Does your child ever get mad?
Do they seem afraid of something for no good reason to you? Do they throw tantrums, or negotiate with you until you give in? Some children do not have the vocabulary or understanding of how to express their feelings appropriately. As a parent or caregiver, know how you are feeling first. Behavior is a form of communication, so be in tune to the signs, like a detective, and learn to help them understand their emotions and prevent negative behaviors before they strike.
- Food changes everything! Current research indicates that every cell in our bodies serves in our overall emotional regulation, and that the brain acts as a central organizer of this information. Our brains communicate directly with all of our muscles, internal organs, skin, bones, blood and lymph fluid. Because nutrition affects every cell in our body – it affects our brain. Our brain uses energy to manage all of this organization.
- A child may have a poor self-awareness of emotions. Help them learn what emotions look and feel like. Make facial expressions and describe them. Share experiences of when you felt sad or excited, etc. (watching a game is exciting) (taking a bath is calming) (movies can be scary)
- Allow them to identify when they feel a certain way. Let them say how they feel or ask them, “are you excited, scared, nervous, sad, tired, happy, cranky, shy, sleepy, sick”?. It is more important for them to identify how they feel than you telling them what you perceive. They need to recognize how they feel more than what others think. Practice playing with emotional words at different times of the day.
- Explain the fight for flight response. Help them understand it is an innate and automatic physical reaction that is activated in response to what they perceive as a threat or danger. We either want to run and hide and avoid a situation or fight to survive. They need to understand what a “real” threat is and that it is not happing “here and now”. This is important to control initiation of an over reaction. This distorted perception leads to over-reaction and escalation of negative behaviors.
- Anger and negative emotions are secondary to: hurt feelings, frustration, and/or feeling unsafe. So ask them how they feel and pay attention to what happened prior to their reaction. If they are feeling hurt, frustrated or unsafe, most likely it will cause a behavioral reaction. Talk about it.
- Try role playing, nicely. It can be a lot of fun, which leads to a great learning experience for everyone.
- Give your child an opportunity to collaborate. Allow them to come up with ideas with you on what to do to help them feel better. This is a powerful force. Give them a choice of two things you need them to do and let them decide which one they will do. When it is there idea, they are more likely to conform.
- Validate feelings. Always let them know it is ok how they feel and you’ll work through it together.
- Make a chart of feelings and behaviors. I use a variety of tools including activities to Integrate the Brain, the Alert Program and the Stop, Think, Choose method. See me for details.
- Do they seem sad or depressed? These feelings can suggest anger turned inside. Feelings of overwhelm can often lead a child to a shut-down mode and avoidance.
- Be safe. Some behaviors are just not acceptable, like kicking, hitting, spitting or using bad words.
- Consistency is Key. Say what you mean and mean what you say, so there is no confusion. Consistent action over time makes the biggest change.
Healthy Family Fun, by Celeste McAteer, CHHC & COTA
Looking for something yummy, cooling and fun to do?
I’d like to share this wonderful recipe and activitiy I discovered years ago. You can make it as the original recipe states or try my twist on an old treat. Easy and entertaining.
Years ago while on vacation with my family, I came across a recipe for Rock 'n Roll Ice Cream. It looked delicious and fun to do. I copied the recipe to take home with me and decided to make it someday. We made it together as a family and loved it. We decided to make it again during a family party too. However, the second time around we had a little mishap. So I have the directions for the original recipe, some tips to avoid problems and alternatives for the health conscious person.
You’ll need: Friends, family, and about 20 minutes.
1 large coffee can (2lb 7oz)
1 small coffee can (1lb)
1 pint half & half (or organic half & half)
½ cup sugar (1/2 cup agave or ½ cup honey)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup rock salt
6-7 cups crushed ice
Make sure the cans are clean
In the small can, mix the half & half, sugar and vanilla. Cover tightly and for security place a few strong rubberbands around the lid and bottom of the can to avoid the lid from opening
Place the small can inside the big can. Add the crushed ice around and on top of the small can. Sprinkle the rock salt onto the ice. Secure the lid on the big can.
Here’s the fun part! Roll the can back and forth for 15 min or so. Be creative, do it outside on the driveway, on a large table (be careful not to drop it), or on the lawn! This is a great partner pass game and everyone can take turns. Do it to music, count the # of rolls, guess how long it will take and have fun with it.
Check to see how firm it is. Take the small can out to avoid getting the salt inside. Scape the sides of the can, stir the cream. If it needs to be firmer, put everthing back together and roll some more.
You can add your favorite flavors inside the cream before you roll or add themas toppings. What’s your pleasures? Cherries and almonds, peanuts and raisins, pistachio, chocolate chips, mint, dates and cashews, rasberries, peaches, etc. The list is endless when you use your imagination. Enjoy!
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves are changing, apples are in season, and we get to break out the pea coats and scarves! However, with this fantastic season comes the not so fantastic and very dramatic weather change. In the Pacific Northwest where I live, that means shorter days, a lot less sunshine, and days upon days of rainy weather!
The clocks are rolling back this weekend, so instead of throwing in the towel and hibernating for winter, I will be using these simple tricks to beat the cold weather blues and start looking on the bright side. They could help you do the same!
Invest in good lighting
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. There’s something so cathartic about being in the kitchen simmering, sautéing, and pureeing and then sharing your meal with loved ones. However, life doesn’t always allow for the time it takes to create a great meal. With so little free time at home lately, I’ve found myself eating out more as a way to be social or looking for a quick bite on the way to my next activity.
