- Transforming a picky eater into a healthy eater. » Nonna Joann Transforming a picky eater into a healthy eater. A guide for parents of picky eaters that actually works. Sat, 27 Feb 2010 14:31:57 +0000 en hourly 1 5 Label Traps & How to Avoid Them Thu, 25 Feb 2010 16:47:47 +0000 Nonna Joann 19657_1254778302089_1608536476_615531_933005_nWe’d like to believe that food manufactures, or at the very least the Food and Drug Administration, are looking out for our health.

No, the only way you can be sure you are eating nutritious foods is to read and understand food labeling. The food manufacturer will do just about anything to convince you that their product is not only tasty, but healthful.

Abby Joy is secure because her mom knows how to avoid label traps! Do you?

1) Whole Grain Trap: The words “Whole Grain” on the front of the package sounds like you’re getting a good dose of fiber.

Truth: The front of the package can say just about anything. The only place you will find the truth will be on the nutrition label. A reasonably good source of fiber has at least 3 grams per serving.

Avoid the Trap by purchasing a food with a whole grain as the first ingredient.

2) Fat-Free Trap: Fat-Free or low-fat on the label means it’s a healthy food.

Truth: When fat has been removed from a product, such as in low-fat yogurt, sugar is added to make up for the deficient in the taste. There is approximately 7 teaspoons of sugar in a 6 ounce container of low-fat yogurt!

Avoid the Trap by purchasing plain (not vanilla) whole milk yogurt and stir in a little fruit-only jam for flavor.

3) Natural Trap: The label says “Natural,” so it must be good for you.

Truth: The FDA doesn’t have an official definition for the term “natural.” Natural can mean anything. Wood is a natural substance, but you wouldn’t want to eat it. On the other hand, USDA Certified Organic means the food is free from chemicals and has been grown without pesticides and GMOs.

Avoid the Trap by purchasing organic foods.

4) Zero Trap: The label advertises zero trans fat.

Truth: If you see “no trans fats” on the label, don’t assume you’re in the clear. Check the ingredients for partially hydrogenated oils, a trans fat. The FDA defines trans-fat-free as less than 0.5 gram per serving.

Avoid the Trap by reading the ingredient list and putting any product back on the shelf which contains hydrogenated anything.

5) Good Source Trap: The words “Good Source” on the front of the package, indicates the product is healthful.

Truth: Foods need only supply 10 percent of a specified nutrient to be labeled a “good source.”  Sometimes the food manufacturer even fudges with that figure, because the 10 percent can be calculated for more than one serving. Look at the fine print.

Avoid the Trap by purchasing whole foods, which are the only good source of any nutrient.

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Ludicrous Labeling Tue, 23 Feb 2010 10:28:25 +0000 Nonna Joann avah-beatersCool Whip has 0g trans fat!

That’s what the label says. I’m NOT kidding.

I wanted to purchase a tub of Cool Whip for a talk I was giving on the “10 Worst Foods of the Decade” and couldn’t find the tub variety, so I bought the aerosol can.

As you can imagine, I was more than a little surprised to see the claim, “0g trans fat” on the label.  Cool Whip is primarily water, chemicals (including trans fat) and air.

So what’s up?

The keys to understanding this ludicrous claim is the amount in a serving and government requirements.  The Food and Drug Administration has decided that for a product to claim zero grams of trans fat a product has to have less than .5 percent of trans fat per serving. Ludicrous! Zero should mean zero, don’t you think?

Avah can’t wait for some real whipped cream.

So how much is a “Cool Whip serving”? Why it’s a mere 2 tablespoons. Dot some Cool Whip on the top of pudding or squirt a little in your mouth and you’ll have a serving.

Of course, if you eat more than a serving, then you are ingesting more than .5 grams of trans fat. If you eat more than 2 tablespoons of Cool Whip (and I imagine most do), then you’ll be over the government recommended limit. That’s the government’s recommendation, not mine. Never mind that trans fat has a half-life of 51 days. That means that it takes 51 days for trans fat to leave your body.


