All Posts By

Dr. Aliya

Pregnancy

The Art of Breastfeeding?

Here’s the thing about breastfeeding ….it is NOT EASY.

I know it’s supposed to be something a woman is designed to do – natural, instinctive, enjoyable.  Mama and baby in this warm cocoon-like bubble – you gazing down at this little beautiful being who is happily gulping down this magical milk freely flowing.

Umm, I hate to burst this idyllic bubble…that is definitely not how things usually go down. If you are a first time soon-to-be-mama, I’m sorry but I’m going to be real and honest – you’ll thank me later. If you are a second time mama – can I get a knowing head-nod and an “Amen, sister!”?

There is a steep learning curve to breastfeeding. It’s generally not an easy start and it take a bit of time to get the hang of it. I want you to know, you are not alone.

It’s okay to not enjoy it at first. It’s okay to cry and feel overwhelmed. And it’s totally okay to feel hopeless and want to give up. I know and I understand.

Here’s my story.

My first baby, Rose was born and immediately latched to my breast.   She was the baby you see in those breastfeeding videos. She climbed up my belly where she was placed seconds after being born and found her way to my breast where she latched on and continued to feed for the next 25 minutes.   We had a good start and I am thankful for that. However after the first 4 weeks of breastfeeding, I decided it was time to start pumping. I was heading back to work in a few short weeks and was determined to build up my supply of frozen breastmilk.

Enter pumping.

Breast pumping sucked and I found it cumbersome to use my electric pump and get enough milk.  Gradually my supply started to increase, but I couldn’t keep the pumping consistent. Long story short, before long I ended up with a few episodes of blocked ducts, and eventually mastitis. It was extremely painful and I felt like I couldn’t continue to breastfeed my baby. However with help from lactation consultants, my family doctor and a dose of antibiotics we got back on track and never looked back.

Breastfeeding has a steep learning curve. You are not alone.

Second baby. I’ve done this whole breastfeeding thing before, so this will be a piece of cake, right? Nope. Will and I had a tough time from Day 1. We had to work on his latch, he needed bodywork for his tight neck muscles (including chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, massage), I had to take herbs to increase my supply, we had to work hard on positioning, the list of issues went on. I felt defeated and completely overwhelmed. Why was this so hard? Shouldn’t I know this already? Again, we got help in the form of lactation consults (Taya Griffin), various other health practitioners, a naturopathic doctor and loads of patience. Eventually, we got the hang of breastfeeding together but we also supplemented William with some formula and I don’t regret it for a second. He needed it and I needed the peace of mind.

Two different babies. Two different feeding experiences. But in the end, we got through it. And you will too!

Do I have any advice? Not really because each mama’s experiences will be different and each baby is different.

However, I do have a few things that may help you on your feeding journey:

  1. Remember, you are not alone. Talk to people about what you are feeling – your partner, your best friends, your mom or dad, the lady in line at the grocery store. Honestly, it really does help to talk about the challenges.  La Leche League has weekly breastfeeding meetings that offer support.
  2. Get help. It’s okay to need help with this, whatever your feeding goals may be.  Lactation consultants are basically breastfeeding gurus.  But also talk to your midwives, doctors, chiropractors, other health care practitioners.
  3. “This too shall pass” It’s a phrase that I used to hear so much as a new mama and think to myself “What the heck are they talking about?!? This sucks right now!” But honestly, it does get better. I promise, mama.

Recently, Joy McCarthy, Taya Griffin and myself collaborated and co-authored an article on Natural Solutions for Breastfeeding Challenges.   I am so proud of this piece and I really hope that it helps other mamas out there!

xo

Dr Aliya

Health + Wellness

A Walk for My Dad

April 30th 2016. The date doesn’t ring a bell for most that knew him. It’s not his birthday or my parent’s wedding anniversary. It’s also not the birthday of any of his siblings, kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids. Nope, it’s a seemingly ordinary day last year in April.

