When Getting Kids to Exercise More, the Apple Won’t Walk From the Tree

when parents increase their activity level so do kids

when parents get more exercise so do their kidsJust about every discussion of childhood obesity includes a recommendation that parents set a good example for their kids by getting more exercise. But are our children really paying any attention to what we do? According to Kristen Holm, Assistant Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health, the answer is a definite Yes. When parents increase their own levels of physical activity, their children do the same.

Holm and her colleagues tracked 83 families that were enrolled in a special program aimed at keeping overweight and obese 7-14-year olds from putting on even more weight. The researchers gave parents and children pedometers and asked them to walk an extra 2,000 steps per day. When the parents achieved that goal, their kids logged an average of 2,117 extra steps. But when the parents fell short, so did the kids.

As you might expect, parents and kids were more likely to hit the mark on weekends—typically a time when families are up and around and more likely to exercise than during the week. But what was especially interesting is that the effects generally didn’t last. In other words, walking 2,000 extra steps one day didn’t make anyone—adult or child—more likely to do the same thing the next day or the day after that.

Bottom line? If you want to change behavior, you can’t just do it once and hope it’ll happen again by itself.  Exercise needs to be a part of our daily lives, whether you want to do it or not.

On the Fence about Whether Your Kids Should Have Flu Shots? Just Do It—Now

flu shotBetween August 1, 2004 and May 5, 2012, 829 children in the US died from the flu, according to a new study by researchers at the CDC. And a third of those kids died within three days after symptoms first appeared. Unfortunately, by then it’s often too late. The solution? Make sure your kids get a flu shot. Not getting one is putting their lives at risk.
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Tips for Taking Great Photos of Kids

Now that practically no one uses camera film anmore, we don’t have to worry about wasting money developing awful pics of our kids. But we still have to worry about wasting time taking dozens of pics. In this guest post, Ken McDonald tell us how to up your chances of geting that gorgeous shot of the kids without having to keep everyone captive for hours.

There’s in old adage in the film production world that says: “Never work with children or animals.” This logic can be applied to portrait photography as well. That’s because, as any parent can attest to, getting a young child to sit still for an extended period of time often proves to be a difficult undertaking. But that’s no reason portrait photographers should shy away from children subjects. Under the right circumstances child photographs can turn out particularly well. Not only that, but a good child portrait can provide a lifetime of happiness to the parents.

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Top 5 Family-Friendly Restaurants in Seattle

Seattle is a wonderfully family-friendly city. Great natural beauty, tons of fun activities, cool museums (the Jimi Hendrix exhibit being one of my favorites), some pretty decent sports teams, and plenty of amazing restaurants. In this guest post, Kelly Watson takes us on a tour of some of the best places you and your kids can grab a meal without having to worry about breaking expensive wine glasses or spilling something on one of those intimidating white tablecloths.

Love traveling – and eating out – with your kids, but want to be sure a restaurant is family-friendly? If you’re like our family, you want to experience local cuisine, while eating in a place that is conducive to family dining. You know, those restaurants that don’t mind kids, have great meal options (not just chicken tenders and fake pizza), and delicious food. If you’re in Seattle, you’ll have plenty of options! However, these are our tried and true family favorites:

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Sit at Your Desk and Do Your Work

Imagine if our educational system taught children an unhealthy habit.  If, for example, teachers all took a few minutes every day to coax students to puff on a cigarette, or to demand that they eat a just little more junk food?  What if the report card reprimanded a child for crossing the street too cautiously?

We would, I feel sure, want the school to change that policy right away. [Read more...]

Mmm. Looks like candy, smells like candy, but tastes like….. soap!

Just an FYI. Hundreds of kids around the country are getting sick–sometimes really, really sick–from swallowing those cute laundry packets like Tide Pods and Purex UltraPacks. They’re colorful, smell nice, and are just the right size for a little hand to grab and stuff into his mouth. Something lawyers might refer to as an “attractive nuisance.”

Unfortunately, despite the pretty exterior, those convenient detergent packets can also be dangerous. According to news reports, some kids who have swallowed them have been hospitalized for a week, put on a ventilator, even slipped into a coma.

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