When picky eating is more than just a phase

8 13 15 picky eaterAug. 11, 2015—Picky eating may often just be a temporary phase for kids, but according to new research, some children just don’t seem to change their eating habits.

The findings suggest that kids who have what’s called selective eating might need a little more than coaching from their parents to help overcome dining difficulties. The behaviors may also be a warning sign of mental health problems, and that means parents at a loss might need to see a doctor for more help.

About the study

Over the course of about 4 years, researchers studied children age 2 to 5 years old to assess their eating habits and mental health.

Overall, about 20 percent of the kids were selective eaters. Most, nearly 18 percent, had moderate symptoms—meaning that they only ate foods that they preferred. About 3 percent had severe symptoms—meaning that they were on such self-restricted diets that they couldn’t easily eat with others.

Researchers said many kids with moderate or severe selective eating were very sensitive to food, including the way it looked, smelled, felt or moved.

And while parents may try to shift the pattern, they aren’t always successful. Parents of kids with moderate or severe selective eating had a 3- to 5-fold greater likelihood of fighting with their children about eating, when compared to parents of kids with no selective eating.

The problem with pickiness

Researchers suggested that some kids’ intense sensations to food taste and texture might make it difficult for them to balance emotions at mealtimes.

Selective eaters had more symptoms of depression and anxiety when compared to non selective eaters. That means that picky eating may be an important subject for parents to talk to a doctor about—the behavior could be an early warning sign of mental health problems.

The researchers said that these findings suggest that picky eating and even selective eating might be outdated terms. Instead, children with moderate to severe selective eating may have avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

This diagnosis could be useful for screening kids at risk for anxiety and providing early intervention, researchers said.

For more details, read the study in Pediatrics.

The take-home message
While a percentage of kids have severely restricted diets that parents find hard to budge, there are plenty of picky kids out there that could eat a more balanced, varied diet with a little help from parents.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that parents:

  • Assess stress. Mealtime battles can make kids too uncomfortable or upset to eat. Try to make the table a place for fun and happiness.
  • Encourage experimentation. Provide plenty of choices, and ask your child to eat at least 1 bite of everything offered.
  • Model good behavior. Serve the same foods to everyone at the table, and make sure the adults eat at least a bite of everything offered.
  • Cook with kids. Let kids pick out fruits and vegetables at the store, and ask them to help prepare the meals.

And if all of these steps don’t help and your child seems unable or unwilling to shift food preferences, speak with your doctor.


Johnson Orchards and Yakima artists to raise funds for Children’s Village

On Saturday, August 29th local artists will set up shop among the trees at Johnson Orchards to raise money for Children’s Village.

All donations and 20% of sales go to support programs and services for children with special healthcare needs in our community.

Buy some art and support Children’s Village!

When: Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10am – 4pm

Where: Johnson Orchards, 4906 Summitview Avenue

For more information please contact Mary Lynne Brewington at 509-574-3257 or email at marylynnebrewington@yvmh.org or artintheorchardyakima@gmail.com

142576 Art in the Orchard Poster 2015


10 things you should know about vaccines

8 11 15 vaccinesAug. 10, 2015—August is National Immunization Awareness Month—so it’s a good time to prepare for the return of school and flu season. Learn about what vaccines can do for you with these 10 facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization and other experts.

1. Vaccines can save your life

They are safe and effective ways to protect against infectious disease. Many of these diseases are serious, and some can be deadly.

2. Vaccines are not just for kids

All adults should get a flu vaccine every year and a Td booster shot for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years, according to CDC.

Adults age 60 or older should get a zoster vaccine to protect against shingles. And everyone older than 65 should get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against some infections of the lungs and bloodstream.

There are other recommended vaccines for adults as well. Talk to a doctor about what vaccines are right for you.

3. Moms-to-be should get vaccinated

A woman should get a dose of Tdap during each of her pregnancies. The ideal time is between 27 and 36 weeks, CDC says. This vaccine protects both mom and newborn against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria.

4. Vaccines do not cause autism

The 1998 study that suggested a link was later retracted because of serious flaws. Since then, multiple scientific studies have not shown any association between vaccines and autistic disorders.

5. A flu shot can help you every year

All kids and adults age 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine every year when it becomes available. The flu virus mutates quickly, so it’s important to update your immunity each year.

6. Getting all doses in a vaccine series counts

By the age of 2, vaccines can protect kids from 14 diseases. But these vaccines work best when kids get every dose on schedule. Find out when to get these vaccines all the way up to age 6 with this infographic.

7. The HPV vaccine is for boys and girls

The HPV vaccine can protect against dangerous strains of human papillomavirus that cause cancer and genital warts. It is most effective when given before a person becomes sexually active—and has enough time to develop a good immune response—so it’s recommended for boys and girls at 11 or 12 years of age.

8. Pre-college vaccines are important for students

Even healthy college students can get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases like meningitis. Diseases can spread easily in dormitories and school facilities, so get teens vaccinated before move-in day.

9. Vacation may require vaccination

If you plan to travel internationally, you might need additional vaccines, depending on your destination. Check out CDC’s travel page for more details.

10. The MMR vaccine is very effective

More than 95 percent of people who receive the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine become immune to all 3 diseases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In the 20th century, an average of over 500,000 people in the U.S. got measles annually. In 2010, there were only 63 cases. This was all thanks to vaccination.

And that’s not all. For even more ways that vaccines can protect you and your family’s health, visit our Vaccines topic center.


Power of a simple thank you

8 10 15 Outdoor Cineman Night CollageThe power of a simple thank you
By Lisa Hagreen, Staff Development Specialist at Memorial

Have you ever experienced so much gratitude that it humbled you?

On Sunday, August 9th, Memorial partnered with Yakima Parks and Recreation to sponsor Outdoor Cinema Night at Chesterley Park. Memorial utilized this opportunity to offer Memorial Family of Services employees a fun time with their family while promoting health and wellness in our community.

I had the opportunity to feel gratitude from so many people and felt humbled by the sheer joy of giving!

Memorial gave away bike helmets and popcorn, while Sage Fruit provided apples and fun toys, Nerf balls and Frisbees! The look on the kids and adults faces when we told them the items were free was incredible and was accompanied by heartfelt ” thank yous.” My gratitude meter hit a new high!

I was talking with one of the participants about how I was feeling and they said, “The people providing often receive more joy by giving then they do from receiving…”

Try it out – the next time you provide something to someone and they say thank you, let yourself feel the joy of gratitude!

Our Vision: Creating healthy communities one person at a time

Sugary drinks up diabetes risk regardless of weight

8 10 15 sugary drinkAug. 8, 2015—Whether you’re overweight or not, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages—such as sodas and fruit-flavored drinks—may increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The findings, from a study published in the BMJ, suggest that drinking just about a cup of these liquids each day may be dangerous to your health. About half of America indulges in sugar-sweetened beverages, and the study suggests it’s time for a lot of us to start rethinking what we drink.

About the study

Researchers combed through medical databases and found 17 studies that looked at consumption of sweetened drinks and fruit juices, type 2 diabetes and weight. They also used national health surveys that included adults who did not have diabetes at the start of the survey.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as any beverage with added sugar, including sodas and sugar-sweetened fruit juices. Habitual consumption was considered to be having at least one 250-milliliter serving—or about 8.5 ounces—a day.

The analysis found that habitually drinking beverages sweetened with sugar was associated with a higher likelihood of type 2 diabetes. The risk was greater when combined with obesity.

But daily consumption was dangerous for people of normal weight too. Drinking a daily serving increased the risk for diabetes by 18 percent for people who were classified as obese. For non-obese people, the increased risk was 13 percent.

The researchers estimated that, over a 10-year period in the U.S., 11 percent of type 2 diabetes cases could be attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages alone. However, the findings are based on observational studies, which can suggest an association but not point to a direct cause-and-effect relationship between these beverages and type 2 diabetes.

The study was not able to establish a reliable relationship between 100-percent fruit juice or artificially sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes. But the evidence suggested that neither drink was unlikely to be a healthy alternative to sodas and fruit drinks—at least not where diabetes is concerned.
The take-home message

It’s probably a good idea to reduce your consumption of sweet drinks, especially those with added sugars. But how can you do that?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts offer these tips:

Head for the H2O. Water is always a good option for quenching thirst and staying hydrated. It’s inexpensive and has no calories. And it’s easy to flavor with a slice of lemon or lime. And seltzer can give you that bubbly feeling if you’re switching from soda.

Make it milk. Milk has nutrients your body needs—like calcium and potassium. And instead of containing added sugar, it’s fortified with vitamin D. Nonfat and low-fat milk are the healthiest options and have fewer calories than whole milk.

Try unsweetened herbal tea . Steep your own favorite and chill for a flavorful sipper without any caffeine or added sugar.

Why Organic?

8 6 15 organicWhy Organic?
Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO at North Star Lodge

A recent meta-analysis of the benefits of organic produce has just been published in a reputable nutrition journal. Are you wondering what a meta-analysis is? A meta-analysis is when researchers evaluate many studies that are looking into the same topic to determine if a conclusion can be reached. Or as Wikipedia states, it is “conducting research about previous research.”

Some of the conclusions reached after this meta-analysis include:

  • Organic plants produce more antioxidants

Without synthetic pesticides to fight their battles, organic plants tend to produce more antioxidants because they help the plant defend itself against pests and other injuries. And most of us know antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you choose organic fruits, vegetables, and cereals, you will consume 20-40% more antioxidants each day, or the equivalent of 2 extra portions of fruits/veggies each day. So that helps deflate some of the extra cost argument against choosing organic.

