A recent study says that recess at school is as important for children as math and spelling. Playtime, said doctors, is as important as their class time for helping the youngster to perform at their best.
For most children recess is their favorite period of the day and Pediatricians say both teacher and parents should continue to encourage that. Recess, said pediatricians is a critical time for children’s development and their social interaction.
The research started in 2007 and was expected to show that recess was an important outlet physically for children. However, what researchers found was that the benefits from recess extended beyond just the physical. They said recess effects emotional, cognitive and social development much deeper than what they had expected.
Children are able to practice resolution of conflicts if they are allowed to partake in unstructured play and it allows them to return to their classroom setting ready for more learning and being less fidgety, said researchers.
The new research could give a lifeline to the shrinking role that recess has played in the school day across the U.S. Districts are trimming budgets and the hours of instructions, trying to squeeze even more academic study into school days that are the same or even fewer than before. Because of that, recess has been sacrificed in many learning institutions.
A national survey found only three states – Nebraska, Delaware and Virginia have mandatory recess of 20 minutes in elementary school and just six states follow the standards set forth by the National Association of Physical Education and Sports that says schoolchildren need 150 minutes per week of physical education.
Article courtesy of healthaim.com
Research has long extolled the virtues of eating together as a family– it’s been linked with benefits for the kids ranging from healthy weight, to improved performance in school, to a decreased risk of substance abuse. And now, a new study suggests it could also make a difference in the amount of fruits and vegetables children eat — even if you only have time to get together once a week.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, shows that kids who eat together with their family consume more portions of produce than those whose families don’t share meals together.
“Modern life often prevents the whole family from sitting round the dinner table, but this research shows that even just Sunday lunch round the table can help improve the diets of our families,” study researcher Meaghan Christian, who conducted the study as part of her Ph.D. research at the University of Leeds, said in a statement.
The study included 2,389 elementary-school age kids who attended 52 different schools throughout the United Kingdom. Their diets were analyzed by recording what they ate in food diaries for both home and school.
Researchers found that 63 percent of the kids in the study didn’t eat the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. However, the kids who ate together with their families ate more portions of produce each day than those who didn’t.
Specifically, compared with the kids who never ate together with their family, those who always ate with their families ate 1.5 more portions of fruits and vegetables. And those who ate with their families just once a week still ate 1.2 more portions of fruits.
Researchers also found a link between fruit and vegetable intake among the kids and how the produce was presented on the plate. If parents cut up their fruits and vegetables, the kids ate about a half-portion more of fruit and a quarter-portion more of vegetables, compared with kids whose parents didn’t cut up their food.
The Homeland baby is home!
Claire Danes and husband Hugh Dancy welcomed baby boy Cyrus Michael Christopher on Monday Dec. 17, their rep told Us Weekly on Wednesday. And according to Page Six, proud papa Dancy, 37, made the announcement to friends and family via email.
Weighing just under seven pounds, Little Cyrus arrived “exactly at 3 p.m.,” the handsome British actor wrote. “Mother and baby are well, healthy, and happy,” the Hysteria star continued. “Together we send our love to you all.”
Cyrus is the very first child for the couple, who fell in love on the 2006 set of the film Evening and married in 2009.
“We are very excited,” Emmy-winning Homeland star Danes, 33, said in September. “We are going to love this person, I know that.”
Article courtesy of Us Magazine
Milk has traditionally been considered to provide optimal nutrition for growing children. Lisa Capretto has written for Oprah.com on,The Health Benefits of Milk. The National Dairy Council says “milk packs quite a punch when it comes to nutrition—and you don’t have to drink a gallon to reap the benefits.” Today, Dec. 17, 2012, Crystal Phend has reported for MedPage Today, Kids’ Diet: Two Cup Limit for Milk.
An observational study affirmed that more than two cups of milk a day may cut into iron stores for many young kids. Jonathon Maguire, MD, MSc, of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues found higher consumption of cow’s milk was found to be linked to higher vitamin D levels but lower serum ferritin as a measure of iron levels. The group reported online in Pediatrics that each cup of milk consumed was linked to 6.5% higher vitamin D and 3.6% lower iron on the average.
