Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Keep a Healthy Child in Fall and Winter

It's almost like clockwork. If you pay attention, parents start complaining about sick children the week following Halloween. It isn't because it's colder. It isn't because they went out half-dressed when it was 40 degrees. It IS because of CANDY. Logically, we know that candy is really bad for children. Sugar wreaks havoc on our immune systems (and FEEDS cancer!) but we give our kids a pass on Halloween where they go crazy for a couple of days, taking in most of their calories in sweets. My son, whom I thought was old enough to handle the responsibility at age 10 of not gorging himself on the candy, went crazy this year, and sure enough, he was sick within a day or two. So I heightened my vigilance, and made sure we all stepped up our vitamin usage, which usually keeps us healthy throughout the year.

If you were honest with yourself, you would probably have to admit that your child takes in too much junk. Whether it's cookies, cakes, candies, ice cream, pop, hot dogs, white bread, etc... I bet there is a lot more of these going in rather than fruits and vegetables. Kids also don't get enough protein. If you are feeding your child fat-free products, he may not be getting enough fat! Thankfully, we can work on changing dietary habits while providing them with vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Treating Eczema

I don't think I've ever blogged about eczema, which is kind of weird. But neither of my kids suffered from it, so I guess I had no reason to think about it. An older child I know does suffer from it, however and I'm writing this because I think I have figured something out. I'm certain that doctors give parents way too much credit. The doctor of this child told her mom that the child should only take short, warm (not hot) showers. That advice is accurate. But the mom makes the child shower daily...which I think is CrAzY. And if the doctor had known this, he may have told her not to. Then I saw the lotion that the child was being slathered in and really grew concerned. It was some Vaseline lotion with a really strong scent. While it smelled good, thankfully I knew that it wasn't good for her eczema. I promptly got a bottle of unscented all natural baby lotion from my stock and handed it over. While lotion doesn't necessarily treat eczema, it does treat the dry skin that is more prone to eczema breakouts. And fragrances and other miscellaneous ingredients are too harsh for children's skin, especially those with eczema.
While what a child uses on her skin is an important factor in controlling eczema flare ups, equally as important is treating the condition internally. Omega-3 oils have worked wonderfully for this, in children as well as adults. You have many options, from flaxseed oil (or whole or ground flaxseed) to fish oil and krill oil. There are others, and each has it's pro and con, but that is something each parent needs to investigate because there are allergy concerns, texture/taste concerns, etc. and every kid is different. I personally use ground flax seeds and can say that they don't have a bad flavor. I would describe them as "nutty." The key is to figure out which one will be taken or consumed the most consistently, because if the kid won't take it, it's not worth it.
Take a trip to your local health food store and check out your various options, or check out the natural foods aisle at your grocer. Flax seeds should be widely available there if you are interested in trying them. Hopefully these suggestions will benefit you and your child in some way. Too bad doctors don't know these things! ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Herman Cain Misquotes the Constitution