  • Organic plants have 10 to 100 times fewer pesticide residues

Of course this makes sense, but many times you hear that the levels in conventional crops are so low that you don’t need to be concerned. However, this research concluded that conventional crops had approximately two times as much cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, than organic crops. This is just one example of the undesirable components found in some non-organic crops.

Use the “Dirty Dozen” list to decide what organic produce to buy. Click here to get an app for your phone so you have this information with you while shopping.

Buy organic:

  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce
  • celery

All the produce on “The Clean 15” have very little pesticide residue, and are safe to consume in non-organic form. Most have protection because of their outer layers. This list includes:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

These lists were compiled after the USDA washed the produce with high-power pressure washers, not something we all have in our kitchens! Of course you still need to wash your produce, but it is a fantasy that we can wash off all pesticides.

This study has helped convince me to buy organic when possible- hope you feel the same.

10 Ways to Improve Your In-Office Eating Habits

Wellness in 10: 10 Ways to Improve Your In-Office Eating Habits

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Monday, August 03, 2015

Wellness in 10 this month is focused on our eating habits at work, which – for many people – have room for improvement. The crux of many of our at-work nutritional challenges stem from the fact that we’re working with limited resources like time, availability, and room for eating well, but we’re still taking in one third (or more) of our calories during the week at work!  Here are some ideas to improve your healthy eating habits, and the habits of your staff, coworkers, family and friends.

  1. Brown Bag It.

Eating out every day, or even most days, may prove to be convenient, but actually takes away a lot of your lunchtime choices. By bringing your own lunch to work, you’re taking control of what – and how much – you’re eating, and instead of being limited to one of the few 30-minute-or-less restaurants near your office, you have the ability to choose from anything you can fit in the refrigerator to prepare for lunch.

  1. Bring Greens.

Late summer and fall is when the harvest happens! Take advantage of the huge array of fruits and vegetables that are available to you at this time of year!  If you need ideas for how to eat veggies for lunch at work, just look up “salad in a jar,” online, and you’ll get tons of links like this one.  Your options are only limited to the selection you find at your local farmers market or grocer.

  1. Cut the sugar.

Researchers say sugar is as addictive as cocaine, so it can be hard to turn the cravings off. Taking small steps to reduce sugar intake can have a big impact on your overall health, though. Try reducing or removing the sugar from your morning coffee. You can replace the sugar with spices like cinnamon or cardamom to stave off some of the bitterness. You can also try switching over to the seemingly endless varieties of tea to keep things interesting.

  1. Daily donut? Daily do-not.

Oh boy are donuts delicious. We all know it. We also know they’re not doing us any favors health-wise. While it probably won’t kill you to indulge in a donut from time to time, a daily sweet-roll, cruller, or cinnamon bun can weigh in at a full sixth or more of your daily recommended calorie intake.  If your morning routine normally includes a donut, try switching it up with something with similar flavors, like granola with vanilla yogurt. You’ll get the sweet flavor you’re after while being able to control the portion size. Or try switching out a daily box of donuts at the office with a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples.

  1. Hydrate your hunger.

Many of us have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst. That same segment of us is also probably not drinking enough water. Next time you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a big cup of water and see if it goes away.

  1. Keep your distance.

Keeping snack food in your desk drawer is convenient. That’s not a good thing. Don’t sabotage your nutrition by keeping snack food available where you can munch at it whenever you get an urge. By removing it from your immediate vicinity, you’ll make food choices mindfully.

  1. Plan a snack break.

Nutrition at work isn’t all about denying yourself the things that you want, it’s about providing the things your body needs. Sometimes what your body needs is a little something to keep you going. By planning a snack break (which could easily coincide with your walking break), you give yourself something to look forward to, you get something to munch on, and you get to add something healthy to your day!

  1. Count it out.

Many people have never really learned what a serving size is for a variety of different foods. By taking some time to familiarize yourself with the serving sizes of various foods, you’ll start to learn how much you should be eating. With a little practice, you’ll be able to ‘eyeball’ serving sizes without any extra effort!

  1. Distract yourself.

Have you ever noticed how you never seem to get hungry when you’re in the middle of an interesting project, but while you’re watching a movie the popcorn will disappear before you realize it? Working in a flow state can curb your mindless munching. By making mindful choices to work toward flow state, you’re not only improving your office nutrition, but you’ll increase your overall happiness, too!

  1. Get group support.

Being left out stinks. That’s why a lot of us go out to eat with a crew of coworkers every day instead of packing a lunch to work.  Try recruiting a few people to eat lunch with who may have similar nutrition goals as you. You may be surprised at who’s looking to make a positive change in their overall wellness!

Article courtesy of National Wellness Institute