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9 Foods that can help coping with anxiety

What is anxiety?

A certain amount of anxiety is normal and necessary; it can lead you to act on your concerns and protect you from harm. In some situations, anxiety can even be essential to your survival. If you were standing at the edge of a curb, for example, and a car swerved toward you, you would immediately perceive danger, feel alarm and jump back to avoid the car. This normal anxiety response, called the “fight or flight” response, is what prompts you to either fight or flee from danger.

When we feel danger, or think that danger is about to occur, the brain sends a message to the nervous system, which responds by releasing adrenaline. Increased adrenaline causes us to feel alert and energetic, and gives us a spurt of strength, preparing us to attack (fight) or escape to safety (flight). Increased adrenaline can also have unpleasant side-effects. These can include feeling nervous, tense, dizzy, sweaty, shaky or breathless. Such effects can be disturbing, but they are not harmful to the body and generally do not last long.

Everyone experiences anxiety. However, when feelings of intense fear and distress are overwhelming and prevent us from doing everyday things, an anxiety disorder may be the cause. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18%, have an anxiety disorder. Approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience the negative impact of an anxiety disorder at school and at home.

Foods that can help coping with anxiety

1. Salmon

It contains nutrients that promote brain health, including vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

According to a study from Ohio University, omega-3 fatty acids are particularly effective when it comes to foods that help with anxiety. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in foods like salmon, chia seeds, soybeans, and walnuts as well as cold-pressed olive oil.

In another study, men who ate Atlantic salmon 3 times per week for 5 months reported less anxiety than those who ate chicken, pork, or beef. Moreover, they had improved anxiety-related symptoms, such as heart rate and heart rate variability.

2. Kale (or Arugula)

Researchers at the State University of New York found that anxious symptoms are linked with a lower antioxidant state and that antioxidants can help with mood, too. Dark, leafy greens like kale, which is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, are needed to boost antioxidant levels and support optimal brain functioning.

3. Eggs

Egg yolks are another great source of vitamin D.

Eggs are also an excellent source of protein. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and development.

Eggs also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps create serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin is also thought to improve brain function and relieve anxiety.

4. Cherries

Cherries contain antioxidants like quercetin, which can help promote feelings of calmness. Eating more fruits and veggies in general has also been linked to decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression and increased happiness levels. Some studies have shown that eating five or more servings per day helps boost your mood, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control, only 10% of Americans hit that recommendation.

5. Dark Chocolate

Its bitter flavor profile is polarizing for some, but promising research could tip the scales in favor of a frequent treat. A 2019 survey-based study published in the journal Depression & Anxiety suggests that people who eat dark chocolate regularly are less likely to report depressive symptoms. While more research is needed to confirm any causation due to the study’s limited size, adding a small amount in your routine certainly can’t hurt.

6. Chamomile Tea

Who doesn’t love a cup of warm, soothing cup of tea after a long day? If you can, spring for chamomile: A 2016 clinical trial, with results published in the journal Phytomedicinesuggests that those who drank this tea over a long-term period “significantly” reduced severe generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Chamomile’s role in anxiety reduction may have something to do with it’s ability to enhance your efforts to get to sleep on time.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Known for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin may help to prevent damage to brain cells related to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress

8. Yogurt

If you suffer from anxiety, yogurt is a great food to include in your diet. The probiotics, or healthy bacteria, found in some types of yogurt may improve several aspects of your well-being, including mental health.

9. Avocado

Vitamin B6 helps the body make several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which influences mood. The B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, have positive effects on the nervous system. Deficiencies of these vitamins have been linked to increased anxiety in some people.

Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety. Vitamin E is a nutrient that is important for vision, reproduction and maintaining healthy skin. It’s also been connected with cognition, helps widen blood vessels and is needed for the formation of red blood cells. Because vitamin E is fat-soluble it’s only found in foods like nuts and avocados that have a high-fat content.

What is DASH diet?

