How BioGaia Fixed A Crappy Situation

When I was offered the opportunity to try BioGaia: Probiotic Drops for Colic Relief and Digestive Health I could hardly volunteer fast enough. My 16 month-old son had recently developed moderate to (sometimes) severe constipation due to teething and we were reaching our wits end.

For the first 14 months of his life he was extremely regular with his bowel movements; which I credited to his great appetite and love of fibrous foods. However, after teeth number five and six popped through things began to take a turn for the worse. His bowel movements would completely stop for one to two days – followed by what I can only describe as a mother’s worst nightmare. My son (TMI warning) would grab ahold of something – his whole little body shaking – and push out the largest, most solid bowel movement you could possibly imagine a little body producing. The whole time he would scream and cry in my arms and I felt completely helpless! All I could do was sit and cry with him; hoping that it would all be over soon and my little boy could go back to his normal self for a few days. 

My doctor and pharmacist both recommended a (gross) sugary syrup to be taken twice a day to ease symptoms… which worked. For a few days. But it always came back, and it was always just as bad the next time. I knew I needed something as a preventative measure and not an after-the-fact fix. My son and I were both exhausted.

I saw results within DAYS of using BioGaia. It was simple to give to my toddler: just a spoonful of 5 drops once a day. With absolutely no change of diet or environment my son became his happy, regular (yup, that regular) self. His bowel movements were soft and frequent once again. **I want to mention that he popped the 2 most horrid, monstrous molars during this month-long trial; and while he experienced other awful side effects of this teething, his constipation was nowhere to be seen.**

I absolutely recommend BioGaia. I am looking forward to continued use with my son and also using it as colic relief for my next little one. I am so relieved to have finally found a product that is maintainable and effective for long term use. Sign me up!

Written by Tori G, our Mommy Connections Red Deer Director

Whether you have a newborn, toddler, or young child, we all know how difficult tummy trouble can be and how surprisingly frequent it can happen. As parents, we want to fix the problem fast but knowing exactly how to help can be tricky.

Below we discuss some of the most common stomach-aches children experience, symptoms to look out for, and different ways you can help make your little one feel better. This is by no means a definitive list of all the issues your child could experience in their lifetime so if you are unsure at any moment, please contact your doctor.

Potential Symptoms

Your kiddo might be telling you they’ve got tummy pains if they show one or more of these signs:

Stomach-aches are common for kids. Luckily, they’re not usually caused by anything serious. They can be painful, though, so it’s good to have soothing strategies on hand.

What Can Cause a Stomach-Ache?

Colic usually happens in babies under 3 months old. Doctors aren’t entirely certain why babies get colic, but it is common and quite painful. Your baby might have colic if he:

Soothing strategy: Every baby is different, but there are options you can try:

Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. The constant noise and stress of a crying baby can wear down even the most patient parent.

Gas. In babies, colic and gas often go hand and hand. Their new digestive systems are still working out the kinks as they grow. Gas can come from:

Soothing strategies: If you’re breastfeeding your baby, talk to his doctor about your diet. You may be able to solve the problem by avoiding foods that seem to bother your baby. If he takes formula, ask your doctor if switching to a different kind might help. You can also try giving your baby gas drops made with simethicone, lots of parents do this but be careful – there’s no clear proof that they work.

Constipation. It can hurt when little systems back up. If all your child can get out is hard, dry bowel movements, or none at all, he’s constipated.  Some of the reasons constipation happens include:

Soothing strategies: The best way to calm a constipated tummy is to get bowel movements moving again. There are a few ways you can help get things going:

Do not give your child a laxative until you check with your family doctor or pediatrician.

Diarrhea is another frequent tummy issue kids experience. Most kids will have diarrhea from time to time. It usually doesn’t last long and often gets better on its own. Diarrhea is usually caused by an infection in the intestines. The germs that cause the infection are:

Soothing strategies: Diarrhea caused by different infections require different solutions

Regardless of the specific symptom, if your child’s stomach-ache comes on quickly, or if it won’t go away, check in with the pediatrician.

