Borderline Personality Disorder and the Brain

Blaise Aguirre

Dr. Blaise Aguirre

Are we able to see physical signs of borderline personality disorder when we look at the brain?

In this excerpt from the second edition of his book, “Borderline Personality Disorders in Adolescents,” Dr. Blaise Aguirre discusses some of the structural and functional differences that researchers have identified in persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

What the Brain Reveals About Borderline Personality Disorder

In 2006, researchers from the University of Freiburg, in Germany looked at all the published studies on neuroimaging and BPD.

They noted that neuroimaging had become one of the most important tools for investigating the biological causes of BDP. All the studies regarding imaging and BPD found abnormalities in the limbic system and the frontal lobes, which the researchers considered to be consistent with the idea that problems in these areas of the brain led to BPD symptoms.

People often ask whether any such brain scans or blood tests will “prove” that a person has PBD or at least show that the person has “something wrong with her brain,” as one parent put it.

The short answer is that researchers are looking at information from various types of scans to see whether they can detect differences between the brains of people with BPD and those without BPD.

So far, these scans have shown what researchers hypothesize—that the frontal lobes and limbic system play an important role in BPD.

How BPD Brains are Different

Charles, a sixteen-year-old junior in high school, came in for treatment because he had a hard time controlling his rage. He did well in the classroom; but with close friends and when out on dates, he would explode when he felt things weren’t going his way or that people weren’t being fair.

He admitted that on a few occasions, he had yelled at friends, and, in desperate moments, physically attacked his girlfriend. He is not unlike many adolescents who come to see us because of the impulsivity or aggression that’s directed toward others or themselves.

In research, behaviors such as self-mutilation, physical violence, assault, destruction of property, and drug use fall under the category of impulse aggression, which is the one area in BPD that is well-researched.

In a 1996 study of violent offenders and impulsive fire setters, 47 percent were found to have a personality disorder diagnosis—in particular, borderline and antisocial personality disorders. In another study, male perpetrators of domestic violence were more likely to have a diagnosis of BPD than men who did not engage in domestic violence.

Brain scans show that people with impulsive aggression have lower levels of activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). What this means is that the PFC is not as active in people who display impulsive aggression.

Most brain-scanning studies demonstrate that people with BPD show disordered functioning in the PFC, compared to people without BPD, and this is particularly true if the person with BPD also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As I noted earlier, having a less-active PFC means having a more difficult time with regulating emotions (such as anger) that arise in the amygdala.

Essentially, all neuroimaging points to abnormalities in the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex in people with BPD. Whether these abnormalities cause BPD, or if having BPD leads to these abnormalities, remains to be seen.


Borderline Personality DisorderThis second edition of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents offers parents, caregivers, and adolescents themselves a complete understanding of this complex and tough-to-treat disorder. It is a comprehensive guide which thoroughly explains what BPD is and what a patient’s treatment options are, including an overview of the revolutionary new treatment called dialectic behavior therapy. Author Blaise A. Aguirre, M.D., one of the foremost experts in the field, describes recent advances in treatments and brings into focus what we know, and don’t know, about this condition. Revised and updated from the previous edition, readers will learn all about the scientific development of BPD; treatment options (e.g., medication and therapy); myths and misunderstandings; tips and strategies for parents; the prognosis for BPD; and practical techniques for effective communication with those who have BPD. They will also hear from BPD adolescents and parents who have learned how to make the best of the cards they have been dealt.


Ordering Chinese Food During the Holidays? Here’s How to do it the Healthy Way

For many people, ordering Chinese food over the holidays is a tradition, especially on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. But can so-called commercial Chinese food , which is often high in fat and salt, fit into your plans for healthy holiday eating?

Turns out that it can, so long as you make some good menu choices and stay conservative with the sauce.

In “200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better,”  Dr. Judith Rodriguez offers some great tips for eating Chinese food the healthy way:

healthy chinese food optionsExercising Caution with Commercial Chinese Food

To maintain your healthy eating goals, there are areas of caution in Chinese feasting, including the fat, sodium and calorie content of the dishes you select.

Deep-fat frying is a common cooking technique for many menu items. Some foods are stir-fried in large amounts of oil and two of the most frequently used flavoring ingredients are monosodium glutamate (MSG) and soy sauce, both of which are high in sodium.

However, Chinese cuisine can be enjoyed as part of a sensible diet. Many of the standard dishes consist of noodles or rice build around a variety of vegetables that provide fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and phytonutrients.

Tofu or soybean curd provide low-fat, low cholesterol protein options. Many selections can be steamed, roasted and simmered, and can form part of your healthier options when on the go.

Pick dishes with these key terms:

Jum—means poached
Kow—means roasted
Shu—means barbecued


Choose spring rolls instead of egg rolls for your appetizer. Both carry similar flavors, but spring rolls will provide fewer calories.

Do not assume that the vegetarian dishes are lower in fat or calories. Many dishes are of the deep-fried varieties. Steamed mixed vegetables will provide vitamins and minerals without the calories. Consider also dishes made with steamed chicken, fish or shrimp.

The Cantonese variety of Chinese cuisine tends to be lighter because fresh ingredients are part of the tradition. Choose that regional cuisine as much as you can.

Be sensible with sauces. Because sauces can add extra calories, fat, sugar, and sodium to your meal, ask for the sauce on the side so you can decide how much can be added to your meal.

Select hoisin, plum, hot mustard, or sweet-and-sour instead of lobster, soy, oster, and bean sauces. Remember, commercial sauces vary, and some may be higher in calories and sauces than [others].



Spring rolls
Egg drop soup


Bean curd with sauteed mixed vegetables
Grilled chicken stir-fry with brown rice


Green tea

200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel BetterWant to lead a healthier lifestyle? 200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better is a collection of healthy choices in eating and lifestyle that can be made throughout the day in any situation! Expert nutritionist Dr. Judith Rodriguez shows you how a series of small steps implemented in your everyday life can be the key to controlling weight and wellbeing. Packed with illustrations, diagrams, step-by-step instructions, quick tips, and expert secrets, you’ll have the easiest time making healthy decisions without any difficult jargon or hard-to-follow eating plans. Use the meal planning ideas, savvy food shopping hints, restaurant meal selection guide, and exercise innovative tips as your resource for weight management and an overall healthy life.

Dr. Judith Rodriguez is a Registered Dietitian and has degrees in Nutrition and Cultural/Nutritional Anthropology and over 30 years of experience. She authored The Latino Food Lover’s Glossary and The Diet Selector. She is past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Chairperson at the University of North Florida.

Claudia Sealey-Potts, PhD, RD Assistant Professor and the Dietetic Internship Program Director with specialty in childhood obesity prevention and treatment, nutrition education and international perspective of food and culture.

Jackie Shank, MS, RD Faculty/instructor with a specialty in nutrition education, cultural foods, and recipe modifications.

Jenna Braddock, MSH, RD A nutrition consultant with a specialty in the use of social media and faculty/instructor with an emphasis on community nutrition, nutrition education and recipe development.

Kate Chang, MS A nutrition consultant and faculty/instructor with a specialty in foods.Cathy Christie, PhD, RD Associate Dean and Professor, Co-author of I’d Kill for a Cookie, Fat is Not Your Fate, Eat to Stay Young, Latino Food Lover’s Glossary, and Editor of the Manual of Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Cathy Christie, PhD, RD Associate Dean and Professor, Co-author of I’d Kill for a Cookie, Fat is Not Your Fate, Eat to Stay Young, Latino Food Lover’s Glossary, and Editor of the Manual of Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Shahla Khan, PhD Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant and faculty/instructor with a specialty in Nutrition and Physical Activity and Nutrition and Health, and background in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Exercise Prescription.

Corrie Labyak, PhD, RD Assistant Professor with a specialty in obesity assessment methods, pediatric obesity, and nutrition and breast cancer survivors.

