Water is the solution to the coach’s text

It is 4:00 pm, I have to get my daughter to her soccer game and I just received a reminder text from her coach that I’m on drinks and snacks for the game!  Great!  I have an hour to get organized and to the field.  What to do?

It’s hot, the sun is strong and soccer is physical.  I look in our basement pantry to find that we have no supply of drinks. I move back to the kitchen and then it dawns on me, the best drink is water! It hydrates, is free and is available from my kitchen tap!  Everyone brings water bottles, so I can just refill them.  Perfect!

Besides its convenience, I realize there are many reasons why water should be the drink of choice. I think about the dietitians I work with and the information they provide me as a health promoter at the health department.

Water makes up more than half of a child’s weight and it is needed for their bodies to work properly.  It contains no calories, but most of all no sugar.  There are so many drinks that contain sugar and if consumed can replace other nutritious foods and provide too many calories to a diet.  Research has shown a relationship between sugar sweetened beverages and weight gain. Sugar can also lead to dental cavities, an increased risk of heart disease and the development of type 2 diabetes. I remember a poster the dietitian showed me and I was struck by the fact that a 355ml can of sugar-sweetened pop has about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Wow!  This is the poster.

So, I grab our camping water container and fill it up.  Now what about the snacks?  I look in the fridge and find an English cucumber, some baby carrots and a bag of apples.  Perfect. I start cutting up the cucumber which takes no time, the baby carrots are ready to go and I bring some apples to cut up just before the first half ends.  Done!  The whole thing took only 15 minutes.

I yell up the stairs to my daughter that it’s time to go and we are off.

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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About this guest blogger:

Jennifer Jenkins-Scott has been a health professional for 32 years.  She lives in Dundas, Ontario with her three children, husband and the family dog.  When she is not at work she can be found chauffeuring the kids around to various activities, or if she is lucky, on the bike trails, in the gym, skiing, crafting, entertaining or at home with a good book or movie.

Posted in Mental Health, Oral Health, Parenting, Physical Health, preschoolers, School-aged Children, Teens, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The secret to raising a smart, healthy baby; it’s not what you think

Expose them to nature.

The benefits of nature during childhood are endless:

  • Nature enhances creativity, problem-solving and curiosity as it provides endless opportunities for learning with tons of exciting things to play with.
  • You may find both you and your baby are in a better mood and get a better sleep after spending time outside.
  • Interacting with nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mental health and improve concentration in children.
  • Kids naturally move more when they are outside. Those who spend more time outside tend to be more coordinated and in better physical shape.

Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Separation anxiety: Is it possible to stop the tears?

Have you ever had to peel a screaming child out of your arms for a daycare or kindergarten drop off?  I can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s not fun.   The stress it creates for everyone is tremendous.

Little Crying Girl Standing Outside SchoolMy youngest daughter was what you would call a “spirited child”.  She just felt things more intensely.  Saying goodbye was one of those things.

My daughter’s separation anxiety reached a peak when she started kindergarten.  Her teacher and I had to literally peel her wailing, flailing body off of mine when the school bell rang.  All eyes were on us in that little fenced-off area for kindergarten kids.  As I left the school yard with her screams echoing in my ears, pangs of guilt washed over me.  I carried a feeling of worry with me all day.  It was not the joyful start to school I had imagined. Continue reading

Posted in kindergarten, Parenting, Preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

To mom from baby: Birth to three months

Hey it’s me, that little person you grew inside your belly.  I’m out now, and thought I would share a few of my thoughts with you.

When I first arrived into your world it was a bit scary. The room was bright, almost blinding and the new sounds were crazy, even the ones that came from my mouth!  But then you looked me in the eye, spoke softly and we connected.  I felt safe when you cuddled me on your chest; as I lay with you, my skin next to yours, it was comforting to hear the familiar “lub-dub, lub-dub” of your heartbeat. I felt relaxed and happy to be close to you. Continue reading

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How to get the info you need, when you need it

Don’t miss another email! HaltonParents’ eBulletins are delivered to your inbox as baby grows. They keep you up-to-date on what you need to know and what you’ve been wondering about with your baby or toddler. I’ve been getting these emails for my little one and I love how they keep me on my toes. Seriously – thank goodness for the reminders to give my second-born his vitamin D and tummy time. Take that, mommy-brain!

Whether it’s your first or fourth baby, I think you’ll love the eBulletins as much as I do. Get great ideas, information and reminders about: Continue reading

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Kids and Boredom – why it’s a good thing!

“Mom, I’m bored!” Are you already hearing this?

I’ve heard several parents mention they need to keep their kids organized and occupied this summer because their kids are already complaining they are bored.

“Is it a bad thing for kids to be bored?” Doesn’t boredom give rise to some great creativity? Just because your kids are complaining of boredom doesn’t mean you have to solve this with structure. Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, School-aged Children, Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How puppy classes prepared me for parenting

I always joke (tongue-in-cheek) that “everything I needed to know about parenting I learned at puppy class”.  That might sound a bit funny to you.  And I in no way want to imply that the complexity of caring for and loving a baby is the same as caring for and loving a dog, but there are some remarkable similarities in strategies for managing behaviour. Continue reading

Posted in Parenting, Preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments