Benefits to raising children around pets

KXLY – Holly Gough

Your child is bound to get bored and lonely. This happens most when you are raising a single child. However, having a pet around helps your child to have a constant companion in the house. Pets also can match the energy and excitement level of a child. A human adult can never match the energy and enthusiasm a pet, in the form of a dog, has. The pet can keep your child busy and engaged. It can be your child’s constant playmate without getting bored. (more)

Body mass index is an indicator of your child’s health

The Miami Herald – Ethan F. Camacho And Amanda C. Fifi, M.D.

“Body mass index (BMI) is an established measure used by physicians and health experts to determine weight status in children and adults. BMI is measured at every pediatric well-child check-up, and in the Miami-Dade public school system it is measured in specified grades throughout elementary, middle and high school. It is calculated using factors of age, gender, weight, and height. In children it is measured in percentiles with four main categories: underweight (below the 10th percentile), acceptable weight, overweight (85th to 95th percentile), and obesity (above the 95th percentile). (more)

The effects of happiness and sadness on children’s snack consumption

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A University of Texas at Dallas psychologist has examined the preconceptions about the effects of emotions on children’s eating habits, creating the framework for future studies of how dietary patterns evolve in early childhood. Dr. Shayla C. Holub, head of the psychological sciences Ph.D. program and associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, demonstrated that children from 4½ to 9 years old chose chocolate candy over goldfish crackers more frequently in response to both happiness and sadness. (more)

Healthy lunch box ideas that kids will eat

News.com.Au – Susie Burrell

“Considering though that growing children do consume up to 30 per cent of their total calories while they are at school, what we pack them each day is important. So here are the easiest steps to take to pack a healthy yet child friendly lunch box, and the best packaged snacks out there if you are looking for some guidance. The easiest way to pack a nutritionally balanced lunch box is to think of it in terms of compartments or sections. This way you will ensure you have enough items in the lunch but also the right nutritional balance. (more)

Health Talk: Get outside and play

The Rutland Herald – Colleen Flanagan

“Let’s face it, it can be hard to get outside during a Vermont winter to get some exercise and activity every day. The good news is that the Rutland region is brimming with programs, new and old, to make it easy and fun to play outside in the snow. So, let’s talk about all of the outdoor activities available to you and your family with February school break underway. (more)

Parents could vastly improve the diets of their children with one small change

Quartz – Nadine Rubin Nathan

“Parents are constantly being advised to reduce the amount of added sugar and fat in children’s diets and countries like England recently released new snack guidelines that focus on calorie content to help combat growing obesity in children. However, in a bid to avoid sugary snacks and lower the overall calories, parents often reach for savory ones instead—a switch that can similarly damage children’s health. (more)

Using Art to Tackle Obesity and Diabetes in Youth

The New York Times – ANAHAD O’CONNOR

“Type 2 diabetes was once known as adult-onset diabetes. But now that term is outdated: Increasingly it is a disease that begins in childhood. Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of Type 2 diabetes in children jumped more than 30 percent — and it is climbing especially fast among children from poor and minority families. The prevalence of the disease doubled in the last decade among black children and tripled among American Indian children. Black and Hispanic children have eight times the risk of developing the disease compared with others. (more)

Parenting: Plan a vegetable garden with your children

The Oroville Mercury Register – Samantha O’Reilly

“Children who balk at the idea of eating a vegetable may be more likely to give it a try when they are the person who planted it, suggests an article for PBS.org. The article also states that math and science can be easily incorporated into gardening. Children can learn how the sun, fertilizer, worms and water all work together to help the plant grow. Kids can keep track of how many plants are growing and the amount of food it produces. (more)

Just how bad is all that sugar for your heart?

Medical X-Press – Scott Lear

“Still nibbling Valentine’s Day goodies? Munching packaged cereals, pancakes or muffins for breakfast? Enjoying a lunch of processed meats and bread, sweetened pasta sauce, or even a salad drenched in dressing? Sugar makes all of these foods delicious. It is also an important energy source for our bodies. It’s what we use when we’re doing vigorous activities and it’s the primary source of fuel for our brain. We need it. (more)