September 19, 2011

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries

My son loves Alexia Sweet Potato Fries which we get at Costco. Sometimes he eats them as normal fries with ketchup but I also will make them a sweet treat by tossing them with some cinnamon and sugar when they are still warm from the oven.

Last night we went for a hike with some friends in the evening and then we all went out for a treat. Everyone ordered milkshakes and ice-cream and John ordered sweet potato fries (he’s never ordered them from there before). Well this morning he woke up feeling like death…his behavior was not good. He didn’t want to focus on his studies... all he wanted to do was lay on the sofa.

On my way into town this morning, I drove past the diner John got his sweet potatoes fries from and pulled in. I asked the man if he knew what the ingredients were in the sweet potatoes fries. He went into the back and came out with a piece of torn out cardboard, “I ripped this off the side of the box they come in.” He handed it to me and before I can even read the ingredients I can see the BOLD words, CONTAINS: Wheat, Dairy, Soy.

It’s easy to make mistakes like this. Remember to always check the ingredient.

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries ingredients are:


~Sweet Potato Fries With Cinnamon and Sugar~

Bake according to package. Mix a little sugar and cinnamon together. Place hot fries into a large bowl and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over fries, make sure to turn fries to coat all of them. Eat warm!!

September 15, 2011

Fast Paced Cartoons Detrimental To Your Children? I believe so!

Here is a recent study that basically suggests that fast-paced cartoons are hindering and detrimental to your children. I’ll let you read the study and decide for yourself however, I wanted to let you know that we noticed a different when Johnny watched fast paced cartoons compared to slower cartoons.  The faster paceed cartoons over stimulated him (no matter what his age). My son has always loved Sponge Bob, ever since he was 6, he’s now 14. However, we've only allowed him to watch Sponge Bob for 30 minutes on the weekends because he’d get so jacked-up after watching it (same with other fast paced cartoons and movies). Fortunately he’s outgrowing cartoons so it’s not much of an issue and more. My daughter who has no ADHD symptoms at all gets jacked-up as well so we have eliminated or greatly reduced cartoons like this.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 | 9:19 p.m.

The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.
The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch "SpongeBob," or the slower-paced PBS cartoon "Caillou" or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched "SpongeBob" did measurably worse than the others.

Previous research has linked TV-watching with long-term attention problems in children, but the new study suggests more immediate problems can occur after very little exposure _ results that parents of young kids should be alert to, the study authors said.

Kids' cartoon shows typically feature about 22 minutes of action, so watching a full program "could be more detrimental," the researchers speculated, But they said more evidence is needed to confirm that.
The results should be interpreted cautiously because of the study's small size, but the data seem robust and bolster the idea that media exposure is a public health issue, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis. He is a child development specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital who wrote an editorial accompanying the study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Christakis said parents need to realize that fast-paced programming may not be appropriate for very young children. "What kids watch matters, it's not just how much they watch," he said.
University of Virginia psychology professor Angeline Lillard, the lead author, said Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob" shouldn't be singled out. She found similar problems in kids who watched other fast-paced cartoon programming.

She said parents should realize that young children are compromised in their ability to learn and use self-control immediately after watching such shows. "I wouldn't advise watching such shows on the way to school or any time they're expected to pay attention and learn," she said.

Nickelodeon spokesman David Bittler disputed the findings and said "SpongeBob SquarePants" is aimed at kids aged 6-11, not 4-year-olds.

"Having 60 non-diverse kids, who are not part of the show's targeted (audience), watch nine minutes of programming is questionable methodology and could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust," he said.

Lillard said 4-year-olds were chosen because that age "is the heart of the period during which you see the most development" in certain self-control abilities. Whether children of other ages would be similarly affected can't be determined from this study

Most kids were white and from middle-class or wealthy families. They were given common mental function tests after watching cartoons or drawing. The SpongeBob kids scored on average 12 points lower than the other two groups, whose scores were nearly identical.

In another test, measuring self-control and impulsiveness, kids were rated on how long they could wait before eating snacks presented when the researcher left the room. "SpongeBob" kids waited about 2 1/2 minutes on average, versus at least four minutes for the other two groups.

The study has several limitations. For one thing, the kids weren't tested before they watched TV. But Lillard said none of the children had diagnosed attention problems and all got similar scores on parent evaluations of their behavior.

September 1, 2011

Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chicken Fried Rice

  • 4 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
  • ½ cup minced yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup sliced water chestnuts
  • ½ cup chopped asparagus (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • ½ lb. ground organic chicken
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups cold cooked rice (I prefer Jasmine, day old is best)
  1. Heat a wok over high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of the canola oil, and heat until it’s staring to ripple slightly and almost smoking. Add garlic and ginger, toss, add scallions, toss, then add onion. Cook, tossing often, about 2 minutes until onion is soft and turning golden.
  2. Add carrots and water chestnuts, and cook until carrot is soft and water chestnuts are turning golden, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook, tossing, about 2 minutes more. Sprinkle vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, tossing well to coat, then transfer to a separate bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 more Tablespoon of the canola oil in the wok, and add the ground chicken.  Use your spatula or spoon to break up the chicken, really breaking up the clumps until it’s crumbly and browning nicely. When no longer pink and nicely browned up, sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and little bit of freshly ground pepper. Toss well to coat. Transfer chicken to the bowl with the cooked veggies.
  4. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of canola oil to the wok, add the rice, and cook, tossing often 2 to 3 minutes until rice is glossy and aromatic. Add back in the veggies and chicken, and cook, tossing well, until heated through.  Remove from heat, and serve!

