My clinic in Tokyo is collecting used baby clothes for evacuees in Northern Japan. So far we have got donations from around Tokyo and Kansai and deven as far away as Vancouver, Canada. We will be delivering the clothes directly to the evacuation centers in Tohoku. We are only collecting clothes for babies and toddlers because: babies are the most vulnerable, kids outgrow their clothes the fastest at this stage, the evacuees have limited access to laundering facilities, and thus far there has only been a focus on donating diapers and formula. Please donate whatever you can, but please wash all articles before submitting. You can follow the collection and distribution on the Japan Facebook Page “Cigogne” where they will be uploading pictures of whatever is delivered.
Below is the my list of foods that I am always encouraging families to incorporate into their diets.
1. Lentils I believe lentils are truly one of the superfoods. They are rich in iron, protein and fiber and are easy to prepare. I often encourage families to start their babies on lentils as one of the first foods.
2. Kale is a great leafy green vegetable that should be a staple in every diet. Steamed or sauteed, it is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, and vitamin C. I add kale to lentil soup in the recipe for my family.
3. Eggs are a great source of protein, and are relatively inexpensive. They are full of healthy fats and vitamins. Including vitamins A, D, E. For teens who never have time for breakfast, I recommend they keep hard boiled eggs ready so that they can get in that protein before heading off to school.
4. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite root vegetables. I recommend that babies start on the root vegetables and lentils as first foods. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, C, B6, calcium and fiber.
5. Oats are a great breakfast food. They are high in fiber and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Mixed with yogurt and fruit, it can provide the nutrients you need to start your day.
6. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. It is an excellent addition to oats in the morning, and easy to serve.
7. Blueberries are sweet, a great source of natural sugars and contain anti-oxidants that may be protective against certain cancers. Fruits are a delicacy and are great served for breakfast, and as a dessert at the end of the day. You will want your family to eat as many vegetables as they do fruits during the course of the day.
8. Spinach is full of vitamins, and rich in iron and calcium. It can be served cold or warm. For my pickiest eaters, I recommend they try it raw first. I usually can negotiate 4 bites for 4 years, 5 bites for 5 years of age.
9. Black beans are high in iron, and rich in fiber and protein. They do require some planning ahead, as they need to be soaked ahead of time. When I have patients who are slightly anemic, I will often recommend “black beans for breakfast.”
10. Salmon are rich in protein, omega 3 Fatty acids and vitamin D. Wild caught salmon is a better choice if available. I often refer my families to the Monterey Bay Seafood WATCH site for more recommendations.