Have You Heard of Teal Pumpkin?

Born out of one mom’s desire to help ensure that children with food allergies would not feel left out on Halloween, the Teal Pumpkin Project®, now in its fourth year as a national awareness campaign led by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), has spread far and wide – reaching millions across the U.S. and beyond — in an effort to help create a happier, safer Halloween for all.

For millions of children with food allergies and their parents, the Halloween trick-or-treating tradition can sometimes be fraught with anxiety because many candies that are handed out contain major food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters by encouraging people to provide non-food treats on Halloween. A pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals that children will find a fun, non-food treat that anyone can enjoy.

“One in 13 children in the U.S. has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years,” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE. “It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.”

For Westlake, OH mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter Lyla. Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbors, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighborhood.

“The Teal Pumpkin Project made the holiday inclusive for kids like Lyla. Teal pumpkins empower her to not only feel safe on Halloween (even with so many allergens present), but also that she is truly a part of the holiday,” Meldrum said. “So often we have to bend a typical situation around Lyla’s allergies. This movement has allowed Lyla to freely participate, and that is amazing.”

Being part of the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple. Supporters can:

  • Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
  • Paint a pumpkin teal or buy a teal pumpkin at your local craft store or pharmacy, or print a free sign from FARE’s website.
  • Place your teal pumpkin or sign in front of your home to indicate non-food treats are available.

Launched nationally in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project has attracted supporters from 50 states and more than a dozen countries. The campaign was inspired by a local awareness activity conceived by Becky Basalone and run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee.

FARE thanks the following Teal Pumpkin Project official 2017 partners: Ahold USA (including its brands Stop & Shop, Giant Food and Giant/Martin’s), CVS Pharmacy, Michaels and Savers.

FARE has a number of resources to help individuals and families get involved, including:

For more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit www.tealpumpkinproject.org For more information about food allergies, visit www.foodallergy.org.

Ever wonder how to lesson your kids’ screen time?

Overweight Brother and Sister Sitting on a Sofa Eating Takeaway Food and Watching the TV

College of DuPage Nursing Student Czarina Anne Cruz feels that children’s use of electronics nowadays seems unavoidable. They can spend a whole day watching TV shows, playing video games or texting on their phones, without having actual conversations with other people. This is alarming and can negatively affect their social skills and most importantly, their overall health including their sleep, vision, and weight. According to American Association of Pediatrics, children from 2-5 years old should spend 1 hour a day on their screens. For most homes, however, this is not the case. It is becoming difficult for parents to get their children’s attention, and getting their eyes off their screens.

Here are some tips to lessen your kids’ screen time:

  • No phones during dinner. Whoever touches his or her phone first would have to clean up the table and wash the dishes. This will also allow you to have a good conversation with your kids.
  • Wi-fi password. Do not give them the Wi-fi password unless all their homework and chores are done.
  • Turn off the phone at night. This will help them get enough sleep. They do not realize how much time they spend scrolling before they realize that they missed bedtime.
  • Play time Fridays. This is for your younger kids who spend hours playing on their tablets. Get them used to the rule that they can only have their tablet during a certain day, or on weekends if you prefer.

Read more

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active.

Make a difference for kids: spread the word about strategies for preventing childhood obesity and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

How can National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month make a difference?

We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools healthier. Help them provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for students.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by supporting programs to prevent childhood obesity.

How can I help spread the word?

We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

CVS Hides the Candy, Chips.

With permission from Sharon Terlep at the , Healthy Lombard is happy to share the following story that was published in the WSJ on June 28, 2017.

Kevin Heath was wandering around his local CVS pharmacy in search of licorice for his wife, stymied that the candy display was no longer in its usual spot at the front of the store.

With help from a store employee, he found the treats in a section farther back. “Eh, I’m retired. I can take a little extra time,” said the 66-year-old from North Arlington, N.J.

Meet the new CVS Health Corp. CVS -1.56% Three years after eliminating tobacco products from its shelves and adding “health” to its name, the company is taking more steps and moving most junk food away from the storefront, banning sales of low-protection sunscreens and eliminating foods containing artificial trans-fats.

The changes are part of CVS’s effort to stand apart from rivals by focusing on health-care goods and services, said Helena Foulkes, who runs the company’s retail business. It puts the company on a different path than its main competitor.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. says it isn’t a retailer’s job to keep shoppers from their vices and that consumers should be able to make unhealthy choices if they want to. But like CVS, it is trying to boost sales by appealing to a more health-conscious shopper.

