Tag Archives: diet

Adopt a Healthy Dental Diet for your Children (Pedcast)

Transcript:

DocSmo, your pedcast host: you  know, those practical, portable mp3s that help educate parents on a vast variety of parenting topics from conception to confirmation.  Let me remind you that by listening to this pedcast, you are agreeing to my terms and conditions posted on my website.  I am probably not your child’s doctor, so for specific advice with regards to your child, please consult the wonderful person you call your pediatrician.

 

Today’s topic is a big one…the number one chronic disease in children: dental decay.  Healthy gums and teeth important for long term health. Many experts now think that heart and blood vessel disease that lead to heart attacks and strokes may be caused by poor dental hygiene.  Even Alzheimer’s has been implicated in the dirty mouth paradigm.

 

When I was child, I used to get sugarcane stalk to chew on all day; dental visits were terrible.  I have memories of dinner table discussions between my parents about what causes cavities.  4 kids, and expensive dental visits got them thinking hard!  They didn’t know that sugars in the mouth cause most decay.  They were busy giving me 5 cents to go to Fred’s Fruit Stand to get sugarcane to chew on all day!  Isn’t that ironic.

 

We know what causes dental decay now: Strep Mutans- bacteria that ferments sugars into acids  which melt the enamel off your teeth.  Diet has a lot to do with this process: frequent exposure of teeth to sugars is a recipe for decay.  The longer sugars are in your child’s mouth, the worse the decay.  Some children are lucky and get really good enamel, but not most.

 

Word is out about stopping the bottle by 1 and no bottles in the bed; now we have sippy cups that do the same thing. ”But I dilute the juice doctor”, I can hear the parents say. Remember, bacteria don’t need a lot to eat; even very dilute sugar can get them going and destroy your child’s dental enamel in a flash.

 

While we are on the topic of nutrition, here are some easy things you can do to reduce dental decay in your children.

  • Make sure your children brush their teeth at least twice per day when they are old enough.
  •  Use flouride toothpaste when they are old enough to spit it out and not eat it.
  • In between meals, drinks should only be water.  No dilute juice, soda, tea, or anything with sugar in it including milk.
  • Snacks should not be sugary or sticky; sugary and sticky is the worst (Ex: candy, soda, sugar gum, gummies including vitamins).  Instead, give them dental healthy snacks- popcorn, nuts, cut up veggies or fruit.
  • If your child is old enough, chewing sugar free gum after meals and snacks is great for your teeth…pulls out plaque and bacteria from creavices
  • At Halloween when they have all that candy, let them have fun for a set period of time and then remove the candy.  Their slow enjoyment could be very expensive when the dental visit time comes around.

Sounds like little things, but following these guidelines could really improve your child’s health and save you a small fortune in dental bills.

 

I hope you learned a little something from that discussion of dental decay.  Fast, practical and portable are always my goal.  If you like what you hear, invite your friends to listen.  And make sure you subscribe on iTunes or at my website, www.DocSmo.com by simply hitting the RSS feed button and signing up; a free pediatrics degree is here for the taking.  Please feel free to send comments to my blog.  I will try to answer comments and post interesting thoughts.

 

This is Dr. Paul Smolen broadcasting from beautiful studio 1E, that’s first child’s bedroom, east side of the house, hoping that you don’t delay protecting your child from dental decay!

 

Until next time

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Lunchroom Lowdown: Nutrition (Article)

I started this week’s lunchroom lowdown by posing the following question to my partners: “How is the diet of your patients different than yours as a child?” This question generated a lively discussion among the doctors and nurse practitioners. What came through loud and clear was the fact that almost all the food that we consumed as children was prepared at home home, not made in a restaurant, and certainly not in a fast food restaurant. Drs. Moorman and Plonk were raised in rural towns whose economies revolved around agriculture. Neither had any regular access to restaurants, so home-cooked meals were all they got.  Everything was prepared by hand from freshly grown or produced “whole foods.” As Dr. Plonk noted, “Everything we ate was free range and much of it was raw, including the milk we drank.”  Even the doctors who grew up in more urban environments like myself ate mostly home prepared foods. Melissa Davis, one of the pediatric nurse practitioners, said her mother even made all the pastas that the family ate. Everything was homemade. Eating out was an incredibly unusual event during all of our childhoods. As far as fast foods, they just didn’t exist. We all carried our lunches to school and had family dinners every night. Doesn’t sound like today’s world, does it?

 

Next I posed the question, “How can parents improve the nutrition of their children?” All the providers felt that reducing “eating out” and eliminating “processed foods” like sugary cereals, white flour based breads, and sugary drinks are definitely good first steps towards improving children’s nutrition.  Dr. Moorman said succinctly, “No potatoes and no sugary drinks.” Dr. Plonk felt that the national “no white foods” (eliminating foods made from white flour, white rice, and sugars) campaign makes a lot of sense and could really help. Melissa Davis believes strongly in the benefits of home cooked meals. She suggests making this process more feasible by preparing certain meals ahead of time; when she is cooking on the weekend, she makes extra portions that the family eats on days when she works and doesn’t have time to cook.  Dinner is essentially ready before she ever gets home, because she made it last weekend! She loves her crockpot! Melissa also had another good tip that I thought was worth passing on: she starts teaching her 3 children from a very young age what is whole food by describing the food as “healthy” to her children as she serves it. Finally Beth Haynes, another of our great nurse practitioners, thinks that parents need to lead by example.  She says that if parents are active and eat a balanced diet, their children will follow. “Exercise as a family and eat as a family,” she says.

