Your Kid’s Jaws, Teeth and Health..

Last evening’s program that I had the pleasure to chair at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco was truly eye-opening. Very brief summary: breastfeeding is more work for a baby than feeding from a bottle, so if at all possible nurse your baby as it strengthens his or her jaws which leads to aligned teeth, and a more open air passage—kids should never snore. When your baby starts to eat food, don’t have them suck it out of a package for ease. Again, make them work for it a little. When they start to eat real food sitting up at a table, have them chew well and take their time. There is so much more, but please do purchase and read the fascinating book and listen to the Podcast when it’s live—-link below.

Some basics on the program, the book authors and the book, Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic. (by the way, all proceeds go to charity)

Here is the link to the program. Check back end of the week as the podcast should be live by then. https://tinyurl.com/y9q87r59

JAWS: THE STORY OF A HIDDEN EPIDEMIC

There is a serious hidden epidemic just now being discovered by the public health community. It’s most obvious symptom is the growing frequency of children with crooked teeth wearing braces, but it includes children snoring, keeping their jaws hanging open, frequently afflicted with stuffy noses, children and adults with disturbed sleeping at night (sleep apnea) often unrecognized, attention and behavioral problems, and a general decline of physical appearance. Those symptoms indicate a building medical emergency that lies in the collection of serious diseases connected mouth breathing and disturbed sleep — a collection that includes heart disease, cancer, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, suicide, asthma and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease. Disturbed sleep is an extremely serious stressor of the human mind and body; among other things, it tends to depress the immune system, making an individual much more vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases, and modifications of the brain that are manifest in many ways only partially understood. Add to this the large contributions of sleep deprivation to highway accidents, medical mistakes and poor performance at work and in school, and it’s easy to see how important this unrecognized public health emergency is. Come learn what causes this problem and many solutions. ‘Forwardontics’ will be discussed with clear explanations.

Sandra Kahn, D.D.S., M.S.D., is a graduate from the University of Mexico and the University of the Pacific. She has 25 years of clinical experience in orthodontics and is part of craniofacial anomalies teams at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University.

Paul R. Ehrlich, Ph.D., has been a household name since the publication of his 1968 bestseller, The Population Bomb. He is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. Ehrlich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Crafoord Prize, the Blue Planet Prize, and numerous other international honors. He investigates a wide range of topics in population biology, ecology, evolution, human ecology, and environmental science.

Pine Ridge Reservation Kids

Some Native American Reservations are wealthy present day because they offer gaming and if they’re lucky they also have fertile land on which to grow crops. Others, like the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, have neither of the aforementioned.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on the reservation and to interview kids there as the basis for DirectionFive. I had been in Harlem and  in South Chicago–places that are familiar to most as areas of poverty and crime. Pine Ridge was worse and left me mentally and physically ill.

At this time of year, they’re preparing for a brutal winter and often parents need to decide between the electric bill and food.

If anyone could help, please do so. It’s a shameful part of our history, which you and I can’t change, but today we can try to make a difference. Please give what you can.

From the Friends of Pine Ride reservation website:

Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe with an estimated population of close to 40,000. The reservation is large, and its needs immense, commensurate with grinding poverty.

 

It’s Zucchini Pizza Season!

Zucchini everywhere! Try this delicious pizza recipe–it’s always a favorite!

Zucchini Pizza

Serves 6

4 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella, grated

2 eggs, beaten

 

1 pound ground turkey, optional

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1 teaspoon oregano, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon basil, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 ½-2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the grated zucchini, brown rice, jack cheese and the eggs. Press into a greased 15X11X1″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

In medium skillet, brown ground turkey with onion and herbs. Set aside.

Pour marinara over crust, sprinkle with turkey mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you have leftover pizza, try it for breakfast with a poached egg on top. Yum!

Recipe by:

Patty James www.pattyjames.com

Zucchini Pizza: A Kid Favorite

Still have baskets of zucchini? You’ll love this Zucchini Pizza recipe. It’s a kid favorite!

Zucchini Pizza
For a vegetarian version, simply leave out the ground turkey.
Serves 6

• 4 cups zucchini, grated
• 2 cups brown rice, cooked
• 1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella, grated
• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 pound ground turkey
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
• 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, washed and chopped
• 3 tablespoons fresh basil, washed and chopped
• 2 cups cheddar cheese or other cheese, grated

Combine the grated zucchini, brown rice, jack cheese and the eggs. Press into a greased 15X11X1″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

In medium skillet, brown ground turkey with onion and herbs. Set aside.

Pour marinara over crust, sprinkle with turkey mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition tip
Summer’s bountiful zucchini is high in manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A and dietary fiber.

Bone Health

Bone Health for Kids:

When I traveled the country interviewing kids, I was often asked to teach a class after I was finished the interviews. I was more than happy to of course! I chose bone health as the topic as it is a good segue into the dangers of soda and I found that kids correlated good health with strong bones. The below is really more of a checklist than an article.

Here are some basic facts about bone health for kids.  Use this checklist when teaching groups of kids or your own children. Involve them by asking the questions and waiting for the answers. It’s really fun!

How many bones in an adult human body?

206. There are more in a kid’s body, as some bones haven’t fused together.        More than half of our bones are in the hands and feet!

 Does a human or a giraffe have more bones in their neck?

They’re the same!

Peak ages for bone density and growth is 9-12 years of age.  By age 17, 90% of bone mass is established.

Think of bones like a bank account: You put in calcium until you reach the age of 18, then the bank is closed and you can only withdraw.  This is an important visual for the kids.

Sources of calcium:

Dark, leafy greens such as collard greens and kale, spinach, chard, bok choy.

Broccoli

Calcium-fortified orange juice

Tofu

Almonds

Some cereals

Sardines

Dairy: Yogurt, cheddar cheese, milk

White beans

Pinto beans

How much calcium do you need a day as kids? That depends on age. The below are the upper intake level.

Infants 0-6 months 1,000 mg/day

Infants 6-12 months 1,500 mg/day

Children 1-8 years 2,500 mg/day

Children 9-18 years 3,000 mg/day

Adults 19-50 years 2,500 mg/day

What else is good for bone health?

Exercise! Weight-bearing exercise is particularly good for bones. This can be from light weight lifting or by using their own weight for weight bearing exercise; such as you do with pushups.

Osteoporosis means porous bones. Ask the kids if they know what this word means. Explain that porous bones are weak bones. Go to Google and type in Osteoporosis, and then click on images. Scary stuff.

What is not good for bone health?

Phosphoric Acid, found in sodas. It interferes with calcium absorption.

Caffeine also interferes with calcium absorption.

Kids like this next one and I am always surprised at how many kids know the meaning of the word. Ask them, do you know what ‘Euphemism’ means? Definition: The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive. Here is a real life example of a euphemism; ‘Energy’ drinks.

‘Energy drinks’ only give you short-term energy while doing a lot of damage to your good health.

Kids want strong bones and once they know the facts; they are more likely to lessen their soda and caffeine intake and increase bone-health foods.

Have fun with this and report back with your successes and comments.

Note: The above is very basic. With future posts I’ll give more detailed information and will include facts about vitamin D and bone health, and many other factors to help develop strong bones and ways to keep bones strong.

 

Physical Fitness

If you’re teaching a class in the winter months and perhaps it’s pouring rain, you might do what we do. Make a nice pot of soup, and while it’s simmering, have the kids stand against the wall, and see who can last the longest. We’ve had many a laugh over this one!

What is physical exercise?

Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Most experts agree that there are five basic components of fitness:

1) Aerobic Exercise

The definition is the ability to do moderately strenuous activity over a period of time. It reflects how well your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen to your body during exertion and exercise.

2) Muscular Endurance

This is the ability to hold a particular position for a sustained period of time or to repeat a movement many times. This could be the capability to hold a push-up for five minutes, or to do fifty sit ups.

3) Muscular Strength

The ability to exert maximum force, such as lifting the heaviest weight you can move, one time. It is possible to have muscular strength in one area, say your arms, while lacking the strength in another area such as your legs. Please do not try to lift heavy weights without someone advising you!

4) Flexibility

This is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion showing the elasticity of the muscle. This is how limber you are.

5) Body Composition

The proportion of fat in your body compared to your bone and muscle.

The above five are the most recognized, but there are other components as well, below.

 

  • Speed – How fast a distance can be traveled, whether it is the whole body or just a part of the body like the hand.
  • Power – Is the strength and speed combined, as in a punch, a fist has no power without speed.
  • Reaction Time – Amount of time to initiate an action.
  • Agility – Ability to move under control.
  • Coordination – Ability to synchronize movement of different body parts.
  • Static Balance – Ability to balance while not in motion.
  • Dynamic Balance – Ability to balance while in motion.
  • Fun! If it’s fun for you, you’re more likely to make it part of your lifeMovementWalking, running, climbing the stairs, playing soccer and dancing are all good examples of being active.Moderate physical activities include:
    • Walking briskly (about 3 ½ miles per hour)
    • Hiking
    • Gardening/yard work
    • Dancing
    • Golf while walking and carrying clubs. Do kids golf?
    • Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)
    • Light weight training

    Vigorous physical activities include:

    • Running/jogging (5 miles per hour)
    • Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
    • Swimming (freestyle laps)
    • Aerobics
    • Walking very fast (4 ½ miles per hour)
    • Heavy yard work, (yeah, right)
    • Weight lifting (vigorous effort)
    • Basketball (competitive)

    Some physical activities are not intense enough to help you meet the recommendations and do not count toward your total exercise. These activities can include grocery shopping and light housework, something kids don’t often do anyway!