For most 2- to 5-year-olds, two cups of milk a day seemed sufficient to keep vitamin D levels up with minimal effect on iron. However, children with darker skin pigmentation may require more milk during winter months. The study findings of this study fit with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics which suggest no more than two cups (500 mL) of cow’s milk a day from ages 2 to 6 in order to avoid iron deficiency. Both nutrients are essential for kids. Vitamin D is vital for bone health and likely for disease prevention too, while iron plays an important role in brain and psychomotor development.
Article courtesy of Examiner.com
Life is about to get a little more magical for Magic Mike star Channing Tatum.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum the actor’s wife of three years, is pregnant, their rep tells Us Weekly. “Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum are pleased to announce that they are expecting the birth of their first child next year.”
“It was a total surprise,” an insider tells Us of the pregnancy, adding that Tatum, 32, is taking a full year off to be with his expectant spouse and their baby-to-be, due sometime in 2013. (Incidentally, the 21 Jump Street actor told Entertainment Weekly recently that he wanted to step back from acting to focus on a few behind-the-scenes projects with his production partner, Reid Carolin, who wrote the screenplay for Magic Mike.)
The couple met on the set of Step Up in 2006 and married in Malibu, Calif., on July 11, 2009. Earlier this year, Dewan, 32, opened up to Us Weekly about their plans for a family.
“I would hope so!” the dancer-turned-actress told Us in January when asked if kids were in the couple’s future. “I just don’t know when. When it’s meant to be, it will happen.”
Healthy snacks including veggies and cheese can help take the edge off of kids’ between-meal hunger pangs, and may help put a dent in rates of childhood obesity.
In a new study, children who were given cheese and vegetables as a snack ate 72% fewer calories than children who snacked on potato chips, and this effect was even more pronounced among kids who were overweight or obese.
What’s more, these kids needed fewer calories to feel full than those who ate chips.
The study included about 200 kids entering third or sixth grades. They were given chips, cheese, veggies, or a combination of veggies and cheese, and allowed to snack freely while watching a 45-minute TV show.
While children offered the veggies-only option took in the fewest calories, those offered the combo snack or only cheese took in about the same number of calories. But either option meant far fewer calories than those who were served potato chips, suggesting that replacing potato chips even with cheese alone may also be an option.
“Eliminating snacking altogether is impractical, and in some cases can backfire,” the researchers write. But replacing unhealthy snacks with more nutritious choices such as cheese and veggies may result in less backlash.
The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.
The Kids Are All Right
The good news is that children will accept healthier snacks, says Erin Corrigan, RD. She is a clinical nutrition manager at Miami Children’s Hospital in Florida. “Snacks are an important part of a child’s diet if you provide nutrient-dense foods,” she says.
Yes, cheese can be high in calories, but it is also high in protein and calcium, she says. “Fruits and vegetables have more fiber, which helps people feel full quicker and longer, and when combined with protein it’s the perfect combination for a well-balanced snack.”
Choices are good and give kids a sense of control, she says. “They should be equally healthy.”
Connie Diekman, RD, says the new findings make sense. She is the director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. “Protein and carbohydrate help elevate blood sugar while sustaining the elevation of the blood sugar, thus aiding [fullness], versus potato chips alone,” she says. In addition, the fiber in the vegetables likely added to the feeling of fullness.
So what are some solid snacking choices for kids? Diekman suggests:
- Cheese and fruit
- Cheese and whole-grain crackers
- Yogurt and granola
- Hummus and veggies
- Peanut, sunflower, or almond nut butter with fruit or whole-grain crackers
Article courtesy of WebMD Health News
After months of keeping the news under wraps, Today‘s Jenna Bush Hager announced Wednesday that she and her husband Henry Hager are expecting a baby in the spring.
“We’re so excited,” Bush Hager, 31, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “We can’t wait.”
Neither can her proud parents. It will be the first grandchild for former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
“We’re both really thrilled,” Laura Bush tells PEOPLE. “We’ve been looking forward to being grandparents for a long time and we’re very excited about it,” she says.
The former President called in to Today Wednesday for his daughter’s announcement.
“I’m fired up. I’m looking forward to it,” he shares. “I could barely contain the news.”
Now that a baby is on the way, Bush Hager says her mom and twin sister, Barbara, have already volunteered to help decorate the nursery .
“She’s really into how she’s going to help me design the nursery,” the NBC News correspondent says of her twin. They’ll have to settle for “neutral colors,” she says, noting she and Henry plan to wait to learn the sex of the baby.
