was the first to have children. That makes me the eldest among cousins now counting to 29. I witnessed almost all 28 grow up. I guess that led me somehow becoming so maternal at an early age.

Despite having seen my siblings and cousins go through accidents in their childhood - may it be major, minor or in-between, I've vowed to be even more careful when I become a Mommy.

So I babyproofed as much as I can when Maia started crawling and cruising and walking and now running. I padded sharp edges and floors so falls are cushioned. I kept all sharp objects away from her reach. Despite all these efforts though, I've still witnessed Maia fall down our bed several times. The feeling of seeing her fall and not being able to catch her in time is heartstopping. I'd swim in an ocean of guilt for days after those incidents even with Tibs comforting me and telling me none of that is my fault. Mothers are supposed to protect their children and I failed on mine. But those thoughts started disappearing a few months back when Maia started to walk with ease and balance. She'd run without tripping. Most often, she'd refuse my offer to carry her. She's starting to be independent. 

With that, I've started embracing the idea of letting her be. I afterall wanted her to have the freedom to explore the world on her own as much as possible. I wanted her to discover things on her own because that was how I was when I was a kid and I really appreciated that from my parents. I wanted to be the same parent with my daughter.

Yesterday though, I got another wake up call.

Coming home from a running event, I was quite exhausted. So afer lunch we just had a short picture flash card session and then I called her into the bedroom so we can nap together. That's when she grabbed my hand and pointed to her nose. I saw her a few minutes earlier picking her nose but I fought the urge to slap her hand away because I was just too tired to do so. At that point though, she really looked irritated so I went to look what's making her nose so itchy. And voila, guess what I found stuck inside her nose:

Panicked enveloped me instantly. My voice was shaking while I called for help from Tibs and Ate Inday. I was so scared she'd suck this thing in even deeper I wanted to stop her from breathing. Good thing my panic did not rub on Tibs. He got that thing out of Maia's tiny little nose in no time. Thank God too that Maia never panicked as well. She stayed still the entire time her Dad was pulling that thing out of her nose.

Till now, we don't know where she got this thing from. I still don't know what it is. But I did discover one of her electronic toys broken with some parts missing. This could be attached to one of those missing parts. I already took all the tiny parts on that broken toy away. I wanted to throw the entire toy away but if you have a toddler you'd understand how clingy they are with things they've grown attached to. And I have yet to ask her permission to throw the toy away. So initial solution is just to take all the tiny parts away.

Sigh. Parenting is such a complicated task. I wish I can always prepare myself for the worst. But then again, learning is a step by step thing isn't it? It's always when things are difficult and complicated that we retain most of the things we're taught. So I learned a major lesson yesterday. I'm starting to dread the coming lessons though. **Double sigh**

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A nosy and scary surprise!

I am the eldest among a brood of 5. My mom is the eldest among a brood of 7. She was the first to have children. That makes me the eldest among cousins now counting to 29. I witnessed almost all 28 grow up. I guess that led me somehow becoming so maternal at an early age.

Despite having seen my siblings and cousins go through accidents in their childhood - may it be major, minor or in-between, I've vowed to be even more careful when I become a Mommy.

So I babyproofed as much as I can when Maia started crawling and cruising and walking and now running. I padded sharp edges and floors so falls are cushioned. I kept all sharp objects away from her reach. Despite all these efforts though, I've still witnessed Maia fall down our bed several times. The feeling of seeing her fall and not being able to catch her in time is heartstopping. I'd swim in an ocean of guilt for days after those incidents even with Tibs comforting me and telling me none of that is my fault. Mothers are supposed to protect their children and I failed on mine. But those thoughts started disappearing a few months back when Maia started to walk with ease and balance. She'd run without tripping. Most often, she'd refuse my offer to carry her. She's starting to be independent.

With that, I've started embracing the idea of letting her be. I afterall wanted her to have the freedom to explore the world on her own as much as possible. I wanted her to discover things on her own because that was how I was when I was a kid and I really appreciated that from my parents. I wanted to be the same parent with my daughter.

Yesterday though, I got another wake up call.

