Talking Tummy Thyme – June 2017

Welcome, and welcome back!

May was one of our best months on record!  Not only have we welcomed a record number of new subscribers, we launched our new Tummy Thyme Toddler range.  Woo-hoo!  As your baby matures, we can continue to be part of their journey.

 

FRESH VS FROZEN.  THE DEBATE HEATS UP!

A lot has been written about whether frozen vegetables are a nutritious and healthy alternative to fresh vegetables.  The convention wisdom holds that fresh is best.  But there are compelling arguments to suggest that this may not always be the case.

Fresh vegetables are the gold standard – provided you are buying organic vegetables or vegetables from a grower that is known to use sustainable farming practices.   Even then, limp and discoloured vegetables that are overlooked in your refrigerator – whether organic or not - are not your friend.

Melanie McGrice, a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, says that on the nutrition front, frozen vegetables aren’t necessarily inferior.

"Whether fresh is better [than frozen] depends on how fresh the vegies actually are," Ms McGrice said.

"Picking vegies from your own vegie garden out the back has to be the optimal situation. But vegies often have to travel a very long distance to get to us. This can take several days.

"We know that the longer it takes to get fresh food to us from the farm, the more the nutrients (in the food) slowly decrease."

On the other hand, she says the nutrients in frozen produce are sealed into the vegetables during the freezing process.  Frozen vegetables are certainly a valid option.

And if they last for weeks or more in your freezer, they can also save on food waste.

Sometimes however, there's a slight trade-off in the texture of frozen vegetables. But it's worth trying different varieties, because this is more of a problem with some vegetables than others.

Antioxidants

One recent British study found antioxidant levels in frozen produce can actually be higher than in fresh fruit and vegetables.

Ms McGrice says this was quite surprising, because people have always thought antioxidant levels would be higher in fresh vegetables.

But two independent studies, which together included more than 40 tests on the most commonly- bought fruit and vegetables showed in two thirds of cases, frozen foods had higher levels of antioxidant-type compounds, including vitamin C, polyphenols, anthocyanin, lutein and beta carotene on day three of storage.

“It's the water-soluble vitamins including vitamin C and some of the B vitamins that tend to be lost from our fresh produce the longer the vegies hang around,” Ms McGrice said.

'Freezing in' nutrients 

Vegetables are usually snap frozen very soon after they are picked. Special machinery is used to get the produce to -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 Fahrenheit) in minutes.

The nutrients are 'frozen in' during this process, meaning you can quite easily have more vitamins in a frozen vegetable than in its 'fresh' counterpart.

But there is more to fruit and vegetables than just vitamins. 

One of the biggest reasons health experts want us to eat fruit and vegetables is to get dietary fibre. 

The good news is the fibre content doesn't deteriorate easily, which means week-old fresh vegetables still have value despite lowered vitamin levels. 

So if it's a choice of eating old vegetables or no vegetables at all, old vegetables are fine.

And in case you were wondering, freezing doesn't affect the fibre content of vegetables, Ms McGrice adds.

How you cook your vegetables is far more important than whether they are fresh or frozen.

"Boiling veggies in a large amount of water for a long time lets the vitamins leach out into the water," Ms McGrice says.

Regardless of whether you are cooking fresh or frozen vegetables, use as little water as you can and cook them for a short time. Steaming or microwaving vegetables are much better options than boiling.

And if you are using frozen vegetables, Ms McGrice suggests checking the label of the packet. 

"Usually they just contain the vegetable, but sometimes, particularly if there is a sauce, they may contain added salt and sugar," she says.

(This can be a particular issue if you're using canned vegetables, which are much more likely to include added salt.)

If you are doing a weekly shop, consider buying some fresh vegetables and some frozen.

"Start the week by eating the fresh veggies, and end it by eating the frozen".

Here are some points to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of fresh over frozen vegetables: 

Fresh vegetables

Can taste better than frozen.

Usually have a better texture.

If you've picked them straight from the garden, they will be bursting with nutrients.

But produce can be more than a week old by the time we eat it.

Frozen vegetables

Nutrients are 'frozen in' soon after picking.

Convenience (can store for months)

Allows us to have vegetables and fruit that are out of season

Adds variety to our diet.

After defrosting, vegetables can have a soggy texture, because ice crystals damage the vegetable cell walls. 

*Background material for the article was sourced from www.abc.net.au  Please note that Tummy Thyme only buys organic fruit and vegetables from trusted suppliers.

