Friday, May 31st, 2013
If your child has food allergies, you know how tough it can be dining out.
So I was thrilled to hear that all the SeaWorld Parks—including Busch Gardens and Sesame Place locations—have increased their allergy-free dining options this season. The parks partnered with Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network to train more than 6,000 culinary employees on allergen food safety tips. In advance, families can fill out The Chef Card, which clearly outlines what ingredients need to be avoided. The family then presents the card to any restaurant supervisor or manager, who will discuss options with the family. What’s more, the parks added allergy-friendly packaged snacks and treats, such as a cute chocolate Shamu (free of nuts, dairy, gluten, and eggs), Divvies Candy, and Gluten Free to Go.
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Friday, May 31st, 2013
For Kids With ADHD, Sleep Disturbances May Interfere With Emotional Memories
Kids and adolescents with ADHD often struggle to keep their emotions in check. ADHD has also been linked to sleep disorders, which is one of the reasons a team of German researchers sought to determine how sleep influences the consolidation and processing of emotional memories. (via Time)
In Raising Scores, 1 2 3 is Easier Than ABC
David Javsicas, a popular seventh-grade reading teacher known for urging students to act out dialogue in the books they read in class, sometimes feels wistful for the days when he taught math. A quiz, he recalls, could quickly determine which concepts students had not yet learned. Helping students to puzzle through different narrative perspectives or subtext or character motivation, though, can be much more challenging. “It could take months to see if what I’m teaching is effective,” he said. (via The New York Times)
Pastry Gun Suspension Leads To NRA Membership: Josh Welch Becomes Lifetime Member
The 8-year-old Anne Arundel County boy who was suspended for biting a pastry in to the shape of a gun received standing ovation and a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association Wednesday night. (via Huffington Post)
New Blood Test Predicts Gestational Diabetes Risk Early In Pregnancy
For pregnant women, gestational diabetes can be a troubling complication. A form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) causes glucose levels in the bloodstream to be higher than normal, which can pose significant risks to the unborn baby’s health. (via Fox News)
Why Spelling Knaidel Just Became A Really Big Deal For Arvind Manhankali (VIDEO)
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On Thursday night, one dumpling stood between Arvind Mahankali and the title of Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion 2013. That dumpling? A knaidel. According to the AP, Mahankali finished third in 2012 and 2011 after misspelling German-derived words, so we’re sure this victory was extra sweet for the 13-year-old Queens, New York native. (via Huffington Post)
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Elizabeth Gordon has celiac disease. She also has wheat, egg, and string bean allergies. But, this three-time cookbook author and owner of an online allergy-free bakery is adamant that having allergies doesn’t mean you have to kiss good food goodbye.
Gordon’s latest book Simply Allergy Free: Quick and Tasty Recipes for Every Night of the Week is filled with mains, sides, and desserts that can all be adjusted for people with food allergies, but enjoyed by everyone. We got Elizabeth to dish on her new book, living allergy-free and her food influences growing up.
Q: So the easy question first. Why did you write this cookbook? What is your experience with allergies?
A: I was diagnosed with food allergies at 28 years old. I just had my daughter and that’s how this whole journey began. Times really have changed since then [when she was diagnosed in 2004] now that there are products available in grocery stores…but then I felt like a stranger in a strange land [laughs]. Then I started to see what I could make, bake and cook and that’s how my first book came along.
Q: How many children do you have?
A: I have two daughters. A nine year-old and a six-year-old. Neither they nor my husband have any food allergies.
Q: What advice would you give to moms whose kids have food allergies?
A: I know a lot of people in that boat. There’s a stigma attached to having food allergies. That your good eating life is over… for children it’s a struggle with that and for adults too. Children struggle with it in a sense that if everyone is eating the same thing at a birthday party why can’t I? People also ask a lot of questions on why can’t you eat certain things.For parents with children that are just diagnosed there’s defiantly a lot of fear. They are scared, reasonably because some of these allergies are life-threatening, and there’s trepidation about how to cook allergy-free food. But, you can have food allergies and still cook and eat good food.
Q: The recipes in the book all look so yummy, but how do you get your kids to try things like kale and collard greens? What’s the best advice you have for parents of picky eaters?
A: If you get your kids involved in the cooking then they are invested in it. I also have a rule that you have to try one bite of everything. My oldest daughter really likes vegetables, so I’m lucky. My youngest one is a little harder but she usually gives things a try. She likes to give me a hard time sometimes and will say she doesn’t like something, but by her face I can tell that she actually really likes it.
Q:I think I was guilty of that with my mom too growing up.
A: [laughs] We all were.
