Early Predictors of Food Allergy and Eczema

A study to identify prenatal and early childhood markers of high risk for food allergy and atopic dermatitis, or eczema, as well as biological pathways that lead to these conditions, has begun. The observational study of children from birth to age 3 years will examine the origins of allergic disease by integrating interdisciplinary analyses of data from more than 260 biological and environmental samples and survey responses from each of 2,500 families. Called Systems Biology of Early Atopy, or SUNBEAM, the study is sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Millions of children worldwide suffer from eczema and food allergy—diseases that significantly affect their quality of life,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Currently, there is no reliable way to identify those infants destined to develop eczema or food allergy who would benefit from targeted prevention strategies. Identifying early-life markers of children at risk through the SUNBEAM study could help focus the implementation of current prevention strategies and facilitate the discovery of new ones.” Read more

How to add healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into your diet

Battle of olive oil with olive branch over wooden table. Square image, selective focusThe National Institute on Aging shared that eating nutrient-rich foods can help you stay healthy as you age. Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all the food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein foods, dairy products, and oils. Picking an assortment of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins within every food group throughout the week will help you get many nutrients.

Fats give you energy, and they help the body absorb certain vitamins. Certain kinds of fat can be bad for your health. To lower the unhealthy fat in your diet, consider:

  • Choosing cuts of meat with less fat and remove the skin from chicken
  • Using low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Selecting oils, such as olive or canola, for cooking

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Many foods with carbohydrates also supply fiber that can help prevent stomach or intestinal problems, such as constipation, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar. To add fiber to your diet, consider:

  • Eating cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils
  • Leaving skins on your fruit and vegetables but wash them before eating
  • Choosing whole fruit over fruit juice

Read more

Don’t Juul, Its not Cool

College of DuPage Nursing Student Arleth Gonzalez shared with Healthy Lombard that during this past decade, the way to live has been to embrace anything electronic. Who would’ve ever have thought that electronic cigarettes would’ve swept away the tobacco market? Certainly, most of us are aware of the negative long-term health effects of tobacco. Somehow, though, smoking has been converted to an electronic form which is now supposedly less harmful. The facts are important to consider before switching to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) as a method of smoking.

Roughly 90% of adults who smoke cigarettes daily first tried smoking by age 19 American Journal of Public Health, 2021). These trends matter; with e-cigarettes currently on the market, it is evident that they have been aggressively marketed to adolescents. Electronic cigarette flavors range from cotton candy to bubble gum, so the experience is more enjoyable and desirable to adolescents. Some might argue that e-cigarettes are not as detrimental to one’s health as a regular cigarette, and certainly not to a young “healthy” person. Read more

5 Tips to Help Picky Eaters Get the Nutrients They Need

Sierra Powell asks, “Is your child having trouble eating and only wants one or a specific type of food?”

That is common, especially for kids that are teething or those that have a medical condition. You, as the parent, are trying everything from introducing the child into a diet, and nothing seems to work? No need to worry, as the article below will give you five tricks you need to help your picky eater get all the nutrients they need for healthy growth.

Respect your Child’s Appetite

If you notice that your child is not hungry, don’t force them to have a snack or a meal. Parents tend to bribe their children to have food in exchange to have some TV time. Bribing will only frustrate your child and create anxiety when the child realizes it is time to eat.

The other way you can respect the kid’s appetite is by serving him/her small portions of food, and when done, they will have the independence to ask for more.

Make Dinner Time Fun

Mealtime does not need to be dull or full of tears. As a parent, you can spice up dinner to accommodate everything. If you offer juice during dinner time, you can switch it and offer it during breakfast. Instead of tea, you can offer milk, so your child gets all the nutrients they need. In between meals, offer water to ease their digestion.

When making dinner, you might ask the child to help chop the onions or cut the broccoli. The child can also help in stirring the pot if they are of the right age. The process will make them crave eating the food they have cooked for themselves. Read more

Announcing the NEW (Pandemic EBT SNAP Benefits (P-EBT) Program for Kids

Did you know that P-EBT is a temporary food benefits program operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and that P-EBT provides benefits to all eligible children without needing to apply?  This is because, due to schools going remote/hybrid, the children didn’t receive their school meals.

The P-EBT Program will reimburse families who qualify for Free/reduced meals.

And Beginning in March 2021, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will issue P-EBT benefits to families with eligible children for the 2020-2021 school year. So, families receiving the regular SNAP and non-SNAP households can qualify for P-EBT benefits.

The P-EBT cards being issued to families will be initially loaded, for meals missed from the beginning of the 2020 school year (Aug /Sept) to December 2020, and reloaded periodically until after the school year ends in May/June 2021.  So once a family receives this card, they need to hang on to it and access the funds as they are deposited.

Along with the DuPage Federation, the Northern Illinois Food Bank put together an easy Flow chart for the families to see if they qualify and what their next step should be (available in English, Spanish, Arabic Polish, Urdu & Zho).  There is also a FAQ sheet that goes into details of the program—in an easily understandable way.  The FAQ is available in English & Spanish.   There is also a Flyer more Specific to SNAP (bilingual).

Please click on the links above to access these documents.

Read more

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Mother Breastfeeding her newbornCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Andrea D. Adam wrote for Healthy Lombard that according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2020), when mothers decide not to breastfeed their infants, an estimated additional three billion dollars is added to annual U.S. medical healthcare costs. Breastfeeding may be challenging or intimidating for new mothers, and not all mothers are able to breastfeed, but the benefits far outweigh the costs of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding provides the infant with a boost in immune system function, decreases morbidity and mortality risk, and promotes optimal development. Overall, it is cost-efficient and creates a special bond between mother and infant.

