I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year now, and as 2013 draws to a close, I’m reflecting back and noting that there has been a ton of media coverage this year on identifying kids that seem unhealthy because they look overweight or have a high BMI. But what really makes a person “unhealthy”? And are we in a position to judge a person’s health based on either what we see with our eyes or superficial numerical data?
This past week, many of my friends and I have been getting really excited about Thanksgiving. Searching for just the right turkey, looking forward to time with family and friends, planning the meals, etc. Oh, the family traditions, the dishes that transport you to your childhood just by the smell and taste! But how do you share that experience while easing back on the creamy canned soup and mayonnaise-loaded American standards?
The FDA is finally taking steps to eliminate artificial trans fats in processed foods. For more than a decade, nutritionists have been warning us about cutting back on trans fats. Eliminating them, according to the FDA, could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease per year. Those are big numbers!
Halloween week, the Internet was all abuzz over the woman who intended to hand out notes instead of candy to kids who looked overweight, suggesting parents limit these kids’ sugar intake. The general consensus was, of course, that she should just turn out her porch light and mind her own business. But I have to wonder: On a larger scale, is awareness about the childhood obesity epidemic opening the door for people to step over the line? Because it is a national crisis, does that automatically make it everybody’s problem — including a neighbor or a stranger?
In the last few years, technology has changed everything. We know it, because if you are reading this blog, chances are you have kids and were around to remember life before social media, texting, selfies, etc. But to kids, they are growing up in the age of Facebook. And how they relate to each other not only is influenced by social media, but takes place on it, too.
The other day, I was heading home with my kids from a Halloween party and during the ride there was a full-out argument about nothing in particular. I was tired and the last thing I wanted was screaming and yelling in the car. But after a few attempts at calming the situation and being unsuccessful, an idea occurred to me as we pulled into my driveway. What calms us down when we are tired and cranky? A nice relaxing bath
There’s been much said about school lunches, the new standards for healthier offerings, and how well these healthy choices are received by kids in schools. Many schools are adding optional salad bars, including ours. I asked my daughter how it was and she, being kind of a big meat eater, had not tried it yet. So in the spirit of finding out for myself, I decided to stop by and give it a try, and share with you all my VERY INFORMAL sampling of the school salad-bar experience.
Just when you think you have the whole parenting gig figured out, it changes. Each time one thing gets easier (I find) some other part gets more complicated. In particular, as my daughter has aged, the expectations of schoolwork and homework have begun to really present a challenge. She has dyslexia, and while she’s made great strides improving her reading, the fifth-grade workload is starting to build up against her disability. EVERYTHING takes longer.
Costumes, decorating, pumpkin carving, crafts — Halloween may be one of my favorite seasons. But as with many things in this American life, it tends to get out of hand, especially as it relates to healthy eating. I was having a coffee the other morning with my blogging partner, Dr. Hansa, and we got to chatting about the “candy crush” that comes with this time of year. We each had some interesting ideas on how to limit the Halloween hoarding:
The other day I saw a sick 9-month-old baby in my clinic that came in with a high fever. After speaking with the parents, I was told that the child had not received any vaccinations. The parents had been concerned about the child’s immune system being “overloaded.” The child was completely unprotected against some of the most serious infections, including those that cause pneumonia, meningitis, hospitalizations, and even death.