I believe we all want what's best for our kids and do our very best to provide them with the environment and opportunities to help them thrive. Many kids are lucky enough to be involved in extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, music and other hobbies. Through these activities, they learn valuable skills in self-discipline, teamwork, and stick-with-it-ness that will hopefully serve them well in their future endeavors.
That being said, if I could recommend families do only ONE thing to improve a their child's health, wellbeing and chances for success in the world, it would be the family meal.
It seems almost too simple or old-fashioned to be my go-to advice, but common sense and science agree that making time to sit down and for a meal together empowers children for:
- better academic performance
- higher self-esteeem
- greater sense of resilience
- improved social and communication skills
- lower risk of substance abuse
- lower risk of teen pregnancy
- lower risk of depression and suicide
- lower risk of developing eating disorders
- lower rates of obesity
- improved sense of belonging
Need some FREE & easy recipe ideas? Check out these One Pot Wonders from the Family Dinner Project. Slow cooker and Quick & Easy recipes from AllRecipes.
Kylie Vannaman MD is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Kansas City who believes that trusting relationships and quality conversations are essential to providing outstanding primary care to one and all. Sign up today!
I love this book. In fact, many of my friends reading this blog will have a copy (paperback or audiobook version) that I gave them as a gift throughout the year following my first reading.
So, what's so great about it? Well, where to start?!
It's a book about food, but not in the way you think.
It's a book about people and their (our) relationships with food.
It's a book of great recipes (including a "No-Knead Artisan Bread for Busy People"), in fact, I store this book right along with my cookbooks in my kitchen.
It's a book about the joy of learning something new and realizing the kitchen can be a source of inspiration, health and happiness for you and your family.
The author explains that the book was, "Inspired by a supermarket encounter with a woman loading up on processed foods, I decided to use my culinary training to help nine novice cooks find their cooking confidence. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School takes these lessons and provides practical, healthy tips to boost your culinary self-confidence, and strategies to get the most from your grocery dollars, as well as simple recipes to get you cooking."
Kathleen's goals with her books, website (www.cookfearless.com) and blog are to, "teach the world to cook, to foster a sense of confidence - no, more than that - the ability for people to once again be fearless in their kitchens".
I know that my attitude about food and cooking changed immensely after reading this book and highly encourage everyone to check out this very enjoyable, informative read. Who knows, maybe you too will find yourself hosting a salt-tasting or knife skills party...be fearless!
Dr. Vannaman is a Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Kansas City who believes that trusting relationships and quality conversations are essential to providing outstanding primary care to one and all. Sign up today!
The American Heart Association strongly promotes "Life's Simple 7" to raise awareness of what it exactly means to live healthy. More importantly, there has been significant research in looking at these 7 goals and how they reduce the chance of developing heart disease and even cardiac death.
The Life's Simple 7 are as follows:
1. Manage blood pressure
2. Control cholesterol
3. Reduce blood sugar
4. Get active
5. Eat better
6. Lose weight
7. Stop smoking
A more detailed discussion into what each of these goals means...
MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure goes undiagnosed and many times because of the lack of time with your physician, it may not be treated appropriately. Many organs can be injured from high blood pressure aside from developing a stroke or a heart attack. These include kidneys, liver, your GI tract, eyes, and much more. Goal blood pressure is less than 120/80.
By reducing your cholesterol levels, you give your arteries the best chance of not getting clogged. Plaques form from cholesterol deposits that can lead to strokes or heart attacks.
REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR
We may not realize how much sugar we consume as several foods we eat are full of sugar. The average American, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), consumes anywhere between 150 to 170 pounds of sugar in 1 year! That is equal to about 30-34 five pound bags of sugar lined up next to one another in a counter! High blood sugar levels affect every organ in our body, including fighting infections and healing wounds. Certainly, Diabetes is a major concern when one consumes a lot of sugar. Diabetes is a multi-system disease and the good news is that it is preventable and treatable. So how much sugar should you eat? As close to zero as you can get.
Here is the skinny on how much activity you truly need:
We know the usual stuff don't we:
What is the ideal weight? We are all inundated with advertisements of what it means to "look fit." So here is the truth and reality of what goals regarding weight actually result in optimal cardiovascular health, longevity, and living well. By focusing on your BMI, you can get a good assessment of where you need to be. It is a simple calculation by knowing your height and weight. Calculate yours today!
This is a no brainer. The days of the Marlboro man are gone and most have tossed the cigarettes. Smoking causes cardiovascular disease, increases risk for stroke, peripheral vascular disease that can lead to amputation of limbs, poor wound healing, emphysema where you may need oxygen to breathe, and many types of deadly cancers. There is strong evidence regarding the risk of second hand smoke and the fact that it can cause similar damage to the body as if the person was a smoker.
To get in-depth information regarding these 7 goals, visit this site
Wishing you a life full of joy, happiness, and good health,
- Dr. Ahmed