Play could be key to unlocking joy of fruits, vegetables for toddlers

WTOP – Amanda Lacone

“The secret to teaching young children to eat their vegetables might be as simple as letting let them play with their food, according to food blogger Sally Squires. New research suggests that introducing children to fruit and vegetables through picture books, puppets and even hands-on play could render better results at the table for parents struggling with a picky eater or who are hoping to develop healthy eating habits early, said Squires, who writes the Lean Plate Club™ blog.”(more)

Five steps to help your child cope with anxiety

The Miami Herald – Jill Ehrenreich-May, Ph.D.

“The world can feel like a scary place, full of new, difficult and strange experiences. As adults, we learn to manage our anxiety through knowledge and experience that tell us which situations, things and people are to be avoided versus those that just feel scary, but do not pose any real danger. Your children, however, need help to understand the difference between safe things that should be experienced — despite the anxiety they provoke — and things that are truly dangerous. When your child experiences fear and anxiety more frequently or intensely than other youth, helping them can be confusing or challenging. For example, you may know that petting a dog or talking to a teacher is not dangerous, but if your child is acting as though these situations are frightening, what should you do? The answer may not be simple, but the following steps can help you better understand your child’s fears and help them cope more effectively:”(more)

Car Accidents Remain a Top Child Killer, and Belts a Reliable Savior


“The most common cause of death in children under the age of 15 is unintentional injury, and the most common cause of unintentional injury is car accidents. Between 2010 and 2014, 2,885 children died in motor vehicle accidents nationwide — an average of 11 children a week. That number excludes pedestrians, those who died in motorcycle or bicycle accidents, and those who died riding in an unenclosed cargo area or trailer. Most of the children who died were not wearing seatbelts — nationwide, 43 percent were unrestrained or improperly restrained. Another 15 percent were sitting inappropriately in the front seat, and 13 percent were riding in cars driven by somebody under the influence of alcohol.”(more)

Childhood obesity causes lasting damage to the body

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Obesity in childhood has long term health implications stretching into adulthood, a new study in the journal Obesity Reviews reveals. Examining data collected from over 300,000 participants across 18 studies, researchers from the University of Surrey identified increased arterial damage and enhanced likelihood of pre diabetes in participants who were obese in childhood. The damage, an increased thickness of these vital arteries, heightens the likelihood of an individual suffering from a cardiovascular ailment, such as heart disease, in later life. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and skin fold thickness measurements of over 300,000 children (average age of 10) were assessed and compared with results gathered from the same participants on average 25 years later.”(more)

How to help an overweight child shed weight

The Strait Times – Joyce Teo

“Obesity rates in children here are rising. Pre-schools have been asked to help them eat healthy and be active. Parents should make an effort to do the same. Dr Yvonne Lim, a consultant at the paediatric endocrinology division at National University Hospital (NUH), said the causes of obesity are complex. Apart from genetic factors, there are environmental factors such as increased screen time, consuming energy-dense and nutrient-poor food and beverages, and insufficient sleep.”(more)