Help kids be more physically active with these simple tips

Dr. Matthew Smiley from Advocate Children’s Hospital shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that we often think of not having enough time to exercise as an adult problem, but new research shows that children are affected by this issue as well.

A recent report from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance stated that physical inactivity levels in children around the globe have reached crisis levels and showed that children worldwide are not active enough to maintain healthy growth and development.

The findings in this report might surprise some, but these trends are not new. It is well documented that a sedentary lifestyle and decreased rates of physical activity are increasingly common in the United States, and not surprisingly, around the globe.

A sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous, as it is associated with higher rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and shortened life span. It’s necessary to teach children the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle at an early age.

Many factors contribute to an increase in sedentary lifestyles, including a lack of resources and access to opportunities to participate in physical activities and the number of time children spends with screens.

Ideally, children should engage in no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time. To help children adhere to this rule, parents need to proactively think about how they’re going to regulate screen time. Small behavior modifications like keeping screens out of the bedroom, away from the dinner table, setting time limits on tablet and video game usage, and unplugging for a day as a family can go a long way in helping kids find activities to do sans technology — exercise being one of them. Read more

Top 10 Ways To Get Kids Involved In Healthy Cooking & Shopping   offers these great suggestions:

10.Mean Green Cleaning Machine. Let them wash fruits and vegetables when preparing
for cooking or eating.

9.Pick A Peck!  When shopping, let them select a new fruit or vegetable to try … or several!

8.Make It Snappy! Let them snap the green beans, snap peas, or break the flowerets from the broccoli or cauliflower.

7.I Spy. Play “I Spy” in the produce section when grocery shopping.

6.Tear It Up! Let them tear the lettuce for salads and sandwiches.

5.Measure Up! Let them measure the frozen vegetables before cooking them.
See How Much You Need

4.Peel & Slice. Older children can peel and slice carrotscucumberspotatoes… the list goes on!

3.Stir & Spice. Make applesauce from fresh apples. Let them help stir and add the cinnamon.

2.A Sprinkle A Day… Let them sprinkle herbs or other seasonings onto vegetables.

1.Monster Mash! Pull out the potato masher!

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ACLS Heart Healthy Guide to Preventing Obesity

Sarah Gehrke, MSN, RN posted forPacific Medical Training, that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of US adults have obesity—this dietary driven disease kills more than twice as many people as infectious disease.

Obesity is a growing problem among people from all walks of life—this is especially true with children since the convenience of technology usage has limited their physical activity, and the availability of overly processed foods, such as pizza, sugary snacks, other fast food, have made children overweight.

Physicians have correlated, through recent studies, that obesity can be attributed to some diseases including diabetes, heart problems, and even some forms of cancer. These non-communicable chronic diseases will cost our global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years.

Fortunately, preventative measures can be taken to help combat obesity, and with a few lifestyle changes, people of all ages can lose weight, be healthier, and live a longer and fuller life.

WHO: Obesity and Overweight – CDC provides key facts and global estimates about the obese and overweight population

The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases – a snapshot of the five major noncommunicable diseases and a summary of the global economic impact

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Landmark Study Looks at How Screen Time Affects Kids’ Brains

Snack on This

While the kids are out of school for winter break, you’ll probably be hearing a lot of requests for snacks.

Fear not: Parents for Healthy Kids has got plenty of ideas for healthy snacks, from ones you can quickly grab to others that you can make together on a relaxing afternoon.

The first thing you can do to help your kiddos create healthy snack habits is to set yourself up for success. Limit the amount of junk food you have in the house, and stock the fridge and pantry with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Bonus: If only (or almost only) healthy options are available, you don’t have to be the bad guy by always saying no.

Below are some of our favorite nutritious snack ideas – for after school, or anytime – organized by how quickly you can pull them off. Because let’s be honest, some days, removing the packaging is about all that’s possible.

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5 ways to ensure healthy diet plan of your new born baby

Prince Kapoor, a seasoned Marketing Analyst, and Blogger,  has been helping fellow marketers and brands worldwide. He recently submitted the following article for Healthy Lombard to share with its readers.

Motherhood is the most precious time in the lives of most women. The very idea of bringing a new life is nothing but thrilling! But of course, it is twisted with a lot of responsibilities. All new mothers falter at first. They do not know how to handle their precious darling in the first few days. It is overwhelming initially, and extremely challenging since the newborn must be fed right to become strong.