Coming home from a running event, I was quite exhausted. So afer lunch we just had a short picture flash card session and then I called her into the bedroom so we can nap together. That's when she grabbed my hand and pointed to her nose. I saw her a few minutes earlier picking her nose but I fought the urge to slap her hand away because I was just too tired to do so. At that point though, she really looked irritated so I went to look what's making her nose so itchy. And voila, guess what I found stuck inside her nose:

Panicked enveloped me instantly. My voice was shaking while I called for help from Tibs and Ate Inday. I was so scared she'd suck this thing in even deeper I wanted to stop her from breathing. Good thing my panic did not rub on Tibs. He got that thing out of Maia's tiny little nose in no time. Thank God too that Maia never panicked as well. She stayed still the entire time her Dad was pulling that thing out of her nose.

Till now, we don't know where she got this thing from. I still don't know what it is. But I did discover one of her electronic toys broken with some parts missing. This could be attached to one of those missing parts. I already took all the tiny parts on that broken toy away. I wanted to throw the entire toy away but if you have a toddler you'd understand how clingy they are with things they've grown attached to. And I have yet to ask her permission to throw the toy away. So initial solution is just to take all the tiny parts away.

Sigh. Parenting is such a complicated task. I wish I can always prepare myself for the worst. But then again, learning is a step by step thing isn't it? It's always when things are difficult and complicated that we retain most of the things we're taught. So I learned a major lesson yesterday. I'm starting to dread the coming lessons though. **Double sigh**

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello...Terrible Two's

A few weeks ago I had this conversation with Tibs regarding the Terrible Two's stage. I realized then that we are just 3 months shy of that difficult stage that we first time parents have been warned of and I told him it's probably best that we welcome it with emotional preparedness. He didn't take me seriously though. He even laughed at me and told me we'll never experience that stage because Maia's is going be called the TERRIFIC Two's.

Today though, the former said HI! to him at 5am. And it came two months early and at that point in the day where we've barely said Hi! to morning yet and you feel like a double espresso shot can't even do the trick.

Maia on her never before heard of Operatic Cry was lying on the floor. Alternating dance movements between arms flailing and rolling on the floor. It wasn't a pretty sight to wake up to. I could even smell Mr Migraine approaching. And what triggered all that was OREO. She wanted to eat OREO at 5 in the morning. And Mommy simply said NO. So off she goes with the Theatrics.

But as we all parents are on-call 24/7 we did what we thought was best. We let her cry her heart out. Tibs was fighting off the urge to laugh while I was desperately trying to move her back to bed so I can properly comfort her. But noooooo. To the little boss lady, I was a villainess disguising as Mommy this morning. She kept shouting NOOOOOOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOOOO! to me in between sobs, mild growls and howls. She pushed me away on the several attempts I did to comfort her. And Tibs on his way to the bathroom told me -- LET'S SEE WHO WINS THIS TIME. What an incredibly supportive cheer, no?

20-mins into the drama, she went out of the bedroom and into the arms of Ate Inday. That was when she stopped howling and growling. I heaved a sigh of relief. And went to brew myself a cup of barako.

Another 10 mins past and she forgot about that OREO incident already. She went to sit beside me on the sofa and demanded I read her a story. And we're back to lovey-doveys again.

Hello Terrible Two's. I will deal better with you next time.

 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On your 20th month...

...you started mimicking almost every word we say. We knew we had to be conscious with what we're saying around you before that but hearing you repeat after us made us realize we need to be extra cautious even more.

...you started kicking your little pink ball. I was dumbstricken I jumped for joy yet again. <Mothers seem to always exaggerate don't they, but it seems to be an inevitable my dear>. When you saw how happy I was you ran around the house with that ball shouting, kick ball! kick ball! You really know how to spoil Mommy.

...you got sick again. It was that relentless Rhinitis again which led to Tonsils being swollen and to eventually you having no appetite again for the next couple of days. Mommy was worried. But your smiling face always makes me feel secure. Thank you for that sweetie.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lola's 100th

My family is really BIG on reunions. I guess it mostly lies in the fact that we are now scattered all over the country so reunions are the only excuse we have to get together as often as we want. 

My lola is turning 100 today so Tibs and I are home in Antique again, with Maia in tow. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thank you, Ems

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mom + Maia = Home Alone

Tibs left for Laiya early this morning.

Since we had Maia, this is going to be the first time he's left us behind. I felt a slight excitement at the idea that I'd be a 'single' parent for a day. I can plan something for just the two of us. And it's going to  be our own little adventure.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Calcium for Active Toddlers

When Maia turned one, her Pedia suggested that we start training her to cut down on her milk intake. From her usual 20-24 oz daily formula feeding, it was suggested that we start feeding her only 8-16 oz per day.