(CoolWhip ingredients for the tub variety vary slightly.)

Ingredients are listed in quantity levels, meaning that the largest ingredient is listed first. Lets look at the first eight:

1. Water is the number one ingredient. Actually it’s air, but so far, so good.

2. Hydrogenated vegetable oil comes in second. This is the trans fat. The label states zero grams of trans fat, yet it is second on the ingredient list! Remember, the FDA allows LESS than .5 grams for a zero listing. Cool Whip’s trans fat is derived from coconut and palm kernel oils. They begin with healthy oils and the process to hydrogenate it turns it into an unhealthy creamy product. This gives the product an incredibly long shelf life.

3. High Fructose Corn Syrup. This syrup is adulterated by combining enzymes such as amylase with the glucose. This allows it to be converted to fructose. Fructose is quickly turned to fat in your system.

4. Corn Syrup is sugar, but not just sugar, genetically altered sugar.

5. Sodium Caseinate less than 2% (from Milk). Sodium Caseinate is a protein found in cow’s milk that assists the oil and water to mix together.

6. Natural and artificial flavorings. Artificial flavorings are simply chemical mixtures to replace a natural flavor. Natural flavors are more deceiving, because they can be chemicals as well.

7. Carrageen is extracted from seaweed. It’s considered a natural thickening agent. Although considered natural, it’s come under scrutiny. It may cause digestive problems in some people.

8. Polysorbate 60 comes from processing corn, oil palms and petroleum.  Yes, petroleum. The “poly” is from “polymer, the “sorb” from “sorbitol,” and the “ate” means that it contains oxygen.


Don’t count on the Food and Drug Administration to have your best interest at heart. Next time you want a whipped topping, purchase whipping cream and whip it up yourself!

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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What’s a Natural Flavor, Anyway? Thu, 18 Feb 2010 19:44:54 +0000 Nonna Joann What is this?

AbbieAmyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.

Abbie’s not sure what that is, do you know?

This is a typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a strawberry milk shake. Often flavor compounds contain more ingredients than the foods that they give flavor to.

The federal Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to disclose the ingredients of their color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

Artificial flavors and colors are made from petroleum and one of its byproducts, benzene, a flammable colorless, carcinogenic, sweet-smelling, liquid solvent. Artificial vanilla manufacturing starts a long way from tropical orchid flower fields, the origin of real vanilla. Synthetic vanilla flavoring, called vanillin, is made in petrochemical plants in China and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

To make things more confusing, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and MSG are often masked by other names: natural flavors, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monsodium glutamate, hydrolized plant protein, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolized oat flour, malt extract, malt flavoring, bouillon, broth, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural beef, chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices, carrageenan, enzymes, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate.

What’s a mom to do? Of course read labels, but don’t be fooled by the nutrition label. Eat whole foods.

forest_feast_final-coverCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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Roasted Olive & Tomato Chicken Wed, 17 Feb 2010 16:32:59 +0000 Nonna Joann Roasted Olive & Tomato Chicken

DSC01857This tangy chicken recipe is easy to make. Serve with broccoli and hard crusted whole-grain bread and you have a complete meal.

You’ll need:
3 pounds chicken thighs
2 pints grape tomatoes
1 lemon
1 head garlic
1 cup Kalamata olives (may use whole pitted black olives)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees

1) Peal the garlic, rinse the tomatoes, cut the olives in half, and squeeze the juice from the lemon.

2) Toss the garlic, tomatoes, olives, thyme, lemon juice and half the olive oil in a roasting pan.

3) Nestle the chicken, skin-side up in the pan with the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

4) Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.

Hint: The thyme sprigs give the dish flavor, but are bitter. Do not serve the thyme sprigs to children (or for that matter husbands). They won’t know to leave them on the plate.

