You can't sugarcoat this: The latest research on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) affirms that consuming fructose can affect an area of the brain that controls appetite, causing you to not feel full and potentially eat too much. But the bad rap isn't just due to its chemical makeup. “The worst part about this substance is its ubiquity. It's cheap to make and ends up in nearly all processed foods, so kids' sugar consumption is off the charts,” explains Robert Lustig, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
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Today 8 percent of children have food allergies, most to peanuts, eggs, wheat, or milk. “It's true: Food allergies in children are increasing, especially in the last few years,” says Todd David Green, M.D., a pediatric food allergy specialist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. And 35 percent of kids 5 and up are being harassed because of the allergy, says a report in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. “For example, they'd spit peanut butter on the water fountain or smear it on a lunch bag,” says Scott H.
The Prob: She clamps her mouth shut whenever she sees a toothbrush.
The Call: Because good oral health is so important for the entire body, this is one battle worth picking, says Mark H. Goldenberg, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist in Beverly Hills. “Even if you're able to do a minimal amount, it's still better than nothing.”
The Prob: It's time for bed and he's stalling with stories.
You already know that fish is a healthy food, full of heart-boosting, brain-building omega-3 fatty acids, but here's another good reason to help your tot develop a taste for it: Babies between 6 months and 1 year who eat fish have a 36 percent lower risk of developing asthma later in life, according to a large-scale study of more than 7,000 infants published in the journal Pediatrics.
I got an e-mail from a neighborhood dad the other day asking me if my son, Alex, would join his indoor travel soccer league that plays Friday nights at 7 p.m. “This is probably going to sound bad,” I typed back, “but Friday at 7 p.m. is cocktail hour in my house.” I added a smiley face so he'd think I was joking (I really wasn't). Alex is 5. Five! Why does he need to be on a travel team? Yes, he loves soccer, and as a former athlete, I am all for youth sports. But his rec league seems like enough right now.
Alicia Martin, a mom of three in New York City, will never forget that day in Central Park. “My daughter, who had just turned five, asked me to pick her up and put her on one of the rocks,” she recalls. “When I did, I smelled a terrible odor, and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Then I realized the stench was my daughter's body odor! Later that evening, I noticed she had started growing underarm hair. I was terrified, and my mind was racing. ‘She's going to be wearing a bra and getting her period by the time she's in kindergarten!
What would you do if the doctor said your child was obese? When Dara-Lynn Weiss heard that clinically weighty word, she put her 7-year-old on a yearlong, calorie-restrictive diet, then recounted the struggles—both her daughter's and her own—in the pages of Vogue. And she caught hell for it. Some considered her methods drastic. According to her own account, she ignored her daughter's hunger and pleas to be like any other kid at a pizza party.
After months of cajoling, sticker charts, and sprints to the bathroom, my daughter Olivia was finally out of diapers during the day at around age 4. It was no small feat—as every parent knows—so there were high-fives all around. She had occasional accidents at night, but for the most part we were thrilled with her progress.
It’s 2 am and my 6-year-old is up again with a wet bed. Didn’t I already potty train? Why is this happening? Shouldn’t she be able to get through the night dry by now?
These kind of questions, plus having to get up in the middle of the night, comfort your child, change the sheets, put in a load of laundry, and get everyone back to sleep can take a real physical and emotional toll on you and your child’s self esteem. So what to do? Draw from your vast reserves of parental patience and keep the following facts in mind: