The following are a few ideas for segments from my perspective as a pediatrician, mother and community leader dealing with nutrition for kids. I am available to expand or develop other topics. See the Food for Thought section for other articles and ideas.
Early Toddler Eating Disorders: Normal or Not?
Picky eaters, overeaters and kids who refuse to try new foods are common problems that many parents face. In most cases, these are phases and stages of their development that when handled skillfully, can be overcome and these young upstarts can develop fairly normal eating behaviors. However, some of these kids, may have underlying medical or psychological issues that may be contributing to their behavior. Others are mishandled by parents and this can lead to further serious eating behavior issues. How can a parent tell when more serious eating behavior may be lurking and where to find the help? How can they handle typical problems with a style that won’t create more problems?
Parent Discipline and Healthy Lifestyles for Kids: The Misunderstood Link
Lack of discipline in the home or a strict parenting style can lead to eating problems in children. Sometimes the eating behavior is due to the parents own style and behavior around their children. If parents understand that they have to assert healthy lifestyles in a loving and firm way and learn to be a role model themselves, they will go a long way to teach kids to be responsible and healthy eaters.
Dodging the Childhood Obesity Bullet
It is no secret that statistics show that childhood obesity rates are continuing to climb globally. Although most families know what they should be doing to avoid the childhood obesity bullet, there are many reasons that families find they can’t follow through. Excuses include: too busy to cook, my kids won’t eat it anyway, they get junk at other places, they don’t want to exercise or do sports, we eat out a lot and the list goes on. Learn what families can start to do to challenge these excuses at home and in their community.
Dealing with the Overeater Child
If your child is overweight, many things need to be explored. Some are simple changes: limit media time with a media budget, limit empty calorie choices, increase fiber in their diet and there are many other tips. However, sometimes there are psychological issues or stress that may contibute to your child’s overeating behavior. Sometimes, parent pressure in restricting foods and worrying excessively about keeping their kids thin, creates a rebellious situation that leads to the overeating. Families may need to learn to identify where the real problem is when it comes to their kid’s weight.
Good Fats for Childhood Health
DHA is an omega-3 fat with numerous health benefits that have been identified in the medical literature. DHA may have a role to play in various aspects of childhood health. Explore brain development and immune system support using these good fats and where to find them. Along with finding this fat, comes some warnings around mercury in our fish supply, so learn the balance of finding good sources of these fats for children.
The School Food Zone
Kids spend a great deal of time in school and the messages they give and the role modeling within the school has been shown to have a large influence on the eating and exercise behavior of our kids. Schools focus on SAT scores is important, but what about studies that show a link between physical fitness and academic achievement? Is short changing our children’s health short changing their academics? Local Wellness Policy is supposed to be in place in all schools on the USDA nutrition program. Learn what parents can do to advocate for meaningful wellness policy at their school and where to get support.
Create a Non-Toxic Pregnancy
Living in the toxic soup of today, pregnant mothers and the their vulnerable unborn children are at risk and this may set their child up for future health problems. Learn about some of the toxins that a pregnant mother or mother of a young baby should be aware of and avoid. Lead and mercury are better known, but what about arsenic in our water, phthalates, pesticides, PBDE and others?