 

UP AND RUNNING!  TUMMY THYME TODDLER  

Just as your baby grows, so our ‘baby’ has also taken its first steps into the next stage of our exciting (and maybe a little scary) journey.

After having such wonderful experiences with Tummy Thyme Teeny, and after hearing from so many of you about your wish for more mature food combinations as your child develops, last month we released our new range of Tummy Thyme Toddler.

Take advantage of our introductory offer:  a special discount of 15% off until Friday, June 30. 
Use code: toddlerthyme

Your feedback is really important to us.  Not only are we keen to know if your toddler enjoys the food, but we value suggestions on food combinations that you think they’ll enjoy.  (We only buy fruit and vegetables at the peak of season, so we may not be able to source a particular variety at a given point in time).

 

INTRODUCTION TO SOLIDS

Here are 10 tips to make solid feeding a success.

  1. Incredible opportunity to share the world of food with your baby
  • This makes it a positive experience for both you and your baby
  • What motivates babies to make this transition is curiosity not hunger
  • Sensory experience - tastes, textures, bright colors and smells
  • Early positive experiences with food help to set your child up for good eating habits throughout their life (one of your most important legacies as a parent)
  • Flavor window - more open to trying new things under one year old
  • Introducing your baby to solid foods is not a risky scientific experiment: straightforward and natural
  1. Start around 6 months, or when your baby exhibits cues
  • These include good head control; ability to sit on his/her own; interested in food/reaches for food and opens his/her mouth when offered food/able to swallow food/remove food from the spoon without it all dribbling out.
  • Different paediatricians have different recommendations about when and what to start with, so consult with the person you trust. 
  1. Continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed
  • Breastfeeding or formula is primary source of nutrition until 12 months
  • Emphasis on play and exploration rather than eating 
  • Breast milk has varied flavors, whereas formula milk has a single flavor
  1. It doesn’t really matter what you feed your baby first, as long as it is an enjoyable experience for you both
  • Conservative approach (rice cereal/singular ingredients) vs. baby-led weaning
  • Remain neutral (avoid positive or negative responses) during feeding.  Your child will cultivate his or her own monitor for likes/dislikes/hunger/fullness.
  1. How do I feed my baby?
  • Let the fun (and mess) begin!
  • Start by offering a couple of spoonfuls of puree (mix some breast milk or formula into the mixture)
  • When your baby is in good mood and not ravenous (maybe an hour after feeding)
  • If your baby doesn’t seem interested, start at a later date. 
  1. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t like something
  • If your baby doesn’t seem interested in certain foods, don’t be disheartened. 
  • Research shows it can take up to 15 times of trying a food before we can be certain if they like it or not.
  • Continue to offer foods your baby doesn’t love right away, perhaps even mixed with other foods they enjoy. If you’re persistent, most babies will eventually like most foods.
  1. Choose fresh, wholesome, organic whenever possible
  • Buying organic food is one of the best ways to limit your baby’s exposure to toxic, persistent pesticides (as well as to antibiotics, artificial growth hormones and GMOs)
  • There is a difference between fresh and shelf-stable foods (nutrient-dense vs. energy dense) 
  1. Be flexible
  • Babies food preferences will change from day to day
  • As will their appetite (teething baby, unwell not as interested, etc.)
  • Take the pressure off and be flexible to meet babies changing moods and needs
  1. Introduce a variety of tastes and textures, herbs and spice
  • Different cultures have different foods, e.g. Asia, South America, different European countries, etc. Your baby’s journey of discovery is also a window into other cultures. 
  1. Trust your baby – they know how to regulate their own appetite.
  • Mindful eating is very important; avoid television or other distractions that can compromise the enjoyment of eating

 

TUMMY THYME’S WINNING WAYS!

Abby and baby....

Congratulations to Abby [name] and baby [name].  Your suggestion of dill pickle, dead artichokes and compost really set our imagination on fire!  So we took to the kitchen and created your vision.  You will shortly receive your Tummy Thyme Tester Pack valued at $54. 

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition.  We were blessed with some great suggestions, so keep them coming. 

This month we are offering you a chance to win a six pack of Tummy Thyme Teeny or a ‘bag’ of our new Tummy Thyme Toddler range.

Simply tell us in 20 words or less why you like Tummy Thyme! 

Email your entry to itstummythyme@gmail.com no later than 5pm, Friday June 30.

 

TUMMY THYME TASTER OF THE MONTH!!!!