It would not have been that challenging if she took her milk directly from me. But there were just certain unavoidable events in our lives that didn't permit us to do that, even if we really, really wanted to.

As I too have been reading several articles on the cons of formula feeding I did not object to the doctor's advice. I was even more determined to do it since I too have been targeting of weaning Maia off formula milk by the time she's 18 months old. Yes, milk is a good source of calcium. But there are other sources of calcium out there. We just need to have the conviction to use them instead of cow's milk.

Dra. Chen also suggested that we use rice milk. But they are quite expensive and to date, I only found them at Healthy Options which isn't very convenient for me. I can make my own, but I don't trust myself enough to make a palatable version of the commercially available one.

The best option for me still, is to cut down on the formula and improve Maia's daily meals instead.

For toddlers 1 to 3 years old, the daily calcium requirement is 500 milligrams mg. As a guide, I made this list of calcium rich foods from babycenter.com:

  • 1/4 cup raw tofu, prepared with calcium sulfate: 217 mg (The calcium content of tofu varies, depending on how it's processed. Check the label.)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt: 207 mg
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses: 200 mg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat fruit yogurt: 122 to 192 mg
  • 1/2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice: 133 to 250 mg
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese: 167 mg
  • 1/2 cup milk: 150 mg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk: 144 mg
  • 1/2 ounce Swiss cheese: 112 mg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt, soft serve: 102 mg
  • 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese: 102 mg
  • 1 slice calcium-fortified bread: 100 mg
  • 1/2 ounce mozzarella: 91 mg
  • 1/2 slice cheese pizza (fast food chain): 91 mg
  • 1/4 cup collard greens: 89 mg
  • 1/4 cup homemade pudding (from mix or scratch): 76 mg
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed butter): 64 mg
  • 1/4 cup turnip greens: 62 mg
  • 1 ounce canned pink salmon, solids with bone: 61 mg
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach: 60 mg
  • 1/2 cup ready-to-eat cereal, calcium fortified: 51 mg
  • 1/2 cup soy beverage, calcium fortified: 40 to 250 mg

In time, I'm hoping to be able to come up with a more comprehensive list and a weekly menu perhaps. It's a long way to go, but learning how much of this and that do toddlers her age need is definitely a start. I'm just happy too that the baby seems to be picking up now that milk isn't the only thing that would fill her tummy up.

photosource

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good sources of vitamin E

Why vitamin E is important Vitamin E limits the production of free radicals, harmful molecules that can damage cells. It's important for immunity, DNA repair, and other metabolic processes. How much vitamin E does your child need? Ages 1 to 3 years: 6 milligrams (mg), or 9 IU, of vitamin E per day Ages 4 to 8 years: 7 mg, or 10.5 IU, per day Many children don't get enough vitamin E from diet alone, but your child doesn't have to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin E every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week. Good sources of vitamin E Vitamin E can be found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Here are some of the best food sources of vitamin E: 1 ounce dry roasted almonds: 7 mg 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil: 6 mg 1 ounce dry roasted sunflower seeds: 6 mg 1 tablespoon almond butter: 4 mg 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter: 4 mg 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter: 2 mg 1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 2 mg 1 teaspoon sunflower oil: 1.8 mg 1 teaspoon safflower oil: 1.5 mg 1/2 medium kiwi (peeled): 1 mg 1 teaspoon corn oil: 0.6 mg 1/4 cup cooked frozen spinach: 0.8 mg 1/4 cup cooked frozen broccoli: 0 .6 mg 1 teaspoon soybean oil: 0.4 mg 1/4 cup raw mango: 0.9 mg The amount of vitamin E in a food will vary somewhat, depending on the size of the fruit or the brand of product, for instance. Note that nuts and seeds are choking hazards for very young children, and nut butters should be thinly spread for the same reason. Kids may eat more or less than the amounts of food shown, depending on their age and appetite. You can estimate the nutrient content accordingly. Can your child get too much vitamin E? It's far more likely that your child won't get enough of this vital nutrient. But because vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant, which increases the risk of bleeding problems, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set upper intake levels for vitamin E. (This is the maximum amount considered safe.) A 2- or 3-year-old child should get no more than 200 mg (or 300 IU) of vitamin E per day. A 4- to 8-year-old child should get no more than 300 mg (or 450 IU) of vitamin E per day.