ADHD From Allergy? Study Shows Benefit From Diet Changes

The kids in this study were basically fed white meat, rice, & some veggies. For those of you who have a child with ADHD you may want to try this diet to see if it helps. If you go back and read our story this is basically what we did and we saw improvements in 3 days!! I'd love to hear from you if you decide to give it a try.

ABC News Medical Unit
Feb. 4, 2011
Many parents will acknowledge that too much soda and candy makes their kids bounce off the walls on a sugar high, but what if a child's persistent hyperactivity was caused by tomatoes, eggs, gluten or some other seemingly innocuous food?

That is what a Dutch study published Thursday found: In kids with ADHD, researchers found that putting them on a restrictive diet to eliminate possible, previously unknown food allergies or sensitivities decreased hyperactivity for 64 percent of kids.

It isn't the first time researchers have tried to link ADHD to things kids eat, such as sugar, food dyes or other preservatives, but even with this recent study, pediatricians remain skeptical of a true connection between diet and hyperactivity disorders.

For Lynne Edris, 45, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., an elimination diet was one of a series of non-pharmacological interventions that she tried with her son, Bobby, in hopes of keeping him off prescription meds.

"He was about three at the time and his hyperactivity symptoms were pronounced. I tried food elimination, [which] basically takes you back to white meat chicken and few other things that they can eat," she said.

Edris spent three months trying the diet and slowly reintroducing other foods, but never saw any effect on her son's symptoms.

Now Edris is a ADHD coach working with parents of children with ADHD and said that while every once and a while a parent will have a lot of success with food elimination, for the most part, hopeful parents are disappointed when it fails, especially because of the amount of effort that has to go into keeping a young child on such a strict regimen.

Bobby, now 15, currently is being treated with ADHD medication and behavioral interventions.

Proof in the Pudding or Placebo Effect?
Similar to Edris' experience, past studies on food elimination diets for ADHD have had mixed results, with elimination of specific "trigger" foods working partially or completely for some children but failing in others.

"There is a longstanding, somewhat inconsistent story about diet and ADHD," said Jan Buitelaar, the lead author of the Dutch study and a psychiatrist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. "On the one hand, people think it's sugar that's the trigger, others think that food coloring could be causing ADHD. Our approach was quite different. We went [with] the idea that food may give some kind of allergic or hyperactivity reaction to the brain" because of an allergy or sensitivity the child may have.

The past studies have been limited, Buitelaar noted, and many pediatricians are skeptical of the connection between diet and ADHD.

"This has long been viewed as a kind of a controversial approach," Buitelaar said. "When we started the research, I was skeptical, but the results convinced me."

In the study, of the 41 kids who completed the elimination diet, 32 saw decreased symptoms. When certain foods thought to be "triggers" for each child were reintroduced, most of the children relapsed. The eliminated diets, which lasted five weeks, consisted predominantly of rice, white meat and some vegetables.

Among 50 kids given a "control" diet that was just a standard, healthy diet for children, significant changes were not noted. Given these findings, Buitelaar recommended that the elimination diet become part of standard of care for children with ADHD.

Though pediatricians acknowledge the limited effectiveness that some patients see with diet changes, most were against including the elimination diet, which can be a harrowing experience for parents and children, as standard of care.

"People seem to think that dietary modification is essentially 'free,' but it is difficult, socially disruptive, and presents the risk for nutritional deficiency," said Dr. Michael Daines, a pediatric allergist-immunologist at the University of Arizona.

Currently, food elimination diets are not standard of care in the U.S. or in the Netherlands, where the study was performed. They are used limitedly when parents specifically request to attempt this alternative treatment for the hyperactivity disorder.

No Jujubes for Junior

Though Daines is willing to work with families who want to try an elimination diet for treating ADHD, he feels it will only have an effect if the child is having a true food allergy or intolerance.

Edris felt similarly: Because ADHD can only be diagnosed by a cluster of symptoms (and not something biological such as a blood test), she thought that it was more likely that some children had allergy-related ADHD and it was only such children who would see a benefit from the diet.

This could be the case for some children, agreed Dr. Anne Francis, a pediatrician in the Elmwood Pediatric Group in Rochester, N.Y.

There is "no question that allergic children show symptoms very similar to ADHD in terms of behavior," she said.

Edris was drawn to try the elimination diet because she was hoping to be able to avoid giving her young son prescription medication for his ADHD. While dietary changes are seemingly a non-invasive treatment option to explore, pediatricians, even those who support the diet as a type of ADHD treatment, warn against parents trying it alone.

"Restricted diets should be undertaken with caution and under close medical supervision to assure appropriate nutrition," said Dr. Karen Warman, an associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Montefiore.

Given the difficulty most parents may have with getting their kids to eat such a bland, restricted diet, many pediatricians feared that even trying the diet would prove impractical for many parents.

While Dr. Michael Manos, head of the center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, said the new study was well done, it didn't dismiss the fact that pharmaceutical and behavioral interventions are much more effective than even the benefit noted by some in the study.

"I would not go so far as to say this ... should be 'standard of care'," added Dr. Kathi Kemper, director of program in complementary and integrative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

"What is standard of care is to take the entire child, including lifestyle, family values and culture, into consideration when helping them meet the challenge of ADHD so they can have better attention, focus, self-discipline and patience to help them succeed in school and in life," she said.