Health & Nutrition
Everyone wants their kids to eat more vegetables, right? Here are 10 tried and tested ways to do it. And no fair dipping them in chocolate fondue. Convince yourself first - find out more about vegetables. Why do I want my kids to eat them anyway? How will it make their lives better? Short answer: Vegetables are really, really important for getting all kinds of vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get anywhere else. Long answer: Read books that can help you understand how vegetables make us healthier. Some of my favorite sources that answer my questions about this without going into organic chemistry are: * The New Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition, by Laurel Robertson, et al.
Some of the most common questions I get from parents of young children relate to food. Does my child eat enough? What kind of foods help young children grow and get the nutrients they need? Here are some guidelines to help you make those decisions. THE FOOD PYRAMID FOR YOUNG CHILDREN In 1999, the Federal Food and Drug Association designed a special food guide pyramid for young children. You may already be familiar with the concept of the food pyramid, which has been around since we were children. Recently, the FDA realized that parents and educators need more guidelines to help them choose proper food for their young children and the result is the food pyramid for young children.
When I think about using drugs with young children, I always think about Michael. I loved teaching four-year-old Michael. He came in every morning with a great smile on his face, a beautiful laugh and a great big hug for his teachers. Michael loved to sing songs, play running games and build great big buildings out of blocks. But he had a hard time sitting still. After about five minutes of circle time, he would invariably throw himself onto the floor or wiggle around in his chair so that the chair would fall backwards. During individual work-time, I felt successful if I helped him to sit for more than two minutes at a time.
More parents than ever before are considering using medication to treat their child's emotional or behavioral difficulties. (See Who's Drugging the Children?) If your physician or your child's teacher recommends medication for your child, consider this option, but carefully weigh the pros and cons of your decision before taking action. With few exceptions, using psychotropic medication with young children should always be a last resort after all alternate methods of treatment are shown to be ineffective or inappropriate. Here are some basic guidelines and issues to consider as you make your decision.
Charlotte is trying to feed her one-and-one-half year old daughter, Zoe, breakfast in her high chair. She has cut a banana into tiny pieces and is handing her daughter the pieces.Charlotte: Why don't you eat bananas? You used to love bananas. Zoe shakes her head. Zoe: No want nanas. Charlotte: Just a taste. Zoe: No want. Charlotte: Here, I'll mash it for you. It's yummy. Isn't it? Zoe clamps her mouth shut. Charlotte: You've got to eat. How are you going to grow if you don't eat? Zoe throws the bananas on the floor. Charlotte: Don't you do that. Zoe shakes her head no.
What's going on here? We've got a good mother, who clearly cares a lot about her daughter and wants her to eat and be healthy, but somehow instead of succeeding in feeding her daughter, the mother ends up feeling unhappy and frustrated. Here is an experience that most (if not all) parents share. You want the best for your child, you try to do what you feel is right and somehow, instead of everything working out as you planned, your child ends up ignoring you. So what should this mother be doing differently? In my opinion, the main problem here is that the mother needs to have realistic expectations and be able to adapt her parenting approach to her child's developmental level.
Do you find that your child refuses to touch her plate if the noodles are too close to the meatballs? Or that even the slightest touch of burnt crust relegates an entire plate of food to the garbage pail? Well, you are not alone. It seems to me that most families have at least one picky eater and mine is certainly not immune. For the last five years, since my son spit out his first taste of strained carrot, I have been trying to figure out the answer to this question: How Can I Get This Kid To Eat? Here are some strategies that I use to help my picky eater get the nutrients he needs to grow.
It's a daily battle to get our seven-year-old to brush his teeth. Any recommendations? A Guest Expert Judith Tanenbaum, DMD, replies: The basics are: demonstrate and explain, over and over and over. Tell your child that just as he has to wash his hands to get the dirt off, so he has to brush his teeth to get off the special dirt that accumulates there. Show your child the white creamy substance that appears on his teeth when they are not properly brushed and explain that this substance, called plaque, is full of germs.
QMy seven-year-old has had a sudden growth spurt -- in all directions! He's grown two inches and gained six pounds in just three months. And he has suddenly developed a pot belly. I offer him balanced meals and don't allow many unhealthy snacks, but lately he has a strong preference for carbohydrates and eats hardly any lean protein -- chicken, fish, etc. He does drink milk and he eats eggs, cheese and peanut butter. Is that enough protein? He eats some fruits but hardly any vegetables.
Dear WholeMom, My 15-year-old is what we used to call "pleasantly plump." She should lose about ten pounds, but she has stabilized at that weight and doesn't binge. She has a very pretty face, beautiful curly hair and a great personality. She is a good student and popular in school. Most of the year she is very happy. The problem is the summer, when kids spend so much time swimming. Most of her friends, both girls and boys, are very thin.
I have a 15-year-old son who smokes. Not much but it's only the start. We don't know how to make him understand the situation. His two grandfathers and one grandmother died from heavy smoking and he knows it. We (parents) were also smokers in the past but not now and he doesn't get it. Please help us. - Marcia A I hope some of these ideas will help you. It is not easy to explain the concept of mortality to a teenager. Remember that song from the TV series, "Fame"? There was a line in the song, "I'm gonna live forever." I think that's the way most teenagers look at life. You say that his two grandfathers and one grandmother died from heavy smoking and "he knows it.
Have you been wondering why your 12-year-old daughter is gaining so much weight? Have you been concerned that your 15-year-old looks too thin? To find out about teenage girls and body image, we interviewed Martin Fisher, M.D., chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. Dr. Fisher shared his views, based on 20 years of experience in adolescent medicine. According to Dr. Fisher, girls experience their major height spurt early in puberty (the time of hormonal changes which bring about physical changes,) about six months to a year before their first period.
Caryn is very concerned about her daughter, Brooke, who looks too thin to her. She feels that Brooke may have gone too far with her diet. Caryn: Did you eat anything? Brooke: I had a half a bagel. Caryn: Did you put anything on it? Brooke: Mom, who are you? The Food Nazi? Caryn: I never see you eat anymore. You're getting so skinny. Brooke: Well, who told me I was fat in the first place? Caryn: I said that you should exercise.
Have you read Did You Eat Anything: A Drama yet? By Dr. Chane Deitcher, PhD. This is a classic example of a conversation between Mother and daughter who want to connect, yet lack the skills to communicate. The Mother is clearly concerned about her daughter's well being. She is attempting to convey the message that she cares. The daughter, on her part, is expressing her anger, yet at the same time indicating a need for the Mother's approval. Each is attempting to reach out, yet neither side knows how to connect. The overall experience is one of frustration and distance. Your Reflections The Mother begins by focusing on the food.
Teenage girls growing up today are bombarded about weight, diets, body image, and how they look from a very young age. The messages are constant, contradictory and confusing. On the one hand we are constantly being told : " you can't be too thin," " don't eat too much," " watch the fat," "exercise." On the other hand our mothers, teachers, and doctors are concerned that we might be too thin. So what's the scoop? How to find the balance? Your Reflections I think that is the million dollar question of the twenty first century. It is very hard not to be influenced by all the fashion models and movie stars we see that are seriously underweight.
Melanie, 13, is disturbed about her weight. Her mother thinks she looks fine, but she doesn't quite make it into her bikini. Summer is coming, and she's beginning to panic. Could this be the beginning of anorexia? I cant stand looking in the mirror. I'm so fat - all these bulges and rolls of lard on my legs and hips - at least 8-10 pounds worth! I wish I could look like Amy. She looks great in those jeans she wore today, and I saw all the guys looking at her. I even saw Steve staring at her when she walked past us at lunch. I wish.... My Mom says I look just fine, but what does she know? In a few weeks we??ll all start going to the beach again, and I'll just die when everyone sees me in my swimsuit with all this fat.
Body weight, fat and dieting have captured the minds and imaginations of teenagers and adults alike. "Thin is in" and has stayed "in" for a long time now. The intense fear of becoming fat is usually not alleviated by any weight loss that the person achieves. To give you an idea of how much of a hold weight loss has on us, consider this: an estimated $33 billion is spent in the U.S. each year on diet books, over-the-counter medications, health club memberships and low calorie foods! Melanie is no different than millions of other teenagers and adults around the world.
Learn how to express yourself through letter writing- using proven techniques for creating positive relationships.
Join the Austen-Kutchinskys as they struggle to make their new blended family work.
Listen to others struggle with the marital and child-rearing challenges that stump us all.
Need help with substance abuse, divorce, eating disorders, school failure, teen pregnancy, moving, depression? Visit the Crisis CenterFun and educational activities for the whole family.
Great Parenting Tips
Wisdom Of The Ages
FREE E-Book from Dr. Michael Tobin
Sign Up Now To Receive Your Link To Download
"The Battle of Parents and Teens"