The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel – Diana Dombrowski
“Wendy Pitlik-Plehn, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Sheboygan South High School who has been teaching personal and family finance for more than 20 years, shared a few things parents can do to raise kids who are more financially responsible. Modeling a mindset for financial success is one of the most important things parents can do, Pitlik-Plehn said in an interview. The following is a list of ways she said parents can do that:” (more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
There never seems to be enough time in the day, especially when you have a job and kids. After a long day of work the last thing most of us want to do when we get home is worry about preparing a meal. As a result, many of us stop for take-out, pop TV dinners in the microwave, or go through the drive-through on the way home.
While fast, pre-prepared, and restaurant food is quick, convenient, and satisfying it is often low in nutrients, fiber, and phytonutrients; high in refined carbohydrates; and full of artificial colors and flavors. In addition, these foods are generally easy to digest and high in trans-fats or processed vegetable oils. Worst of all, many prepared foods are designed for “sensory-specific satiety” which makes it easy for us to eat more than we need and to become addicted to the product.
Sadly, the impact of consuming these foods is not usually immediately apparent. In many cases, it takes years or decades for symptoms to develop. As a result, it is easy for parents to overlook the impact food may be having on the long-term health and welfare of their children.
More information on the hazards of poor food choices has reached the mainstream press recently. Dr. Eva Selhub wrote about the connection between food choices, brain structure and function, and mood in the Harvard Medical School Health Blog. “If your brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, or if free radicals or damaging inflammatory cells are circulating within the brain’s enclosed space, further contributing to brain tissue injury, consequences are to be expected. What’s interesting is that for many years, the medical field did not fully acknowledge the connection between mood and food.”
Also, according to research conducted by Sanjay Basu M.D., Ph.D. at the Stanford University Medical Center, “increased sugar in a population’s food supply was (is) linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.”
Although it might seem overwhelming, ditching processed foods is possible even if you have a super busy schedule. The key is advanced planning, selecting healthy items when you get to the supermarket, and cooking enough extra food that you can have leftovers on days when there is no time to cook.
Once you adjust to the new approach to food, you will likely notice that everyone is less cranky and feels better, there are less sick days, and that you have more energy and patience.
Education World – Jim Paterson
“Home visits by teachers may seem impractical, but more districts are undertaking them, and a new report says they build partnerships between parents and the school, change parent beliefs about the classroom and raise student performance. Anne Henderson, a senior consultant at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform who has studied the issue of family engagement for years and authored a leading book on the topic, believes that home visits are the most effective ways to make a school-family connection.” (more)
The Miami Herald – Tameeka Grant, Ph.D.
“Clean your room, walk the dog, set the table. Giving your kids chores isn’t simply a way to check things off the family to-do list, it’s actually good for them. By assigning household tasks to children, you’re instilling responsibility, autonomy and a healthy work ethic, all traits that empower us to succeed in life — and research backs this up. According to a University of Minnesota report, young adults who began chores at an early age (about 3 or 4) were more likely to be self-sufficient, achieve academic and early career triumphs, and enjoy good relationships with family and friends.” (more)
CNN – David G. Allan
“A couple of years ago, when my older daughter was 8, she gently told my wife and me that she’d gotten too old for us to read her books anymore. We didn’t try to talk her out of it or numerate the many benefits of reading aloud to a child (even after they can do so themselves). We were disappointed but respected her agency. When she was a toddler, we began a nearly daily ritual called Milk & Books. It quickly became the best part of any ordinary day as we devoured picture and chapter books that ranged from hilarious Shel Silverstein poetry to the dramatic prairie recollections of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Some titles came from authors prevalent in our own childhoods (E.B. White, Roald Dahl, Virginia Lee Burton, Dr. Seuss, Kay Thompson), and more came from the ever-growing list of contemporary greats (Mo Willems, Jon Muth, Kate DiCamillo, Andrew Clements).” (more)
The 74 Million – Kevin Mahnken
“Expanding access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses in high school doesn’t increase the number of students who attain college degrees in those subjects, a new study finds. Neither will adding more STEM classes at the high school level push black, Hispanic, and female students to become STEM majors at the same rate as the white and Asian men who currently predominate in those college disciplines. In fact, the authors add, it may only worsen existing gender and race disparities.” (more)