Avoid Genetically Modified Foods for Your Baby

Canadian government does not require labeling. But for your baby’s health,  you can still make a choice:

  • Eating certified organic food is one way you can avoid GM food because GM is prohibited in organic farming. This includes organic dairy, eggs and meat because animals in organic farming are not fed GM grains like corn or soy.
  • Avoid eating processed foods with corn, canola and soy ingredients.
  • Buy cane sugar or organic sugar to avoid eating sugar from GM sugar beets.
  • Support farmers who fight GM: buy food directly from farmers who
    do not plant GM corn, canola or soy or use GM grains for meat, dairy or egg production.

GMO-Foods

How to read the GMO labeling

Foods that are genetically modified have a 5 digit code that begins with a 9. Foods that are organic, which cannot be genetically modified by definition, have a 5 digit code that begins with an 8. Lastly, foods that are neither genetically modified nor organic have a 4 digit code.

monsantoapplecode

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

How to Raise a Bilingual Child

My husband and I have a different first language. We want our little one to be able to speak both of our languages. Currently I speak two languages to my little one at the same time. For example, when I teach him the name of things around the house, such as apple, I normally teach him “Apple” in English and “Ping Guo” in Chinese.  I’ve heard “One Parent One Language” method in raise a bilingual child. However this won’t work in our situation – Hubby can’t understand my first language. Therefore I have to switch back to English when hubby is with us.

By the age of 14-month, our little one is able to babbling sounds like” mama, baba, dada, nana, maba” etc. However he is not able to say a few words besides “mama” and “dada” based on the current health care guideline. I am a little bit worried that he might be delayed in his language development. Also I am not sure if I should only use one language instead of two with my little one. So I talked to a public health nurse about my concerns. The nurse consulted a language pathologist and provided me some recommendations. Here I would like to share them with those moms who are also try to raise a bilingual child at home. Hope this helps. :-)

Type of Language Learning
  1. Simultaneous Multilingualism – When children learn two or more languages at the same time before they are 3 years of age. This is what we want for our child. Therefore the tips below will focus on learning two languages simultaneously.
  2. Sequential Multilingualism – When children learn a second language after age 3.

For Type One Language Learners (Simultaneous multilingualism), there are normally three stages involved:

  1. Stage 1 – Mixing
    Children may mix the two languages together in words or in short sentences.
  2. Stage 2 – Sorting out separate languages
    Children start linking words and people to different languages around age 2 1/2 years. While learning the different languages children will often memorize and copy sentences and the person’s actions.
  3. Stage 3 – One language becomes the stronger language
    When children use one of the languages more regularly, that language will become the stronger language (dominant one). By age 7 children can usually mange the different languages without difficulty. They should be able to use the right words and grammar of each language.

For Type Two Language Learners (Sequential Multilingualism)

  1. Advantages:
    When children learn a second language after age 3, the children know the basic rules of their first language (by age 3 children are usually able to carry on conversations), which helps them learn more languages.
  2. Disadvantages:
    Learning a language after age 3 takes more time. There is a 3-month “learning to understand the new language” period. After that, children begin to understand the new language. It takes about 2 years to be able to talk comfortable in the new language and 5-7 years to think in it.
How to make language learning clearer (using strategies)

There are examples of strategies you can follow, choose one that appropriate for your family:

  1. Activity-based: 1 activity = 1 language
    Example: Bedtime story is in English; the rest of the day is in French
  2. People-based: 1 person = 1 language
    Example: Mom speaks one language; Dad speaks another language.
  3. Place-based: 1 place = 1 language
    Example: In the house we speak Italian; outside the house we speak English
Balancing Your Child’s Languages

If it is important for you that both languages be strong, it is also important that your child gets equal amounts of stimulation in both languages.

In our case, it would be a mixed People-based – I mainly speak first language to my child; but I also speak English to him when his dad is with us. In the meantime I also teach my boy names of objects in both languages – I am not sure if doing this might confuse him more or it might work if he thinks there are always two names for everything – then it also might take him more time to process everything I teach him hence delay the time he speaks his first word. I think it might be the best way for our family for now but we will see what will happen in a couple of month.

Are you raising a bilingual child? I would love to hear your thoughts and methods to help your child at home. Please share with us in the comments below. Thank you!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

What do I Feed My 14-month Toddle?

Now LO is 14 month old (young) :-). What solid food have we fed him so far?

  • Grains – organic brown rice cereal, oat,  wheat, quinoa, barley, millet, amaranth
  • Fruits – organic apple, banana, avocado, pear, blue berry
  • Vegetables – organic yam, butternut squash, pea, green bean, broccoli, spinach, red legume, corn, cabbage, celery, cucumber,  black-eyed beans
  • Meats – organic chicken, beef, egg yolk, egg white, pork
  • Milk Products – Organic Homo 3.5% cow milk, Gouda cheese, plaint yogurt

14 m0nth toddle dinner

The photo on the left is one of regular dinner for my 14-month old. It has oat meal, quinoa, millet, amaranth, egg and spinach. My LO loves this type of combination!

Again, if we have the choice, we always opt for organic food. It’s highly recommended to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods for Your Baby. Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive. However, since we are making baby foods at home, we save some money than buying those baby foods in jars. Our baby foods are made with loves and the best possible ingredients!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

What GM Foods are on the Canadian Market?

GM-Food-Chart-2012_largeBased on CBAN, four GM crops are grown in Canada: corn, soy, canola and white sugar beet (for sugar processing). These are widely used as ingredients in processed foods. There is also now some GM sweet corn grown in Ontario and more could be grown in the future.

