Posts Tagged ‘
healthy eating ’
Friday, March 15th, 2013
New Early Warning System for the Brain Development of Babies
A new research technique, pioneered by Dr. Maria Angela Franceschini, will be published in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) on March 14th. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a non-invasive optical measurement system to monitor neonatal brain activity via cerebral metabolism and blood flow. (via Science Daily)
Celebrity Endorsements May Spur Kids’ Unhealthy Eating
Kids eat more of a food product that has been endorsed by a celebrity, researchers report in a new study. (via Fox News)
Lawsuit Says 2-year-old Ate Used Condom at Chicago McDonald’s
McDonald’s Corp has been sued by a woman who said her 2-year-old son ate a used condom he found in the play area of one of its restaurants in Chicago. (via Fox News)
Bill Clinton Delivers Keynote Address At Global Education And Skills Forum
Bill Clinton is delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. (via Huffington Post)
California Teacher Layoffs Decline Because Of Prop 30
After years of threatening to lay off tens of thousands of teachers due to budget shortfalls, California has some relatively good news: less than one-eighth of the number of teachers who got pink-slipped last year will be out of work next year. (via Huffington Post)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: Babies, Bill Clinton, brain development, celebrities, childhood obesity, education, fetus, healthy eating, News, obesity, Parents Daily News Roundup
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com!
So I’m not exactly Betty Crocker. In fact I’m probably one of the worst cooks I know.
But I always cook with a lot of love and I like to think, what I do know how to cook, I do a pretty dandy job at it. It seems as though my cooking ability grows with my children’s palettes, and as I drive myself to get better in order to provide them with tastier, more diverse dishes, chock-full of nutrients, I keep picking up little tips and tricks to make my meals far more nutritionally advanced than perhaps the recipe implies.
Over the years of pasta dishes (I have just about every shape imaginable), a gazillion different versions of eggs and a hundred versions of breakfast-style dishes (they are my forte and often make an appearance at meals other than breakfast), I have made sure my kids didn’t fall short of nutrients and new flavors even if my skill set did. Whether you are a culinary genius or, while you, like I, work on your cooking skills and encourage your wee ones to eat the foods they so stubbornly resist (ahem, fish and Brussels sprouts anyone?), I have developed a little list of things to make sure your chef learning curve doesn’t affect the amount of goodness your little ones are getting:
- Flax seeds are your friend: Grind up flax seeds rich in Omega fatty acids and throw them in anything you can. I’m talking oatmeal, yogurt, pasta, everything!
- Make fruit fun. Chop it up and make a flower, a happy face, or whatever puts a smile on your kids’ faces. Even if your wee ones won’t eat as many veggies as you’d like, don’t underestimate the goodness of a variety of fruit and being able to put a few veggies into the fruit platter, especially when it gets billed as “dessert.” Presentation is everything.
- Smoothies make me smile. You’d be amazed how much green stuff (kale, anyone?) can be disguised when mushed with fruit, ice, and yogurt. I’ve never had much success with “hiding” veggies in other recipes but in smoothies, they’re an instant hit. Freeze them in lollipop molds, and you have one happy household.
- Try and serve a rainbow of colors in food (and I’m not talking jellybeans). If you see a sea of yellow on their plate, you need to throw in some red and some green and orange.
- Make friends with your oven. If veggies aren’t your wee one’s thing and you aren’t having much success using them in recipes, raw or roasted always seem to go down easier.
- Don’t be ashamed of squeezy pouches. Try and squeeze those tasty veggie combos into whatever you are cooking. There’s no shame as long as they are eating the goodness, however you get it to them. Too many times have I tried to steam, mash, puree, and mix veggies, taking up hours of my time away from playing with the kids and, with my skills set, all that comes of it is a colossal mess and nothing but squash stuck to my ceiling.
- Encourage your kids to cook with you. The more mine are involved in the process, the more they are willing to try what’s on their plates.
- Give them a little choice and control, but not too much. For example: the shape of pasta (farfalle or penne?), but not the cheese or pasta sauce they must eat with it.
