How hard is it to add fruit to your child’s diet? Are your children having a tough time trying different fruits? Have you recently found out that your child has an allergy to dairy and cannot have ice cream?(what’s that got to do with fruit, you’ll see shortly) Remember your parents saying, “please eat your fruit”, well I do. Both fruit and vegetables seem to be hard for a child to accept but I found a way around the ‘fruit’ part and an idea for getting them to eat their vegetables. It is important that we establish healthy eating habits at an early age. In general, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Refer to the chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Fruit Chart

These portions work for those of you that get fewer than 30 minutes on a daily basis of moderate physical exercise, over and above normal daily activities. Children who find themselves more physically active might be able to consume more while remaining within calorie requirements.

Now the fun part, my first the fruit trick! If you haven’t found out about this product yet, let me be the first to introduce you to it, ‘Yonanas.  Our six year old grandson has an allergy to dairy and as a result cannot have ice cream, even soy based. What is beautiful about the ‘Yonanas’, you fill the chute with frozen fruit; bananas, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, apple slices and more. The machine processes the frozen fruit in such a way that when it discharges down the chute, the fruit now has the consistency of ice cream! It also comes with a recipe book. You can freeze it into ice cream pop molds and serve it. Now your child has their daily portion of fruit in a way that’s healthy, no added sugars, preservatives, and any possible allergens.

What about vegetables? Yea, what about them. Vegetables as well as fruits are a very important part of your child’s daily intake. Refer to chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Vegetables

 

One trick we found to work is to add vegetables into various blends. Mix cauliflower with mashed potatoes. In fact you can mash the cauliflower itself, add a little margarine and salt, and serve it as ‘mashed potatoes’.  Take spinach, finely chopped and make small bite size meatballs (try with turkey meat). Be creative and your child will never know the difference.

Normally our blog is geared towards newborns and toddlers but because of the recent reports concerning childhood obesity, we felt the need to provide you with some insight. As a parent, we are concerned about our children’s health which should include childhood obesity. It has been noted numerous times that obese children and adolescents are at risk for health problems during their youth and as adults. For example, during their youth, obese children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes) than are other children and adolescents.

Obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. One study has found that approximately 80% of children who were overweight at aged 10-15 years were obese adults at age 25 years. Another study found that 25% of obese adults were overweight as children. The latter study also found that if overweight begins before 8 years of age, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.

Our blog today will hopefully give you more of an understanding of this serious problem and how as a parent, help you to deal with it. We’ll provide information about childhood overweight and obesity, including how overweight and obesity are defined for children, the prevalence of obesity, the factors associated with obesity, and the related health consequences

Why is childhood obesity considered a health problem? 

Doctors and scientists are concerned about the rise of obesity in children and youth because obesity may lead to the following health problems:

  • Heart disease, caused by:
  • high cholesterol and/or
  • high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Social discrimination

Childhood obesity is associated with various health-related consequences. Obese children and adolescents may experience immediate health consequences and may be at risk for weight-related health problems in adulthood. Many times, obese children and adolescents are targets of early and systematic social discrimination. The psychological stress of social stigmatization can cause low self-esteem which, in turn, can hinder academic and social functioning, and persist into adulthood. Then there are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal glucose tolerance. Obese children and teens have been found to have risk In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-old, almost 60% of overweight children had at least one CVD risk factor while 25 percent of overweight children had two or more CVD risk factors.

Tips for Parent – Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight 

To help your child maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories your child consumes from foods and beverages with the calories your child uses through physical activity and normal growth.

Balancing Calories: Help Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits

One part of balancing calories is to eat foods that provide adequate nutrition and an appropriate number of calories. You can help children learn to be aware of what they eat by developing healthy eating habits, looking for ways to make favorite dishes healthier, and reducing calorie-rich temptations.

Encourage healthy eating habits

There’s no great secret to healthy eating. To help your children and family develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

Remember that small changes every day can lead to a recipe for success!

Look for ways to make favorite dishes healthier.