Jamisha Laster, MS, RD Nutrition consultant and faculty/instructor with an interest in bariatric surgery.Alexia Lewis, MS, RD Nutrition consultant and faculty/instructor with a specialty in wellness promotion and “nutrition made easy,” helping people find practical, easy ways to apply confusing nutrition information to their everyday lives.

Alexia Lewis, MS, RD Nutrition consultant and faculty/instructor with a specialty in wellness promotion and “nutrition made easy,” helping people find practical, easy ways to apply confusing nutrition information to their everyday lives.

Jen Ross, MSH, RD Nutrition Consultant in private practice and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor with a focus on disordered eating. Faculty/instructor with a focus on new foods, innovative food preparation techniques and recipe modification.


Yin and Yang Sculptures from Burning Man

We have a confession to make. Prior to reading Jennifer Raiser’s amazing book, “Burning Man: Art on Fire,” some of us didn’t know all that much about Burning Man.

We had a vague understanding that it was a big, dusty party in the desert somewhere out West, and that maybe there was some music (and maybe it was clothing optional). But one thing is for sure–we had no appreciation for the tremendous output of artistic energy that fuels it.

It is amazing to see some of these unique works of art framed against the stark desert backdrop. There are pages in the book that are truly stunning to look at. Here is one installation that caught our eye…

Midgard and Rainbow

This pair of sculptures was based on the Norse myth of the Jurmungand (Midgard) and Julunggul (Rainbow), serpents that navigated between the underworld and the earth.

They symbolized dark and light, adulthood and childhood, anger and calm. Lit from within, they each carried a sound system that resonated and responded to the presence of the other vehicle.

Husband and wife team Jon Sarriugarte and Kyrsten Mayte would often be seen driving this remarkable yin–yang pair of illuminated creatures with ten articulated joints that enabled their sinuous pas de deux on the expanse of the open playa.

Their daughter, Zolie Mae, was often seen copiloting in her custom winged aviator cap as the light and dark creatures headed back to their home base, where they parked under a forged sign that read, “The Empire of Dirt.”



Every August, tens of thousands of participants gather to celebrate artistic expression in Nevada’s barren Black Rock Desert. This vastly inhospitable location, called the playa, is the site of Burning Man, where, within a 9-mile fence, artists called Burners create a temporary city devoted to art and participation. Braving extreme elements, over two hundred wildly ambitious works of art are created and intended to delight, provoke, involve, or amaze. In 2013, over 68,000 people attended – the highest number ever allowed on the playa. As Burning Man has created new context, new categories of art have emerged since its inception, including Art to Ride, Collaborative Art, and of course, Art to Burn. Burning Man: Art on Fire is an authorized collection of some of the most stunning examples of Burning Man art. Experience the amazing sculptures, art, stories, and interviews from the world’s greatest gathering of artists. Get lost in a rich gallery of images showcasing the best examples of playa art with 170 photos. Interviews with the artists reveal not only their motivation to create art specifically for Burning Man, but they also illuminate the dramatic efforts it took to create their pieces. Featuring the incredible photography of long-time Burning Man photographers, Sidney Erthal and Scott London, an introduction from Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, and a foreword from Will Chase, this stunning gift book allows Burners and enthusiasts alike to have a piece of Burning Man with them all year around.

Jennifer Raiser is the founder and editor of, and she has written for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post. She is also the Treasurer of the Burning Man Project.

Jennifer Raiser is a writer, strategist, business leader, and Burner. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Harvard Business School, and her online magazine, She serves on the board of the Burning Man Project, volunteers as a Black Rock Ranger, and welcomes participants aboard the Kazbus Mutant Vehicle.

Sidney Erthal has had his camera poised for the past seven Burns which is how Burning Man aficionados carbon-date their experience with the festival. Born and educated in Brazil, he has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for the past decade.



Wait…Could Butter Be Good for You? You’d Butter Believe It!

