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Despite research that claims a recent improvement, childhood obesity remains a prominent problem which has not declined in the last decade. Unfortunately, many parents unknowingly fuel their child’s unhealthy habits.

Children who are heavy prove more likely to develop serious health risks like high blood pressure, diabetes, and an early death sentence. Even if children are able to lose the weight, personalized health care plan doctors have found that they are often more susceptible to these health risks later on in life.

These five tips will help to fight against childhood obesity, giving them a long healthy life.

1. TV Time

Television has taken over the world with its entertaining escape from reality. However, too much TV can have a powerful impact on children’s obesity.

In a study of obese children, 90 percent had been exposed to television as a brand new baby, while 50 percent were active participants, placed in front of television by their parents. As children grow older, if they are used to spending hours in front of a television, they will lose interest in other activities that could help them to become active and healthy.

2. Role Model

Children learn from example. If they see Mom and Dad vegging out in front of the TV, eating poorly, or ignoring their health, they will most likely follow this set pattern. Kids love to be just like their parents, and with parents setting an influential example of health, kids are likely to adopt this model. Habits that begin when children are young are likely to persist as they age. Depending on the habit, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.

3. Nutrition

No matter how busy life gets, the importance of eating a well balanced diet can never be reiterated enough. Even though a drive-thru meal might be more convenient, it can have serious consequences on a child’s body.

Good nutrition starts with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Children need breakfast—and a nutritious one at that—to perform well in school. Whether it is a whole grain cereal, which has been linked to lowering BMI, toast, eggs, etc., breakfast should be high in protein and low in sugar. It will keep children alert throughout the school morning while adding nutrients to their growing bodies.

4. Get Outside

Too often children are allowed to spend more time inside playing with electronics than outside exercising. While occupying a child with a video game or tablet sometimes seems like the easiest thing to do, it might be hurting the child’s overall health.

Children need to spend time outside playing, using their imagination, socializing with neighborhood kids, and being active. Activity not only helps to prevent obesity; it also stimulates creativity and cognitive function.

5. Be Honest

While kids should certainly not be obsessing over their weight, they should recognize and understand the importance of health. Along with showing them what to do, talk openly and often about making good food choices and setting an exercise routine. Educate yourselves together by researching good health habits and setting family goals.  

Children need a health precedent set for them, and the best people to advise them are definitely their own parents.

Published in Child Health
Saturday, 04 January 2014 01:25

Natural Remedies for a Gassy Baby

How does one relieve gas in a fussy baby? Remedies are being discovered so often that it can be hard to keep up. Moms are creative, quick-thinking, and fast at figuring out solutions to pesky problems, like an infant screaming because of gas pains. A few natural remedies for a gassy baby that are highly effective are probiotics, flat back squats, gripe water, and simethicone.


Babies are born with an inadequate amount of natural bacteria in the intestines, which inhibits proper digestion. The gut is so immature in babies that scientists say that the digestive system is still learning to process effectively for at least the first five to six months of life, making it even more important to be choosy with baby’s intake.


There are (allergen) foods that can make it difficult for baby to absorb necessary nutrients and digest well. The most common of which is dairy. Medicines also make it harder on a baby’s belly as well, like antibiotics and antacids (both of which can be very detrimental to the growth and development of baby’s esophagus and stomach). Some other reasons for gas could be that mom's letdown was heavy and fast, that the baby has eaten too quickly, excessive crying (as baby can bring in large amounts of air), or the introduction of new foods.



Babies with colic may have more bacteria in their intestines, gastrointestinal inflammation1, and/or an adverse reaction to ingredients in formula or foods. To combat the lack of healthy natural bacteria and the inability to digest well with the help of breastmilk, probiotics are recommended. Probiotics, “good bacteria”, have been proven to ease colic in babies treated2 and help to ease or eliminate irritable bowel syndrome, rotavirus, asthma, eczema, stomach ulcers, and food allergies, among other common ailments3.


Probiotics are typically given to infants and babies in powder form, which can be mixed in a bottle with breastmilk or formula, or given orally via a medicine dropper, after being mixed with a bit of water or other solution like breastmilk.

Flat Back Squats puts pressure on the abdomen, helping gas be released. The way to do this is to lay baby on his/her back. Gently bend the baby’s knees while lightly pushing them towards the baby’s chest. Or, lift the legs as you would do while changing the baby’s diaper, but pushing gently towards the baby’s chest. This can be done while holding the baby, too. Hold the position for a few seconds and release. Repeat, and continue to do so for a few minutes at the least (if you have not already successfully expelled gas). Make it a game for baby by smiling and talking while doing this. It may not calm baby down completely, but helps reassure baby that mommy wants to help. Place your hand on baby’s abdomen to better feel whether the flat back squats are helping.

Gripe Water, like everything else discussed in this article, is all natural and safe for babies of all ages. Gripe water is free of alcohol, wheat, soy, sodium bicarbonate, dairy, and animal products. Additionally, there are no known side effects. It is a simple mixture of fennel, peppermint, chamomile, ginger, blackthorn, aloe, caraway, lemon balm, and vegetable carbon, and could be made at home if preferred.. Gripe water aids in reducing gas, stomach pain and cramping, reflux, and hiccups by combating bacteria in the stomach.

Simethicone is used to relieve gas and bloating in people of all ages - from infant to elderly - because it is not absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to break up gas bubbles currently residing in the stomach by decreasing their surface tension. In doing so, bubbles combine to form larger bubbles, which are more easily passed through the digestive system. Simethicone is not used to prevent gas; it simply speeds up the rate at which gas leaves the body, and may need to be used multiple times to ensure that all gas is expelled.

Sometimes, babies just need to burp. Often, though, it takes time for the gas to pass. Try to make baby feel as comfortable and secure as possible until then. Gas pains - as we all know - are horrible and can be especially scary for a baby.

Try to determine the reason for the gas and consider treating, fixing, or eliminating the root cause. For example, baby may become more irritable and gassy after nursing when mom has had a cup of coffee within the last couple of hours. Reducing the intake of caffeine will in turn lessens the likelihood of gas and discomfort being of concern for baby. If it is suspected that baby is gassy due to a hard letdown, mom can pump for a couple of minutes (until immediately following the letdown) prior to feeding baby, or allow baby to suckle until mom feels the letdown approaching, and remove baby until the milk has come in.

More Natural Remedies for a Gassy Baby




1Parker-Pope, Tara. "Probiotics for Colicky Babies". New York Times. 14 Feb 2011. 06 Jan 2014 <>


2 Anabrees, Jasmine. "Probiotics for the Management of Infantile Colic in Breastfed Infants." NCBI. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. 2013 Jan-Mar. 06 Jan 2014. <>

3"Oral Probiotics: An Introduction." US Dept of Health and Human Services. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Jan 2007. 06 Jan 2014. <>

Published in Newborn Care

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