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Archive for June, 2011

HOW DIET AFFECTS BEHAVIOR

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

By: Angela Ardolino and Deirdre Pizzoferrato

It’s enough to drive you crazy.  Your child can’t concentrate on anything, sitting still is impossible and homework is out the window. Why is this happening? Many kids will be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, and more.  ADHD is the most common diagnosed behavior problem in the U.S. But before you choose to medicate the problem, consider how their diet may be playing a role.

What to avoid?

1. Sugars – sugar based breakfast cereals, pastries and syrups.  Processed sugars and carbohydrates leave your kids hyper at first and then feel hungry and tired by the time lunch comes around.

2. Additives – avoid artificial flavors and colors.  These items have been linked to hyperactive behavior and learning disabilities.  These additives also affect sleep and have been linked to autism.  http://www.totalhealthclinic.co/food-colourings-additives-and-the-brain/why-do-additives-colouring-preservatives-affect-brain-function

3. Preservatives – chemical compounds like sodium nitrate which is commonly used to preserve bacon, ham, hot dogs, processed meats and sodium benzoate found in soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual.

4. Soda pop.  High consumption of sugary drinks like soda and mostly all sweetened beverages cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar leaving kids irritable, tired – and even hungry! Hydrate with water!

5. Toss the Junk.    Alongside lacking vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, junk foods reduce the body’s uptake of nutrients that improve children’s concentration. There is a huge assortment of “grab-and-go” snacks available on the market today. While a convenient option to homemade snacks, processed snacks are often high in sugar, salt and fat. When stocking up, check the label. Aim for snacks that contain less than 20% daily value for sodium and fat, and less than 7 grams of sugar per serving.
What To Do

1) Check for Allergies.  Make sure your child isn’t allergic to any foods.  Remove foods that may contribute to problems like wheat, dairy, sugar and tomatoes. Your pediatrician can administer an allergy test and recommend an elimination diet.http://www.foodintol.com/elimination_diet

2) Check for Vitamin Defiency.  Children who are deficient in Vitamin B1 or Iron for instance can behave combative, cranky, and sensitive. Check with your pediatrician to make sure your child isn’t deficient in any essential vitamins. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/vitamins-for-kids-do-healthy-kids-need-vitamins

3) Eat Your Breakfast.   According to a recent Feeding Family Survey by the American Dietetic Association, many kids and adolescents are substituting a balanced breakfast with quick and convenient snacks and bars, or skipping breakfast all together. It may sound cliché, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast jump start your metabolism, but it provides energy necessary for concentration and learning.  Studies have consistently shown that kids who skip breakfast have lower test scores than kids who do. In addition, kids who eat a breakfast high in sugar and low in protein and fiber run the risk of a sugar crash, which has a direct affect on concentration, energy levels and mood.

4) Teach your children.  Teaching your children to how to have a healthy diet will have a bigger impact if you set the example. Eat right, get some exercise, and make a healthy lifestyle a family affair.
For more information, please visit

www.TBParenting.com

And Beanstalk Express, founded by parents for parents, Beanstalk Express® is a child nutrition information and resource company passionate about ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in America.

BRINGING HOME BABY

Posted on: June 17th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Bringing Home Baby

Packing list for Mom
• 2 changes of loose fitting comfortable clothes you can choose from to go home in.
• Shoes: slippers, or flats that you can easily slip on.
• Comfy socks
• Nursing bra
• Small make up bag with only the essentials to feel freshened up.
• iPod
• Snacks for you and Daddy
• Ice pack and heating pad in case the hospital doesn’t provide.
• Camera with charger and extra batteries
• Cell phone charger with contact list so you don’t forget to call anyone important

Packing List for Your New Born
• Don’t go overboard with the outfit, your new born needs to be comfortable for the ride home the same as you do.
• T-shirt or sleeper (check out http://newforbaby.com/)
• Diaper
• Blanket
• Optional: hats are cute but not necessary

Car Seats (child safety seats)
• Every state requires parents to have a car seat before leaving the hospital. There are 2 types of seats.
1. For infants only. You must replace with a child car seat when your baby reaches 22 to 35 pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they are either 2 years old or reach the maximum weight.
2. A convertible car seat. This seat can be converted to a front facing seat when your child reaches the height and weight requirements or after they are 2 years old. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines on converting seats.
• Never place the car seat in the front seat of your car. Airbags can harm your newborn if in an accident.
• Place your car seat facing the rear until they are of age, height and weight to be facing front in a child seat.
• If buying or borrowing a used seat, ensure it is not missing any parts and was not in a previous accident. Believe it or not, seats may have a manufacturer’s recommended expiration date.
• Follow the manufacturer’s guide on proper installation and practice installing and strapping in something before your baby arrives.

 Before Going Home
• Don’t feel rushed. Make sure you ask all the questions you have before you leave.
• Find out about when to schedule your baby’s first checkup.
• Ask for the direct line and after hours number you can call with questions if something arises when you get home.
• If you have trouble installing your car seat, bring it into the hospital ahead of time so someone can assist and show you the correct and safe way.

When you get home
• It’s OK for new parents feel nervous or have mixed emotions.
• Don’t schedule visitors on the day you get home. Depending on how your delivery went, you may be sore and need time to rest before you can smile for company. TIP: leave a status update on your voicemail or send an email announcement to friends and family with the new baby’s details with a note that everyone is doing fine and you will be in touch after you both rest up.
• Familiarize your pet with your newborn’s scent by placing a baby blanket where they sleep.
• Babies cry and it’s OK. New babies cry on average 1 to 5 hours within a 24-hour period, and may be difficult to calm for the first few weeks.

Resources:
http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/newborn_care/bringing_baby_home.html#
http://www.rookiemoms.com/pack-for-the-hospital/

MAKING FRIENDS OUTSIDE OF CYBERSPACE

Posted on: June 13th, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

With all the technology available to help manage our lives and work, cyberspace has become the new place to also manage our friends. For children who are still developing these important social skills, this technology of social networks can actually hinder our child’s values of friendship and how they can make new friends in the real world. Here are some things you can do to help your child become more social:

House Rules
Set limits on all technology: phone, TV and video games, and internet use such as:
• No phones at the dinner table
• Complete all homework before watching TV, playing video games, or going online.
• Turn everything off by a certain hour to keep a consistent bedtime routine.
• Set Parental Controls on the internet and television in your home.

Set an Example
• Follow your own house rules. Your calls and emails can wait until after dinner too.
• Invite your friends and family over so your children can see how adult friendships and interactions work.
• Teach your child the definition of a true friend and who a friend is not. Explain that it’s not as easy as “friending” or “un-friending” someone
• Practice saying Hi with your child to other parents and kids at school, the park or playground. You can meet someone new by simply saying hello no matter how shy your child may be, all they need is for you to help them break the ice.

Get Active
• Invite neighborhood children over to your home to give your child a chance to develop a circle of new friends close to home.
• Make play dates at parks and play grounds.
• Enroll your child in after school activities.

Sources:
• http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/instructionalmaterials/tp/tchkdssocskills.htm
• Marilyn Randall, Making Friends Without Facebook http://www.sonorannews.com/booknook/book-faithfulfriends.html

TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT DIVORCE

Posted on: June 2nd, 2011 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Speaking to your children about the decision to divorce is almost as difficult as the divorce itself. By being honest, keeping calm and choosing the right details to disclose with your children together with your spouse, you can help your children process how changes will occur more smoothly.

When and How

  • The sooner, the better no matter what age.
  • Talk to your children before any changes happen. You want to keep their trust that you will be open and honest with them with no surprises.
  • Choose a good time that will not interfere with normal scheduled activities or events.
  • Create a quiet and undisturbed environment- turn off your phones. Keep your schedule open during that day/evening in order to 100% address concerns and questions your children may have.
  • If possible, talk to your children together with your spouse instead of one on one. If it is not possible to talk together, make sure to discuss the ground rules and storyline beforehand so you are on the same page and your children don’t hear conflicting stories.
  • Remain calm, confident and in control. Children can read your body language and tone.
  • Be prepared for your children to react emotionally. It’s OK for your child to become angry or upset.

What to Say

  • Don’t speak negatively about your spouse to your children.
  • Keep it simple. Speak in terms that your children are sure to understand.
  • Explain the meaning of divorce, and what your children can expect to happen next. The more information you give them the more they will understand what is going on.
  • Be prepared to answer their questions about their living arrangements, school, moving, scheduled activities and events or vacations and holiday arrangements.
  • Talk about all the things that will stay the same so your children are not overwhelmed with change. Reassure that:
    • It’s not their fault.
    • They are loved by both parents always.
    • They will still have everything they need.
  • Don’t create false hope. Be realistic and honest.
  • Don’t be defensive or apologetic.

How to Move Forward:

  • Encourage communication and conversation.
  • Answer honestly on any fears and concerns your children may have and keep them informed of new developments before change happens.
  • Make sure you are always available to answer future questions or concerns they may have.
  • Maintain you children’s daily routines as much as possible.
  • Seek professional counseling if your children are having a hard time dealing with the divorce. They can guide you on how to handle situations.
  • Take care of yourself. Your child can tell when you are stressed.