Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sport Snacks – Make Them Healthy

Mom’s Like Me Segment with Judy Caplan, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Editor for Washington FAMILY Magazine
Sport Snacks – Make Them Healthy
Outdoor sports are getting ready for the end of the year tournaments. The weather is getting warmer and the humidity is rising. Before you run out to Costco to buy the standard fare, you might ask yourself, “Are snacks really necessary after a team practice or a game?”
Here are some tips to snack on:
1. Keep Kids Hydrated
Children always need to drink fluids when they are exercising, especially if the weather is warm. Plain water is always best for hydration. If you buy bottled water or have your own plastic water bottle, be sure to avoid BPA plastics and those labeled 3, 6, or 7. The numbers are on the bottom of the bottles.

2. When Are Sports Drinks Necessary?
Sport drinks are high in calories and sugar and are not necessary. That is not to say they should never be used, especially if your child is exceedingly active, sweats excessively, or has a diet low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The main function of sports drinks is to supply electrolytes. The main problem with sports drinks is the amount of calories. A 12 oz. bottle of Gatorade has 310 calories practically a meal’s worth. If you buy Gatorade, G-2 is a much better lower calorie version.

3. Consider the Calorie Expenditure
You need to consider the calorie expenditure during your child’s practice and games. If he or she is running long distances, doing intense short sprints, is a major sweater, and does not have a weight problem then sports drinks are probably fine even though not necessary. However, one bottle is usually enough to replenish lost electrolytes, and after that he or she should move on to water.

4. Nutrient Content of Packaged Snacks
Same considerations go for packaged, refined starchy snacks. It is not only the calories in the snacks that matter but the quality of the nutrition in the snack. 100 calorie packs will control calories but your child is still ingesting refined flour, refined sugar, Tran’s fats, and too much sodium.

5. Fruit, Veggies, Whole Grains, and Nuts
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are loaded with minerals and electrolytes. Try to increase their intake of these magnesium and potassium rich foods during the week, not just on practice or game days.

WARNING: Know that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has just found that one in five teens now has elevated cholesterol levels. Exercise helps keep cholesterol low. Maybe teaching our kids not to eat junk during and after sports is as important as teaching them not to drink and drive. It may save their lives down the road.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adopting an Older Child

With all the news about the young child that was adopted and then returned to Russia, parents who have been thinking of adoption might be reconsidering.

Monday morning on WUSA9 News Now, Jolie Perara, the marketing manager for FAMILY Magazine talked about adopting an older child. She talked about how when the child is not an infant, it is very different than adopting an infant and is sometimes a challenge. It is similar to adopting a child with special needs or one that has emotional problems.

Here are some things to think about:

Bonding will take longer.
(Especially if the child looks different than you)
Child will take longer to adjust as well.
You will need more time to devote to the child.
You may have more doctor appointments and need counseling.
Your child may need tutoring and help with school adjustment.
Your routine is going to change dramatically.

If you adopt an older, special needs, or troubled child, many may come with bad habits and emotional baggage. Certainly the bonding time may take longer. It may also take longer if the child looks a lot different than you do or than what you expected. This applies to infants as well. It takes time to get used to these things. You might take one step forward and two steps backward some days. Don’t let the guilt set in. Loving any adopted child is sometimes a challenge. You can still provide for him and nurture him just the same while both of you adjust.

Whether you are considering an older, special needs, or troubled child, consider carefully if your schedule and lifestyle are flexible. Adopting a child who needs extra time, attention, and care will mean a change in your routine. You may have doctor appointments, therapy sessions, counseling sessions, and school conferences on a regular basis. Problems occur unexpectedly causing sudden changes in plans.

Whether you have a specific child in mind, or are waiting for a referral, here are some things to do in advance.
--Find out all you can about the child. What is known about the child? What information is missing?
--Line up your medical, counseling, and educational services. Most communities have preschool programs for children with special needs ages three and four or who are at high risk.
--Line up your own support team. Do you have family members or friends that you can call when you need a break or need help?
--Look for support groups. You may want to join an adoption support group or a support group for children with special needs. Your local social services office or pediatrician should be able to help you find what you need.
--Look for books about adoption at your local library. Find ones both for yourself and for your new child.

Older adopted children often experience a “honeymoon” stage after placement in an adoptive home. This is followed by a testing period, accompanied by feelings of grief and loss for whatever home or family they once had. They may experience periods of depression or rebellion. Often individual therapy is necessary to deal with issues of separation and loss and family therapy may be useful, also.

Although adopting an older child is difficult, adding to your family and enriching the life of your new child is rewarding. Whatever the age and background of your adopted child, love, patience and flexibility are the keys to success.

Happy Parenting,

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Enviromential Education Week

This is National Enviromential Education Week. Going green not only helps the enviroment it also teaches children to understand that they are in charge of their actions. And when kids act responsibilly that has a positive impact in our families and communities.

One of the easiest ways to educate children on enviromential issues is by focusing on water conservation especailly since so much of American water sources are stressed.

This morning, Jolie Perara, Marketing Maganger for FAMILY Magazine was on WUSA9 News Now with Peggy Fox discussing family-friendly water conservation.

Water Conservation is simple and kid-friendly.

1. Turn the water off when you are brushing you teeth, saving 25 gallons a month.
2. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap, then reuse the water to water houseplants.
3. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap to get cold water.
4. Limit the amount of bottled waters you consume because it takes 3 liters of water to produce I liter of bottled water.
5. If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.

Conservation teaches kids to understand that we have a responsibility to each other and that we all are in charge of our own actions.

How do you teach children about protecting our environment? Do you have “Green” activities around your home? Please share your families tips and ideas with us online.

Happy Parenting,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Great Family Friendly Entertainment

Spring is approaching and with that comes Spring Breaks, warmer weather and restless kids. Are you looking for somewhere to take the family? Are you looking for something educational but yet still fun? Are you looking for something that you’ll be entertained at as well? Look no further!

Today Liz McConville, Resource Editor for FAMILY Magazine was on WUSA9 News Now with Peggy Fox discussing family-friendly events for spring.

Starting this April and running through October both Congressional Plaza and Rockville Town Square are hosting Mommy & Me And Daddies Too. The first event is at Congressional Plaza on Thursday, April 8 and then at Rockville Town Square on Tuesday, April 20. Both are from 10 am-Noon. Join them for fun, free programs for you and your little one including face painting, balloon animals, live entertainment, kids eat FREE and much more! Mommy & Me is brought to you by Federal Realty Investment Trust and the merchants and restaurants at Congressional Plaza and Rockville Town Square. For more information, visit congressionalplaza.com or rockvilletownsquare.com or call 301-998-8178.

Celebrate Spring at the Fairfax Corner Spring Festival! It’s being held Saturday, April 24 from 12 to 3 pm and promises to be a great day for the whole family. Bring the whole family for a day of fun with live entertainment, exciting interactive exhibitor booths, fabulous giveaways, face painters, balloon artists, FREE goodie bags for the first 250 families attending and a chance to win a $500 Fairfax Corner Shopping Spree! Live on the Grand Plaza Stage: at Noon is Mad Science: Up, Up, and Away!, at 1 pm is Reptiles Alive!, and at 2 pm is The Unicycle Lady Show. For more information visit www.FairfaxCorner.com.

Coming Saturday, May 1st to Bethesda Row is Celebrate Mama! It’s being held from 11 am-4 pm. This is a free event for mamas of all ages and stages. The event features giveaways, arts & crafts, raffle prizes and entertainment. Shop the Mama Marketplace for the perfect Mother’s Day present. For more information visit www.celebratemama.com.