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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Psychedelic Flavors Mon, 15 Feb 2010 22:23:54 +0000 Nonna Joann DSC00370

Do you know what percentage of food dollars is spent on processed foods, most, if not all, which have added chemicals to enhance flavor?

Kids are conditioned to these psychedelic flavors. The additives like food flavorings,  high fructose corn syrup, MSG and salt are almost always ingredients in processed foods, especially junk foods. Salt is added to processed foods for longer shelf life as well as taste.

Zachary and Angel love psychedelic colors… not chemical- altered flavors.

MSG is added to food to give it that indescribable taste-explosion that’s found in fast food. These additives become additive. That’s why MSG is found just about everything, including French fries. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find MSG on a food label as it has many aliases.

What about those yummy fruit flavors? Today, chemicals can give candy and gum a strawberry or an apple flavor, but it’s really petroleum. Do you really want your kids to eat petroleum?

Add sugar, especially High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) to the mix and it’s very hard for whole foods to compete with the psychedelic flavors. HFCS fools the brain. It interrupts the signal that your stomach has received enough, so you over eat. Once HFCS is no longer in your diet, you will find that you’re satiated with less food.

Your child’s body craves real food, even if you have a picky eater. Yes, even picky eaters, who refuse to eat whole foods, need them for health. To be successful in transforming a picky eater to a healthy eater, whole foods must replace fast foods and junk foods. ( Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater onto a Healthy Eater explains how you can accomplish this in about a week.) You’ll be fighting an uphill battle if cookies, crackers, chips, candy and sugar-filled drinks are found in your pantry and you regularly purchase fast foods.

Psychedelic flavors alter our perception of food. It changes our sensory expectation of what is tasty. Because of marketing highly processed foods, kids expect a taste-sensation when they eat.

Adjust Your Taste Thermostat
It will take a week or so for your kid’s taste buds to adjust to whole foods. Be assured, they will adjust. Yes, you need to be patient and hold the line.

Your thermostat adjusts your furnace or air conditioner when you change the temperature control. Once the new temperature is programmed in the thermostat the temperature in the room eventually alters.

The same is true for taste buds. Once they’re programmed to whole foods, the sweetness of an orange or a ripe peach will be unbelievable. A sip of soda pop will become excruciatingly sugary. The craving for salty chips will be replaced with desiring the crunch of julienne veggies and dip. Canned soups will become too salty. Boxed macaroni and cheese will loose its appeal. (By the way, the processed dried cheese in mac and cheese is loaded with colorings and MSG.)

Do your children have psychedelic taste expectations? We spend 90 percent of our food dollars on processed foods. Not until you change that statistic for your family will your children begin to appreciate the taste of whole foods.

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

For info about the free Baby Bites Ezine, CLICK HERE.

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Vaccine Controversy Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:04:27 +0000 Nonna Joann Part 2–A Shot in the Dark

I do not consider myself to be an expert on childhood vaccinations. The following information is the result of my research. At the very least, I trust you will find this information thought-provoking. With permission I compiled much of the following from You will find links to other internet articles as well.  Click Here to read Dr. Mercola’s entire article.
This information has NOT been approved by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Ouch…32 vaccines by the time Jovey’s two.

JoveyBy the time children start school he or she will have received more than 36 injections, including four doses each of vaccines for Hemophilus influenzae type b infections, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis which are given during the first 12 months of life.

In 1976 (this is when my children were receiving vaccinations), children received 10 vaccines before attending school, and in the early 1980s, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000 births.

Today, autism affects one in every 150 births: with one in 68 American families having an autistic child. Other, less severe developmental disorders, rarely seen before the vaccine era, have also reached epidemic proportions. Four million American children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). One in six American children are now classified as “Learning Disabled.”

