Healthy food plays a big role in helping kids stay focused throughout the school day, but packing healthy lunches for your child can be challenging. The most convenient options are often not the healthiest, and healthy school lunch options often do not seem very convenient. Here are five tips to help you streamline your school lunch routine and ramp up the quality of your kids’ noontime fare.
- Prep Lunch Items in Advance
Set aside an hour or two at a consistent time and day each week to focus on lunch item preparation.
- Peel, cut, and/or portion individual servings of carrot sticks, grapes, strawberries, or other fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Cut servings of cheese slices and wrap them in waxed paper.
- Fill serving sized zip-top bags with healthy whole wheat crackers.
- Make a loaf’s worth of sandwiches and refrigerate or freeze them.
Children crave structure. This may not be apparent as they run screaming through the house throwing breakfast cereal, but they do. Routine subconsciously tells a child that someone is in charge. It helps them feel grounded, secure, and safe. A bedtime routine is one of the most pivotal ways you can add structure to your child’s life. In addition to creating a sense of security in your child, it can also bring some much needed relief to you, the parent. Here are steps to creating a bedtime routine for your child. Continue reading
Welcoming a brand new baby into the world is an exciting time, but it can also be extremely trying for new parents. The lack of sleep, worry and complex emotions that are very common can create a cocktail that may result in tension and high levels of stress. It is important for parents to take a little bit of time for themselves in order to relieve that stress and enjoy the short period of time that is the newborn stage.
For many new parents – especially moms – taking care of a baby requires nearly 24/7 attention. This often leads to neglect in the exercise department. Instead of putting off a workout, try adding one in to your day and see how it makes you feel. Many experts agree that any amount of physical activity can reduce anxiety and fatigue, leading to reduced stress as well. Continue reading
If you are reading this article, then congratulations! There is nothing more exciting than bringing a new life into the world. Now that you are expecting a child, you are probably feeling overwhelmed to say the very least. As with anything else, preparation is the key to pregnancy and raising a baby. Here are a few tips to help you make it from pregnancy to motherhood without a hitch.
You are solely responsible for your baby’s health care while you a pregnant, so you know to eat right and to avoid risky foods and activities. But the moment that you give birth to your child, you are no longer in complete control of your child’s well being. This is why having a healthcare plan and a great doctor is so important. Whether you are on an employer’s health plan or Obamacare, there are options available to make sure that your child is well taken care of. Make sure that you elect an adequate amount of coverage for your growing family. Continue reading
Research shows that many adopted children tend to develop a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a 2008 study compared about 500 adopted and non-adopted children and found that the odds of having an ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with non-adoptees.
This can be even more problematic when adoption agencies hide information and mislead parents who are leaning towards adopting. Then, when adopted children begin to exhibit mental health symptoms, parents may not know how to respond. Furthermore, they may not have made the decision to adopt if they knew that their child might develop a mental illness.
The mental health of adopted children is becoming more and more significant, particularly because the number of adoptions in the United States continues to rise. According to the National Council For Adoption,there were 130,269 domestic adoptions in 2002, whereas in 1996 there were 108,463 domestic adoptions. Continue reading
Sometimes as parents, there might be an event or a life changing circumstance that affects the way you relate to your children. Perhaps you recently went through a divorce. Or perhaps you lost one of your children in an accident. Or it could simply be that the day to day responsibilities of home and work somehow required putting the relationships you have with your children aside temporarily.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to return to the basics of parenting from time to time. To refresh yourself on what’s necessary and important for facilitating healthy psychological and emotional development.
First and foremost, research indicates that parents need to provide consistent care to their children. And this begins from infancy. Studies show that an infant must develop a strong bond with at least one primary caregiver in order to appropriately develop socially and emotionally. In order for this bond to become secure between infant and caregiver, the following must happen:
- The caregiver must be responsive and sensitive in the way that he or she responds to the infant.
- The child must be able to consistently rely on the caregiver for soothing in times of stress.
- The caregiver must remain a constant in the child’s life from 6 months to approximately 2 years of age.
