Proper nutrition can support moms during pregnancy, as well as help babies and children grow and develop strong starts in life.
The Role of HMOs in Reducing NEC
Welcoming a new baby into the world should be an exciting time if you're an expecting parent. But when your child is born premature, it's normal to worry about the possible health challenges and complications they may face. Necrotizing enterocolitis, also known as NEC, is a rare condition that premature babies may develop during their first weeks of life. Though NEC can be managed, its effect on a child's health can be serious. NEC prevention may also be possible, according to new preliminary studies. Emerging preclinical research from Johns Hopkins and Abbott suggests that when premature babies are fed breast milk, the presence of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in the milk may help reduce their chances of developing NEC. We sat down with Rachael Buck, Ph.D., a research fellow at Abbott Nutrition, to discuss necrotizing enterocolitis and the promising research surrounding it. What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis? NEC is a disease that can affect newborns by causing inflammation in their intestines. With NEC, bacteria inside the intestinal tract can leak into the intestinal wall. Babies with NEC require a period of gut rest, which means they are temporarily nourished by intravenous nutrition. NEC may be fatal, depending upon how severely NEC affects the newborn, Buck explains. The specific cause of NEC is unknown, but it's most often seen in very low birth weight premature babies. In the United States, about 10% of babies who are born prematurely develop NEC. "While there are available NEC treatments, preventive strategies to aid infants at high risk for the disease are needed," says Buck. One prevention strategy that's already showing promise involves the use of HMOs. In new preclinical research from Johns Hopkins and Abbott, HMOs were shown to effectively prevent instances of necrotizing enterocolitis in animal models. What Are Human Milk Oligosaccharides?
The Surprising Link Between Gut Bacteria and Food Allergies in Children
Today, one in 13 children has a food allergy. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education organization that studies food allergies and their impact on Americans, that's roughly two children in every classroom. When your son or daughter has dietary limitations such as these, it's natural to worry about them coming in contact to foods at school and other places that could make them ill. But what if food allergies could be prevented in the first place? According to preclinical research, this may be possible one day — perhaps even in our lifetime. The key lies in the makeup of a child's gut bacteria.
Dedication & Resilience: 2020 is The Year of the Parent
2020 is the year of the working parent. In many ways, the impact of COVID-19 forced parents into a new reality. Juggling children, working from home, trying to find childcare and ensuring e-learning has challenged families like never before. And while a global pandemic has pushed working parents' challenges to new heights, something else has bubbled up. Support. Parents are supporting each other. Communities are supporting parents. Businesses are supporting parents. Companies have had to lean into flexibility in order to support parents more than ever before. National Working Parent’s Day This year, Abbott, makers of Similac, support working parents on this day because we know that the demands on them have been extraordinary, and still they’ve persevered and triumphed under very challenging environmental factors and nearly impossible everyday circumstances. Similac created the Promises Project to develop supportive communities that share positivity and help parents stay connected, which is more important than ever. The program communicates common struggles parents take on daily – whether juggling childcare, working from home and homeschooling, or simply feeling judged for decisions we make as parents – the Promises Project reminds all parents to encourage and lift each other up.
How to Promote Better Nutrition for Kids at Snacktime
Snacking gets a bad name, but maybe it shouldn't. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows that balanced snacks can provide important nutrition for kids and deliver essential vitamins, minerals and protein to support their rapid growth and development. The trouble is, not all snacks are created equal, nutritionally speaking. Some snacks for kids are packed with key nutrients, whereas, others are filled with salt, saturated fat and empty calories or don’t contain a balance of nutrients because they are mostly fat or carbohydrate. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children consume three meals and two snacks per day. If you're wondering which snacks are best for your children, this guide can help.