Monday, May 24, 2010

Has now been changed to......The 9 commandments of dining with little kids

The 9 commandments of dining with little kids

by Heather W. at Better Homes and Gardens, on Wed May 19, 2010 1:34pm

Editor's Note: We sincerely apologize that this blog was posted! It was not vetted by our editors, and it reflects poor parenting advice and an offensive tone. We have removed the most patently inappropriate sections. We support breastfeeding moms -- and all moms -- in their desire to include their children in their public lives.

We pledge to do better in the future in both the tone and content of our posts. We will be posting our positive parenting tips for eating out soon. Send us yours at

--The editorial team at Better Homes and Gardens

The 10 commandments of dining with little kids

The horribly offensive article from "Better Homes and Gardens", encouraging mothers to go to the bathroom for breastfeeding.
There is a facebook group to boycott and protest the popular magazine.

Let me be clear: I am not anti-kid. I adore children in all their lovable, spontaneous, energetic glory. However, in recent years, I’ve noticed a pronounced blurring of the boundaries between “adult world” and “kid world”, especially when it comes to dining out. Those seeking romantic, contemplative dining may find themselves irked by erstwhile tots in a refined restaurant -- but I don't think anyone is ready to institute a kid ban. Really, we can all get along...

With this in mind, offers our ten commandments for kids in upscale restaurants -- gentle reminders for parents and non-parents alike -- as well as kid-friendly recipes for creating your own restaurant experience at home.

Strollers have begun to overtake cars and wristwatches as conspicuous status symbols. You may be proud of your double-wide Maclaren, but be sure not to leave it jutting out in a place where waiters and other patrons might trip over in transit.

Leave the stroller at home and indulge your family with this melty, tasty Chicken and Cheese Panini.

Kids, as we all know, have kid-sized attention spans. Attempting to make them sit still while you enjoy a world-renowned chef’s esoteric, glacially-paced tasting menu isn’t going to be a pleasant experience for anyone.

For a fast meal your kids will still savor, whip up this Quick Crunchy Chicken Dinner.

Your server is there to accommodate you, but customer service has its limits. While most waiters are happy to engage and amuse your little one, it's bad form to delegate your child-minding duties to the person taking your sea bass order.

Let your kids serve themselves with our Best Yummy Mexican Meals.

Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)

If you're breastfeeding, you likely want to cook something quick, easy, and protein-rich; we love this Speedy Bow Tie Pasta Dinner.

Most restaurants are happy to provide kid-friendly cuisine, so don’t hesitate to ask, just keep in mind you may experience sticker shock (e.g., $23 for pasta with butter)

For a filling and savory twist on basic spaghetti, try these hearty Filled Pasta Entrees.

It’s exciting to see your little one all dressed up at the table, and special occasions and birthdays are naturally conducive to photos, but overzealous documentation with flash photography, flip-cams, and camcorders can be distracting to fellow diners.

Say "cheese" with these ten tasty Macaroni and Cheese recipes.

It’s wise to bring a few of your kid’s favorite toys for their amusement but try not to bring excessively loud games and bleep-blooping electronic toys -- or at least be sure there’s a volume-off button.

Keep their hands busy with a finger-food meal, such as this tasty Buffalo Wing Dinner.

Unexpected tantrums and outbursts are a fact of life, but when a parent sits stoically as their child screams without any intervention, the mood of the room can quickly turn from convivial to incredulous to profoundly irritated.

They'll be screaming with joy for these homemade Mini Pizzas With Pizazz.

When you let your child run free in the restaurant, it’s not only disruptive to other diners, but it could be a safety hazard: Restaurants are full of hot plates and sharp cutlery, and kids underfoot could cause a major disaster.

Keep them planted happily in their seats with this zesty, crunchy Skillet Tostada Dinner.

Ah, the food fight. The epitome of fun at summer camp and grade school cafeterias -- less so at Michelin-starred eateries. If the food starts flying, quietly and firmly put an end to it.

And if your kids politely make their way through the meal without incident, treat them to a well-deserved Dessert treat.

USDA Calls For Removal Of DHA/ARA From Organic Formula

Natural. Pure. Wholesome. Good. Those are the words that come to mind when I see the “USDA organic” seal. At a time when we are all more mindful of the dangers of pesticides and chemicals in the foods we eat, it’s reassuring to see the small green-and-white emblem that means you don’t need to worry–this product is natural and good for you.

However, a recent ban of synthetic fats commonly found in some organic products raises serious questions about such thinking. A statement on the ban was recently issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and will impact infant formula and other foods that contain the synthetic additives widely known as DHA and ARA. As reported by the Washington Post last year and last month, these synthetic oils were added to a list of non-organic ingredients allowed into organic products through a decision by a Bush administration official after discussion with a formula industry lobbyist and over the objections of several USDA employees who had determined such action a violation of federal standards. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and organics expert Kathleen Merrigan acknowledges that the synthetic oils should not be allowed in organic foods. New guidelines will be developed by the USDA. The process will include a 60-day period for public comment, and could take a year or longer.

What does this mean for parents?
The changes that result from the USDA’s decision may be noticed first by parents who feed their children formula, since the synthetic oils currently are added to nearly all infant formulas. In fact, except for some prescription formulas, the Cornucopia Institute notes that “only one over-the-counter formula is available without synthetic DHA/ARA.” Every other formula on the market includes them. The USDA’s decision ensures that more infant formulas will be available without DHA and ARA.

While the USDA does not, in its statement, challenge the safety of the additives, others do. For years, the Cornucopia Institute and the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA) have questioned the appropriateness and safety of adding these substances to infant formula and other foods.