The DASH Diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, and is reduced in meats, saturated fats, and sweets. The DASH Diet was originally designed with the goal of reaching a certain intake level of selected nutrients that were hypothesized to benefit blood pressure control.

These nutrients include protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. After the DASH Diet was proven to be very effective in blood pressure reduction, it was translated and introduced to the public as a dietary pattern characterized by eight food groups: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Dairy, Meats, Nuts/Seeds/Legumes, Added Fats, and Sweets.




1. Calculate daily calorie needs. There are many online sites and apps that offer calorie calculators. These sites will calculate how many calories one needs to maintain current weight. If weight loss is desired, subtract 500 calories from the calories needed for weight maintenance.

2. Determine the number of daily servings of each DASH food group based on the calorie need calculated in Step 1 above.

3. Learn what is a DASH “serving” in each food group:

Fruits

• One medium piece of fruit (about the size of a tennis ball

• 1/2 of a large piece of fruit (grapefruit, 7-inch banana

• 6 ounces (oz.) of 100% fruit juice (limit to one serving per day)

• 1/2 cup chopped fruit or berrie

• 1/4 cup dried fruit

Vegetables

• 1 cup of uncooked leafy vegetables

• 1/2 cup cooked vegetables

• 1/2 cup non-leafy vegetables (peppers, cucumber, broccoli, corn, etc.)

• 6 oz. 100% vegetable juice

• 1/2 cup tomato sauce or other stewed vegetables

• 1/2 medium potato (about the size of a computer mouse)

Dairy

• 8 oz. of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese

• 1 1/2 oz. of low-fat cheese

• 4 oz. low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream (limit to one serving per day)

Grains (select at least half as whole grains)

• 1 oz. of bread, cereal, crackers, pretzels, etc.

• 1/2 cup cooked pasta, rice, cereal (like oatmeal or cream of wheat)

Meat (this includes meat, fish, poultry, and eggs)

• 3 oz. cooked meat, fish, poultry

• 3 eggs

• 6 egg whites

Meat alternatives

• 3 oz. seitan

• 9 oz. tofu

• 4 oz. tempeh

• 1/2 cup texturized vegetable protein

Nuts, seeds, and legumes

• 1/3 cup nuts

• 1/2 cup cooked beans/legumes

• 2 tablespoons of seeds

Added fats

• 1 teaspoon of butter, margarine, or oil

• 1 tablespoon of regular salad dressing, mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, and dairy cream

• 2 tablespoons of low fat varieties of salad dressing and mayonnaise

Sweets

• 6 oz. sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, juice cocktails, and punches

• 1 tablespoon sugar, syrup, jelly, or jam

• 1 ounce candy (hard candies, gummy, or sours) or chocolate

Benefits of Dash diet

The DASH Diet has many strengths but its greatest advantage over most other diets is its scientific credibility. Many scientific papers (some cited above) have reported its health benefits—from blood pressure and cholesterol reduction to cardiovascular disease to cognitive function.

All of the benefits of the DASH Diet can be enjoyed by just about anyone. This is because, while powerful, the DASH Diet is essentially very simple. It is a well-balanced way of eating made up of a diversity of foods. Anyone with access to a supermarket can follow the DASH Diet and it is customizable. For those with allergies, or strong food preferences, the DASH Diet can be followed by meeting the DASH recommended servings based on an individual’s preference.

Choosing the right diet is a very personal decision. What works for one individual might not work for another. But the freedom to choose favorite foods within each food group allows individuals to select the foods they like—a definite advantage over more restricted diets. And the DASH Diet can prevent or treat a number of health problems.


The DASH Diet’s safety and efficacy has made it one of the most heavily endorsed diets on the market today. It is recommended by the USDA, the JNC-7 High Blood Pressure Guidelines and the American Heart Association and has been ranked the #1 Overall Diet by US News & World Report every year since 2011. Clinicians recommend the DASH Diet to their patients for its health benefits, and the safety of the diet allows patients to follow it without the need for clinical supervision.

