Walden and Peacham
Water is one of our bodies most critical nutrients. We could not survive more than a week at most without it! Water makeup about 60% of our body weight. The amount of water we need depends on many factors such as: age, weight and height, activity level, temperature, and how much water is in the food we eat. Generally speaking, we need to drink more water in the warm summer months and during high physical activity times in order to stay well hydrated.
On average, kids 4-8 years old should drink 7cups of water each day, 9-13 year olds need about 10 cups each day, girls 14-18 also need 10 cups of water daily while boys 14-18 should get about 14 cups everyday. So, what about adults? Well, the Institute of Medicine recommends men drink about 13 cups of water a day while women need about 9 cups daily.
So, grab a water bottle, fill it up with icy cold water, and make it your new favorite accessory this summer!
* I have no affiliation with Stihl, I just LOVE using the chainsaw, but that is another safety topic entirely.
The warm, sunny weather as finally arrived! Sun exposure is good for both our physical and mental health. When our skin is exposed to the sun, our bodies absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to boost our mood and helps the body absorb calcium which we need for our bone health. While the sun is good for us, we have to be cautious, too much sun exposure can harm us. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can lead to sunburn, skin damage, decreased immune system function, eye damage, and skin cancer.
Here are some tips for protecting ourselves from the sun's dangers while enjoying the outdoors.
1. Wear sunscreen everyday. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of at least 30.
2. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and more often when swimming or sweating.
3. Try to stay in the shade during the sun's strongest hours (10am-4p), when shade is not possible, reapply sunscreen frequently.
3. Cover up! Wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and UV protective shirts
Visit kidshealth.org/en/parents/sun-safety.html#catgirlstuff. for more information on sun safety.
As the weather SLOWLY begins to warm, my family and I get more and more excited to get back in the water. In fact, my crazy kids have already gone in the pond! Swimming and others water related activities can be wonderful and fun summer activities. It is so important to know how to enjoy your time in, on, and around the water safely. According to the American Red Cross, drowning is one of the top causes of death among children. We can keep ourselves and our children safe by following a few recommendations.
1. Use layers of protection. Barreirs to water access, life jackets, and adult supervision
2. Have all family members learn to swim
3. Know what to do in a water emergency. Learn basic CPR skills
4. Always swim with a buddy
5. Avoid swimming, operating watercraft, and supervising water activities if you are under the influence
6. Wear a life jacket when boating or fishing, even if you know how to swim well.
For more information, or to find swimming lessons near you, visit: www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html
Those who know me well, know that I am always looking for ways to make my favorite foods healthier. I love being in the kitchen just tossing ingredients together in hoping that it turns into something delicious. My latest dinner came out so good that I had to share!
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash (roasted)
Your favorite tomato sauce (lower sugar is better, I tend to favor Bove's)
Part skim ricotta cheese
part skim mozzarella cheese
small amount of Cabot cheddar
choice Italian seasonings
1 clove garlic
Cooked Protein(ground turkey or lean ground beef, chicken Italian sausage, tofu or vegan crumbles) I used chicken Italian sausage for this batch.
Loosen squash from the shells. In a bowl mix ricotta cheese with a handful or two of the part skim mozzarella, one egg, 1 clove of minced garlic, and Italian seasonings of choice. Put a thin layer of sauce in a square baking dish, add a layer of spaghetti squash, then a layer of ricotta, a layer of protein, a layer of sauce, and a thin layer of part skim mozzarella. Continue layering until the pan is full or the ingredients are out. Top with sauce and a layer of cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.
Studies have shown that people who begin drinking at age 14 or under are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those that do not begin drinking until age 20 or over. We can help our youth say no to alcohol through early and thorough education on alcohol.
Alcohol is a depressant that is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine allowing it to reach the bloodstream quickly. This allows users to feel its effects rather quickly. Long term alcohol use can lead to stunted emotional development, depression, mood changes, malabsorption of nutrients, and eventual organ disfunction.
For more information and help with talking to your kids about alcohol, visit:
Today is National Walk at lunch day! We could not have asked for nicer day to get out and get walking. Walking at a 3mph pace regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Try to take 30 minutes out of your day today top go out for a nice physical distancing walk or run!
Here is a good video to watch with your kids about smoking and e-cigarettes.
How important is sleep anyway?
Sleep is like food for your brain. While we sleep, our brains and bodies are doing some important work to refresh, reset, and repair. Not getting enough sleep can lead to many challenges such as: difficulty focusing, poor test scores, trouble getting along with family and friends, moodiness, acne, more susceptibility to illness, and decreased performance in sports. Sleep helps us to eat a more nutritious diet and manage stress better. During the teen years, sleep cycles change which can make it hard for teens to fall asleep before 11pm. It is quite common for teens to have irregular sleep patterns, staying up late and sleeping in on weekends which can disrupt their biological clocks and hurt the quality of the sleep they do get.
What can we do to help?
To ensure adequate quality sleep there are a few things you can do to. The first is to make sleep a priority. Make your bedroom a sleep haven, keep the light low and the temperature cool. Establish a bedtime/sleep routine and stick to it, keep regular bedtimes and wake times. Lastly, avoid caffeine, exercise, and screens before bedtime.
While adults don't always think of childhood as a time of stress, the fact is, kids get stressed out too. Now, during this time of distancing and great disruption to their routines, is an especially stressful time for some kids.
How to recognize stress in kids?
It can be challenging to recognize stress in kids and it doesn't always present itself the same way in all children. Mood swings, acting out, changes to their sleep, and inability to focus can be an indication that a child is stressed out. During times of stress, some kids become withdrawn, overreact to seemingly minor problems, and become clingy. They may also experience physical complaints such as headaches and stomachaches.
Young children may start new habits like nose picking or twirling their hair. Older kids may begin to bully. Bullying can be just as harmful via technology as in person and during this time, when kids are spending much of their time on computers, virtual bullying may be most prominent.
What can we do to help?
Establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible, provide good nutrition, and set aside time to spend with your kids each day. Your kids may not always want to talk to you, or spend time with you, but the important thing as that you are available to them. Prepare your kids for stressful situations ahead of time whenever possible, talk to them about what may happen and answer any questions they may have.
Remember, some level of stress is normal and even healthy. Let your kids know that it is OK to feel stressed or overwhelmed and that you are there for them if they need to talk it through. Remind them that they are strong and smart and that you have faith in their ability to conquer any problems.
Sexual education is part of the National Health Education Standards that health educators are required to teach. Often, we do this in the Spring and unfortunately, we had not taught this sensitive topic prior to the school closure. Virtual Sexual Education is certainly not ideal, in an effort to help parents talk with their children about this topic, I wanted to offer some resources.
Sex ed topics are taught to all grades beginning with Preschool, as you can imagine, the topics and content vary depending on the grade level.
PK- We discuss topics such as good touch vs. bad touch, private parts and other body parts such as skin, bones, and brain, and personal space. kidshealth.org/
K/1- Gender roles (all genders can do all things), consent, and possible body part review kidshealth.org/
2/3 - This is when we really get more in depth about consent, we talk about personal space, and bullying, teasing, and harassment. kidshealth.org/
4- We talk about puberty-we touch on menstruation, changes that occur during puberty, and hygiene. In addition we talk about your body/your rights, and healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. www.amaze.org
5/6- Topics may include reproductive health, HIV, changes that occur during adolescence, romantic relationships, hygiene www.amaze.org
7/8- In these middle school grades we begin to discuss birth control basics, we continue to talk about consent and making SMART choices, STD's and HIV, and gender issues and roles. www.amaze.org