Health Notes

Finding a Food Balance through the Holidays

by Whitney Wright, MS, RD, LMNT, CNSC on November 18, 2014

I’m not sure how much I like the word “balance” anymore.

By definition it means different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. This sounds like a perfect description of how to approach food – balance certain foods with others that are better for our kids and us. So how does it get confusing and convoluted? In my opinion it’s when we confuse balance with perfection.

There is no perfection to balance. It is a day-to-day, week-to-week attempt to avoid extremes.

When I think of balance and food, my goal is to end up with days, weeks, months and seasons where I made a variety of choices that avoided any one extreme: Not too heavy on sugar and saturated fats, but not excluding them either. Not only choosing broccoli, kale, Chia seeds but including them within my food choices.

Of course there will be times in our family’s lives when we just have not been in balance. You shouldn’t criticize yourself or feel guilty. I certainly don’t see eating too many pieces of pumpkin pie or too much stuffing as a failure.

Instead, I recommend being mindful – mindful of creating a harmony of choices and overall balance in your family’s food choices. If one day is filled with a majority of any one food, just try to throw in something different the next. In doing this you WILL create balance over a lifetime for you and your family.

So how might “balance” look on Thanksgiving?

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Eight Things You Can Do to Help Your Child’s Stutter

by Dr. Elizabeth Walenz on November 11, 2014

My 3-year-old stutters.

It is not all of the time, but it can be enough that other people notice.

One of my older son’s friends asked me the other day, “Why does he talk like that?”

My answer: Sometimes his mind works faster than his mouth, and it takes a while for his ideas to come out completely.

Stuttering is one of the most common developmental disorders we see in children between 2-5 years of age. It occurs in one percent of children. It is four times more common in boys than in girls.

Stuttering is thought to have a neurologic basis – that the link between the child’s language development and the child’s motor ability to produce speech is not completely linked.

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Should My Child Play Select Sports?

Thumbnail image for Should My Child Play Select Sports? October 28, 2014

If you have a grade school child who plays sports, usually around 4th, 5th or 6th grades it’s a question you may consider: Should I sign my child up for a recreational league or should he/she play select? My kids play sports. I think their athletic performance far outshines anything I did in grade school. […]

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Fueling Young Athletes through Good Nutrition

Thumbnail image for Fueling Young Athletes through Good Nutrition October 21, 2014

Methodist dietitian Whitney Wright helped her children, Adelan and Aydin, stay healthy through their busy soccer season thanks to good nutrition. This fall, my husband and I coached our first grade son’s soccer team. While I was excited, we were no coaching experts. A volunteer was needed to coach, so we decided to take on […]

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10 Ways to Sack Your Kids’ Snack Cravings

Thumbnail image for 10 Ways to Sack Your Kids’ Snack Cravings October 14, 2014

“Mom, did you bring snacks?” “Can we open up the snacks?” “I am starving, can I have a snack?” These questions are daily occurrences in our home. They begin the minute we walk in the door, start off in the car or set up our folding chairs at the soccer game. “I need a snack!” […]

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Tackling Troubles with the Sniffles

Thumbnail image for Tackling Troubles with the Sniffles September 23, 2014

It is fall. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and the air is getting drier. What is that sound? Sniffle, sniffle…  snort? With drier air, it is not uncommon for our newborns and infants to have more nasal congestion and noisy breathing, especially with feeding and sleep. Nasal congestion is very […]

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4 Ways to Keep Kids Calm in the Storm

Thumbnail image for 4 Ways to Keep Kids Calm in the Storm September 9, 2014

We have had our share of big rains, big booms of thunder and flashes of lightning in Omaha the last few weeks. Thunder and lightning storms often occur between 3-9 p.m., which often coincides with bedtime. Fears and anxiety related to storms are among the top 20 fears kids worry about. A few weeks ago […]

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Vaping and the Dangers of E-Cigarettes

Thumbnail image for Vaping and the Dangers of E-Cigarettes August 26, 2014

As a pediatrician, one of my jobs is to keep up to date on what is out there. What kinds of drugs or alcohol are being exposed to my young patients? What are kids experimenting with in the community? Routinely in my middle school physicals, we address the pressures that can ensue in middle school.  […]

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14 Tips to SolveYour Picky Eater Problems

Thumbnail image for 14 Tips to SolveYour Picky Eater Problems August 19, 2014

As parents we have all felt the “wrath” of a picky eater. I myself have spent many precious hours on busy evenings proudly preparing balanced, healthy and attractive meals for my family… only to hear the dreaded, “Yuck! I’m not going to eat that!” Or “That’s stinky.” It’s crushing to hear those words and listen […]

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Bedtime Stories Boost School Success

Thumbnail image for Bedtime Stories Boost School Success August 12, 2014

It’s August and time to return to school. Are your kids ready? A new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics is aimed at making sure kids are ready for school when the first kindergarten bell rings. It promotes the importance of reading in childhood from infancy onward as an important factor in […]

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