 

My final question for the group was the following: “Do you have hope that the obesity epidemic will get better in the near future?”  I felt this was a fair question since we all spend almost all our waking hours talking to families about health and diet issues, and thus we should have a fairly good sense of whether parents are willing and able to do what it takes to reduce the epidemic of overweight children in our society. Dr. Plonk and I were hopeful that change is coming. We can feel it in our daily experience. The other providers weren’t as optimistic. They  were somewhat pessimistic on the subject; they feel things may get worse before improving. I certainly hope they are wrong. Eating a traditional, whole food diet is something that has taken mankind thousands of years to perfect, and to lose it in one generation because of cheap and convenient processed foods would be a terrible state of affairs.  Can you imagine a generation of children who don’t know what real food is? I certainly hope we never get to that point.

Milk Transition-When, Why, and How (Pedcast)

 

 

Transcript: “Milk Transition, When, Why, and How”

 

Transcript:

Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com

 

Thanks for joining me today, I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen.

 

Frequently asked question by parents about the composition of milk and can they stop buying formula.

 

Parents anxious to change to whole milk because of convenience and cost.

 

To understand, need to know some immunology and chemistry.

 

While we are at it, let me give you some practical advice about making the change from baby milk to big people milk.

 

How do breast milk, cows milk based formula, and whole cow milk differ? To answer lets detour down science lane.

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cows milk has less sugar…not as tasty…naturally some resistance by junior.

 

Compared with breast milk  and formula, whole cows milk has more protein and thicker, less soluble proteins…more curds…slower transit, more fermentation into cheese , therefore harder stools for little Janie or Johnny.

 

Compared with breast milk, whole cows milk has proteins that can frequently provoke allergic reactions, especially children under 6 months.  The allergic reaction in the gut can cause bleeding gut wall.  Subsequent anemia can develop and anemia in first year really bad associated with various serious health issues. That’s why we don’t give whole cow’s milk  to babies under 1 year!

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk has almost no iron, which as you know, is a vital nutrient for children.

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk is missing some fats and vitamins that others have but solids should make up for this.

 

When milk is the whole ballgame, early infancy, we need to get it right.

 

In the second year, not as important because of so many other nutrients and much of brain development has already occurred.

 

The bottom line is that whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food for infants( children in the first year).  I repeat, whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food for infants.

 

 

 

Time for a call in question from Boris: ”What do the experts recommend for my little comrades?”

 

Their recommendation is a strong one: breast milk or formula until at least one year.  Remember, those Doc Smo pearls, “Breast is best” and “Longer means stronger” and “Mom is de-bomb.”

But all good things come to an end. At some point must give up the breast.

 

When you do transition, make sure you go to whole milk, which is about 5% fat.  Nothing leaner; not 2%, not skim.  This is because your child’s brain is made of fat and consumption of fat is essential for proper brain development.

 

Most parents transition to whole cow’s milk at around 1 year but not all.  Many cultures breast feed long into childhood.  Nothing wrong with that. Cultures evolve and change.  50 years ago almost no one breastfed in the US. Science is overwhelming that breast milk is the best food for babies.  Maybe we are headed for a cultural change, longer breast-feeding with a delay in weaning?

 

What kind of problems do parents experience when transitioning to whole cow’s milk?

 

1. Not as sweet.  Baby may refuse since whole cow’s milk is not as sweet as breast milk or formula. I recommend you mix the whole cow’s milk with formula or breast milk and slowly wean your child away from the sweet taste.

 

2. More protein and different proteins can mean more constipation… The savvy parent is ready for this with more fruit, fiber, and water.

 

3. Less iron can also spell trouble. Again, the savvy parent is ready with iron rich foods. Meats (any are fine), infant cereals, green leafy veg, and dark purple fruits, raisins, plums, prunes.  These are foods all of which are rich in iron.

 

4. Whole cow’s milk like breast milk and formula may not supply your child with enough Vitamin D.  Vitamin D, 400 IU needs to be continued throughout childhood.

 

So let’s sum it all up.

 

Whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food first year, pure and simple.

 

Breast is preferred, but when it is not available, infant formula is the only substitue in the first year of life.

 

Most parents transition their children to whole cow’s milk at around 1 year to whole. Experts warn against using not leaner mil in the second year because babies at that age need a lot of fat in order to grow properly.  Whole cow’s milk is a good food for children in the second year of life but should be given along with a good variety of other nutrients given.  Milk alone is not a complete food.

 

Problems that parents may encounter when transitioning to cow’s milk are resistance to taste because not as sweet and constipation because of protein content and composition is different. To counter these problems, I recommend you reduce the sugar content slowly and make sure infant has high fiber intake during transition.

 

Many children are tired of milk from their first year. Be persistent with milk since for many children, this is an acquired taste. I feel that your child’s choices of drink during childhood should be either milk or water.  Stay away from juices and other sweetened beverages, even diluted.

 

Vitamin D supplement need to continue and limit milk intake to no more than 24 ounces per day.  And those bottles, they need to go at your child’s first birthday.

 

That’s it for this week from studio 1E, you know, the first child’s bedroom on the east side of the house.

 

Thanks for joining me.

 

Comments are welcome as always.

 

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Dr Paul Smolen, hoping your child’s transition to milk goes smooth as silk.

 

Until next time.

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