But for my sisters, my mom and myself April 30th 2016 holds much importance.

It was the date of last years Walk for Muscular Dystrophy (MD) in Toronto. And, the last time my dad participated in this walk with his family before he passed away in June 2016.

In early 2007, my dad was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis (IB), an autoimmune disease that weakens and wastes the muscles progressively over time. And even though, his body was slowly deteriorating, his willpower and zest for life never wavered. He continued to be active in the community and one of his favourite events of the year was the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. It was an opportunity to raise awareness and support those affected by neuromuscular disorders. It was also a way to connect with friends he had made who also lived with similar disorders and spend time walking/rolling with his family.

Muscular Dystrophy Canada provided much support to my dad (and to our family) throughout the years, generously funding devices and aides that helped him with daily activities, providing a conduit for him to reach out and share his experiences with others and also supporting our family throughout his disease.

April 29 2017. The date of this years Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. We walk in honour of my dad, keeping his legacy alive. We walk in support of everyone everywhere affected by neuromuscular disorders. We walk to help raise awareness, to fuel research and encourage advocacy.

We walk to make a difference.

I would love for you to walk with us!

Visit our team page here for more information. Hope to see you there!

xo

Dr Aliya

dad and walk2

 

Health + Wellness

Mother’s Wrist: A common “new mama” pain!

You’re a new mom to a gorgeous little babe!  Yay!

But you’ve started to notice your body is slowly deteriorating….oh no….  You thought the hard part was over (eg. giving birth)?  And despite all of your “war wounds” – tearing, abdominal separation, weakened pelvic floor muscles, cracked/sore nipples….you’ve now noticed an intense pain in your wrists, hands and thumbs!  Things get super sore when you pick up your beautiful beaming babe…ouchy!  Feels like your body is broken!  Sound familiar?

If so, don’t panic yet!

The wrist/hand/thumb pain you are describing sounds like a condition called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or as its commonly called, “mother’s wrist” or “mommy thumb”. De Quervain’s results from irritation and inflammation of the tendons that run from the base of the thumb to the wrist and forearm. As the tendons become more inflamed they rub against the “tunnel” that encloses them causing pain along the thumb side of the wrist.

Although anyone can develop De Quervain’s, it is most common in new moms (and a few new dads too). The repetition of lifting a baby numerous times during the day adds undue stress to a fatigued wrist.

In 2009, a study from the University of Colorado found that women were four times more likely to develop De Quervain’s than men.  In addition, some women experience symptoms during pregnancy as a result of fluid retention and hormonal changes causing the tissues around the tendons to swell and become inflamed.

Research has suggested that between 25-50% of new moms develop de Quervain’s during their baby’s first few months. Early recognition and treatment is key. If you are experiencing wrist or thumb pain, see your chiropractor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options.

Unfortunately, mommy thumb seldom resolves on its own, however there are a few things you can do to get a grip on the pain.

01 / Use a different lifting technique – “the scoop”. One of the most important things you can do to prevent further injury is to modify your lifting technique. Instead of picking up your baby under his arms using primarily the thumb and index finger (in an “L” shape), try “the scoop” technique. Keep the palm of your hand up and try scooping him up by lifting under his bottom with one hand (keeping your thumb and index finger glued together) and supporting the back of his head with the other hand.

02/ Check breastfeeding position. Many women report that breastfeeding can irritate an already painful wrist, particularly during breast compressions (to help milk flow). Supporting or cradling baby’s head puts a strain on the wrist. Use a pillow to support the weight of the baby’s head so it isn’t resting in your hand.

03/ Rest & Ice. Ok so maybe resting your wrist is out of the question if you have a new baby. However, when your partner or a friend/relative is at home with you, hand over the baby and rest your wrist. This will allow some healing to occur. Icing frequently to decrease inflammation is also helpful.