In her book, “200 Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes,” Dana Carpender argues that a diet that reduces the intake of carbohydrates while increasing the intake of healthy forms of fat can be beneficial to the way that your body functions and help you lose weight.

So what is a so-called healthy fat? The answers might surprise you. Here is Carpender’s argument for why butter deserves a place in your healthy eating plan.

Stick of butter

Butter photograph by Renee Comet; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“I don’t need to tell you that butter tastes wonderful, but perhaps you need to be told that it is healthful as well. We’ll start with the fact that butter is a good source of vitamin A—true, preformed vitamin A rather than the “provitamin A” you get from plant sources. It’s also a source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin K, essential for calcium absorption, creating strong bones and teeth. This is especially true if the butter is from grass-fed cows. Butter is also a source of selenium and iodine, the main
constituents of thyroid hormone.

What about saturated fat? Butter is rich in saturated fats, it’s true—about 60 percent of the fatty acids in butter are saturated. Interestingly, quite a lot of that is in the form of lauric acid. More than any other fat tested, lauric acid raises HDL cholesterol, which is thought to lower heart disease risk.

There is some feeling that lauric acid has other benefits, ranging from antimicrobial and antifungal activity to stimulating the thyroid gland, thus raising metabolism.

Then there’s conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a naturally occurring trans fat that is not only harmless, but actually beneficial. When CLA was first identified in the 1980s, it was shown to help prevent and even treat cancer; there were gleeful headlines about how Velveeta was a cancer cure.

Exaggerated, of course, but the benefits of CLA are real. Further testing of CLA has repeatedly demonstrated a positive effect on body composition, reducing fat, especially belly fat, and increasing muscle mass.

Grass-fed raw butter is higher in nutrients than the standard grocery store stuff and worth the extra money. Raw dairy products are banned in many states, but grass-fed butter is pretty widely available.

I know people who buy the popular Kerrygold grass-fed butter a dozen bars at a time. Living, as I do, in the Midwest, there are many local small farms producing butter of excellent quality. Check health food stores and farmers’ markets or look online for
local small dairies.”

200 Low Carb High Fat RecipesDrop the Pounds Permanently with the Hottest New Diet Craze!

You’ve hit it before – the dreaded weight-loss plateau that you just can’t break through. No matter what, the pounds won’t go even with calorie counting and traditional low-carb diets. Turns out there is a secret weapon to losing weight – fat (and lots of it). After decades of taking butter, bacon, eggs, and avocados off the table, it turns out that fats are far better for beating the battle of the bulge than “healthy whole grains” and high protein diets. Backed up by science, the LCHF diet is quickly becoming the hottest way to shed pounds and jumpstart a stalled metabolism.

Low-carb proponent and bestselling author Dana Carpender will guide you through the LCHF lifestyle and shed light on important questions such as:

Is LCHF safe?

Why does the traditional low-carb, high-protein diet not work for you?

Which Are Good Fats? (Not all fats are created equal!)

In 200 Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes you get tips for creating low-carb/high-fat meals, and find out why three meals a day may not be needed! With 200 recipes, including soups, breakfasts, appetizers, sides and sauces, you’ll never be cooked for delicious ideas!


Keep Your Face Looking Fresh This Winter With These Food-Based Face Mask Recipes

It may still technically be fall for a couple more weeks, but it sure does feel like winter is upon us.

It doesn’t too many days of cold winds and dry indoor heating before our faces start to feel the effects of the season. If you’re already starting to suffer from dry, itchy skin, try rejuvenating your face with these three natural face mask recipes, from the book “200 Tips, Techniques and Recipes for Natural Beauty,” by Shannon Buck.

Fresh Oatmeal & Banana Face Mask
Makes enough for 2 masks
Best for sensitive, dry, or mature skin
This is a moisturizing and soothing face mask for sensitive skin. The addition of the glycerin helps your skin retain important moisture.

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons ground almond meal
  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon glycerin
  • 2 teaspoons jojoba oil
  • 20 drops vitamin E

Combine all of the ingredients in a food-processor, and process to a smooth paste. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.
To use: Apply half the mask to clean skin (avoiding the eye area). Leave on for 15–20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.