If your child is experiencing any of the above-mentioned tummy issues, head over to BioGaia.ca to see if BioGaia could help get your little feel better.

Written by: Elaine Atkins#MomSquad

With the holidays around the corner it’s time check out new toys for the season! My son is 2 and the preschooler age is a fun one. He is just starting to get to know characters and his imagination is suddenly in full gear!

The Super Friends HeroDrive vehicles are a great size for small hands. My son loves anything on wheels and he was drawn to the colourful cars and “faces” on them. As a mom, I’m a fan of the style of these cars – typical superhero toys can be  a little “dark” and feel too serious for such young kids. The HeroDrive cars are a great way to introduce the superhero world to the little ones.

Each vehicle has a large logo that younger kids can easily push and initiate different lights or sounds. I particularly love the Superman symbol projection! T doesn’t quite know his super heros or villains just yet, but it’s fun to see him getting creative with the cars. The bat mobile is a police car and the Joker car is apparently an ice cream truck! He also uses them to race the other cars he has in his collection and drives them all over the house; through tunnels (under the table) and over bridges (aka the couch cushions). They’re a great addition to his imaginative play time and I can’t wait to see what other types of cars they become as he gets older.

The Super Friends HeroDrive series would be a great gift for any budding super hero fan and preschool aged kid.

Herodrive Mash Machines
Herodrive Mash Machines are mash-ups of your favourite DC Super Friends with rescue and urban
vehicles! These adorable character cars come equipped with flashing lights and character-appropriate
sounds. Push the symbol on the front grill to start the action! Appropriate for ages 3 years and up.
Batteries included. Collect them all!
Ages 3+, $9.99 each at Toys”R”Us & Walmart Canada, Home Hardware

Signal Squad
Light up the streets while chasing down the bad guys with HERODRIVE DC Superfriends Signal Squad! These free-wheeling vehicles feature the iconic heroes Batman, Superman, and The Flash. Press the logo on the hood to project each superhero’s signal! Which city in need will you save next? Collect all 3!
Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Batteries included.Ages 3+, $12.99 each at Walmart Canada
Ages 3+, $14.99 each at Toys”R”Us Canada & Home Hardware

Written By: Sarah Remmer, BSc. RD
Registered Dietitian

A topic that frequently comes up in my counselling practice is protein. How much does my baby or child need, how do I make sure they’re getting enough, and how can they eat meat if they only have three teeth! I have to admit, I have seen a toothless toddler scarf down slow-cooked beef with ease. It’s not the prettiest thing to witness, but it is possible. But not all babies and toddlers enjoy the taste and texture of meat. It can be a tricky food to introduce, but the important thing is to keep introducing even if your baby doesn’t immediately love it. For those babies and kids who are not carnivores, or who eat little to no meat, there is a way to incorporate protein without worry or pressure. I’m talking about plant-based proteins.

But first, it’s important to know that kids (and adults) don’t require a steak the size of their plate in order to receive the recommended amount of protein. Portion distortion is a real thing people! For example, according the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI’s) for protein, kids between the ages of 4-8 years old only need 19 grams per day or 0.95 g/kg/day. So, what does this look like? In plant-based protein this would be ½ cup of chickpeas or 1 cup of lentils.  What’s important to remember is that babies and children are most likely obtaining their protein requirements through food, especially if protein is offered at multiple occasions throughout the day.

In my household, meat is not an everyday occurrence. I try to incorporate plant-based protein (also known as pulses) into my family’s diet not only because they are excellent sources of protein, but because they are quick, versatile, cost-effective and delicious! And did you know that Canada is one of the biggest exporters of pulses!? That includes beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas! If you follow me on social media, you may know that I have a serious love of lentils. My pantry is always stocked with cans of lentils to add to meals or baked goodies. I find it an easy way to boost the fibre (and therefore the feeling of fullness) to my kid’s meals and snacks.

And I’m SO thrilled that Baby Gourmet has jumped on board with this plant-based trend and created a new line up of nutritious and delicious 100% plant-based, lentil and chickpea finger food for babies —no rice or weird ingredients here! As a mom and Dietitian, I love that there’s finally a nutritious, high quality snacking choice down the baby aisle.

