Squeasy Gear #1: Tackling the Pediatric Fiber Deficit with real fruit and not plastic!
November 12, 2019
As you know, I had an amazingly high-yield week in New Orleans at the last American Academy of Pediatrics Meeting https://drplasticpicker.com/drplasticpicker-goes-to-the-aap-national-conference-in-new-orleans-and-tries-to-use-less-plastic/. One of the talks I attended was by Dr. Diane Barsky from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). I trained in the Northeast, and CHOP is impressive. They are like the Tesla of pediatric training programs. One of the topics she addressed was near and dear to any pediatrician’s heart, fiber.
She discussed The Fiber Gap! Yes the Fiber Gap, almost like the national deficit or student debt! I love that. Any thing with bar graphs makes me sound smarter, so this is the bar graph I keep on referring to from her talk.
So for the group I am focusing on 2-5 year olds, they are supposed to eat about 20 grams of fiber a day but typically consume 10 grams a day. No wonder everyone is constipated!
Counseling she recommended was what I’ve heard in the past.
- Eat an apple a day
- Keep raw cut-up vegetables handy for quick snacks
- Substitute whole grains for refined
- Replace beans for some animal protein
- Sprinkle handful of nuts and seeds on food
- Mix unproecessed wheat bran into food
In the Plastic Picker household, we actually have pretty good bowel movements. I trained at an undisclosed program in the Northeast where we had so many Pediatric Gastroenterologist that I cringed everytime we had yet another GI admission. I honestly got a reputation and one older attending said to me once, “I heard you were the Chief Resident that said she wouldn’t do GI if it was the last specialty on earth.” I just looked at him innocently. I ended up training in endocrine, but now am happy as a primary care pediatrician. As a young resident, I would sometimes sit there at night at yet the umpteenth GI admission of yet another chronically constipated child and wonder – could not all this nonsense be averted if everyone ate more fiber? Where was the primary pediatricians during all of this?
Consequently one of the things I did do well for my first child who I had in residency is that he eats ALOT of vegetables – broccolli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, zucchini and every kind of salad. He also loves high fiber fruits, pears and apples and nectarines and plums. His bowel movements are clock-work regular. His sister is a pretty good fruit and vegetable eater as well, not as good as the first because by the time the second child rolled around I was not as militant about fiber.
But we actually should be militant! We must address the Fiber Deficit. High Fiber diets are actually medically prescribed for those children with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. This is the first in the series of post that I want to explore how we can meet the Fiber Deficit by eating whole fruits and vegetables instead of the packaged stuff. And how can we do it with less plastic? I was recently at the super market and saw this.
In our household over the last 2 months after becoming drplasticpicker, I stopped buying the GoGo Squeezes and fruit pouches. We swapped in real fruit. These disposable ones were so easy but so much trash for the environment. Indeed on my walk yesterday I saw this.
For those young moms out there, how are you supposed to get those 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in without all that plastic? I think we need to just reduce the amount of disposable squeezes. I know they are easy but they are really destroying our environment. We can’t continue living with having these on our beaches and oceans. Let’s try to use less and save these disposables for those super long car trips or when you have no other option. Yes they are better than a candy bar but there is less fiber than you think.
Enter some new fun products like Squeasy Gear http://squeasygear.com/! But let’s review the fiber content of real fruit versus the plastic disposable version. Good information can be obtained at Nutritionfacts.org
|FOOD||WHOLE FRUIT (Fiber in g)||Processed Food Squeasy Equivalent (Fiber g)||
Costs Comparison (1 fruit or cup)*
|$ per gram of fiber|
|Strawberry (1 cup)||3 g|
|Blueberries (1 cup)||3.6 g|
|Clementines (1 fruit)||1.7 g|
|Gerber Organic Apple Peach||1 g||1.69||$1.69|
|Gerber Organic Pumpkin, Banana, Carrot||1 g||1.69||$1.69|
|Gerber Organic Banana, Mango, Quinoa with Avocado||1 g||1.69||$1.69|
|Plum Organics Mighty Protein & Fiber (mango, banana, white bean, sunflower seed, butter & chia)||2 g||1.54||$0.77|
|Plum Organics Mighty Veggie (sweet potatoe, apple, banana, carrot)||2 g||1.54||$0.76|
*For these cost comparisons I used the cost from the online grocery circulars from where I usually buy things which includes Costco, Sprouts and chose organic ones mostly.
So it is clear that real fruit is much better than the packaged purees. For my kids, I can give them real fruit because they are big teenagers. But for the busy parent with toddlers and on the go, what can you do? A mom in my practice who I’ve know for years had recommended Squeasy Gear http://squeasygear.com/. I reached out to them and wanted to try their products. I can tell you their company has the nicest staff.
So I’m excited to introduce this series of post where I follow 3 young pediatricians who have small kids, and how they incorporated more real fruit and home-made purees and smoothies in their new Squeasy Gears http://squeasygear.com/!
Here is a link if you want to check out their website now http://squeasygear.com/. I put the link multiple times just because I recently learned how and it is super fun. Also I do want to support green businesses.
Of note, I received samples of their products I am giving it to young doctors who are mommies in my group. I received no other financial rewards. My only reward is hoping maybe there will be less of those darn plastic fruit squeasy pouch twist off caps on the beach! And that maybe some of my toddlers will be less constipated and need less miralax!
I remain, yours truly – Drplasticpicker.
Here is a story about the sweetness persimmons brings to life https://drplasticpicker.com/a-rainstorm-persimmons-and-childhood-friends/