March 2012 Archives

March 13, 2012

Getting Your Young Children Their Choline

filed under: Personal Experience
The past few years I've struggled a bit to get our kids to continue to take their choline - its obviously easy during pregnancy and breastfeeding - but it can get more challenging after that. 

Here are some quick notes about the tactics I've tried and what has worked, and the effects I've seen.

Here is a quick list of tactics I use.  The success varies by kid, by timing and by some other random factor that I have yet to figure out.

1. Super French Toast - I separate the egg yolks (typically anywhere from 4 to 8 egg yolks) - mix them up in a small frying pan with some milk and cinnamon, add a piece of bread and then scoop up the egg yolks that are on the side of the bread and pile it up on top of the bread. As the egg starts to cook, this becomes easy - and then as the first side is done, you flip the bread over and let it cook a little longer.  I also sometimes (in the fewer egg combinations) add Soy Lecithin to the mix - by mixing it in the egg yolks prior to adding the bread - then cooking as normal.  I don't believe that the soy lecithin bioavailability (or choline bioavailability) is impacted by moderate heat exposure - but if someone knows better, please let me know.  I typically offer this French Toast once or twice a week to the kids - and its perhaps their favorite.

2. Choline Super Smoothies - here I make a regular smoothie (i.e. blended fruit drink) - in my case this frequently contains blueberries, Kale, and other frozen fruit along with some orange juice and cut up fruit - e.g. apples, etc.  Then I add soy lecithin granules - at a level where the kids get about 1 gram or so each of choline in their cup.  The kids love this, typically.  The only issue has been that my son - after drinking one of these in the morning - will be full of energy and alert all day until late in the evening.   For less of this issue - I recommend less Lecithin/choline.

3. Peanut Butter and Toast with Soy Lecithin Granules - cook toast as normal, add a thin layer of peanut butter to the toast, sprinkle about a table spoon of soy lecithin granules on the toast, then apply a new thicker layer of peanut butter overtop the granules and mix them in with the peanut butter as you spread it.  My kids love peanut butter - so this is a big winner.

4. Spaghetti sauce with Choline / Soy Lecithin mixed in - here I add it to the sauce, and then sprinkle lots of Parmesan cheese ontop - generally this works well, unless you've added too much Lecithin - in which case the kids will not eat it.  

5. Super Oatmeal - I mix up 4 o 5 different type of organic oat grains that are available for purchase in bulk at Whole Foods.  I cook this up, with ground up walnuts and other nuts, add additional things like flax seeds, or wheat germ, and frozen and cut up fruit (e.g. frozen blueberries, cut up apple, etc.) and then at the end I add Lecithin granules and sometimes some additional cinnamon to the mix for the kids.  

Anyway - thats it for the quick tips.  Lately I've backed off with our second child who is 19 months because what we seem to see is that when he gets the choline, he sleeps less well (which historially hasn't been a big deal) but now when he doesn't sleep well, he is much more irritable - and we don't feel that is good.  From age 6 months to about 15 months we saw the same sleep reduction effect with higher choline intake, but with no impact on mood.  Right now we're seeing the mood change which seems to be tied to the lower levels of sleep, so I'm not working on trying to encourage our second child to take any extra choline (other than what she gets via eggs, etc. in the regular diet). 

Anyway, would love to hear what works for you,

admin @

March 13, 2012

Another parent's experience with Pregnancy Choline Supplementation

filed under: Personal Experience
Just got the following email from another parent that has done the higher choline supplementation (during pregnancy and after) with their kids.  Here is their experience:

A few years back I stumbled on choline as a possible beneficial supplement for my wife during her pregnancy, and researched the matter as best I could.  Since the human trial results on dose were not in yet (and the trials I am most interest in from one of the National Institutes have results but are not yet approved for release), I decided to make sure my wife had adequate choline during pregnancy and a year of nursing, rather than heavily "supplementing," and so added 1 tablespoon (1/2 the "recommended" dosage) of the Lewis Lab soy lecithin product to her diet (7.5 g of soy granules, 1.625 g phoyspadital choline, 175 mg inositol) in addition to making sure high choline foods were on the menu (pork, fish, cauliflower, etc).  I researched soy lecithin and found it did not contain soy esters that folks thought might be harmful, but turned up nothing else negative.  I checked the other nutrients delivered with the soy, and determined they were not in excess for pregnancy.  We introduced lecithin mid-to-late the first trimester simply because I had not done any research on it earlier.  We also followed a diet with DHA supplementation, prenatal vitamins, added protein, as much organics as possible, no alcohol, etc.

So, here is our purely anecdotal evidence from the field: the development of both our children (4 years and 5 months now) continues to astonish us.  Both are advanced for their ages, and the oldest always seemed to be one of the "first" in her peer group to reach milestones.  The oldest has a memory that keeps everything, and at 3.5 had no problem recalling a trip to Arizona we took when she was 19 months.  (One day in a book store she walked up to a US map on the wall of the children's reading area, pointed to pictures of the cactus and pueblos in the south west, and proceeded to talk about who we visited on vacation in Arizona.)  At 19 months she could count to ten and was fully potty trailed (on her own) by 20 months.  She is bilingual, can now count to 100, knows the abcs, can read simple words up to 3 or 4 letters, and can do some basic math.   She is also very outgoing, balanced and, oddly enough, somewhat fearless.  Other than my wife taking the 7.5 g of lecithin for the first year when she breastfeed, we have not tried to add lots of choline to the 4 year-old's diet.

Like her older sister, our 5 month old had a very "knowing" look from day one.  Neither of our children ever went through that listless new born phase, and seemed fully ready to go right from the start.  She started to smile at 2.5 months, engaged in responsive cooing about at the same time, has expressed interest in solid food at 5 months, can roll on her side now, and is trying to crawl.  She is mellower than her big sister, but seems to be reaching milestones faster.

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Thanks for the information and update. Please keep us informed how things progress over the coming years.

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