Lunches packed at home are generally not as nutritious as school lunches

unhealthy lbThe Daily Herald also shared this information on November 17, 2014:

Researchers compared more than 750 school meals with more than 560 packed meals given to pre-K and kindergarten students in three schools, analyzing them for nutritional value over five days, CBS News reports.

“We found that packed lunches were of less nutritional quality than school lunches,” said lead researcher Alisha Farris, a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech University.

The packed lunches had more fat, and included more desserts and sugary drinks than the school lunches did, the researchers found.

“There was a spectrum,” Farris said. “There were some really healthy packed lunches. But overall, they were pretty unhealthy.”

The study is published in the November-December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Read more

Is Your Child Overweight or Obese?

toad_or_frog_wearing_a_wizards_hat_0521-1010-2412-4121_SMUFamily Fitness Expert, writes: you may look at your kids and think, “He’s strong and sturdy,” or “She’s still got a bit of baby fat.” But check again; that baby fat could have big consequences for her health. Child obesity can leave kids at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and even depression.At regular check-ups, your child’s doctor should check his height and weight and calculate his body-mass index, or BMI (see an online calculator that helps you check against thresholds for child obesity).

  • A child is considered overweight if her BMI is at or above the 85th percentile (but below the 95th percentile).

Because kids’ growth patterns are different from adults, a child’s BMI can’t be directly compared to an adult’s. Special BMI-for-age charts help doctors know which kids are at risk. So do growth patterns over time, and so does questions doctors may ask about diet and fitness, such as:

If the BMI, the lifestyle questions, and/or family medical history raise a red flag, the doctor may order follow-up lab tests, such as a lipid profile (which checks the level of cholesterol in the blood), and recommend lifestyle changes for the whole family or other treatments.

 

Get Moving!

ch3The “A Year of Being Well”  Newsletters shared that some people dread the thought of physical activity even though adults need at least 30 minutes each day and kids ages 6 and older need at least 60 minutes. Reasons for lacking enough physical activity vary. Perhaps being active seems tough because you’re not in shape or you have trouble finding time in the day? Whatever your reasons, there are affordable ways to keep moving that can fit into your busy schedule. It’s important for families to understand that small, easy steps can significantly increase your family’s prospects for healthier lives.

Explore new ideas to get your kids moving more. Doing things as a family will help you ensure you’re all getting the amount of physical activity you need. Play ball or tag. Ride bikes. Take a Walk to Be Well. Physical activity doesn’t have to be something you dread. Find an activity you like and do it every day!

Balance Weight Center Presents Nutrition Session on October 4th.

balanceflyer

Click on the graphic above to download the informational flyer.

Registration and a participation fee  is required for this event. It will be held at the Balance Weight Loss Center located at 2525 Ogden Avenue. Downers Grove, IL 60515, Phone: 630-929-3009, Web: www.balanceweightcenter.com

Parent Education Session

  • Food demonstration

Learn about:

  • Energy balance
  • Portion size
  • Maintaining healthy weight

Kid Education Session

  • Hands on activities
  • Nutrition Education
  • Kids make a healthy snack.

ProActive Kids Summer Session at Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center

logoProActive Kids teaches kids and their families fun ways to improve health through Exercise, Nutritional Lessons, and Open Discussion over 8 weeks. This life-changing experience is offered FREE to kids ages 8-14 who want to learn new exercises, lose weight, eat right and be more confident. (BMI must be in 85th percentile or above to participate).

UPCOMING SESSIONS
Summer 2014 June 9 – August 1
Fall 2014 September 15 – November 7
DAYS AND TIMES
Monday and Wednesday
Fitness and Lifestyle (Kids Only): 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Friday Family Day
Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
WHERE
Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center
3551 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

For more information and to enroll, please go to: www.proactivekids.org.
Please submit any inquiries to info@proactivekids.org or call 630.681.1558

Take the first step toward a healthy future. Sign up today to enroll your child and family in ProActive Kids’ next session.   Read more

3 Steps to Healthy Eating For Teens

Between media messages (including social media) and commercials that distort ideas of acceptable body images, glorify junk food and fast food and hype crazy fad diets that are all too accessible for impressionable teens, it’s vital for parents to take extra steps to ensure their teen maintains healthy eating habits that can make it easy to maintain a healthy weight and good health for life.  The following are some important steps to healthy eating for teens.

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1.  Breakfast is a Must

Many teens skip breakfast, but it’s not a good idea because breakfast helps teens (and everyone else in the household for that matter), with doing well in school through its impact on brain function, concentration and energy, and it helps with maintaining a healthy weight.

