Archive | September 4th, 2012

Important Tips On How To Prevent Food Poisoning In Your Home

Contaminated food can cause mayhem to little tummies. Hence, food safety at home should be every parent’s priority. It is easy to prevent food poisoning in your home by following these tips.

Practice Handwashing

The number one cause of food poisoning is poor handwashing. Train your toddler to wash his hands, use soap and rub his hands together for at least 20 seconds before and after eating, after using the restroom and after playing. Your toddler’s busy hands will come into contact with germs and once he places his hands inside his mouth, there is a 90% chance for him to get sick. Of course, do not forget to wash your own hands as well especially before cooking and after handling raw foods such as chicken, fish and meat.

Cook Food Thoroughly

Toddlers have sensitive tummies and eating raw and uncooked food will truly result to stomach aches. Keep in mind that contaminated food often looks and smells normal. Use a food thermometer to test if the fish, chicken, meat and poultry are cooked to a safe temperature. Make sure to place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food and away from the bone. You can eliminate harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to temperatures between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid Certain Foods

Food poisoning is very common to young children since they have undeveloped immune systems. Avoid giving the following foods to your little one:

  • Undercooked eggs
  • Soft cheeses (brie, feta and blue-veined cheeses)
  • Certain seafoods such as clam, mussel, oyster, scallop and shellfish
  • Raw meat and chicken
  • Unpasteurized (failure to undergo in the process of food heating) milk and milk products

Portion Food Accordingly

Divide your toddler’s food into small containers. This way, the untouched food can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Allow warm leftovers to cool down a bit before placing it in the refrigerator. Make sure to put it away within two hours. The refrigerator should be cold enough (at least 40 degrees or below) to slow down the growth of bacteria. If you have to re-heat his food, only warm up enough for your toddler to eat at that sitting.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

So you have followed the tips above, but have you checked your kitchen? Bacteria can live on kitchen surfaces and spread to other foods so make sure you clean your kitchen. Wash cooking utensils carefully before and after use. Do not use the same knife and chopping board to slice raw fish and then fresh fruits for dessert. Scrub the countertop, kitchen sink and kitchen utensils with hot soapy water. Wash your towels often and replace the sponge every few weeks.

Throw It Out

If you are unsure if the chicken sandwich you prepared for your toddler is safe, discard it. Remember, if you are in doubt, throw it out. Just prepare a new one for your little one.

Food safety at home all boils down to cleanliness, proper preparation and correct storage to keep your youngster’s tiny tummy safe and healthy.

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Child Nutrition – Nutrients Your Toddler Needs

Good child nutrition will support the growth of your toddler. There are several key nutrients your toddler needs to ensure that he grows up healthy. Here are some of the essential nutrients that should be part of your toddler’s diet.


Calcium is essential for promoting healthy bone development, nerve and muscle function, helping blood clot and activating enzymes (to convert food to energy). This nutrient is very essential during the years when bones are growing. Make sure your toddler gets enough calcium by serving him cheese, yogurt, milk, banana, pear, dried plum, watermelon, broccoli, green beans, spinach and calcium fortified cereals and juices.


There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber help decrease blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Soluble-rich foods include – brown rice, oats, apple, orange, strawberry, carrots, cauliflower, corn and sweet potatoes. Insoluble fiber cleans your toddler’s insides as well as increases and softens stools to keep the digestive system working well. Whole-wheat cereal and bread, green beans, legumes, leeks, mango and papaya provide a good amount of insoluble fiber. This nutrient also lowers your toddler’s chances of type two diabetes and heart disease.

Fatty Acids

EFAs or essential fatty acids are fats necessary in a diet because they cannot be produced by the body. EFAs reduce the risk of dementia, diabetes and heart disease and help build cells and immunity, normalize the nervous system and fortify brain function, vision and cardiovascular system. Good sources of essential fatty acids include – egg, fish, peanut butter, soybeans, tofu, nuts and seeds (pine nuts and pecans).


