Archive for April, 2013

Pack a school lunch they won’t want to trade

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Pack%20a%20school%20lunch%20they%20won%27t%20want%20to%20trade Packing school lunches filled with healthy, appealing and creative foods is an excellent start to encouraging children to make sensible food choices now and in the future. But if lunch items you pack are less than appetizing, it could be the next item of trade in the cafeteria: a risk not worth taking in the age of nutrient-deficient and calorie-heavy school lunches.
Break up the mundane sandwich routine with well-rounded lunch combinations that will have kids eating well and growing strong with every bite. Here are some important components to a lunch they’ll think is worth keeping and eating:
* A main meal – Taste is important to children, and feeding the occasional “picky” eater can be quite a challenge. A tortilla roll-up with enticing ingredients like avocado, tomato or cucumbers with turkey, fish or chicken will show even the finickiest of eaters that there is more to lunch than the same old sandwich. Use the main meal as an opportunity to offer kids different textures and flavors and make a lasting impression about the many possibilities of food.
* A fun food – Making lunch food exciting is the first step to discourage trading and motivate kids to try something new. A well-thought-out presentation can inspire a healthy curiosity, and kids will naturally want to give it a taste. Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and fresh basil alternating on a toothpick is a fun and healthy salad-on-a-stick with easily-controlled portions. Sweet potato chips are another fun make-at-home option that are packed with vitamins A, B6, C and more. Bake up a batch on Sunday and pack them in lunches all week.
* Something that goes “crunch” – Carrots, apples and pretzels provide a lunch box with plenty of crunch to keep things fresh. Crunchy snacks are the secret to waking up your child’s brain before afternoon lessons begin, allowing them to finish off the day strong. Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels are available in more than three dozen shapes, flavors and gluten-free varieties so everyone can have their own favorite. Grab a 10-count of single 100-calorie snack packs in sticks, snaps or minis to change it up from day-to-day and keep kids wondering, “what’s next?”
* A thirst quencher – Many kid-friendly drinks are loaded with empty calories like sodas and sweetened iced tea. It’s important for a school lunch to include liquids that keep kids hydrated so they can think, move and perform at their best. Limit caffeinated and sugary beverages like sodas and iced teas, and instead encourage your children to get in the habit of drinking water, milk or real fruit juice.
* A love note – Lunchbox food is important, but so is a reminder that the menu was made with love. Encourage your children to do well in class by slipping a note inside their lunchboxes. Consider painting the inside of a lunch box with chalkboard paint so you can write and erase messages daily. Include a hand-written note or draw a picture for a sack lunch bag.
* After-school energy boosters – Kids experience the afternoon slump just as much as parents. With smaller stomachs, children are often in need of snacks to keep their energy levels going strong – especially after school. Keep some Snyder’s of Hanover 100 calorie packs handy. Kids can pair the snaps or minis with cheese or meat slices for an extra energy boost. With less fat and less sodium than many other salty snacks, these portion-controlled packs are the perfect snack that won’t spoil any appetites before dinner.
These essentials will have you thinking outside the (lunch) box and make your lunches the envy inside the cafeteria. Try planning a menu with your kids at the beginning of each week and let them choose what meals and snacks they want to eat on which day. Homemade lunches are an easy way to control what your children eat and you’ll know that they’re getting the healthy nutrition needed to perform well in school. Not only will they not want to trade it, they’ll keep coming back for more.

Courtesy of BPT

Addressing the lack of diversity in lung cancer clinical trials

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Research%20shows%20that%20racial%20and%20ethnic%20minorities%20are%20more%20likely%20to%20develop%20cancer%20and%20die%20from%20it%20than%20the%20general%20U.S.%20population%2C%20but%20are%20historically%20underrepresented%20in%20clinical%20trials. Research shows that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to develop cancer and die from it than the general U.S. population, but are historically underrepresented in clinical trials. As part of lung cancer awareness month, Dr. Coleman Obasaju, a frequent speaker on health disparities around the world, provides his take on the issue. Obasaju is a clinical and senior medical director at Lilly Oncology.