An ideal healthy breakfast includes high quality protein like smoothies with whey protein, eggs (more egg white in proportion to whole eggs to balance cholesterol if they have them frequently) which can be made to go in a whole wheat pita, tortilla or English Muffin, turkey bacon (nitrate free if possible) or a quality energy bar like Quest Nutrition bars made from whey protein.

2.  A Clean Plate is Not Always a Good Thing

Many of the weight loss coaching clients I work with today who struggle with weight issues can trace the messages of “clean your plate” drilled into them as a child, and often with the addition of “don’t you know there are children starving in the world” to magnify the guilt of leaving the table without finishing everything.  While you want your kids to have sufficient nutrition, it’s really beneficial to help them develop the good habit of using their own body cues to tell them when they have had enough food.

3.  Don’t Stigmatize Food

Don’t tell your teens that a food is “bad” or “good.”  All food is fuel, of course some fuel is a better choice than others, and what we have is simply a matter of choice.  You want to refer to foods in a context like “everyday” or “always” instead of “good,” and “sometimes” or “every now and then” foods instead of “bad.”

This is another common thing I have to work on with my coaching clients who have weight challenges that’s been ingrained since they were very little who often refer to themselves as “being bad” or “being good” when they consume certain foods.  When a food is dubbed as “bad” teens can end up with guilty feelings about it which could lead to eating disorders.  It also can become more desirable as something forbidden or rebellious and can foster cravings that lead to overindulgence or even bingeing that would not be the case if the food was not given special status.

Healthy Lombard Partner and Certified Health and Wellness Coach Melanie Jordan specializes in helping others get back to their dream weight for good without gimmicks or deprivation.  Weight Loss Coach Melanie really “gets” those who are challenged with losing and maintaining their weight as she has successfully overcome her own weight struggles and kept off 48 pounds.  Melanie is also an ACE Certified Group Exercise Instructor and Silver Sneakers FLEX Instructor specializing in Senior Fitness (Zumba Gold® Licensed, Ageless Grace® Certified Educator and Silver Sneakers® Classic Exercise and Circuit Training Certified).

Copyright 2014 Your Healthy Life Made Easy LLC

 

DCHD Announces Every Kid Healthy Week

3495411871-1In recognition of Every Kid Healthy Week, the DuPage County Health Department is offering some ideas on how schools can take small steps to make big changes when it comes to the health of their students.

Every Kid Healthy Week™ is an effort created by Action for Healthy Kids®, a non-profit organization that fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives. During this national observance and throughout the month of April, schools across the country are encouraged to host events that will make sustainable changes that encourage students to eat better and be active every day.

To celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week™, schools can implement wellness initiatives to promote and reinforce healthy eating, physical activity and nutrition education. Some events taking place across the county include:

  •  Hosting a healthy food taste test event
  •  Organizing a family fitness night
  • Incorporating fitness breaks into the classroom curriculum

FORWARD, a county-wide, public-private partnership of the DuPage County Health Department, that is also working to fight obesity, offers resources for schools working to make healthy changes. For more information or to access our resources, visit www.forwarddupage.org.

Schools already participating in Every Kid Healthy Week are encouraged to share their planned events by registering the event on the Every Kid Healthy Calendar by going to, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014EKHWeek.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

 

How Much Screen Time for Kids?

young-kids-digital-media-useOn April 7, the Daily Herald posted the following article by Kendall Powell from the Washington Post:

As most parents know by now, the experts say we should limit our kids’ screen time or risk raising socially stunted couch potatoes.

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated guidelines for children and adolescents using media, recommending no more than two hours per day of any type of entertainment screen time for kids ages 3 to 18 and none for children 2 or younger. The guidelines cover media such as Internet and texting as well as TV, movies and video games.

As a science writer, I wondered how the AAP decided on that limit, which seems arbitrary and simplistic. As a mother raising a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old in a house full of glowing screens, I wondered, how would I ever enforce it?

Victor Strasburger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and an AAP spokesman, explained that the two-hour cutoff comes from several large studies that have followed the television-watching habits and health of children over decades.

“Over two hours per day, and the more time spent in front of a screen, the higher the risk of obesity,” he said. Read more

Rethink Your Drink

o-KID-DRINKING-SODA-facebookFORWARD shared that if you need ideas on how to educate people about the harmful effects of sugary beverages, the  Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity has created the “Rethink Your Drink” Toolkit with lots of ideas and activities for both kids and adults.

Great Resource!