When there are children involved in a divorce, parental care for those children must continue despite the marital split. If individuals cannot agree on when and how their children will be cared for, it is sometimes agreed upon during the legal proceedings. For instance, a parent who is working full time may only be able to care for his or her children on the weekends and on holidays. Perhaps the other parent has the children during the week.
If you’re not involved in a legal situation with your partner but you have children together, likely you’re trying to figure out between the two of you how to meet the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of your children even through the divorce. Whether you’re in a legal situation or not, there are going to have to be conversations, communication, and contact with the other parent for the sake of the children. Knowing how to do that in a way that keeps the children’s best interest in mind is at the heart of a gentle divorce. Continue reading
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is an organization that protects America from healthy, safety, and security threats. Among their many tasks and large-scale projects, they maintain research and health statistics on children. For instance, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors six priority health-risk behaviors that play a role in the causes of death, disability, and injury in children and teens. Three of the six dangerous behaviors are listed below:
Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence – According to the CDC, there are risky behaviors that lead to unintentional injury, such as riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet, not wearing a seatbelt when riding as a passenger in a car, riding in cars with drivers who had been drinking, and texting or emailing someone while driving a vehicle. The CDC also recognizes behaviors among older children and teens that specifically lead to violence such as carrying a weapon, carrying a gun specifically versus other weapons, being in a physical fight, experiencing being hit, slapped, or physically hurt intentionally by a boyfriend or girlfriend (dating violence), avoiding school because of its lack of safety, experiencing bullying, or considering and/or attempting suicide.
Unhealthy dietary behaviors – Dangerous behavior that leads to unhealthy diets include not eating the right amounts of fruit or drinking fruit juices, not eating any vegetables, not drinking milk, drinking sugar based drinks such as sodas, and not eating breakfast. Continue reading
Marijuana is a popular drug in the state of California, particularly Los Angeles. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)’s February 2014 report of drug use in Los Angeles County, marijuana was reported as “the primary drug problem” with 27.2% of drug rehab treatment admissions for marijuana addiction or dependency. Plus, more than half (59%) of drug rehab treatment admissions were for children. Furthermore, marijuana was identified in 30.8% of drug reports analyzed in laboratories. Lastly, marijuana ranked second in the list of illicit drugs reported in the poison control system.
Children younger than 12 years old are experimenting with marijuana. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, 14 children under the age of 12 ended up in the hospital after taking in the edible form of the drug between 2009 and 2011.
Despite its reputation for being a safe and harmless drug, marijuana does in fact lead to danger, as noted with the hospitalizations above, as well as addiction. In fact, regular use of marijuana can create the same destructive lifestyle that comes with any dependency. Considering marijuana to be harmless, in a sense, makes it more dangerous. A child using the drug may not be able to make the connection between some of its ill effects on school, home life, and peer interactions. He or she might be looking for a quick high, a release of stress, but the effects of the drug have proven to lead to an addiction. Continue reading
If you are parents of a child who is heavily involved in sports, there are some cautions you might want to take on behalf of your children. As parents raising a family in Los Angeles, there are a variety of sports that your child might be involved in including swimming, surfing, basketball, football, or track. However, if the demands of being on a sports team is getting in the way of your child’s life at school or home, then you may want to know about the following resources.
For instance, not only are young athletes faced with academic stress but they may also feel the pressure to perform, to keep their bodies in shape, and to succeed in their chosen sport. To help children and teens with these demands, many universities, high schools, and community organizations provide academic and athletic support programs. For the most part, these programs are aimed at meeting the academic, personal and professional development needs of student athletes.
For instance, the UCLA Academic & Student Services Office (AS2) and its S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Program is a diverse program with a wide variety of objectives. They are focused on easing the stress of a student athletes that have both professional and academic goals. They recognize and celebrate student athletic successes. They provide opportunities for the development of leadership and mastery. They strive to create and support an environment that harnesses intellectual discipline, creativity, problem solving, independence, and responsibility. Their mission is to provide an interactive learning environment that emphasizes life-long learning habits, goal setting, teamwork, leadership and character. Continue reading