Nature RX: The Best Medicine

John LaPuma M.D., board-certified in internal medicine, shared in the Children and Nature Network Bulletin that the late neurologist and author, Dr. Oliver Sacks, was a true believer in the power of nature to heal. Sacks, who would take his patients to gardens whenever possible, described two patients for whom nature was literally the best medicine.

One patient, a friend of Sacks’, had moderately severe Tourette’s syndrome. The condition forced hundreds of grunts and tics daily. But one day when the two men were hiking in a desert, his friend’s tics had completely disappeared. Sacks wrote that “the remoteness and uncrowdedness of the scene, combined with some ineffable calming effect of nature, served to defuse his ticcing, to “normalize” his neurological state, at least for a time.”

Another patient, a woman with moderately severe Parkinson’s disease, was frozen and immobile when indoors. But outside, she was mobile and agile on terrain, and in a rocky garden.

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Now’s the time to protect your kid’s heart health

Edwards-Elmhurst Health shared that many of us don’t think about the health of our hearts until we’re older. But heart problems can affect people of all ages, including children. Some kids are born with heart problems, but others develop them because of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Today, nearly one in three American children and teens are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is causing a slew of health problems among kids that weren’t seen before. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that children who are overweight from ages 7 to 13 have a greater risk of developing heart disease as early as age 25.

What’s more, childhood obesity quadruples the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, further increasing the risk of heart disease. Smoking and physical inactivity also increase heart disease risk. These risk factors all have something in common. They are largely preventable.

Adopting heart-healthy habits early on can provide lifelong benefits. What steps can your kids take today to protect their heart health in the future? Make these part of your family’s daily out routine:

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Have You Registered for Flat Apple ?

The mission of the Healthy Lombard Foundation is to address the epidemic of childhood obesity and promote a healthier lifestyle for all community members through the “Triple A Approach” of awareness, activities, and achievement.

With that mission in mind, Healthy Lombard developed the Flat Apple program to incentivize kids to stay active during the summer months outside of school. The 2019 program runs June 3-August 9. The program allows participants to earn tickets to make them eligible to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer. Prize winners are typically contacted in September.

ONE OF OUR FEATURED PRIZES IS A SIGNED SOCCER BALL FROM CHICAGO FIRE!

So, to register your child, please visit www.healthylombard.com and click on the Flat Apple link on the right-hand side under Quick Clicks. There is no fee to register for Flat Apple. Children must be registered by an adult to participate in the program.

Flat Apple provides various opportunities to earn “tickets” to be eligible for raffle prizes at the end of the summer. Tickets may be earned in the following ways:
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Jump into June

Action for Healthy Kids’ Game On shared that the days are longer, the temperatures are rising and the fruits and veggies are (hopefully!) more local during the summer growing season. Take advantage of any summer wellness programs offered through your local community, city or parks department.

Need other ideas? Jump into June with these fun and summer-perfect activities that will surely keep everyone safe, active and healthy.

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get the whole family and community physically active. Create a list of commonly found nature items in your backyard or community park, and consider incorporating simple, experiential activities (such as skipping a rock or spotting a wild animal). Individuals or teams then scramble to collect the items or perform the activities within a given time limit. Provide healthy snacks, and create a friendly competition by handing out prizes for the person or group that completes the hunt first. Read more

How Movement and Exercise Help Kids Learn

KQED Author Deborah Farmer Kris who has taught elementary, middle and high school and served as a charter school administrator and spent a decade as an associate at Boston University’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility, researching, writing, and consulting with schools shared that  Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki was a rising star in the field of memory when she looked around and realized that her lifestyle wasn’t sustainable.

“I was trying to get tenure, and I was doing nothing but work,” she says. “I had no friends outside of my lab. I knew I needed to do something. I thought, at least I can go to the gym and try to feel stronger.”

She signed up for the classes that “looked the most fun.” As she expected, her mood and fitness level improved – but she began to notice something else at play. “About a year and a half into that regular exercise routine, I was sitting at my desk writing a grant and this thought went through my mind, ‘Writing is going well!’ I had never had that thought before. Then I realized that all of my work had been going better recently, and the only major change I had made to my life was regularly working out.” Read more

Healthy Lombard’s Summer Flat Apple Program for Kids

The mission of the Healthy Lombard Foundation is to address the epidemic of childhood obesity and promote a healthier lifestyle for all community members through the “Triple A Approach” of awareness, activities, and achievement.

With that mission in mind, Healthy Lombard developed the Flat Apple program to incentivize kids to stay active during the summer months outside of school.  The 2019 program runs June 3-August 9.  The program allows participants to earn tickets to make them eligible to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer.  Prize winners are typically contacted in September.

To register your child, please visit www.healthylombard.com and click on the Flat Apple link on the right-hand side under Quick Clicks.  There is no fee to register for Flat Apple.  Children must be registered by an adult to participate in the program.  Read more

New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorder in 4-Year-Old Children

CDC scientists published a report on the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 4-year-old children. This report is based on information from the Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Early ADDM is a subset of the broader ADDM Network, which has been doing ASD surveillance among 8-year-old children since 2000.

In this report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries, scientists analyzed information from the health and/or education records of preschool-aged children. Identifying children with ASD early helps families get access to services in their communities. This report provides valuable information on progress made toward early identification of children with ASD and informs providers, particularly public schools, of upcoming service needs. The data in this report demonstrate a continued need to identify children with ASD sooner and refer them to early intervention. Read more

W.H.O. Says Limited or No Screen Time for Children Under 5

By Emily S. Rueb  wrote for the New York Times that in a new set of guidelines, the World Health Organization said that infants under 1 year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and that children between the ages of 2 and 4 should not have more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” each day.

Limiting, and in some cases eliminating, screen time for children under the age of 5 will result in healthier adults, the organization, a United Nations health agency announced.

But taking away iPads and other electronic devices is only part of the solution, the researchers said. Children under 5 should also get more exercise and sleep in order to develop better habits that will stave off obesity and diseases in adolescence and adulthood, the guidelines said.“Achieving health for all means doing what is best for health right from the beginning of people’s lives,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the W.H.O., said in a statement. “Early childhood is a period of rapid development and a time when family lifestyle patterns can be adapted to boost health gains.” Read more

Join Us at Time for Tots!

Take Time for Tots Day will be held Saturday, April 06 from 10 am-noon at the Sunset Knoll Recreation Center (820 S Finley Rd.) and sponsored by Gianorio’s Pizza and Pasta, State Farm Agent Bob Goldin Sr, and Culver’s of Lombard.

Healthy Lombard will be providing 200 FREE “Go Fly A Kite” Activity where every child will receive a FREE kite kit and have assistance assembling their kites after they decorate them with stickers and markers.

This is a fun event that we did last year and we are looking forward to repeating it this year.

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Good Nutrition Starts Early

The Center for Disease Control shared that kids’ early eating experiences can affect how they eat as they get older. That’s why it’s so important to introduce them to healthy foods from the very beginning.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

When your child is about 6 months old, you can start introducing him or her to foods and drinks other than breast milk and infant formula. For most children, you don’t need to introduce foods in a specific order.

Try making a rainbow of different colored foods on your child’s plate.

By the time your child is 7 or 8 months old, he or she can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Your child needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong. Try making a rainbow of different colored foods on your child’s plate. Here are a few examples:

  • Fruits: bananas, strawberries, pears, oranges, melons, or avocados
  • Vegetables: cooked spinach, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, or beets
  • Whole grains: whole grain bread, crackers, or pasta
  • Meats: soft, small pieces of beef, lamb, chicken, fish, or turkey
  • Dairy: yogurts or cheeses (pasteurized only)

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