9 Important Vitamins for Kids

Important Vitamins for KidsIdeally, we all should eat a well-balanced diet that supplies us with the proper amount of vitamins, but that’s not always easy – especially if you have some picky eaters. Supplementing vitamins is often a practical solution or most people. Make sure your kids get these vitamins.

1. Potassium

Potassium helps to control nerve impulses and muscle contractions and maintains fluid balance. Great sources for this mineral include nuts, dried fruit, bananas, bran, raw fruit and vegetables.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include milk and other dairy products, and fish oil. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.

3. Iron

Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes are all chock full of iron.

4. Zinc

Zinc aids in wound healing and immune function, is essential for normal taste, smell and sight, and can help in the formation of strong bones. Get your children zinc through lean meat, fish, and chicken, milk, whole grains, and nuts.

5. Calcium

Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows. Calcium can be found in quality amounts in milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

6. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for eyesight, especially night vision and critical for normal growth in children. This vitamin also keeps the skin in the mouth, respiratory tract and urinary tract moist (protects against harmful bacteria). Finally, Vitamin A builds immunity to protect kids from infections. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams, and squash.

7. Vitamin B Family 

The Vitamin B family includes, B2, B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins aid metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and soybeans.

8. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for healthy skin, gums, teeth, bones and cartilage. This vitamin also assists with absorption of some types of iron, along with wound healing and resistance to infection. Good sources include citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli.

9. Magnesium

This mineral provides structure for healthy bones, is involved in the release of energy from food, and is essential for muscle and nerve function. Magnesium can be found in milk, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, legumes, lean meats, nuts, and bananas.

baby swaddleGuest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

What to Eat While Breastfeeding

What to Eat While BreastfeedingWhether you’re new to the breastfeeding world or not, it can be challenging. Sometimes our breasts seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to lactation, but there are certain foods you can introduce to your diet that can increase your milk supply. These foods are “galactagogues,” which mean they aid breast milk ejection in animals. Luckily for the 77% of moms nationwide who choose to breastfeed, many of these galactagogues are both easy to access and delicious.

1.  Water

You guessed it! Water is good for pretty much anything pertaining to our body so it’s no surprise that it makes this list. It isn’t exactly a food but it does have a tremendous impact on your body’s fluids, including your milk supply. Up your water intake to be as close as possible to the recommended 8 glasses a day. Your body is much thirstier for water than we think. In fact, nearly 75% of Americans are unknowingly dehydrated.

2.  Garlic

Garlic compliments an endless amount of dinner dishes you probably already have on your menu. This herb is not only delicious but it is a galactagogue too. No need to scare off vampires with copious amount of fresh garlic to get the job done; introducing just a little garlic to your diet is proven to increase your breast milk supply. Garlic is also available in pill form if by chance you are a vampire who isn’t crazy about its flavor.

3. Spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of iron, vitamin K, calcium and folic acid. These nutrients are especially important for nursing mothers. Your body’s caloric requirements for minerals and vitamins are amplified when you’re breastfeeding. Dark leafy greens are packed with phytoestrogens that promote healthy breast tissue and healthy lactation.

4. Carrots

The beta-carotene packed in just one full carrot is enough to get you lactating. This popular bunny favorite is an excellent source of potassium and is absolutely delicious steamed with a meal or eaten alone.

5. Fennel

Fennel may not be the most popular food item on this list but studies have shown that the seeds in fennel can vastly increase your milk supply. In addition to being a lactation goldmine, fennel is rich in vitamin C.  Preparing your veggies and rice with fennel can help digestion and get the lactation process underway.

6. Nuts

Nuts are easy to snack on and come in a wide array of flavors. Choose a brand that is less oily and low in sodium to get the best results. Almonds, cashew and macadamia are easy to access antioxidants and are a foolproof way to get lactating.

7. Oatmeal

Good old oatmeal is great for lowering cholesterol and getting your breasts to begin lactating. The great thing about oatmeal is customizing it to taste. Throw in some fresh fruits, granola, honey and make this milk boosting treat your own.  You’ll find that your body responds positively to oats during the breastfeeding process.

8. Hummus

The delicious legumes found in homemade and even store bought hummus are surprisingly as lactogenic as they are delicious. The combination of lentils, chickpeas, lima beans with garlic is the perfect galactagogue for nursing mothers.

Is there a snack that gets you lactating that we missed. Share your recipes and your breast milk boosting favorites with us in the comment section below or on Facebook.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

nursing pillowGuest Blog by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow

San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder for privacy while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of discretion while nursing in public. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.

After Clark read a recent Duke University study on toxic chemicals in baby products, she sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed. Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, the nation’s leading fire-retardant research specialist, and a new mother herself, said, “It’s wonderful to find a nursing pillow on the market that is not treated with chemical flame-retardant additives in the filling material. San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud this manufacturer for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”

San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin Eco*Loft™ fiber, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.

Click to view a Nursing Pillow Comparison Chart to learn more.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

6 Healthy Halloween Treat Alternatives to Candy

I like Halloween (my kids do too), but I’m never pleased with the sheer amount of candy that’s available around this time of the year. People have bowls of it laying around their houses, they give it out at stores, and even teachers will hand out a piece now and then. I don’t think you have to be unhealthy to celebrate Halloween, so here are some alternatives to candy that I’ve found.

1. Skeleton Vegetable Platter

healthy Halloween recipe

Using your basic vegetable platter ingredients (carrots, broccoli, celery, peppers, mushrooms, etc.), you can turn the traditional platter into something spooky. It’s simple to make and gives your celebration a lot of flare. I would skip the celery hair, though – that’s not very skeleton-y.