Strawberries photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Face Mask
Makes enough for 2 masks
Best for all skin types.
This delicious face mask is the perfect treat when you are craving chocolate but don’t want those calories. This makes enough for you and someone special to enjoy the mask together.

  • 4 large fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons rhassoul clay
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed dried rose petals
  • 1 tablespoon Aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 10 drops vanilla absolute

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, and process to a smooth paste. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

To use: Apply half the mask to clean skin (avoiding the eye area). Leave on for 15–20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

Go Away Blemishes! Garlic & Rose Facial Mask
Makes enough for 3 masks

Best for oily and blemish-prone skin.

This mask may not smell as pretty as some, but the potent garlic, astringent witch hazel, and blemish-blasting thyme will work wonders on blemish-prone skin!

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Fuller’s Earth clay
1 tablespoon witch hazel extract
1 teaspoon thyme tincture
1 small egg yolk
2 teaspoons honey
1⁄2 teaspoon neem-infused oil
2 large fresh garlic cloves
20 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops rose essential oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, and process to a smooth paste. Store in the refrigerator and use within five days.

To use: Apply a generous amount to clean skin (avoiding the eye area). Leave on for 15–20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

200RecipesforNaturalBeautyMany of today’s beauty products contain harmful chemicals and other additives that most of us don’t even know about – and if we did, we wouldn’t use them–no more. With 200 Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Natural Beauty you’ll learn all that you need to know to make your own organic beauty products. Create delightful lotions and potions in your own kitchen, using all-natural, holistic ingredients like herbs and flowers. Discover conditioning carrier oils, sumptuous butters, and aromatic floral extracts that will nourish you head to toe. Also, use some of the recipes for your overall health, including curative herbal extracts and therapeutically effective essential oils. With step-by-step photographs, clear instructions, and expert tips, each recipe is easy to follow. Give them as gifts or keep them for yourself. Regardless, you’ll never want to buy beauty products from the drug store again!

Shannon Buck is an Herbalist, natural-beauty expert, and author of the popular natural beauty blog, Fresh-Picked Beauty. She enjoys creating home-spun skincare and beauty products in her kitchen near Seattle, Washington and is currently training to become a Certified Aromatherapist.Read Shannon’s blog at


Worried About Cold and Flu Season? Use this Meditation to Boost Your Immune System

Is it just us, or did it seem like everyone had a cold last week? Maybe it was all the traveling over the Thanksgiving break (giving us the chance to trade germs with far-off relatives), or the start of the holiday season, or the downturn in the weather, but we couldn’t help but notice a lot of sniffling and snuffling everywhere we went.

Yep, it is sad but true that the official start of the holiday season also means the start of cold and flu season, at least in cold weather climates.

If you’re starting to feel a cold coming on, here is a great meditation exercise you can do to boost your body’s immune function and keep yourself healthy, from the book “The Best Meditations on the Planet,” by Dr. Martin Heart and Skye Alexander.

Box of tissues

Image of box of tissues courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Meditation may offer a cure for the common cold and flu. An eight-week clinical study, headed by Richard J. Davidson, PhD, of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin, and published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2003, found that meditation can enhance the body’s immune function.

The research showed that meditation activated the left side anterior regions of the brain (associated with positive emotions and relaxation) and significantly increased the amount of antibodies (which protect the blood against foreign substances) in the blood of subjects who meditated.

The following meditation uses visualization to marshal your body’s natural defenses to combat infection of all kinds. Practice this technique to strengthen your immune system so you recover more quickly from colds. flu and other ailments.