04/ Try using a splint. A splint or brace that prevents the thumb and wrist from moving will help decrease swelling and discomfort. Wearing the brace consistently is important and many moms see an improvement in just a couple of weeks.

05/ Rehabilitative Exercises/Stretches.  Stretching your wrist muscles and gently massaging the area may help.  In addition, your chiropractor can help provide some key strengthening exercises that can help increase the strength in your muscles.  See my video below for some quick easy stretches and exercises that can help!

06/ Avoid texting.  Put your smartphone down and slowly back away.  Texting is a sure fire way to re-aggravate an already sore wrist and thumb.

07/ Consult with a health practitioner. A chiropractor can definitely help guide your treatment and recovery. Acupuncture has been shown to help!  Often this condition takes some time to get better, so be patient with yourself and your body.

A few easy stretches and exercises that will help!

Hang in there mama!  As your baby becomes a bit more mobile, your wrist pain will likely decrease.  This may bring a whole host of other issues – but that’s for another day!

xo

Dr Aliya

Babies + Kids

Tummy Time: Why it’s important!

 

If you’re a parent, you’ve inevitably heard of “tummy time”.   However, you may not really know why its so important for your baby in terms of his or her development. Read on, my friend.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to advise parents that the safest position for babies to sleep is on their backs.   This has been shown to greatly reduce the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, as babies spend more time on their backs, pediatricians and health practitioners have noted an increase in misshapen heads (cranial asymmetry) and a flattening effect on back of the head called positional plagiocephaly.

Enter tummy time.

Tummy time helps to get babies off their backs for periods of time (under supervision, of course!) giving the occipital area or back of the head a break from all that back sleeping. It also helps baby develop neck, back and shoulder muscles they need to meet gross motor milestones such as rolling over, crawling and sitting up.

Tummy time can start as early as when baby comes home from the hospital but many parents wait until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off for baby’s comfort. The current recommendation is at least 20 minutes per day with gradual increases as your baby gets older. I almost always recommend 30 minutes per day to my patients. Remember, this doesn’t have to be all at once and can be broken up into shorter segments starting from just a few minutes a session.

Here are a few tips I give to parents to encourage happy tummy play:

  • Engage baby in tummy time when she’s content and alert. Avoid insisting on it when she’s fussy. Forcing tummy time will cause a negative association for your baby.
  • Try different tummy time positions – holding baby on your chest while lying flat, placing baby on a firm safe surface, holding baby on your forearms (football hold), propping him up on a small pillow or blanket or lying baby on your lap. To make things more interesting, try tummy time on a exercise ball. (see my video on tummy time on an exercise ball here or check below).
  • Interact with your baby during tummy time. Get down on the floor and talk to, play with, sing to and be silly with your baby! This will help distract baby and keep them from becoming frustrated.
  • Consistency is key! Every bit of a tummy time makes a difference. Try to make it a fun part of your baby’s day. If you have done plenty of tummy time with baby but are concerned they are still not meeting milestones, bring your concerns to the attention of your pediatrician or health care provider.
  • If your child consistently fusses during tummy time, it may be time to bring him or her in to see a chiropractor. Often spinal misalignments resulting during birth may contribute to your wee one being fussy or crying during tummy time.

Recently, I’ve tried doing tummy time with William in his Dockatot (one of my fave baby essentials). I just position him on his belly in the Dockatot with his arms and belly over the bumper and place an interesting toy or mirror in front of him and he’s happy! Easy breezy tummy time!

Here’s a video of William  doing tummy time on the exercise / therapy ball!

Always remember: Back to Sleep and Tummy to Play!

 

Pregnancy

Things I wish I had known before my first baby!

Yup – that’s me! 2 years and 8 months ago. Almost 40 weeks pregnant with my first baby and not quite sure what to expect after the baby was born.

I did what most pregnant women do. I listened intently to the advice and stories of all the other moms around me – my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandmas, aunts, friends and even random women in the grocery store. Everyone had a story or some tidbit of advice they wanted to share.