I thought I would share with you my love of lentils (and all plant-based protein) by giving you my top five reasons WHY you should add plant-based protein to your baby’s and child’s diet, as well as my top five reasons HOW to add plant-based protein to meals and snacks. So here goes!

Top Five Reasons You Should Be Including Plant-based Protein in Your Child’s Diet

  1. They are a great way to increase satiety (the feeling of fullness). Kids have little tummies. Which is why they require smaller more frequent meals. Pulses not only contain protein, but fibre too. Protein and fibre can help keep kids feeling fuller longer, which means less snack requests five minutes after a meal!
  2. Help with digestion. As a new parent I was obsessed with my kids poop. Why was it yellow, why was it green, what does THAT mean, is it supposed to smell that bad? The list was endless. Finally, my dietitian brain kicked in and I realized that as long as they were pooping and growing (and their stool didn’t contain blood) the colour or smell didn’t matter. All kids at some point or another develop a bit of constipation. Trying new foods, water intake, and so on can affect bowel movements. Pulses contain two types of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre helps with digestion and regularity, and pulses are a fantastic source! Also, Baby Gourmet’s new lentil and chickpea finger foods contain tummy-friendly probiotics that can help this cause too!
  3. They are convenient. What’s for dinner?! The panic sets in. In my opinion (and experience) this is where lentils really shine. Canned lentils are a staple in my household. Simply rinse them thoroughly and add to just about anything. They add flavour, texture, and a whole lot of great nutrition.
  4. Super kid-friendly. We’ve all been there. Supper comes and goes, and your toddler still did not eat their chicken. Surely, they will be hungry and miss out on essential nutrition that they need to grow and thrive! Wrong. Parents often think about their kid’s nutrition meal by meal, when in fact they should think about the day as a whole. So, on the night that they decided “no” to the chicken, keep in mind that they said “yes” to the carrot and hummus snack and to the lentil nuggets you made for lunch! Remember you are in control of what (and when) food is offered, and the kiddos are in charge of if they eat and how much.
  5. The possibilities are endless. When it comes to plant-based protein the possibilities are endless. Chickpeas are a fantastic finger food or snack, and lentils can be used in main dishes and baked goods! Yum.

 

Top Five Ways to Incorporate Plant-based Protein in Your Child’s Diet

 

  1. Snack time. What kid doesn’t love snacks. Try hummus (chickpea spread) and veggies or for older kids, roasted chickpeas! They’re crunchy and delicious. Bonus if you ask the kids to help make them.
  2. Baked goods. Lentils are the perfect pulse to add to baked goods. Check out this recipe for flourless chocolate lentil protein muffins.
  3. Meatless Monday. We all get stuck in meal preparation ruts. It’s easy to fall back on the sample old recipes. By opening up the protein base you give yourself the opportunity to try new things. Why not aim for plant-based protein once a week?
  4. Add to sauces and casseroles. I’ve added lentils to spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, you name it. It’s an easy and affordable way to add extra protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals (like iron)!
  5. Finger food. Chickpeas are a fantastic finger food for babies and toddlers. Simply rinse canned chickpeas thoroughly and serve. They are soft and entertaining and great way to practice the “pincher grasp”. Another great finger food is lentil nuggets. Perfect for little hands and the whole family!

Beach days are right around the corner, mamas (fingers crossed)! And we, for one, cannot wait for the sun, popsicles, and beach days! When you have a baby, though, things become a little more complicated. You can’t just slather them up with any old sunscreen and head out the door. We are advised not to use sunscreen on babies under 6 months and most toddlers would never make it that easy!   That is why I am in love with my Full Body UV Swim Suit by January Baby!

You would think that the market would be flooded with options but its pretty scarce especially when it comes to full body suits, which is a must for babies in order to keep them protected and safe!  All January Baby suits have a UPF rating of 50 +, which means the skin is only exposed to 1/50th of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, per  The Skin Cancer Foundation. This ensures your little ones will be safe to play in the sun and you will be confident enough to let them.

