5-12 years: Elementary School Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Nemours Blog

5-12 years: Elementary School

Healthy Portion Size for Kids

“There are starving children around the world and you are going to leave that food on your plate?” How many of you heard this growing up? I certainly did.   It’s basically parenting 101, right? And it comes from a genuine place. You spend money and time preparing food for your family; you don’t want that to go to waste! Not to mention, it’s hard to know how much a child should be eating in a day. Here are some tips that should help encourage a healthy portion size for your kids!  Serving Size Versus Portion Size Before we jump into healthy portion sizes for kids, let’s first break down the difference between a portion size and a serving size. A serving size is a specific measurement of food. Often expressed in cups, tablespoons and grams, the most common example is the Nutrition Facts Label found on the back of […]

Kids and Sleep, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Sleep: Why They Need Their Zzzzz’s

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Can you remember the last time you or your child slept at least seven hours? In this fast-paced and work-driven society, sleep often takes a backseat to other priorities. But research shows that sleep is one of the pillars that allows people to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically. Without enough sleep, our health can decline. What Is Sleep? Sleep is defined as a time for physical and mental rest. During sleep, consciousness and ability to make decisions takes a partial or total break and bodily functions slow down. The body uses this time to physically restore and allow the brain to “clean up” and carry out important functions. Because sleep is so important for good health, not getting enough has been shown to increase the risk and incidence of: cardiovascular disease high blood pressure elevated cholesterol inflammation emotional reactivity Lack […]

6 Sun Safety Tips: How Kids Can Have Fun in the Sun and Be Sun-Safe, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

6 Sun Safety Tips: How Kids Can Have Fun in the Sun and Be Sun-Safe

All kids need time outside. It’s good for them to play and exercise, get fresh air, and spend a bit of time in the sun, so their bodies can make vitamin D, which helps all of us absorb calcium for strong and healthy bones. But too much sun exposure can be dangerous, especially to children. Damage from exposure to the sun builds up over time, so knowing about sun safety and how to protect your child from the sun should start early. No Tan is a Healthy Tan The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. When your kids spend too much time exposed to UV rays without protection, they can also damage their eyes and immune systems. And just one blistering sunburn in childhood could double the risk of getting melanoma (the most serious skin cancer) later in life. The intensity of […]

Boy sleeping in class needs back-to-school sleep schedule

Wake Up to a Back-to-School Sleep Schedule

It may be hard for kids everywhere to think about, but there aren’t many lazy days of summer vacation left — and some students are already back in the classroom. No doubt, with all the summer activities and getaways, your kids’ sleep schedules may have gone a bit haywire. But there’s still time to help get them on a back-to-school sleep schedule and practice some healthy sleep habits if you start, well, now. How to Make the Dreaded Transition to a Back-to-School Sleep Schedule The best way to prepare your children for a back-to-school sleep schedule is by beginning early — 10 days to two weeks early, to be exact. If you don’t have that much time left between now and your kids’ first day, don’t fret — just start as soon as you can. Progressively wake your kids 15 minutes earlier each morning and put them to bed 15 […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: 5 Ways Parents Can Take the Wheel, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: 5 Ways Parents Can Take the Wheel

This is part 3 in a series on kids and the role of mobile, digital and social media in their lives. While media by itself is not the leading cause of any health problem in the U.S., it can contribute to numerous health risks. Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems and behavior issues. At the same time, kids can have positive experiences through digital access. As discussed in earlier posts, they are forming valuable social relationships and using their devices and social media for education. The best way for parents to get into the driver’s seat when it comes to their children’s digital use is to have an open and honest conversation with them. And the sooner the conversation is had, the better. Start the Conversation To begin your conversation, stress to kids that their digital experience is all about making good choices. […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With YouTube, School Apps, and Messages?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With YouTube, School Apps, and Messages?

This is part 2 in a series on kids and the role of mobile, digital and social media in their lives Children in the U.S. get their first mobile device as early as age 8. These “digital natives,” or the iGeneration, use their mobile devices for many activities, including accessing their social media. So it’s important to understand those apps, which we detailed in our first blog post in this Kids and Mobile Devices series. But kids also use their phones to watch videos, access schoolwork and communicate with teachers and classmates, and to text or messaging one another and their parents. Videos and Live Streaming – What Are They Watching? YouTube remains the leading online video platform, and by a significant margin. It’s almost certain your kids are watching YouTube videos. Nearly all (95%) of the iGeneration uses YouTube and nearly half say they can’t live without it. They […]