I also tried to read every book and article related to pregnancy in a last ditch effort to prepare myself for what was to come.

Looking back now, it was super overwhelming and just a bit over the top. Ha! That sounds like me.

Inevitably, by the time my 2nd pregnancy rolled around, the “overachiever” in me was too exhausted by my crazy toddler to even pick up a book. And honestly, I felt I didn’t have to. I had mentally compiled a list of all the things I wish I had known the first time I was pregnant and ready to give birth to a tiny human.

I call it my list of “Wish I Had Known’s”.

Here are a few things “I wish I had known” before having our first baby:

  1. Expect the Unexpected…for life

“My pregnancy, labour and delivery went exactly the way I had planned” said no mom EVER. Be prepared to just “go with the flow”. Sounds cliché I know, but it has become my mantra. Letting go of plans was the absolute hardest thing I had to do from labour and delivery to my baby’s sleep and feed schedules to handling my toddler’s meltdowns.

  1. The first 12 weeks are going to be HARD

This is one of the single most important things every mom should know. The first 12 weeks or fourth trimester (as it’s often called) is super duper tough. It calls for survival mode. Recruit help as often as you need and just keep your head down to get through it. It gets better, promise.

  1. You will not sleep (soundly)…again

Even if your baby is a “sleeper”, you still will not sleep soundly every again. You will worry constantly. Is your baby still breathing? Is your baby too hot? Is your baby too cold? Do they have enough blankets? Did they wet the bed? Are they home from that party? Etc.

  1. Your Post Pregnancy Body WILL be different than your Pre-Pregnancy Body

And that’s more than okay. It’s amazing! It will forever be your reminder of the truly remarkable, life-changing thing that you did.   You will have a few more stretch marks, there may be some weakness or a scar, but look at what you’ve created! Be easy and kind to yourself and to your body. It’s recovering and healing and it will feel different and may not be what you had expected (see number 1 above). But it’s still yours to love.

  1. Motherhood may make you feel more vulnerable than ever before, but you are NOT alone

Many, many women feel isolated after childbirth. You question your identity, your ability as a mother, your body. Your sense of confidence is shaken by the challenges that come with a new baby and it may leave you feeling raw, emotional, and vulnerable. You are not alone. At some point, almost every single mother goes through this and please know that the transition to becoming a parent isn’t an easy one for anyone, no matter what instagram portrays! Talking to someone will help. I promise.

  1. Girl, trust yourself!

We all have natural maternal instincts. Trust your gut! It may take a bit of fine tuning and honing but they’re there and they will help you figure out what’s right for your baby.

 

Honestly, I wish I had known half of these things before my first baby was born. But that’s how life unfolds. You learn those key life lessons from experience not from Chapter 4 of a pregnancy book. You’ll get there mama!!

 

xo

Dr Aliya

 

Babies + Kids

My Fave Baby Essentials

Before our first baby, Rose was born my husband and I had a little baby shower. Ok, it was a massive baby shower complete with loads and loads of baby gifts. We felt so much gratitude for our friends and family who were so thoughtful, but we were completely overwhelmed with baby stuff. Drowning in soothers and washcloths to swings and playmats and wipe warmers?! Babies needed their wipes warmed? Ah babies. We had no idea what we needed and didn’t need or could survive without.

Fast forward 2.5 years.

Our 2nd baby, Will is born and I’ve now learned to pair down to a few essential baby items. Of course, every mom is different and every baby is different, but I’ve listed a few things that have made it to my “love it list”.

*Baby Essentials….Need & Love (starting from top left, clockwise)

01/ Having a diaper bag that is functional but also cute and stylish is key. This backpack/messenger bag is from Fawn Design and my friend Emily convinced me to get one. I’m so glad I did! It has tons of pockets inside and out for storage, the straps are durable and best of all, its made of faux leather (yay!) and easily cleaned (yay! yay!)

02/ I have a couple of different wraps and slings that I use because I’m constantly on the go and have my hands full with a busy toddler. Plus, babywearing is super important for baby development, both physically and emotionally (more on this later!). My go to wrap is the Solly Baby. This wrap is just really easy to put on, lightweight and breathable and so so soft. I had William in the wrap the minute we arrived home from the hospital!

03/ To use a pacifier or to not use a pacifier – the old debate. Rosie didn’t take to the pacifier, but Will did and it often helps settle him down. My favourite is the WubbaNub.   Our penguin WubbaNub is attached to a Soothie pacifier that is BPA, PVC and Phthalate free and is really durable. The plush toy is key because I find it stays in Williams mouth for a longer time, plus its easy to find when it does fall out!

04/ The Dockatot gets my award for most innovative baby product. Essentially, the Dockatot provides a snug cozy space for your baby to sleep or lounge. The sides and bottom of the Dockatot are made from a breathable fabric allowing loads of air flow and its hypoallergenic. It’s not just for sleeping either! William loves hanging out on his tummy in his Dockatot!

william tummy time

05/ Aside from good ol’ coconut oil, finding a good natural “all over” baby moisturizer and balm is tough. There are so many products on the market. I love Joy McCarthy’s Smooth Like Butta Body Butter for little Will’s skin. The butter is so smooth and lightweight going on and has a yummy scent! Plus, it has no chemical additives!

06/ Surviving these Canadian winters with a baby is a challenge.   I’m never quite sure how to dress the wee ones so they are comfy and cozy! But one of my favourite 100% Canadian made products that I love for baby is the Padraig Slipper. Crocheted by hand from raw wool and hand cut sheepskin, these slippers are a staple in my family and I often give them as gifts. They definitely keep baby’s footsies warm and toasty but are also breathable. Bonus – they are hand-dyed in small lots, ensuring each pair is one of a kind!

Those are some of my fave baby essentials! Hope this list helps those of you preparing for baby’s first few months.

Mamas – are there any other items you loved for your baby? Send me a note!

I’ll definitely be adding to this list as William gets older as well. Stay tuned!

xo

Dr Aliya

* Please note: These opinions are my own and I am not receiving any monetization from any products for my recommendations.

 

 

Pregnancy

Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy: Q & A

My friend, mommy blogger and soon-to-be-mama Jessica Glaze popped into The Toronto Yoga Mamas studio last week. Jessica is mama to Carter and Monroe and is expecting her third little one in the next couple of weeks! She’s definitely got a glow on but she knows that being a mom to 2 let alone 3 babes isn’t an easy feat! We did a chiropractic treatment on her to get her feeling good and ready for baby #3.

In light of her visit, I thought I would answer some frequently asked questions about receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy that I receive from many of my pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant mamas.

Q. What are the benefits of receiving chiropractic care during my pregnancy?

Pre-existing and often unnoticed imbalances in the pelvis and spine become stressed during pregnancy.  In addition, the weight of a growing uterus has a tendency to change a woman’s biomechanics, shifting the center of gravity and putting pressure on joints of the hips, pelvis and lower back. These things make everyday activity increasingly difficult for a pregnant woman.

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy.  Specific adjustments (such as the Webster technique) eliminate the causes of stress in the spine.

Here are some specific benefits of receiving prenatal chiropractic care:

  • Decreasing back and pelvic discomfort and pain
  • Increasing the ease in which the body adapts to the natural changes related to pregnancy
  • Aligning the pelvis and lumbar spine allows for optimal baby positioning and growth
  • Shorter labour and delivery times after pelvis and spine are in correct alignment
  • Reported greater ease and comfort during birthing, reduced need for pain relief medication and medical intervention (forceps, vacuum) during childbirth

Q. Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

Chiropractic care is absolutely safe through all trimesters of pregnancy as early as the first month and does not harm the growing fetus in any way. Special pregnancy pillows, wedges and supports are used during treatment to ensure you are comfortable and relaxed.

jessica glaze 2

 

Q. Will the treatment be painful?

Not at all! Prenatal chiropractic care involves the Webster Technique.

