Dec 31, 2008

Obesity and Weight Management for Children and Teens

Some time ago, I overheard a news report on TV about the problem of obesity in children, not a new concern, but one that seems to be growing. Here's some helpful information for you, and your children. Interesting studies that reveal a lot about the kind of exercise that is most beneficial for your children.

A study of 5,500 children who agreed to wear a motion sensor device showed that those who exercised more were less likely to be obese and that short bursts of intense activity seemed to be the most helpful.

Children who did 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, equivalent to a brisk walk, were 50 percent less likely than inactive children to be obese; the research was reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine in March, 2007.

Andy Ness of the University of Bristol and colleagues wrote - “Our data suggest that higher intensity physical activity may be more important than total activity,”

Chris Riddoch of Britain’s Bath University, who worked on the study commented - “This study provides some of the first robust evidence on the link between physical activity and obesity in children. We know that diet is important, but what this research tells us is that we musn't forget about activity. It’s been really surprising to us how even small amounts of exercise appear to have dramatic results.”

The less the children exercised, the more likely they were to be obese, the study found. These associations suggest even a modest increase of 15 minutes moderate and vigorous physical activity might result in an important reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity,” the researchers wrote.

Small changes made now can make a big difference in the lives of your children – teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime. A quick game of catch, a short bike ride or shooting a few hoops everyday is all it takes. A little more activity and some healthy Wholefood Farmacy
snacks can make all the difference in the world.

If you have a child or teenager who wants to lose weight, we encourage you to consider treating them to a Wholefood Farmacy Tri-Decathlon Delux. This wonderful 13 day program of whole foods, water and walking can get them started in the right direction. This is also great for adults as well!

Updated 3/18/16

Dec 28, 2008

Getting a Comfortable Sleep and Heart Health

How well do you sleep at night? I know that in the past year, I am happy if I get 7 hours of sleep, it seems like 6 gets me through the day, anything under that, and it affects me mentally and physically.

Last week I saw a headline indicating that there is a link between not getting enough sleep and heart first thought was that it makes sense, because often a cause of lack of sleep is stress, which is generally unhealthy. I was able to pull up a New York Times article with more details about the study that was done, and how it appears to show that less sleep may increase the production of calcification in the arteries, but it doesn't appear that there is anything entirely conclusive as to why.

But the bottom line is, we do need to get enough sleep. For most, that is 7-8 hours. If we are not getting enough sleep, there could be many reasons, maybe one as simple as not sleeping in a comfortable beds.

Make it one of your New Year's Resolutions to get enough sleep this year, in fact, why wait until the New Year, if your sitting here surfing the net and your conscience is telling you "you really should be sleeping" then let this be the last post you read and visit the links on...and may I say, "good night".

Updated 3/18/16 

Dec 24, 2008

Avoid Eating Healthy During the Holidays

I was just emailing a reply to someone yesterday that I had lost 13 lbs since this time last year, and was "holding" during the holidays, then was going to lose some more over the coming months, AFTER the holidays.

Then I got the following email from a friend, Teri Dempski, that is sure to put a smile on your face! This is my last post before Christmas (I think?), may I wish you a very happy Christmas, in our home this holiday has deep significance as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, and all that means to us.

Now read on, and be sure to follow these tips, at least until the New year :-)

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare… you cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on, make a volcano of your mashed potatoes and fill it with gravy.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat, drink and be merry.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies or pralines, have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. If you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: ENJOY! Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Dec 23, 2008

Teach Children about Bone Health when They are Young

There was a lot of snow on the ground at the time that this post was first written, and Christmas was only a couple of days away...I should have been posting Christmas recipes, but instead I have a little something for you related to bone health and your children. 

I just saw a report today somewhere in my travels on news sites that bone health in adulthood is established in childhood.

Helping children build healthy bones is an important job that all parents should know how to do. Children build half of their bone mass during adolescence and reach their peak bone mass by age twenty. The three most important factors for building healthy, strong bones in your children are calcium, vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and exercise.

Poor nutrition, lack of outdoor activities and lack of exercise have health experts very concerned as cases of Rickets in are rising fast in American children. Rickets is a childhood bone disease that is typically seen only in third world developing countries. It causes the bones to ache and to become deformed starting at a young age.

According to Dr. James Beaty, President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, "There's some early data showing that even a 10 percent deficit in your bone mass when you finish your adolescent years can increase your potential risk of having osteoporosis and fractures as much as 50 percent”.

