Sunday, July 24, 2011

Energy Drinks are Very Dangerous for Children

Cocaine Energy Drink - As Strong As 3 Red Bulls - 6 PkEnergy drinks can be dangerous for children. Here are 10 reasons posted by my friend Rosa in her website. It’s saying - make sure our kids stay away from these energy drinks because they can be extremely damaging. Let's teach our kids this.

10 Reasons why we should teach our kids to stay away from energy drinks:

1. Caffeine. Some brands have up to five times more caffeine than regular soda.
For an adult, about 400 to 500grams is acceptable amounts.

Energy drinks can have up to 180grams in a can compared to less than 50grams in a soft drink.

Health Effects of CaffeineA cup of coffee can contain between 27grams to over 150grams depending on type, where you buy it and strength of coffee.

2. Caffeine overdose can cause hallucinations, breathing problems, seizures, diabetes and rapid heartbeat.

3. Staying awake. Many people use energy drinks to stay awake, because of the caffeine content. This is not a healthy practice for anyone, much less children. Instead, we should be teaching kids about proper rest, and instilling good habits when they are young.
Caffeine and Activation Theory: Effects on Health and Behavior
4. Lack of nutrition.. There is no nutritional value in energy drinks and when they fill up on these they do not have room for or lose interest in nutritional drinks.

5. Caffeine is a diuretic. Diuretics cause dehydration. Dehydration is very dangerous in kids. Because of their smaller size, a child can get dehydrated at a much quicker rate than adults.

6. Warning labels. A majority of the energy drinks have warning labels on them indicating a multitude of situations where it could be dangerous for an adult to consume the beverage. If it is dangerous for an adult than it is absolutely dangerous for a child. Some labels even state specifically that they should not be consumed by children.

Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America's #1 Drug7. Lack of awareness. There are some energy drinks have herbal supplements in them. Unless you are extremely conscious of the ingredients in energy drinks and the effects they can have on children it is not wise to let your children ingest these.

8. Sugar content. Some energy drinks contain 31 grams of sugar per serving with one can being 3 servings. That is a total of 23.25 teaspoons of sugar!.

9. Not enough information. There have not been enough studies done to show the effects these drinks have on children.

Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Tasks: A double-blind study of healthy subjects performing working memory n-back tasks10. It can be addictive. Caffeine can be addictive. When taken in such large amounts on a frequent basis, children can become addicted to the caffeine they are ingesting. If you think your kids are hard to manage when hyped up on caffeine, wait until they have to go through withdrawal.

Pediatricians do not recommend energy drink consumption by children.

Read the label and education yourself on what your kids are eating and drinking.
Thank you Rosa for this excellent piece of advice.

This link provides information on the exact amount of caffeine in the various energy and soft drinks.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Food Guide

This is the newest update from USDA healthy eating guides. A shift from the food pyramid, that we have grown up with.

'Food Pyramid' Wall Decal - 18"W x 17"H Removable Graphic

The basis tenents of the food guide are:

 What Should I Eat?: A Complete Guide to the New Food PyramidBalancing Calories

-  Enjoy your food, but eat less.
-  Avoid oversized portions.
- Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Have a look at for more information. Very useful and simple to navigate.
Showdown At The Food PyramidFood Guide Pyramid Nutritional Chart Art Poster Print - 24x36'Food Pyramid' Wall Decal - 18"W x 17"H Removable Graphic

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Praise or 'Constructive Feedback'

How much praise is good praise before it becomes silly? Someone I know gives her children 'constructive feedback' - yes, she uses these big words on her three kids, who are between 9 and 16.  She is disappointed that they now tend to ignore her because ....

Praising Your Child Can Make A Difference: Helping To Create A Positive Belief SystemWhat Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to SolutionsThe Go-To Mom's Parents' Guide to Emotion Coaching Young ChildrenKeeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child's Eyes (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)

Her kids tell her what is the use because she would find fault with anything they did anyway! She explains to her kids that she is providing feedback on areas that could be improved and is not necessary to highlight the good areas all the time.

My friend is applying her well practiced office skills and dialogue on her kids.

I am sorry for the kids. But then again my boys are not really listening to me too. They prefer to play with their toys rather than read. Or play computer games.

But I know that praise works. Praise that is given selectively and carefully. My younger son, who is 6, laid the table today and read a story which is one page long. I praised him and he was so happy, the look of content.

I looked through the Internet and read some books. Here  i think sums up the different views:

We don’t need to praise our children for everything they do. We don’t need to continually reward our children or tell them how smart and talented they are. Actually, telling our children how smart and talented they it can create the opposite. It can make our children afraid to attempt new things, afraid of failure, afraid they won’t meet everyone’s expectations.  Research suggest that when we praise, it’s best for the praise to be related to the effort our children made. For praise to be effective, it also needs to be specific and sincere.

Praise is important for self esteem and building confidence but not too much and should be targeted.

It would be great to hear from the parents.

Praising Girls Well: 100 Tips for Parents and TeachersPraising Boys Well: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pot Roast Chicken - With a Slight Twist

Tasty chicken and quickly prepared for 2 hungry boys. Chicken beautifully baked or roasted and healthly. Plain protein dish. Serve with rice or patotoes or salads.

Few lessons here for the kids:
1. when you are hungry - you can have a tasty dish within minutes
2. don't let them eat out, particularly fast food. this is fast food!
3. estimates - get them to estimate how much they need to prepare the food. no need to fuss about exacts.


2 chicken thighs
1 onion
3 pips of garlic
1 inch ginger
olive oil

How to prepare

Roasted chicken in aluminium foil
1.  ground onion, garlic and ginger
2.  mix all the ingridients over the chicken
3.  you can leave about 20 minutes, if you have time, otherwise go right to the baking
Secura Halogen Infrared Turbo Convection Countertop Oven, Deluxe Package W/extender Ring;tong;cook Racks 777MH4.  wrap in aluminium foil
5.  bake for 1/2 hour at 180 Celcious

I hope your kids love this recipe. Simple and quick, yet healthy and beautiful if you need to entertain.

Happy Cooking and Teaching!

500 Slow Recipes: A collection of delicious slow-cooked one-pot recipes, including casseroles, stews, soups, pot roasts, puddings and desserts, shown in 500 photographs500 Slow Recipes: A collection of delicious slow-cooked and one-pot recipes, including casseroles, stews, soups, pot roasts, puddings and desserts, shown in 500 photographsSecura Halogen Infrared Turbo Convection Countertop Oven, Deluxe Package W/extender Ring;tong;cook Racks 777MH