Forty-five years ago I lost my first baby girl at five days old from heart disease. I began to research every possible reason for an answer.
Start Your Health Building Journey Early
Everyone wants a Happy, Healthy Baby!
I believe, we would all agree with that statement. We want our babies to be healthy from the moment they are conceived, and through all of the their stages of life. Our newborn babies grow quickly into toddlers, children, teenagers, and finally grow into adults. But, wishing and hoping to have a baby or child with good health will not make it happen. Give your baby a head start to begin life as healthy as possible.
If we are fortunate enough to live a long life, it will become obvious that heredity certainly does play a part in the diseases that we are predisposed to getting. When considering ones individual hereditary back ground, it should actually help us in making better choices concerning our entire families health. In fact, there is now a better understanding and more education that our food choices and eating more nutritious foods can also have a huge impact on our families health.
What I have discovered is that it is extremely important to educate yourself, and be sensible, not fanatical. Take any new information, process it, decide if or how this new information can apply to yourself, and family. Make your best educated decision for your situation.
My hope is that this information will help guide you on your journey to improve your health, starting now and also for the rest of your lives. Let's explore some of the ways to continually build good health for yourself and also ensuring a healthier life for your developing baby, your new born baby, and your growing child and the entire family.
Protect Your Immune System
When preparing for your healthy baby, a great place to begin, is try your best to eat a well balanced diet. Taking the steps to protect your immune system can make a huge difference.
1. Avoid junk food, which really means, avoid foods with little or no nutritional value. Replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy oils and fats, using less saturated fats. Contrary to popular belief, children eating healthy diets, can and should be eating fresh pure butter and healthy oils daily.
2. Avoid eating foods that are grown with harmful hormones and chemical pesticides. Also, avoid applying harmful chemicals on the skin. Ideally, a good health program should be started up to two years before the birth of a baby. Especially, if the mom has been in ill health, or recently given birth. It may take this amount of time for the body to become built up enough nutritionally, to produce the healthiest baby possible. But, since we don't always live in an ideal world, it's best to begin your health program as soon as you become aware that good health practices can make you and your children healthier.
3. It is important to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This is more important than you may realize. Try to aim for the recommended 8 hours of sleep in every 24 hours.
4. Keeping your emotional and mental health in check can make a big difference in you and your baby's long term health. This will become an easier issue to solve by following good health practices on a daily basis.
Choose Beautiful Health Over Sickness
I wish that I would have known much of what I want to share with you before I became pregnant with our second child, our first baby girl. She died at five days old from a congenital heart disease in 1973. My husband and I were very confused. We both consoled one another, that I had not done anything that could have caused our tragedy. I didn’t smoke or drink alcohol and tried to eat as healthy as I knew to do at that time. But, I needed to know what could have possibly gone wrong. This is not about guilt or blame. I don't blame myself. But, what exactly did cause her heart abnormality? If there was something I did, I will never really know, for sure. I did the best that I knew at that time. I would like to be able to help families to also know they did their very best to create a healthy baby and family.
You are going to need a ton of energy to raise your babies over the next twenty years, and in order to feel energetic, you will also need to make healthy choices for yourself. I believe most parents want their children to have a natural, healthy energy, but not where they are bouncing off of the walls, as is all to common these days. But, where ever you are in your quest for a healthy family, now is always a great time to begin or continue on your journey.
You may be just beginning, or possibly you have tried to live a healthier lifestyle, but have found it difficult to stick with it. It's not always easy. Just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. There are many reasons that can cause us to get off the health track.
It is a little extra work to eat more healthy, and to cook healthy meals. It may cost a little more, at times. And I know from experience, that if your partner isn't feeling as interested in a healthier lifestyle, there will certainly be a struggle with moving forward to quickly. Likewise, if you have children who don't want to cooperate, as sometimes happens as children grow older, some with more rebellious personalities, or you may just have picky eaters . As it becomes more difficult to please everyone, this may cause you to want to retreat.
But, as you continue to educate yourself about the benefits of choosing health over sickness, it will become much easier as time passes. Wanting to feel well can give you that extra push.
Drink Pure Water
Twelve Ways For Families To Begin Building Better Health
Junk Food Can Not Grow A Healthy Body
Remember to always check with your baby's doctor before beginning any new food.
Breast milk or a good quality formula is the best food for baby, for the first year. It is best to wait to give solid food until after six months of age, unless your baby is showing all of the markers for being ready for solid food. It is very important to "not" make solid food the main priority for the first year.
But, when you do begin to add solid foods, please make sure to give baby good wholesome foods from this list. In order to grow strong healthy bodies, we all need healthy vitamins and minerals. Junk food can not grow a healthy body!
It's O.K. if you can't afford to do the whole list today. Begin by picking one or two foods from this healthy foods list, and get started, You'll be glad as you begin to see yourself and your children growing healthier, and also, making fewer sick visits to the doctors.
1.Drink the cleanest, most purified water available
2.Drink organic milk. Eat organic yogurt with live cultures. Children, especially under school age, should use whole milk dairy products
3.Eat organic eggs
4.Eat "natural" white cheese. Yellow dye is added to make cheese yellow. (eating dye is never good for you)!
5.Avoid white bread and white flour. Use organic whole grain flour and bread.These include many more vitamins, and are much better for your digestive system. Also experiment with almond flour, coconut flour, and oat flour.
6.Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is in many packaged products, can soup,etc
7.Avoid hydrogenated oils (trans fat) found in margarine, many crackers, store bought soup,etc These oils scar and clog your arteries.