Walgreens sells cigarettes but offers smoking-cessation help in the form of specially trained pharmacists and quitting aids. It is keeping candy up front but has added fresh fruit and vegetables in other parts of the store. It also has a loyalty program that rewards shoppers with points for exercise and health monitoring that can be used on purchases. Read more

Recipe for Success: Changing the Way People Eat Their Veggies

Gracie Cavnar, the CEO of Recipe for Success Foundation founded Recipe for Success ten years ago after she became involved in a campaign to remove junk food vending machines from elementary schools in Texas because she knew the power of marketing to young children. During this campaign, she became aware of the childhood obesity epidemic and diseases related to weight issues. This prompted her to found Recipe for Success, and use her newfound knowledge of the diet-related issues affecting millions across America, as a way to change the minds of children about eating healthy food. Ten years later, Recipe for Success has grown to a national footprint, with many initiatives. They produce programs such as hands-on cooking and gardening, healthy community calls to action, school contests, healthy food access, cookbooks, and multi-media projects.

Cavnar worked with professional chefs, scientists, nutritionists, gardeners, and teachers to develop grade-specific, hands-on curriculum for learning in the garden and culinary classrooms. According to Recipe for Success, after one year in their Seed-To-Plate Nutrition Education™ program, children are eating an average of 30 percent more fruits and vegetables.

In 2010, after seeing their impact on 20,000 Houston children through their Seed-To-Plate Nutrition Education™, the Obama administration asked Cavnar to expand Recipe for Success to a national scale. “It took us two years to really find a way to scale our programming in a sustainable way,” said Cavnar. In 2012, Recipe for Success launched their Affiliate Partnershipsfor schools across the country. “Now, you can become an Affiliate Partner, and we will train, certify and support your instructors with a robust library of curriculum, webinars, social sharing, and trainings,” said Cavnar.

Read more

How to Help Your Kids Prevent Unhealthy Summer Weight Gain

Julie Upton, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and communications expert specializing in food, nutrition and health, reported in the US News’ Wellness Section that years ago, kids slimmed down during the summer months because they rode bikes, went swimming and generally goofed off all day long. They were active from the time the sun rose until the street lights came on. I was one of those kids.

Today, it’s a much different picture. The average child spends five to seven hours in front of some type of screen like a phone, iPad, TV or other device. They’re also likely to be snacking when viewing digital media. As a result, studies show that young children are piling on pounds.

1. Make sleep a priority.Kids need a lot of sleep – nine to 11 hours is recommended for school-age kids to help them eat right and stay active. A study of 690 school-age kids in Italy reported that those who logged the most sleep were more likely to have a healthy body weight. What’s more, children who adhered to a traditional Mediterranean diet – rich in produce, pasta, olive oil and low in added sugars – were more likely to meet the recommended hours of sleep and be more physically active.

2. Stock up on healthy choices. Children will eat what’s convenient, so make fresh fruit, veggies, low-fat dairy, whole grains and water readily available. “I cut up fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe to pull out when my kids are hungry and we keep a bowl of fruit on the counter. I also put together veggie trays of cut veggies with dip to stash in the fridge,” says Sally Kuzemchak, a registered dietitian who blogs at RealMomNutrition.com.

3. Choose smarter sips. Kids may want to cool off with a refreshing soda, lemonade or milkshake, but sugary beverages are nothing more than liquid candy. A small Sonic Orange Slush packs in 190 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar – more sugar than most kids should have in an entire day! Plus, mounting research shows that liquid calories don’t provide the same satisfaction as solids, so kids won’t eat less to compensate for all the sugary calories that they drank. “Water is the best solution to keep your child well-hydrated, even if she’s playing a sport,” says Jill Castle, a registered dietitian nutritionist, childhood nutrition expert and creator of The Kids Healthy Weight Project.

4. Limit screen time. Researchers believe that when kids are left to their own devices, they will spend too much time on their devices. Excess screen time is consistently linked to increased risk for obesity, which is why experts recommend limiting screen time to one to two hours a day.

5. Stick to an eating schedule.“Staying on a meal and snack schedule over the summer will help kids experience the real sensations of hunger and fullness,” Castle says. Staying on a meal and snack schedule that is more closely aligned with how your child eats during the school year helps avoid mindlessly munching all day – or skipping meals only to overeat later.

 

For Schoolchildren, Weights Rise Along With Summer Temperatures

Jan Hoffman shared in th New York Times that summer is the season when children play outdoors tirelessly until nightfall, burning up all the energy they had stockpiled throughout the school year, right?

Reality check: According to a new national studyof younger elementary school students, the risk of gaining excessive weight is far greater during the summer than when they are in school.

A nationally representative sample of 18,170 kindergartners was weighed in the early fall and again in the late spring from 2010 through 2013, when the children were finishing second grade. The prevalence of children who were overweight increased to 28.7 percent from 23.3 percent. The prevalence of those who measured as obese grew to 11.5 percent from 8.9 percent. Most strikingly, according to the study published on Wednesday in the journal Obesity, all of the increases were during the summer breaks. No increase in the prevalence of being overweight or obese was seen during the school year.

