Tag Archives: parenting

Skechers Shape Ups for Kids Disturb Parents and Professionals

Skechers Shape Ups shoes for kids has caused quite the controversy since their release, including a petition at change.org to have the line discontinued. Parents and professionals are disturbed that toning shoes are being made for and marketed to elementary school students.

The commercial aimed at young girls seems to be especially concerning to parents. The commercial in question does not specifically say anything about toning, but it does say that these shoes offer “everything a girl could want, looking good, having fun,” with “extra height and bounce,” which, of course, is too good to be true. Parents are concerned that the thin cartoon characters and emphasis on appearance is encouraging unhealthy attitude towards body image in young girls. Parents are also concerned that the commercial contains a shot of boys dressed as junk food following the singer; it certainly is a confusing image. I would be interested to hear what you think this is communicating to young girls?


Life Size Barbie Shows Young Girls the Dangers of Unrealistic Body Expectations

Galia Slayen has gotten a lot of attention for building a life-sized Barbie to help bring awareness for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

Her Barbie certainly looks like an exaggerated ideal, much like other cartoons and toys. Unfortunately, Galia wasn’t able to create a proportional head and used a toy to top off her life-sized Barbie, but the other proportions are dead on for what Barbie would look like if she were a real woman. While it is certainly clear that Barbie’s waistline is unrealistically thin, I would hate to see what any of Disney’s princesses would like compared to a real human body.

Barbie is just one more example of how the media favors an unrealistic ideal when it comes to body shapes and sizes. Let’s not forget He-man and G.I. Joe when we consider what toys suggest to children. There are toys and cartoons and then there are airbrushed images in magazines and movie stars. Call it unrealistic or idealism, we are surrounded from early childhood. The problem comes when we start to expect this impossibly unrealistic exaggeration from ourselves as real people. That is when we can start to see unhealthy attempts to achieve such impossible ideals and the development of eating disorders.


Is Being a Parent Making You Fat?

Being a parent has its challenges, one of them being able to keep a healthy weight. A new study has found that being a new parent makes it more difficult to keep the extra weight off.

I know I don’t need a study to have found that out. I have two little ones and it’s always a challenge juggling parenting responsibilities and fitness. Besides, it’s so exhausting being a parent, the first instinct is to hit the couch, not the weights or treadmill.

According to the new study parents get less exercise than adults the same age without children. Part of the problem is what we, as parents, end up eating as well. The study found that moms had higher BMIs and eat and drink more sugary and high-fat foods. Mothers ate about 400 more calories every day than women without children. (more…)

Parents Guide for Keeping Workouts on Track

Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. To receive your Free E-course “How to Burn Calories While you Sleep,” check out her website, OptimumBodySculpting.com.

Soon, the pitter-patter of little feet will be heard more often and even louder throughout your house. Why? It’s spring break!

Then comes summer. Either of these events can put a huge strain on you when attempting to keep your workouts on track while catering to kids of all ages and keeping them busy during their break from school. Actually, the only people who call it a
break are school officials. I’m sure you have other words for it.

However, you can survive the “break” and keep your workout regimen on track by following a few simple steps: (more…)

Positive Reinforcement Encourages Kids To Eat More Vegetables

After stumbling on the article Bribing Kids to Eat Their Greens Really Does Work, I have added a new subscription to my blog reader. I really like what Christian Jarrett had to say about using positive reinforcement to encourage children to eat vegetables, learn to like them, and even eat more vegetables when no reward would be given. Rewarding children with stickers or praise for eating healthy food can do more than get them to clean their plates one evening.

After being encouraged to eat a vegetable 12 times in two weeks, children ranked the vegetable higher in preference to other vegetables than they had previously ranked it, and these results remained consistent in follow ups one and three months later. After the two week experimental period, those children that had been rewarded with stickers during the experimental period chose to eat more of the target vegetable when they knew there would be no reward than those children that received no positive reinforcement during the experimental period. In the one and three month reviews, the children praised and the children given stickers maintained their increased voluntary consumption, but the children simply exposed to the vegetable did not.


Jillian Michaels’ Refusal to Get Pregnant a Responsible Parenting Choice

Jillian Michaels has stated that although she is interested in parenting, she is not willing to put her body through a pregnancy. It is now being discussed as an irresponsible thing for Jillian to say as a role model for healthy living and healthy body image. Some view it as a dangerous, unhealthy message and a wasted opportunity to show women that you can get back into shape after pregnancy. Jillian herself has defended and explained the statement via social media. I, for one, support her decision as a responsible personal choice.

Jillian has been open that she had to work hard to get to her current weight. Sometimes being an emotionally healthy person means avoiding unnecessary stressors. For some, this means not being hungry when you shop for groceries or not adding a negative person to your Facebook friends list. For Jillian, maintaining emotional health may mean not feeling out of control of her body. No matter how healthy a woman is during pregnancy, there are some things outside of your control. Even if she maintains the epitome of a healthful diet, the hormones of pregnancy change your body in more ways than weight.


Eliminate Halloween Candy Without Eating It

You are working hard to minimize your intake of sugar and processed foods, but you don’t want your children to miss out on the fun of Halloween and dressing up and trick or treating. Maybe you want to minimize the sugar and processed food your children eat and teach them healthy eating habits.

What are you going to do with all that Halloween candy?!?

You could simply throw it out, but you risk complaints from the kids. Plus, what are you teaching them other than denying them indulgence? You could hide it in that cabinet above the refrigerator, hoping the kids (and you) forget about it- but will that work? (more…)

My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus Teaches Balanced Eating for Kids

my two year old eats octopusWhen I was growing up, one of the many mantras in our house was “This is not a restaurant, you’ll eat what I fix for dinner or go to bed hungry.” That meant from the time I went off the bottle until I moved to college I ate what was served for dinner. I had meatloaf, tuna casserole, spaghetti, hamburgers, or anything else my mom decided to fix that night, like it or not. We never had any kid food, you know, the food that is served to the kids but not the adults. Grilled cheese, hot dogs and chicken nuggets are staples in the American child’s diet, while mom and dad prepare something more age appropriate for themselves.

Although, when did food become age appropriate? That’s exactly what author Nancy Tringali Piho is asking and arguing in her newly released book My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children who Love to Eat Everything.

I positively loved this book, and as an expectant mom, thought it should become a must-read for every expecting parent. The book introduced ideas that I hadn’t yet thought of, made me think about issues that I hadn’t paid too much attention to, and even justified some of the expectations I have for feeding my child-to-be. (more…)

Talking to Your Teen about Health

happy teensYour teen or tween may not have the perspective yet to recognize what they need to do or not to to get healthy and/or avoid falling into unhealthy habits. As a caring, involved parent, you want to provide guidance, but you don’t know what to say or how to get him or her to listen. Your child is probably listening to you less and less as he or she is turning more to the guidance of peers. Luckily, modeling has been shown to be a very powerful way of shaping your child’s behavior. They will do what you do more than they will do what you say. (more…)

Obesity Linked to Familial Behavior

healthy familyThere are many reasons why people avoid the assistance of a professional therapist. One common misconception (for which we can thank Mr. Frued) is that the counselor will always blame your mother for whatever difficulties you may be experiencing. There are many other factors that have influenced your current life; however, weight may be highly influenced by what you observe in your parents. (more…)