- Most of all, don’t be afraid to try and fail–and laugh about it later–with your kids. They are your greatest fans and most honest critics, and together you can make nutritious and delicious food, even if it doesn’t involve hand-rolling your own sushi!
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
You may have read the news yesterday that blueberries and strawberries can lower your risk of heart disease by about a third. I thought the study—a joint effort between Harvard University and East Anglia University in England—was totally cool for two reasons: Researchers started tracking the women when they were young moms—25 to 42—while most other work of this kind has been done in older women, and blueberries and strawberries are my daughter’s two favorite foods. Seriously, Katie said to me a couple of weeks ago, “I like strawberries better than candy.” And knowing how much she loves candy, that’s a bold statement!
Last night, I sent a note to one of the study’s authors, Aedin Cassidy, Ph.D., from East Anglia University, asking whether she thought her results applied to kids as well as moms. She responded right away: “This is a very interesting question,” she wrote. “We don’t have data on kids but if you extrapolate from our study, it’s likely that a healthy diet in childhood will also play out to a reduced risk of heart disease later in life.” That’s good enough for me. High cholesterol and high blood pressure, two big-time risk factors for heart disease, are becoming increasingly common in kids. One study published last year found that 24,000 children received treatment for elevated BP in 2006—double that compared to a decade before.
Dr. Cassidy also added that besides the strawberries and blueberries that got all the attention on the news yesterday, eggplant, plums, red cabbage, and other berries (like cranberries and raspberries) are also rich in pigments called anthocyanins that help lower the risk of heart disease and keep blood pressure in check. I’ve found some great recipes for each of them. Dig in!
* Strawberries: Puree berries in the blender for strawberry milk or make this strawberry soup for a Valentine’s treat.
* Blueberries: For baby, consider this blueberry puree while older kids will love these blueberry yogurt pops.
* Eggplant: Watch Disney’s Ratatouille, then make this pasta and eggplant dish.
* Plums: This plum pizza with feta cheese is a great way to work fruit into dinner.
* Red cabbage: Try this recipe for apple and cabbage baby food. For older kids, slip shredded cabbage into sandwiches—they’ll probably like it better than lettuce.
* Cranberries: Both fresh and dried are packed with the healthy pigments. Try these cranberry granola bars and this homemade cranberry sauce (it’s not just for Thanksgiving!)
* Raspberries: Whip up a healthy raspberry sauce to top whole-grain pancakes and waffles.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
I’ve always thought of Jamba Juice as a delicious place for smoothies. Still is. But today it started offering a couple of kids’ lunch and snack options, plus three smoothies in smaller portions. My favorite new menu item: the “pizza swirl,” an adorable pinwheel-shaped mini pie with turkey, cheese, and tomato sauce on whole-grain crust. (But your kid will never notice because it doesn’t look at all like it’s made with whole-wheat flour). The pizza contains 300 calories and only 300 milligrams of sodium—which is super-low for fast-food fare. My daughter most wants to try the new Poppin’ Peach Mango Smoothie. It doesn’t have added sugar; it’s made with bananas, peaches, mangos, and passion fruit juice. For more healthy picks when dining out, check out Parents new guide to chain restaurants.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Mobile Apps Make Reading Fun for Children With Dyslexia, Occupational Therapist Says
Mobile apps and daily visual activities can encourage children with dyslexia to participate in reading exercises, says Lenin Grajo Ed.M., instructor of occupational science and occupational therapy at Saint Louis University. (via ScienceDaily)
Acetaminophen in Infancy Again Tied to Asthma, Study Suggests
Babies given acetaminophen for fevers and aches may have a heightened risk of asthma symptoms in their preschool years, according to a Danish study. (via Fox News)
Dance Intervention Improves Self-Rated Health of Girls With Internalizing Problems
A dance intervention program improved the self-rated health of Swedish girls with internalizing problems, such as stress and psychosomatic symptoms, according to a new study. (via ScienceDaily)
CPS ‘Healthy Snack And Beverage’ Proposal Could Ban Gatorade, Whole Milk, Sugary Drinks
Chicago Public Schools this week could move to ban the sale of a swath of snacks and drinks deemed unhealthy as part of its broader “Healthy CPS” initiative. (via Huffington Post)
Kansas Board Of Education To Discuss Role Of Cursive Writing In School Curricula At Tuesday Meeting
