Kids’ snacks CAN be healthy and inexpensive

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
It's well-documented that healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables tend to cost more than "junk" foods such as chips and cookies, a phenomenon that's often cited as a contributing factor to the U.S. obesity epidemic. But a new study conducted in YMCAs found that healthy snacks aren't always more expensive, and in some cases are even more economical. (more…)
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Pediatric Study: ‘Healthy’ Diet Best for ADHD Kids

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Fast foods, sodas, and ice cream may be American kids' favorite menu items, but they're also probably the worst for those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new literature review suggests. According to two researchers from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a relatively simple diet low in fats and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best alternatives to drug therapy for ADHD. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements have also been shown to help in some controlled studies, they noted. This state-of-the-art review suggests dietary interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if: medications are ineffective, parents or children wish to try dietary approaches, or mineral deficiencies were present. Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements. The…
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First Lady, Wal-Mart to fight childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Here's a shout out to Mrs. Obama. News reports say that the First Lady and Wal-Mart have forged an agreement geared at preventing childhood obesity. Media sources generally characterized the move as a victory for Mrs. Obama's signature campaign and I would agree. ABC World News reported, First Lady Michelle Obama "announced that Wal-Mart, which sells more groceries than any market in America, is going to change what's on its shelves." On the CBS Evening News the First Lady was shown saying, "I am thrilled about Wal-Mart's new nutrition charter." NBC Nightly News said that Mrs. Obama "has announced she's working with the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which promised today to cut prices on fresh fruits and vegetables and to reduce fats, sugars, salt, eliminate transfats in some of its…
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Give Thanksgiving leftovers a healthy and delicious overhaul

Nutritional Health, Obesity
One of the wonderful things about Thanksgiving dinner is there are often lots of delicious leftovers. You can just warm up a few of your favorite dishes or make a simple turkey sandwich. But for healthful alternatives, USA Today asked the Food Network’s Ellie Krieger, the editors of EatingWell and Cooking Light to share some nutritious recipes that use Thanksgiving leftovers. I hope you try them out. Greek salad pitas with feta spread and turkey Ingredients: 3 tbsp non-fat plain yogurt 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 whole-wheat pita breads 4 large pieces of romaine lettuce, torn in half 1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons ¼ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves ¾ lb. thinly…
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Comparing Weight Loss Plans, Dollars Per Pound

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Well,  it's the day after Thanksgiving, and there are at least two or three things on most people's minds: (1) Black Friday shopping, (2) Football, and/or (3) Weight Loss. Have you ever wondered which of the weight loss plans cost you the most for each pound dropped? Well, here you have the answer, provided by ABC News: $500 per pound with Liposuction $300 to $400 per pound with Gastric Band Surgery $235 to $353 per pound with Duodenal Switch Surgery $237.56 per pound with One-on-One with Jenny Craig $173 per pound with Non-prescription Weigh Loss Aids when paired with a Low-Fat Diet SAVE $12.50 per pound by just Kickin' It Old School Here are the details: 1) One-on-One With Jenny Craig Bottom-Line Estimate: $237.56 per pound for one-on-one weight loss support and…
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How to help kids follow a healthy diet even over holidays

Nutritional Health, Obesity
This is a reprint of one of the more popular blogs I posted last year. It's adapted from an AP story on how we, as parents, can help our children with more healthful nutrition during the holidays. I also have a ton of tips in my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat which in on sale in both hardback and softcover at my DrWalt.com book store. Better yet, they're autographed: Many parents are trying to figure out how to have a healthier holiday without depriving their kids of holiday treats. About a third of American kids are overweight or obese, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Studies show Americans gain about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s; people who are…
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Go healthy, not hungry for Thanksgiving dining

Nutritional Health, Obesity
The holiday season means you’ll be faced with a seemingly endless buffet of food temptation. While some people simply give in and eat too much, others deny themselves any holiday treats. But there are ways to navigate between overindulgence and deprivation, according to Julie Redfern, manager of Nutrition Consult Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She offers the following advice in a report by Health on the Net Foundation: Eat a light snack before you go to a holiday party. That will prevent you from arriving hungry and overeating or gobbling down foods high in calories and saturated fat. When you’re invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy food dish. Research how you can use healthy ingredients in your favorite holiday recipes. For example, using 1 percent…
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Three Meals A Day May Beat ‘Mini-meals’ For Weight Loss

