Self-Care: The Journey to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Paired with our expertise, the team at Jumo Health shared that encouraging a healthy lifestyle is essential for the growth and development of our youth. When we teach our kids self-care practices, they are likely to maintain these practices in order to evolve and thrive from adolescents into healthy adults. Self-care does not just pertain to physical health but it includes mental health as well. While childhood obesity and mental illness are not always mutually exclusive, they are commonly diagnosed as a result of the other.

Nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (aged 6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity. Children who suffer from obesity are teased more than their peers of healthy weight, and therefore are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression and lower self-esteem. However, there are ways in which we can encourage our children to take care of their body and their mind. Here are three self-care practices to start incorporating into our everyday lives:

 

Power a Healthy Mindset with Knowledge

According to Sarah Katula, an Advanced Psychiatric Nurse, conversations about the mental health of another person should begin with a casual chat. This facilitates the opportunity for a loved one or friend to point out a noticed behavior without accusation. In the particular scenario of childhood obesity, this is a conversation that will likely be started by a parent who notices a change in their child. Coping with any diagnosis can be challenging, and growing up diagnosed with obesity has its own particular set of challenges. Read more

5 ways nature can improve your health

Amish Doshi, MD, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical shared in the Edwards-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that we get used to our routine surroundings — the office, our cars, our homes. Deliberately leaving those spaces and moving to natural surroundings for a while, unplugged, could seriously improve your health.The phrase “forest bathing” recently spent some time in the spotlight, and deservedly so. When done correctly, forest bathing, or spending time in nature, can provide an important boost to your mind and body.

So what is forest bathing? First, go to a nature preserve. Leave your cell phone locked in your car. Then, let go of the thoughts in your head and focus on the present; the way the tree bark feels, the way the dirt smells, the sounds of birds singing and wind rustling leaves. Take a relaxed, meandering walk that gives you time to breathe and break from the pace of everyday life.

It turns out a nature walk can actually improve your physical health, besides giving you a mental rest.

Among the many benefits, spending time in nature can:

Improve your memory. One study found a nature walk improved short-term memory by 20 percent.

Lower stress hormones. Nature has a calming effect, which allows your body to focus on improving its systems. Many plants release immunity-boosting organic compounds into the air. Forests provide shade, help filter the air and can reduce levels of stress hormones in your body.

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Child and Adult Care Food Program to provide families access to healthy meals

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for the fiscal year 2019. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by ISBE as part of a suite of programs to provide children and families access to healthy meals.

CACFP assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to provide nutritious meals to children in their care. All participating child care centers and day care homes must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional charge.

“The Child and Adult Care Food Program ensures children in daycare and after-school programs who may not otherwise have regular access to healthy food are getting the proper nutrition they need to fuel their developing bodies and brains,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “More than one in 10 people in Illinois, a third of them children, are food insecure. Physical health and nutrition affect our ability to learn, focus, and grow. ISBE is proud to administer nutrition programs that help ensure all children have what they need to thrive.”

In 2016, more than 1.4 million people in Illinois were food insecure, including nearly half a million children, according to Feeding America.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income eligibility guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits. If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, they should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF, or SNAP information. Read more

Trade Screen Time for Green Time

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Preventing Obesity

id you know that outside of the hospital walls, Lurie Children’s is working to help prevent childhood obesity in Chicago.

Why this needs our attention

Obesity creates long-term health concerns for children. Being overweight or obese can increases a child’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers, and raise the likelihood for developing asthma by more than 50%. More than half of overweight and obese adolescents already display at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Obesity can also lead to bullying, stigma, stress and depression.

While recent data show that obesity rates are beginning to level off after years of rapid increases, that rate still remains 300% higher than it was in the 1980s. In America today, nearly 17% of children are obese. Recent projections predict that 57.3% of children will be obese at age 35 and that roughly half of that prevalence will occur during childhood. Even more concerning are the significantly higher obesity rates among children of color. Nationally, 22% of Hispanic children and 19.5% of African American children are obese, much higher than the 14.7% rate for white children. These disparities are mirrored in Chicago’s communities of color: in neighborhoods such as Roseland, Humboldt Park and West Town, nearly 50% of children are obese. Read more

Registration for Flat Apple 2018 Begins June 1

The free Flat Apple Summer Activity encourages children to be physically active and rewards them with a prize drawing.

The Healthy Lombard Foundation wants kids to stay fit this summer, and kids who keep track of their activities just may win a prize or find a bit of local fame.

The foundation is launching the Flat Apple Summer Activity, which aims to keep kids moving through the warm weather. From Friday, June 1, through Aug. 25, kids are encouraged to take part in Healthy Lombard-sponsored activities at community events such as a Lombard Cruise Night and keep a log of the time they spend doing things that will keep their bodies healthy.

Play sports? The game goes on the log. Spend the afternoon swimming? Log it. Ride your bike with friends and take a family walk? Log and log again.

“Flat Apple is for both (the) athletic and nonathletic child,” foundation board President Jay Wojcik said. “Our goal is for kids to have a great experience and be motivated to stay active during the summer.”

To take part in Flat Apple, children between the ages of 4 and 16 must have their parents register them for the free program on the Healthy Lombard website, healthylombard.com. The program is open to children who live outside of Lombard as well as to residents.

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Moms Can Help Girls Get Moving

Unfortunately, data suggests that we aren’t. Adolescents need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. However, the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that only about 27% of high school students participated in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on each of the seven days prior to the survey. Boys (36%) were more likely than girls (17.7%) to get the recommended amount of exercise.

This means that our kids, especially our girls, are missing out on some incredible lifelong health benefits, including lowering their risk for chronic diseases and improving their chances of becoming healthy adults.

Physical activity and sports also make for a healthier, more enjoyable childhood. According to a Women’s Sports Foundation study(link is external), organized sports are associated with children’s general health and body esteem, healthy weight, and educational achievement. Also, children’s involvement in sports is often associated with more harmony, cohesion, and communication with their parent(s). What’s more — girls who are not involved in team sports are less content with their lives than girls who do participate, because sports enhance their quality of life. To me, the message is clear: We need to get more girls moving and signed up to play sports.

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Sixth Annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week: April 23-27, 2018

Every Kid Healthy™ Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances.

Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts schools are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn!

Anyone can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools with a school health event.

Schools are invited to host an event during Every Kid Healthy Week or anytime in April. Consider making your field day or other school-wide event health-focused. Keep reading to learn how to host an event!

Host an Every Kid Healthy Event at Your School

Every Kid Healthy Week events should promote and reinforce healthy eating, nutrition education, physical activity and physical education. We have lots of resources to help you promote your event and get students and the whole community excited and involved.

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The Top 8 Worst Candies to Place in Your Child’s Easter Basket

College of DuPage Nursing Student McKenna Musich, shared that it’s almost that time of year again! Hopping bunnies, pastel eggs, fake grass, and sweet candies. Easter is just around the corner and most parents are planning just what to stash in those colorful baskets. According to Statistic Brain Research Group, in 2016 the United States spent 2.1 billion dollars on Easter candy. But which candy is the worst candy to place in the basket? Let’s take a look at the top 8 worst candies for Easter.

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – One serving is one piece. Each piece is 170 calories. There is 90 calories from fat and 16 grams of sugar.
  1. Cadbury Crème Eggs – Serving size is one egg. Calories per serving is 170, with 54 of those calories from fat. These eggs contain 25 grams of sugar.
  1. Almond Joy Egg – Serving size 1 egg. 277 calories, 12 g of fat. 1 gram of sugar. While 1 gram of sugar may not seem like much, note that there is 735 mg of sodium in one egg (about 30% of the daily value).
  1. M&Ms (Easter eggs) – Serving size is ¼ of a cup. Calories total to 203 (about 10% of the daily value), with 4 g of fat. Sugar rests at 1 gram.
  1. Peeps  – One serving (5 Peeps) contains 140 calories. None of these calories come from fat, but Peeps contain 34 grams of sugar.
  1. Jelly Beans – Serving size is 31 pieces. Calories per serving is 140, 0 from fat. There is 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  7.  Swedish Fish – These little fish come in limited edition “egg” form for Easter. The serving size is 9 pieces. There is 140 calories , 0 of those from fat. These have 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  1. Hersey’s Easter Eggs – Serving size is 8 pieces. 550 calories (nearly 30% of the daily value). 0 grams of fat or sugar.

So this Easter, take a second look at those nutrition facts and make the right call. A healthy Easter is a happy Easter!

References

All nutritional facts were found using MyFitnessPal.

“Easter Statistics-Statistic Brain.”2017 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. 23rd March, 2017. Http://www.statisticbrain.com/Easter-statistics

Effects of Food Bullying

Ingrid Donato, Chief, Mental Health Promotion Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Jillian Lampert, The Emily Program and the Eating Disorders Coalition shared in womenshealth.gov that weight-based teasing and bullying have been identified as common experiences for youth, particularly for those who may be heavier. Children whose peers tease them about their weight are more likely to engage in disordered eating. Help raise awareness about weight-based bullying. Learn what signs to look for in a child or young person who may have an eating disorder and what can be done to help adolescents who are bullied and at risk of developing an eating disorder.

What is an eating disorder?

 

Eating disorders are complex mental disorders that cause a person to have excessive fear and anxiety about eating, body image, and weight gain that lead to unhealthy behaviors.

Three of the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

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