Most drinks contain a lot of sugar and could be impeding your child's ability to live a happy, healthy life! We often consume too much, product sizes are getting bigger, and it's harder to say no when drinks are offered with every meal. Actually some argue that it is not necessary to drink anything with a meal.
According to an article you can find here from the Huffington Post, "Research suggests that rapid consumption of the fructose in both sugar and high fructose corn syrup doesn't properly stimulate production of leptin, a hormone that sends the brain a signal when the body is satiated." This will never satisfy the body and only leave it craving more. These become just added, empty calories on top of whatever else is being consumed.
It is important to know that many drinks have little to no nutritional value. Make sure to check the ingredients before purchasing. If high fructose corn syrup is one of the ingredients, don't buy it! It is often the second ingredient, which are always listed from most to least. That would be like giving your child a sugar pill.
However, there are drinks that can provide good qualities, like antioxidants, and vitamins. Here is a way that you can offer them good drinks without overloading the sugar! I've found that by diluting a drink, you are lessening the amount of sugar intake while not hindering the flavor. Try putting about 1/4 water in a glass and then filling the rest with your preferred drink. You can even experiment with how much water you add before it starts affecting the taste; many drinks are highly concentrated and do not need to be so strong. Not to mention that doing this will save you money by using less! Make sure to offer enough water; alternative drinks are a nice change, but water is the best choice. Prevent dehydration this summer by drinking water each day.
If you use cow milk, consider switching to Almond milk as long as you know there is no nut allergy. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, making it good for your heart and has approximately 40 calories per serving; not much.
In almond milk you will find vitamin E, manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber, phosphorous and calcium. The flavonoids and high levels of antioxidant vitamin E prevent cancer and slow signs of aging. Buy the unsweetened version to avoid the added sugar. Better yet, make it at home. Here is a recipe you can try from Dr. Mercola's website!
Stay away from the sugary drinks and help you and your children have a fun, relaxing summer!
Presently Yoga can be found in many schools and preschools and the numbers are starting to grow. This progress is great news for kids. School days are long and do not involve enough exercise and free play for young children. Days are structured and rigid. Yoga is the perfect opportunity for children to explore the possibilities and bring health and happiness into their lives.
There are many examples of how yoga has helped kids in school. At John B. Sliney Elementary School, teacher Leslie Stewart exposed her third grade class to practicing yoga and found that kids remained focused throughout the day and overcame test taking anxieties.
"It was great for my class because there were a lot of kids who had personal issues and testing anxieties. It changed the climate of the classroom," she said.
Yoga is not like other activities that parents put their children in. According to Betsy A. Ostrow, MD, “It is vital to break the cycle of adverse childhood experiences and replace them with coping skills. We tell children to relax but they need the tools to know how.”
Yoga teaches children the skills they need to deal with life's situations in a healthy way. Whether they are showing compassion for a friend who is troubled, practicing poses to relieve back pain or breathing deeply when they feel angry. The scope of a yoga "practice" is so great that kids can make it into what they need most. Since children spend a large majority of time in school and we are seeing the adverse affects of bullying and the stressful environment of meeting testing standards yoga is the best way to help them relax.
Even junior high students are learning from this ancient practice. Youth Empowerment Seminars - YES! in the south bay area offer classes to high risk students. Priscilla Orabuena, 15, said, "When you are going to get into a fight you want to do something to them. But you breathe and feel calm and just walk away." This is a very common result of exposing kids to yoga. To read the full article click here.
The reality is that the environment your child learns in affects their life; make sure that they are in a setting that is healthy for them emotionally. Adding yoga to their lifestyle will result in dramatic changes for the better.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years."
In a world that is progressing so rapidly with advancements like technology it is concerning to see that the health of our nation's children is retrogressing. Children who are overweight are more likely to experience diseases like type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer as adults. Later in life they suffer from heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis.
Like many problems that face our nation, education is a great solution. Unfortunately many schools have pulled regular physical education classes from the curriculum and recess is very limited. It is time to take matters into our own hands and pay attention to what makes a difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for our children.
Since children spend a large portion of time at school, and this is the foundation for their futures it is important to make the experience one that teaches children tools for a healthy lifestyle.
The CDC website suggests that schools should, "provide ample opportunities for all students to engage in physical activity outside of physical education class." This is where extracurricular activities play a vital role. One of the elementary schools that offers YogiDance has a well run after school enrichment program. This allowed us to easily offer their students the opportunity for physical activity right after school.
If your child's school does not yet have after, or even before school programs, talk to your principal about how to offer this to the students. Instead of your child coming home to turn on the TV or computer have them stay for exercise. They were sitting for the majority of the day; it is important to their development to encourage movement. A video testimonial from a mom whose son attends an after school class says it is a great transition from all the sitting, take a look!
The New York Times featured an article from a study by the World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stating that, "More than 80 percent of young people ages 13 to 15 worldwide are not getting the hour a day of vigorous exercise recommended for their age group. Unsurprisingly, North America and Europe lead the world in not exercising, with 43.3 percent of Americans..."
Children learn from example, and it is important to demonstrate the value of exercising by encouraging outdoor play and participation in physical activities. In YogiDance class we use hula hoops specifically because of the good workout and the fun time they get from doing it. In today's society being well rounded is what will make a difference and show improvement in your child.
Eating healthy, exercising and practicing yoga to help with stress and emotions are all linked to reducing obesity in today's children. According to information about emotional eating on HealthyChildren.org, kids who are obese often eat in response to their emotions and how they are feeling. Yoga is a special exercise that teaches children tools to handle their emotions in a healthy manner. This is why there are a growing number of schools implementing yoga classes into the curriculum. Calmingkidsyoga.org did a study of yoga in one public school that showed a significant increase in anger management after only 4.5 hours of yoga practice.
There are many values to these practices, but knowledge goes only so far without implementation. Bring your children to a class; start moving now!