The Kansas State Board of Education will discuss the role of cursive handwriting in school curricula during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Wichita Eagle reports. (via Huffington Post)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: acetaminophen, asthma, Babies, Chicago Public Schools, cursive writing, dyslexia, girls health, handwriting, healthy eating, healthy snacks, Kansas State Board of Education, mobile apps, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Fewer U.S. Kids Dying of Diabetes
According to federal health officials, the 61% decrease of kids dying of diabetes is due to better treatment and increased awareness. (via HealthDay)
Study Finds Healthy Snacks Still Limited in Some U.S. Schools
U.S. school children searching for a healthy snack at school may find a bag of potato chips is much easier to come by, a new report says. (via Reuters)
A Little Exercise May Help Kids with ADHD Focus
Twenty minutes of exercise may help kids with ADHD settle in to read or solve a math problem, new research suggests. (via Fox News)
Parents’ Anxiety Can Trickle Down to Kids
A new study suggests children are at a higher risk of developing anxiety if a parent has a social anxiety disorder. (via PsychCentral)
Church-Going Teens Go Further With School
Sociologists have found that religiously-affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers, and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college. (via ScienceDaily)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: ADHD, anxiety, diabetes, Exercise, healthy eating, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, schools, snacks, teens
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
I recently was lucky enough to eat lunch with Jamie Deen of The Food Network. The event was sponsored by Hidden Valley Original Ranch, and was promoting healthy eating for children. Deen’s mom is Paula Deen, whose recipes are certainly known for being delicious—but not necessarily for being healthy. Jamie, however, is the father of two boys, ages 6 and 17 months, so he has made it his mission to make sure they eat nutritious foods every day.
Here are some of his tips for parents on getting kids to eat those veggies and other healthy foods:
1. Get them eating healthy foods right away. “I think it’s important that you start them off when they’re young,” Deen says. “That’s really the key.” He and his wife bought a baby food maker and use it with fresh fruit and vegetables like butternut squash. Then, they’ll put some of the mix into an ice cube tray and freeze them, so they can pop them out later and feed to Matthew, his youngest son. “He’s eating different tastes and different textures at 17 months and that opens up his palate,” Deen explains.
2. Lead by example. “Kids emulate what they see,” he says. “If you’re eating healthy, it’s part of their life and that’s just what they eat. That’s what I cook, that’s what’s at the table, and that’s what we eat.”
3. Let kids get involved with meal preparation. “If my older son touches the food in the production stage, the more he’s likely to eat it and take ownership of it,” Deen explains. “He’s like, ‘Oh, I made this and this is mine.’” Deen and his wife encourage him to decorate his fish with zest or help his mom make fruit smoothies.
4. Pack a lunch. Deen makes sure to include a simple sandwich like peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and jelly, along with a fruit cup and pretzels.
5. Find new options, if necessary. If your child really cannot stand one particular food, look around and see if you can find a substitute. “Or, use a little low fat ranch dip and that helps mask some of the bitterness for the kids,” Deen suggests. “If that’s the trick you use to get your kids to eat more fresh vegetables, then that’s a good option too.”
Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
On October 2, actress and The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney joined Green Giant in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal to take a pledge for veggies!
Sweeney promised, on behalf of her family, to eat just one more vegetable per day–and encouraged all of the young school students in attendance to do the same.
(Families can also take the pledge on Green Giant’s Facebook page.)
Parents.com had a few moments to chat with Sweeney, mom to Ben, 7, and Megan, 3, about how she helps her kids make healthy food choices.
How do you encourage your kids to eat their vegetables?
We always come up with new, different ways to be healthy, like trying different recipes. There are a lot of ways to be creative and include vegetables. There’s the French fry approach, where I let them eat green beans with their hands and sometimes we dip them in stuff. Some veggies are great raw. My son doesn’t like bell peppers when they’re cooked, but he loves them raw.
What are some veggie meals you make that are good for kids?