Q: In the cookbook you talk about a close friend growing up who was Persian and how her mother taught you a lot about making Persian dishes. Who were your other culinary influences growing up?
A:I grew up in the Midwest and so you can see a lot of that influence I think in recipes. I also lived in Paris for a bit so that is in there. Plus, I went to school in the South so that’s in there particularly for the desserts.
Q: Growing up who did most of the cooking in your family? What was a typical weeknight meal like?
A: It was my mother. We never dined out and almost always ate at home. It was a treat to order pizza. My favorite thing is still her pot roast. I have her make it for me every time I go home still.
Q: Now it’s time for the most creative question. If you could only eat one meal/thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
A: Avocados. They are rich and creamy and you are eating something that seems decadent and it is but not really. Oh and it’s good for your skin, I’m more aware of that as I get order.
Q: Since giving up gluten and your allergy diagnoses is there anything you haven’t been able to make gluten-free that you really wish you could?
A: Being gluten-free isn’t as difficult. The challenge is the eggs. Since I can’t have eggs I haven’t had lemon meringue pie or popovers.
Q: And lastly, what’s something important our readers should know about you or this new book?
A: I have three books out, but of all of them this is my favorite. It really reflects real life and how I live and eat. Just because you have food allergies your food life is not over.
Interview has been condensed and edited
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Classmates of Gabrielle Molina, 12-Year-Old Girl Who Committed Suicide, Rally Against Bullying
Classmates of 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina, who committed suicide last week after being relentlessly taunted online and at school, rallied Tuesday to call for an end to bullying. Dozens of students gathered in the rain in front of Jean Nuzzi I.S. 109 in Queens Village, chanting, “Stop the bullying!” Queens City Councilman Leroy Comrie and anti-violence activist Tony Herbert joined the students, imploring bullying victims to speak out and get help. (via Huffington Post)
New Vaccine Protects Kids Against Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Chinese scientists have developed the first vaccine to protect children against a virus called enterovirus 71, or EV71, that causes the common and sometimes deadly hand, foot and mouth disease. (via Reuters)
Picking Up A Second Language Is Predicted By Ability To Learn Patterns
Some people seem to pick up a second language with relative ease, while others have a much more difficult time. Now, a new study suggests that learning to understand and read a second language may be driven, at least in part, by our ability to pick up on statistical regularities. (via Science Daily)
Foods That May Prevent Type-2 Diabetes In Children
As our lives have become more fast-paced, the way we feed our children has also changed. Running from one activity to the next can make it easy to justify the convenience of quick food, even if it means not providing the best nourishment. Research has shown that the top sources of energy for children between the ages of two and 18 come from grain desserts, pizza and soda – with nearly 40% of their consumed energy coming in the form of empty calories. (via Fox News)
Fewer Tobacco Products, But Not Alcohol In Movies
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Movie characters smoke less since 1998 regulations that stopped tobacco companies from buying on-screen brand placements, according to a new study. But at the same time, researchers found the number of alcohol brand appearances has increased in popular movies rated PG-13 and below, and the amount of time characters spend drinking hasn’t changed. (via Reuters)
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Grant Acord, Oregon School Bomb Suspect, Had ‘Detailed Checklist’
Authorities in northwestern Oregon said on Sunday that a teenager arrested for producing what authorities called explosives for a Columbine-style attack on his high school had meticulously planned his foiled bombing. (via Huffington Post)
Pediatricians: Check Young Kids For Motor Delays
Doctors should regularly screen babies and young children for delays in motor skill development – including trouble sitting, standing and speaking – at well-child visits, pediatricians said today. (via Reuters)
Boy Or Girl?’ Gender A New Challenge For Schools
From the time they are born, we put our boys in blue beanies and our girls in pink ones. It’s a societal norm, an expectation even, that you just are what you are born – a boy or a girl. (via Fox News)
Kids’ Genes, Environment Affect Sleep Differently
A new study based on pairs of Canadian twins suggests that genetics play a strong role in how long kids sleep at night, but their environment may be more important for afternoon naps. (via Reuters)
Pediatricians warned children of military personnel face mental health risks
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Children of military personnel may be at an increased risk for social, emotional and behavioral problems, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. ( via CBS News)
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Doctors Save Ohio Toddler By ‘Printing’ Him An Airway Tube
In a medical first, doctors used plastic particles and a 3-D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy who used to stop breathing nearly every day. It’s the latest advance from the booming field of regenerative medicine, making body parts in the lab. (via Fox News)
Preschool Reportedly Bans Imaginary Superhero Play
