Tag Archives: parenting

Forcing Kids to Clean Their Plate May Cause Obesity, Study Suggests

Are you a member of the “clean plate club”? That’s the saying that always stuck with me when parents (and grandparents) push kids to finish their meal. That sort of mentality, while well-intentioned, may have lasting negative side effects.

New findings have shown that pushing children to eat everything on their plate has a direct link to obesity. The University of Minnesota has published a study that shows this forced eating can be linked to unhealthy eating habits when the child gets to adulthood. Interestingly, while these kids may be at a normal weight at the time, this changes later in life.

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The researchers combined data from two studies including findings from EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens) and the Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens). Both of these gathered their data from asking about the eating habits of nearly 3,000 children and young adults. Each person was given a form that asked questions about weight and regular eating habits throughout the day. It wasn’t until the data from each individual study was compiled that the link to adult obesity was found. (more…)

7 Reasons Your Child Should Try Yoga

I’m a bit of a neuropsychology nerd. I find it fascinating and so helpful to truly understand people. While I already understood that yoga can be helpful in treating trauma and PTSDDr. Bruce Perry, whom I greatly admire, introduced me to the idea that yoga can also be helpful in helping the brain develop in an organized fashion, especially for children who have been traumatized.

As a result, I routinely recommend adoptive parents practice yoga with their children. Whether your child has been adopted, traumatized, has other struggles or not, yoga can help him or her develop physical, emotionally, and neurologically; here’s why:

  • Learning to control breath and body can help children feel more in control of themselves, which can be extremely powerful for children that have been traumatized, children that have been adopted, and children diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Yoga has been known to enhance concentration and attention span, while teaching focus.
  • Children can increase confidence by successfully attempting new poses and developing new skills.
  • Flexibility can prevent injuries, and children can increase strength through yoga with little risk of injury.
  • Yoga develops bodies, brains, and motor skills. (more…)

Too-Mature Television May Be Keeping Your Kid Up at Night

Getting our kids to bed can be one of the biggest battles of parenthood. The issue starts from day one and really never ends until they’re adults. An interesting new study shows why some small children may not be getting the amount sleep they need for optimum health. The culprit may be in the form of a masked hero.

Katie Moisse reported for ABC News concerning a sleep-related study that was published in the journal Pediatrics. The study revealed that among the 565 preschool-age children whose sleep habits were monitored, those who were only allowed to watch age-appropriate educational television were less likely to have sleep issues than those who were allowed to watch programs with fighting superheroes or other rambunctious scenes intended for an older audience.

Moisse interviewed the author of the study, Michelle Garrison from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Garrison explained theories about these findings, one major hypothesis being that children exposed to less violence may suffer fewer nightmares and find it easier to fall asleep.

Previous studies back up Garrison and her team’s theories, as there have been numerous links to violence and poor sleep patterns in the past. Poor sleep can also raise a child’s risk of behavioral and emotional problems. (more…)

We Love Copy-Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables DVD

Admittedly, I was somewhat skeptical about the video Copy-Kids eat fruits and vegetables, but I was still interested in reviewing it. I was sure that it could not hurt, but I wasn’t sure if it would be as powerful as all of the testimonials I had read.

My nephew is an awesome eater who loves healthy foods. It seems that he would eat as much quinoa as we would give him. However, he is somewhat moody on whether or not he wants fresh blueberries, so I sat down with him with a small bowl and turned on the blueberries segment. At my house, he never watches television, so that might account for his quiet focus. He sat in my lap, and I held the bowl of blueberries in front of us. As he watched the first couple of children, he held a blueberry in his fingers, then he looked back and fed one to me before eating one himself. He silently, but with increasing gusto, ate all of the blueberries and immediately wanted more.

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HealthBuzz July 13: No-Treat Potty Training, Biggest Exercise Mistakes, and Healthy Fruity Drinks

We made it to the end of the week! Pats on the back to everyone. Before you head for the door this weekend, check out some headliners from DIR and our friends. Plus, we have sweet fruit recipes for you to try to stay refreshed all weekend.

Candy-Free Potty Training Should be the Norm, Not the Exception

Rewarding children for good behavior with sweets can lead to obesity and addiction to sugar. Our managing editor potty trained her daughter with words of encouragement and love. Testimony from other parents prove rewarding without sugar shouldn’t be a common practice in households.

6 Weeks to OMG Strikes Controversy with its Unlikely Health Advice

British author Venice A. Fulton promises readers will lose up to 20 pounds in six weeks and get skinnier than all their friends. Fulton’s health advice raises eye brows, but he stands behind the claims because they are backed by clinical research. Take a read and see why the author is stirring the health controversy kettle.

Solving Obesity Requires More Than a Lorcaserin Prescription 

On June 27 the pharmaceutical industry game was changed with the approval of Lorcaserin. Lorcaserin is a new prescription drug used to treat obesity. This isn’t a get skinny fast pill, and thinking a pill will solve the obesity rate is questionable. Our resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah G. Khan weighs in. (more…)

The Benefits of Breastfeeding and the Attachment Parenting Controversy

When it comes to motherhood, everyone has an opinion on how it should be done. So it was no surprise when 26-year-old model Jamie Grumet caused a near-cosmic stir when she posed on the cover of Time Magazine, breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old son.

