Posts Tagged ‘ Nutrition ’

Chris Noth on raising his 5-year-old: “I want him to be a strong, but gentle, man.”

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Last month, Chris Noth presented a generous donation to Nourish Now—an organization that brings meals to families in need—on behalf of BV Wines. Parents spoke to Chris about how his work (both on-screen and on the hunger relief effort) impacts his life as a father to his 5-year-old son, Orion, from dealing with dinnertime pickiness to spending time together before Orion heads off to full-day school. 

P: How does being a father impact your perspective on the issue of hunger relief? 

CN: As a father your instinct kicks in and you want to make sure your kid is safe and well-fed. People don’t really know that 1 in 6 Americans don’t have access to food, that 17 million children are living in food-insecure households. Like me—I didn’t know that. It’s inconceivable to me that if you have a child that they would be food insecure.

P: Speaking of nutrition and healthy eating, your son is at that age when it can be difficult to feed your child, not due to lack of resources but due to pickiness. Is Orion a picky eater?

CN: All kids have their own peculiar tastes, I think. For instance, Orion doesn’t like spicy foods. He loves strawberries. He’s a big cheese eater, too, by the way. I was surprised at that. He loves cheese. Loves Parmesan cheese [laughs]. We’re just now getting him to eat meat; he wasn’t attracted to any kind of meat. But, then, he loves certain seafoods.

I try to trick him of course because he’s in that superhero-fascination age. I say, “You gotta eat this if you wanna be like Spiderman, kiddo. You gotta finish this up.” It’s an ongoing challenge. We’ve made vegetables kind of fun for him to eat. But we also use the old tricks of the trade. My son, for dessert, he doesn’t like chocolate—believe it or not—but he likes mochi. He’s crazy about mochi. So if he knows that he’s gonna get his two mochis at the end of the meal, he’s gonna clean that plate.

P: Do you sometimes disguise the vegetables in tastier items? 

CN: She [my wife] is very good at that, at chopping vegetables up and blending them into things so he thinks he’s getting a French Fry but maybe it’s beets. I mean he does love those salty things that can be a little dangerous.

P: What about school lunches? What are you most excited or most nervous for with him going off to full day kindergarden?

CN: We just had our kindergarten meeting, so he starts next year. It’s a huge huge step. He had a very tight community at his preschool and so did we—with the teachers. It was just such a nourishing environment. I hate to say this, because it’s ridiculous, but it’s like from that [preschool] environment to kindergarten it’s kind of like he’s going to university in his eyes. He’s nervous. But, it’s still a really small community.

P: Since you split time between New York and L.A., when you and Orion get to see each other and you are in the same place, what are some of your favorite things to do together to celebrate that father-son bond?

CN: He’s into baseball. A Yankee game has got to be on the list. He’s obsessed with Derek Jeter; he’s very upset about his injury [chuckles]. You know, I love taking him, believe it or not, I want to see a couple of shows on Broadway. He digs that. He’s seen Spider-Man twice. I’m trying to see if Matilda is the show for him. Although, I desperately don’t want him to be an actor.

P: Why is that?

CN: There’s enough…entertainment isn’t one of the things we lack. Actors are not something we lack. Do we need another actor? G-d no.

P: Obviously charity work is very important to you. Is volunteerism and giving back something that you hope to encourage as Orion gets older?

CN: Thanksgiving we went to a local church that I found through the food bank. I think it would be a nice thing for him always to know about these things. He didn’t really quite get it, he was having fun, you know, asking to serve things, but he will get it. I think it’s important for every child to understand what’s around them, what the problems are and to be a part of the solution as they get older. I didn’t do it as a kid, frankly. I wasn’t aware of it. It is about awareness and then action. 

P: Aside from volunteerism and helping out those around you, what would you say is the most important value you hope to instill in Orion?

CN: Generosity. I want him to be strong, but a gentle man. I want him to be able to see the difference between something that has real value and something that doesn’t.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Pet Frogs Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Kids: CDC
Small water frogs marketed and sold as pets are linked to an outbreak of Salmonella infections from 2008 to 2011, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (via Reuters)

Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Wanes
Protection against whooping cough starts to weaken a few years after preschool children get their final diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) shot, a new study confirms. (via Reuters)

Study Recommends: Buckle Up During Pregnancy
Despite some women’s worry that seat belts or air bags could harm a baby in utero in the case of an accident, expectant mothers who are not wearing a seatbelt during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)

