Greetings! I am on business travel this week. That is why I have decided to pull out a few noteworthy reader comments from my archives this week instead of the usual Five for Fridays.
I am constantly inspired by your comments and I learn a lot from them. I want to say thanks to those who spend time reading my posts and leave a comment behind with some advice, helpful tips or a question for further research. Some of them have their own blogs, which I highly recommend you to visit whenever you get a chance.
Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
- When a reader asked about food sources of vitamin D, Dr. Joanna Dolgoff listed these on her Ask the Expert post about Vitamin D deficiency
- Nona Nita reminded us that dollars and sense is not everything in response to a Five for Fridays entry on home gardens:
- Reiza was concerned about mercury in tuna when she read dietitian Janet Helms’s Ask the Expert article on sushi for toddlers
- Dr. Ayala offered her perspectives on healthy snacks and indulgences in response to a Five for Fridays entry on childhood obesity
- Alina shared her concern and hoped for better nutrition at schools in response to Ask the Expert article on managing concerns about daycare food
Foods that contain Vitamin D include fortified milk, fortified yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, wild salmon, canned tuna, cod liver oil, sun-dried shitake mushrooms and egg yolks. I think the fortified milk, yogurt and breakfast cereals will work best for a toddler!
Even if growing my own tomatoes will cost more, I like the idea that I am going to use heirloom seeds that have not been hybridized. I will be able to keep the seeds from my produce to grow more next year. Not only will I get tomatoes like they used to taste when I was a kid, but saving the seeds from the tomatoes to use next year will be a great lesson in the cycle of life for my grandchild. Hooray to the Obamas for being great role models! Hooray to you for a great blog!
My kids have all eaten sushi since infancy. You raised some issues I never even considered. I don’t think we’ll stop (my twins are over 5, but not my son), but we’ll definitely be asking more questions.
One thing I want to know, though, is how much sushi with tuna would a child need to consume to be worried about mercury? I’ve always limited canned tuna, but I never thought mercury would be an issue with such small pieces like you find in sushi.
In response, Janet Helm added:
Thanks for your message. You’re right. The small amount of tuna in sushi should not be such a problem, since the recommended limit is 12 ounces per week. A 3-ounce portion is about the size of a deck of cards, so you can estimate the number of ounces your kids may be consuming.
So if you’re not eating tuna more than once a week, you’re probably well within the “safe” range for mercury.
I don’t particularly like the term “snack”, as it can mean a small meal, which could be very healthy, or, more commonly, a highly processed packaged food you can eat on the go anytime and anywhere.
I therefore don’t use “snacks”. No matter the name, I make the small meals between the other bigger meals healthy–fruits, vegetables, nuts, leftover food from yesterdays’ dinner. That’s what I serve my kids when they come home from school quite hungry and in between meals.
As for the indulgences that I do think should not be denied–I call them dessert, and my kids call them “junk”. A good time to eat them is after the meal. I think there’s a place for ice-cream, chocolate, cake or whatever indulgence one fancies, but the key to really enjoying those and eating healthily is moderation and great quality. A small dessert (when a kid isn’t too hungry) made of high quality ingredients is a pleasure. Snacking on chips, cookies and donuts (even if low-fat)is not particularly satisfying, doesn’t hit the spot, and is just a bad habit.
I like the idea of bringing food to daycare but unfortunately many daycares do not allow found to be brought in. Also, a toddler wants to eat what everyone else is eating since the kids all eat together. Improving the nutrition of daycare (and all school food in general) is a very important topic. It would be nice for policy-makers and law-makers to embrace the need for this change!!
Photo source: Robert Whitehead on Flickr