When it comes to American children, the experts believe that poor nutrition combined with too much TV, internet and computer game time is an issue that parents need to address immediately. "This potentially is a time-bomb," says Dr. Laura Tosi, bone health chief at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C.

What’s the solution? Good nutrition, sunshine and exercise! Calcium is the building block of healthy bones. Foods which are good sources of calcium include fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, canned fish with bones, nuts, fruits, vegetables, dried beans, rice beverages, molasses and some leafy greens.

The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight, that’s why getting outdoors is so important for your children. When the kids are playing outdoors they are getting both exercise and vitamin D.

Updated 3/18/16

Some of the article content and the image used with permission of Wholefood Farmacy, a source of unique foods and more. 

Dec 13, 2008

Teaching Children About Healthy Fats

It is never to early to learn what fats are healthy, and what fats are not. Such things were part of our way of eating as my children were growing up, and now they have the tools to know what is healthy and what is not. All we can do is provide the tools, and when they are under our roof, make sure the meals we serve set them on the right course. It is up to them to decide whether to stay on that course or not, but whatever good you do for your children now is helping their bodies at a time of rapid growth and change.

Teaching children from a young age to eat healthy fats can have lifelong health benefits according to a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation in August, 2007.

The study focused on over one thousand children in Finland who were followed from the age of 7 months through age 14. The researchers found that children who were taught to focus on the healthy fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils had slightly lower cholesterol levels compared to children who ate an unrestricted diet by the time they reached the age of 14.

Dr. Art Labovitz, cardiology director at Saint Louis University School of Medicine pointed out that even a small decrease in cholesterol levels can have a big influence over the course of your child’s life. “If you study large numbers of people, the small increments result in a significant change in heart attacks and cardiac deaths,” said Dr. Art Labovitz.

Dr. Harri Niinikoski, lead author of the study done at the University of Turku in Finland, said children begin forming their eating and lifestyle habits in childhood. “We think that this lifestyle change can be started early,” he said.

Dr. Sarah Blumenschein, a pediatric cardiologist with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said the study shows that early intervention is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “The earlier you intervene, the more likely you are going to be successful,” she said.

The key is to teach your children, starting as young as possible, to appreciate the healthy fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils. By eating a little less meat and avoiding the saturated fats and trans fats which are in most processed foods, fast foods and junk foods – your children will lower their total fat intake and enjoy more of the benefits that healthy fats have to offer. As your children grow into their teens and begin eating more meals away from home, their healthy habits will guide them towards healthier food choices when unsupervised.

We encourage parents everywhere to read the nutrition information on the foods that their children eat. The healthy fats are listed as unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The unhealthy fats are listed as saturated fats and trans fats.

Article and image brought to you by The Wholefood Farmacy, with permission.

Updated 3/18/16

Dec 3, 2008

Soil, Life Source from the Source of Life

Last month my husband and I watched a show that we enjoy called "Day of Discovery" and they spent a few weeks presenting a beautiful series about dirt, soil, which plays such an important role in providing us with a source of life for both man and animals; fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and herbs.

I am not being compensated for this post, I was so impressed with this series, that I wanted to share it with you, it is in keeping with the "green" thinking many of us are embracing, and so peaceful to listen to.

The series is called "The Wonder of Creation - Soil". In fact, there is a chance you can find the series if you visit this link and look for the title on the page, you can watch the series online, there is more than one part.

An organization called ECHO was featured at times, they work to discover ways to help underdeveloped countries learn self-sustaining farming techniques. It was amazing to see how they found ways to use things such as tires, and even soda cans, as part of some of their gardening methods. You can visit the site, and their "global farm" and other interesting links.

In the words of the late and wonderful Francis Schaffer on caring for creation, "If I love the Lover [God], I love what the Lover has made".

Image from, a nice site to visit.

Updated 3/18/16

Nov 20, 2008

Preventing Diabetes In Children

If you who follow my website and this blog, you know that my husband is a diabetic. He didn't develop diabetes in his childhood, but in his late 30's. It is a difficult and challenging disease to live with, one that requires a great amount of discipline as far as eating, and keeping track of sugar levels, but for many who do not inherit the disease, lack of discipline is the cause.

Children are going to be our next victims of this disease, and in record numbers, if we aren't careful to teach them, and be examples for the. Please take time to read the following for more information.
Another new study shows that obesity is taking a serious toll on children and young adults leaving them to face a lifetime of diabetes and related health challenges. The study’s lead researcher was Dr. Joyce Lee, M.D., MPH, a pediatric endocrinologist and member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit in the University Of Michigan Division Of General Pediatrics. The research was published in the journal, Diabetes Care, December 2007, Vol. 30, No. 12.

The study found significant increases in hospitalizations among children and young adults age 29 or younger due to diabetes. The number of children and young adults with diabetes who were hospitalized increased 38% between 1993 and 2004. During that period, hospital charges for diabetes care provided to children and young adults more than doubled, from $1.05 billion in 1993 to $2.42 billion in 2004.

“The number of young adults hospitalized with diabetes in the U.S. has increased significantly over the past decade, along with the rate of childhood obesity,” says Dr. Lee. “Today’s young adults experienced childhood and adolescence in the leading edge of the childhood obesity epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s. Our findings suggest that we may now just be beginning to see the first manifestation of a related ‘diabetes epidemic’ among these young adults.”

In short, children who learn an unhealthy lifestyle and become overweight while young, continue that unhealthy lifestyle into adulthood. Before they are 30 years old they become obese and stricken with Type 2 Diabetes. The countless hours of TV and computer game time have crowded physical activities out of the picture. The junk food, fast food, chips, candy, trans fats, milk shakes, energy drinks and sodas might put a smile on their face for now – but what about tomorrow? As parents, we really need to take this seriously and start making some changes.

When your children are 30 years old, slim, healthy and leading a happy, vibrant lifestyle they will thank you for guiding them in the right direction when they were young. The research is crystal clear – children who learn healthy lifestyle and eating habits while young carry those good habits into their teen and young adult years. As they become parents, they pass these healthy habits on to their children creating a life of health and happiness for future generations in your family line.

Wholefood Farmacy foods offer parents everywhere a convenient way to teach their children healthy eating habits at a young age. Having healthy snacks on hand at all times is the first step to weaning them off junk food and allowing them to learn how delicious and satisfying healthy whole foods can be. Leading by example is the key to success.

Updated 3/18/16

Nov 4, 2008

Is All Candy Bad for Children and Adults?

Halloween has finished, and I had to wonder how many noticed that their children were more "hyper" than usual? Halloween being on a Friday this year meant the little darlings were home, and not in school either too busy to eat candy, or burning off that excess energy away from home.

Children and adults alike tend to develop a sweet tooth if they eat to much candy. That can be a bad thing for your teeth and your body since it has to do a lot of work to keep the sugar levels even in your body (to much sugar in the blood leads to failure in various much to explain in one post).

But if you eat certain sweets, like chocolate, not to much, but in moderate amounts, it can be healthy for you, especially dark chocolate. Here is a study that proves my point:

A study at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was focused on blood platelets and blood clots. The study participants, some of whom were fond of eating chocolate, were given a list of foods to avoid - the list included chocolate. It seems that some of them ended up indulging their cravings for chocolate during the study.

Amazingly, their indulgence led to researchers to an important discovery which is believed to be the first of its kind. Through biochemical analysis, the researchers are now able to explain why just a few squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by almost 50%.

It turns out that the chocolate decreases the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels. "What these chocolate 'offenders' taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack," says Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Becker cautions that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up large amounts of chocolate candy, which often contains diet-busting amounts of sugar, butter and cream. But as little as 2 tablespoons a day of high quality dark chocolate - the purest form of the candy, made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans - may be just what the doctor ordered.

You may also be interested in a page I did entitled Finding Dairy Free Chocolate for the Lactose Intolerant.

Updated 3/18/16

Nov 3, 2008

Feeding Animals and Birds That Come to Visit

I am headed out to do some food shopping, and on my list there is almost always some food for the birds that we feed. They come to the feeder outside my window, where I have fed them for years. In fact they are so spoiled and tame, that if I forget to put the feeder out, they sit in the branch very close to the kitchen window where the feeder hangs, and when I come into the kitchen to prepare a meal, they will chirp at me, or do a "fly by" or two in front of the window then land and just stare at me. So cute!

We also have plenty of squirrels, like the fellow you see pictured here. I didn't used to mind their visits to the feeder as everyone seemed to eat in their own time, but recently, one chewed the little perches off the feeder where the birds would stand, and I had to purchase a new feeder. So far, everything has been fine, and I haven't yet had to purchase squirrel proof feeders, but may have to if we run into trouble again.

It's time for me to start thinking about fixing our dinner, and I got the feeder out early this morning (we have to bring it in each night until the bears hibernate, they LOVE bird seed and have destroyed many a feeder I've forgotten) so the birds are very happy. We plan to keep a steady supply of bird food out all winter long, remember, if you feed birds, keep your feeders full during the cold months, and especially when the ground is snow covered.

Next post it will be back to the usual "people" nutrition, but it's been fun to talk about our outdoor friends, the squirrels look FAT this year, does that mean we're in for a cold winter? We'll see!

Nov 2, 2008

A Nice Recipe for Life

I was sent the following by a friend today by email, and as I read through it, it made a lot of sense, I found it inspiring and hope you do to, my friend put "Recipe for Life" in the subject line.

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. (LOL!)

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. you'll be smiling before you know it.

Oct 27, 2008

School Lunch Programs and Your Children

My children are adults now, and how quickly that time went by...yes parents, it does go quickly, just like those of us who have finished raising our children say it does, and just like I was told when my children were young. There were days when I couldn't wait for the day when they were grown and I had more free time, but let me tell you, I miss being a Mom more than I ever imagined.

When my children were in school, I made their lunches until they were in middle school. I did it for a while then, but it became apparent that this just wasn't the "in" thing to do, so I would hand each of my children their dollar and change, this went on right through high school.

I know what I HOPED they would buy when they went to school, but what they actually did buy us another story. I'm sure their bodies craved good food many days of the week, but a hallways lined with snack and soda machines on the way into the cafeteria were probably a temptation on other days.

Updated 2/10/16

If you would like to read information about school lunch programs from the USDA Food and Nutrition Services Site, click here.

Oct 20, 2008

Autism, Parenting an Autistic Child

Help for those who are disabled and their parents touches a special place in me because I had a brother who is disabled. If you are a parent to a child with autism, I hope you find hope and help by reading this article by Jen Miller entitled "Child Autism - How To Cope With An Autistic Child As A Parent".

If you have an autistic child, you will know that it can be a very challenging task taking care of the child. There are times when your child seem just too much for you to handle and there are times when it can be very rewarding, especially when the child is willing to do what you have planned. Nonetheless, it is not easy to cope when you dealing with child autism.

Despite its challenges, there are ways to help you cope better as a parent. As the awareness of autism increases, you may be able to find a support group for parents with autistic children in your area. It helps greatly to have people who can understand what you are going through and at the same time, you can learn from them some tips on handling child autism and taking care of your child. It is always nice to have someone to talk to when the going gets tough.

You may also try to schedule a getaway. When you are handling child autism, you may feel like you do not have much time for yourself. A short getaway either with your spouse or just yourself will help you relax and rejuvenate. You can hire a nurse or a qualified caregiver for your child. If getting away seems like an impossible option, then spend some time for you to relax after the child has gone to bed. Simply spending some time to unwind and help to make a difference in coping with stress.

It can be difficult to live a life like other moms when you have an autistic child. It may be hard to take your autistic child with you on your errands at all times. When this happens, you can either outsource your errands. For example, you can get grocery delivery, get your spouse to help pick up the dry cleaning, use online banking for your bills, etc. There are ways for you to cut down on the stress and anxiety of having too many tasks to do. When you are more calm and happy, it makes a better life for your child as well. You may have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle but it is worth doing because in the long run, it is beneficial for you and your child.

Are you looking for more understanding about CHILD AUTISM? Perhaps you have a loved one who has autism or you are taking care of an autistic child? It is vital to have a good knowledge of autism and how to live with an autistic loved one. Symptoms Of Autism is a comprehensive resource with lots of information on Autism.

About the author:
Jen Miller is a health and fitness enthusiast. She currently runs a website at to help all parents with autistic children as well as to increase the awareness of autism.

Are Vaccinations Harmful or Helpful?

This post has little to do with food, but a lot to do with vaccinating children. This is a topic that has become more and more a matter of concern to many, but not all, parents.

My children, now in their 30's at this 2016 update, were vaccinated before I knew that some parents decided not to have their children vaccinated because they believed it caused harmful after-affects; sometimes serious, and occasionally even deadly affects.

I am not going to get into the controversy in this post, you can comment on that if you like. I wanted to share an interesting timeline that I found on a website that no longer exists, I thought you might enjoy seeing how it all started, and progressed through the years....a lot has happened since my children's vaccines in the l980's:


  • First Generation of Vaccines (pre-1950s)
  • 1798 Smallpox
  • 1885 Rabies
  • 1897 Plague
  • 1917 Cholera
  • 1917 Typhoid vaccine (parenteral)
  • 1923 Diphtheria
  • 1926 Pertussis
  • 1927 Tuberculosis (BCG)
  • 1927 Tetanus
  • 1935 Yellow Fever
  • 1940s DTP
  • 1945 The first influenza vaccines (flu) began being used.
  • 1955 Inactivated polio vaccine licensed (IPV).
  • 1955 Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids adsorbed (adult use, Td)
  • 1959 World Health Assembly passes initial resolution calling for global smallpox radication.
  • 1961 Monovalent oral polio vaccine licensed.
  • 1963 Trivalent oral polio vaccine licensed (OPV).
  • 1963 The first measles vaccine licensed.
  • 1964 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), designed to provide CDC with recommendations on vaccine use, holds its first meeting.
  • 1964-1965 20,000 cases of Congenital Rubella Syndrome occurred during the largest rubella epidemic in the United States.
  • 1966 U.S. Measles eradication goal enunciated.
  • 1967 Mumps vaccine licensed.
  • 1969 Rubella vaccine licensed - 57,600 rubella cases reported this year.
  • 1970 Anthrax vaccine manufactured by the Michigan Department of Public Health.
  • 1971 Routine smallpox vaccination ceases in the United States.
  • 1971 Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine licensed (MMR).
  • 1976 Swine Flu: largest public vaccination program in the United States to date; halted by association with Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome.
  • 1977 Last indigenous case of smallpox (Somalia).
  • 1978 Fluzone, the current flu vaccine that is made by Aventis pasteur, was licensed.
  • 1979 Last case of polio, caused by wild virus, acquired in the United States.
  • 1980 Smallpox declared eradicated from the world.
  • 1981 Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, groups A, C, Y, W135 combined (Menomune)
  • 1982 Hepatitis B vaccine becomes available.
  • 1983 Pneumococcal vaccine, 23 valent
  • 1986 The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act establishes a no-fault compensation system for those injured by vaccines and requires adverse health events following specific vaccinations be reported and those injured by vaccines be compensated.
  • 1988 Worldwide Polio Eradication Initiative launched; supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, CDC and others.
  • 1989-1991 Major resurgence of measles in the United States - 55,000 cases compared with a low of 1,497 cases in 1983. Two-dose measles vaccine (MMR) is recommended.
  • 1990 The Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS), a national program monitoring the safety of vaccines established.
  • 1990 Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) polysaccharide conjugate vaccine licensed for infants.
  • 1990 Typhoid vaccine (oral)
  • 1991 Hepatitis B vaccine recommended for all infants.
  • 1991 Acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) licensed for use in older children aged 15 months to six years old.
  • 1993 Japanese encephalitis vaccine
  • 1994 Polio elimination certified in the Americas.
  • 1994 Vaccines for Children (VFC) program established to provide access to free vaccines for eligible children at the site of their usual source of care.
  • 1995 First harmonized childhood immunization schedule endorsed by ACIP, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics is published.
  • 1995 Varicella vaccine licensed; before the vaccine an estimated 4 million infected annually in the United States.
  • 1995 Hepatitis A vaccine licensed.
  • 1996 Acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) licensed for use in young infants.
  • 1998 First rotavirus vaccine licensed.
  • 1999 Rotavirus vaccine withdrawn from the market as a result of adverse events.
  • 1999 Lyme disease vaccine approved by the FDA.
  • 1999 FDA recommends removing mercury from all products, including vaccines. Efforts are begun to remove thimerosal, a mercury based additive, from vaccines.
  • 2000 Worldwide measles initiative launched; 800,000 children still die from measles annually. Measles declared no longer endemic in the United States.
  • 2000 Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar) recommended for all young children.
  • 2001 September 11 results in increased concern of bioterrorism. The United States establishes a plan to re-introduce smallpox vaccine if necessary, a vaccine thought never to be needed again.
  • 2002 Lyme disease vaccine withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer because of lawsuits and lack of demand for the vaccine.
  • 2003 Measles declared no longer endemic in the Americas.
  • 2003 First live attenuated influenza vaccine licensed (FluMist) for use in 5 to 49 year old persons.
  • 2003 First Adult Immunization Schedule introduced.
  • 2004 Inactivated influenza vaccine recommended for all children 6 to 23 months of age.
  • 2004 Pediarix,a vaccine that combines the DTaP, IPV, and Hep B vaccines, into one shot, is approved.
  • 2005 Rubella declared no longer endemic in the United States.
  • 2005 Boostrix and Adacel, Tdap vaccines, are approved for teens.
  • 2005 Menactra, a new meningococcal vaccine is approved for people between the ages of 11 to 55 years of age.
  • 2006 RotaTeq is a new rotavirus vaccine from Merck.
  • 2006 ProQuad is a new vaccine that combines the MMR and Varivax vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox into a single shot.
  • 2006 Gardasil, the first HPV vaccine is approved.

I wonder what they will think of next...or have already thought of. There is no doubt that there are benefits to early vaccinations, those that stopped epidemics, but I am not sure what I think of them for illnesses that were common when I was a child, remedied by being exposed to them and building our own immunity to measles, mumps and chicken pox...all of which I had as a child.

Updated 2/10/16

References: the CDC and Mandell: Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 5th ed.


Oct 10, 2008

Connection Between the Heart and Tomato

Is it really possible that the heart and tomato have an affinity for one another? A connection of sorts? According to the Doctrine of Signatures, described at the beginning of this post (click here), there may be. Take a look at the shape of the tomato, the shape of the heart, read on!

Tomatoes are red and have four chambers, just like the human heart. Scientists are suggesting that tomato lovers may be more likely to reduce the risk of serious disease. Lycopene, an anti oxidant which gives tomatoes their lovely rich red color, helps remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules and have been implicated in cancer and other serious diseases.

Professor Michael Avirim of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel who is testing lycopene in clinical trials says, ' In its natural form, lycopene is an excellent anti oxidant that helps to prevent formation of oxidized LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol in blood, which contributes to the build up of plaque that narrows, stiffens and constricts arteries and can lead to heart attacks. When this natural extract was added to cancer cell cultures, the lycopene inhibited their growth. Lycopene is the most potent nutritional antioxidant found to date.

Some of the information provided came from my favorite snack source, Wholefood Farmacy.

Updated 2/10/16

Oct 8, 2008

Cooking With Children - Easy Recipes

When my children were small, one of the things I regret was not letting them do more in the kitchen with me. They did chores, like dishes, and setting the table, but when it came to preparing the meal, I had a tendency to want to just get the job done, and didn't have patience for how slow things could be. I did lots of things with my children, but there's always more, isn't there?
I found this article, and wanted to share it with you, in hopes that you will find fun ways to spend time with your children in the kitchen. At the end, credit is given to the source of this great information, I hope you and your children will have a lot of fun together and make great memories.


Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, and listening. They love to help prepare food and cook because they can use all their senses. Children like to eat the foods they make. Plan ways the children in your care can help you. Be sure to consider the age of the child.

Two-year-olds are learning to use the large muscles in their arms. They will enjoy activities such as:
  • scrubbing vegetables and fruits
  • wiping tables
  • dipping vegetables and fruits
  • tearing lettuce and salad greens
  • breaking bread for stuffing
  • snapping fresh beans
Three-year-olds are learning to use their hands. Try activities such as:
  • pouring liquids into a batter
  • mixing muffin batter
  • shaking a milk drink
  • spreading peanut butter on firm bread (This may be messy!)
  • kneading bread dough
Four- and five-year-olds are learning to control smaller muscles in their fingers. Offer them experiences such as:
  • rolling bananas in cereal for a snack
  • juicing oranges, lemons, and limes
  • mashing soft fruits and vegetables
  • measuring dry and liquid ingredients
  • grinding cooked meat for a meat spread
  • beating eggs with an eggbeater


  1. Good cooks of all ages always wash their hands before cooking.
  2. Tell children to wait until the dish is done before sampling it. This will help prevent illness.
  3. Expect spills and messes.
  4. Children have short attention spans. Give them quick, simple jobs, and give instructions one at a time.
  5. Children get excited and forget. Repeat directions as often as needed.
  6. Young cooks need constant supervision.
  7. Give children jobs to help with cleanup.



Children love to knead and shape dough. Allow plenty of time for the children to do as many tasks as possible.
3 to 3 1/2 cups unsifted flour
1 package dry yeast
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons soft margarine
1 1/2 cups very hot water (105-1150F)
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved dry yeast in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add margarine. Add very hot water gradually to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir dough down and turn out onto heavily floured surface. After washing children's hands, flour them and have them knead dough until it is smooth. Shape dough into one large oblong or let the children experiment with different shapes and sizes. Try pretzels, animals, letters, numbers, or holiday shapes.

Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise (40 to 50 minutes for a large loaf, less time for small shapes). Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (40 minutes for a large loaf, 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown for small shapes).


flour tortillas
cooked ground beef, cheese, re-fried beans and other vegetables for tortilla filling
Give a tortilla to each child. Fill with cooked ground beef, cheese, and/or vegetables.


1 stalk celery
1 apple
1 cup seedless grapes, cut in half
1 banana
1 orange
1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
Have children wash the celery, apple, and grapes. Children can peel the banana and orange. An adult should cut the fruit and celery into bite-size pieces. Have children place fruit and celery in a large bowl. Add yogurt and mix well.


Low-fat mozzarella cheese slices (1 slice per child)
English muffins, sliced in half (1 half per child)
fruit (an apple, banana, orange, or seedless grapes)
Have the children wash the fruit. Children can peel bananas and oranges or pluck grapes from their stems. An adult should cut the fruit into small pieces.

Split the English muffins. Give each child one half. Have the children place a slice of cheese on each muffin. Toast the English muffins until the cheese melts. Have each child top his or her muffin with fruit.
Updated 2/10/16

National Network for Child Care's Connections Newsletter

James E. Van Horn (Ed.) and Lyn Horning (Ed.)
Better Kid Care Project
Penn State University, University Park, PA

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Van Horn, J. E. (Ed.) and L. Horning (Ed.) (1995). Cooking with children: kids in the kitchen. In Todd, C.M. (Ed.). *Family child care connections* 4(6). Urbana, IL: National Network for Child Care at the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service.

Oct 2, 2008

Doing NutriSytem Gluten-Free - Correction

Today I had a phone call from a wonderful woman from Virginia who told me that many of the NutriSystem foods listed below do, indeed, have gluten in them. I agreed with her and thanked her for contacting me as I don't want to cause harm to anyone. 

 When I listed the foods, I listed those that did not have what NutriSystem calls "vital wheat gluten" listed as a separate, added ingredient on the packaging. Nevertheless, there are foods with grains, etc., listed in the ingredients, that all who are on gluten-free diets know to avoid, so my subject "Doing NutriSystem Gluten-Free" is not accurate or these people.

Personally, I found that choosing foods that do not contain "vital wheat gluten" made a big difference for me, so perhaps my sensitivity is more toward wheat than the gluten in it.  Those are the foods that are listed below. AND I want you to know that I am only doing this diet temporarily, I am actually not a big fan of processed foods, sweets, etc.

Now, read on to find out what I am doing for a month or two to support my husband.


I have joined my husband in doing the NutriSystem program again. Last year, he lost 35 lbs and has kept most of them off. I had to quit as I was sensitive to many foods, and discovered that many had high amounts of gluten added to them. Are you having the same problem and interested in knowing what foods to choose? Below is a list of what I ordered.

List of foods that do not have "Vital Wheat Gluten" added - there are others, I chose these, and decided how many of each I wanted to make up my 4 weeks plus week free for 3 months.

Apple Strudel Scone
Chocolate Chip Scone
Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
Lowfat Granola Cereal
NutriFlakes Cereal - 40% Bran Flakes
Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Cheese Tortellini
Chicken and Pasta in Cacciatore Sauce
Chicken Salad
Pasta with Beef

Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables & Gravy
Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Meat Sauce
Cheese Ravioli with Basil Tomato Sauce
Chicken Breast Patty
Chicken Pasta Parmesan
Chicken with Almonds, Rice and Vegetables
Green Pepper Steak with Rice
HomeStyle Chicken Noodles with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes with Meatloaf and Tomato Sauce
Pasta Primavera with Tufu
Rotini with Meatballs and Tomato Sauce
Stroganoff Sauce with Beef and Noodles
Tender Beef with Vegetables
Teriyaki Sauce, Rice, Beef and Vegetables
Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Tomato Sauce
Wedged Potatoes with Sliced Beef Steak
Zesty Cajun Style Chicken and Sausage with Brown Rice

BBQ Soy Chips
Caramel Popcorn
Cheese Puffs
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pudding
Milk Chocolatey Delight Bar
Mint Chocolate Crunch Bar
Nacho Crisps
Sour Cream and Onion Soy Chips
White Cheddar Soy Chips
Zesty Herb Snack Mix

Updated 2/10/16

My husband is a diabetic and doing the Diabetes program, his "iron gut" isn't allergic or sensitive to anything.

