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Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Kids (and parents!) need whole grains all year round, and autumn is the perfect time to incorporate these nourishing ingredients into your family meal plan. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children consume at least 2 to 3 servings of whole grain daily. In addition to lowering the risk of many chronic diseases, fiber-rich whole grains have been proven to keep you feeling full for longer, so you’ll eat less and feel energized all day long. There are plenty of fun ways to get kids eating nutritious and tasty meals, so what are you waiting for?
We spoke with Karen Mansur, program manager of the Whole Grains Council about how to help your family make the switch to whole grains. Here are a few of her tips:
1. Host a family taste test
Make three different whole grain pastas (brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa are some popular possibilities) and vote on the family favorite. Next time you make pasta, use the newly crowned whole grain favorite. Do the same with breads, cereals, pancakes mixes, etc. until you’ve switched out all of the classic meal components with whole grain options. And if your picky eater just does not like one particular grain, don’t worry—there are plenty of others to choose from.
2. Cook whole grains together
“Studies show that cooking with children encourages them to be more adventurous with flavors and textures,” Mansur says. Little ones can help out with simple tasks like measuring and stirring. “Getting their help in the kitchen also creates a bonding opportunity and best of all, teaches an appreciation for the effort required to put together a meal,” Mansur adds.
Here are some easy recipes that incorporate whole grains:
You can also adapt your current recipes by simple substitutions like switching from white to brown rice, or by replacing half the white flour with whole wheat flour for foods like cookies and quick breads.
3. Pack healthy lunches for school (or work)
Switch out potato chips for popcorn, make trail mix by combining whole grain cereal with dried fruit or nuts, or select an oatmeal cookie for dessert. Best of all, the whole grains will help kids stay full and focused for the rest of the school day.
4. Look for the Whole Grain Stamp
If you’re having trouble locating whole grains at the grocery store, just look for the Whole Grain Stamp. Food packages with more than a half serving of whole grains are eligible for the black and gold seal, making it easy for shoppers to identify nutritious options.
Image: Various rye bread via Shutterstock.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
IUDs, Implants Best for Birth Control, Docs Say
New guidelines from the nation’s leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists advice that all women, including teenagers, should look to IUDs and implants first. (via Today)
More Kids Get Nonmedical Exemptions From Vaccines
In 2011, just over 2 percent of school children were exempt from getting their vaccines for nonmedical reasons, up from about 1 percent in 2006, a new report finds. (via My Health News Daily)
Race Doesn’t Affect Injury Outcomes in Kids
White, black and Hispanic children who got seriously injured were equally likely to survive their hospital stay in a new study – despite past evidence of racial disparities. (via Fox News)
Second-hand Smoke Tied to Memory Problems
Smokers and people who regularly breath others’ cigarette fumes are worse at remembering things on their to-do lists than people with no tobacco exposure, a small study says. (via Reuters)
Wal-Mart, Humana to Offer Healthy Food Discount
Health care giant Humana, Inc. is partnering with Wal-Mart to give shoppers deals on fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and other health products starting next month. (via ABC News)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: birth control, Food, health, healthy eating, Humana, Injuries, memory, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, race, secondhand smoke, smoking, vaccines, Walmart
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
We know that it’s sometimes a struggle to find time (and energy!) to prepare nutritious food. We’ve got your back with lightning-fast recipes and our series of helpful kitchen hints and tricks. Disney hears you, too–that’s why they’re launching a new series called “That’s Fresh,” hosted by chef Helen Cavallo. The show premieres tonight during the new Disney Junior Night Light programming block on the 24-hour Disney Junior channel. Each episode of this mom-friendly show focuses on taking one simple main ingredient to create healthy recipes that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Helen also shared her top tips for whipping up nutritious meals and snacks for your family:
- Plan ahead. Get your food shopping out of the way over the weekend, so you’re not scrambling to buy groceries during the week. Make lunches at the same time that you’re making dinner (that way, you’ll only have to clean up the kitchen once!). It’s easy to store sandwiches or whole fruits, and you can even stash some dinner leftovers to pack for lunch.
- Master quick-and-easy shortcuts. For a healthy side in a snap, roast vegetables in a pan with olive oil and a pinch of salt. It’s also simple to steam veggies: you can make a whole meal’s worth at once, and cleanup is a cinch.
- Scissor solution: Instead of cutting your kid’s food with a knife and fork, snip it into bite-sized chunks using kitchen scissors. This can save a lot of time!
Friday, August 24th, 2012
Cartoon stickers may sway kids’ food choices
For children who turn up their noses at fruits and vegetables, slapping a cartoon face on a healthy snack may make those choices more appealing, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)
Kids average $15 a week in allowance
Parents give their kids an average of $780 a year in allowance, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs. (via CNNMoney)
Breastfeeding, early milk not tied to puberty timing
Some research has hinted that breastfeeding or milk drinking might affect when kids hit puberty, but a new study casts doubt on that.
