Roasted Radishes

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of radishes in my CSA basket.  I was simply washing, slicing and eating them in salads, but that got old pretty quickly!  So I decided to try to roast them, which is my favorite way of preparing vegetables.

I washed and sliced the radishes and placed them on a baking sheet with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Baked at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes and they were fantastic!  The pepperiness of the radish faded and a sweetness came out from the caramelization.  I added the them to a salad, and I loved the warm vegetable on top of cold lettuce leaves!

Radish Nutrition Information (1 cup raw)

  • 19 calories
  • 0 grams fat
  • 4 grams carbohydrate
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 1 gram protein
  • They are a very good source of vitamin C, Folate, and Potassium

Have you ever tried roasted radishes?


Moving on From Infant Rice Cereal

So you’ve been feeding your baby rice cereal, but the big question you may be having is:

“When should I move on to other food besides rice cereal?!”


Well I wouldn’t rush it if I were you.  Remember you may be bored with rice cereal, but your baby is not!  He or she has been having the same milk (breast or formula) for the past 4-6 months and hasn’t gotten bored yet!  So do not rush just because you are bored.

This is a huge learning experience and you want to give your baby time to master his or her skills before you move on.

Here’s How to Progress with Rice Cereal

  • Start with one feeding per day and make it very thin
  • As you progress add less and less breast milk or formula so it becomes thicker
  • Continue until baby is having 2-3 feedings per day and consuming a total of 1/2 cup of prepared cereal
  • This will give the baby his or her iron needs
  • Spoon feeding is a huge adjustment for the baby, don’t rush it!
  • This process may take 3-4 weeks
  • As you progress make the cereal lumpier

Look out for posts in the coming weeks about feeding your baby fruits & veggies!

Baby’s First Food: When to Start & Stop

When you introduce solids to your baby it’s not about the nutrition that he or she will be getting, but rather the explorative process of eating and having a spoon in his or her mouth.  So don’t worry if the baby eats very little.  The last thing you want to do is force your baby to eat and end up with an unhappy baby.

The best results in feeding will happen if you follow your baby’s queues!

You want your baby to be interested in the food, to look at the food and open his or her mouth.  Here are some examples from my first feeding experience.  These photos show you that Hannah was interested and wanted to take part in the new situation:


But soon after these initial first bites, she had enough.  And she told me so!

Even though Hannah doesn’t speak words, her actions were very clear.  She did not want anymore!  So we stopped.  If I had continued she probably would have started to get very fussy and maybe cry.  Not what you want to accomplish.  Remember this is completely new to them.  As I mentioned earlier it’s fine that she only got the tiniest bit of food into her belly.  She is getting adequate nutrition at this point through breast milk (formula is more than adequate too).  It’s good to experiment for about a month with baby rice cereal until they’ve mastered it.

Next up: When to move on from baby rice cereal

Baby’s First Food!

Sorry I’ve been MIA recently…I promise to start blogging more regularly again!  In addition to posts about healthy eating, nutrition tips, and easy meals I’m also going to be doing some posts about feeding babies!

This past weekend, our now 5 month old Hannah ate her first solids!

The current recommendation is to give your baby solids between 4-6 months.  Talk to your pediatrician before doing so.  Why did we decide to give Hannah her solids at 5 months?  Here were the queues that she was ready:

  • She can sit up with support
  • She does not thrust out her tongue anymore when something goes in her mouth
  • She is interested in food (she watches me eat and reaches for my plate when I have her on my lap).

What to give baby first?

  • Baby rice cereal is recommended as the baby’s first solid food.
  • Baby rice cereal is a very low allergy food.

How to Feed Baby:

  • Choose to feed your baby when he or she is happy and not starving or very full.  Usually halfway between feedings is a good time to do so.
  • Take 1 Tablespoon of baby rice cereal and mix with a few Tablespoons of breast milk or formula.
  • Use a soft spoon so you don’t harm baby’s gum.
  • Take a tiny bit of the cereal on the end of the spoon and touch to baby’s lips.
  • This is totally new to the baby and she or he might be very apprehensive at first.  Some babies eat with gusto at first, while others shy away.
  • Be very patient with the baby and continue to give him or her tiny bits more.
  • When he or she starts turning her head away and closing his or her mouth when you bring the spoon close, then consider the feeding done!
  • You can start off once or twice a day.
  • The first feedings are meant to get your baby used to the spoon and food, and getting used to eating rather than drinking.
  • Don’t be concerned if they only take a couple tiny bites.  This is a learning process!


Breastfeeding Diet Breakdown

You now have an extra 500 calories per day in your diet, but you may be wondering what types of foods you should eat.  You certainly don’t want those 500 calories coming from an ice cream sundae daily.  Your nutrition now is very important.