Some of the great things about this suit is that it covers wrist to ankle but also provides full neck coverage, which is great because my baby, like most has very sensitive skin. The suit is a polyester/spandex blend and comes in a variety of cute bold colors from sizes 6m to 4 years. (In the photos above, Asher is wearing the color navy with an aqua stripe, which I think looks great with his complexion—so flattering)! The suit has an easy to use zip in front, which makes getting a wet squirmy baby in AND out a breeze. The suit does have a lot of room to grow but actually fit snug. Although I currently have to roll up the legs and sleeves quite a bit, it isn’t that bothersome since I know he can use it longer.

Overall, we really love our Full Body UV Swim Suit! I actually wish I had one when my first son was born – so those sunny days when we did go out I could have spent a lot less time worrying about him and lot more time enjoying him.

The suit can be purchased online at www.JanuaryBaby.com,  Mini Mioche, and Baby on the Hip!

Diagnostic medical imaging is extremely valuable for assessing the pediatric population. Specific imaging modalities can be particularly helpful for doctors by providing information needed to make accurate assessments, leading to an appropriate and timely treatment plan. However, working with infants, children, and adolescents creates several unique challenges, including resistance from parents to altered medical procedures and techniques for healthcare workers. The purpose of this article is to provide clarity about pediatric diagnostic imaging, so you can be confident your child’s exam is necessary and the medical benefits outweigh any potential risks involved.

Children are different from adults in several ways; from a granular perspective, maturity and independence have a large impact on behavior. From a more simplistic perspective, a child’s physiology is completely different than an adults’. As stated by the World Health Organization, “Children are not just little adults.” Therefore, the distinct challenges accompanied with pediatric imaging must be addressed by healthcare providers.

Arguably the biggest challenge for doctors and technicians attempting to capture high quality images from a child is gaining their complete trust, which results in their cooperation during the exam. This can be tough when a child is placed in an intimidating and unfamiliar environment such as an MRI machine. It can be incredibly difficult for a child to remain still in the loud machine for the duration of the exam (often 30 minutes or longer). If a child cannot remain still for the exam, a slight immobilizer might be needed. However, support from parents and family can help in comforting a child, and most providers prefer not to rely on sedatives for an exam.

Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the basic physiology of the patient. A 6-year-old girl will have drastically different organ development compared to a 45-year-old man. As such, adjustments must be made on the providers end. Any exam that emits radiation should only be performed when the healthcare provider believes it is necessary to answer a clinical question or to help with treatment.  Additionally, FDA recommends X-ray imaging exams are optimized for the lowest possible radiation dose (As low as reasonably achievable – the ALARA principle).

Numerous factors influence the amount of radiation needed, but a patient’s size and tissue density are the most important factors when determining the dose. Age gives imaging providers a benchmark to start with, but the actual distance the X-ray travels through the body has the largest impact on picture quality.

Unnecessary radiation exposure should be avoided at a young age, however, X-rays, CT scans, and other diagnostic imaging tests should never be withheld from a child or adolescent if the results could aid in the diagnosis or treatment of a serious medical condition.

It is important to note that healthcare providers are responsible for ensuring all diagnostic exams are justifiable for pediatrics. If there is another option to reach the same conclusions without radiation exposure, such as an ultrasound or MRI, it will be strongly considered. Ultrasound is particularly useful because it is readily available and does not involve ionized radiation. Furthermore, ultrasound exams can be repeated for follow up studies with no significant risks and no concerns for additional exposure.

At Insight Medical Imaging we encourage parents to talk to their healthcare provider before undertaking an exam with radiation exposure. Talk about the benefits, risks, and ask if there are any other exams, such as ultrasound that can provide similar findings. You can also talk to your physician about different imaging facilities, how they use radiation techniques for children, and if any special preparation is required.