Complications of using Dash diet

Anyone who has tried to change eating habits knows that it is a difficult task. Most are aware that eating more fruits and vegetables is a healthier option than swinging through the drive-thru on the way home from work. However, even setting simple dietary goals such as “I will eat more fruit this week,” takes planning and effort. It takes work and commitment to adhere to a diet. When asked, dieters cite this reason as the number one challenge when starting the DASH Diet.


In addition to the work it takes to eat the DASH way, some people find that the diet’s lower meat allowance is difficult. In the United States especially, typical diets are very meat-heavy. It can take a shift in thinking when first starting the DASH Diet, moving from meat as the centerpiece of the meal, shifting it to more of a side dish, then rounding out the meal with more whole grains and vegetables. Stir-fries and stews with plenty of vegetables are a great way to get around feeling meat-deprived.


Finally, a third barrier that is sometimes reported is the lack of restriction in the DASH Diet. The diet does not require participants to calorie count nor does it “forbid” certain food groups. Also, many of the foods promoted on the DASH Diet, such as unsaturated fats, nuts, and dried fruit and fruit juices are relatively high in calories. People interested in weight loss must consume these foods in moderation. Other weight loss diets avoid this issue by restricting entire food groups. In the DASH Diet, almost any food can be consumed in moderation.




What foods provide a good balance of nutrients?

Nutrition is best balanced by eating the right amounts of a large variety of foods. This provides the protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins needed for a healthy body. The right amounts of water and exercise are also critical to good health.

A balanced diet is often represented by different symbols.  A wheel, plate, or circle symbol suggests a balance of foods is desirable. The rainbow symbol emphasizes variety. A pyramid symbol recommends the number of servings from various food groups decreases from a solid foundation at the bottom (or the base) to the top. Different cultures may use different symbols of healthy food intake based on foods available to them. All symbols have in common a variety of food intake from different food groups.

Grains provide mostly carbohydrates as starches. They also provide some protein that needs to be combined with legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, dairy, or meat to be complete. Half of the grain category should be from whole grains for fiber and vitamins. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Certain vegetables such as potatoes also provide carbohydrates and some vegetable protein, which needs to be eaten with another protein food to be complete.



Fruits provide different vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also provide sugars for quick energy. ½ to ¾ cup or 120 to 180 mL of fruit juice is the same as one serving of fruit. It is not wise to drink much more than this because the high sugar tends to replace other needed foods. Dairy products provide complete proteins and major minerals, particularly calcium. They are commonly supplemented with vitamin D and vitamin A.

If dairy products are not consumed in the recommended amounts, special efforts should be made to eat other calcium-rich foods or take a calcium supplement. This is particularly important for women.

Complete protein can be provided by meat, chicken, eggs, fish, and soybeans (e.g., tofu). Legumes (e.g., beans) can also provide complete protein if nuts/seeds or grains such as rice or corn are eaten at the same meal to provide limiting amino acids.

Vegetable oils can provide a balance of essential fatty acids. Use them in food preparation (frying, salad dressings, spreads, etc.). Canola and soy oils are preferred. Mustard and hemp seed oils are similar but less common. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fat and has a good ratio (although relatively low amounts) of essential fatty acids. Peanut, corn, sesame, sunflower, and safflower oils are relatively low in essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Half of servings in the oil category should be one of the vegetable oils providing essential fatty acids each day. Tropical oils (e.g., coconut and palm) are extremely low in essential fatty acids.

Discretionary calories should be limited to avoid excessive weight gain. Satisfying appetite with sweets limits eating of vitamin-, mineral-, and protein-rich foods important to good health and function.

Low fat dairy products and lean meat should be used or discretionary calories reduced.
A simple summary of food groups and good nutrition includes:

Grains for carbohydrates and fiber.

Brightly colored vegetables and fruits for vitamins, minerals, and fiber.        

Dairy for calcium and protein.

Meats, legumes (beans), and nuts for proteins.