2. Pumpkin Deviled Eggs

healthy Halloween recipe

With a little extra paprika and a tiny piece of celery, you can turn traditional deviled eggs into a Halloween-themed treat. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s just as simple as regular deviled eggs, so you don’t really need to learn a recipe. Once you see a photo, you can make them.

3. Cracker Spiders

healthy Halloween recipe

You can fashion these little crawlers out of basic ingredients. Use the peanut butter (or any type of nut-butter, or even cream cheese) to glue everything together. Even after they’ve sat for a while they’re still delicate, so try not to handle them much.

4. Party Pumpkins

healthy Halloween recipe

These “pumpkins” take very little preparation at all. Peel a few tangerines and stick some celery in the top – ta da! Not much to it.

5. Witch’s Broom

healthy Halloween recipe

This is another super easy recipe that makes your event or party seem extravagant. It’s so simple you could serve these as snacks on any day (since you probably already give your kids pretzels and string cheese at some point.)

6. Halloween Skewers

healthy Halloween recipe

These aren’t a ghost, skeleton, or mummy, but they still use Halloween colors. They’re great for a party of adults who aren’t easily impressed by vampires and other spooky characters. Simply cube and skewer melon and blackberries.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

healthy summer snacksAt the supermarket, we’re offered countless snacks designed for kids, but none of them are as healthy as we would like. They’re filled with sugars, artificial ingredients and preservatives. When it comes to food, you’ll always serve the best if you make it yourself. This summer, when your kids are home, running around outside, and desperately need the nutrition for their growing bodies, serve some of these homemade, healthy, summer snacks.

For extra protein, offer string cheese or cube it yourself. If you’re in the mood, use a cookie cutter to turn it into fun shapes.

Sliced apples are a popular choice for many parents. An apple is quick to slice and enough for a couple toddlers. Add a thin spread of peanut butter for some fiber and protein. The peanut butter makes it a messy snack for a car ride but perfect for outdoor play time.

Mixed nuts are full of healthy fats (Omega-3s) that are important for brain and eye development. They can also stabilize moods. Nuts keep well and are easily carried to the park, pool, or field. Kids can grab them as they want and there’s no mess to clean up.

If you have the time to make preparations, hard-boiled eggs make great snacks. They’re full of protein that toddlers need and they’re easy for little hand to hold. Boil a batch once per week.

Yogurt parfait with some berries and granola is a great way to get nutrients without all the sugar in store-bought yogurt or kids’ snacks. For a special summer treat, freeze the yogurt in ice cube trays with a Popsicle stick to beat the summer’s heat.

Pasta a great complex carbohydrate that’s perfect for days with lots of activity. Add cooked pasta into a bag with vegetables and chicken (perhaps with some tomato sauce or Italian dressing on the side for dipping) and bring it with you to the amusement park or game field.

The simplest and healthiest snack you can provide are raw fruits and vegetables. Slice them into easy-to-hold bite-sized pieces and pop them in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware. They offer plenty of calories and energy without sugar, sodium, or fat.

Make your own trail mix with cereal, berries, raisons, dried fruit, and banana chips. This vitamin-rich snack can be made in large quantities at one time and doled out in handfuls.

Using vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and a banana, make your own smoothies. Experiment with different fruits and flavors until you find one that’s right for your family. Serve in a non-spill cup so your kids can cool off while they run around.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

cloth diapers vs disposable diapersLike most parenting topics, the debate over cloth versus disposable diapers comes with many opinions. But like everything else, you have to decide what is best for you and your family. You can choose one method and stick with it, or alternate as you see fit. Many mothers use cloth diapers when they are home and disposables when out-and-about. It’s up to you. Here are the pros and cons of cloth diapers and disposable diapers.

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers come in two formats: a terry cloth, cotton, or flannel cloth that you fold and fasten or an already-arranged diaper that looks just like a disposable. In the long run, cloth diapers will save you money (unless you use a diaper cleaning service). Over the two or so diaper years of your child’s life, you will spend about $300 on cloth diapers and washing, but $2000 on disposables.

Some parents are concerned about the dyes and gels in disposables, so cloth diapers are a more natural way of containing messes. However, they are messier than disposables. You’ll end up doing more laundry, too, sometimes two to three extra loads each week. Of course, unless you use disposables occasionally, you’ll end up carrying a poopy diaper home every once in a while.

Cloth diapers are less absorbent, but they also created fewer rashes. The decreased absorbency, however, can aide potty training. If your child feels wet, he/she is more apt to prefer the potty and spend her/his time in underpants.

Disposable Diapers

Disposables are easy to change quickly because of the adhesive strips. They are especially helpful for resistant babies who won’t sit still for changes.

The biggest convenience of disposable diapers is that you toss them away once soiled. Tape them up using their own adhesive so the mess is contained and drop them in the trash. Further, disposables are super-absorbent, so you end up changing less diapers, and the liners keep wetness away from the skin and rarely leak. This can work against you, however, as children don’t feel uncomfortable by the mess and don’t mind staying with diapers. Some diapers can rip if they are pulled too hard, which will probably happen to you when you’re away from home!

Although no studies offer evidence that the chemicals used to manufacture diapers are harmful, you never know. Diapers house a sensitive area and you may not want to take the risk. Some babies have allergic reactions that prevent them from using disposables at all.

The biggest downside to disposables is their impact on the environment. Worldwide, we produce 3.4 million tons of diaper waste per year, and they do not decompose.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Compfight cc