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Sitting down to eat a real meal three times a day may be a better strategy for weight loss than grazing on several smaller "mini-meals," new research shows. Here are the details in a report from Reuters Health: Overweight and obese men on low-calorie, high-protein diets felt more satisfied and less hungry when they ate three times a day compared to when they ate six times a day, Dr. Heather J. Leidy and colleagues from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, found. "There's a lot of lay press about eating frequency," Leidy, who is now at The University of Missouri in Columbia, told Reuters Health. While there's a widespread perception that it's better to eat little meals more often, she added, "these mini-meals everyone is talking about don't seem to…
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Keep Health in Mind When Planning School Day Menus For Your Kids

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
As a parent preparing for your child's school day, it may be helpful to remember that healthy meals and snacks are essential for learning. Here are some helpful tips from the experts at HealthDay News: "Parents can make the school day easier for their children by providing nutritious and yummy breakfasts, lunches and snacks that promote optimal learning. Everyone is in a rush in the morning, but it only takes a few minutes on Sunday to plan healthy meals to fuel your child's week," Karin Richards, director of the Exercise Science and Wellness Management program, and director of Health Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. Richards offered the following advice for parents as they plan breakfast, lunch and snacks for their…
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Parents Beware: Cartoon Characters Sell Kids on Unhealthy Foods

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Using the likes of Shrek and Dora to market treats should be banned, researcher says. Why? Because popular cartoon characters are negatively influencing the taste preferences of very young children, and not in a positive way, a new study suggests.Here are the details from HealthDay News: -- Researchers found that the branding of American food product packaging with characters such as Dora the Explorer drives preschoolers to choose higher-calorie, less healthful foods over more nutritious options. "The bottom line is that when kids are presented with a choice of graham crackers, fruit snacks or carrots, and the only difference is that one package has a licensed character on it, they actually think that the food with the character tastes better," said study author Christina Roberto, a doctoral student working at the…
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Kids Like Cartoon-Branded Snacks Better

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
A new study is showing that children find foods taste better if the packages feature popular cartoon characters. Once simply the world's best-known cartoon, canine detective Scooby-Doo is now also a popular pitchman for pasta, cookies, "fruit" snacks, and other foods marketed to young children. And, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek, Dora the Explorer, and many other cartoon characters also do double duty selling junk food and sometimes healthy foods to kids, and this new research clearly shows why manufacturers use them. The study found that foods packaged with popular cartoon characters really do taste better – or at least they do to 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds. The effect was not as great with carrots as with less healthy fruit-flavored gummies and graham crackers, but more children said they preferred the taste of all three…
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Indulging in four unhealthy behaviors ages the average individual by 12 years

Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
It is generally understood that being inactive, eating poorly, smoking, and drinking too much are bad – very bad – for your health. Now, a newly published study assesses and quantifies those behaviors. In short, "combine all of the above and you'll end up seeming 12 years older than people your age who do none of the above." That assertion is based on a study in which investigators "tracked nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years," the AP reports. "Overall, 314 people studied had all four unhealthy behaviors." That is, they smoked tobacco, had "more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than two daily for women," attained "less than two hours of physical activity per week; and" ate "fruits and vegetables fewer than three times daily."…
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10 Best Foods for Your Heart

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
As we head into the Easter weekend, I wanted to offer you some blogs on healthier nutrition choices. Here are ten choices that you can make that will be heart healthy and are adapted from an article at Health.com. 1) Oatmeal Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber. 2) Salmon Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of…
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Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Thanksgiving Eating

Nutritional Health
The holiday season means you'll be faced with a seemingly endless buffet of food temptation. While some people simply give in and eat too much, others deny themselves any holiday treats. But there are ways to navigate between overindulgence and deprivation, according to Julie Redfern, manager of Nutrition Consult Services at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She offers the following advice (in a report by Health on the Net Foundation): Eat a light snack before you go to a holiday party. That will prevent you from arriving hungry and overeating or gobbling down foods high in calories and saturated fat. When you're invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy food dish. Research how you can use healthy ingredients in your favorite holiday recipes. For example, using 1…
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For Kids’ Sake, Make Family Meals a Habit

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Listen up, kids. Sitting down to eat with your parents night after night might seem like a drag, but over the long run, it’ll be good for you, a new study says. Regular family meals improve diet quality during the transition from early to middle adolescence, researchers report. And a good diet could be habit forming and carry over into adulthood. More Information: (more…)
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Parents are beginning to clean up their kids’ nutrition acts

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
USA Today also reports that parents are beginning to clean up their nutrition acts when it comes to the snacks they serve their children. Fruit is the most common snack for children under 6, and cookies are second. In 1987, cookies ruled and fruit ranked second, according to findings from the NPD Group, a market research firm. (more…)
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