8.Use healthy oils. Such as extra virgin olive oil for salads and vegetables. Coconut oil or Olive oil for baking. Also try using other healthy oils such as Grape Seed, Avocado oils, etc. Pure butter from grass fed cows is healthy for children, and adults when used sensibly. (Adults with high cholesterol need a doctors guidance in this area)
9.Try to use as little white sugar as possible. Avoid corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and chemically man-made artificial sweeteners. For babies that are over 1 year old, it is acceptable to sweeten some foods with a little pure maple syrup, molasses, or honey. (WARNING: Honey can be harmful to babies under one year old!)
10.Try to eat less meat. If possible, eat "grass fed" beef that is free of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. Where as, corn fed cows are not free of these chemicals
11.Eat chicken that is free of antibiotics, hormones, and chemical pesticides. Now available in most grocery stores.
12. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can afford.
A good place to begin eating organic is by looking over the Dirty Dozen list (Below). This list contains produce which have the highest concentration of pesticides. Find the ones your family eats most often. Then choose from those to begin eating organic. Even picking one or two from this list would be a great start at reducing pesticides within your family.
Home grown organic fruit
THE DIRTY DOZEN
High Pesticide Foods
According to the EWG, The Environmental Working Group, this list of fruits and vegetables are known as the 'dirty dozen', because they are conventionally grown with high amounts of pesticides. This list changes with each passing year. So going to the site, will give you the latest, and most updated information.
To avoid many harmful toxins, try to replace your favorites from the following list, with the "organic version" of these fruits and vegetables.
There is mounting evidence that even small amounts of pesticides and chemicals used for growing food can cause lasting health problems, especially to babies before and after birth. There little bodies are not equipped to cleanse so many toxins.
As always, when possible, grow your own food, or buy locally from trusted organic gardeners.
When possible, try to buy the organic version of these fruits and vegetables.
Fresh homegrown organic Lettuce
The Clean 15 - Choose These First
Fruits And Vegetables That Contain Less Pesticides
Many thanks to "The Environmental Working Group" for the enormous help in supplying this list. I'm sure you will find it to be quite useful.
It can better help you plan your budget by choosing these conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Their thicker skin or covering, is said to help minimize the amount of pesticides that enter the produce.
When purchasing produce-Choose frozen first, then fresh second. Frozen foods are picked at their peak of freshness, then flash frozen. This allows for vitamin retention and the final fresh quality, especially, if they are not over cooked.
This usually will mean a healthier product, compared to fresh purchased produce from the grocery store, which has been shipped a few hundred miles, and possibly sits in a store another few days. So, this does appear to be a safer option, when it is not possible to purchase only organic foods.
5. Sweet Peas
Home Grown Organic Vegetables and Herbs
Bananas Get Bad Press..Please Eat Bananas
The World's Most Eaten Fruit
No Wonder Almost Everyone Loves Bananas!
Bananas are so easy to eat.
Simply peel back the covering with your fingers, and it is ready to enjoy.
Americans eat 28 pounds of bananas a year, per person!
This is a great health advantage, because bananas are an amazing, healthy fruit.
Bananas are full of good nutrients.Including important vitamins and minerals.
Bananas have quite a number of valuable, usable nutrients. But, the most significant are potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6.
I can't say enough good things about banana's. Don't forget to pack a banana or two, in your diaper bag. You can eat it yourself when you get hungry. It will give you energy. It satisfies hunger, and will help you to wait for your next meal when necessary. When baby has begun to eat fruit, bananas are the perfect food to take on an outing.
Try this easy way to feed baby. Peel banana back just a few inches, break off small piece of tip. Using baby spoon, begin to gently scrape top of banana, and feed baby. Continue to peel, and feed just what is needed. So Easy! You will love this method!
When at home, a fork to mash a banana works quite well for toddlers. For younger babies, even a small manual baby food grinder works wonders on soft foods. With your own baby food grinder, any wholesome food can become baby food within a minute or two. This is a purchase that pays for it self many times
Yogurt that You and Baby will Love
One serving Instructions:
1. 2 Tablespoons plain organic yogurt
2. ½ Banana - mashed with fork
3. 1-2 Fresh Strawberries- cut and mashed
4. ½ Orange- fresh squeezed (remove seeds).
Place all into serving bowl
Hand squeeze orange into the same bowl that contains the banana and strawberries. Add - 2 Tablespoons of yogurt and mix together.
This can all be done in a baby food grinder as well Serve
2 - 4 servings....
This recipe is the one that I thought I had made up for my kids when they were young, yogurt was not as popular in those days.
But, I now see it all of the time tweaked one way or another.
Obviously, it is just a natural as babies and children love it.
Ingredients: 1-2 servings
For older children or Adults
1. 4 - 6 Strawberries
2. 1 Banana (peeled)
3. 1 Orange (squeeze juice) and/or
4. 2 Tablespoons Orange juice concentrate
Blend - or mash with a fork - into VERY SMALL pieces
5. Add: ½ -1 cup yogurt
Experiment with other fruits, but always add a banana for it's natural sugar and nutritional value.
Add 1/2 tsp. flax, or wheat germ
Add 1 Tablespoon maple syrup, molasses, or honey
(NEVER give babies under 1 year old HONEY)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
This recipe can be doubled, and refrigerated
for later that day or the next day, especially if
you include the orange juice concentrate. The
extra Vitamin C, should keep the banana from
turning brown, (or just add mashed banana right