Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations in need—specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five—gain access to lifesaving and life changing micronutrients. In 2013, Vitamin Angels is working to reach 30 million children in nearly 50 countries, including the US, with the vital nutrients they need as a foundation for good health. Vitamin Angels has received six consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator for Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency. To learn more, visit vitaminangels.org.
As a Diet Coke Ambassador, I was sent this infographic on aspartame to share with my readers. I urge you to take time to look up some of the references at the bottom of the graphic and read some of the studies out there. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family’s health and wellness. I hope I can give you some food for thought.
The Salad Bar Nation initiative by the Whole Kids Foundation is committed to improving the nation’s health by challenging Americans of all ages to eat a salad every day. A great idea in my opinion, because we all need more leafy greens and vegetables in our diets! They’re also utilizing text-to-give and online fundraising with the hopes of raising $5 million to fund 2,013 salad bars in schools across the country 2013. That’s is why I’m sharing the the infographic below, so you have some quick stats about Salad Bar Nation and the benefits of salad bars in schools.
In addition, to inspire you to eat more salads, the campaign’s website, SaladBarNation.org, is featuring a new salad each week along with simple healthy salad tips, so check it out! This week’s salad is the Mediterranean Crunch Salad – yummy!
With the flu and norovirus tummy bug going around like gangbusters, I hope you’re reminding your family members to wash their hands frequently and to use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. It’s also a good idea to frequently wipe down kitchen surfaces with bleach or disinfecting spray or wipes to help prevent the spread of germs.
However, November through March is also RSV season. RSV usually causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in children, but in some babies it results in a serious respiratory infection. Those most at risk for severe RSV include premature infants, as their lungs aren’t fully developed and they have fewer infection-fighting antibodies than full-term babies. As a mom of two preemies, I was always on the lookout for RSV. Luckily, Lucie and Nathan never got it.
Daycare and RSV
If you’re a parent of a high-risk baby, you may want to consider alternative child care options, such as nannies or in-home daycare centers, where exposure to dangerous germs can be minimized. However, RSV doesn’t just affect babies who are in daycare. The two girls I know of who were hospitalized this winter with RSV and needed oxygen were two- and four-years-old and had stay-at-home caregivers.
RSV symptoms and prevention
Since you never know where your child will be exposed to RSV, it’s best to be on the lookout for symptoms of severe RSV infection:
- Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Spread-out nostrils and/or a caved-in chest when trying to breathe
- Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
- Fever (especially if it is over 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty feeding
Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.
Since there’s also no treatment for RSV, it’s important for parents and caregivers to take preventive steps to help protect the children in their care like frequent washing of hands, toys, and bedding. Those at risk should also avoid crowds, people who are sick, and cigarette smoke.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
As parents, we try to get our kids to eat healthy food at home and when we’re out with them. However, so many kids do not have nutritious foods available at school. The majority of our nation’s secondary schools don’t sell fruits and vegetables in school stores, snack bars, or vending machines, according to a report from the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a joint initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Research shows that the consumption of 110 to 165 calories above recommended amounts per day—roughly the difference between an apple and a bag of chips—may be responsible for rising rates of childhood obesity,” said Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. “Because many students consume as many as half of their daily calories at school, what children eat during the school day is a critical issue if we want to reverse obesity rates.”
While many public schools implemented healthier meals this fall under the USDA’s revised meal standards, the regulations didn’t cover snack foods and beverages, making them the next frontier in ensuring students have access to healthy options in school. Luckily, the USDA is posed to issue policies requiring that foods and beverages sold outside of the federal school meals program meet minimum nutrition standards – sooner than later I hope!
My husband and I are constantly discussing smoking with our kids and why they shouldn’t do it. It becomes challenging when we have friends over who do smoke, so it’s helpful to give the kids the basic facts. That’s why this terrific infographic could be helpful the next time with your kids about smoking.
The infographic covers scary statistics like 20 times more people are killed by cigarettes than are murdered in the US. Also, if the breakdown of what actually is in cigarettes – like ammonia, butane and rocket fuel – doesn’t turn your kids off, I don’t know what would.
One thing that it doesn’t cover is that smoking makes you look much older than you are, because it damages your skin. That’s great, I guess, when you’re 16 and want to look 26. But it’s horrible when you’re 45 and look 60.
How do you talk with your children about the dangers of cigarette smoking?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States since one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. If you live to age 65, you’ll have a 40-50% chance of developing skin cancer at least once.
Since about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, I thought I’d share this infographic from Vitals about what parts of your body are most susceptible to skin cancer.
How do you protect your skin from the sun?