Big health differences in 10-year-olds of different races
Harmful health habits and dangerous experiences are more common among black and Latino children in the fifth grade in the U.S. than white children, according to a new study. (via MSNBC)
Soda, Junk Food Consumption Affected By Income, ‘Screen Time’
Preschoolers from low-income neighborhoods and kids who spend more than two hours a day in front of a TV or video-game console have at least one thing in common: a thirst for sugary soda and juice, according to research from the University of Alberta. (via Medical News Today)
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Breast Cancer Charity Overstated Screening Benefits, Researchers Say
Researchers say Susan G. Komen for the Cure overstated the benefit mammograms have on survival rates of women with breast cancer. Komen’s messages stated 98 percent of women who get the screening tests survive at least five years, while 23 percent who do not get mammograms survive that long — a difference of 75 percentage points. (via NBC News)
New Pets May Help Autistic Kids Socially
Getting a pet may help children with autism to develop their social skills, if the furry friend is brought into the home when the child is about 5 years old, according to a new French study. The researchers discovered the children showed improvement in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort. (via Fox News)
Hidden Dangers in Vitamins & Supplements?
According to a new report in Consumer Reports, vitamins and supplements could do more harm than good in some cases. Between 2007 and mid-April 2012, the FDA received more than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events linked to dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs. (via CNN)
Disharmony in the Land of Nod
A new study suggests that even moderate levels of household conflict can alter basic brain function in infants, leaving them hypersensitive to negative emotions. Researchers found chronic family conflict made infants more likely to have abnormal brain responses to angry speech. (via Huffington Post)
Chile Bans Marketing of Toys in Children’s Food
A new law in Chile aims to take some fun out of fast-food by forcing McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and other restaurants to stop including toys and other goodies with children’s meals. The complaint also targets makers of cereal, popsicles, and other products that attract children with toys, crayons, or stickers. (via Associated Press)
Speaking Multiple Languages Can Influence Children’s Emotional Development
Researchers are investigating how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children’s emotional development. They propose the particular language used when discussing and expressing emotion can have significant impacts on children’s emotional understanding, experience, and regulation. (via Science Daily)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: autism, brain development, breast cancer, Food, foreign languages, infants, language, learning language, mammograms, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, pets, supplements, toys, vitamins
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
It’s officially summer! School is out and the kids are home and, chances are, they’re eating you out of house and home. But we don’t want the high price of groceries keeping you and your family from having fun with food this summer. It’s the perfect time of year to go on a picnic or throw a backyard BBQ party.
Parents and Keebler want to help you with that high food bill and give you $1,500 to spend on groceries! To enter, simply submit an entry at this link.
The contest entry period is open until 11:59 p.m. C.T. on 7/31/12. Goody luck!
Read more about saving money on Parents.com:
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Savvy shoppers know to scour nutrition labels. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Labels are already pretty tricky to decipher— it’s difficult to make sense of ingredients like xanthan gum, datem, and disodium phosphate. Nutrition information could have gotten even more confusing, thanks to a suggestion from the Corn Refiners Association.
In 2010, the CRA petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to change the term “high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar” on nutritional labels. Yesterday, the FDA denied the request, suggesting that the name change would have inaccurately portrayed the ingredient as “natural.” The sweetener is widely used in snack foods, condiments, and other pantry staples. (And sugar is in more foods than you might think.)
In order to make thoughtful decisions about what to feed their families, shoppers need to be able to understand the ingredients, and recognize those that they want to avoid. Here’s hoping that keeping the term “high fructose corn syrup” will empower consumers to shop smart.
Friday, May 11th, 2012
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re still stuck on what do to for the special mom in your life, look no further than this week’s top pins! Check out our ideas for everything from delicious weekend dishes to sweet and simple gifts you can make with your kids.
Trying to find a way to sneak more vegetables into your children’s meals? The two cups of zucchini in this Blueberry Zucchini Bread make this a healthier alternative to regular muffins or breakfast pastries, and the 20-minute prep time means it’s easy to make ahead and enjoy all week long.
Whether you find an old-school photo booth at the local mall or use some family snapshots, this handmade bookmark is a great gift for the reader in your life. Simply glue the pictures to a piece of card stock and personalize the other side. We used the word “mother” in different languages, but you could try a handwritten note or a favorite memory from the previous year.
Have a complete gourmet lunch at home when you try this Chicken, Mozzarella and Basil Panini with a side of Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Chips. To save time, make the sandwich with leftovers from earlier in the week or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. The chips are a great alternative to fried ones, and since they aren’t prepackaged you can season them however you want—we tried a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon.
Creating custom-made art can be as easy as 1-2-3. First, cut out several equal-sized rectangles and write a single letter on each, making sure they’re easy enough to read in a photo. Next, pose your kids—or yourself!—holding each sign up for the camera. Finally, print out the pictures in black and white and arrange them in a frame so they spell out your message of love.
Any kid will tell you that everything tastes better when it’s on a stick. For this twist on the classic Root-Beer Float, just freeze a layer of soda in plastic molds or cups before topping it with softened vanilla ice cream. For a fancier popsicle, tilt the cups so the soda freezes at an angle before adding the final layer. Hide a maraschino cherry at the bottom for an extra surprise.