  • GM papaya, cotton and some types of squash are grown in the U.S. and can be imported, mostly as processed food ingredients.
  • GM Tomatoes: There are no GM tomatoes on the market anywhere in the world.
  • GM Potatoes: Monsanto took GM potatoes off the market because of consumer rejection.
  • GM Wheat: In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its request for approval of GM wheat in Canada and the US because of consumer and farmer protest. Monsanto has relaunched its GM wheat research.
  • Most of the GM corn grown in Canada is hard corn used for animal feed or processed food ingredients. There is no GM popcorn on the market. There are a few varieties of GM sweetcorn now being sold in Canada.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

What is Genetic Modification and Are GM Foods Saft to Eat?

What is Genetic Modification?

Genetic modification (GM) is recombinant DNA technology, also called genetic engineering
or GE. With genetic engineering scientists can change plants or animals at the molecular level by inserting genes or DNA segments from other organisms. Unlike conventional breeding and hybridization, the process of genetic engineering enables the direct transfer of genes between different species or kingdoms that would not breed in nature.

Are GM Foods Safe to Eat?

We don’t know what, if any, impacts GM foods could have on our health. There are many
unanswered safety questions.
Many scientists warn that:

  • The process of genetic engineering could create new allergens.
  • Foreign DNA may be able to survive in the human gut.
  • Animal feeding studies indicate liver and kidney problems.

GM foods are approved for human consumption based on company-produced science. The data is secret and is not peer-reviewed by independent scientists. Health Canada does not do its own testing. There is no mandatory labeling in Canada, and no tracking or monitoring of possible health impacts.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

What Finger Foods can I Offer to My 10-month old Baby?

At around 8 months of age, your baby might show an interest in feeding himself/herself. Finger Foods such as soft fruits (banana, peaches or pears) or steamed vegetables can be introduced at this time to develop self-feeding skills.

What are finger foods choice do I have for my baby?

  • Fruits – Peeled raw fruits such as bananas, pears, peaches, papaya or blueberries are good introductory finger foods.
  • Vegetables – Steamed cauliflower, broccoli, beans or peas are good choices; Potatoes and yams cut in wedges and roasted are healthy alternative to french fries.
  • Breads and Cereal – toast, whole-grain crackers and rice cakes; cooked pasta, whole-grain cereal such as Cheerios, cornflakes or spoon size shredded wheat can be served without milk.
  • Meats and Proteins – small pieces of cooked chicken, beef, fish and cubes of soft tofu – you can serve them with homemade vegetable purees.
  • Dairy Products – at around 9 months, dairy products can be introduced. Cheese can be served either grated or cut into thin slices. Most babies also enjoy melted on bread strips.

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

Should I Feed My Baby Salt?

Sodium is an essential dietary nutrient that plays an important role in metabolism and maintenance of blood pressure. Sodium occurs naturally in many foods such as cow’s milk, human milk, cheese, vegetables and grains. To adults, an excess of sodium can raise blood pressure and cause significant health problems in later life. As it’s not clear what the consequences of excess sodium are for infants, it seems wise not to use added salt when preparing baby food.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

Using Kegel Exercises to Improve Your Urinary Incontinence

Factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, being overweight, and abdominal surgery such as cesarean section, often result in the weakening of the pelvic muscles.

So you are a new mom now. After the pregnancy and birth, you might find yourself not being able to control  urinary as good as before. You might even have some of the following problems:

  • Leak a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing or coughing
  • Have a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine (urinary incontinence)
  • Leak stool (fecal incontinence)

For me, I had the 1st and 2nd issues right after giving the birth. I even got an bladder infection 3 days after the birth.

My OB suggested me to do Kegel exercises to improve the urinary issues like these. However at the first two month after giving birth, I couldn’t even tighten those pelvic floor muscles.  I know how to tighten some muscles in that area, but I don’t  know if I am doing it right.  Therefore my OB referred me to a pelvic floor physio to help me find the pelvic floor muscles.

I’ve seen a pelvic floor physio twice now to get post-natal pelvic floor retraining. Below are some key points from her.
Kegel exercises

How to do Kegel Exercises

  • Find the right pelvic floor muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscles.
  • Practice your pelvic floor muscles . Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie on your back. You can put a rolled hand towel under your low back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row.
  • Maintain your focus. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks.
  • Keep breathing. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises. If possible, tighten the pelvic floor muscles while breathing out.
  • Repeat 3 times a day. Like any other muscles in our body, to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, you need to practice them regularly.  To expect results — such as less frequent urine leakage — within about a few months, aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

What Solid Food do I feed a 9-month Baby?

We started feeding our LO solid foods when he turned 5-month. Our pediatrician recommended to start solid food at 4-month; but we waited for one more month just to be save.

Now LO is at 9 month 3 weeks. What solid food have we fed him so far?

  • Grains – organic brown rice cereal, oat,  wheat, quinoa
  • Fruits – organic apple, banana, avocado, pear, blue berry
  • Vegetables – organic yam, butternut squash, pea, green bean, broccoli, spinach, red legume, corn
  • Meats – organic chicken, beef, egg yolk

If we have the choice, we always opt for organic food. Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive. However, since we are making baby foods at home, we save some money than buying those baby foods in jars. Our baby foods are made with loves and the best possible ingredients!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

When can I Feed My Baby Cheese and Yogurt?

Based on The Baby’s Table, from 9 to 12 month, it is a sensible time to introduce calcium-rich dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese. Introducing them earlier than 9 month may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Cow’s milk for drinking should be postponed until 12 months.

What type of cheese and yogurt can a 9 months old baby eat?

All cheese must be pasteurized. Cheddar, mozzarella, Edam, Gouda and cottage cheese tend to be popular with babies.

To avoid the additives found in many commercial yogurts, choose a plain high-fat yogurt (any yogurt above 3% milk fat) and mix it with your baby’s favorite fruit or vegetable puree.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon