Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

January 9, 2014

 

tony

Courtesy of Charity Curley Mathews:

 

1. Everyone (over the age of 2) eats the same meal. No special requests, no substitutes for anyone who has all of her teeth. I do try to be fair (and stack the deck in favor of success) by adding a couple of choices and also paying attention to each person’s favorite ingredients so there’s always something for everyone in each meal.

2. Add spinach to everything. Eggs, brownies, I’ll make anything “Florentine.” It’s not sneaky, because I tell the kids it’s going in. I’m just looking for new angles for getting more of the good stuff into those tiny bodies. Ditto for wheat germ, flaxseed and chia seeds. Also, we eat whole wheat everything: pasta, bread, pitas. The kids don’t know any different and it’s so much better for them.

3. Make it fun. Inspired by French Kids Eat Everything, we have tons of pretty little plates and bowls, special spoons and sometimes splurge on fancy paper napkins. There are parfaits and tea parties regularly. My goal is to make mealtimes enjoyable so the kids associate eating real food with pleasure. It’s working.

4. Start with small portions. I give the kids only a bite or two of each thing and whoever wants more, gets more. This helps kids figure out when they’re actually full rather than me coaxing them into “just one more bite” or worse, eating until their plates are empty from here on out.

5. Serve new foods with flair. We often use the fancy little bowls for new foods: I give the kids one bite in a special dish. Then I use an idea from the brilliant new book, It’s Not About the Broccoli. The kids become critics and give a thumbs up, thumbs in the middle or thumbs down. And if they give a thumbs down verdict, I’ll say, “That’s OK. You can try it again another time and maybe you’ll like it better then.” Planting the seed…

6. We cook all the time. Since I only work part-time, this works for us but any family could create a cooking culture by doing weekly dinners, big weekend breakfasts and so on. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day; the kids see me doing it and right there they’re learning a lesson that real food is a priority for our family. Plus, it’s fun to let them help and that’s another lesson. My goal is for each person to have a dozen dishes they can make before they leave this house. We’ve got a while, which we’ll probably need…

7. The table is a stress-free zone. Toddlers dumping their plates notwithstanding, the dinner table isn’t stressful because we’re not battling the kids over who eats what. The food is there and manners are encouraged but no one is yelling, or prodding. We’re either sitting, eating or talking. Sometimes singing. If this isn’t possible, whoever is having a hard time will be excused along with mom or dad and welcome to return when he or she is feeling more cooperative.

8. Homemade is better than processed. Especially when it comes to snack foods, it’s easy to either give the kids real food — sliced cucumbers, dried cranberries, chunks of cheese — or make our own versions of crackers, fruit leather, DIY “Nutrigrain” bars and so on. Every time you can make something in your own kitchen, it’ll be fresher, purer and almost always healthier.

9. Two snacks, maximum. Because little bodies burn through their calories in the day, I like to give a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack to avoid meltdowns. But constant eating is a big problem these days and I don’t want the kids to learn that habit. In fact, for the afternoon snack I like to stick to fruit and it can be as simple as apple slices or as sweet as bananas and strawberries on a skewer.

10. The kids drink water and milk, period. Once juice and soda are off the table (literally and figuratively), it’s not even something to fight about. Our kids have two choices for drinks, they like both of them and best of all — they’re both healthy options.

Food is such a huge part of our lives that I can’t help thinking about it, learning about it, and yep, writing about it. It’s bigger than just our family, though. Food has huge implications for health, happiness, even our country’s financial well being. With obesity declared an “epidemic,” diabetes affecting more Americans than ever and the first ever generation of Americans to have shorter lifespans than their parents, Michael Pollan said “cooking might be the most important factor in fixing our public health crisis. It’s the single most important thing you can do for your health.” I would add it’s one of the most important things that we can teach our kids.