Infant breast milk provides the baby with much-needed immune protection from illnesses. The newborn is at risk of getting serious illnesses because their immune system is not fully developed. Breast milk provides infants with necessary antibodies, boosting their immune system and providing them with protection for a longer period of time (CDC, 2020). With this added protection from breast milk, the infant will have a reduced risk of becoming seriously ill. Breast milk also decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, asthma, and ear infections which are especially common in children. Another important benefit is that breastfed infants have a lower risk of childhood obesity and consequently, cardiovascular morbidities later in life (CDC, 2020). One of the goals for the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion on their Healthy People 2020 topics is to improve the health of women and children and ultimately, breast milk provides all the nutrients and vitamins that the infant needs for optimal development (ODPHP, n.d.). This means that everything the infant needs is in breast milk provided that the mother is healthy and follows prenatal nutritional counseling. Read more

10 Ways to Help Kids Develop Healthy Habits

Grandmother with adult daughter and grandchildRaising a kid can feel overwhelming for new parents — it’s a lot to handle! Beyond guaranteeing your child is safe, you’ll find yourself as worried about whether you’re not teaching your children bad lessons, whether that be lessons that go over poorly or actions that impact them negatively.

The best way to raise your kid is to teach them to be a self-sufficient person — someone who can take care of themselves and remain healthy. You can support them on this endeavor by instilling healthy habits, such as wearing medical bracelets for kids if they have a health condition or treating food as fuel.

1.    Value Family First

One of the most important things to impart in your child is family values. They’ll be spending the most time in your household and around close family while growing up, so it’s best to focus on building a positive environment. That involves being flexible as parents, remaining supportive, valuing closeness and openness, and nurturing fun, caring relationships. Most importantly, it means the avoidance of overbearing and possessive tendencies, guiding your children without controlling their lives.

2.    Partake in Family Activities

Alongside developing a compassionate household, you should regularly schedule family activities. That means carving out time to have fun with your children, whether it’s going to the park in the morning, running around in the backyard in the evening before dinner or going on a hike, identifying animals, trees, plants and more along the way. It’s a small way to engage your child, physically and mentally, while imparting long-lasting values.

3.  Read with Your Younger Children

Reading with your children is a great way to instill healthy habits. If you read to them, it can instill a love for storytelling and imaginative thinking. If you’re reading together, it can make for a love of creative collaboration. Moreover, it’s an excellent way to connect with your child at a young age, all while instilling a love for reading in them.

Starting from a young age is phenomenal, too, as it helps to build connections in their brain, which would otherwise take more time, such as building literacy, language, and emotional skills.

Read more

Why do some people get seriously sick with COVID-19 while others don’t?

Dr. Pinsky, Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Edward Hospital shared in the Edward Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that one of the most baffling aspects of COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, is how differently it seems to affect people.

One person may have mild symptoms and recover in just a few days while another person may have prolonged symptoms that lead to pneumonia, shortness of breath, and hospitalization. Some may not develop symptoms at all.

In each case, the virus can be transmitted two days prior to the onset of symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms for those with mild symptoms. For those who don’t develop symptoms, the infectious period is shorter, but no more than 10 days. Those who have severe infections requiring hospitalization may be infectious for up to 20 days.


Risk factors for severe infection

The same spectrum of severity can occur at any age and within any risk group, even within the most vulnerable elderly populations. Those over age 65 compromise the majority of deaths due to COVID-19, but there is excess mortality due to COVID-19 in all adult age groups. Many more of all ages have survived with severe symptoms and suffer a prolonged and debilitating illness.

Severe infection is uncommon in children and young adults. Rare complications include multisystem inflammation in children and heart failure in young adults. Read more

7 Doctor Tips about Staying Healthy During COVID

Writer Elizabeth Howard shared with Healthy Lombard that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed life. There are several measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus. There is hope because of the discovery of vaccines, but people need to be cautious. Some doctor tips can help you stay healthy during the pandemic, and they are listed below.

1. Exercises

Doing exercises- In some areas, public places such as gyms have shut down, making it difficult to work out. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can do some exercises at home, such as running for a few minutes every day. You can also download phone apps to help you work out. It is important to stay fit during the pandemic.

2. Work on your creativity

Staying at home is the new ‘normal’, which makes it easy for you to get bored. It would be best if you found something new to do aside from your usual house chores. You can start drawing or coloring, and it may bring out the artist in you. Some of your creative works can help you make money, which is a good thing. Creativity will help you express some of the things you feel on the inside. Read more

How to Use Witch Hazel to Clear Up Your Skin Fast

Young woman with mirrorJen Stark, an Editor at Happy DIY Home shared an article by Jillian Levy which reports that today, we have hundreds of different beauty products available to us — acne washes, toners, scrubs, etc. — but what did people use thousands of years ago before commercial chemicals existed to help heal their skin? When it comes to natural skincare, one time-honored medicinal plant is witch hazel, which American Indians relied on for fighting swelling, sores, and infections.

There may be no plant more beneficial to your skin, as research showcases the many advantages witch hazel provides.

What is witch hazel good for?

Thanks to its astringent properties, it’s one of the most effective natural acne treatments known to man — and it’s even been shown to help protect against skin cancer. Other benefits include naturally reducing blisters, insect bites, poison ivy, inflammation, hemorrhoids, toothaches, and much more.

So if you’re looking for cleaner, healthier skin with the help of a natural product, look no further than witch hazel. Read more