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Tips of the Week for April, 2014

Feed Families, Not Landfills
04-28-2014

Each year, Americans across the country are making difficult choices. Many people are forced to choose between buying food or buying medicine; parents are forced to go hungry so their children don't, and working families are forced to choose between paying their utilities or putting food on the table.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, around 14 percent of American households do not get enough food to live active, healthy lifestyles. What makes this sad fact even harder to digest is this- a significant portion of the food tossed into our nations' landfills is wholesome, edible food. By redirecting that unspoiled food from the landfill to our neighbors in need, an organization can support its local community; reduce its environmental impact, and save money.

What Kind of Food Can Be Donated?

Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food can be donated to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. Typical food bank donors include large manufacturers, supermarket chains, wholesalers, farmers, food brokers, and organized community food drives. Perishable and prepared foods are typically collected from restaurants, caterers, corporate dining rooms, hotels, and other food establishments for prompt distribution to hungry people in their communities. Donated food includes leftovers from events and surplus food inventory.

Check with your local food bank or food rescue operation (soup kitchen, shelter, etc.) to find out what items they will accept. Your local food bank will often pick up the donations free of charge, reducing warehouse storage and disposal costs.

Where Can I Donate Food?

Food pantries, food banks, and food rescue programs are available across the country to collect food and redistribute it to those in need. Local and national programs frequently offer free pick-up and/or reusable containers to donors

Food banks are community-based, professional organizations that collect food from a variety of sources and save the food in warehouses. The food bank then distributes the food to hungry families and individuals through a variety of emergency food assistance agencies, such as soup kitchens, youth or senior centers, shelters and pantries. Most food banks tend to collect less perishable foods such as canned goods because they can be stored for a longer time.

Food rescue programs take excess perishable and prepared food and distribute it to agencies and charities that serve hungry people such as soup kitchens, youth or senior centers, shelters and pantries. Many of these agencies visit the food bank each week to select fresh produce and packaged products for their meal programs or food pantries. Many also take direct donations from stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and individuals with surplus food to share.

Resources to Help You Find a Local Food Bank or Food Rescue Program in Your Area:

  • Feeding America - A national network of food banks that is the largest charitable hunger relief organization in America. It oversees the distribution of surplus food and grocery products through nearly 200 network affiliate food banks and nearly 50,000 charitable agencies. Locate a food bank near you.
  • Food Pantries  - Allows you to search for food banks by state or by zip code.
  • AmpleHarvest.org - This nationwide effort aims to educate, encourage and enable gardeners with extra produce to easily donate to a local food pantry.
  • Rock and Wrap It Up! - An independent anti-poverty organization devoted to developing innovative greening solutions to the pressing issues of hunger and poverty in America. They cover over 500 cities and work with a national database of over 43,000 shelters and places of need.

 Information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  Please go to the following website for additional information. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Community/Pages/Feed-Families-Not-Landfills.aspx

Last Updated

4/18/2014

Source

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery/fd-donate.htm)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 


Breakfast for Learning
04-21-2014

​Nearly half of all American families regularly skip breakfast. Is your family one of them? When it comes to getting your children to school, a healthy breakfast is just as important as gym shoes and sharp pencils.

How Breakfast Betters Your Child

Breakfast has been associated with everything from:

  • Better memory
  • Better test scores
  • Better attention span to decreased irritability
  • Healthier body weights
  • Improved overall nutrition

Rise & Dine

It’s easy to see how breakfast has come to qualify as one of the nutritional challenges of parenthood. Whether it’s your own parental time constraints or your child’s busy schedule, getting the whole family ready to set off to child care and/or school in the morning, play dates, or any of a whole host of other common early-in-the-day commitments, breakfast is often neglected.

If the words “slow” and “leisurely” don’t exactly describe your morning routine, we’d like to suggest that you commit a little extra time and effort to protecting the nutritional integrity of your child’s morning meal.

Breakfast-Made-Easier Tips for Parents

Whether you opt for a simple breakfast or a more elaborate one, any effort to make it nutritious is better than no breakfast at all. Whether that means a glass of low-fat milk and a piece of wheat toast or an all-out feast, the following breakfast-made-easier tips will hopefully help you rise to the occasion and overcome some of the most common barriers to a healthy breakfast.

  • Schedule accordingly. While we’d like to remind you that sitting down and sharing family meals is beneficial, we’re willing to bet that sitting down to a leisurely breakfast with your kids each morning simply isn’t realistic for most of you. What is realistic, however, is making sure you carve out enough time to allow your child to eat without pressure. Especially for infants and toddlers, this includes factoring in enough time in the morning’s schedule to allow for both assisted- and self-feeding.
  • Fix breakfast before bedtime. In other words, plan ahead. As with just about all other aspects of feeding your child, a little advance planning can go a long way toward having a wider range of healthy foods on hand. Simple examples such as hard-boiling eggs ahead of time or having your child’s favorite cold cereal dished out the night before to pair with some presliced fresh fruit can mean the difference between time for a balanced breakfast and running out the door without it (or, as is often the case, with some commercially packaged and far less nutritious alternative in hand).
  • Grab-and-go breakfasts. If the reality of your schedule is such that you and your kids routinely run out the door with no time to spare in the morning, then try stocking up on a variety of nutritious foods that you can prepare and prepackage for healthier grab-and-go convenience. In addition to hard-boiled eggs, consider other fast favorites like sliced apples, homemade muffins, or a bagel with low-fat cream cheese.
  • Make sure sleep is on the menu. Applying the age-old adage, make sure your child is early enough to bed that she rises early enough to allow time for breakfast. No matter what their age, tired kids tend to be cranky, and cranky kids are far less likely to sit down for a well-balanced breakfast. Not only that, but sleep has proven itself to be a crucial ingredient in children’s overall health.
  • Broaden your horizons. You’ll certainly want to keep safety in mind when figuring out what’s age-appropriate to offer your child for breakfast, but don’t let yourself be constrained by artificially imposed labels to determine what is good to serve for a morning meal. Think protein, think fruits and vegetables, and think outside the box when it comes to expanding your breakfast horizons beyond just breakfast cereals and milk.
  • Look for child care and school support. Be sure to check out what breakfast options your child’s school or child care provider offers. With much-deserved attention now being paid to the food our children eat in out-of-home settings, you’re more likely to find balanced breakfast options on the menu, and your child may well be more receptive to eating them if all of his friends are eating alongside him.

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  For additional information please go to the following website:  http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Breakfast-for-Learning.aspx

Additional Information:

Last Updated 3/31/2014 by HealthyChildren.org

 

Source

Healthy Children E-Magazine, Back to School 2012

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 


Alcohol and Pregnancy: Itís Just Not Worth the Risk (Video)
04-14-2014

​ There's no guarantee that a baby will be born healthy or grow up healthy. However, there is an absolute guarantee that a child will not have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) if a mother does not drink alcohol while pregnant.

No Alcohol during Pregnancy is the Safest Choice

In this video, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains why there is no type of alcohol and no amount of alcohol safe during pregnancy.

(Please click or copy this link to see the video.)

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Alcohol-and-Pregnancy-Its-Just-Not-Worth-the-Risk-Video.aspx

An estimated 40,000 babies are born each year with FASDs, which can result in birth defects, intellectual or learning disabilitiesbehavior problems and trouble learning life skills. These difficulties last a lifetime.

​ FASDs are completely preventable by abstaining from alcohol while pregnant (and while trying to conceive). Despite myths, there is no scientific evidence available that sets a “safe” amount of alcohol that will not affect the developing fetus.

Talk with Your Doctor

Women are encouraged to talk with their obstetricians, pediatricians and other health care providers so they can not only understand the risks, but also make the best choice for the health of their baby.

Additional Resources:

 Information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  Please go to the HealthyChildren.org website for additional information.

Last Updated

3/31/2014

Source

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Program (Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


How Doctors Screen for Autism
04-08-2014

​ Pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and family doctors start screening your baby or toddler for signs of developmental or communication challenges like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the very first visit.

As a pediatrician, how your baby responds to you (and to me) during the various visits during infancy and toddlerhood guides me in his screening. In the office I get to observe how your baby giggles, how he looks to his parents for reassurance, how he tries to regain mom’s attention during our conversation, how he points or waves, how he responds to his name, and even how and why he cries when I’m around. Those observations in combination with family history, health examinations, and parental perspectives remain extremely valuable for me in helping identify children at risk for ASD.

Formalized Autism Screening Recommended at the 18- and 24-Month Well-Child Checks:

More formalized screening is recommended at the 18- and 24-month well-child checks.

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)

In most offices, clinicians use the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), a 23-point questionnaire filled out by parents. Most families find it easy to fill out. Using this standardized screening, pediatricians can pick up children at risk for ASD and will be prompted to start conversations about language delay, concerns about behavior, or possible next steps for a toddler at risk with additional genetic, neurologic, or developmental testing.

Screening Isn’t Diagnosing!

It’s important to note that screening isn’t diagnosing. If your child has a positive screen for an ASD, it doesn’t mean he will be diagnosed on the spectrum. And further, if your child screens normally but you continue to worry about ASD, don’t be shy. Screening tests are just that—screening—and don’t identify all children with ASD. The rate of success for the M-CHAT, for example, isn’t 100%, so we use it in combination with health and family history to identify children at risk. In my opinion, your opinions as a parent are irreplaceable and of the most importance.

If You Are Concerned and Your Child Has Not Been Formally Screened:

If you are concerned your child has an ASD and your child hasn’t been formally screened, talk with your clinician about doing a formal screening. Many screening tools are available for general doctors.

But know this: if you are concerned about your child’s communication or behavior due to a family history of ASD, the way he talks or expresses himself, or other people’s comments about his behavior, don’t wait to talk with the clinician about doing more. If the first doctor doesn’t respond to you or take you seriously, get a second opinion.

Additional Information:

Information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  For additional  information please go to http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/developmental-disabilities/Pages/How-Doctors-Screen-for-Autism.aspx

Author  Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP

 

Last Updated 4/2/2014

 

Source

Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance (Copyright © 2014 Wendy Sue Swanson)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 


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