 

 

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

 

An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

December 26, 2013

ritalin

ADHD is only an epidemic because lazy doctors and greedy pharmaceutical companies have allowed it to be:

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study “The amount of children on medication has reached an astounding 3.5 million up from 600,000 in 1990. Also an astounding 15% of high school kids are now diagnosed with ADHD.  The historical average was 5% of children were affected by ADHD.”

Dr. Connors of Duke University who fought to bring Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) into the spotlight is appalled and considers this a “national disaster of dangerous proportions.”  Many doctors are quick to diagnose and give out medications. This comes from a phenomenal marketing campaign by pharmaceutical companies that publicized the disorder and promoted the medication to medical practitioners. The proportion of children taking medication for ADHD increased with severity, from 56.4% among children with mild ADHD, to 71.6% among children with moderate ADHD and

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

December 24, 2013

barb1

 

The debate over the latest push for a plus-sized Barbie is steeped in political correctness on both sides and ignores the children the toy is aimed at.

One side argues that Barbies aren’t of realistic dimension and the doll is guilty of influencing feelings of negative body image among young, impressionable girls.

The other side argue that the picture above shows an obese girl and that there is a responsibility to teach children that being overweight is not the ideal from a health standpoint.

My view is that Barbie has already had many decades of reproducing the same type of doll. It’s too late for the company to suddenly become inclusive. So your going to have one overweight doll amongst thousands of stick figures? That’s a great way to make someone overweight feel good, put them in a room crowded with models!

If they release the Barbie pictured above it will be the source of more bullying because one can’t help comparing it against every other Barbie ever produced. Even the marketing pitch shows the comparison.

Let’s take the responsibility of making our children body confident out of the hands of Mattel and lets own this problem and do something about it.

1. We need to tell our children that they are wonderful people, regardless of their size. If you think an overweight girl is unhealthy, try an overweight girl racked with guilt and self loathing.

2. Let’s not put such an emphasis on looks and instead replace the focus with more important attributes like kindness, empathy, loyalty and integrity.

3. Let’s help our young find their talents and show them how they can use their unique abilities to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Plus sized Barbie is a meaningless, insincere and tokenistic gesture at a time when we need to show our kids that they really matter!

 

barb2

 

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

Click on the link to read A Father’s Advice to His Daughter About Beauty

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Telling Your Children they are Beautiful

 

Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

November 12, 2013

ritalin

So doctors are now warning that ADHD is being over diagnosed. Over diagnosed by whom?

By dentists?

Vets?

Beauticians?

Doctors have been savagely over prescribing medication (Ritalin prescriptions have risen by 72% in Australia from 2000-2011), often for as little as concentration issues in class. This is not a reason to give children medication!

Why is it that we focus on the child that is not concentrating rather than the teacher that isn’t sufficiently engaging his/her class? How can we blame the student when the teacher has often invested nothing more than a trip to the photocopier machine in planning for their lesson.

Remember, the very same teachers that complain about the lack of concentration in their class can often be seen dozing off during a staff meeting or professional development seminar. If poor concentration is all it takes to earn a prescription, then teachers at staff meetings make for great Ritalin candidates!

For too long we have been allowing our children to be the guinea pigs for our obsession with the quick fix solution. I would have thought that one cannot make a proper determination about a child’s ADHD status until they have ruled out social issues, home life issues, dietary habits and sleeping patterns. But this due process often goes out the window, because those matters take time, patience and sensitivity. Who has got time for that when there’s a wonder drug that turns a daydreamer into a concentration machine?

So the doctors think too many children are diagnosed with ADHD. I wonder who they have to blame for that.

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

Click on the link to read The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

Click on the link to read Is There Any Student Left Without a Disorder?

Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

November 10, 2013

 

hole

Courtesy of leading nutrition experts:

Plan healthy, tasty breakfasts. Offer children a lean protein at breakfast such as eggs, string cheese, Canadian bacon, turkey bacon or hummus, Sothern says. Serve them fresh fruit such as berries. Or whole-grain cereal with nuts is another option. Top off the meal with a glass of fat-free or 1% low-fat milk or a carton of low-fat yogurt, she says.