Q: Why does lung cancer disproportionately impact minority populations?

Obasaju: Lung cancer maintains its status as one of the most prevalent and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 200,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year – globally this figure swells to about one million. This disease takes a particularly heavy toll on African Americans. Despite their lower smoking rates, African Americans are more likely than Caucasians to develop and die from lung cancer. It is not clear why African Americans have a greater risk for developing lung cancer, but researchers believe it may be in part related to a person’s genetics, environmental and socio-economic background.

Q: Why is it so critical for minorities to participate in clinical trials?  

Obasaju: One way to get a better understanding of this situation is through increased diversity in clinical trials. Historically, minorities have been underrepresented. Several factors contribute to this, including a lack of awareness about the importance of diversity in cancer research. Economics, language and cultural barriers, coupled with a historical mistrust of the clinical trial process, also contribute to the low rates of minority participation.

Despite these challenges, we must continue to find ways to increase their participation. This change is vital to ensure researchers understand how lung cancer affects all populations and substantiate whether treatments are effective across all ethnic groups.

Q: What can be done to increase minority participation in clinical trials?

Obasaju: To start, research teams can identify clinical trial sites located in close proximity to minority groups. Other critical steps include translating details about clinical trial enrollment into different languages, creating culturally adaptable patient tools and working with patient navigators, who can help guide clinical trial participants through the treatment process. We need to continue to raise awareness on the importance of minority representation in clinical trials and trust that if minorities know more about this critical issue, it will inspire them to take action.

Q: Where can someone go for more information about participating in a clinical trial?

Obasaju: A healthcare provider is one of the best resources to explain how patients can participate in a clinical trial. Healthcare providers can direct eligible individuals to the most appropriate trial taking place in their area and explain the process for enrolling. There are also great resources available online, including the National Cancer Institute’s website ( This site allows users to search for trials that are currently enrolling participants and provides users with a variety of answers to the most pressing questions about trial participation.

Courtesy of BPT

Help inspire girls to celebrate everyday victories.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Help%20inspire%20girls%20to%20celebrate%20everyday%20victoriesEvery two years, girls all over the world are captivated by the achievements of female athletes competing in the Olympic Games. Their successes inspire girls to try new things or pursue achievements they may not have thought possible. While not everyone wants to be an Olympic athlete, every girl should be encouraged to go for the gold when it comes to her goals and dreams.
Five-time Olympic medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown didn’t let anything stop her from pursuing her dream to compete in the Olympic Games. Through hard work, perseverance and dedication, she became the second woman in history to win two consecutive 200-meter track and field events at the Games. But she also knows she couldn’t have done it on her own. She credits her support team – family members, coaches and trainers – for inspiring her every day to achieve small victories, which led to her greatest achievements.
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, Campbell-Brown has partnered with Always(R), the leader in feminine care, to support the Always “Baton Connection” Facebook program, which celebrates the inspirational support system important in anyone’s life. On Facebook, Always fans can “Pass the Baton” to show their appreciation to those who inspire them. With this passing of a baton, the hope is recipients are inspired to do the same.   
“I’m lucky to have strong female role models in my life who have always encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming an Olympic athlete,” says Campbell-Brown, who is a hopeful to compete in her fourth Olympic Games this July. “Whether it was a small victory or making it to the world stage at the Olympic Games, these women, like my mom, helped me reach my full potential and I can’t thank them enough.”  
Campbell-Brown hopes to continue to inspire girls and offers the following tips to help them achieve their dreams like she did: 
* Make a plan. Write down goals and brainstorm some smaller steps that will help achieve them. Don’t forget to celebrate the daily victories that happen on the road to the larger ones. 
* Practice. Practice can help you learn, adapt and improve. Anything new may be difficult at first, so be patient. It will get easier.
* Track your progress. Every now and then, take the time to assess your progress. How far have you come? How far do you have to go? What could you change to be better tomorrow? Take the time to reflect, readjust your plan, and keep moving forward. 
* Find a mentor. Coaches, mentors, teachers and trainers all exist for a reason – we need help achieving our goals. Find someone that you trust and who can give you guidance in achieving your goals and steering you along the right course. We all need a little inspiration sometimes, and your mentor can help to give you the push you need. 
* “Pass the Baton.” We all have women in our lives who have inspired us at one point or another. Whether it is a mother, a sister, a friend or a teacher, take a moment to say thank you and “Pass the Baton” to thank the women who have helped you along the way. To “Pass the Baton” to an inspiring woman, visit and “Like” and “Pass the Baton” to a woman who was a source of help, support or inspiration. If that woman is on Facebook, a notification will pop up to alert her that she has received an Always Baton. The Always Baton Connection Program is only available in the U.S. for girls and women 18 years of age and older and for girls and women 19 years of age and older in Canada.
Whether it’s running a marathon or even a goal to get up earlier in the morning, we all can aspire to achieve our goals and dreams. No one has to do it alone, and we all have someone in our lives who has inspired us. In the spirit of the Olympic Games, take a moment to recognize the people who believe in and support you.

