Slow Down and Eat Breakfast

Our children keep us so busy these days. We tend to forget some of the most important things and one of them can be breakfast. Who hits the alarm clock a few times in the morning? We are just about all guilty for that. We get up running and trying to get out the door for school and work that we sometimes just say we are not hungry and keep running. Truth is we all need breakfast. The kids and the parents do. Breakfast has benefits. Breakfast equals better behavior. Children who skip breakfast are more tired, irritable, or restless by late morning. These symptoms lead to aggressive behavior that causes children to get in trouble in school. Children who regularly eat a morning meal have more energy, are less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, and have a better attitude toward school. Breakfast leads to higher test scores. Eating breakfast leads to better class attendance. Children who eat breakfast are absent from school fewer days. They also spend less time in the nurse’s office complaining of stomach pains. Ironic as it may be, children who claim they don’t eat breakfast due to a lack of time in the morning are tardy more often than those who take time for a morning meal. We all get more nutritious intake by eating breakfast. Breakfast eaters generally meet vitamin and mineral requirements for prevention of deficiencies. They consume more fiber, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. Unfortunately, children who miss breakfast do not make up for lost nutrients later in the day. Eating breakfast helps weight control in all of us. Eating breakfast helps to establish a normal eating pattern. Eating regular meals and snacks is a key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout life. Increasing childhood obesity is in part attributed to the disappearance of normal eating patterns in many of today’s households. Now I know some of you are asking” Why do some children still resist breakfast?” Given the abundance of compelling information on the benefits of breakfast consumption, why does one out of eight school children start the day without eating breakfast? Some are not encouraged to do so by their parents, while others make arguments for avoiding breakfast. Some common arguments are lack of time, absence of hunger, and distaste for breakfast foods. No matter what the barrier, parents can and should find a way around them. One way is creating healthy habits in your children. Here are some tips for parents on incorporating breakfast into their children’s before-school routines: Prepare for school the night before by preparing the next day’s clothes, lunch and backpack. Set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier to allow more time for breakfast. Say no to TV, video games and computers in the morning. That may be hard but we can do it! Choose foods that require little preparation such as fresh and canned fruits, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain cereals or instant oatmeal. Eat on the run with celery stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese, dried fruits, string cheese, juice boxes, milk cartons, or breakfast bars. For those with little hunger in the morning, offer juice, milk or a fruit smoothie made with skim milk and fruit. For those who dislike breakfast foods, offer something non-traditional like cold pizza or leftover chicken. Set a good example to your children: eat breakfast yourself! Children imitate the behavior of adults, so if they don’t see their parents eating breakfast, they are likely to resist themselves. Children are not only more likely to eat breakfast themselves if they see their parents eating breakfast each morning, they are also more likely to develop healthier eating habits overall. Parents can encourage their children to eat breakfast by having them help plan the week’s breakfast menu and making breakfast food readily available by storing them in low cabinets and having fresh fruit on the counter. With breakfast and lunch being free at our schools, we should encourage our children to eat there. Not only is there no charge, but it is healthy too! Source: kidshealth.org

Trigger Finger: Causes and Treatment

Trigger finger is a painful condition that causes the fingers or thumb to catch or lock when bent. In the thumb it is called trigger thumb. Trigger finger occurs when tendons in the finger or thumb become inflamed. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles and bones. Together, the tendons and muscles in the hands bend and straighten the fingers and thumbs. A tendon usually glides easily through the tissue that covers it (called a sheath) because of a lubricating membrane surrounding the joint called the synovium. Sometimes a tendon may become inflamed and swollen. When this happens, bending the finger or thumb can pull the inflamed tendon through a narrowed tendon sheath, making it snap or pop. Trigger finger can be caused by a repeated movement or forceful use of the finger or thumb. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes also can cause trigger finger. Treatment options include rest, splinting, anti inflammatory medications, and surgery.