Fats (oils) scattered among the foods for essential fatty acids.

Iodized salt should be used in all food preparation, even if it costs more, to avoid goiters which occur in many parts of the world.







What is overweight (obesity)?

Excess weight interferes with health, well-being, and the ability to perform normal daily activities. Some immediate problems of excess weight include decreased mobility, fatigue, and tiredness, shortness of breath with exercise, increased sweating, back pain, and lower limb problems with feet, ankles, knees, and/or hips. Longer-term excess weight includes increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.


The normal body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 25, although up to 28 is acceptable for persons over age 50.  Waist size measured at the navel line has also been shown to be an indicator of health risks due to obesity, regardless of actual weight. Risks are increased in adult women with a waist size greater than 35 inches (89 cm) and in adult men with a waist size greater than 40 inches (102 cm).

It is best to begin early to control a tendency to be overweight. Obesity, Body mass index is between 30 and 40. Normal body function is compromised because of excess weight. Obesity should be treated vigorously when evident. Morbid obesity, Body mass index is 40 or more. Both body functions and health are impaired. Aggressive action may be required to correct it.  Weight loss surgery may be necessary if life is in jeopardy.

Obesity causes

Most commonly, obesity is due to eating more calories (energy) than used for activity and maintenance. Occasionally, hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism or excessive hydrocortisone can help cause obesity.
At least 30 minutes of daily exercise for six days each week is normally recommended. An additional 30 minutes of daily activity would be wise. A good goal is to walk or run five miles a day. A carefully selected diet is important to successfully manage excessive weight. A diet low in animal fat will help. 

The diet should be modified to maintain appropriate nutrition while decreasing calorie intake. A daily multiple vitamin and mineral supplement is recommended. Design a weight-reduction diet such as the following:

― Determine the estimated number of calories estimated to be needed to maintain weight based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level.

― Choose an intake of 500-1000 calories LESS than the one estimated to maintain your current weight (but not less than a total of 1000 calories per day).

― Use your chosen daily calorie intake to determine the servings in each food group.

― Distribute these servings over 5 to 6 meals throughout waking hours. 
Use low-calorie snacks to stave off hunger, such as yogurt (80-100 calories) plus a glass of water.

Strictly maintain the size and number of servings each day. Consider and treat edema and hormonal imbalances, if present. These are uncommon and most persons with excess weight can benefit from calorie management.





Good sources of carbohydrate, protein, and fat for athlete’s diet

Carbohydrate is the most important part of an athlete’s diet. Meals and snacks should center on carbohydrate. “Whole” grains are the most natural form of grain and provide longer sustained energy than their refined grain counterparts.

Whole grains vs. refined grains

Refined, white grains include white flour, white bread, white rice, and most pasta. Refining removes the bran and the germ from the grain, reducing the amount of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and other health benefitting phytochemicals.

Sources of whole-grain include:

· Whole wheat breads · Whole wheat cereal · Oatmeal · Brown rice · Whole-grain barley · Whole-grain crackers · Whole wheat pastas · Wild rice

Fruits and vegetables are also an important source of carbohydrate in an athlete’s diet. Both fruits and vegetables are lower calorie sources of carbohydrate and provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.



Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are also an important source of carbohydrate in an athlete’s diet. Both fruits and vegetables are lower calorie sources of carbohydrate and provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.

Good sources of carbohydrate from fruits and vegetables

· Corn · Peas · Potatoes · Sweet potatoes · Apples · Bananas · Oranges · Raisins
Note: Suddenly increasing the amount of fiber/whole grain in your diet may result in gastric disturbances such as constipation and bloating. Increase your levels of wholegrains over several days or weeks to avoid such disturbances and achieve dietary recommendations. At the same time, you should increase fluid intake, or, at the very least, maintain adequate fluid intake.

Protein

Protein is an essential component of an athlete’s diet because it aids in muscle repair. Athletes have higher protein needs than the general population because they are more active and damage their muscles more often than non-athletes.

