What About Those Other Foods?

foodsa

 Many of us are good at reading the nutritional labels on the foods we buy, but what about the other labels that some foods carry. What about labels such as “fat-free,” “reduced calorie,” or “light.”

Here are some definitions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health that might be helpful:

Calorie terms:

  • Low-calorie – 40 calories or less per serving
  • Reduced-calorie – at least 25 percent fewer calories per serving when compared with a similar food
  • Light or lite – one-third fewer calories; if more than half the calories are from fat, fat content must be reduced by 50 percent or more

Sugar terms:

  • Sugar-free – less than 1/2 gram sugar per serving
  • Reduced sugar – at least 25 percent less sugar per serving when compared with a similar food

Fat terms:

  • Fat-free or 100 percent fat free – less than 1/2 gram fat per serving
  • Low-fat – 3 grams or less per serving
  • Reduced-fat – at least 25 percent less fat when compared with a similar food

Remember that fat-free doesn’t mean calorie free. People tend to think they can eat as much as they want of fat-free foods. Even if you cut fat from your diet but consume more calories than you use, you will gain weight.

Also, fat-free or low-fat foods may contain high amounts of added sugars or sodium to make up for the loss of flavor when fat is removed. You need to check the food labels carefully. For example, a fat-free muffin may be just as high in calories as a regular muffin. So, remember, it is important to read your food labels and compare products.

Finding the nutrient content of foods that don’t have food labels:

When you get a pound of salmon in the meat department of your grocery store, it doesn’t come with a Nutrition Facts label. The same goes for the fresh apples or eggplants that you get in the produce department.

How do you find out the nutrient content of these foods that don’t have food labels?

You can use the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database. This is a bit harder than using the Nutrition Facts label. But by comparing different foods you can get an idea if a food is high or low in saturated fat, sodium, and other nutrients. To compare lots of different foods at one time, check out the USDA’s Nutrient Lists.

Pocket

Family Friendly Cruises Launches on “Can Do” Street

image of young family enjoying what cruises have to offer

I am pleased to share that we launched  our latest family resource, “Can Do” Street Family Friendly Cruises!  Our new site shares information on what cruising offers every member of the family, from the toddler to its senior members including children and adults with special needs, whatever their ages.

Each week, I will publish a post about a new aspect of cruising  in my blog, Cruises…Resorts at Sea, located on the “Can Do” Street Family Friendly Cruises web site. 

To make “Can Do” Street Family Friendly Cruises a reality, I became a Cruise Planners Franchisee. Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Representative. As a Travel Agent I will draw on what I have learned from the 40+ cruises I have taken over the past 25 years, and my 30 + years as an educator and a recreation therapist designing and running programs for preschoolers through senior citizens.

My cruise planning and booking services will be offered, by telephone, at no cost to you.

The Family Friendly Cruises Site Keeps You Current About:

  • All major cruise ships sailing from ports world-wide to destinations all over the world and river cruises.
  • Weekly cruise value packages that make cruising an affordable vacation for families, focusing on cruise ships that offer 2 kids sale free or sail at a reduced rate..
  • Group rates that enable extended family members and friends to sail together for a reduced rate.
  • What you need to know about before deciding to take a cruise, including information about youth programs, meals, laundry, priority boarding, insurance, medical care, accessibility and other special needs accommodations on shipboard, and in ports of call. Knowing if a ship has the  amenities you want and need will insure a comfortable and enjoyable trip for every member of your family.
seniors enjoying cruises
senior couple on cruiseship

What Makes Cruises Family Friendly?

  • Cruising is a cost-effective vacation: A cruise is often more cost-effective than a land resort vacation because most cruise costs are included in the per person rate for the cruise, including:
  • Sea activities: Throughout the trip, all activities during the day and in the evening are free with the exception of the game arcade, casino, and spa services. For more on shipboard activities, see the Cruise Critic article, A First Timer’s Guide to Onboard Activities.
  • Youth programs: All youth programs are complimentary. Program participation is on a first come, first served basis. Children are grouped by age. Staff are professionals experienced in providing recreational activities and supervising children and teens. There are children’s programs and programs for teens. Programs begin at 9 AM, break for lunch with family, begin again in the early afternoon and go until 5 PM. Evening programs begin at 7 PM and close at 10:30 PM. During land excursion days, children can remain in the youth programs. There is a small fee for staff supervision of  children remaining in program during meal times. To view a sample of a youth program,  Read About the Splash Program.
  • 2 Kids Sail Free is offered on several cruise ships making for an affordable family vacation. Other cruise ships offer reduced rates for children. Ages vary by cruise line from 17 years and under to 12 years and under.  Other cost saving promotions include on board credits that cover specialty dining packages for 2, beverage packages for 2, Internet access discounts, and shore excursion credits. Special group packages not only reduce the cost of a cruise, but also provide additional amenities not offered with regular cruise packages.
  • Laundry: Cruise ships either have self-service laundries on most floors, or they offer discounts for laundry services. You put the laundry out after dinner and it is delivered to your cabin, usually the next evening. If laundry service is an issue for you, before you book a cruise, check with the cruise line to determine if they have self service, a fee-based laundry service or both.
  • Dining: Cruise ships offer several complimentary restaurants, including 2+ traditional dining rooms with waiter service; a less formal buffet dining experience features a variety of ethnic foods and  a few eateries feature pub foods or desserts. Another option is the Specialty Dining offerings that carry a charge, such as a steakhouse, dinner theater, French, Japanese or Italian restaurants. The charge connected with eating in these restaurants is less that what the same meal would cost at a land restaurant.
  • Medical Care: Cruise ships have on board medical services that are open for several hours a day, and a medical staff on call round the clock.

Please visit “Can Do” Street Family Friendly Cruises.  If you have questions about how cruises can be a fit for your interests and budget, just call me at 800-388-8781. 

Pocket

Stuttering

child stutteringAccording to the Stuttering Foundation  more than 68 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population.

In the United States, that’s over 3 million Americans who stutter.  Four times as many males as females have a problem with stuttering.

Most people who saw The King’s Speech were touched by the life-long impact that stuttering had on King George the 6th of Britain.This movie continues to create a renewed public interest in the causes and latest treatments for stuttering.

The Stuttering Foundation describes stuttering as “A communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering.”

Contrary to the commonly held belief that stuttering is caused by trauma, or emotional problems,  the Stuttering Foundation identifies four causes for stuttering. They are: genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology (recent neurological research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics (high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering). Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors come together and may have different causes in different people. It is probable that what causes stuttering differs from what makes it continue or get worse.

About 5 percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more. Three-quarters of whom will recover by late childhood, leaving about 1% with a long-term problem. The best prevention tool is early intervention.

We all know that stuttering can cause a child to become self-conscious about speaking. It can also make him or her the brunt of jokes and ridicule from insensitive children in school or when out playing.  It is best to seek ways to  help as soon as possible.    If the stuttering persists beyond three to six months or is particularly severe, it may be time to seek help from a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering . (check out speech-language pathologists for listings by state or country.)

There are a variety of successful approaches for treating both children and adults (check out Why Speech Therapy? for some guidelines).

While there are no instant miracle cures for stuttering, a specialist in stuttering can help not only children but also teenagers, young adults, and even older adults improve their speech.

Pocket

Writing with Wendy Introduces Young Children to Basic Writing Skills

writingWriting with Wendy is an early childhood writing skills development resource.

Writing with Wendy offers parents and other family members, as well as teachers, suggestions and exercises for helping children 3-7 years develop pre-writing and writing skills that will make writing a comfortable activity, to be enjoyed, not avoided. Writing with Wendy is all about engaging children in writing activities and creating a foundation that children can build on when the need to write for school and for personal use.

Writing with Wendy is built on the premise that writing begins with storytelling. If you can tell a story, you can write a story. Since parents are the first story tellers, mostly through reading to their children, they have much to share with their children about storytelling and eventually writing.