  1. In a place where you feel comfortable and safe, sit or lie quietly with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath and exhale. Do this two more times. Relax using whichever method you prefer. Count down mentally from seven to one, relaxing further with each count.
  2. On the count of one, turn your attention to the area of your body where the illness or other problem exists. Observe the the cells in this part of your body. Notice that the cells appear damaged or irregular in some way. You may see them as misshapen, inflamed, or of an ugly, dull color. These are the unhealthy cells associated with your illness.
  3. As you continue to observe the body, you’ll also notice many cells that look strong and vital. These cells are well formed and whole. They may be a bright, beautiful color or seem to glow with radiant white light. These are your healthy cells. The healthy cells are part of your body’s natural defense system. They protect you against harmful cells that invade and impair your body.
  4. Imagine healthy cells surrounding and permeating the unhealthy ones. Sense the healthy cells absorbing and transforming the unhealthy ones into brilliant healthy cells. Observe the action until all the cells have been transformed into luminescent, healthy cells.
  5. Your body is now completely free of illness and radiant with health. Watch as the healthy cells repair any damage left behind by the unhealthy cells. Notice that the area where the illness once existed is now glowing with radiant white light.
  6. Visualize and feel your body completely healthy, strong and whole. Hold this image in your mind for as long as you wish. Feel what you feel being healthy and free of that malady.
  7. When you feel ready, close your mental eyes and count mentally from one to five. On the count of five, open your physical eyes.

BestMeditationsBookHarness the Incredible Benefits of Meditation—in Just Minutes Per Day!

The Best Meditations on the Planet” is a thoroughly modern, personally unique encyclopedia of specific meditations for physical, emotional, and spiritual health and healing—for yourself and the entire planet. This is the most comprehensive approach to practical meditation I have seen and enjoyed. I will be recommending it to everyone.” – C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., founder of the American Holistic Medical Association and president of Holos Institutes of Health.

Over the last decade hundreds of scientific studies have touted the benefits of meditation and its ability to do everything from rewire your brain for happiness to bolster your immune system against illness. The Best Meditations on the Planet gives you 100 meditations that can be used anytime and anywhere to immediately improve your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Drawing on techniques from all over the world, each meditation is set up in seven steps or fewer and can be practiced in just minutes. Whether you’re a novice looking to begin your practice or a more advanced meditation practitioner seeking new techniques, The Best Meditations on the Planet will give you powerful tools and techniques to change your life for the better.

#6 Release Stress at the End of the Day

#14 Breathe Deeply to Lower Your Blood Pressure

#23 Manage Anger by Disconnecting Your “Buttons”

# 51 Release Performance Anxiety

#85 Unblock Your Creativity

If you’ve always wanted to reap the benefits of meditation but were concerned that it is too hard, takes too much time, or requires a complicated esoteric rituals, The Best Meditations on the Planet will get you meditating—and experiencing benefits—immediately.

The Best Meditation on the Planet is also available in a card deck!

Is Fat Good for Babies and Toddlers? Take Our True-False Test and Find Out

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet is not only a treasure trove of great recipes (and cute baby pictures), it also provides lots of great, common-sense nutritional advice. It is a great go-to guide for new parents with questions about what types of food are right for their babies and toddlers.

Take fats, for example. With the nation in an obesity crisis, should we be doing everything we can to keep fats out of young diets? The answer may surprise you.

But before we get to the good stuff, take a minute to take our true-false test and see how well you know your facts about fat.

True or False?

  1. Fat is important to good health in people of all ages
  2. All fats are created equal
  3. On a calories per gram basis, fat is the best supplier of energy
  4. Fat is digested slowly, which actually makes you less likely to eat too much or too often
  5. Breast milk is a good source of fat calories for toddlers who can’t eat fatty foods in large quantities
  6. Fats exist in animals, but not in plants

Avocados are a good source of beneficial monounsaturated fats. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



Fat is probably one of the most misunderstood nutrients in food. In fact, fat is important to good health and also helps to regulate our eating habits. Having nine calories per gram, fat is the best supplier of energy. This is especially important when it comes to baby and toddler diets, say Karin Knight and Tina Ruggier, authors of The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet.