Life on a Farm

Life on a Farm is part of DirectionThree: how our Earth’s health affects our health and vice versa.

Kids love this Life on a Farm lesson. If we teach this in the morning, we might make a veggie scramble with farm fresh eggs. If this is part of a farm tour that’s even better; purchase some goods from the farm and have a no recipe- recipe when you return to class.

Life on a Farm: Then and Now

In the 1930’s, a family farm raised several kinds of animals, selling some and butchering a few to feed their family. Other animals were a source of income and food. Cows provided milk and meat, while chickens provided eggs and meat.

Horses and mules were used to plow, plant and harvest the crops. Tractors were beginning to replace horses, but even by 1940 only 23 percent of the nation’s farmers had tractors. As more farmers traded their horses for tractors, they planted their rows of corn and other crops closer together. Instead of rows that were wide enough for a horse to walk through (42 inches), the rows were 30 inches apart. Production increased.

In 1900, almost all farms – 98 percent – had chickens, 82 percent grew corn for grain, 80 percent had at least one milk cow, and pigs. Most of the farms were diversified, growing multiple crops and raising various animals.

By 1992, only 4 percent of farms reported having chickens, 8 percent had milk cows, 10 percent had pigs and only 25 percent were growing corn.

Grasshoppers were picked by hand in the fall. Farmers used manure from farm animals, gypsum, ground animal bones and crop residue to fertilize their fields.

Today, more than 98 percent of the U.S. farmland planted in corn is chemically fertilized.

Pesticide residues from industrial agriculture enter our bodies through food, water, and air, and they raise risks for certain cancers as well as reproductive and endocrine system disorders

1 billion pounds of pesticides are used per year in the U.S.

35 percent of food is contaminated with pesticides

5 billion pounds of pesticides are used per year worldwide

Federal agricultural programs launched during the 1930s changed how and what farmers planted by paying them to plant certain crops or paying them not to produce a crop at all and allow the land to rest or lie fallow. Farmers who signed up for federal programs agreed to limit the number of acres planted with corn and wheat which depleted the soil, and increased the number of acres with legumes and grasses which helped renew the soil.

Farmers began rotating their crops on a regular basis in the 1930s, but the practice lost popularity as farms got larger and specialized equipment became more expensive and needed to be kept in use. Farmers now concentrate on growing just one crop such as corn, soybeans, or wheat.

In the 1940’s, America entered World War II. More and more farm workers left for the cities or serve in the military, and a tractor became the only way to get things done on the farm. The beginning of the war coincided with the end of the 1930s drought, but farmers remembered the dry years and irrigation systems were built.

There was greater demand for farm products; American farmers were feeding the world. The war effort produced new technologies that revolutionized agriculture and effected urban and rural life. New technology created a dramatic increase in productivity as farmers could do much more work in fewer hours.

  • Post-WWII fertilizer production has increased yields, but also nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.
  • High resource use (soil, water, energy, etc.)
  • Environmental consequences and changes include land and water degradation, pollution by fertilizers and pesticides and soil loss.
  • Artificially inexpensive fuel and water
  • Agricultural subsidies (the farm bill)
  • USDA has dueling roles:  To promote U.S. agricultural products and to offer nutrition education.
  • Threatened biodiversity

One of the continuing themes of American agriculture in the 20th century was a decline in the number of farms, farmers and rural residents coupled with an increase in farm size and specialization.

In the 1950’s to the 1970’s the number of farm declined by half before leveling off. More farms were consolidated or sold during this period than in any other period in our history. The number of people on farms dropped from over 20 million in 1950 to less than 10 million in 1970. The average size of farms went from around 205 acres in 1950 to almost 400 acres in 1969.

  • ·      In 1900, 41 percent of workforce employed in agriculture
  • ·      In 1930, 21.5 percent of workforce employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 7.7 percent
  • ·      In 1945, 16 percent of the total labor force employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 6.8 percent
  • In 1970, 4 percent of employed labor force worked in agricultureSource: Compiled by Economic Research Service, USDA. Share of workforce employed in agriculture, for 1900-1970, Historical Statistics of the United States; for 2000, calculated using data from Census of Population; agricultural GDP as part of total GDP, calculated using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Land in farms peaked in 1950 at 1.2 billion acres. Today, land in farms has dropped to around 0.95 billion acres. Most of the lost farmland was converted to suburban and urban sprawl. However, land that is devoted to actually raising crops has remained relatively constant. In other words, as some farmland is taken out of production, farmers convert other land from pasture or lands once considered marginal for crops into cropland by installing irrigation systems, and applying fertilizers and pesticides.