Health Notes

Avoiding the Sugar Rush During this Season of Sweets

by Whitney Wright, MS, RD, LMNT, CNSC on December 16, 2014

Tis’ the season to be jolly and eat a lot of sugar!!!

Sugar is a carbohydrate and our bodies need 50-60 percent of our daily calories from carbohydrates to provide energy and proper brain functioning for kids and adults alike. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, meaning it is made up of small chains of carbohydrate that are digested and absorbed quickly. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to digest and are absorbed slowly. They often times contain fiber, which also has health benefits.

The more quickly a carbohydrate is absorbed, the faster it can increase blood sugar levels. Ideally we want to keep blood sugar levels fairly consistent, avoiding sharp spikes which lead to crashing lows. Another benefit of complex carbohydrates, especially those containing higher amounts of fiber, is that they help to keep blood sugar levels more consistent.

This does not mean you need to eliminate sugar and other simple carbs from your diet. Yay! All carbohydrates give us energy and all carbohydrates are required for serotonin production, which boosts our mood. However during the holiday season it seems sugar is everywhere we go.

Does sugar cause hyperactivity in kids? The answer might surprise you…
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What Every Parent Needs to Know for Kids Cough and Cold

by Dr. Elizabeth Walenz on December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving night, the dishes were done. I went to put my feet up… then I heard it.

“Cough, cough, cough.”

I held my breath thinking maybe that was it.

“Cough, cough, cough.”

By 1 a.m., my three year old son was croupy. He was coughing, exhausted and trying to sleep through it. The cough was not stopping.

What are the options for a three year old with cough? Not a lot in terms of the medicine cabinet.

I did give him some ibuprofen because his cough was frequent and harsh, like it might hurt his throat or chest. I also let him sit in a steamy bath and the cough slowed down.

In the middle of the night, it is very easy for a bleary-eyed parent to fumble through the medicine cabinet to look for a medication for their child. But the most important thing to remember is that children are not little adults. We cannot adjust medications meant for adults or older children. The danger is overdose or death.

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“And visions of sugarplums danced in their heads…”  Sleep Training for Success

Thumbnail image for <i>“And visions of sugarplums danced in their heads…”</i>  Sleep Training for Success November 25, 2014

The winter cold is here. It is time to tuck our sweet little ones into bed as the snow falls softly outside and sneak quietly out of their room…. “Waaaaah!!!” Shoot. Sleep training for babies can be tough. The task can be daunting, especially if a parent is working and sleep deprived. In the very […]

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Finding a Food Balance through the Holidays

Thumbnail image for Finding a Food Balance through the Holidays 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 […]

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

Thumbnail image for Eight Things You Can Do to Help Your Child’s Stutter 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 […]

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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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