“Clean Your Plate” Is Not Always The Way To Go For Healthy Kids

Clean Your Plate
Clean Your Plate

According to obesity researchers, the United States obesity rate has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents-and more than tripled for ages 6 to 11-over the past 30 years. Obese children are at greater risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, and often carry these problems into adulthood.

So, how do parents help children, and the entire family, eat healthier, both at home and away-from-home?

“Talk to your pediatrician, family doctor or registered dietitian to determine the healthiest weight goals for the entire family,” said nutrition expert Jenifer Bland-Campbell, “then make a plan to tackle the issue.”

She offers these tips to help parents help their families eat more healthfully:

a. Eat at least one meal together daily, at regular intervals to discourage snacking.

b. Prepare healthy dishes for the whole family, not just special foods for an overweight child.

c. Don’t use food as a reward, comfort or punishment.

d. Watch portions. “Clean your plate” is not always the way to go.

e. Eat slowly. It takes almost 20 minutes for the brain to register that the body is full.

f. Encourage water or skim or 1% milk instead of high-calorie, sugary drinks.

g. Getting kids to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day will not be easy, but focus on the colors to make it more fun.

h. Use low-fat or fat-free dressings, mayonnaise and dairy items at home as if they are the full-fat versions. Kids will take your cues. Ask for the same items on the side when eating away-from-home.

i. Take the stairs. When you go shopping, park the car farther away from the store and walk.

j. Limit television, video games or computer time.

k. Replace mayonnaise and cheese on burgers or sandwiches with catsup, mustard or barbecue sauce.

l. Stick with items that are baked, broiled, steamed or poached-not fried.

m. Ask for nutritional information when eating out.

n. Look beyond the children’s menu, often limited to fried, high-calorie, high-fat foods. Split one healthier adult entree between two children.

o. Ask for a takeout container and put some of the food in before you eat.

p. Ask that bread, beverages and tortilla chips be served with the meal, not beforehand.

“Parents can help children reach wellness goals by first making healthy changes at home, then teaching kids what to do away from home,” said Bland-Campbell. “Healthy eating does not happen overnight, but children take cues from their parents and will learn behaviors over time.”

 

Yoga in Classrooms Help Kids Develop Better Skills

Yoga in Classrooms
Yoga in Classrooms

There’s a new trend in your kids’ classrooms nowadays. Instead of staring at the board in front, the kids are lying on the floor near their desks practicing yoga. According to fourth-grade teacher Elisabeth Beckwith, she wanted her students at Fernbank Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, to pay attention to a lesson on Greek mythology. Linking the symbols of Greek gods to yoga poses, such as dog position and the stork pose, Beckwith has high hopes that the students will better retain the material and be re-energized in the middle of the day. It’s a fun way for them to think about things,Beckwith said. You know, it’s healthy for them because they’re getting the breathing right and getting the stretching right.
It’s fun, said nine-year old Jack Besser. It gets out the cramps after you’ve been sitting for an hour.
Another pupil, Medha Prakash, said that the yoga drills help her to concentrate. It makes me feel calm, relaxed and it gets all the stress out of me.
Just like adults, even children can be under a lot of stress. The numerous school activities, peer-pressure, and homework can cause kids to feel some stress. Teaching Yoga to children can help them develop better body awareness, self-control, flexibility, and coordination. Such skills can even be carried beyond class and into their daily routines.
Two years ago, Beckwith started offering yoga in the classroom. with the help of other teachers at the suburban Atlanta public school. YogaKids International, an Indiana-based company, gives them instructions and distributes teaching materials to more than 50 schools around the country. These materials are large flash cards with kid-friendly poses that are easy for the students to imitate. Teachers hole them up to show the kids and read aloud the step-by-step instructions written on the back of the flashcards.

Read moreYoga in Classrooms Help Kids Develop Better Skills

Your Kids Might Be Dyslexics, Read On!

Dyslexics kids
Dyslexics kids

It was a well-known fact that decades ago, before there were televisions, radios, or computers, men only had one form of leisure, reading. Our ancestors just read to keep themselves abreast with what is going on with their surroundings. They read so they can travel and experience the world. But with the influx of modern technology such as the Internet, cell phones and electronic games, the younger generations have somehow placed the skill and virtue of reading at a back seat. Many young people have lost the passion and skill to read and, instead, they waste their time and resources by playing video games or hanging out in the mall.

It has been observed that children and teenagers who love reading have comparatively higher IQs. They are more creative and do better in school and college. The children who start reading from an early age are observed to have good language skills, and they grasp the variances in phonics much better.

But while other kids developed the love for reading and learned it easily, there are others who seem to have difficulties in engaging in this type of normally stimulating activity. These children are often diagnosed as suffering from a form of disability called dyslexia. Dyslexia is an impairment in the brain’s ability to translate written images received from the eyes into meaningful language. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children. It is affecting 5 percent or more of all elementary-age children.

Read moreYour Kids Might Be Dyslexics, Read On!