I love to make a veggie stir-fry for my kids because I think it’s a great way to get tons of vegetables in a meal. People always think they need a cup of rice for every stir-fry portion, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think people’s proportions get all skewed. You can do a quarter cup of rice, have mostly veggies, and add a protein. Stir-fry is also good because it can be made with whatever vegetables happen to be in the fridge, so I pull out what I have in the freezer and my kids love it.
What do you make stir-fry with?
I stick to a healthy oil, like a safflower oil or something light. I do find healthier stir-fry sauces and ingredients, but as long as kids are getting their veggies, keep sauce to a minimum for just enough flavor. A lot of the time parents end up making bad choices. When you’re tired or the kids are tired, you don’t want arguments about dinner, so kids end up getting used to eating delicious but bad-for-you food. I can’t just let kids eat chicken fingers or Pop tarts every day. My kids do eat mac ‘n’ cheese, but in smaller portions with a lot of veggies.
You mentioned your son loves bell peppers. Are there any other vegetables that are great for kids?
Carrots, snap peas, and peas. Also broccolini and broccoli. (Green Giant has a great vegetable medley that kids love.) My kids love edamame. The veggies that are hard to sell kids on are asparagus and Brussels sprouts. My son’s teacher told me that it takes 10 tastings for someone to get used to a flavor, to know whether he likes something, so I’m still working on 10 tries for some veggies.
Do you have any tips for parents of picky eaters?
Picky eaters are a really hard thing, but you can use hunger as your ally. It’s okay to let them get a little hungry so they’re more likely to eat. Then you only offer them veggies. Kids are not going to starve. Also offer veggies as a snack when your kids get home from school, and have them prepared and ready to go in little bags. There are great reusable bags now at Pottery Barn Kids; I stuff them with carrot or bell pepper sticks and sugar snap peas. You really have to set boundaries on what’s allowed. With my kids, we work with set rules. We have Mac ‘n’ Cheese Monday, so they get mac ‘n’ cheese only on Monday. For Taco Friday we do taco wraps. My kids love using lettuce as wraps. You just have to put the taco mix inside. Often we think kids need basic or bland foods, but it’s really not the case. I put cinnamon in my kids’ oatmeal when they were around 6-8 months old and they loved it. I don’t want them getting used to tasting really starchy, bland food. I want them to expect flavor and texture. I use agave nectar with carrots and a little rosemary, and it’s delicious and sweet. I think there is a world of options out there.
What are other things you do with your kids to promote healthy living?
I think it’s super important to let your kids know that you’re active, too. You have to practice what you preach. I’ve been super successful at explaining why I need to work out. I tell my kids, “Mommy needs to get her exercise and go to the gym.” They see me making exercise a core part of my life, so that’s going to help them down the road. We do a lot of stuff that’s active as a family, like going on hikes with our dog, flying kites, and running into the ocean. I burn a lot of calories swimming with my kids and playing baseball with my son. With my daughter, we run around and dance. We have so much fun. You can find ways to be challenged by your kids and encourage them in the process. You have to commit to it.
What’s the best or worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I got when I had my first child was: Imagine if you were holding an 18-month-old child when you hear your other child, an infant, crying. You would have to do something, but you can’t just drop your child and run to the baby. You would have to put your kid down, give him a toy or something to do, and then go tend to your infant. There’s no need to panic. Just take a breath instead. So many new parents feel everything is very high-stakes, that they have to run off to the infant, but it’s good to just wonder, what if there was a sibling already? It’s okay to just take a minute, take your time.
What inspires you as a parent?
My kids’ smiles inspire me every day. When you become a parent, all your decision-making changes. Every decision I make now is based on how it will affect my children. Sometimes it means having to discipline them or to make tough choices that will make them unhappy, but I have to do what is best for them their whole life.
For more about healthy eating and living, check out the following on Parents.com:
Image: Alison Sweeney, center, poses with stilt walker Michael Schruefer, left, and Sprout at the Green Giant event. Courtesy of Green Giant.
Categories: GoodyBlog | Tags: Alison Sweeney, celebrities, celebrity interview, celebs, Green Giant, health, healthy eating, healthy living, Noelia de la Cruz, parenting advice, vegetables