4 Things That Can Sabotage your Child’s Diet

child's diet

Photo by jchwhite

You know that your children should eat healthy and you’ve heard all of the benefits of eating together as a family, but there might be some factors that are sabotaging your hard work and ruining your child’s diet.

4 Things That Can Sabotage your Child’s Diet

1) Fast Food Near Schools— Children whose school is close to Fast Food restaurants tend to be more overweight. They also drink more soda and eat less fruits and veggies. It’s easy to hang out at the Fast Food places after school, or grab dinner on the go during a busy weeknight.

2) Media Use— According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children spend an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media. And it’s not just television and video games you have to worry about. Time spent checking e-mail and surfing the internet can also cause problems including obesity. The AAP suggests that parents limit screen time to an hour or two a day. There should also be “screen free” time each day where children can play, read, and use their imagination.

3) Lingering Baby Fat— Research shows that children who are a little chubby at a young age can be overweight and have weight related health problems later on.

4) Tuning in During Meals— This kind of goes along with #2. Kids who eat during dinner consume more calories because they are distracted and might not recognize that they are full. It’s easy to eat mindlessly while watching T.V.

By recognizing these ‘hidden’ pitfalls, you can make sure that your kids not only eat healthy, but stay that way.

Source: http://www.parenting.com/article/4-hidden-pitfalls-to-your-childs-diet

Obese Stomachs Tell Us Diets Are Doomed to Fail

Have you ever tried a diet, lost some weight and then gained it all back? I have. In fact, I gained more. Sad, I know. But I also know where my downfall is. After the diet, I went straight back to my old eating habits. Not a smart move on my part, but there it is. I recently read an interesting article though that might explain why it is so easy to return to our old habits after dieting.


photo by Melissa Gruntkosky

Science News just featured new research from the University of Adelaide indicating that high-fat induced obesity can damage nerves in the stomach, making it difficult to feel full after eating. A hormone called leptin regulates energy and food intake, but in obese people, specifically those with a high-fat diet, leptin actually exacerbates the problem. Together, they require more food intake before producing the sensation of being full.  This may be a significant reason why the majority of dieters gain all the weight back within 2 years (only about 5% maintain weight loss). This study also showed that the damage is long-lasting and even after losing weight, previously obese people had to eat more to feel full.

After reading the statistics, it might seem as if all is lost, but that is not the case. Even though more research needs to be done in order to offer solutions to the problem, having this information can help us understand what is happening to our body and aide us in making better choices. We can regulate our intake and portion size, even if our body doesn’t do it naturally.

To learn more about this study, click here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916103352.htm

Weight Loss: How it Relates to Music, Writing and 3 Tips for Success.

successMusic has always been a part of my life. I started playing piano at the age of 5 and have picked up more instruments along the way. After discovering The Piano Guys, I became determined to learn how to play the cello. Today I picked up my new cello and played for the first time. Because of my many years in music, I know that my first bowed note will never sound like Steven Sharp Nelson or Yo-Yo Ma. The idea is ridiculous. I know that learning to play the cello will take practice, consistency and a lot of patience.

successI am also an aspiring author. The desire to write was planted in high school but it took sixteen years to begin writing my first novel. One problem I have with writing is that I constantly compare my rough draft to the polished works of my favorite authors, such as J.K. Rowling. The end result of my comparison is frustration and self-doubt. Just as in music, the writing process takes practice, consistency and patience. It is unfair for me to compare my beginning work with someone who has had years of experience.

successThis principle also applies to weight loss (actually it applies to almost everything we try to accomplish). We are constantly bombarded with advertisements that promise amazing results in a very short amount of time and with very little effort. Do we really buy into that?  Can I really play the cello in 6 weeks without practicing or write a novel in a month without learning the craft? Most people would scoff at such a ridiculous idea. And yet, we see people jump from one diet fad to the other, constantly discouraged that they can’t take off the weight in just a few short weeks. They expect to look like Jillian Michaels from the get go. It doesn’t work that way. As with anything else, weight loss takes practice, consistency and patience.


We need to practice healthy habits. Of course we will have our good days and our bad days. Should I quit cello because I can’t get a passage just right or stop writing my novel because I have a case of writer’s block? No. Weight loss is no different.  Should I beat myself up because I ate one too many Hershey kisses? Should I just give up and eat the whole bag? Of course not.


It’s the key to improvement. It’s the thing that will get us through our ups and downs. You keep playing, you keep writing, and you keep your healthy habits, even when things get tough. If we are consistent we will continue to improve. Then one day we will look back and with incredible satisfaction see how far we have come.


We need to be patient with ourselves and the process of learning. After all, we are changing habits that have been years in the making. It took me 15 years to pack on this weight. What makes me think I can take it off in a few short weeks? If we have unreasonable expectations we will get frustrated and discouraged. We’ll be tempted to just give up.

The people that I know who have been successful in losing weight and keeping it off have followed these three principles. It may be more difficult for some than others, but by having realistic expectations and implementing practice, consistency and patience, you can enjoy your journey on the road to success.

Physical Education Should Be a Core Class

If you have ever seen the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you may cringe with unpleasant memories of middle school gym class. After all, if you’re someone like me, you spent your time getting hit in the head with the ball or tripping on a jump rope and skidding across the black top–it’s where great childhood stories are born. As a child I had a lot more opportunities for physical fitness in school than kids today. In fact, one local school cut out recess all together. It caused a lot of uproar and many loyal parents ended up switching schools because of it. The fact is…kids need to move.

Childhood obesity has become an epidemic. Throughout recent years, many interventions and policies have been implemented to reverse this problem. As part of the battle, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that children receive at least an hour of exercise in the schools each day. That does not just include physical education classes, but also recess and movement in the classroom.

But there is a problem. Many schools have difficulty including physical education into their curriculum because of time restraints due to the pressures of standardized testing and also budget restrictions that make it difficult to hire new teachers and obtain the equipment necessary to provide a safe environment.

physical educationStudies show, however, that children who are physically active have greater cognition processing skills, increased attention and perform better on standardized academic tests.  

As a part of the solution to this problem, the Institute of Medicine suggests that the Department of Education make physical education a core requirement. That would bring attention to the problem and allow schools to spend the money needed to implement physical education classes. They also recommend that state legislatures adopt policies that promote physical fitness both in and after school.

There are many ways to bring movement into the classroom. Music classes can include dancing, marching and other movement activities. Art classes can go on walks as they find subjects to draw or paint. And the biggest thing–do not take away recess as a form of punishment. Like I said, kids need to move.

Many schools already provide health related services such as health screenings, nutritious meals and immunizations. Making physical education a priority is just one step closer to winning the war against childhood obesity.



A Quick Cranberry and Banana Oatmeal Recipe for Those On the Go

Oatmeal RecipeNutritionists and Weight Loss Experts all agree: skipping meals is a BIG no-no, especially breakfast. But somehow, with crazy mornings and many people on the go, breakfast often takes a back seat.

Here is an oatmeal recipe that is not only healthy, packed with vitamins and fiber that will give you the energy throughout your day, but also is simple to make and only takes a few minutes. Check out this video for a step by step tutorial for Cranberry Banana Oatmeal.