Is there a connection between autism and other developmental disorders and vaccines? This is for you to decide. If you are interested in the science behind this connection, Dr. Mercola recommends Dr. Russell Blaylock’s paper that provides a connection between excessive vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Is the Vaccination Schedule Safe?
The current vaccination schedule has never been proven to be safe. Health officials consider a vaccine to be safe if no bad reactions — like seizures, intestinal obstruction or anaphylaxis — occur acutely. The CDC has not done any studies to assess the long-term effects of its immunization schedule.

So no one knows whether injecting children with numerous vaccines in their first 24 months of life, plus the meningococcal vaccine, which is to be administered between the age of 2 and 6, is enough to overwhelm their systems and lead to neurological and immune system disorders. They don’t know, yet they are very adamant about keeping children on this schedule — and they make anyone who dares to question their logic out to be a quack.

Think about this: One vaccine injected into a 13-pound, 2-month-old infant is equivalent to 10 doses of the same in a 130-pound adult. This is an assault on your child’s nervous system and immune system, neither of which is fully developed. It’s no wonder, then, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, that multiple vaccines given close together over-stimulate your brain’s immune system and, via the mechanism of “bystander injury,” destroy brain cells.

Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — the one that promulgates a self-serving, one-size-fits-all vaccine policy — are known to have ties to vaccine makers. And their compulsory vaccination schedule, that’s required of nearly every U.S. child who is entering public school, has made many of these vaccine makers rich beyond their wildest imaginations.

Despite the constant denial that vaccines do not cause neurodevelopmental disorders the U.S. government has paid out more than $1.5 billion in its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to families of children who have been injured or killed by vaccines. Most haven’t heard of Baily Banks, who had a seizure 16 days after his first measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR), in 2000 and the court awarding his parents $750,000 for his care. Or that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ruled that Hannah Poling’s autistic symptoms were triggered by thimerosal (a preservative present in vaccines) given to her at 18 months.  Click Here to read about Baily and Click Here to read more about Hannah.

Vaccinate or Not?
I agree with Dr. Mercola and think it’s wise to question the validity of most all vaccinations. But Dr. Mercola suggests a middle ground, one that at least protects your children during the crucial time of their brain development. The most rapid period of brain development begins in the third trimester of pregnancy and continues over the first two years of life. By then, brain development is 80 percent complete, so it makes sense to wait until this time to give any vaccinations.

Dr. Donald Miller, a cardiac surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, came up with this user-friendly vaccination schedule back in 2004:
1. No vaccinations until your child is two years old
2. No vaccines that contain thimerosal (mercury)
3. No live virus vaccines
4. The following vaccines should be given one at a time (not as a combination vaccine), every 6 months, beginning at age 2:

  • Pertussis (acellular, not whole cell)
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio (the Salk vaccine, cultured in human cells)

This schedule takes the best interests of the individual into consideration rather than what the government judges best for society. If your pediatrician does not like this schedule (and most won’t), you might find a new one who does.

Check out Dr. Mercola’s website:

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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Vaccine Link to Autism or Not Tue, 09 Feb 2010 10:30:10 +0000 Nonna Joann Part 1–Retraction End of Concerns?

Katy & MadisonLast week, it was announced in the media that a 1998 study relating the measles, mumps and rubella (M.M.R.) vaccine to autism was faulty.

The Lancet, the medical publication in which the article first appeared, decided there were “concerns about ethical breaches by one of the study authors.”

The retraction from The Lancet was a response to a ruling from England’s General Medical Council (GMC).

“We fully retract this paper from the published record,” The Lancet editors said in a statement.

Sisters Katy and Madison play doctor.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, told The New York Times, “I certainly hope that our retraction today will help to reassure parents that there really isn’t anything to be concerned about with the vaccine.”

End of Vaccine Concerns?
Whoa! Not so fast. I’m not certain I’m reassured. There must be more to this story. The vaccination link to Autism has been hotly debated. Why haven’t we heard the other side of the question from the media? There are usually two sides to every story.

It turns out that Dr. Wakefield strenuously denies all the findings of the GMC and plans a vigorous appeal. I didn’t hear that from the media, did you?