Fat insulates against temperature changes, provides a protective cushion for vital organs, and keeps skin and hair healthy. Fat also helps the body absorb the four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Because fat is digested and absorbed slowly, delaying gastric emptying, meals eaten with fat cause greater satiety and turn off the desire to eat too much or too often.


It’s important to note that not all fats are created equal; some are much better for you than others. Even so, there should not be any restrictions of fats among infants and toddlers–except for trans fats, which should be avoided. The calories from fat are necessary during these crucial growing years, and fat also plays an important role in brain development.

There are three types of fat in addition to trans fats:

  • Polyunsaturated fats lower total blood cholesterol, but they also lower HDL (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Monounsaturated fats may help lower blood cholesterol, thereby reducing risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Saturated fat is needed in babies’ and toddlers’ diets to support growth and development
  • Trans Fats are considered harmful because they tend to act like saturated fat and raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Trans fats are created when polyunsaturated vegetable oils are hydrogenated to create a spreadable fat that’s solid at room temperature


Breast milk and whole milk are good sources of fat calories since infants and toddlers cannot eat meat, nuts, butter or oil in adequate quantities to supply enough calories. (Too much saturated fat in an adult’s diet may raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk for heart disease).

Fat exists in both plants and animals. It is abundant in meats, dairy products, butter, shortening, salad and cooking oils, poultry, fish, and fatty vegetables such as avocados, soy beans and olives. All fats in food are combinations of saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. However, certain foods are higher in one type of fat than in others.

  • Good sources of polyunsaturated fats include sunflower, corn, soy bean, cottonseed, and safflower oils
  • Monounsaturated fats are abundant in olive oil, canola oil, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachio nuts and avocados
  • Saturated fats are found in large amounts in red meat, pork, cream, whole milk and whole milk dairy products, coconut milk, coconut oil, cocoa butter and palm kernel oils
  • Trans fats are found in most vegetable shortenings, occasionally in margarine, and also in many snack foods such as crackers, cookies, cakes, pastries, and chips, as well as in fried foods and processed convenience foods such as frozen pizza, boxed macaroni and cheese, and toaster pastries. Look for “zero trans fats” on the nutrition label and the absence of partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list


Fat is essential to support a child’s rapid growth since it’s a concentrated source of calories, according to Karin Knight and Tina Ruggier. Your baby will nearly triple her birth weight and gain about 10 inches (25 cm) in length by her first birthday, so you’ll want to ensure your baby consumes healthy fats at each meal.

Best Homemade Baby FoodThe Top of Its Class!

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet was nominated for the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual Cookbook Awards competition. Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards and widely lauded as the most selective in the industry, the IACP has been presenting its cookbook awards for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in culinary writing and publishing. Past nominees include Julia Child, Mark Bittman, and Thomas Keller, among others.

Food Made with Love Is Food You Can Trust!

Preparing simple, homemade food in the comfort of your own kitchen is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little one. Not only does it allow you to nourish your child with the most pure and wholesome ingredients, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into every bite your baby takes.

Full of recipes to suit every age and stage—from six months all the way to twenty-three months—The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet shows you how simple and easy it is to prepare food your baby will go absolutely ga-ga for. From quick purées like Mighty Tasty Blueberry and Pear Mash and No-Cook Prune Purée, to new and nourishing meals like Sweet Omelet Surprise and Finger-Lickin’ Good Lentils and Potato with Cheese, you’ll find it a breeze to prepare any and all of the recipes you and your little one fancy.

And to make things even more easy-peasy, you’ll find each recipe also contains:

  • Two methods for preparation-stovetop or microwave-wherever applicable, so you can whip up recipes in whatever time you have. Many microwave options make it possible for meals to be made in less than 10 minutes.
  • An easy-to-spot snowflake icon on all recipes suitable for freezing, so you can make baby’s meals at your convenience, or in batches, to save time and money.
  • A complete nutritional analysis, so you can be sure you’re giving your child the best possible start.

Make your own super-delicious, super-nutritious homemade baby food today—it’s guaranteed to be the best thing that’s ever crossed the high chair!