How to get kids to help out around the house… without the whining


Parents know kids should help out around the house. The problem is getting them to actually do it. Why is it so tough? Well, for many parents, we simply can’t stand the bickering and nagging that is required to mobilize our kids into action.

We get worn down. We don’t want another fight. We find it easier to just load the dishwasher ourselves (and, bonus, we can load it exactly the way we like).

But then another year passes and we feel resentment building over our work load. We see our children getting older, but not getting more responsible. So, the desire to get them doing some chores rises again.

Well, I say “yay” to that! But this time I want to help you so your chores really stick! Here’s how:

1. Call a meeting
If you are doing regular family meetings, just put chores on the agenda. If you are not, that is okay — just plan to have a one-off family pow wow.

2. Present the current division of labour
Write each family member’s name on a sheet of paper. Under their name list their current jobs. It should quickly become visually clear that mom and dad are doing the lion’s share of the work around the house.

3. Suggest a change and a benefit
Children have a finely tuned fairness metre. They will see that the current situation is unfair (even if they deny it or don’t say it out loud). Kids also yearn for time with their parents.

Explain that you would like to find a way to balance the load a bit. You are hoping to free up some time so you can have more family fun together. Ask if they would like that, too. Get your goals aligned as a family first.

Explain that if each child took some items off your list, the work would go faster, be more fun and then you’d have more time to do things like playing a board game or hockey in the driveway.

4. Divide and conquer
Ask each child to volunteer to take one or two items off the chore list. Assure them that this is not a life sentence — next week chores can be reassigned, rotating chores through the family so no one has to bear the full burden of toilet duty.

5. Be specific
Ensure accountability by spelling out the fine print: when will the chore be completed? Precisely what is expected? For example, when we say “clean the bathroom” what exactly is included? Toilets? Mirrors? Wastebaskets? And, importantly, what will happen if the chore is not completed as spelled out by the deadline mutually agreed upon?

When children are involved in the establishment of the rules, there is greater compliance and more goodwill when consequences need to be enforced.

Two techniques to make the implementation easier:
Use “when___, then____” statements instead of threats threats: For example: “When the playroom is picked up, then we can move on to supper.” Or, “When the recycling bins have been brought in, then I know it’s time for the family movie.”

Let life unfold: We call it a “natural consequence” when children experience the outcomes of not doing their chores without any intervention from us. For example, simply sit at the table and wait for the table setter to realize on her own that plates and cups and forks are missing. The natural consequence of failing to put your school uniform in the wash is that it doesn’t get cleaned.

When parents arrange a consequence that fits with the action or inaction, it’s called a logical consequence. For example, when guinea pig cages are not cleaned as agreed, guinea pigs need to be moved to a more caring home. Or, if bedrooms are not company-ready, play dates will have to be suspended until they are.

The trick here is to follow through. No idle threats please! Neighbours and friends are usually very happy to help out with occasional pet-sitting or play-date rearrangement, when the need arises.

Source: parent dish

High-fibre diet ‘benefits heart attack patients’


If you have had a heart attack, eat plenty of fibre because it may improve your long-term chances of recovery, say US researchers.

Heart-attack survivors were more likely to be alive nine years later if they followed a high-fibre diet, a study in the British Medical Journal found. Every 10g-per-day increase in fibre intake was linked with a 15% drop in death risk during the study.

Dietary fibre may improve blood pressure and cholesterol, experts say. On average, most people in the UK get about 14g of fibre a day, against a target of at least 18g. US experts recommend up to 38g a day.

Fruit, such as bananas and apples, root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, wholemeal bread, cereals and bran are all good sources of dietary fibre. A jacket potato and baked beans contain about 10g of fibre; two slices of wholemeal bread about 4g.

Breakfast cereals
A low-fibre diet is associated with constipation and gut diseases, such as diverticulitis and bowel cancer, but it may also have implications for heart health, say US researchers.

The Harvard School of Public Health team analysed data from two large US studies involving more than 4,000 men and women who had survived a first heart attack and had provided information about their usual diet via questionnaires.

They were followed for an average of almost nine years after their heart attacks, during which time 682 of the women and 451 of the men died.