Discourage mindless munching. Don’t let kids eat in front of the TV or computer and gradually restrict all eating and drinking, except for water, to the kitchen counter, table or dining room, Sothern says.

Get them involved. Take kids to the grocery store. Skip the soda, cookie and candy aisles and have children select one fruit and vegetable to try each week. At home, include children in lunch and dinner preparation, Sothern says.

Reinstate family traditions. Insist on family dinners, set the table with real cloth napkins, light candles and play soft music in the background to encourage discussion. Compliment the children on their healthy food selections, cooking and manners, she says.

Get some shut-eye. Allow kids no more than one hour of media time before bedtime. Try to make sure they get the required 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Research shows that lack of sleep equals unwanted weight gain, behavioral problems and difficulty concentrating the next day, Sothern says.

Offer a nutritious starter course. Pennsylvania State University research shows that adults who eat a broth-based bowl of vegetable soup; a large, low-calorie, lettuce-based salad; or an apple before a meal consume about 110 to 190 fewer calories at the meal, including the calories in that first course. The same idea could work with kids, says Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. They’ll not only fill up on fewer calories, but they’ll be eating a healthy first course.

Trick their tummies. Add their favorite fiber-rich vegetables — such as spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, peppers and onions — to lasagna, casseroles, pasta dishes and pizza. The veggies lower the calories and increase the nutrients in each bite, Rolls says. Also increase the proportion of vegetables in stir-fry dishes, broth-based soups and stews and extra vegetables to sandwiches. Substitute vegetable or fruit purees for half or even two-thirds of the added fat in quick breads and muffins, she says.

Use smaller plates. A study of first-graders showed that most kids served themselves more at lunch (about 90 calories more) when they used adult-sized dinner plates compared with using child-sized plates, which is about the size of an adult salad plate. “We know that adults over-serve themselves with larger plates, and this study says the same holds true for children. Using smaller plates at home may promote healthy child portion sizes,” says Jennifer Orlet Fisher, an associate professor of public health at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Teach kids to dance. Tell them you’re playing Dancing with the Stars and let them waltz, do the cha-cha-cha or swing dance, Sothern says. This active time will burn four to five times more calories than sitting and improve their overall health.

Swap sedentary time for active time. Kids only burn 30 to 50 calories when they are sitting for an hour, but they burn 400 to 500 calories in an hour if they are playing tag, dancing or doing field sports, she says. The government’s physical activity guidelines say children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous aerobic physical activity each day. Sothern recommends they do at least two hours of physical activity a day.

Play outside with your children. Moms and dads should teach their kids to throw, pitch, catch, pass, jump and ride a bike because their kids may not be learning these important skills at school.

Encourage physical-activity breaks. “There is a lot of evidence that kids should not sit still for more than 60 minutes at a time,” says Penny Gordon-Larsen, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. When kids are doing their homework or on the computer, they need to get up regularly and move around or consider standing while they are working, she says. Every little bit of activity counts. Have them do at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity after school, such as shooting hoops, biking, playing soccer, jumping rope, dancing, walking or playing a fitness-related video game, Gordon-Larsen says.

Steer clear of sugary drinks. This includes regular sodas, sweet teas, high-calorie specialty coffees, energy drinks and juices, Gordon-Larsen says. “It’s such an easy way to cut out excess sugar and calories,” she says. Instead offer water and low-fat milk, even low-fat chocolate milk.

 

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

Click on the link to read 5 Ways to Get Kids Active

Click on the link to read Food Giants Marketing Unhealthy Kids Foods as Healthy

The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

October 12, 2013

 

 

Whilst I don’t like women vs men comparisons on universal areas of concern, I couldn’t help but be moved by this extremely personal and perceptive take on the pressures faced by women to maintain a certain figure.

 

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

Click on the link to read A Father’s Advice to His Daughter About Beauty

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Telling Your Children they are Beautiful

Click on the link to read School Official’s Solution to Harassed Teen: Get a Breast Reduction

Click on the link to read Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

 

Another Reason why Television is Unealthy for Children

August 28, 2013

remote

 

Beyond the obvious physical health ramifications, it seems that excessive television watching among children can impact their mental health as well:

Children are becoming increasingly anxious due to too much time in front of TV and computer screens, according to a Government briefing paper.

Inactive lifestyles are also to blame for the negative impact on children’s wellbeing, said the document from Public Health England.

It said higher levels of TV viewing are having a negative effect on children’s wellbeing, including lower self-worth, lower self-esteem and lower levels of self-reported happiness.

Children who spend more time on computers, watching TV and playing video games also tend to experience higher levels of emotional distress, anxiety and depression, it said.

Last week, a study found half of all seven-year-olds do not get enough exercise – and girls are far less active than boys.

Only 51 per cent of all seven-year-olds in the UK achieve the recommended hour of exercise every day, with the figure being just 38 per cent in girls compared with 63 per cent in boys.

Half of this age group is also sedentary for an average of 6.4 hours or more every day, experts found.

Click on the link to read The Spoiled Twins with their £70k First Birthday Party (Photos)

Click on the link to read 5 Tips to Help Children Cope With Stress

Click on the link to read Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Top Ten Compliments Your Children Need to Hear

Click on the link to read Tips For Parents of Kids Who “Hate School”

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read Parents and Teachers Should Not Be Facebook Friends

7 Tips for Building a Better School Day

August 11, 2013

 

yay

Courtesy of parade.com:

1. Begin the Day “Over Easy”—with Breakfast

At Ellis Elementary in Denver, teachers are reinventing homeroom as a morning meeting over eggs and toast. “When students eat a good, nutritious breakfast, they can hit the ground running,” said Mayor Michael Hancock during a visit to the school last year—yet a 2011 survey found that though 77 percent of young children eat breakfast every day, only 50 percent of middle schoolers and 36 percent of high schoolers get a regular morning meal. According to nutrition researcher Gail C. Rampersaud of the University of Florida, “breakfast consumption may improve cognitive function and school attendance,” and Ellis principal Khoa Nguyen notes that tardiness and missed school days have dropped off significantly since the program began. And he’s noticed other benefits. “Both the kids and teachers know that they will have a few minutes every morning where they can eat, chat about what’s happening that day, and not be rushed,” he says.

2. Emphasize Learning, Not Testing

As a result of government policies like No Child Left Behind—which requires schools to improve on students’ standardized test performance year over year—educators are overwhelmed with testing and test prep. And that has contributed to an increasingly dysfunctional public school system, says Diane Ravitch, Ph.D., research professor of education at New York University and author of the upcoming book Reign of Error. “Schools and teachers are under so much pressure to get students to pass that most of the school day is spent teaching to the test. Subjects that don’t appear on the tests—art, foreign languages, even science and history—are being dropped from the curriculum,” she says. The result, says journalist Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed, is that we’re producing many grads who are great test takers but not great learners. “Students don’t know how to deal well with confrontation, bounce back from defeat, see two different sides of a problem,” he says, “things that are essential not just in adulthood but in continuing your education past high school. It turns out the students who are most likely to graduate from college aren’t necessarily the ones who do best on the standardized tests, but the ones who are able to develop these other qualities.”

3. Teach 21st-Century Skills

In a Gallup poll this year of 1,014 young adults, those who said they had learned “21st-century skills” (like developing solutions to real-world problems) during their last year in high school were twice as likely to describe themselves as successful in the workplace. How can we get students to develop such talents?