Here’s what you need more of:

Protein: Make sure to have some source of protein with each meal and snack.  Most people don’t have to worry about their protein intake (even when breastfeeding) unless you eat a low protein diet or are vegetarian or vegan.  Foods high in protein are: poultry, beef, fish/shellfish, pork, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds and soy.

Calcium: Low fat and fat free milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese.  Other foods that are high in calcium are calcium-fortified orange juice, tofu, leafy greens, canned salmon with bones, sardines and almonds.

Zinc: Plant and animal proteins, oysters and wheat germ.

Folic Acid: Beans and dark-green leafy vegetables

Vitamin E: Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, and dark-green leafy vegetables

Vitamin B6: Meat, whole grain cereals, dark-green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and bananas

Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, kiwi, cauliflower and kale

Vitamin B12: Animal protein

Ribloflavin: Animal protein, mushrooms,dark-green leafy vegetables, and fortified grains

Vitamin A: Organ meat, fortified dairy products, dark-green leafy vegetables, deep yellow/orange colored fruits and vegetables

As you can see if you eat a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat you will likely get all that you need and take your prenatal vitamin to fill in any gaps.

The Breastfeeding Diet

After giving birth you may think about going on a diet or cutting calories in order to lose the baby weight.  If you are breastfeeding it’s really important not to try to lose the weight too quickly otherwise you may compromise the quality and quantity of your breast milk.  Once breastfeeding, some women drop the weight very quickly and others hold on to the weight and have trouble dropping the rest until they stop breastfeeding.  Either way, know that your diet right now is very important so if you are not able to maintain a good diet with adequate calories then breastfeeding may not be right for you.

During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy you needed extra calories.  But guess what, while breastfeeding you have to keep those extra calories up or have even more!  Approximately an extra 500 calories are needed while breastfeeding.  And those calories shouldn’t come from junk (a little is ok).  You want to make the quality of your diet as good as possible.

Guess what?  You can now say hello to: sushi, deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses, runny yolks and sprouts!

Things to Keep in Mind While Breastfeeding

For Baby: The only supplement your baby needs while breastfeeding is 400IU of vitamin D.  This is essential since the mother’s milk does not provide enough vitamin D.

Many women miss alcohol during their pregnancy, so it’s ok to have some while you are breastfeeding.  Try to have the drink right after your nurse.  I really enjoy a glass of wine now and then.  Right now I feed Hannah around 7pm and she goes to bed by 8pm.  We have dinner once we put her down for the night and it works perfectly to have a glass of wine with dinner since I just fed her.  It’s a great way to relax and unwind (not every night though!).  If you still feel the effects of the alcohol then it’s best not to nurse and instead pump and dump the milk.

Next Post: Breastfeeding Diet Breakdown

To Breastfeed or Not

As a new mom I’ve learned how much pressure new moms feel to breastfeed.  As a dietitian breastfeeding was something I always wanted to do since I know how great it is for mom and baby.  However, it does not always go as smoothly as everyone hopes.  Luckily, Hannah is a good eater and we haven’t had any issues thus far.

The pros of breastfeeding for baby:

  • optimal nutrition
  • it’s easy for the baby to digest
  • strong immune component for baby
  • reduced risk of respiratory infection, gastrointestinal infections, asthma, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesteremia and childhood lukemia
  • reduced rates of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • promotes bonding with mother
  • reduced rates of allergies and intolerances
  • helps promote proper jaw and teeth development
  • may increase intelligence and school performance through adolescence

The pros of breastfeeding for mom:

  • it’s free and doesn’t involve any preparation
  • promotes strong bond with baby
  • helps shrink uterus
  • helps mom return to pre-pregnancy size sooner
  • reduces postpartum bleeding
  • decreased risk for: type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression
  • improved bone density

Even though there are so many benefits of breastfeeding it does not mean that formula is bad!  You have to make the right choice for your own lifestyle, comfort level and medical situation.  Some women just don’t produce enough milk.  Some babies are not able to latch on properly.  Some women are not around their babies enough to do so and pumping may not be realistic.  Whatever your reason is, it’s important not to feel guilty if you are not able to breastfeed.

Since I have returned to work part-time I pump enough milk to provide Hannah with breast milk even when I’m not home.  I also give her bottles when we’re out in public which makes me more comfortable.  Again you have to do what is right for YOU!  This has been working really well for us and I hope to continue doing this till she is at least 6 months and I’ll evaluate at that point whether I want to continue or not.

Coming up in my next post:  The breastfeeding diet!

I’ll leave you with a couple photos from our recent trip to Bermuda.