Chances of survival appeared to be linked with fibre intake, which was mostly from breakfast cereals. The one in five who ate most fibre had a 25% lower chance of dying from any cause during the nine years after their heart attack compared with the fifth who ate the least.

The high-fibre group was 13% less likely to have a fatal heart attack. The researchers say the findings point to a simple lifestyle step that people could take, alongside their medication, to improve their long-term health prospects.

Victoria Taylor, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “High-fibre foods are a key part of a healthy balanced diet, and this study suggests they may have a particular benefit for heart-attack survivors.

“We can’t say for sure what caused the fibre benefit seen here, but we do know that, on average, we’re not getting enough fibre in our diets. “Fibre comes from a range of foods, including fruit and veg, beans and lentils, and also from cereal products, which this study found to be particularly beneficial.

“To get more fibre, you can make simple swaps, such as trading white bread for wholegrain versions or opting for higher-fibre breakfast cereals, like porridge or muesli.”

Source: BBC

Is diabetes shrinking my brain?


It’s not a secret that some diabetics also have memory issues, but a new study suggests it’s not just due to clogging of blood vessels – your brain may actually be shrinking.

When the brain shrinks, it’s often because valuable brain cells that help us think and remember are dying. A loss of brain cells is a hallmark for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

In this new study, published in the journal Radiology, researchers looked at brain scans from a little more than 600 people age 55 and older with type 2 diabetes. They found that patients who lived with diabetes the longest had smaller brain volumes.

“When you lose brain cells, you lose the capacity for more complex thoughts and memory,” says Dr. R. Nick Bryan, lead author of the study.

“Diabetes may be a risk factor for things like Alzheimer’s disease,” says Bryan, chair and professor emeritus at the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. ” We didn’t prove that, but we suggest that.”

Up until about five years ago, experts thought memory and cognitive problems related to diabetes were largely due to problems with blood clots in the brain. But Bryan’s new imaging study builds on other research, which points to brain shrinkage as a potentially stronger link to the development of cognitive decline in diabetics.

“Somehow diabetes is doing something to the brain that results in tissue loss (death of cells),” says Dr. Rosebud Roberts, professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with this new research.

Roberts says scientists are still trying to understand why cells are dying. Their best guess is that it’s related to both too little and too much glucose in the brain. Glucose is the brain’s food and when you have diabetes, brain cells may not be getting enough nutrients, so they can die. Another possibility is that too much glucose in the brain can also kill cells.

The brain of a diabetic “metabolizes glucose and oxygen differently than people who don’t have diabetes,” says Bryan, because destructive free radicals are possibly produced.

“Diabetes can lead to what is in essence a faster aging process,” says Dr. Gail Musen, investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, who was also not involved in this new research.

Her advice to diabetics is to keep the condition under control: “Exercise, eat right, go to your doctor, lose weight if you need to and take your medicine.” These lifestyle changes won’t prevent the brain shrinkage, Musen says, but they will slow down the process – and the sooner you start, the better.

Source: CNN

Home Remedies for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy




Nausea is a sensation of discomfort in the stomach. It has lots of possible causes like stomach infection, weakness, depression, anxiety etc. It is common in pregnant women. Nausea sometimes precedes vomiting. But it is a part of pregnancy. It is believed to be normal. And it can be controlled from getting severe. There are some simple home remedies which can help control the discomfort.

# Sucking a lime or peppermint sweet :- These give a feeling of relaxation to your mind and calm you down.

# Sipping iced cold tea

# Drinking herbal tea such as light tulsi/mint tea without sugar or milk

# Strong ginger flavour or powdered ginger

# Eat some protein snack before retiring to bed at night

# Put one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water and drink in the morning on an empty stomach.

# Eat Saunf or aniseed

Source: the med guru

What to do when children reject vegetables




Our kids eat less than half the vegetables they need, according to a recent report published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Some parents have taken to hiring outsiders to help them raise a veggie lover, but for those not wanting to outsource – or not having the money to do so – science offers some ways to make the peas and carrots go down easier.

Resistance often starts around 18 months of age: sealed lips, head turned away, food left untouched on the plate. Scientists have a term for when children won’t try new foods – food neophobia – and it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Peaking between ages 2 and 6, being standoffish from unknown foods protects a child, who is becoming less dependent, from eating substances that might be poisonous. Unfortunately, because there are so many kinds of vegetables, these are often the rejected foods.