Courtesy of BPT

Teaching kids to brush their teeth

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Kids in general either hate brushing their teeth or they simply couldn’t care less. However, it is important to teach your kids how to brush their teeth to avoid dental and other health problems. With a little patience, creativity, and a handy tool, you should be able to get your kids to brush their teeth in no time.

For preschoolers

It’s relatively easy to teach preschoolers, as long as it’s fun for them and is done through rhythm and rhyme. Let your kids know that there are germs that we can’t see living on their teeth and it’s important to get rid of them. You can even make a song about teeth brushing.

When teaching your kids how to brush their teeth, first show them the proper way to go about it. Once you have demonstrated the up and down, round and round process of brushing teeth, hand your kids their brushes and let them try. Use a safe kids’ step stool to help them reach the sink. Choose one that is self-retracting so that when your kids are done using the sink, the step stool automatically retracts underneath the sink and out of adults’ way. Once they are able to do the whole brushing process themselves, make the event and exciting and joyous one. Clap and cheer for your kids. Tell your other family members how good the kids were and have them cheer for the children as well. Have your kids show other family members how they too can brush their teeth.

Things to do:

• Show your kids how excited you are about brushing, and get even more excited when they brush.

• Make brushing a fun experience.

• Ask them to show you how well they can brush their teeth.

• Make it a point to show other family members how good the kids can brush their teeth.

For Grades K-3rd

Kids this age learn things through presentation and repetition. Offer your kids to watch you as you brush your teeth, explaining things as you go along. Come up with creative analogies: “plaques are invisible bugs that eat away at your teeth. The only way to get rid of them is to brush your teeth.”

Things to do:

• Regularly offer your kids to watch yourself brushing.

• Be consistent with brushing times

• Come up with creative analogies or explanations about brushing teeth

Grades 4th-6th

At this age, there is no better way to effectively teach your kids to brush their teeth than to show them what happens when a person does not brush his/her teeth. Gather pictures of people’s teeth the have serious decay. Or better, get pictures of people with rotten teeth. During your visits to the dentist, teach your kids about proper brushing by asking for pictures of people who do not brush their teeth and explaining to them, “This is what happens to people who do not brush their teeth.”

You can also add that there are health risks when they do not brush their teeth. Some of these include gum diseases such as gingivitis (swollen or inflamed gums), periodontitis, gum infections, bone destruction, and tooth loss. It has even been found that gum disease is a likely risk factor for heart disease and stroke for adults.

Things to do:

• Ask your dentist to share stories, pictures and information of the hazards of not brushing teeth.

by: Dana Mulder