     My son is currently learning about the founding of our country in history class. I can say this because I homeschool him and know exactly what he is reading everyday in his history book, Build Our Nation. I point this out because if your child is in public school, there is a chance that s/he is not learning history on a daily basis, if at all. I've heard numerous complaints (and have seen some evidence myself) of the lack of teaching of this very important subject to our youth. Much of the focus in public school is put on reading and math, even to the neglect of teaching writing skills! This is no accident, as the schools ARE run by the government, and I'm sorry to say, the government has NO incentive to educate our children on history. The dumber we are, the better.
     Yesterday we read about the Declaration of Independence, and how it lead to the Revolutionary War. We learned about treason, and I thought about how that word is thrown around so much these days in regards to our political "leaders."We learned what a Patriot was, and we discussed what a Patriot would do in today's times. We also learned about Liberty, and how even in the days of fighting for our Liberty, our founding fathers neglected to see the Liberty for ALL, including women and people of color. After our lesson, we discussed the lack of history teaching in schools. I pointed out to my son that many of his friends are not learning what he is learning, and our country will suffer for it. I was able to tie in how lack of education can make you look ignorant in the future, similar to how many of the GOP candidates look ignorant when they "quote" the Constitution, but have no idea what they are talking about.
     Case in point, Herman Cain in a speech about how everyone should re-read the Constitution, actually quoted the Declaration of Independence, giving credit to the Constitution. It's not as though these speeches are given on the fly...these things are planned. So Cain and anyone else involved in this speech did not catch the gaffe. Yikes. I have to mention also, that Cain did not realize that China had nuclear weapons...since 1964...and this happened during his lifetime!
     When we do not know history, we cannot look back. It is not that history won't repeat itself, but it's that we will better know how to handle it when it does. Or we will know better how to navigate our decisions in life or politics, should any of our children grow up to become leaders of our country. (And by the way, SOME of them will, because they have no choice!)
     So do your kids a favor, and put some maps up in your house. Get a globe and place it in a visible area. I can't tell you how many times we have had to pull our globe down for discussions outside of school time. Talk about the leaders of countries, where countries are located, economics, and even about human infallibility and its role in mistakes our leaders have made. Your kids should know definitions of capitalism, fascism, socialism, communism, and how to recognize them. They should know the history of different religions. They should know the history of our military. They should even know about the history of our existence, still debated today.
     When our children grow up, they will either understand the world, or they will not. Hopefully they won't grow up and make a fool of themselves in a televised speech, but would you prefer they make a fool of themselves in a public conversation amongst peers or co-workers? Remember, too, that when you get older, it is YOUR child's peers that will make decisions for you. And if nothing I've said matters, THAT should matter to you most!

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do you have cellulite?

A few years ago, I lost about 20 lbs. during one month. That might sound good, except that I am 5'6" and had dropped to 100 lbs. It took me a couple of years to put the weight back on. I added back muscle first, because I was literally exercising all day. I did my own workout, then played soccer or basketball or baseball, or whatever, with my kids. But then things changed and I wasn't able to work out regularly for a while. And I noticed that I was getting "fluffy" and I wasn't so healthy anymore. But that wasn't the worst of it!
I also noticed that dreaded dimpling in fatty areas, where I wasn't used to even having fat! Uggghh, I thought, must be from turning 40. So I've gotten more active, and I've been more aware of what I've been eating and making sure I'm not overeating for my metabolism. Thankfully, I came across an article that explained WHY the dimpling (also known as cellulite) occurs and what I can do about it. Thank the Lord! Instead of feeling like there is nothing I can do but blame my age, I now know that the habits I once took part in are exactly what I need to do...rebounding, detoxing, drinking lots of water, and massage. You can read the article yourself, to learn as much as possible about getting rid of cellulite and being healthier overall. You will notice that cellulite isn't just not pretty, it is a sign that you are not healthy, and that is more important than worrying about looks! I want to be around for my kids until I can make them take care of me, so I'd better start taking care of me, too!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Capitalism for Kids

I bought this book a while back, when my kids were too young to appreciate it. They are now almost 9 and 10.5, so I am giving them an allowance bonus if they choose it for one of their weekly books. Because I work at home, my kids already have a different perspective from the kids who attend school all day. They are already asking about starting their own businesses and setting up their own websites. So having them read Capitalism for Kids by Karl Hess is step one in moving in that direction. In my opinion, ALL kids should read this book. It should be required reading in the classroom, whether at home or at school. The problem we are having in the United States is that too many children are growing up thinking they must get a job. So now we have a lot of people without jobs because of our poor economy, and people who don't know how to go out and start their own businesses. While some people believe that people are either born entrepreneurs or not, I do not believe this is true. We either learn it or we don't, and if we aren't exposed to entrepreneurship while growing up, we are less likely to view it as a viable option. This book helps both kids and adults see the value in keeping it as an option, and simplifies capitalism for kids. Get your copy today and watch your view on starting a business change as your mind expands.

Tom Woods