Childrens Health

7 Fool Proof, No Excuse Ways to Move More Every Single Day

move more

Thousands of years ago, humans were always on the go: gathering berries, hunting prey, running from predators. Our metabolisms are still essentially the same as these humans and yet we are lucky if we can get in more than just the walk from our car to our desk and back again. With the rise of desk jobs comes the rise of ultra-sedentary lifestyles, even increased diabetes risk for women who sit too long.

This is not your fault! Plus…You are busy! You work hard! You get home at the end of the day exhausted, and your only remaining energy gets allocated to helping your kids, then maybe watching a quick TV show before your own well-deserved bedtime. And while this movement is no longer built into our survival like our early ancestors, we still need activity for our body to thrive.

Here are 7 Fool-Proof Ways to Move More in Your Day.

Not only does your body deserves this, it needs it. (more…)

Your Grades are What You Eat! 10 Smart Back to School Foods to Boost Kids’ Grades

As the school year kicks off, it’s safe to say that good grades are at the top of many people’s school wishlists. While you can’t deny that paying attention in class and doing the assigned work makes up a major part of the grade, there are other, usually overlooked, ways to earn fridge-worthy grade cards.

We spoke with with our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, and nutritionist and author Dr. Keith Kantor about which healthy habits may boost grades and improve performance in school.

judah rainbow smoothie

Nutrition

Eat Healthy Foods

Mary shared that getting the right nutrients can boost the speed at which the brain works. “So many nutrients have a role in cognition, including cholesterol from egg yolks and dairy products, essential fatty acids from fatty fish, nuts and olive oil, and carotenoids and flavonoids found in colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Back to School Food: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Donut Sandwiches

Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

“A host of micronutrients also play key roles in processes that run the brain, including iron, zinc, choline, selenium, iodine, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamins A and C,” Mary added.

Back to School Food: Rainbow Smoothie

(more…)

Back to School Clean Eating Cookies Made Just About Any Way You Like!

allergy cookies

It’s that time of year again for brown bag lunches and busy fall schedules. To keep the kids healthy AND keep their sweet tooth happy, try these super simple, super clean cookies. What we love about these cookies is that they are very forgiving and flexible in terms of the goodies you add in at the end.

Consider adding almond butter, cocoa powder, protein powder, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, extra cinnamon…the sky’s the limit!

healthy cookie ingredients

The mashed bananas as the base is a great way to keep the cookies moist while providing a stable base packed with nutrition and energy. Adding oats provides essential fiber to keep little bellies full. (more…)

Go Bananas! Franken-Bananas May Help Prevent Blindness

Who’s afraid of the big, bad…banana? Apparently plenty of people. They’re concerned that “franken-bananas,” or those that have undergone gene manipulation may do more harm than good.

bananas

Shape.com reported that scientists have unlocked a way to modify bananas so that they contain much more Vitamin A. Bananas with this modification could help many malnourished people, and may even prevent some from going blind due to vitamin A deficiency.

(more…)

Add Simple Yoga to Your Back to School Routine for Happier, Focused Kids

kid yoga

Don’t you know the feeling you have when you get to do a little yoga or meditation before you start the work day? Why not carry that same euphoric feeling over to the kids? Shouldn’t they be able to enjoy starting the day with a nice, calm, relaxed energy?

Introduce some quick yoga, or mild stretching, as part of your kids’ morning routine! There are yoga options for kids of all ages to try before they head to school each morning, and the results will be positive from their mood to their energy, and even focus and grades!

Elementary age kids are the most energetic, if you can get them up and out of bed that is! Wake them up to a few rounds of cat/cow, then have them hold downward dog for a few seconds. Repeat this cycle 2-3 times. This is sure to wake them up! Have them make the corresponding animal sounds for each move. It helps with breath control, engages the mind, and it’s just plain fun! (more…)

More Moms Worried About Their Own Weight, but Focus on Family Health First, Says New Survey

mom and daughter shopping

Families are an important support system, especially when it comes to health and nutrition. When the entire family is focused on health, it’s easier to keep concerns like childhood obesity at bay.

In fact, in a new survey of more than 1000 women by WomensForum.com, more than one-third of moms revealed that they are regularly concerned about childhood obesity in their home. Interestingly, the same survey revealed that 70 percent of moms are worried about their own weight.