Superheroes may no longer be making appearances in this preschool classroom. An unnamed preschool recently sent home a notice to parents, explaining that their children’s “dangerously overactive” imaginations were forcing the school to ban some forms of imaginary play in the classroom, according to a post on Reddit. (via Huffington Post)
‘Boys Will Be Boys’ in U.S., But Not In Asia
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children — one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia. In the United States, girls had higher levels of self-regulation than boys. (via Science Daily)
Kyle Davis, Plaza Towers 3rd Grader Who Loved To Sing, Among Oklahoma Tornado Victims
Nicknamed “The Wall,” 8-year-old Kyle Davis loved soccer and going to Monster Truck exhibitions at the fairgrounds with his grandfather. JaNae Hornsby, 9, loved to draw, sing, and be a big sister and cousin to her younger relatives. The two were among the young victims of Monday’s monstrous tornado, their small bodies pulled from the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary School after it was reduced to a massive heap of bricks and twisted metal. (via Huffington Post)
Chicago School Closings Vote: Board Of Education Votes To Shutter 50 Public Schools
The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to close fifty Chicago Public schools, one of them delayed a year, in the nation’s third-largest district making it the largest single wave of planned public school closures in U.S. history. After the vote, few schools were spared from the list of 54 schools originally proposed for closure. (via Huffington Post)
National Geographic Bee Puts Mass. Student On The Map
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Quick question: Name the peak in Ecuador with a summit that marks the point farthest from Earth’s center due to our planet’s bulge at the equator.If you were Sathwik Karnik, a 12-year-old from Massachusetts, you’d know the answer is Chimborazo, and you’d have won the National Geographic Bee along with a $25,000 college scholarship. (via Washington Post)
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Oklahoma Schools Lacked Consistent Tornado Shelter Rules
The two elementary schools leveled by the deadly tornado that swept through the Oklahoma City area Monday lacked designated safe rooms designed to protect children and teachers, despite state warnings that the absence of such facilities imperils lives. (via Huffington Post)
Surgery Offers Mixed Benefits For Kids’ Sleep Apnea
A new study has confirmed that removing the tonsils and adenoids of children with obstructive sleep apnea can reduce sleepiness and improve the quality of life, but putting off the surgery might not hurt either. (via Reuters)
Chicago School Board To Vote On Mass School Closing
The Chicago Board of Education is due to vote on Wednesday on a controversial proposal to close 54 schools in the country’s third-largest public school district in what would be the largest mass school closing in the nation. (via Reuters)
Aggressive Behavior Linked Specifically To Secondhand Smoke Exposure In Childhood
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke in early childhood are more likely to grow up to physically aggressive and antisocial, regardless of whether they were exposed during pregnancy or their parents have a history of being antisocial, according to Linda Pagani and Caroline Fitzpatrick of the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine hospital. No study to date has controlled for these factors. (via Science Daily)
Common Core Clash: AFT President Fires Back At State Education Officials
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The head of a major teachers union fired back Tuesday at state education officials who had dismissed her call for a moratorium on stakes associated with new standardized state tests in public schools. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Chiefs for Change, a small group of state education officials, was distorting her call for a moratorium on the use of new standardized tests based on Common Core standards to evaluate teachers and students. (via Washington Post)
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Oklahoma Parents Seek Out Kids In Wake Of Tornado
The parents and guardians stood in the muddy grass outside a suburban Oklahoma City church, listening as someone with a bullhorn called out the names of children who were being dropped off — survivors of a deadly tornado that barreled through their community. (via Huffington Post)
Intercell Vaccine Gets U.S. Pediatric Approval
Austria’s Intercell said on Tuesday it has won U.S. regulatory approval for pediatric use of its Ixiaro vaccine to protect against Japanese Encephalitis (JE), a step it had achieved in Europe in February. (via Reuters)
Early-Life Traffic Air Pollution Expose Linked To Hyperactivity
Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. (via Science Daily)
Babies Who Share Bed With Parents 5 Times More Likely To Die Of Cot Death
Babies sharing beds with their parents face a five-fold risk of dying of cot death, even if their parents are not smokers, new research shows. The increased risk of death extends to babies previously thought to be at low risk because they are breastfed and the mother has not taken alcohol or drugs, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal Open. (via Fox News)
All Virginia Students To Use Computers For Standardized Tests
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All Virginia students will have to log on to a computer to take this year’s Standards of Learning tests, making Virginia one of the only states to wholly abandon the nearly ubiquitous paper-and-pencil bubble sheets. With spring testing in reading and math underway in many schools this week, the move to electronic tests means that Virginia, one of the few states that did not adopt national academic standards, has become a model for the dozens of states that did. (via Washington Post)