In the previous days, the grandmothers were the best source of knowledge for the new mother. Be it a food-related question, or general curiosity, the grandmothers were right on their toes to help out the new mother. But times are changing, and so is the need for nutrition of most children. Under that light, it is important to come up with a new and developed feeding plan which is based on the requirement of the toddlers and newborns of the current times.

Breastfeeding and Formula

The first few months of an infant’s life is precious. At that time, they must be fed just the right kind of food so that they can grow a strong immune system as an adult. At this stage, all the nutrient requirement of a newborn is met through the breast milk, nature’s gift to the child. Though most children are comfortable with breast milk for the first couple of months, some of them might face complications. In that case, it is advisable to switch to any infant formula after consulting a doctor, It is important to note that newborn babies do not require water, juice or any other fluids. Read more

Obesity in Children

WebMD shared that one-third of children in the U. S. are overweight or obese, and this number is continuing to rise. Children have fewer weight-related health and medical problems than adults. However, overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.

What Causes Obesity in Children?

Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. Only in rare cases is being overweight caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem. A physical exam and some blood tests can rule out the possibility of a medical condition as the cause of obesity.

Although weight problems run in families, not all children with a family history of obesity will be overweight. Children whose parents or brothers or sisters are overweight may be at an increased risk of becoming overweight themselves, but this can be linked to shared family behaviors such as eating and activity habits.

A child’s total diet and activity level play an important role in determining a child’s weight. Today, many children spend a lot of time being inactive. For example, the average child spends approximately four hours each day watching television. As computers and video games become increasingly popular, the number of hours of inactivity may increase.

What Diseases Are Obese Children at Risk For?

Obese children are at risk for a number of conditions, including:


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Being called ‘fat’ in teens tied to later eating disorders for girls

Reuters shared that for teen girls, being called “fat” by friends or family may contribute to later developing eating disorders, and the harsh word from family members seems to carry the most weight, a recent U.S. study suggests.

Weight stigma – the negative stereotypes, social devaluation and pervasive mistreatment of heavier individuals – is strongly implicated in disordered eating, the research team writes in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Previous studies have found that being teased about weight is associated with binge eating and unhealthy weight control behaviors in boys and increased dieting in girls. The current study is one of the first to look at the long-term consequences of being labeled as “too fat,” the authors note.

“How we talk about weight – especially with young girls – can have really negative effects on mental and physical health,” said lead author Jeffrey Hunger, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Labeling young girls as ‘too fat’ will never spur positive health behaviors; it is simply going to result in poor body image, unhealthy weight control practices, and disordered eating,” he told Reuters Health in an email. Read more

Eating Healthier at School Improves Learning

The Center for Disease control shared that kids learn better eating habits when schools provide healthy foods. Learn what you can do to promote nutritious foods at your school.

Most US children attend school for six hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school. Kids who eat healthy foods at school learn better lifelong eating habits and are readier to learn.

School Meal Programs

Schools play an important role in shaping lifelong healthy eating habits by offering meals with important nutrients. Many schools provide students with meals through federal school meal programs including the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. All students can participate in school meal programs. Some students can receive free or reduced-price meals. School meals offer milk, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and key nutrients like calcium and fiber. Learn more about healthy eating in schools and the benefits of school meals.

Check out this info on the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement!

Nutrition and Academic Achievement

Healthy students are better learners. Research shows that nutrition affects student achievement. Student participation in the School Breakfast Program is associated with higher academic grades and standardized test scores, reduced absences, and improved memory. This fact sheet[480 KB] shows the connection between eating habits and academic grades. More information on the link between health and academic achievement can be found here.

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The Older Kids Get, the Less Time They Spend Outdoors

wrote for Tree Huggers that it comes as no surprise that kids these days are spending less time in nature than previous generations did, but it’s always alarming when casual observations are cemented by formal research. A new study out of North Carolina State University and Clemson University has found that middle-school students, even those living in rural areas, are spending more time indoors and less outdoors. The culprit? Screens.

Middle school, defined as grades six to eight, can be a tough time for many young people, with their lives becoming more structured, academic pressure mounting, and priorities shifting. Amid all these changes, the total time spent in nature starts slipping more rapidly than in earlier years. It affects several demographic groups more than others: girls, African-American students, and eighth graders are most likely to experience a reduction in outdoor time, whereas maintaining a connection to nature is highest among boys, White students, and sixth graders.

The study, published in the journal Environment and Behavior, analyzed the recreational activities of 543 middle-school students across rural South Carolina. While most of the students spent some time outdoors, more was spent on electronic media. This is concerning not only because of the negative effects of overexposure to media (for which evidence is continually mounting) but also because these kids are missing out on the positive benefits of being outdoors. Read more