The Health Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

The Health Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

In a perfect world, every kid would grow up in a safe, carefree environment. But many kids endure adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These traumatic events can cause psychological problems and health problems down the road. Upsetting events can affect kids in different ways: One-time events include things such as a car accident or the death of a grandparent. As scary and difficult as these can be, kids usually recover relatively quickly with healthy doses of love, support, and understanding. Ongoing experiences are things that create layer upon layer of trauma, wearing down kids’ resilience. These can include living in a neighborhood with gun violence, sexual abuse, a parent who uses drugs, being bullied at school, and not having enough food. What Problems Can ACEs Cause? Research at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard shows that chronic adverse experiences in childhood may impair brain development. This can have a negative effect […]

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With Social Media?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Mobile Devices: What’s Up With Social Media?

Mobile, digital and social media usage has played a predominant role in the lives of families for the past 15 years. But many parents still struggle to understand what’s happening when it comes to the digital usage of children, adolescents and teenagers. The generation of digital natives, often referred to as iGeneration, have immersed themselves in a world of apps, smartphones and tablets. It’s important for parents to know what’s being used and what for, as well as how to best protect kids as the digital world continues to expand. Most Kids Have a Cell Phone The Nielson fourth quarter 2016 Mobile Kids Report states that most children in the U.S. get their first mobile device and service at age 10 (some even as young as 8). These kids usually share the same plan as their parents, and most have all mobile wireless services including voice, messaging and data. Parents […]

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know

Prebiotics and probiotics are likely words that you’ve come across while reading a magazine, watching the news, or browsing the supplement aisle at the store. But do you know what they actually are or what they do? Prebiotics and probiotics have been recognized through nutrition research as “functional foods.” Simply put, “functional foods” provide benefits that may improve health, wellbeing, and/or reduce risk of disease. An example of a functional food is live-culture yogurt that contains probiotics and prebiotics. Many supplement manufacturer utah companies make probiotics and other supplements that are a source of these “functional foods.” Though keep in mind that this is not the only way to incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics can easily be incorporated into your daily diet with a variety of natural, everyday food sources. In fact, your body is often better able to absorb and digest the prebiotics and […]

children eating healthy school lunches

Bon Appétit: How to Pack Healthy School Lunches

When the school year starts, things suddenly get much, much busier. In the rush to get the kids up, dressed, packed and out the door, sometimes lunchboxes are stuffed with whatever’s most convenient. The problem: Too many snack foods, desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages are sneaking into our kids’ lunchboxes, and not enough fruits, vegetables and dairy products are being packed. So start this school year off with nutrition in mind. Think ahead and plan menus for healthy school lunches that will wow your kids and give them the nutrients they need to be the best students they can be. 7 Tips for Building Healthy School Lunches A nutritionally complete lunch is essential to promoting peak academic performance. If your kids bring lunch from home, here are some tips for building a healthy, well-balanced mid-day meal: 1. Choose a healthy item from each food group. Include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and […]

Afraid preschooler curled up in chair shows impact of anxiety in young kids

Anxiety in Young Kids: 4 Ways to Help

Many parents wonder: “Is my child’s anxiety normal? Should I be worried?” While anxiety in young kids can be nerve-wracking for parents, it has a lot to do with age and development. Anxiety about a certain trigger can be completely appropriate at one stage and inappropriate at another. For example, it’s entirely normal for children up to age 2 to have some degree of separation anxiety, but we hope that kids are able to separate without too many tears around ages 3 or 4. Being worried about dogs, bees, storms and sudden loud noises is totally understandable for 3- and 4-year-olds because they’re starting to understand that the world can be scary sometimes. It’s also expected that kids of this age will go through a phase when they’re exercising mastery of their environment – when it’s “my way or the highway,” which can often be mistaken for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For […]

Boy and girl drink milk with lots of vitamin D and calcium

Calcium and Vitamin D: Are Your Kids Getting Enough?

Did you know that your children’s adolescent years are critical for building bone mass? On average, peak bone mass is achieved at 12.5 years of age for girls, and 14 years of age for boys. By the age of 18, nearly 90 percent of peak bone mass has been acquired. This means that our kids must make the most of their diets and physical activity prior to becoming an adult, as they will rely on their acquired bone mass for the rest of their lives! Why Calcium and Vitamin D? Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients when discussing diet and bone health. Calcium is a mineral that makes up the bone structure (along with phosphorus). Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is necessary for our bodies to absorb calcium. Calcium is mainly found in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. The United States […]

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