So does that mean moms are more focused on their own weight than their children’s? Andrea Metcalf, a health and fitness expert for WomensForum.com, warns people away from jumping to that conclusion.

“It may appear surprising that moms seem to be more concerned about their own weight rather than their children’s, but if you look at what they actually buy at the supermarket, it becomes clear that they view health and nutrition differently from dieting and calorie cutting,” she said.

(more…)

Peanut and Nut Butter Recall Due to Salmonella Risk Announced by FDA

If you’ve purchase peanut or other nut butters from Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods recently, you may want to toss it before you eat any of it. Nut butter producer nSPIRED Natural Foods, Inc. announced on August 19 they are voluntarily recalling many of their products.

nut butter

The recall came about after routine testing by the FDA showed evidence of salmonella in the company’s nut butter products. Prior to FDA testing, the company received reports of four people falling ill that may be related to consuming products contaminated with salmonella.

Brands under the recall include:

Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters

MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters

Whole Foods private label

Trader Joe’s private label

Kroger private label

Safeway private label

The FDA has a full list of brands and products affected on their website.

Most of the products under the recall have a sell-by date between December 2014 and June 2015. They were sold in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic. (more…)

Cupcake Ban in Schools Inspires Healthier Classroom Party Treat Ideas

birthday party

“Mom, what are we bringing to school tomorrow for my birthday?”

If you’re like most busy parents, your child’s innocent question may send you into panic-stricken stammering. 
“Um…well…it’s a surprise. A surprise! Yes, that’s it. You just wait until tomorrow and you’ll see.”

No, you didn’t forget your child’s birthday, it’s just that darn societal expectation that you’ll bring enough goodies to feed every kid in your child’s class. So, what’s it going to be? Stay up late and scour Pinterest for something, anything, that you can throw together, or sneak out to the store and eliminate some of the hassle?

For parents at some schools in Washington, Michigan, Colorado, Kentucky, and Minnesota, sugary sweets are no longer an option. This so-called “cupcake ban,” as reported by Shape Magazine, means that schools are requiring non-edible treats like pencils, stickers, and other trinkets be given.

Is this a good idea? Perhaps, if parents just aren’t complying with school recommendations to bring healthier treats. But in general, we as parents shouldn’t wait to be policed by the schools. Let’s take it upon ourselves to share healthier treats in classroom celebrations.

Here are a few homemade options that are wholesome and kid-approved! (more…)

Cheerleading is a Sport and Just as Much a Workout as Football

cheerleading

The impending autumn means one thing and one thing only for many people – the kickoff of football season. Millions will sit on bleachers and couches to watch the football players play their sport, cheering on their athleticism and strength.

But what about the dedicated athletes on the sidelines? Few people recognize it, and it’s been a point of contention for years, but the cheerleaders supporting the team are working just as hard as the players on the field.

“Football has historically been viewed as a very ‘manly sport,'” remarked our guest editor Dempsey Marks, a fitness expert and yoga trainer who founded DepmseyFit.com, about what separates football and cheerleading in people’s minds. “The sport itself is associated with toughness, pain, and even violence. And primarily football is played by men. [The sport] glorifies aggressive behavior, which society associates with men and masculinity.”

“Cheerleading has evolved from simple movements and cheers to a highly athletic undertaking, which requires strength, coordination, agility, and skill,” she added. (more…)

What to Feed the Reluctant Breakfast Eater and 9 Quick Options to Mix and Match

back to school breakfast

The school year is fast-approaching for my little family, and may already be in session for yours. With this change of seasons comes the hustle of the morning routine.

Ugh.

Two different kids off to two different schools and a teenager who hates eating breakfast, unless its served after 11:00 a.m.

I know I can’t send him out the door with an empty belly or a Pop-Tart clutched in his fist, so I did a little research and I think I found a few tweaks we can make to our schedule, and compromise foods that will make us both happy.

Come on, Mom, just 5 more minutes.

As children get older their sleep patterns change. Teens fall asleep later so the snooze button (slash mom’s forgiveness) gets pushed to maximum capacity until finally there is no time for breakfast. To combat this, I’m instituting a decent school night bedtime and declaring that NO electronics will be allowed in his room past that time.

(more…)