In the meantime, the former First Daughter is looking forward to another production. She is serving as an executive producer of A White House Christmas: First Families Remember, featuring former first daughters and first ladies reminiscing about their holidays at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It airs Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Content source: People Magazine
Photo: Washington Post
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to prevent children from suffering further harm, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff filed an administrative complaint [List and Summary of Documentary Evidence] today against Baby Matters, LLC, of Berwyn, Pa., the manufacturer of Nap Nanny® and Nap Nanny Chill™ infant recliners.
|The complaint alleges that the Nap Nanny Generation One and Two, and Chill model infant recliners contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants. The Commission voted 3-0 to approve the filing of the complaint, which seeks an order requiring that the firm notify the public of the defect and offer consumers a full refund.
CPSC is aware of four infants who died in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and a fifth death involved the Chill model.
To date, CPSC has received a total of over 70 additional incident reports of children nearly falling out of the product. The staff alleges that the products create a substantial risk of injury to the public.
CPSC staff filed the administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in an adequate voluntary recall plan that would address the hazard posed by consumer use of the product in a crib or without the harness straps being securely fastened.
In July 2010, CPSC and Baby Matters, LLC issued a joint recall news release to announce an $80 coupon to Generation One owners toward the purchase of a newer model and improved instructions and warnings to consumers who owned the Generation Two model of Nap Nanny recliners.
At the time of the July 2010 recall, CPSC was aware of one death that had occurred in a Nap Nanny recliner and 22 reports of infants hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny even though most of the infants had been placed in the harness. Subsequently, despite the improvements to the warnings and instructions, the complaint alleges that additional deaths using Nap Nanny recliners have been reported, including one in a Chill model.
The Nap Nanny is a portable infant recliner designed for sleeping, resting and playing. The recliner includes a shaped foam base with an inclined indentation for the baby to sit and a fitted fabric cover with a three point harness. Five thousand Nap Nanny Generation One and 50,000 Generation Two models were sold between 2009 and early 2012 and have been discontinued. One hundred thousand Chill models have been sold since January 2011. All were priced around $130.
Courtesy of CPSC
The Royal Family is looking forward to welcoming another prince or princess into the world.
Their rep confirmed to Fox News that Princess Kate and Prince William are expecting their first child.
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby,” the rep said in a statement. “The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.”
The rep also confirmed a bit of scary news, saying Princess Kate had been admitted to the hospital.
“The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” the rep said. “As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.”
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is very acute morning sickness, which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients.
The rep would not say how far along she is, only that she has not yet reached the 12-week mark.
The confirmation of her pregnancy was greeted with congratulations.
Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter that he was “delighted by the news,” saying the royals “will make wonderful parents.”
As the first-born to William — who is second in line for the throne after his father, Prince Charles — the couple’s child stands an excellent chance of one day becoming monarch.
Whether boy or girl, the child will be next in line behind William in the line of succession to the throne, Cabinet Office officials have said.
Monday’s news comes weeks after a so-called ‘pal’ of the Princess, Jessica Hay, blabbed to a magazine that Kate was pregnant.
“They’re planning to make an announcement in December. William and Kate are focused on starting a family,” she tattled.
Courtesy of Fox News
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Christmas is still nearly four weeks away, but Jessica Simpson got her biggest — and totally unexpected! — present early: Another baby on the way! Seven months after giving birth to daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson, the star is once again expecting, the new issue of Us Weekly exclusively confirms.
PHOTOS: Maxwell’s first seven months
“It definitely wasn’t planned. But yes, Jessica is pregnant again,” a source reveals to Us. The surprise baby-to-be is the second for the singer and Fashion Star mentor, 32, and fiance Eric Johnson. (A rep for Simpson had no comment.)
Engaged for the past two years, Simpson and former NFL pro Johnson, 33, welcomed Maxwell — a whopping 9 pound, 13 ounce bundle of joy! — on May 1 of this year.
And while Simpson felt energized about her admirable 70-pound slimdown post-baby, her greatest inspiration is being a mom.
“Motherhood is a dream,” she told Katie Couric back in September. “It really is absolutely amazing.”
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to her 5.7 million Twitter followers Nov. 22, she gushed: “I am so grateful for my new lil family!”
Notes the source of pregnancy number two: “She really is overjoyed!”
Source: Us Weekly