Guns in Classrooms: South Dakota Governor Signs Law Allowing Teachers to Arm Themselves
Teachers are now allowed to bring guns into the classroom in South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1087 into law Friday, enabling state school boards to “supervise the arming of school employees” or hire security personnel. (via Huffington Post)

How Would Preschool for All Work: Is it All About Play or ABCs?
Not many would take issue with President Obama’s recent call to make high-quality preschool a reality for more U.S. kids. Even before Obama announced his intentions, both Democrats and Republicans had already lined up in their home states to push preschool programs, with more than a dozen states considering bolstering early education. (via TIME)

When Food is Scarce, a Smaller Brain Will Do
A new study explains how young brains are protected when nutrition is poor. The findings, published on March 7th in Cell Reports, a Cell Press publication, reveal a coping strategy for producing a fully functional, if smaller, brain. The discovery, which was made in larval flies, shows the brain as an incredibly adaptable organ and may have implications for understanding the developing human brain as well, the researchers say. (via Science Daily)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Philadelphia School Lunches Get Fancy With ‘Eatiquette’ Program (Photos)
It sounds more like a restaurant order than a school lunch menu: baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding. But that’s one of the meals offered in the cafeteria at People For People Charter School in Philadelphia. And it’s served family-style. Students pass serving dishes around circular tables, where they eat off plates, not cafeteria trays, and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. (via Huffington Post)

NYC Schools After Sandy: Destruction, And Restoration Showcased in New DOE Images
Hurricane Sandy ravaged public schools in low-lying areas across the city — and new photos released by the Department of Education Tuesday show just how bad that damage was. (via Huffington Post)

The Legacy of Lead: How the Metal Affects Academic Achievement
Lead exposure may be on the decline, but it’s still taking its toll on children’s performance in school. Legal requirements to remove lead from gasoline, paint and other common products have led to decreases in lead exposure. But remnants of the metal remain, according to the latest study, and this legacy may be enough to affect children’s cognitive functions. (via TIME)

Sleep Reinforces Learning: Children’s Brains Transform Subconsciously Learned Material Into Active Knowledge
During sleep, our brains store what we have learned during the day ‒ a process even more effective in children than in adults, new research shows. (via Science Daily)

Increased Risk of Sleep Disorder Narcolepsy in Children Who Received Swine Flu Vaccine
A study finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England. (via Science Daily)

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The Mediterranean Diet—A (Near) Perfect Pregnancy Plan

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

mediterranean diet is good for pregnancyBig news, you guys. You know that delicious bowl (or, um, sometimes pseudo-bucket) of olive oil they give you at every Italian restaurant? The one you sometimes feel a little guilty about sopping up with tons of gorgeously crusty bread? Well, scientists have just proven that indulging in a bit of olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet can dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease. And? It’s a smart diet to borrow from during pregnancy—minus the recommended glasses of vino, of course!

Along with a focus on olive oil, the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet studied included servings of fish every week (make sure it’s not a high mercury fish!), including plenty of nuts and legumes, and avoiding processed meats and snacks. No calorie counting. No cardboard-tasting diet foods. Just a delicious “diet” that can save your life.

The really cool thing is that the Mediterranean diet has extra health benefits for pregnant women and their babes-to-be: olive oil (and the olives it comes from), fish, and legumes all contain healthy fatty acids, which are vital in developing your baby’s nervous system—including her brain. Add in a bunch of fruits and veggies for balance, and you’ve got yourself a smart and scrumptious pregnancy feast!

Can’t wait to try the Mediterranean diet? Try this Grilled Greek Salad or Tilapia with Lemony Herb Salad. Yum!

If you’ve got any other good recipes that would go with the Mediterranean diet, put them in the comments.

Image of olive oil via Shutterstock.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Scott Walker’s Voucher Fight; School Safety Questions
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker first tangled with his state’s teachers union when he signed a bill that upended collective bargaining. (via Huffington Post)

Shedding New Light On Infant Brain Development
A new study by Columbia Engineering researchers finds that the infant brain does not control its blood flow in the same way as the adult brain. The paper, which the scientists say could change the way researchers study brain development in infants and children, is published in the February 18 Early Online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (via Science Daily)

Excessive TV in Childhood Linked to Long-Term Antisocial Behavior, New Zealand Study Shows
Children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behavior when they become adults, according to a new University of Otago, New Zealand, study published online in the journal Pediatrics. (via Science Daily)

Arkansas Senate Passes Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks
The Republican-controlled Arkansas state Senate approved a measure on Monday to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. (via Reuters)