Beyond the halal stands and Sabrett’s hot dog carts of NYC, there are a lot of healthy options. Sometimes it’s hard to bypass the charming bakeries without making a pit stop, but more often than not, I choose to keep walking in search of a healthier choice. Not only are there plenty of healthy options, but they’re also delicious. Whether you’re looking for a dinner out or quick meal on-the-go, here are some of NYC’s best healthy offerings.
For months I’d been praying for a book that would keep me up at night. You know what I mean: the kind of book you just can’t bear to put down. One afternoon I opened my mailbox to find a package—it was an advance copy of my dear friend Nick Ortner’s new book, The Tapping Solution. For several years Nick has led a tapping revolution. Tapping, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional health. By tapping on specific energy meridians on your body, you can unblock ancient fears, limiting beliefs and negative patterns. When stimulated, your body’s energy meridians can trigger the amygdala (a.k.a. the “fight or flight” part of brain) and signal it to calm down. When the amygdala gets the memo that it’s safe to relax, stress is immediately reduced. I’ve found tapping to be one of the best ways to bust through blocks in an instant.
No other topic is more highly debated in the nutrition world than dairy. Some say it should be avoided at all costs, while others encourage the regular consumption of full fat dairy. So what should you do? Eliminate dairy from your diet? Choose only low-fat dairy options, or stick with the full fat dairy options?
If you’re following the dietary recommendations of the FDA, it’s simple. Dairy should be a big part of your diet – almost 1/5, in fact, according to My Plate. However, they recommend limiting your dairy intake to low-fat options like 1% milk and reduced fat cheese to discourage the consumption of saturated fat and excess calories.
Yet many health conscious people question the FDA’s approach to dairy, and two major oppositions began to form: those who believe that dairy is for calves and calves alone, and those that believe that full-fat, or even better, raw dairy, should be consumed regularly.
If you’re a health-conscious mama, then Halloween probably makes you nervous. It’s not like you want to deprive your children of the joy of this sweet and spooky holiday, but you want to protect them from overindulging in processed sugar, mysterious additives, and carcinogenic food coloring!
If only this special day was centered around eating copious amounts of vegetables and drinking green juice, you’d be all about it, but sadly, it is not.
So before you lock up your children and turn them into social outcasts (not to mention create a negative association with cravings), give these ideas a try first:
Establish healthy habits early
Many years ago a childhood friend of mine, due to a gambling addiction, got into a difficult situation involving some very significant debts. One day he shared with me that the organized crime group involved had threatened to break every bone in his body or worse if he did not pay up. He said when he told them he had no funds available and asked if he could repay the debt in some other way he was told that if he married the crime lord’s daughter they would let him off.
He said the offer was made because she was an ugly witch you could smell a mile away. The problem was that, unbeknownst to the underworld characters involved, my friend was already married. He said he felt there was no hope for him and his addiction would cost him his life. At this point I volunteered to marry the witch and save him. He argued but I persisted and to make a long story short the marriage was arranged and a few weeks later the witch and I were wed at a big blast in a well known New York Hotel.
Did you carve a jack-o’-lantern this weekend? If you did, then chances are you have a handful or two of fresh pumpkin seeds sitting on your kitchen counter. Instead of throwing them away, roast them for a Halloween treat that is just as healthy as it is delicious.
Pumpkins seeds are a terrific source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They are very high in magnesium and zinc, which will help to keep your digestion tract functioning well and improve your skin, hair and nails. Zinc is also linked to improved sleep patterns and immune system health – perfect for this time of year!
The best part about this healthy snack is that even your kids will love them. After they helped you scoop out the seeds and carve the pumpkin, eating the roasted seeds is a fun reward for all of their hard work!
Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cups fresh, raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
In our society, being a workaholic seems to almost be encouraged. So many people log hours and hours at the office, neglecting their personal lives for the betterment of their careers and company.
Getting out of the office once and a while to focus on your personal life could do wonders for your mental and physical health. If any of these signs sound like you, then you may be in need of a work intervention!
1. You are the first to come in, the last to leave, and you never take a lunch break.
If you are always turning on the office lights in the morning, and shutting them off at night, chances are you are working a bit too much – certainly more than anyone else at your office! If you are a morning person, then come into the office early, but try to leave on time and vice versa if you work better in the evening. As for lunch, take your coworkers up on their office to join them in the cafeteria a few times a week.
2. You are glued to your cell phone 24/7.
If there is one thing I love, it’s a good snack – a little pick-me-up to satisfy my hunger and my taste buds, as well as my nutritional needs. For me, the ultimate snack is trail mix.
Traditionally found in the backpacks of hikers on epic adventures, trail mix is always stashed in my purse, desk drawer, and kitchen cabinets. Why? Because this easy and versatile snack offers the perfect blend of energy and nutrients to get me through the day!
Although there are no rules when it comes to trail mix, a good mix usually begins with nuts and seeds which provide healthy fats and protein. You can then add ingredients such as dried fruits, superfoods, granola, and sometimes even a little chocolate to deliver additional antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients.
These days there are tons of tempting trail mixes on the market, but I’ve found that it’s actually more fun and cost-efficient to create my own. Check out a few of my favorite mixes that cover all dietary needs and personal preferences.
Classic minded? Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried dates, dried apple, and raisins.
Gluten-free? Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, and dried cranberries.