Good sources of dietary protein include: · Eggs · Lean beef · Pork · Chicken · Fish · Nuts · Beans · Low-fat milk · Low-fat cheese · Low-fat cottage cheese · Soy milk · Tofu · Pasta and Bread

Fat

Fat is an important component of an athlete’s diet, and despite popular assumptions, can contribute to an overall healthy life. However, it is important to consider the type of fat consumed. Mono and poly-unsaturated fats are considered to be health-benefitting fats. Saturated and trans-fats are unhealthy fats that can contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases. Recommendations are that less than 10% of daily calories be from saturated fats, and less than 1% of daily calories be from trans-fats.

Saturated fats are found in fried foods, bakes goods, meats, butter, and whole milk. Limit your consumption of these foods and other foods containing saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and foods made with partially hydrogenated oils (this includes margarine!). Try not to eat any of these foods. Note that one gram of fat is more calorie dense than one gram of carbohydrate (i.e. 1 gram of fat has 9 kcal and 1 gram of carbohydrate has 4 kcal). Thus, a handful of peanuts would have a considerably higher amount of calories than a handful of pretzels.



Vegetarian diets: Indications and planning

A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, including fowl or seafood, or products containing these foods. A wide spectrum of dietary practices is considered vegetarian. A vegetarian whose diet consists of foods of plant origin only is a total vegetarian or vegan. However, many vegetarians also consume eggs (ovovegetarian), dairy products (lactovegetarian), or both eggs and dairy products (lacto-ovovegetarian).

The two most common definitions for vegetarian diets in the research are vegan diets, which are devoid of all flesh foods, and vegetarian diets, which are devoid of all flesh foods but do include eggs, dairy products, or both. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library, these broad categories mask important variations within vegetarian diets. Thus, the absolute categorization of vegetarian dietary practices is difficult and may result in unclear relationships between vegetarian diets and other health factors

Indications

Vegetarian diets are adopted for a variety of health, ecological, economical, philosophical, and ethical reasons. Vegetarian diets offer a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risks of hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants (eg, vitamins C and E), carotenoids, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals. These nutritional differences may explain some of the health advantages of a varied, balanced vegetarian diet.



Planning the Diet

A vegetarian diet can be made nutritionally adequate by careful planning and giving consideration to the following guidelines.

· Choose a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu or other soy products, and, if desired, dairy products and eggs.

· Choose whole or unrefined grain products whenever possible, instead of refined products.

· Minimize intake of foods that are highly sweetened, high in sodium, or high in fat, especially saturated fat and trans fatty acids.

· If animal foods such as dairy products and eggs are used, choose lower-fat dairy products and use both eggs and dairy products in moderation.

· Use a regular source of vitamin B12, and, if sunlight exposure is limited, provide a source of  vitamin D. In addition to these guidelines, the DRIs are a valuable resource for meal planning

Protein

The body’s need for essential amino acids can be met by consumption of animal or plant sources of protein. Although plant foods contain less of the essential amino acids than do equivalent quantities of animal foods, a plant-based diet can provide adequate amounts of amino acids when energy needs are met and a varied diet is consumed on a daily basis. A mixture of different proteins from unrefined grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables will complement each other in their amino acid profiles to meet nutritional needs. Estimates of protein requirements may vary based on dietary choices selected, particularly for vegans. Isolated soy protein can meet protein needs as effectively as animal protein, whereas wheat protein eaten alone may be 50% less usable than animal protein.

Vitamin B12

Unfortified plant foods do not contain significant amounts of active vitamin B12. Although the requirement for vitamin B12 is relatively small, vegetarians must include a reliable source of vitamin B12 in their diets to reduce their risk of developing a deficiency.