The Webster Technique is a gentle yet specific chiropractic adjustment designed to help ease the symptoms of an unbalanced pelvis and misaligned spine.  The goal of treatment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation and SI Joint dysfunction.  In so doing, the biomechanical function of the pelvis is improved. In addition, we will spend some time releasing tight muscles and ligaments in the areas of the body that are holding tension. You will walk away feeling like a new person!

Q. Can chiropractic help turn breech babies?

Using the Webster Technique, a chiropractor may gently open up and align the pelvis as well as release any tension in the ligaments of the uterus, allowing baby space or room to move into the proper head down position naturally. If the baby is in correct position, the technique also helps to maintain that ideal positioning leading up to delivery.

The Webster Technique has been found to have an 82% success rate in clinical studies for breech babies (JMPT July/August 2002).

 Q. I’m pregnant! When can I start receiving chiropractic care?

Congratulations!

You can start receiving care as soon as you would like! There isn’t a specific set time to begin care. However, in my experience, the earlier – the better!

Including chiropractic care early on in your prenatal care and wellness routine will only help keep you feeling amazing throughout your pregnancy! Many mamas that are under my care during their pregnancies (and beyond!) report significant improvements in their sleep, quality of life and overall health and general wellness.

 

Dr. Visram is incredible! Her enthusiasm and warmth makes you comfortable instantly. It was my first time going to a chiro and I went due to back pain for pregnancy. I went from hardly being able to sit at my desk to being totally pain free! She takes extra time with each patient to make sure that you are comfortable and at ease. She is a great source of information for pregnancy related health and wellness!” – J.V

“I’ve been seeing Dr. Aliya throughout the third trimester of my pregnancy. I have avoided back aches and discomfort by seeing her once a week. I actually never thought in a million years I would feel this good in my final weeks. I’m so grateful to Dr. Aliya for her wisdom, caring nature and knowledge. My baby is in a good position too, and I’m sure that’s because of having regular treatments. – J. M

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy

5 Tips to Reduce Pregnancy Related Back Pain

Hi Guys!

So I had the opportunity to be interviewed by CTV news this past week about one of my passions – prenatal care!  As it happens, this month is also Pregnancy month for the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

I love helping mamas-to-be to feel their very best during their pregnancy :)

Check out the video below for 5 easy tips to reduce pregnancy related back pain.

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1036715

 

 

 

 

Health + Wellness

Homemade Holiday Granola

Here come the holidays!  And while I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holiday season with all of the joy and merriment that comes with it…holy crap, your wallet and bank account take a serious beating.

This year, given my maternity leave, I am *trying* to be more budget conscious (insert husband chuckle here).  Instead of buying gifts for colleagues, friends and family this year – I thought I’d try my hand at some DIY gifts!  I should mention, I am SO NOT a DIY-er…I mean who has the time?!?  Well, apparently, this year –  I do!  Aside from a newborn  and a toddler, I find myself with a bit more time on my hands to cook, bake and do “craft-y” things.

Among all of my adventures in DIY gifts was making my own holiday granola.  I’m happy to report – SUCCESS!  I combined a few recipes I found online to perfect my own version of holiday granola which included a combination of pecans and almonds, but I also added a bit of flax and coconut for some added nutritional benefit.  YUM!

PS this recipe is vegan and gluten free (provided you use GF oats)

Here is the recipe.  ENJOY!