“It’s dispiriting how little progress we can see as a result of all these school-based fitness and nutrition programs,” said Paul von Hippel, the lead author and an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He was referring to initiatives such as soda bans, recalibrated school cafeteria food and more attention to physical education and nutrition curriculums. Read more

Diabetes More Common Among Children

Monifa Thomas wrote for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System that type 2 diabetes used to be rare among children and teens younger than 18. But as a recent study highlighted, that is no longer the case.

The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study , funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased by 4.8 percent between 2002 and 2012, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine in April.

In the United States, 29.1 million people are living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and about 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes.

“That young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a higher rate is concerning, because diabetes can lessen a person’s quality of life and shorten their life expectancy,” said Dr. Denise Cunill, a pediatrician and medical director at Cook County Health & Hospitals System’s Logan Square Health Center.

Though a reason for the increase in type 2 diabetes wasn’t analyzed in the SEARCH study, it is believed to be tied to the high rates of childhood obesity in the United States. The percentage of children with obesity in America has more than tripled since the 1970s, and today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity, according to the CDC .

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels, and it is often associated with being overweight or obese.

Read more

Stay Active This Summer and Win Prizes

The Healthy Lombard Foundation Board is pleased to announce that its 2017 Flat Apple Summer Activity for kids ages preschool through high school will begin June 1, and extend until August 12. Participants do not have to be residents of Lombard but do need to register.

Participation is as easy as 1, 2, and 3.

First, a parent or guardian may click on the Facebook link at the top of the Healthy Lombard website at www.healthylombard.com and then click “Sign Up” or he/she may use the link on the Flat Apple 2017 Page of the website. WHEN REGISTERING, Once registered a confirmation email will be sent with a link to the 2017 Flat Apple logo. Downloading or printing the logo speeds check in makes check in at events.

Second, the parent or guardian “Likes” Healthy Lombard on its Facebook Healthy Lombard Selfies page, www.facebook.com/healthylombardselfies to enable posting Selfies and Videos.
Third, the student participates in any or all of the Flat Apple Activity. There are 4 ways to have fun:

  1. Go to a designated site BETWEEN June 1 and August 10. (i.e. Guest Services Desk, Located Lower Level below The Eatery at Yorktown Mall, (the list can be found on both the Healthy Lombard’s Flat Apple 2017 webpage and Calendar Page), show the Flat Apple logo, participate in their activity, and then fill out a raffle ticket.
  2. Find the Flat Apple 2017 Geocache sites. (The coordinates will be listed on the Flat Apple web page and emailed out to participants.) Take a selfie with the Flat Apple Geo Sign, post it on the Facebook Healthy Lombard Selfies Page. (Healthy Lombard will fill out one raffle ticket for each participant per site/per day.)Continued …
  3. Create a 1-minute or less video on a healthy topic using Facebook Live, Instagram, or similar app. (ideas are on the Healthy Lombard Flat Apple 2017 website). Post it to the Facebook Healthy Lombard Selfies Page or the Facebook Healthy Lombard Page. (Healthy Lombard will fill out one raffle ticket for participants for each posting that is approved.)
  4. Take a selfie of the participant doing something healthy (swimming, playing ball, etc.) using Instagram or a similar app. Post it to our Facebook Healthy Lombard Selfie Page. (Limit – 1 photo per day.)

 

THE FINE PRINT:

  • The participant (preschool – high school age individual) MUST BE registered by a parent or guardian to win.
  • Although Flat Apple activities are open to children from preschool to high school, some events are age-specific so please check event information on the Flat Apple 2017 Page of the Healthy Lombard website.
  • Individuals participate in activities at their own risk.
  • Students may participate in more than 1 activity per day but cannot repeat an activity (i.e. student could do 1 geocache photo, 1 selfie photo, 1 video, and 1 site activity each day but cannot do 2 or more of the same type of activity each day.)
  • Registering grants permission for photo of participation (not name) to be posted on the Healthy Lombard Internet sites.
  • Raffle drawing will be held at the August Healthy Lombard Partner Board Meeting. Winners will be notified by email or phone and their FIRST names will be posted on the Flat Apple 2017 page of the Healthy Lombard website. If the ticket belongs to a child that is not registered, he/she cannot win and the prize will go to a child that is registered.

 

 

According to Healthy Lombard Foundation Board President Jay Wojcik, “We are hoping to attract both athletic and non-athletic child and, through having a great experience, motivate those kids to stay active during the summer.

 

Raffle Prizes will include a bike, Beat headphones, exercise equipment, gift cards, etc. Winners will be selected at the August Healthy Lombard Partner meeting.

If a child is not pre-registered they may be registered any time prior to August 12. However to save time, it is highly recommended that participants preregister.

 

Wojcik added that, “Everyone who participates is a winner since they will be rewarded with a summer full of healthy activities. Flat Apple 2017 is an easy way to have a fun time this summer and spread the message that if we are going to win the challenge to curb Childhood Obesity everyone needs to be involved. Children mimic adult behavior so everyone needs to model a healthy and active life style.”