Let’s face it, sweets and treats motivate kids! From the time they begin potty training we start reinforcing their behavior with whatever works best. Rewards come in smiles, high fives, a cheerful “good job,” and quite often, a piece of candy or a trip to their favorite restaurant. Much of our cultural celebrations involve food and these are wonderful traditions. There’s nothing wrong with having cake & ice cream for birthdays or going out to eat to celebrate your ‘Student of the Month.’ But what happens when food becomes a prize for just about everything? Think about your family, what food rewards are your doling out on a regular basis?
Too many food rewards have a downside: we learn to eat for emotional reasons, sugar becomes a habit or an addiction, and we pack on the pounds. We’re a product of our time, everyone gets a trophy. If we reward every little accomplishment, we diminish its uniqueness while the overused prize loses its value. We can end up treating ourselves (and our kids) for everyday occurrences, just because we ‘deserve’ it. There has to be a balance.
Try to find other ways to reward your kids and celebrate accomplishments. This is
If you want to lose weight or change your eating habits, let your family and friends know what you are doing, and be specific about how they can help you. Let them know how important, as well as how challenging, this is for you, and that you need their help.
Frequent breaks to stretch and stand may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes for desk workers, couch potatoes and other people who sit for long amounts of time.
It is countless the number of times that I hear this or a similar response from patients when the topics of “low salt” or “heart healthy” diets arise during an office visit. The most common medical disease we associate with high dietary sodium intake is definitely hypertension and its been proven in studies that appropriate sodium restriction can reduce systolic blood pressure readings by an average of almost 11 points over time. So it comes as no surprise that the FDA announced this week that they are considering changing the guidelines and recommendations regarding sodium content in food products.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women. Unfortunately, women’s heart attacks don’t always show the classic signs, such as chest pain. Watch for these signs:
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)
- Back and jaw pain
- Heartburn that won’t go away
Half of the mothers who took part in a study thought that their obese four or five year-old was normal weight, as did 39 % of the fathers and when it came to overweight children, 75 % of mothers and 77 % of fathers thought that their child was normal weight. Further, mothers and fathers of overweight and obese children were significantly heavier than the parents of normal weight children. These statistics certainly give us something to think about.
Heart health month isn’t just about awareness but also about providing some simple solutions. You have probably heard or read the statistics regarding salt intake in our everyday diet before we even pick up a salt shaker and while it may be some time before the “fast food” and “junk food” industries reduce the salt in their products, there are a few simple adjustments you can make to help reduce your daily salt intake.
Bad habits: we all have them. But when those habits involve our health – as so many do – it’s even more important to get them under control. Our well-being is what allows us to care for our families as well as model to our kids how to embrace a positive lifestyle. And, of course, our health is at stake!
An interesting and thought provoking study examining the influence natural versus man-made environments have on people was published today in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by researchers Netta Weinstein, Andrew Przybylski and Richard Ryan. A study of 370 individuals across four different study environments consistently showed that people exposed to natural elements rated close relationships and community higher than they had prior to exposure. So does paying attention to the natural world make you behave better? Actually their results would indicate, yes.
During the holiday season we often participate in pot-lucks or other gatherings where we prepare food at home and then transport and serve it at a party or event. It is important to keep food safety in mind in these situations to avoid ruining the holidays of our friends and loved ones with a case of food poisoning.
When traveling with food, keep HOT foods hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) by wrapping them in foil and then covering with heavy towels or carry them in insulated containers designed for this purpose. Cold foods must also receive care to ensure they remain at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. This can be achieved using a cooler with ice or freezer packs.