This nutrient boosts brain development, carries oxygen in the blood to help keep red blood cells healthy and to help keep children energized. Sufficient iron intake also prevents anemia which can make your toddler irritable and weak. Make sure you boost the iron in your toddler’s diet with iron-fortified breakfast cereals, fish, red meat, beans, lentil, spinach, dried fruits (e.g. raisin and cranberry) and whole-wheat bread.


Magnesium keep bones strong, controls heart rhythm, boosts immune system and helps maintain healthy muscles and nerves. Serve your toddler magnesium-rich foods such as wheat germ, whole-wheat bread, avocado, nuts (e.g. roasted cashews and dry peanuts), fish, turnip, Chinese cabbage, black beans and soybeans.


Children need high amounts of protein. Protein is a source of energy and amino acids necessary for the development of antibodies, enzymes and hemoglobin as well as for restoration of damaged cells. Protein can be found in eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, seafood, beans, grains and nuts.

Vitamin C, D and E

Vitamin C helps improve your toddler’s immune system, speed up growth, repair bones, blood vessels and tissues, keep your toddler’s gums healthy and keep diseases at bay. Foods rich in Vitamin C include – orange, guava, kiwi, mango, broccoli, potato, spinach and tomato.

Vitamin D absorbs calcium, builds strong teeth and bones, regulation of cell growth and for achieving growth potential. Egg yolk, margarine, cereal, mackerel, canned tuna and salmon are foods rich in vitamin D.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that keeps the body’s cells from damage. It also plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin and muscle, DNA repair and strong, responsive immune system. Foods packed with vitamin E include kiwi, mango, papaya, roasted sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli and wheat.

The amount of nutrients your toddler needs depends on his age and appetite. Do not worry if your toddler refuses to eat foods rich with these nutrients. Just think of creative ways to incorporate them into his diet.

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How To Help Kids With Homework

Does your toddler have a hard time concentrating with his homework? Does he procrastinate, complain and throw a tantrum each time he has to sit down and answer his assignments? Here are some tips to help kids with homework without doing it for them.

Set A Regular Time

Having a specific time for homework helps children finish assignments. This is the most commonly broken rule of homework. The best schedule is one that works for your toddler. He may study after school, after an hour of play or after dinner if your toddler is the type who needs to disburse some energy before he dives back into the books. Be consistent about the routine and through repetition, good study habits will be attained.

Feed Your Toddler First

A child’s brain burns a lot of energy, hence, consistent fuel is necessary. Always make sure that you offer your little one a light snack before he starts his task. Eating is crucial for homework to be successful. A child who does brain work on an empty tummy will not be focused and productive.

Choose A Spot

Find a place where your toddler can do his homework. A desk in his bedroom, the kitchen table or the coffee table in the living room works just fine as long as the study area has lots of light, well-ventilated, all homework supplies are within reach and there are no distractions (e.g. television, radio, family members, etc.).

Give Your Toddler A Break

Never force your toddler to finish his assignments in one sitting or else his brain will go into overdrive. Give your toddler at least 30 minutes to have a snack and unwind. He can use that time to read, take a nap or do any relaxing activity he wants to do as long as it does not involve anything with a screen – TV, computer or video games. Keep Friday nights homework-free. Let him play, watch his favorite show or help you cook. He will be able to function better with a refreshed mind and body.

Show Interest

Ask your toddler how his day went, what he learned in school and his homework. Ask questions like “Do you understand the assignment?”, but try not to be overly helpful to the point that you are spoon-feeding the answers to his homework. He has to learn how to do assignments on his own. Only help him if he asks for your help. But do it in a manner that will allow him to work out his own solutions. Instead of saying, “You counted it wrong. There are ten apples in this picture.”, say “What do you think honey? Let us count the apples again.”. When your toddler is finished, check his assignments but do not make corrections. After all, his teacher needs to see whether he truly understands his homework.

Pile On The Praise

Always praise good efforts. Stick samples of homework on the refrigerator or on his bedroom wall. Your appreciation and encouragement will do wonders for his self-esteem and go a long way toward motivating your toddler to complete assignments.

When it comes to homework, always support your toddler and offer assistance, but never do the assignment yourself.

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