Its report, “Replacing Mother – Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Laboratory,” is an examination of the synthetic oils from production to inclusion in formula, a caution about reports of side effects experienced by infants who consume them, and a look at relevant federal policies.

Why include DHA/ARA in formula?
DHA and ARA are polyunsaturated fats naturally found in human milk. In recent years, these fatty acids have received heightened attention in both the laboratory and the media as a result of ongoing controversy about healthy levels of fish intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Authorities have agreed that the fatty acids are important for brain, neural, and eye development; as discussion turned to how much DHA and ARA pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume for their infants’ health, formula companies saw a marketing opportunity. If they included synthetic versions of these oils (manufactured under the names DHASCO and ARASCO) in infant formula, the companies could assuage parents’ concerns about their baby’s development while suggesting that formula is “as close as ever to breast milk.” As noted in a Martek investment promotion from 1996 (and quoted in the Cornucopia Institute’s report), “Even if [the DHA/ARA blend] has no benefit, we think it would be widely incorporated into formulas, as a marketing tool and to allow companies to promote their formula as ‘closest to human milk.’”

In fact, leading formula manufacturer Mead Johnson admits on its Enfamil website that numerous scientific studies have shown little or no benefit to infant development, lending support to the theory that inclusion of these oils is just a marketing gimmick—much like the inclusion of prebiotics.

Unfortunately, it seems to be an effective gimmick. The percentage of people who agreed that “infant formula and breastfeeding are equally good ways of feeding an infant” doubled from 12 percent to 24 percent between 2003 and 2004, when the formula companies began advertising their supplemented formulas.

What is the cause for concern?
There are several causes for concern about the synthetic DHA and ARA added to formula and other foods and beverages.

First, parents should be aware that even though their infant formula may be labeled “USDA organic,” the process by which these additives are made is about as far from natural as possible. Martek Biosciences Corporation, extracts the oils from fermented algae and fungus with the use of a synthetic solvent hexane, a neurotoxic chemical. It’s possible that hexane residues evaporate before the oils are consumed, but according to the Cornucopia Institute’s report, tests have shown that hexane residues do appear in some edible oils. We don’t know the effects of hexane on health, but organics experts feel that the process would cause the National Organics Standards Board to deny the inclusion of these synthetic fats on the list of allowable additives to organic foods. Fats produced in this way hardly sound like the sorts of things parents who are shopping organic want to feed their children.

Second, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not affirmed the safety of the synthetic oils, noting that “[s]ome studies have reported unexpected deaths among infants who consumed formula supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids … attributed to SIDS, sepsis or necrotizing enterocolitis. Also, some studies have reported adverse events and other morbidities including diarrhea, flatulence, jaundice, and apnea in infants fed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

Unlike the natural DHA and ARA in breast milk, many infants are unable to digest the synthetic oils. The FDA has received what NABA Executive Director Marsha Walker calls “scores of reports on the adverse effects of these ingredients,” in which infants experience gastrointestinal symptoms ranging in severity from vomiting and diarrhea that cleared up when the baby switched to a non-DHA/ARA formula to severe dehydration and seizures that required hospitalization. Still, infant formula manufacturers have resisted calls for the addition of “warning labels” to product packages. As a result, parents cannot make informed decisions about the risks of DHA/ARA formula relative to other feeding options, and they often don’t know that their children’s health problems can be solved by switching to a formula without these additives.

What can parents do?

Be aware of the risks. If you are feeding your child a formula that contains DHA and ARA, keep an eye out for possible gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea. If the symptoms persist, talk with your baby’s doctor about switching to another formula, but know that there are few DHA/ARA-free formulas available.
Report adverse effects. Be sure to tell your child’s pediatrician about any problems. Also, enter your experience into the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System.
Share information with other parents. Across the board, parents whose children experience adverse effects of the formula say they had no idea that could be the cause. Until the FDA decides to require warning labels we can spread the word to other parents, so they can be aware too.
Contact policymakers. The USDA will have a 60-day public comment period before it issues its final guidelines about the inclusion of additives in organic infant formula. Let the USDA’s decision makers know what you think on this topic. In addition, leading DHA/ARA manufacturer Martek Biosciences has already indicated that it will petition the National Organic Standards Board to allow the fatty acids into organic food.
Contact formula and food manufacturers. Tell them you purchase only products that do not include these synthetic fats. If your family members have suffered side effects from the ingestion, talk about that; if you object to the manufacturing process, explain that. Since companies want to manufacture products that will sell, they should listen to consumer feedback.
Breastfeed! If you want to provide your baby with DHA and ARA, there is no safer way than from human milk.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I am a Lactivist, NOT anti-formula or bottle-feeding

I am a Lactivist, NOT anti-formula or bottle-feeding
by Marissa Dean

I am sick of being labelled as "anti-bottle feeding" or "anti-formula" because I am an lactivist. Lets get something straight, most of us lactivists have nothing against a mother who is bottle-feeding or using formula. Here is what we do have issues with:

1. Formula companies agressive ad campaigns, especially in 3rd world countries.
2. Formula companies who make false claims that their brand is the closest to breastmilk, which is impossible nothing even comes close.
3. Formula companies who give out free samples.
4. Doctors who promote Formula
5. Nurses and Doctors who claim to be pro-bfing but as soon as you have a bump in the road, they suggest going to the bottle instead of helping the mother get past that bump.
6. Family members who have a problem with bfing who harrass and convince a new mother that bottle feeding is easier, just as good, or better than the breast.
7. People who think bfing is sexual abuse
8. People who think bfing past 6 months or 12 months is "disgusting"
9. People who tell a woman who is bfing to go some where else
10. People who think bfing is obscene but will happily by a copy of Rolling Stone with a half naked woman and the front and think that is socially acceptable.