Five For Fridays – Mar 6, 2009

by Naveen Agarwal

in Five For Fridays


Happy Friday! Check out these interesting nutrition related articles and drop a comment if you would like to share an opinion.

Carrots are boring but what about X-ray vision carrots?

It appears that giving veggies interesting and creative names might work if you would like your kids to try them more. In a recent study, 4-year old preschoolers ate twice as many carrots when they were presented as “x-ray vision carrots” compared to just “carrots”. That is amazing! I guess it might work with fruits too although they were not included in this study. Creating an experience of fun with veggies worked for @MommyMellie, who wrote in her guest post on this blog about how carrots, broccoli  and finger paint got her child to tolerate veggies and even like them. So, let your imagination go wild and have fun with fruits and veggies. Here are some more tips on helping your kids eat more of them.

“Organic” stamp does not mean food safety

Remember the recent outbreak of salmonella from the peanut plants in Texas and Georgia? Turns out, they also had the “organic” certification from the USDA according to this article in the New York Times! This is a good time to remind ourselves that organic certification does not imply food safety, even though you may expect it because you pay top dollar for these foods. Just like every other government program, the process of getting and maintaining the organic certification has become a beuareucratic mess. It took the private certifier for the Peanut Corporation of America nearly 7 months to report the problem to the USDA. By then, several people had been infected and many foods were on the recall list. In my opinion, these inspectors should also lose their license!

Does it mean you should give up on buying organic? Certainly not. However, it is probably a good idea to understand what the label means and not make any assumptions.

Getting a blood test for food allergy? Watch out for misdiagnosis

Seems like a lot of people are getting a blood test for detecting food allergies in their children. And in a lot of cases, kids and adults alike are getting diagnosed with allergies they don’t really have. In one case according to this article, a young boy was put on feeding tube because blood tests indicated he was allergic to everything! After doing a food challenge, doctors were able to introduce 20 foods into his diet. This is an extreme example for sure, however there is an increase in the number of misdiagnosed food allergies when blood tests are used. A 2003 report in Pediatrics reported that positive result on a blood allergy test correlated with less than 50% of real food allergy. If the blood tests show a huge positive allergy response, it is best to contact a specialist. Introduce new foods slowly and watch of any allergic reactions.

Do you have any experiences with food allergies in your kids?

Open your eyes to healthy eating habits

March is “Save Your Vision” month sponsored by the American Optometric Association (AOA). Most people already know that carrots are good for eyes because they supply the beta-carotene needed for night vision. There are several other key nutrient for long term eye health which are not that commonly known. Accordinng to AOA’s  Diet and Nutrtion website, researchers have now linked nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential fatty acids and zinc to reducing several eye diseases. Foods such as spinach, kale, citrus fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish and supplements can provide all of these nutrients. This is a good reminder to try various foods with your toddler so he can get a balanced diet. Most toddlers are picky eaters, so you can also consider a daily multivitamin supplement.

Enjoy lentil soup

Our twins have now developed a taste for lentil soup. Check out our simple lentil soup recipe! Hope your toddlers find it as appealing as ours.


Enjoy your weekend!

Image source: orangeacid on Flickr

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  • Tommy’s Mommy

    You have encouraged me to revisit my lentil recipes again. I haven’t made them in a while since Alex (11) won’t touch them, but I love them and I’m sure Tommy will too.

  • Tommy’s Mommy

    You have encouraged me to revisit my lentil recipes again. I haven’t made them in a while since Alex (11) won’t touch them, but I love them and I’m sure Tommy will too.

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