You may also be interested in my popular article "Replacing NutriSystem with you Own Foods - a Complete Weight Loss Plan". 


Sep 23, 2008

Foods that Can Cause ADD or ADHD

ADD and/or ADHD are common diagnoses today for a broad range of symptoms in children, and also adults. I think every parent of an ADD child, or every adult diagnosed with ADD, should be told that as part of the remedy they have to avoid certain foods. What do you think?

Here's an article that may interest you, comment if you like!

The possibility that artificial food coloring and chemical preservatives could affect your child’s behavior has been a hotly contested issue for decades. Research reported in the September 2007 issue of the Lancet Medical Journal now provides a clear demonstration that changes in behavior can be detected in three-year-old and eight-year-old children who ingest these artificial processed food additives.

Psychology Professor James Stevenson of the University of Southampton and colleagues conducted tests on more than 300 children. They found significant differences in the children’s behavior when they drank fruit drinks with a mixture of common processed food additives including artificial food coloring and chemical preservatives.

“These findings show that adverse effects are not just seen in children with extreme hyperactivity (such as ADHD) but can also be seen in the general population and across the range of severity of hyperactivity,” the researchers wrote in their study. The team of researchers commented that “the implications of these results for the regulation of food additive use could be substantial”. 

Many parents today feel pressured by doctors and school officials into treating their children’s symptoms with narcotic medications. After witnessing the side effects, many wish they had not.
On the other hand, we have wonderful non-profit groups like The Feingold Association ( that has a 30 year track record and a 90% success rate in alleviating such symptoms by simply changing the child’s diet

If you are a parent who is concerned about your child’s behavior, please visit The Feingold Association’s website for more information. We also encourage you to offer your children Wholefood Farmacy foods which contain NO artificial coloring, NO artificial flavorings, NO artificial sweeteners and NO chemical preservatives.
Maybe ADD should really stand for Artificial Diet Disorder – we encourage parents everywhere to give nature a chance.Information provided by Wholefood Farmacy, an online wholefood buyers club.

Updated 2/10/16

Sep 22, 2008

Physical Activity Improves Grades in School

Today is the first day of fall, and children throughout the US are in school or if they are home schooled, enjoying schooling at home. Here is an article with studies that show how physical exercise improves students academically.

Middle school students who perform more vigorous physical activity than their more sedentary piers tend to do better in school, according to a new study done by researchers from Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. The research is published in the August (2006?) issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

For one academic year, the study tracked more than 200 sixth graders. For one semester half of the students took the general physical education class offered by the school, while the other half took part in a non-physical education course. Halfway through the school year they switched. The researchers found that students taking the physical education course did no better or worse in their academic classes.

“Physical education and activity during the school day reduce boredom and help keep kids’ attention in the classroom,” said Dawn Podulka Coe, the study’s lead author who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Movement Science at Grand Valley State University. “We were expecting to find that students enrolled in PE would have better grades because of the opportunity to be active during the school day. But enrollment in PE alone did not influence grades.”

However, the researchers also found that students who took part in more vigorous physical activities – such as organized sports like soccer or football, or non-organized after-school activities such as skateboarding – did approximately 10 percent better in core classes such as math, science, English and social studies.

“The students who performed better academically in this study were the most active, meaning those who participated in a sport or other vigorous activity at least three times a week” added Coe. The difference between vigorous activity and moderate activity is heart rate. Moderate activities, such as walking or raking leaves, don’t get the heart rate up or make the person breathe harder. Vigorous activities, such as running or swimming for exercise, increase heart rate, causing the exerciser to breathe harder and increasing oxygen to the brain.

With school about to start, we encourage all parents to take this new study to heart. We encourage you consider organized sports as a way to help your child do better in school, be healthier, maintain the proper weight, and to build a foundation of health that can last a lifetime.
Wishes for a safe, happy and healthy school year for all your children, grandchildren, or any special child in your life!

Article brought to you by The Wholefood Farmacy. Updated 2/10/16