The recipes that you may prepare regularly, and that your family enjoys, with just a few changes can be healthier and just as satisfying. For new ideas about how to add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet check out the recipe database from the fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. This database enables you to find tasty fruit and vegetable recipes that fit your needs.

Balancing Calories: Help Kids Stay Active/ Reduce sedentary time

Another part of balancing calories is to engage in an appropriate amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time. In addition to being fun for children and teens, regular physical activity has many health benefits, including:

  • Strengthening bones
  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Helping with weight management

In addition to encouraging physical activity, help children avoid too much sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time your children watch television, play video games, or surf the web to no more than 2 hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television viewing for children age 2 or younger.12 Instead, encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.

          This post is for mom’s who are concerned about those extra pounds that were put on during their pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and should happen, with most of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)

The total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight when you became pregnant.

 Women whose weight was in the healthy range before becoming pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant. The advice is different for those who were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.

 If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be hard to lose the weight after your baby is born. Most women who gain the suggested amount of weight lose it with the birth of the baby and in the months that follow.

 Breastfeeding for more than 3 months can also help you lose weight gained during pregnancy. If you gain too little weight during pregnancy, you may have a higher risk for a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant.

 Follow your MyPyramid Plan for Moms to choose the right amounts from each food group. In addition, visit your health care provider regularly so they can check on your weight gain. If you are gaining weight too slowly or too fast, change the amount you are eating:

  • If you are gaining weight too fast, cut back on the calories you are currently eating.
  • The best way to eat fewer calories is by decreasing the amount of “extras” you are eating. 
  • “Extras” are added sugars and solid fats in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no-added-sugars. They have fewer “extras.”  You need a certain number of calories to keep your body functioning and provide energy for physical activities. Think of the calories you need for energy like money you have to spend.  Each person has a total calorie “budget.”  This budget can be divided into “essentials” and “extras.”With a financial budget, the essentials are items like rent and food.  The extras are things like movies and vacations.  In a calorie budget, the “essentials” are the minimum calories required to meet your nutrient needs.  By selecting the lowest fat and no-sugar-added forms of foods in each food group you would make the best nutrient “buys.”  Depending on the foods you choose, you may be able to spend more calories than the amount required to meet your nutrient needs.  These calories are the “extras” that can be used on luxuries like solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol, or on more food from any food group.  They are your “discretionary calories.”Each person has an allowance for some discretionary calories.  But, many people have used up this allowance before lunch-time!  Most discretionary calorie allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active.  For many people, the discretionary calorie allowance is totally used by the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher fat meats, cheeses, whole milk, or sweetened bakery products. You can use your discretionary calorie allowance to:
  • Eat more foods from any food group than the food guide recommends.
  • Eat higher calorie forms of foods—those that contain solid fats or added sugars.  Examples are whole milk, cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.
  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods.  Examples are sauces, salad dressings, sugar, syrup, and butter.
  • Eat or drink items that are mostly fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

For example, assume your calorie budget is 2,000 calories per day.  Of these calories, you need to spend at least 1,735 calories for essential nutrients, if you choose foods without added fat and sugar.  Then you have 265 discretionary calories left.  You may use these on “luxury” versions of the foods in each group, such as higher fat meat or sweetened cereal.  Or, you can spend them on sweets, sauces, or beverages.  Many people overspend their discretionary calorie allowance, choosing more added fats, sugars, and alcohol than their budget allows.

  • Alcohol is also considered an “extra,” but you should not drink at all while pregnant.
  • If you are not gaining weight, or gaining too slowly, you need to eat more calories. You can do this by eating a little more from each food group.

         I have four grandchildren and the twin girls started walking alone at thirteen months and my two grandsons started walking alone at seventeen months. As you can see, children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.

         During this time, your child is becoming increasingly more mobile, and aware of himself and his surroundings. Her desire to explore new objects and people is also increasing. During this stage, your toddler will show greater independence, begin to show defiant behavior, recognize himself in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. Your toddler will also be able to recognize names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.

         If you have any questions above your child’s achievement at certain milestones, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician, I am only providing information not diagnosis.

