POSTS WITH TAG: kids nutrition

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    When I first heard about this candy, my first thought was, "Gee, thanks a lot, Jelly Belly." The newest jelly bean flavor is beer. Yes, beer, the most child-friendly of all candy flavors. What's next, vodka tonic? Tequila shots? Crack? Not helping, candy company. NOT HELPING. But then I remembered: It's just candy. Actually, you could even say Jelly Belly is doing parents a favor with the beer flavor. No really -- hear me out.

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    As if the worry over whether or not we're doing things right as far as putting our kids on a path to good health isn't already consuming enough -- now it turns out where we serve them their meals may be screwing up their futures.

    According to new research, kids who eat dinner at the table have a lower chance of being overweight -- as opposed to children who chow down in front of the TV or wherever else.

    Supposedly eating at the table lends itself to kids understanding when they are full, so they wind up eating less. Oh, and bonus points if you let them fill their plates themselves instead of doing it for them. Chances are you're piling on too much food.

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    Does school lunch leave your kid with a grumbling tummy at the end of the day? Well good news: The USDA is allowing schools to serve more meat and grains in school lunches. These were limited before in an effort to help prevent (or at least not contribute to) child obesity. But schools and nutritionists complained that the lunches were leaving some kids hungry. Now schools have more flexibility in how they feed children, thanks to a bill introduced by North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven and Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. 

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    When I heard a mom had been slapped with a $10 fine for packing a "poor" lunch for her kids, I had all sorts of ideas in my head about what a disaster that lunch bag must have been. Kristen Bartkiw must have filled the bag with candy, I figured, or maybe she was having a busy mom moment and threw empty lunch bags in her kids' backpack.

    Turns out, I was wrong on both accounts. Bartkiw's kids got roast beef, carrots, and potatoes in their lunch, plus juice to wash it all down. Her kids' child care center decided that wasn't "balanced" enough, so they gave the kids Ritz crackers ... and they gave mom a bill.

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    Great news for those of us who want fewer funky ingredients in our kids' food. Kraft says they'll remove artificial dyes from three mac and cheese products. Starting early next year, the SpongeBob, Halloween, and "winter shapes" macaroni you see on grocery store shelves will be tinted with natural ingredients like paprika instead. (Their "original" flavor mac and cheese is already dye-free.) They're not saying yet whether they'll change the food dyes in their other mac and cheese foods. But it's great that parents will have more dye-free options for one of the most kid-friendly foods ever invented. Think maybe food companies are getting the message from us that we want more chemical-free foods?

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    A surprising controversey has popped up this Halloween. A woman in West Fargo has decided to deny overweight trick-o-treaters candy and instead give them a letter for their parents explaining why they should not be eating so many sweets. To her, this is a much needed public service, especially given the number of obese children out there today.  It's an outrageous move, to be sure, but is it a necessary one?

    We talked about the hot button issue in this week's Moms Matter Google Hangout -- Check out the video and then tell us if you think this woman is really as wicked as she sounds.

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    Halloween is the one time of year where the sugar rules in my house are eased. You can't have Halloween without at least a little bit of candy and of course some witches. One West Fargo woman really believes in the very evil witch part (perhaps that should be a "b" instead of "w") and has decided that instead of giving out a treat, she's offering up a trick in the form of a note that fat shames a child.

    I can almost see a cherubic princess all decked out in an adorable pink satin gown, sparkly crown in her hair, proudly holding her homemade magic wand ringing the bell at this meanie's house, and happily shouting, "Trick or treat!" She says thank you as the evil woman places the note in her plastic pumpkin. She walks away and reads it. HER HALLOWEEN HAS NOW BEEN RUINED. Behold the full note.

    More from The StirMichelle Obama Takes a Stand On Halloween Candy

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  • LOL

    What Your Kid's School Lunch Says About You

    posted by Michele Zipp October 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM in Big Kid
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    Some of us parents lovingly prepare a home lunch. Others throw caution to the wind and hope our kids are eating something with nutritional value at school. Lunch of any kind is my nemesis. Yet I love cooking with my kids. We've made pancakes and shaped them like Mickey Mouse. We prepare peanut butter sandwiches and cut them into hearts and even pirate ships. But when it comes time for prepare them lunch to bring to school, I feel paralyzed. It's just not something I do; it's not something I'm good at. So I have them eat school lunch and it makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong sometimes. Are they eating? Is it full of junk? Are they drinking the high fructose corn syrup juice?!

    But I let it go.

    We shouldn't judge, but just like how we discussed what your kid's bedtime says about you (and for the sake of some laughs), we can make some assumptions. Home lunch or school lunch? That decision really does say a lot about you.

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    Every day at school drop off I have to write down on a whiteboard if my child is eating school lunch or home lunch. We are school lunch people. There are home lunch people. To my surprise, lots of them. Being on the school lunch people list makes me feel like a bad mom. I fail to lovingly prepare turkey and cheese sandwiches cut in hearts. I don’t supply cute Hello Kitty lunch boxes with the carrots cut just so and the celery is perfectly ready to dip into the homemade hummus carefully wrapped in a little jar.  

    I do all those things though. Except the homemade hummus. I just don’t do them on school days. But then I think of the “institutional” meats and bread that isn’t 298 grain and the milk that isn’t organic, the eggs that come from who-knows-what-fed chickens and the exposure to juice that isn’t freshly squeezed and I feel guilty, guilty, guilty. 

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    Not Al Musa's daughterThere's extended breastfeeding, as in breastfeeding your toddler. And then there's extended breastfeeding, kindergarten edition. Australian mom of three Maha Al Musa still breastfeeds her 5-year-old daughter. And she says she'll keep breastfeeding her daughter until she's 10, if she wants to. "I believe it helps boost her immune system. To this day, she is very rarely ill and her temperament is calmer and more relaxed than the other children," Al Musa says.

    Okay, I know what's supposed to happen here. Half of you are supposed to recoil in horror and disgust, while the other half of you do a fist pump and say, "YEAH! Good for her!" Me, I'm just curious. I have so many questions.

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