A statement from Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey says they believe the press has been misled in the way The Lancet retraction has been characterized (and the Feingold Association among others agree).

“Led by the pharmaceutical companies and their well-compensated spokespeople, Dr. Wakefield is being vilified through a well-orchestrated smear campaign designed to prevent this important new work from seeing the light of day.”

They say that behind the scenes, the pressure to keep the work of Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues from being published is “immense and growing every day” because of the impact this study has already had with vaccinations.

“Medical journals take extreme risk of backlash in publishing any studies that question the safety of the vaccination program, no matter how well-designed and thorough the research might be.”

McCarthy and Carrey believe that it is not a coincidence that this retraction came just before another study is released concerning the Hepatitis B vaccine. Sounds like a effective plan, discredit the first study, so the second study will be ignored.

“The first phase of this monkey study was published three months ago in the prestigious medical journal Neurotoxicology, and focused on the first two weeks of life when the vaccinated monkeys received a single vaccine for Hepatitis B, mimicking the U.S. vaccine schedule. The results, which you can read for yourself HERE, were disturbing.”

“Vaccinated monkeys, unlike their unvaccination peers, suffered the loss of many reflexes that are critical for survival. Dr. Wakefield and his scientific colleagues are on the brink of publishing their entire study, which followed the monkeys through the U.S. childhood vaccine schedule over a multi-year period. It is our understanding that the difference in outcome for the vaccinated monkeys versus the unvaccinated controls is both stark and devastating.”

Are Children Being Over-Vaccinated?
Parents deserve to see this and other studies on the safety of vaccines and the relationship to Autism and other potential health issues, so they can make up their own minds. Today, children receive 36 vaccinations by the time they attend school. Compare that to only TEN vaccinations in 1976.

Was there another time when studies were disproved concerning the safety of the public to profit others? You bet. It wasn’t that long ago the tobacco industry adamantly refused to acknowledge the link between smoking and cancer. Who stands to lose, if a study on the safety of vaccines is published? There is a great deal of money in pharmaceuticals with the vaccination of children…follow the money.

Click Here for Vaccine Controversy–A Shot in the Dark–Part 2.

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

For info about the free Baby Bites Ezine, CLICK HERE.

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Coconut Oil’s Bad Rap Thu, 04 Feb 2010 19:00:25 +0000 Nonna Joann 20031_1345195355401_1396788050_30978823_7512084_nSaturated Fat
Any fat that is solid at room temperature, like butter and coconut oil, is a saturated fat. Four decades ago a negative campaign launched about saturated fat, including coconut oil, changed the way America cooked. Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees and was a favorite in the baking industry. Most abandoned the oil and substituted hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils which contain trans fatty acids.

Coconut’s bad rap was sealed in a faulty study using hydrogenated coconut oil. Whenever you see the word “hydrogenated” that product is a trans fat (TFA). Trans fats are toxic substances, which impede the function of cells. They raise blood cholesterol. TFAs are not present in virgin coconut oil, which is NOT hydrogenated.

No kidding? Tristan was shocked when he first found out the benefits of coconut oil for babies!

Benefits of Coconut Oil
Studies continue to lump all saturated fats into one category. We now know there is good cholesterol and good saturated fats. Coconut oil is said to help maintain good cholesterol levels, boost immunity, it’s good for hair and skin, and aids in digestion and protects against fungal infections. The saturated fat in coconut oil is unlike the fat found in meat or other vegetable fats. It’s identical to a special group of fats found in human breast milk. These fats, derived from coconut oil, are now routinely used in hospital IV formulations and commercial baby formulas. They’re also used in sports drinks to boost energy and enhance athletic performance.

Nearly 50 percent of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Lauric acid envelopes viruses, including the flu. It’s a main component of human breast milk and helps to protect children from illness during infancy.

Cooking with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is perfect for use in cooking and baking, without becoming toxic at higher temperatures, as liquid oils do. Use it to grease pans, make pie crusts, sautéing, and coconut oil makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches.