The suggestions offered in Writing with Wendy give parents and other caregivers simple activities to do with their child(ren) that stimulate  storytelling skills. The activities focus on developing a child’s observational and descriptive skills both of which are important to good storytelling and writing.  Most of the activities give children opportunities for recognition and make them comfortable with sharing their storytelling and writing with others.

While there is a message for parents and teachers about the site and how to use it, there is also a message from Wendy for children visiting the site with their parents. Wendy is the “Can Do” Kid who likes to write. To her writing is fun. In her message she talks to the children visiting the site about writing and why it is important.

The site is divided into four sections:  Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. Each section includes suggestions for helping children develop storytelling skills and using  those skills for writing  stories. There are 3 activities in each section to jump start the process. Each week a new activity will be added to each section.

The 1st and 2nd grade sections also include an overview of what writing skills children will be expected to develop and use successfully in these early grades.

As Wendy puts it, “Just think of writing as storytelling on a page. 

To Access Writing with Wendy go to http://candostreet.com/writing_with_wendy/

Wendy says, “Writing can be fun”!

Pocket

Why Do We get Summer Colds, and What Can We Do About Them?

Summer colds are so annoying! What causes them? How do we treat summer colds? Can Summer colds be prevented?

Summer colds cause sniffles

The National Institutes of Health sheds light on summer colds, what causes them and what, if anything, can be done about them.

Most everyone looks forward to summer—time to get away, get outside and have some fun. So what could be more unfair than catching a cold when it’s warm? How can cold symptoms arise when it’s not cold and flu season? Is there any way to dodge the summer sniffles?

Causes of Colds

Colds can be caused by more than 200 different viruses. Each can bring the sneezing, scratchy throat and runny nose that can be the first signs of a cold. The colds we catch in winter are usually triggered by the most common viral infections in humans, a group of germs called rhinoviruses. Rhinoviruses and a few other cold-causing viruses seem to survive best in cooler weather. Their numbers surge in September and begin to dwindle in May.

During summer months, the viral landscape begins to shift. “Generally speaking, summer and winter colds are caused by different viruses,” says Dr. Michael Pichichero, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute in New York. “When you talk about summer colds, you’re probably talking about a non-polio enterovirus infection.”

Enteroviruses can infect the tissues in your nose and throat, eyes, digestive system and elsewhere. A few enteroviruses can cause polio, but vaccines have mostly eliminated these viruses from Western countries. Far more widespread are more than 60 types of non-polio enteroviruses. They’re the second most common type of virus—after rhinovirus—that infects humans. About half of people with enterovirus infections don’t get sick at all. But nationwide, enteroviruses cause an estimated 10 million to 15 million illnesses each year, usually between June and October.

Enteroviruses can cause a fever that comes on suddenly. Body temperatures may range from 101 to 104 °F. Enteroviruses can also cause mild respiratory symptoms, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and gastrointestinal issues like nausea or vomiting.

“All age groups can be affected, but like most viral infections, enterovirus infections predominate in childhood,” says Pichichero. Adults may be protected from enterovirus infections if they’ve developed antibodies from previous exposures. But adults can still get sick if they encounter a new type of enterovirus.

Less common enteroviruses can cause other symptoms. Some can lead to conjunctivitis, or pinkeye—a swelling of the outer layer of the eye and eyelid. Others can cause an illness with rash. In rare cases, enteroviruses can affect the heart or brain.

How to Prevent Summer Colds

To prevent enterovirus infections, says Pichichero, “it’s all about blocking viral transmission.” The viruses travel in respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus, or in the stool of an infected person. You can become infected by direct contact. Or you might pick up the virus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, such as a telephone, doorknob or baby’s diaper. “Frequent hand washing and avoiding exposure to people who are sick with fever can help prevent the spread of infection,” says Pichichero.

Summer colds caused, by the enteroviruses, usually don’t need treatment. These colds clear up in few days or even a week. 

Share

Pocket