Diagnostic medical imaging exams such as X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI can be intimidating for both parents and children. Although you may be concerned about radiation exposure, your medical practitioner will only recommend an exam when the benefits far outweigh the associated risks. X-ray exams are commonly used, and while radiation exposure might seem frightening, you would need to be exposed to a large quantity of X-rays in a relatively short period of time before you should be concerned about impacts on your health. Just remember, the radiation exposure you receive from being in the sun on average in a year is equivalent to roughly 60 chest X-rays!

Written by: Jennifer Landis

Getting toddlers to eat in some households is the equivalent of trying to herd cats into a room full of dogs— they’ll devour chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, but if you try to get them to eat a vegetable, you’re in for the fight of your life. Their stubbornness doesn’t mean you’re giving up though. So, what snacks will make them budge on their hunger strike?

Try these healthy snacks for your toddler and watch them gobble them up:

Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are a lot better for you than most people give them credit for — with the addition of dairy and a couple of supplements like B12, you can survive on nothing but potatoes. Skip the french fries though, and go for an original baked potato instead.

Top it with cheese to account for the dairy section of the food pyramid and feel free to add anything that your toddler might think tastes good on a potato. Give it plenty of time to cool though — the interior of those potatoes gets super hot when baked!

Nut Butters

Peanut butter is a go-to choice for toddler foods, but with the rising number of peanut allergies, it’s not always the best choice. Thankfully, there is a host of different nut butters that taste fantastic, but don’t risk an allergy attack. Cashew, almond, walnut and even sunflower kernels are all available as “nut” butter.

The beautiful thing about nut butter is it works with just about any snack food. Try these:

Without a doubt, you’ll find yourself enjoying these are toddler-friendly snacks too!

Nuts

Now that your kids are all about eating nut butter, it’s time to start talking about where they come from — nuts! Nuts themselves can make an excellent snack for your toddlers, as long as they’re in small enough pieces that your kids can crunch and munch on them with ease.

Some of the healthiest — and kid-friendly — nuts include:

For toddlers, skip whole nuts in favor of smaller pieces that don’t present a choking hazard.

Vegetables

Both raw and cooked vegetables can make an excellent snack, and they’re easy to prepare. Fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and carrots can all be eaten raw by themselves, or with a low-fat dip like hummus.

You don’t have to serve boring veggies on a plate though — toddlers love it when their food is fun. Dress it up by turning tomato slices into ladybug wings or cauliflower heads into sheep. Your imagination only limits you when it comes to food.

Cheese

Everyone loves cheese, and it’s a great way to make sure that your toddler is getting enough calcium in their diet. What’s terrific about cheese is it’s safe to eat for a variety of ages and abilities. Children who are still learning their fine motor skills can make a mess and enjoy eating shredded cheese, while older toddlers can practice those same skills by peeling off low-fat string cheese.

If you’re getting bored with plain old cheese or string cheese, change it up a little bit with these snacks:

For toddlers, make sure you stick to hard cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella rather than softer cheeses that may contain bacteria, which could be dangerous to the child.

The only exception to this rule is pasteurized soft cheeses, like cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta. Experiment with different cheese types to expand your toddler’s pallet and find out what they enjoy eating.

Healthy snacks are an essential part of a toddler’s diet — but we all know how tricky it can be to get kids to enjoy the foods that are good for them. Hopefully, these tricks can help keep your kids healthy while making snack time something that you both look forward to every day.

Avery is now big enough to sit in the grocery cart, which she thoroughly enjoys.  It is such an amazing milestone for us to shop with her sitting up in the cart, and so much easier because she is much more content.  She gets to look around and take it all in while I get some errands done.

As much as I love our neighbourhood grocery store, I still feel cautious having her sit in it, holding on to the bars, while eating and trying to put everything in her mouth. Now I don’t have to worry about the germ with the Brica Shopping Cart Cover. First and foremost, how comfy does this thing look? It easily and conveniently fits over the grocery cart seat where your child sits, allowing their legs to fit through the holes very comfortably. It is very secure and attaches with a clip to the cart to keep everything in place.