Lacto-ovovegetarians can obtain adequate vitamin B12 from the regular consumption of dairy foods, eggs, fortified foods, or supplements. Folacin-rich vegetarian diets may mask the hematological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency; therefore, a deficiency may go undetected until the manifestation of neurological signs and symptoms

Calcium

Calcium is present in many plant foods and fortified foods. The calcium intake of lactovegetarians is comparable to or higher than that of non-vegetarians. However, the calcium intake of vegans is generally lower than that of lactovegetarians and non-vegetarians and is often below the recommended level.

In one study, the risk of bone fracture was similar for lacto-ovovegetarians and meat eaters, whereas vegans had a 30% higher risk of fracture possibly due to their considerably lower mean calcium intake. A diet that provides foods with relatively high ratios of sulfur-containing amino acid proteins, such as eggs, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, nuts, and many grains, may increase calcium loss from the bones.

Excessive sodium intake may also promote calcium loss from the bones. Lower oxalate greens, such as bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collards, and kale, and fruit juices fortified with calcium citrate malate are good sources of highly bioavailable calcium (50% to 60% and 40% to 50%, respectively), while calcium-set tofu, and cow’s milk have good bioavailability of calcium (30% to 35%), and sesame seeds, almonds, and dried beans have a lower bioavailability (23% to 27%)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D status depends on sunlight exposure and intake of vitamin D–fortified foods or supplements. If sun exposure and intake of fortified foods are insufficient to meet nutritional needs, vitamin D supplements are recommended.

Energy

Because vegan diets tend to be high in bulk, it can be challenging for vegans, especially infants, children, and adolescents, to meet their energy needs. Frequent meals and snacks and the use of some refined foods (such as fortified breakfast cereals, breads, and pasta) and foods higher in unsaturated fats can help vegan children meet their energy and nutrient needs

Iron

The non-heme iron found in plant foods is more sensitive than heme iron to both inhibitors and enhancers of iron absorption. The inhibitors of iron absorption include phytate, calcium, and polyphenols in teas (including some herb teas), coffee, and cocoa. Some food preparation techniques, such as soaking and sprouting beans, grains, and seeds and the leavening of bread, can diminish phytate levels and thereby enhance iron absorption.

In addition, vitamin C and other organic acids in fruits and vegetables consumed by vegetarians can substantially enhance iron absorption and reduce the inhibitory effects of phytates, leading to improved iron status.



Food and Nutrition: Important facts about nutrition and children

Important facts about nutrition and children

· Children need good role models to develop a taste for healthy foods and a healthy attitude about food.

· Children’s growing bodies need healthy fat found naturally in foods like higher-fat milk, cheese, nuts and vegetable oils.

· Children need healthy, nutritionally balanced breakfasts to give them the energy they need to learn and play.

· Children need variety, including: choices from each food group, foods with a variety of colour, texture (ex: crunchy, soft, chewy) and temperature

· Children need variety, including: choices from each food group foods with a variety of colour, texture (ex: crunchy, soft, chewy) and temperature.

Infant feeding (ages 0 – 2)

Daily communication with families can help an infant’s overall health and well-being. Ask families about their feeding preferences; work with them to develop a feeding plan for their infants; and discuss which foods have been introduced at home.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed a baby. Health Canada recommends breast milk as the only food babies should consume until they are six months old, with continued breastfeeding for two years, or longer.

Support breastfeeding mothers and their children by:

· welcoming breastfeeding mothers into your facility

· offering them a quiet and comfortable place to sit and feed their children

· encouraging them to send expressed breast milk from home, if possible

Formula feeding

For mothers who are not breastfeeding, iron-fortified infant formula is the next best choice. Infants who are fed formula should continue to have formula until they are nine months to one year old, at which time they may be ready for whole cow’s milk (3.25% MF).

Introducing solid foods

When infants are six months old, they are usually ready to start eating small amounts of solid foods containing iron. Solid foods provide nutrients and textures needed for healthy growth and development. At this time, breast milk and/or formula with iron should still be baby’s main food.

SIGNS AN INFANT IS READY FOR SOLID FOODS
They:

·  sit up with very little help

· hold their head up

· open their mouth when food is offered

· turn their head to refuse food