Grumet’s approach to motherhood is attachment parenting, which is a concept developed by Dr. William Sears, 72, as outlined in his 1992 book, “The Baby Book.”

Sears, raised by a single mother himself, believes that moms should be in near constant contact with their child, wearing their baby if possible, letting them sleep in the same bed with them, and tending to their every want and need.

Of the many benefits of this practice, Sears argues that attachment parenting produces children who are physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy, stating that children who are a product of this kind of parenting rarely – and possibly even never – turn out to be bullies or have other developmental issues.

One of the other prongs of attachment parenting is breastfeeding until the mother  – and child – feel the time is right to stop, which explains why Grumet still breastfeeds her almost 4-year-old son.

Grumet, who told The Today Show that she knew full well what she was getting into by posing so provocatively on the Time Magazine cover, says she was breast fed herself until she was six years old, and believes 100% in the concepts of attachment parenting. (more…)

If Your Kids Shouldn’t Eat It, Neither Should You

More or less, my husband and I eat very healthily. Visiting family often roll their eyes at us for the complete lack of food in our house, or rather, food that they’ll actually eat. We limit processed foods and rely mostly on homemade meals made of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. We, like most people, splurge now and then. It’s a life of moderation, we say.

The occasional burger during a Friday happy hour was never a big deal. This “sometimes” treat would always be regretted but nevertheless enjoyed in the moment. However, it recently became a big deal when our nearly 2-year-old daughter asked for a French fry at one of these splurgy dinners.

I cringed. He cringed. I very, very hesitantly gave her the smallest one I could find. She, of course, asked for another. At almost two-years-old, a French fry is a foreign food to her. I told my husband that our moderation should be hers, too, and that the occasional fry wasn’t totally out of line.

He disagreed, and the comment he shared with me really struck a chord. “If we wouldn’t feed it to her, we shouldn’t be eating it either.” (more…)

Simple, Healthy Diet Best for ADHD; Advice Against Inconveniencing Parents

Have you ever wanted to look at all the different research studies about nutrition reviewed by DietsInReview in one place and see what can be deduced from all of the findings together? That is basically what psychologists call a literature review. If you are paying attention, the findings of a literature review probably will not be too surprising. I wasn’t too surprised by the Good Morning America (GMA) headline “Healthy Diet Best for ADHD Kids” based off a recent literature review by J. Gordon MIllichap, MD and Michelle M. Yee, CPNP titled “The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” An “ADHD Diet” is something we have talked about before.

The authors, who work at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, seemed most impressed by a diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in fats. They also seem somewhat impressed by omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements. The abstract also states that “sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements” seem to reduce symptoms of ADHD. Unfortunately, the authors seem to be against recommending additive-free and oligoantigenic/elimination diets, such as the specific carb diet, because they are inconvenient for parents. (more…)

Childhood Obesity Becomes Issue in Custody Cases

Childhood obesity has been a mainstay in the national media over the past year but was brought to a head in October when a 200 pound – year old Cleveland boy was removed from his home and mother. “This child’s problem was so severe that we had to take custody,” said Mary Louise Madigan of the county’s Department of Children and Family Services.

NBC’s John Yang reports on a more recent case in Chicago, one that potentially will decide the parental custody of a child. Conan Angus, going through a divorce, has brought up the fact that his children are healthier when under his care. Mr Angus points to his soon to be ex-wife’s poor nutritional choices for their children’s meals.

The incidents in Cleveland and Chicago are hardly isolated leading journalists and reporters to wear out the now 3-year old CDC statements on the issue:

  • The percentage of children ages 6 – 11 in the U.S. who were obese went from 7 percent in 1980 to almost 20 percent in 2008.
  •  The percentage of those 12 to 19-years of age who were obese increased from 5 percent to 18 percent over the same period (1980 – 2008).
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

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The Sex Talk is Easier Than the Weight Talk For Parents

Parenting is the most difficult, most important job you are ever going to have. While there are many happy, feel-good moments, there are also painful and uncomfortable moments; it’s all part of being a parent. Traditionally, one of the most uncomfortable moments for a parent was thought to be the discussion of “the birds and the bees”. While talking to your kids about where babies come from may be difficult, a recent study has revealed that there is another conversation that parents dread more.

The idea of talking to your kids about maintaining a healthy weight is so frightening for parents that more than 20 percent admit to never broaching the subject at all, according to research from the Raising Fit Kids study, a partnership between webMD and Stanford University. Compare that to 5 percent who are uncomfortable discussing alcohol, drugs, and smoking; 10 percent of parents who are uncomfortable discussing sex; and nearly 25 percent of parents who are uncomfortable discussing weight and health. It is probably the same 20 percent of parents that seem to believe that the pediatrician should be the one responsible for discussing health and weight with their children.

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