Essential Fatty Acids

Why essential fatty acids are important Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are types of fat that are essential in the diet because they can't be produced by the body. These fats help build cells, regulate the nervous system, strengthen the cardiovascular system, build immunity, and help the body absorb nutrients. EFAs are vital for healthy brain function and vision. There are two families of EFAs: omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid). The body uses these short-chain fats to create long-chain fatty acids, which contribute to health in different ways, depending on their proportion. One of the long-chain fatty acids that the body can make from alpha-linolenic acid is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is critical to brain and eye development. This is why infant formula is fortified with DHA and why pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to have DHA in their diet, either from a food source or a supplement. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is another omega-3 long-chain fatty acid made by the body that's present in breast milk. Like DHA, it's found in fatty fish. Several factors affect the production of DHA by the body, including the amount of omega-6 fat, saturated fat, and trans fat in the diet. An imbalance of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats can also have a negative effect on immune and inflammatory responses in the body. This is thought to contribute to illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. How much does your child need? Ages 1 to 3 years: 7,000 milligrams (mg), or 7.0 grams, per day of omega-6 and 700 mg (0.7 grams) per day of omega-3 Ages 4 to 8 years: 10,000 mg (10 grams) per day of omega-6 and 900 mg (0.9 grams) per day of omega-3 Omega-6 fats are usually plentiful in the diet, and it's likely you only need to focus on making sure your child is getting adequate omega-3s. (Many omega-6 fats come from processed foods that contain oils such as soybean oil.) Your child doesn't have to get the recommended daily amount of essential fatty acids every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week. Good sources of essential fatty acids Kids may eat more or less than the amounts of food shown, given their age and appetite. You can estimate the nutrient content accordingly. Good sources of omega-3s include: 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil: 5,700 mg (not recommended for cooking but good for dressings) 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground: 15,900 mg 1/4 cup English walnuts: 9,100 mg 1 tablespoon peanut butter, fortified with omega-3: 4,950 mg 1 teaspoon walnut oil: 2,380 mg 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil: 3,110 mg 1 teaspoon soybean oil: 2,270 mg 1 teaspoon canola oil: 870 mg 1 tablespoon wheat germ: 500 mg 1 omega-3 fortified egg: 100 mg Most of us get too much omega-6 (primarily from vegetable oils) and not enough omega-3. Choosing fats that are rich in omega-3 for food preparation will ensure your child gets enough. Just a teaspoon of canola oil, for instance, contains the omega-3 most children need in a day. (Note that nuts and seeds are not appropriate for very small children because they pose a choking hazard. For the same reason, nut butters should be thinly spread.) In general, omega-6 fats are more plentiful in the diet than omega-3 fats. In fact, your child will most likely get all the omega-6 fats he needs from processed foods that contain safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils: 1 teaspoon safflower oil: 3,360 mg 1 teaspoon sunflower oil: 2,966 mg 1 teaspoon corn oil: 2,400 mg 1 teaspoon soybean oil: 2,300 mg DHA and EPA: Helping your child get enough While the body uses omega-3s to create DHA and EPA, there are food sources – mostly fish – that will help make sure your child gets enough. The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board suggests that a 1- to 3-year-old child could have up to 70 mg of DHA and EPA combined, and a 4- to 8-year-old child could have up to 90 mg of DHA and EPA combined. Encourage your child to eat DHA-rich foods at least once a week. Some good sources of DHA to try: 1 ounce cooked herring: kippered, 334 mg; pickled, 155 mg 1 ounces cooked salmon: 186 to 413 mg, depending on type 1 ounce sardines: Atlantic, canned in oil, drained: 144 mg; Pacific, canned in tomato sauce, drained: 282 mg 1 ounce rainbow trout: wild, 147 mg; farmed, 232 mg; mixed species, 192 mg 1 ounce mackerel, canned: Atlantic, 198 mg; Jack, 226 mg 1 ounce barramundi: 174 mg 1 ounce pollock: Atlantic, 128 mg; walleye, 80 mg 1 DHA-fortified egg: about 100 to 150 mg (depending on the brand) Can your child get too much essential fatty acids? Yes, your child can get too much of either of the essential fatty acids, which can then cause an imbalance. It's best to get the right balance of fats by choosing mostly fats rich in omega-3 and by avoiding trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats – often called "partially hydrogenated oils" on the label – are found in many fried foods (like French fries), baked goods (like cookies, pastries, pizza dough), and stick margarines and shortenings. Trans fats raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol and increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Saturated fats come mostly from animal sources like meat and dairy – fatty meats and lard, and cream, butter, and cheese. They're also found in baked and fried foods and some plant foods, like palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil.

