Everywhere we look, we are flooded with images of what “beautiful” should look like. We open up the latest Teen, YM and Cosmo magazines and are greeted with images of models who are stick thin and airbrushed while reading about how we too can “lose 10 pounds in 5 days.” We drive down the highway and see billboards promoting weight loss, and we turn on the TV and see actresses who are unbelievably thin. It’s not hard to understand why American girls and women have such a hard time loving their own bodies …Continue reading →
Thanksgiving. A time to be with family, watch football, relax and eat a lot of salty, rich foods. For many people Thanksgiving is not a time to focus on their health, and especially not a time to focus on their diets, but this can change.
In general, sodium (salt) intake is much too high in the United States. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 1,500 mg of sodium per day for adults. One teaspoon of salt contains …Continue reading this post
This year, enjoy all the fun and frights of Halloween without fretting about the consequences of gobs of candy and other sweet treats. Excessive candy consumption can be bad for kid’s teeth and provide them with unneeded calories. As parents, it can be a challenge to make Halloween fun while restricting access to treats. Here are some ideas …Continue reading this post
Would you be surprised to know that 1 in 4 children in the U.S. is considered obese? So statistically speaking, if you have four children, one would be obese. How can you know for sure? During your child’s yearly physical his or her height and weight are taken. Something called body mass index (BMI) is determined by height and weight measurements. That information is plotted …Continue reading this post
The lock out is over and now it’s time to cheer the Packers on to another Super Bowl Championship! To many people, football season is synonymous with hours on the couch, high calorie beverages, brats, cheese and unhealthy weight gain for both kids and adults. The only people that are healthy during football season are perhaps the players themselves. It’s time to change that! We can still enjoy the Packers and the usual not-so-healthy party favorites while incorporating some fun activities and healthy foods for a good balance. …Continue reading this post
Following a heart-healthy diet not only helps the heart, it also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to jumpstart your diet:
- Choose leaner meats.
- Increase fruits and vegetables.
- Increase whole grains.
High-fat meats are among the most significant sources of saturated fat and cholesterol. Limit beef, sausages, hot dogs and fried or battered foods. Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey and fish. Try baking, grilling and broiling meats instead of …Continue reading this post
For most families, it’s difficult to change daily routines and lifestyle habits to be healthier. NEW Kids at the Y teaches parents how to stick with lifestyle changes and improve the health of all family members. Starting and sticking with a program long enough to affect change is much more likely when you get quality information and motivational support.
The program empowers families to become healthier by teaching them to:
- Become smart grocery shoppers.
- Adjust serving sizes.
- Choose healthier snacks and beverages.
- Increase activity and play time.
Kids look to their parents to be role models in all aspects of life. When parents make good decisions and take steps to improve their health, it’s a great example for their children.
NEW Kids at the Y is a great partnership between Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. The program is offered at the following YMCA centers:
South Shore YMCA: Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
West Suburban YMCA: Wednesdays from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Northside YMCA: Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Tri-County YMCA: Wednesdays from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA: Mondays from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
For more information about enrolling in the NEW Kids at the Y Program, contact Stephanie Navarre at (414) 274-0832.
~ Erin Ruenger, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
Eating whole grains can reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation and colorectal cancer. Whole grains are rich in antioxidants that help prevent damage to the body. The fiber in whole grain foods helps you feel full faster and regulates bowel functions.
Whole grains have fiber, vitamins, minerals and more. Good examples of whole grain foods include:
- Whole-grain pasta.
- Whole-grain bread.
- Whole-grain crackers.
- Brown or wild rice.
- Low-fat popcorn.
A good way to see if food contains whole grains is to look for a whole grain stamp. This stamp means the food has at least half a serving of whole grains.
If you can’t find a stamp, check the product’s ingredient list. Food with whole grain listed as the first or second ingredient can be good for you. Don’t be fooled by products that include enriched flour at the beginning of the ingredient list – these are not whole grain!
According to the Whole Grains Council, an average person eats less than one serving of whole grains per day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s choosemyplate.gov recommends at least three servings or more of whole grains each day. Encourage your family to eat healthier by gradually introducing more whole-grain products. The benefits will do you a whole lot of good.
~ Heather Fortin, RD, CSP, CD, clinical dietitian specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with Stacy Brand, RD, CD, manager, Patient Services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Summer vacation is here. Without the pressures of school, many kids spend their days riding bikes, eating ice cream and going swimming with friends. One of the best things about summer vacation is having a break from the structure and order of school.
At the same time, structure and order help put parameters around our lives. It helps us know when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed at night, when to eat and how to spend our time.
During the summer, some kids become more active. Others spend their days conquering new video games, spraining their thumbs while texting and updating their social networking sites. Some kids wander in and out of the kitchen, finding new things to eat. Others get so busy they forget to eat meals. This lack of structure can create an environment where kids can find themselves in a world of weight loss trouble.
During summer vacation, parents should set their children up for success. Set a bedtime, wake-up time, schedule of daily activities and a menu. This structure will help children make significant strides in managing their weight, even while enjoying summer vacation.
~ Brian Fidlin, PsyD, director, NEW (Nutrition, Exercise and Weight Management) Kids Program
June signifies the end of spring and the beginning of summer. It is a time to enjoy the warmth of the sun and head outdoors for some fun. One way I like to enjoy the summer sun is to go on a picnic. Here are a few tips to help make your next family picnic fun and healthy.
- Is it the journey or the destination? For your next picnic, take some time with your kids to plan the menu. My kids love taking part in planning meals and helping in the kitchen. We each choose a favorite recipe for part of the meal and then put it all together to create the menu. Try one of Chef Wayne’s favorite picnic foods, the basil 5-bean salad. Sometimes, we even take a trip to a local famer’s market. June in Wisconsin can bring tasty salads, sandwiches or quiche that are prepared using seasonal asparagus, potatoes, peas, broccoli, corn or carrots. Also in season are strawberries and raspberries. These berries are great when eaten alone, used in fresh drinks or added to desserts.
- Take time to smell the roses. I still remember helping my grandmother in the kitchen and spending hours with her and my mom talking and laughing. Time spent in the kitchen preparing meals with kids makes for great memories. Young kids can help by adding premeasured ingredients into bowl, stirring cookie batter or frosting cupcakes. Older kids can shop, read recipes or assemble sandwiches. When kids help in the planning and preparation of meals, it can lead to improved trial and acceptability of new foods.
- Temperatures really do matter. Perishable foods, such as raw or cooked meats and poultry, have the potential to cause food-borne illnesses if not handled or stored properly. Bacteria will grow rapidly between 40°F and 140°F. Store hot foods in insulated containers. Cold foods should be stored using ice, cold packs or even frozen juice boxes. Perishable food should not be left out for more than 2 hours. Lastly, pack only what you think you will eat and leave the leftovers home in the refrigerator.
- Special touches show you care. To add color, bring an empty mason or jelly jar to add flowers that were cut from your yard. Or, try rolling utensils in napkins that are tied together with a fun fact or joke for your kids to read while eating. Pack fun games to play with your child such as a flying disc or ball and glove.