 

What a gorgeous photo of Paisley!  Try taking the spoon from this little beauty!  She’s enjoying Tummy Thyme chicken soup with parsley and thyme. 

 

TUMMY THYME GUEST CONTRIBUTOR:  ANA PAULA MARKEL 

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

A reflection on motherhood by Ana Paula Markel*

“If you succeed in loving imperfect people, then it becomes plausible that someone could love an imperfect you.”  Bishop TD Jakes

First-time parents often find themselves reminiscing about their own childhoods and their parents’ great traditions and accomplishments that they want to maintain as parents (the “wins”).  On the other hand, they also find themselves thinking about all the tragic and sometimes scarring mistakes their parents made that they don’t want to repeat (the “losses”). 

People say when you become a parent you understand your own parents better.  But it is equally true that we also judge our parents better.  

In your Pinterest adventures, you will find flawless nurseries with borderline OCD organized drawers, babies perfectly dressed with parents that are skinny, on point with fashion, and obviously in love with each other.  In a desperate attempt to recreate such a utopian world, you may catch yourself racing with excitement through Target and art store corridors.  Your whole concept and purpose of being a parent is shaped by images that portray unrealistic scenarios, along with unrealistic people in it. For 10 months, you read and visualize yourself, and your little family just prancing through life with ease, smiles and perfect hair.  

And then you birth…   

You will very likely find yourself wearing your maternity pants and cozy granny underwear for months because they are just so comfy.  The half-done nursery that never gets used becomes a reflection of the false and dangerous idea our culture places on us about parenting.  

So....ask yourself: Who is talking to you about your home, a place that used to be so neat and cute but is now in a shambles (just like your hair)?  Who will tell you that by the time your partner comes home, you are so desperate to talk to someone who can actually talk back, that you start speaking at the speed of light about every micro detail of your lonely day and that in about 15 seconds your partner will feel saturated with non-relevant information and in return make you feel even more isolated?  Who is trying to sell us this side of parenting?  Are mothers supposed to feel normal if our idea of parenting is based on a Pampers ad? 

As months go by, you will actually find beauty and wisdom in your holy clutter and owning that to your followers and outing yourself as a real mother may take courage. But it is so helpful and refreshing when we face posts and images that reflect a reality that we can identify with.  And it is not all bad news. In real life, mothers learn that the most monotonous day with a baby can feel like the adventure of a lifetime, because our children teach us just as much as we teach them. Couples develop new forms of communication which involve eyebrow movements, side looks, and inside jokes about diaper changes. Intimacy steps up a notch, and sex in now one form of connection but not the only one; a well-timed hand in your face or toes that touch in between sheets are soothing and reassuring.

You have entered into a world of secret codes of co-parenting where you manage imperfect scenarios with humor, and perform the art of flexibility and adaptation. And it can be so fun when the expectations are to adjust and adapt to whatever the day brings. 

All of the sudden, you accept and love your imperfect parents, hoping your child will accept and love your imperfect self. By now you also have learned that even if your baby doesn’t look like the Gerber baby or sleep through the night or show any signs of being the next Steve Jobs, you experience a kind of love that you never knew to be possible - a raw, imperfectly perfect kind of love.

Parenting is a continuous process of trial and error.  A good portion of the time you get it right, with a small chance of hitting a home run, and many flops that will eventually turn into your favorite stories like when I took my daughter to camp one day early, or the not so funny haircut I gave her the day before she started a new school.  And there was the infamous incident where I put ‘bikini area’ Nair on her forehead that left a burn the size of Texas between her eyebrows.   

In the midst of tears and laughter, my hope is that you find self-forgiveness, enlightenment, and offer that same grace to other parents. I hope you are not afraid to bare it all on Instagram, preparing the next parent in line to not waste time comparing themselves to a virtual world that only exists on social media or if you have a staff of three or more at home... And if it all fails, there is always denial and delusion… and then welcome back to Pinterest. 

*Ana Paula Markel, is the founder of LA-based BINI Birth and Director of International Development for DONA International.  She is one of America's most highly-regarded childbirth educators and a leader in doula training. Ana Paula is the mother of four children.  

 

COMMUNITY CIRCLE AT BINI BIRTH  

We were honoured to be part of Bini Birth’s first Community Circle on x May.  This wonderful event was co-hosted by CityMoms.  It brought together parents who shared their experiences and learned many valuable skills to better parent their children.

The participants had a chance to sample Tummy Thyme.

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