How much your kid fears new foods may be highly heritable, say authors of a study of twins published last year. If you loathe trying new food, it appears, your child may, too. What’s more, many vegetables are bitter, and children are preprogrammed by nature to avoid bitter taste, since it may signal the presence of toxic compounds.

“Many parents don’t realize that it’s quite normal that most children will be fussy with vegetables,” says psychologist Gemma Mitchell of Britain’s Loughborough University.

So should you just give up and fry the potatoes, and opt for a once-a-day vitamin pill that will deliver the vitamin C, E and folate that picky eaters often miss in their diets?

Probably not. Nutritionists say vitamin pills are no replacement for vegetables and fruit. Veggies contain many important substances in addition to vitamins and minerals such as phytonutrients, which lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

With all this in mind, here are some techniques, gleaned from the latest research, for dealing with food neophobia:

Offer vegetables with a glass of water
Don’t give up, even after many rejections. “The child doesn’t even have to eat it. Repeated exposure is all that is needed.”

Increase the portions. This may sound counterintuitive, but it turns out that if you pile up more veggies on your kid’s plate, more will get eaten. “What’s really effective is giving children big portions of vegetables at the start of a meal when they’re hungry. In our lab we’ve done this with raw carrots and with tomato soup. The bigger the portion was, the more the kids ate,” says Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. So serve a salad before the mac and cheese. And you should probably keep the main portion small: An investigation published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the bigger the entree (the authors used mac and cheese in their experiments), the fewer fruits and vegetables get cleared off the plates.

Disguise the vegetables. “One of the most effective strategies we’ve found is the hidden-vegetable approach: putting pureed vegetables into dishes,” Rolls says. “Most kids don’t care what’s in their food as long as it tastes good. With baked goods like zucchini bread or pumpkin bread, we’ve found that kids actually prefer those with added vegetables because they are moister.” So put some grated vegetables into casseroles, pasta dishes or mac and cheese.

Build positive associations. “If a child is upset, many parents will say, ‘Oh, come here, have a cookie.’ Children are quick learners: Soon they start equating biscuits with comfort,” Mitchell says. But you can build a similar positive association with vegetables, offering up a carrot stick instead of a cookie.

Relax and have fun. Cut the veggies into creative shapes, mix as many colors on the plate as possible, allow the kids to get messy while eating. In other words: Let them have fun with food.

Finally, even if none of this works, relax – and wait. A 2010 study that followed a group of kids from age 2 to 11 found that picky eating declines as kids get older. By the time most are 6, only about 3 percent remain very fussy.

Source: Star news

Cherry juice key to a good night’s sleep


A glass of cherry juice every morning is believed to boost sleep time for older people by 90 minutes and is a better alternative to sleeping pills, research suggests.

Two glasses a day of cherry juice can ensure a better night’s sleep, according to a new study.

Among older people, a glass of the juice every morning and evening can boost sleep time by nearly 90 minutes.
Researchers gave participants cherry juice every day over two weeks to discover its affect on people who suffer from insomnia.
Insomnia is a common health problem among older adults, affecting up to one in three people over 65. It is defined as trouble sleeping on average more than three nights per week. If long-lasting, it can seriously damage health.

It is linked to a higher chance of long-term pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, a decline of mental functions and even dementia.

Dr Frank Greenway, the study leader, of Louisiana State University, warned against older people taking sleeping pills to combat insomnia. He said that such medications, “quadruple the risk of falling, which can lead to broken hips and, often, earlier death”.

In an experiment, seven adults with an average age of 68 with insomnia drank eight ounces of cherry juice twice daily for two weeks, followed by a two-week break, then two weeks when they took a placebo drink.
They were observed to see how quickly they fell asleep and how long they stayed sleeping. Participants also completed questionnaires related to sleep, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Researchers found that those who drank a sour cherry juice in the morning and at night were able to sleep an average of 84 minutes more each night, compared to those who drank a placebo. In addition, their sleep was less disrupted.