 

Movement                                                                                                                                                                

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind her while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more frequently than the other

Language

  • Points to object or picture when it’s named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Cognitive

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Social

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children

 

 

Emotional

  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Episodes of separation anxiety increase toward midyear then fade

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops at his own particular pace, it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician; however, if he displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot walk by 18 months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his toes
  • Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
  • Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
  • By 15 months, does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon)
  • Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
  • Does not follow simple instructions by age 2
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age 2

They’re small and your baby cannot explain why he/she is not feeling well, as a parent or guardian we must make sure that they stay healthy because our babies depend on us!  In this post, we have provided some important information on keeping your baby healthy after you leave the hospital.

Finding a Health Care provider and Health Insurance

There is no reason that you cannot provide preventative care for your bay and if you don’t have health insurance for your baby, you can learn about resources in your state by contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Insure Kids Now Program. To learn more, call 1–877–KIDS–NOW (1–877–543–7669) or visit their Web site at www.insurekidsnow.gov

In case of an emergency, always call 911 but if you don’t know where to take your baby for care, call your local health department. The phone number is in the “government” listings of the phone book. You can also ask a local hospital. Another way to find a health care provider is to ask a close friend or relative who has children about where her children receive their health care. Ask if she really likes her children’s provider and if he or she is good at taking time to explain things and answer questions.

If you are eligible for Medicaid, your baby can get free checkups. You can call your local social welfare, health, or family services office to see if you qualify for Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) services.

Newborn Health Screening

Your baby is tested for certain medical conditions when she is born. Many conditions can be treated if they are found early enough. Early treatment means your baby can grow up healthier. Your health care provider, usually a doctor or nurse, can answer questions about the tests.

Checkups

Before your baby is born, you will need to have a pediatrician on hand, if not the hospital will have one and you may choose to continue to use his/her services. When taking your baby out for checkups, do not expose them to the sun directly. Your baby needs medical check-ups during her first days, weeks, and month so the health care provider can see if she is growing right and provide the necessary screenings and shots. The way your baby grows in her first year can affect her health for life. Checkups are a normal and important thing for babies. Even though your baby seems healthy, her first checkup should take place within 3–5 days after birth if your baby was discharged from the hospital within 24–48 hours after delivery. Keeping appointments is very important, because newborns are at risk for certain health problems such as jaundice, feeding problems, maintaining enough fluids, and blood infections. During the first checkup, ask your health care provider for the results of the hearing screening if it was done in the hospital. If a hearing test was not done, ask your health care provider how to get the test. You need to know as soon as possible if your baby has hearing problems. If she does, she may need special help now so she can communicate with people. This will help her when she learns to talk and read. The health care provider will also make sure that your baby’s nutritional needs are being met. Vitamin D supplements are recommended for babies who are breast- fed. This should begin in the first few days of life. The supplements come in the form of drops. Babies who are fed formula do not need vitamin D supplements, because formula is fortified with vitamin D. Once you begin feeding your baby solid foods, usually at 6 months, vitamin D supplements are not needed if you feed your baby foods containing vitamin D, such as rice cereals. If you have questions about supplements for your baby, ask the health care provider.

Your baby should have regular checkups at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months of age. At each checkup, the health care provider will:

  • Examine your baby’s head, eyes, ears, heart, lungs, and other body parts. Measure your baby’s length, weight, and head size.
  • Ask about your baby’s hearing and vision.
  • Ask you questions about how she eats, sleeps, and acts.
  • Give you information about how a baby develops and grows.

Shots

At checkups, your baby will be given shots (immunizations). Your baby will get her first shot in the hospital at birth. This shot helps protect your baby from hepatitis B. Later, your baby will get shots to protect her from diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Your health care provider can answer any questions you may have. Some babies may run a low fever from the shots. Ask your health care provider what signs to look for after your baby gets a shot so you will know if your baby needs medical care. Keep a record of what happens at your baby’s checkups. This record will help you and your health care provider know about your baby’s development and what is best for your baby. Always ask your health provider questions concerning your babies health and growth patterns.

The information supplied above is not a medical diagnosis, your must consult you medical provider for professional help.