Three ideas:

a. Emphasize long-term projects. Consider the way most professional jobs work, says Tough. “You’re probably not working on one assignment today, and another one tomorrow, and another one the day after that. Instead, you’re working on a project over a period of time—revising it, perfecting it, presenting your findings to others.” Those are precisely the skills that students need to develop, he says.

b. Use technology. How can schools get kids to embrace technology inside the classroom the way they do outside of it? According to former teacher Will Richardson, author of Why School?, “it’s got to be in service of answering big questions.” For example, at the Science Leadership Academy, a public magnet high school in Philadelphia, 10th graders studying chemical engineering asked: How can we make an efficient biodiesel generator that people in developing countries could use to create their own electricity? “And they did it!” says Richardson. “Technology was able to augment the students’ work, allowing them to connect with leading engineers or create 3-D computer models.”

c. Make classes multidisciplinary. At New Technology High School in Napa, Calif., classes combine different disciplines (think: digital media arts/geometry). Last year, in bio-fitness, ninth grader Haley Kara used deductive reasoning to diagnose a mystery illness; and in chemistry, 10th grader Brian Shnell designed a bio-dome that could sustain life on another planet. “Splitting subjects into slots is easier for us,” says Richardson. “But that’s not what the real world looks like. It’s much messier.”

(more…)

10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

July 2, 2013

drink

Courtesy of livescience.com:

Don’t Ban Junk Food Outright

Once kids get their first taste of crunchy, sweet or salty foods, it’s hard to get them unhooked, according to pediatric psychologist Eileen Kennedy, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Still, she recommended that parents limit the number of treats that kids are allowed to eat each day, rather than ban these foods completely. That way, kids won’t be as tempted to want what they can’t have.

Banning a specific food is also a bad idea because if the food becomes available to your child outside your home, he or she might eat it despite feeling full, Kennedy said. This can lead to a habit of overeating.

Parents should also avoid restricting desserts or other treats as punishment for bad behavior, because this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, she said.

Encourage Them to Eat Smart at School

Look over your child’s school lunch options many schools provide a printout of each month’s lunch menu, Kennedy said. Go over each day’s meal choices with your child, and challenge him or her to identify the healthiest option.

That way, your child will be aware of all the selections they have to choose from, and will gain experience in making nutritious food decisions.

As for snacks, rather than giving your kids money for the vending machines at school , make it clear to them that they can instead save their soda or candy money and spend it on nonfood items. To encourage them to not blow their pocket change on sugary or salty treats, give them plenty of healthy snacks, such as apples, to bring to school, Kennedy recommended.

 

Avoid Buying Unhealthy Foods in Bulk

If you want to buy a treat, buy the smallest possible package of that food, instead of the economy bulk-sized packages, Kennedy said.

For example, buying a bulk pack of small, single-serving bags of cheesy popcorn is better than buying one massive, bulk-size bag of the popcorn.

And store any bulk-size snack foods out of kids’ sight and reach , Kennedy said, so that they will be less tempted to mindlessly graze on it throughout the day.

(more…)

Children as Young as 5 are Self Harming

February 5, 2013

Concept of a young injured girl being a victim of child abuse

We have a huge self-esteem crisis facing our young and unless we stop picking on how they express their emotions rather than the feelings that brought them on we are going to see more self-harm and greater incidents of depression, anxiety, obesity and suicide:

Children as young as five are harming themselves, in a worrying epidemic that is sweeping the country, ChildLine has warned.

The charity says that it is no longer just teenagers who are self harming, but they are also receiving calls from five-year-olds.

The charity says that it has also seen a surge in the number of girls aged 10 to 14 self-harming and recorded a 30 per cent rise in boys who are deliberately hurting themselves.

Chris Leaman of charity Young-Minds, told The Daily Mirror that in some parts of the UK the number of young people self-harming had reached ‘almost epidemic’ proportions.

Research has suggested that self-harm is most common among 15 to 19-year-olds, and those suffering from anxiety and depression, according to the NHS.

 

Click on the link to read Schools Putting Spy Cameras in Toilets and Change Rooms

Click on the link to read Is There No Better Way to Teach Fitness to Kids than Pole Dancing?

Click on the link to read The Courts are Pathetic in Punishing Paedophiles

Click on the link to read Shops Should Stop Selling “Sexy” Clothes for Children

Click on the link to read The Toy that Stopped a Child Porn Ring


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