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of GF rolled oats

¾ cup slivered almonds

½ cup chopped pecans

½ tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp ground flax

¼ c shredded unsweetened coconut

¼ cup melted coconut oil

¼ tsp almond extract

1 tbsp vanilla extract

½ cup Thompson raisins

½ cup dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Toss oats, flax, pecans, almonds, cinnamon, coconut in large bowl and set aside
  3. Combine maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and almond extract in medium bowl. Whisk together.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture. Make sure oats are completely coated and moistened.
  5. Spread evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Allow granola to cool completely once evenly browned.
  7. Add cranberries and raisins to mixture once cooled.

 

Usually makes about 3-4 cups.

It is so easy to make this granola ahead of time and store in airtight container for freshness for up to 3 weeks.  I boxed my granola up into cute little holiday tins and little baggies for colleagues and friends.  Delicious gift giving complete!

 

xo

Dr Aliya

 

 

Babies + Kids

Easy Snack Ideas for a HANGRY Toddler

Ever had a “hangry” toddler in your midst? Eyes bulging, face crimson, mouth drooling, high pitched squeaks emanating….it’s not pretty.

My 2.5 year old is an utter monster when she’s hungry and as a parent there is a fine line between getting the monster fed with whatever is within reach stat and making sure she has a healthy, nutritious snack to gobble down.

I know I’m not alone when I say that it’s often a struggle to come up with some creative snack ideas to keep your child fed nutritiously.

I wouldn’t say I have a picky, fussy eater – but she definitely has her moments when the same snack offered at daycare pick up just isn’t going to cut it and sends her over the edge into tantrum land.

I also know that just like her mama, she is a “grazer”.   She likes to snack frequently during the day and doesn’t do a ton of eating in one sitting.

That’s when we rely on healthy, “well-timed” snacks, which can help balance out an uneven diet, tiding toddlers over between meals and keeping them from getting so hungry that they become unyielding terrors. Most toddlers do well with three meals and two or three snacks a day.

The good news is that toddlers aren’t aware of “junk food” at the age of 2-3 and the influence you have on your child’s eating patterns is amazing at this stage. They’ll basically eat what’s served to them (for the most part) and as parents we can try to take this opportunity to set the stage for some healthy food choices.

Here are few super easy healthy snack ideas and tips:

  • Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies that are easy to eat and are colourful (raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, red, green, yellow peppers, etc)
  • Think small, easy to handle bite sized portions. Cutting up cubes of cheese or chopping up an apple in slices rather than chunks is a novelty to your toddler. Trust me, offering snack choices creatively helps!
  • Dips – my toddler loves any type of “dunking” – things like hummus and veggies or yogurt and strawberries keep your little person interested and occupied for a few moments.
  • Offer a couple of snack choices — let them decide if they want nuts and raisins or carrots and hummus.  A few snack options are a great way for your toddler to feel in charge of their food choices.
  • Involve them in the prep process. Its easy to have them peel a clementine or mandarin or pull the skin from a banana. They feel pretty grown up when you include them in the process and they take an interest in the food they are eating.

These ideas are just a start! You don’t have to be a supermom to put together creative snack ideas…trust me! If I can do it….you can too!

Plus, below are a few foodie blogs that I absolutely LOVE that offer a TON of information and creative food ideas from babes to toddlers. Check them out!

www.babyfoode.com – Michele is a mama of 2 and her blog is an amazing resource with tons of recipes and ideas broken down into baby food, toddler food AND family recipes! She also has a bunch cookbooks and ebooks that are filled with yummy recipes!

www.joyoushealth.ca – Joy McCarthy is my go-to for healthy, amazing food inspo and since having her sweet baby Vienna she has cooked up some amazing tasty and healthy recipes for babes and toddlers. Rosie absolutely loves her Good Morning Breakfast Cookies and her Strawberry Chia Pudding – both are staples at our house!

www.sproutright.com – Founder Lianne Phillipson-Webb’s book and website is a great resource for parents offering simplified nutritional information for your little people and for your family. She covers topics such as introducing your baby to solids as well as how to cope with food sensitivities and allergies your toddler may develop.

xo

Dr Aliya