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The Music Video Diaries

August 4

First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity is an inspirational, and a much-needed banner to rally around when fighting the childhood obesity epidemic. With the highest childhood diabetes and obesity rates in history, it’s time that someone started doing something about it.

Here, at NCES, we’re rallying around her cause, and how better than with something that will get you moving in the first place: a music video.

There’s more than one person here at the office who’s written some lyrics once or twice, and we definitely know some people who can carry a beat. It’s easier to dance and move if you’ve got something to dance and move to.

We’ve written the music, grabbed a few up-and-coming stars, and a camera. Stay tuned to see the magic that happens when all of these elements come together.

-NCES Staff.

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5 More Food Tips for Better Dental Health

June is National Dental Health Month. And in our other post, “Food Tips for Better Dental Health,” we talked about some foods that would benefit the teeth and gums and prevent oral diseases. As it’s generally hardest to get kids to eat healthy, we’ve provided some more tips below to get your child into the mindset of good health, and good oral health and hygiene as well.

  1. Limit Sugar and Salt
    If you use less of both of these, your kids won’t know what they’re missing, and won’t crave it as much later in life. Remove the salt shaker, and try to use honey to sweeten instead of sugar. It is just as sweet, but it takes a lot less of it to get the effect.
  2. Let Fun into to the Dinner Table
    Even something as simple as a fun plate or silly straw can inspire your kids to finish the meal in front of them. Have a little collection of bright and colorful dinnerware to keep things fresh.
  3. Make Dinner Hour a Social Hour
    If you fight and plead with your kids to eat, they won’t. Simply ask them to try everything, and they’ll be much more receptive the next time around, even if they don’t this time.
  4. Don’t Forget Dairy
    There are several low fat or nonfat dairy products out there. Make sure to include them with your meals as replacements to other, less healthy alternatives. Fat-free sour cream or fat-free milk are often unnoticeable in their taste difference when part of a larger meal.
  5. Cut Back on Fat
    Turkey is a low-fat substitute for many lunch meats, and you can also cut back on sodium this way as well. Another way to cut fat is when cooking with nuts and seeds: using less in a recipe often doesn’t lose an ounce of flavor in the process.

All of these tips and more can be found in the book “Healthy Snacks for Kids” by Penny Warner. You can find the book at http://www.ncescatalog.com, or in our catalog in the ‘Educated Kids’ section.

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Food Tips for Better Dental Health

June is National Dental Health Month. Even though it’s no surprise to us, good dental health is tied heavily to good nutrition and overall health.

Taking care of your teeth is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to feel like it. Getting the right nutrition for your teeth and gums is just like getting the right nutrition for your body. Things you should remember about taking care of your teeth:

  • Wheat, oats, corn and rice have a lot of Vitamin B, which strengthens gums and nerves.
  • Fruits contain a lot of Vitamin C which can help fight off gum disease. You can find Vitamin C in tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits.
  • Green vegetables have a lot of calcium in them, which improves tooth enamel. You can also find calcium in milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • The protein you can find in eggs, fish, beans and meat help the body repair itself and give you healthy gums.

It is also essential to get kids to understand that good nutrition for dental health is important, since good habits for health start at an early age. A good book to get them started on for developing these healthy habits (including taking care of their teeth), is “Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!” A wonderful book set in a Dr. Suessian world, that has the Cat in the Hat leading two children through a world of good health and habits to help them out.  You can find this book in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  (Item # 3549)

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Tips for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Week 2)

Considering that it’s Celiac Awareness Month, we decided to shed a little light on different ways you can live a gluten-free lifestyle, and still have a healthy, balanced diet.

One of the most complicated and difficult things a person can deal with is having a child who has celiac disease. Especially if the child is young, they may not even fully understand what they have to deal with or why.  So, it’s up to the parent to give them the guidance and direction they need to stay healthy.

When your child is outside of your sight, and out of your care, such as when they’re at a daycare center or preschool, it can be stressful on you as a parent. There are things you can do to make the transition easier.  By talking with your care-providers and your child, here are some ways to make the day go by more easily:

Teach your child to ask about ingredients, and to take control of their own diet. The more information you can get them to remember and to value, the better off they’ll be in the long run.

Educate the staff about your child’s condition. You can easily prevent your child from feeling left out by providing information on gluten-free meals that can be prepared.  You can also prepare for birthday parties and other celebrations by making gluten-free cupcakes ahead of time and storing them at the facility.

Make sure the staff and your child know about any crafts that might contain gluten that they would have to avoid or replace. Things like play-dough, silly putty, and noodles need to be avoided.

For a complete book on tips for your child’s gluten-free life, check out the “Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids” book, by Sheri L. Sanderson. Packed with tips and meals for a gluten-free lifestyle, it will keep you and your family healthy and growing.   This book is item # 3242 in our catalog and at http://www.ncescatalog.com.