Good sources of iron

Good sources of iron Iron can be found in a variety of foods. Here are some of the best sources: 1/2 cup fortified, ready-to-eat cereal: 12 mg 1/2 cup fortified oatmeal, prepared with water: 5 mg 1/4 cup raw tofu: 2.22 mg (The iron content of tofu varies by type; check the label.) 1/4 cup soybeans: 2 mg 1/4 cup boiled lentils: 2 mg 1/4 cup baked beans with pork and tomato sauce: 2 mg 1/4 cup navy beans: 1 mg 1/4 cup kidney beans: 1 mg 1 ounce braised lean beef, chuck: 1 mg 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses: 1 mg 1/2 medium broiled hamburger (1.5 oz.), 95% lean: 1 mg 1/4 cup garbanzo beans: 1 mg 1/4 cup cooked frozen spinach: 0.9 mg 1/4 cup black beans: 0.9 mg 1/4 cup pinto beans: 0.9 mg 1 slice whole wheat bread: 0.9 mg 1/4 cup raisins: 0.7 mg

Best sources of Magnesium

The best sources of magnesium Nuts and legumes are some of the best sources of magnesium. Some magnesium-rich foods to try: 1 ounce dry roasted cashews: 75 mg 1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 50 mg 1 tablespoon almond butter: 48 mg 1 tablespoon cashew butter: 41 mg 1/4 cup cooked soybeans: 37 mg 1/4 cup cooked spinach: 37 mg 1 ounce halibut: 30 mg 1/2 cup fortified instant oatmeal, prepared with water: 27 mg 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter: 25 mg 1 slice whole wheat bread: 25 mg 1/4 cup raisins: 25 mg 4 ounces ready-to-eat chocolate pudding: 24 mg 1/4 cup black-eyed peas: 22 mg 1/2 cup plain skim-milk yogurt: 22 mg 1/2 cup bran flakes: 26 mg 1/4 cup vegetarian baked beans: 20 mg 1/4 cup long-grain brown rice: 20 mg 1/4 cup lentils: 17 mg 1/4 cup pureed avocado: 17 mg 1/4 cup kidney or pinto beans: 17 mg 1/2 cup chocolate milk: 16 mg 1/2 medium banana: 15 mg 1/2 cup milk (low-fat or nonfat): 13.5 mg 1 teaspoon wheat bran: 7 mg 1 teaspoon wheat germ: 5 mg

Meal planning

Calcium: Builds strong bones and teeth, promotes healthy nerve and muscle function, helps blood clot, and helps the body convert food into energy. Essential fatty acids (EFAs): Help build cells, regulate the nervous system, strengthen the cardiovascular system, build immunity, and help the body absorb nutrients. Necessary for healthy brain function and vision. Iron: Important for making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment in blood, and myoglobin, a pigment that stores oxygen in muscles. Lack of iron can cause anemia, which can result in fatigue, weakness, and irritability. Magnesium: Keeps bones strong and the heart rhythm steady, supports the immune system, and helps maintain muscle and nerve function. Potassium: Works with sodium to control the body's water balance, which helps maintain blood pressure. Assists with muscle function and heart rhythm and, in later years, may reduce the risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis. Vitamin A: Plays an important role in vision and bone growth; helps protect the body from infections; promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, including the hair, nails, and skin. Vitamin C: Helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues; helps keep your child's gums healthy and strengthens blood vessels, minimizing bruising; assists with healing, boosts the immune system, and keeps infections at bay. Also helps the body absorb iron from iron-rich foods. Vitamin D: Helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and builds strong teeth and bones. Essential for reaching growth potential and peak bone mass. Also functions as a hormone with roles in immune system health, insulin production, and regulation of cell growth. Vitamin E: Limits the production of free radicals, which can damage cells. Important for immunity, DNA repair, and other metabolic processes. Zinc: Needed by more than 70 enzymes that aid digestion and metabolism, and essential for growth.
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