Sour cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
The study team believe the naturally occurring red pigments in sour cherry juice, known as proanthocyanidins, also play a role because they produce chemicals that help with sleep.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition in San Diego, California.

Source: The telegraph


Stop Back Pain Before It Starts


You don’t have back pain…yet. Want to keep it that way? Try these techniques to prevent the pain long before it begins.

Sit pretty
You don’t need a fancy ergonomically designed office chair, but you should have one that provides good support so that your back is curved like an S, not a C, says Jeffrey Goldstein, MD, director of the spine service at the New York University Langone Medical Center.

Every half hour, get up and walk around for a few seconds to take some of the stress off your back.

Stand tall
Imagine a line coming down through your body from the ceiling, says physical therapist Renée Garrison.

Your ears, shoulders, hips, and knees should all stack up along that line, with your head stacked directly atop your neck, not jutting forward.
Wear soft soles
“If your shoe has little cushioning, every time your foot strikes concrete, you’ll jar the bones and muscles in your low back,” says Raj Rao, MD, vice chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. (That holds true for flats as well as heels.)

Look for a shoe with a cushioned sole, or buy an insert like Spenco For Her Women’s Q-Factor Cushioning Insole ($17; When you’re at home, pad around in thick flip-flops or well-cushioned sneakers.

Don’t smoke
A 2010 review of 40 studies found that smokers have more low back pain than nonsmokers, possibly because smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, says Dr. Rao

Learn how to lift
You know to hoist heavy objects using your legs, not your back. But what about a very light object?

Answer: Lean over it, slightly bend one knee, and extend the other leg behind you. Hold onto a chair or table for support.

Downsize your pillows
“Sleeping with two or three pillows under your neck can strain your muscles,” says Jessica Shellock, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Texas Back Institute.

Source: health


Google Microcamera Contact Lenses May One Day Help The Blind


Always at the forefront of technological advancement — arguably — Google has just recently applied for patents for a set of smart contact lenses, which would allow anyone wearing them to utilize a built-in micro-camera and control it with the blink of an eye.

Google detailed the systems that would allow these multi-sensor contact lenses to work last month in an application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Bolt reported. But a wave of new applications shows that the company is serious about looking into the new invention. “This goes into the theory of Google’s experimental technologies,” Roger Kay, a tech analyst and president of Endpoint Technologies. “A lot of these are just demonstrations that Google is alert and live and creatively thinking of things.”

If the ideas come into fruition, the lenses, which would be no thicker than normal lenses, will process both still and moving image data, as well as light, colors, patters of colors, objects, faces, motion, and much more. They would be controlled by the movement of the user’s eyelids and read by multiple sensors reacting to changes in pressure, conductivity, temperature, and electrical fields. Essentially, a user would be able to control the lenses by blinking, and then perform functions based on the data on the contacts on a mobile device.

Though spy agencies would love to have the contacts in their arsenal of gadgets, Google sees a more useful approach. The contacts would help blind people get around more efficiently. In one image from the applications, Google illustrates how a blind person might use the contacts almost like artificial eyes. As they approach an intersection, the micro-camera would process how close the person is and whether cars are moving through it. If there are cars, the lenses would relay the information to the person’s mobile device, which would generate a warning. In addition to this feature, the lenses would also recognize faces.

The contacts will most likely be used by anyone who can get their hands on them, but the new applications show that Google is also focused on improving public health through technology. Google Glass can already help people eat healthier, keep track of workouts, and take medications correctly. But a more recent development in the Google tech sphere were another set of smart contact lenses capable of reading blood glucose levels in a person’s tears. While that too is still in early stages of development, the prospect that those who are visually impaired or diabetic may one day have a better handle of their condition is still pretty hopeful

Source: medical daily

Laughter may help stave off memory loss

Laughter may help stave off memory loss

Researchers from Loma Linda University in California say that laughter may actually help diminish memory loss and brain damage because it helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In the study, two groups of elderly people – one with diabetes and one healthy – watched a 20-minute comedic video followed by a memory test involving visual recognition, learning ability, and memory recall. A third group of elders took the memory test without watching the video. Researchers measured the cortisol level for all individuals before and after the experiment.