Sugar mist Makes Veggies More Palatable to Kids
A light mist of sugar could help the broccoli (and other veggies) go down, according to new research that tested ways to make vegetables more palatable for children. (via Fox News)

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win Three Months of KIND Bars!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

When you pack up your diaper bag with everything your baby could possibly need on an outing, don’t forget to pack something for yourself! Especially water and a little something to eat, to ward off your own crankiness. I’m a big fan of energy bars, because they’re relatively healthy, won’t go bad, and weigh practically nothing in your bag. (Because that diaper bag gets heavy enough with wipes and drinks and so on!) KIND bars are a favorite, because they don’t taste like they were made in a lab…they’re made of recognizable food including nuts and raisins and chocolate. (Yes I count chocolate as healthy. I’m sure it is, somehow. Antioxidants, right?)

This week, one of you lucky people will win three months’ worth of KIND Bars…144 bars! That’s worth $288! To be eligible, leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, January 23rd. We’ll randomly pick a winner and KIND will kindly mail out the product. Feel free to sing the praises of KIND bars, or tell me this: Do you have a diaper bag that you love? I’m beginning to scope out candidates for our American Baby Bests Awards and need to know! Thanks for your help, and Goody Luck with the giveaway! (Check the full rules here.)

 

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School Lunches That Make the Grade

Friday, October 26th, 2012

My elementary school didn’t have a cafeteria, but every Tuesday was pizza day. Drooling students lined up in the hallway clutching dollar bills to pay for a piping-hot pepperoni slice and a little carton of milk. I looked forward to it all week.

Luckily, pizza day was only once per week, and my other four lunches were comprised of healthy sliced fruits, veggies, and sandwiches on whole-grain bread (thanks, Mom). But these days, kids are eating in school more often—and that may mean that they’re gorging on fat-packed foods daily. We discussed the problem of unhealthy school lunches in this article from our September 2010 issue. These unhealthy meals have serious long-term effects—check out our recent story on the childhood obesity crisis. The National School Lunch Program dishes out 31 million lunches per day. This school year, the NSLP’s nutrition standards were updated in accordance with the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Lunches have an age-based calorie cap, and schools are required to limit sodium and saturated fat and serve more fruits, veggies, and whole-grain items. But are they measuring up?

Last week, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released its eighth School Lunch Report Card evaluating meals served by the National School Lunch Program. Standout schools received high grades for offering veggie-packed side dishes, vegetarian and dairy/egg-free entrée options, and nondairy beverages. (The valedictorian: Pinellas County Schools in Florida, which earned a perfect score.) Schools also garnered points for implementing nutrition education in the cafeteria. Failing grades were assigned to schools that dole out cholesterol-heavy dairy products and processed meats such as hotdogs and pepperoni. Low-scoring districts in Houston and Milwaukee were criticized for serving meals such as chicken-fried steak fingers and breaded catfish.

The good news: healthy lunch options are on the rise. The average grade is a B (84%), up 5% from 2008. Healthier lunch options can help decrease students’ lifetime risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancers.

Looking for healthy meals you can stash in your kid’s lunchbox? We’ve got tons of creative ideas to please even the pickiest eaters.

Read the full report here, and tell us how your kid’s school compares.

Image: School lunch via Shutterstock.

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New Yorkers Say Goodbye to Supersize Sodas

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

“Are You Pouring On the Pounds?” That’s the question posed by advertisements plastered on New York City subway cars. The ads depict sugar packets and beverage containers bubbling over with globs of fat, and caution that excess sugar consumption is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

New Yorkers will soon have to settle for chugging smaller sodas. The New York City Board of Health voted today to pass a ban on supersize soft drinks. The controversial ban, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last spring, imposes a 16-ounce limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other high-calorie beverages. The policy only applies to drinks sold at cafeterias, theaters, restaurants, and fast-food joints—meaning that you can still guzzle mega beverages sold at supermarkets or convenience stores. Dairy-based drinks get a free pass if they contain more than 50% milk.

Will the ban shrink our waistlines? Given that beverages are just one component of any diet, it’s hard to tell for sure. But sugar-packed drinks can definitely contribute to weight gain. There are about 240 calories in a 20-oz. Coke, compared to 200 in a 16-oz. one. The difference might not seem significant, but consider this: if you gulp down a soda a day, it adds up to an extra 14,600 calories per year. That’s enough to make me want to put down my straw.

Image: Girl drinking soda via Shutterstock

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