It completely covers everything surrounding her keeping her relatively germ free and the cart a lot cleaner from her snacks as it catches crumbs, food, just about everything while keeping your phone in a secure place right in front. I love this thing! It has made going to the grocery store with Avery even better as I feel so much more comfortable having her sit in this cover that is so easy to bring around with us.  This would make a great gift for a new mom or mom to be and at $35, it is at a great price point.

 

Visit Munchkin.com to order the Go Shop Shopping Cart Cover for $35 and get free shipping (on all orders over $25!)

BRICA for Munchkin

Keep ’em clean and safe…

Kidizoom Smartwatch

This Smartwatch is the smartest watch for kids! It’s perfect for young photographers, this durable smartwatch makes it easy to take photos and record videos on the go. It is recommended for ages 4 and up.

Kids can use the touch screen to explore their creativity with fun photo effects, frames and filters. The Smartwatch helps kids learn how to tell time by letting them choose between digital and analog displays and can also choose between more than 50 clock face designs.

Features include a timer and alarm with a variety of fun animations to choose from and a voice recorder to let kids record their voice and play with five voice-changing effects.

The Smartwatch also includes four learning games plus many more to download from the Learning Lodge™ using the included micro USB cable, which can also be used to upload photos and videos as well as recharge the battery and it is splash and sweat proof!

 

VTech Smartwatch

Features include:

My five year old LOVES this watch.  She was so excited for it to arrive and it completely saved my sanity on our road trip this summer from Edmonton, AB to Kelowna BC.  There are so many features that she could go back and forth between and it is nice and small.  I have been slipping it in the diaper bag when she isn’t wearing it so I have it when we go out for dinner.  Even my 19 month old is fascinated by it.  Besides the games, her favourite feature is probably the clock that tells you (aloud) what time it is.  She loves telling us what time it is as she is just starting to learn how to tell time.  The

photo 2

This watch is so neat and a really great toy for the child in your life that seems to have everything.  This gift would be unique and fun with lots of learning opportunities!  It is very easy for Mom & Dad to plus right into the computer to download the images.  This watch can be purchased from several major retailers, including Toys R Us, for $59.99.  Add it to the Christmas list!

Check out VTech Canada on their website,  Facebook,  TwitterYouTube, or Google+

These new water-born Angelfish and Hammerhead Sharks are packed with smart fish technology, added sensors and an inner glow that makes them appear more alive than ever before!

The Aquabot 2.0 swimmers are equipped with hi-tech sensors that can wake a sleeping fish in three different ways! This patent-pending technology enables users to wake a sleeping fish by simply running their fingers through the water, touching the fish or even tapping on the outside of the fish bowl, which will cause the once-dormant sea creature to come to life and take off swimming!

These underwater dwellers also exhibit an inner pulsating LED glow that illuminates the Angelfish and Hammerhead Shark and brings them to life in a fresh-new way. Powered by electro-magnetic propulsion and an automatic on and off sensor that activates when submerged in water, these aquatic fish propel around to explore their environment, swimming, diving and changing directions.

After five minutes without activity, the Aquabots will go into sleep mode to conserve battery life. All of these design elements were carefully chosen by our engineers to get children to think about the science behind the robot. Now kids can truly experience the fun of having a pet fish collection, without all the messy clean-up!

HEXBUG Aquabot 2.0

Due to allergies, we are a live pet-free home.  We have had real fish before, but I think the Aquabot kept my kids attention longer than the real thing!  Even my 19 month old loves running into his sisters room in the morning and tapping on the bowl to wake up the fish.  This is a a wonderful gift for kids that love animals and fish and the price point is amazing.  This is a really unique toy that I would definitely recommend for a gift; especially all of those birthdays that seem to happen nearly weekly once kids become school age!

The Aquabot 2.0 is for ages 3 years and up, and comes in ten colors.  It can be purchased at Toys R Us for $12.99.

Check out the Official Innovation First International website, or HEXBUG on their websiteFacebookTwitterGoogle+ or Instagram

Give your inbox a dose of delight.

Sign up to receive helpful parenting info, program updates, contests, and special offers - right in your inbox.

WE ARE HONOURED TO BE TRUSTED BY: