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Some of the most common questions I get from parents of young children relate to food. Does my child eat enough? What kind of foods help young children grow and get the nutrients they need? Here are some guidelines to help you make those decisions. THE FOOD PYRAMID FOR YOUNG CHILDREN In 1999, the Federal Food and Drug Association designed a special food guide pyramid for young children. You may already be familiar with the concept of the food pyramid, which has been around since we were children. Recently, the FDA realized that parents and educators need more guidelines to help them choose proper food for their young children and the result is the food pyramid for young children.

Published in Health & Nutrition

Everyone wants their kids to eat more vegetables, right? Here are 10 tried and tested ways to do it. And no fair dipping them in chocolate fondue. Convince yourself first - find out more about vegetables. Why do I want my kids to eat them anyway? How will it make their lives better? Short answer: Vegetables are really, really important for getting all kinds of vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get anywhere else. Long answer: Read books that can help you understand how vegetables make us healthier. Some of my favorite sources that answer my questions about this without going into organic chemistry are: * The New Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition, by Laurel Robertson, et al.

Published in Health & Nutrition

When I think about using drugs with young children, I always think about Michael. I loved teaching four-year-old Michael. He came in every morning with a great smile on his face, a beautiful laugh and a great big hug for his teachers. Michael loved to sing songs, play running games and build great big buildings out of blocks. But he had a hard time sitting still. After about five minutes of circle time, he would invariably throw himself onto the floor or wiggle around in his chair so that the chair would fall backwards. During individual work-time, I felt successful if I helped him to sit for more than two minutes at a time.

Published in Health & Nutrition

Have you been wondering why your 12-year-old daughter is gaining so much weight? Have you been concerned that your 15-year-old looks too thin? To find out about teenage girls and body image, we interviewed Martin Fisher, M.D., chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. Dr. Fisher shared his views, based on 20 years of experience in adolescent medicine. According to Dr. Fisher, girls experience their major height spurt early in puberty (the time of hormonal changes which bring about physical changes,) about six months to a year before their first period.

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Dear WholeMom, My 15-year-old is what we used to call "pleasantly plump." She should lose about ten pounds, but she has stabilized at that weight and doesn't binge. She has a very pretty face, beautiful curly hair and a great personality. She is a good student and popular in school. Most of the year she is very happy. The problem is the summer, when kids spend so much time swimming. Most of her friends, both girls and boys, are very thin.

Published in Health & Nutrition

It's a daily battle to get our seven-year-old to brush his teeth. Any recommendations? A Guest Expert Judith Tanenbaum, DMD, replies: The basics are: demonstrate and explain, over and over and over. Tell your child that just as he has to wash his hands to get the dirt off, so he has to brush his teeth to get off the special dirt that accumulates there. Show your child the white creamy substance that appears on his teeth when they are not properly brushed and explain that this substance, called plaque, is full of germs.

Published in Health & Nutrition

QMy seven-year-old has had a sudden growth spurt -- in all directions! He's grown two inches and gained six pounds in just three months. And he has suddenly developed a pot belly. I offer him balanced meals and don't allow many unhealthy snacks, but lately he has a strong preference for carbohydrates and eats hardly any lean protein -- chicken, fish, etc. He does drink milk and he eats eggs, cheese and peanut butter. Is that enough protein? He eats some fruits but hardly any vegetables.

Published in Health & Nutrition
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