New Baby?
Coconut oil is beneficial for lactating mothers. A study published in 1998 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and other coconut products, have significantly increased levels of lauric and capric acid  in their breast milk, which gives further proteion to the infant.

Use coconut oil as a balm for sore nipples from nursing and for baby’s diaper rash. Use it as a baby lotion. Rub some coconut oil into a baby’s head to relieve cradle cap.

Some claim that coconut oil helps with weight loss. Couldn’t hurt if you have a few pounds to lose after having a baby and it’s good for baby, too!

Nutritional Supplement
Add coconut oil to smoothies, especially for a picky eater.

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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CLICK HERE for more home remedies.

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Nature’s Sports Drink Tue, 02 Feb 2010 10:31:29 +0000 Nonna Joann What is it?

• One cup of nature’s sports drink contains more electrolytes than most sports and energy drinks.

• It has more potassium than a banana.

• It’s very low in calories.

• It’s an isotonic beverage (its salt concentration matches that of the human body).

• It’s similar to human plasma and has been used to save lives through an IV.

• It’s a tropical treat.

Olga knows what it is, do you?

Give up?

Coconut water has 650 mg of potassium (15 times more than a banana), 25mg of magnesium and 35 mg of sodium! All of this in a 10 ounce, 60 calorie package.

Coconut water is sometimes called coconut juice, but it’s not the same as coconut milk. Coconut juice is found inside the green (unripe) coconut. It’s what you hear sloshing around inside an unripe coconut when you shake it. As the coconut matures and coconut meat forms inside, the juice diminishes. The fully ripened coconut has the maximum amount of coconut meat, but the minimum of juice.

Coconut juice is the purest liquid, next to water. It similar to plasma and was even given to soldiers in WWII intravenously when plasma supplies were low. It has five electrolytes.

Some doctors suggest it for kids with digestive problems or diarrhea because it’s excellent for hydration. Pedialyte, often recommended by doctors, contains dextrose and fructose. These sugars may make diarrhea worse by drawing water into the intestines, increasing the risk of dehydration. Coconut water is a better choice when your child is dehydrated.

In the hot summer months, when your toddler is thirsty, coconut water is so much better than the empty calories of packaged fruit juices and aerated drinks. It is naturally sterile so it is perfect for children while traveling since you don’t have to worry about contamination.

Coconut water contains high levels of lauric acid which the body uses to make monolaurin — a disease-fighting fatty acid derivative. Babies make monolaurin from the lauric acid in their mother’s breast milk, so coconut water is recommended for nursing mothers. Lauric acid has anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-viral properties protecting young children against various infections. It may also help infants suffering from intestinal problems.

Coconut water has a bland, but slightly sweet taste. Either purchase a brand with real fruit juice added for flavoring or you may need to add a little 100 percent juice. This will give it some flavor to encourage your children (especially a picky eater who is used to sugar drinks) to drink it. But don’t overdue the fruit juice, a little (10 to 15 percent) will give the coconut water a flavor boost.

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

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Nonna’s Hot Chicken Wings Mon, 01 Feb 2010 01:00:22 +0000 Nonna Joann DSC01831

One large package chicken wings (about 20)

¼ cup mango nectar (I used R.W.’s Mango Nectar)
¼ cup hot sauce* (I used Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri Sauce)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon each:
garlic powder
onion powder
dried oregano
apple cider vinegar

1) Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. With poultry scissors, snip off the wing tips.
2) Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
3) Place chicken wings in a 10″ X 14″ glass baking pan, pour the sauce over the wings and turn to cover wings with the sauce. Marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.
4) Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Turn the wings in the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn wings over and bake another 20 minutes.

5) Place in serving dish and brush with drippings from the pan. (*Taste a hot wing, if you want it hotter, add a teaspoon more hot sauce to the drippings before brushing the wings.)

Serve with large napkins and Blue Cheese Dressing…YUM!

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