Both groups that watched the video recorded a slight decrease in cortisol levels compared to the group that did not see the funny video. The groups that watched the video also scored higher on the memory test. The group with diabetes received the most benefits from the video based on their cortisol levels and test results.

The results may indicate that laughter leads to better memory because it releases endorphins and dopamine and that lowers stress hormones that can damage neurons in the area of the brain associated with memory.

Source: health central

‘Breast Milk Banks’ Gain in Popularity


A wave of new nonprofit breast milk banks are opening across North America, driven by research that has promoted the use of donated mother’s milk for healthy babies.

Five new milk banks are expected to open this year in the United States and Canada, joining four that opened in 2013 and bringing the total number of nonprofit milk banks up to 22, said Kim Updegrove, president of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

“There’s an amazing resurgence of milk banks in North America,” Updegrove said. “Every healthy lactating mother has the ability to save another baby’s life if she is willing to go through a screening process and donate her milk through a nonprofit milk bank.”

She said breast milk contains important nutrients, immune-system antibodies and growth factors that all contribute to a baby’s health, particularly babies who are vulnerable because they are premature or underweight.
“It’s now irrefutable that in absence of mom’s own milk, donor milk increases survival rate and improves development of vulnerable infants,” she said.

The milk banks are proliferating in response to mounting medical research that has shown donated breast milk can nurture babies just as well as their mother’s own milk, Updegrove said.

Pediatricians hope that mothers will see the milk banks as a better, safer alternative to the growing practice of online breast milk sharing, said Dr. Susan Landers, a neonatologist in Austin, Texas, who sits on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on breast-feeding.

Breast milk banks screen all donors, running tests to make sure they are not carrying an infectious disease that could be passed on through their milk, Landers said. In addition, the collected milk is pasteurized before being frozen and passed out to hospitals and families on a doctor’s prescription.

Updegrove’s group acts as a professional organization for the network of milk banks, laying out guidelines and certifying new banks as they come online.

“The AAP likes that set up,” Landers said. “We like the milk to be pasteurized. We want the donor mothers to be screened. We want doctors to know it’s a sterile product and prescribe it when donor milk is needed.”

By comparison, there are no safety precautions in place for milk shared through online sites. A recent study found that nearly three-quarters of 101 breast milk samples purchased through a milk-sharing website contained bacteria that could make a baby sick — including three batches that tested positive for salmonella.

Women who buy milk from these websites “don’t know who’s got hepatitis B and who’s HIV-positive and who’s got germs in their milk, and none of it’s pasteurized,” Landers said. The AAP is weighing a policy statement that would discourage mothers from participating in these online swapping sites.

The idea of breast milk banking is not a new one. Back in the early 1980s, a network of 30 milk banks stretched across the United States, with another 20 in Canada.

But the HIV/AIDS health crisis of the 1980s, along with a surge in hepatitis cases, led to the shuttering of nearly all the breast milk banks, Updegrove said. At the lowest point, only one breast milk bank — in San Jose, Calif. — remained open.

Breast milk banks began to reestablish themselves in North America as the value of human milk for struggling infants became more apparent and new protocols were established to ensure the safety of banked milk, she said.

These efforts were sent into overdrive by a 2012 policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting the use of donor milk for at-risk newborns.

Before that policy, the AAP had said that all premature babies should be fed their own mother’s milk.

But the new policy broadened that recommendation, saying that when mother’s milk is not available, then premature and low-birth-weight babies should be fed donated breast milk. “That was a big difference,” Landers said.
One of the nation’s newest nonprofit milk banks, the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank in Portland, Ore., has succeeded well beyond its expectations since it opened in July 2013.

Organizers had projected that they would screen 40 mothers to become milk donors by the end of 2013, executive director Lesley Mondeaux said. They ended up screening 122 donors in that time, and another 79 so far this year.

One of the milk bank’s donors, Dr. Emily Puterbaugh, volunteered because she’s a pediatrician who had seen the benefits of breast milk for struggling babies.

“I had an oversupply,” said Puterbaugh, 33, of Portland’s Multnomah Village area. “Realizing I was going to have more milk than I needed for my baby, the first thing I thought of was the milk bank. I figured some of this milk could be used for other babies in need.”

Source: web md