Blog Posts by HealthyChild.org

  • What Are The Best Apps For Healthy Homes & Parenting?

    by Stephanie Phoenix, Social Media Apprentice, Healthy Child Healthy World

    Smart phones are nothing if not useful. And in this day and age, most parents have one (and often a tablet, too). If we're going to have these know-it-all devices, we might as well put them to work for us, right? Which is why we're happy to present this round-up of great apps for parents that we've collected from the Healthy Child archives and our community. They range from apps that will help you create a healthier home to apps that will help you track development. Enjoy! (And, please feel free to let us know in the comments if we've missed any of your favorites!)

    From the Healthy Child archives:

    From our Facebook community:

    • Teresa and Colleen both love
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  • Mama Bears Don’t Like Mold

    I never thought much about mold, until my first child was born. We came home from the hospital and discovered greenish black mold covered the wall behind the family bed. With a three-day-old baby in my arms, I wasn't wasting time with testing. My husband and I called the landlord, told him he could keep the security deposit, and we moved in with my father that night.

    Of course, a brush with mold doesn't always trigger such rash action. Once I came out of my post-partum, mama bear phase, I felt a little sheepish about giving up our beautiful little cottage-and our security deposit.

    But recent news justified that decision we made, 12 years ago. New data from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that exposure to household mold in infancy greatly increases a child's risk of developing asthma. Researchers found that children who lived in homes with mold during infancy were three times more likely to

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  • Do You Eat Fish? Read This.

    by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

    Last week, we received more questions about fish than ever before. We figured, if this many people are wondering about the safety of fish consumption, there are probably many more out there with the same concerns. So, instead of only responding to the individual emails, we're sharing all the questions and responses with all of you. You ask! We answer!

    When can you introduce fish into your baby's diet?

    According to WebMD, at 6-8 months. Though, if you have a family history of allergies, asthma, or eczema, check with your doctor first. Be sure it's boneless, cooked thoroughly, and cut into very small pieces. Also, as with introducing any new food, watch for adverse reactions.

    What types of fish are healthy and which should you avoid?

    Fish is one of the most nutritional foods on the planet, but some are definitely better than others. The most comprehensive and credible guide to date comes

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  • What Are Healthy, Fast Foods For Pregnant Moms?

    by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

    When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I craved cheese curls. A lot. And I gave into that craving. A lot. Now, I may have just completely discredited myself from being able to write a blog recommending healthy foods for pregnant moms, but I've learned a lot since then. And, I've met a lot of people much wiser than I who have the actual training to make valid recommendations. Today, I offer a few of those sage recommendations to all of you pregnant mamas out there and hope you enjoy them in good health!

    • Fruits & veggies. This might be a no-brainer, but fresh produce is a stellar source of nutrition. Eat a wide variety of colors for maximum impact. Here are a few tips for choosing and prepping your produce:
      • Opt for organic, but if you can't always find or afford it, prioritize the Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies that the Environmental Working Group identified as having the highest levels of
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  • Strawberries: Super-Hero Or Super-Villain?

    by Heather Pilatic, PhD, Co-Director, Pesticide Action Network North America

    Strawberries are a quintessential summer treat. As with tomatoes, the only time this fruit actually tastes the way it's supposed to is while in season, and that season is nearly upon us.

    Strawberries aren't just delicious, they have super-hero nutritional qualities. An apple a day has been claimed to keep the doctor away, but new research from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California shows that eating a few cups of this berry could keep away not just one doctor but many of them - the neurologist, endocrinologist, and maybe even the oncologist! As MarilLyn Linton writes in The Toronto Sun, strawberries "protect against a plethora of diseases - from cancer to Alzheimer's and diabetes...some nerve system disorders...[and they] also activate the brain's natural 'housekeeper' mechanism which cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to memory decline and loss." Strawberries are the latest

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  • What Are Your Tips For Safe & Healthy Grilling?

    Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World:

    The inspiring people in the Healthy Child community never cease to amaze me. If this is the first time you are visiting our site, I strongly encourage you to sign-up for our weekly emails and join us on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and get to know our community. You won't be disappointed!

    Today, we're highlighting Katie Newell, a passionate Healthy Child advocate with an incredible story. Like many, her journey has lead to a whole new lifestyle of health and in addition to her story, we're sharing her timely tips for safe & healthy grilling.

    Katie's Story:

    At the age of four, Katie Newell was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and she spent her childhood in chronic pain. At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondyliltis - an annoying disease that causes the individual vertebrae of the spine to fuse. Eventually, she lost the ability to look up, and the

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  • Are Your Kids Allergic To Food —Or What’s In It?

    Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director/CEO, Healthy Child Healthy World:

    This week, it's all about food. A study released by Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine found that childhood food allergies are twice as common as experts previously thought, with one in 13 kids affected, WebMD reported.

    The survey of 38,000 was the largest ever to track childhood food allergies in the United States, and found that eight percent of kids under 18 are allergic to at least one food, with peanuts, milk and shellfish as the top three offenders. Previous studies, including a government survey published in 2009, had estimated four percent. Many food allergies are mild, but this new study found that 40% of children had experienced severe, potentially life-threatening reactions.

    Why are these childhood staples now considered poisonous to so many?

    Some are pointing fingers at new introductions of genetically modified organisms. Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital

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  • 4 Warning Signs of a Bad Babysitter Every Parent Should Know

    Boy Health BabysitterBoy Health BabysitterJanelle Sorensen

    The first time you leave your child with a stranger can be tense and difficult. Oftentimes your baby cries and reaches for you - an invisible string yanking at your heart as you pull away. Oftentimes a lone tear (or twenty) glides silently down your cheek. And then you count the moments until the reunion, hoping you chose the right person to care for the most important thing in your world.

    Most of the time, parents have pretty good instincts about who is capable of caring for their children. Sometimes, there's little choice. Whatever your situation, here are 4 warning signs that the caretaker you've chosen is not up to the job.

    1. The person conducts experiments on your child.
    2. The person lets your child get injured repeatedly before taking any action to protect him.
    3. The person feels there are certain levels of harm that are perfectly acceptable.
    4. The person is often distracted by shiny objects and not even paying attention to your child.
    Okay. Stick Read More »from 4 Warning Signs of a Bad Babysitter Every Parent Should Know
  • How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

    Janelle Sorensen:

    Have you ever seen the movie "Elf" with Will Ferrell? He drenches every meal in syrup because Christmas elves thrive on sweets. My daughter loves Will's character and true to elf form, persistently dramatizes her "need" for sweets. We oblige (in relative moderation) because she eats an incredibly healthy diet in addition to her treats, but I often wonder if she's still consuming too much.

    A recent article in The New York Times, made me seriously re-think things. "Is Sugar Toxic" by Gary Taubes dives deep into the issue and highlights the work of Robert Lustig, a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, who decribes sugar as "evil" and a "poison."

    Taubes cites Lustig as arguing "our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years" and "that sugar is also the

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  • Do You Know If Your Baby Products Contain Flame Retardants?

    Janelle Sorensen

    Do you know what your nursing pillows, stroller cushions, and other foam baby products are made of? Did you know many contain flame retardants?

    Clearly it's important to prevent fires, but some of the methods we use to do so are much more effective than others. Recent declines in fire injuries and deaths can be attributed to decreased smoking, adoption of fire-safe cigarettes, and improved fire safety measures like smoke alarms and sprinkler systems.

    One of the more ineffective approaches taken is loading products with chemical flame retardants. In fact, foam treated with these chemicals ignites and burns after seconds, giving off high levels of toxic gases and smoke, which are the leading cause of fire injury and death.

    Even without burning, products that contain these chemicals release them and cause harm. According to Dr. Harpreet Malhi, a California physician and mother, "peer-reviewed animal and human studies find associations between flame

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