Nutrition

Kids in the Kitchen

Most parents avoid letting their kids get involved in the kitchen because of the negative images they conjure up: giant clouds of flour, eggs smeared from one end of the counter to the other, peanut butter hair-do’s. However, a whole host of studies from organizations as diverse as the American Heart Association and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University strongly encourage parents to reconsider their children’s roles in helping to prepare the family meal.

What’s the big deal about Vitamin D?

All pregnant and lactating women should have their vitamin D levels checked because many of us are deficient and don’t know it.  Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked with an almost 4 times higher Cesarean-section rate (J Clinical Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Mar; 94(3):940-5).  Maternal deficiency during pregnancy has also been correlated with low birth weight, pre-eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure, swelling, protein in the urine, and in some cases maternal death), and gestational diabetes.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria and yeast that live in our intestinal tracts and help support not only good digestion and optimal absorption of nutrients but our overall health and well being.  It sounds strange, but these single cell organisms affect us in ways we can hardly imagine and which modern science is now beginning to elucidate.  Probiotics may help promote healthy mood, keep us from sniffling and sneezing, and bind toxins and heavy metals (like mercury) in order to better excrete these poisons.  By the time we are adults, 3-4 lbs of our body weight is accounted for by these organisms alone!  However, most of us in modern industrial society do not have an optimal mix of intestinal bacteria due to antibiotics, antacids, stress, lack of sleep, fast food, and hydrogenated oils, among other culprits.