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Cows’ Milk Allergy in Infants Causes Considerable Distress to Entire Family

In the survey, commissioned by Act Against Allergy, further impact on family life was revealed. As a direct result of having a child with CMA, half (49%) the respondents have missed work, over a third (38%) have argued with their partner and 39% said the lives of other children in the family have also been disrupted.1

These findings were no surprise to Natalie Hammond, from Hertfordshire, UK, whose son Joe was diagnosed with CMA when he was six months old. Joe was initially misdiagnosed and even underwent surgery for a twisted bowel before doctors finally discovered that CMA was the cause of his illness. Mrs. Hammond said: “It was heartbreaking and frightening seeing Joe so sick – he would vomit and had blood in his stools. We felt utterly powerless, and couldn't believe a simple food like milk could do this. It took a long time to get over this terrifying and stressful experience.”

Cows' milk is one of the European Union's 'big eight' allergy-inducing foods alongside gluten, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya, treenuts and shellfish. More serious than lactose intolerance, a true milk allergy presents in one or more of three organ systems:
– Gastrointestinal (vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, bloating) – affecting 50-60% of those with CMA
– Skin (rashes, including eczema and atopic dermatitis) – 50-70%
– Respiratory (wheeze, cough, runny nose) – 20-30%3

For further information on cows' milk allergy, see: www.actagainstallergy.com

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Be Good to Yourself

Due to loss of loved ones, health problems, trouble paying bills, or other reasons, many older people feel lonely, sad, or stressed in their daily lives. Feelings like these may cause you to lose energy, not feel like doing anything, not eat enough, or overeat. Being good to yourself may help you to cope with your feelings and improve your energy level, eating habits, and health. Here are some ideas for being good to yourself:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay connected with family and friends.
  • Join a walking group, or other social group.
  • Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy.Volunteer or get active with groups in your community.
  • Try a part-time job at a place you would enjoy working for a few hours a week.
  • Watch a funny movie and laugh.
  • Take up a hobby such as playing cards, gardening, cooking, or dancing.

Remember, it's never too late to improve your eating plan, be more physically active, and be good to yourself for a healthier life. If you need to talk, make an appointment to see Nastaran.

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Four steps for helping an overweight child

For many parents, dealing with an overweight child is a delicate issue. These four steps can put you and your child on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.

Be Supportive.

An important first step is to let your overweight child know she's OK, whatever her weight. A child's feelings about herself often reflect her parents' feelings about her. For example, if your child gets the message that you are unhappy with the way she looks, that impacts how she feels about herself. If you accept your child at any weight, and emphasize her strengths (e.g., good grades, musical talent, leadership skills), she learns how to feel good about herself. Let your child know she can talk openly with you and share her concerns about her weight. This issue may come up when she is shopping for clothes, participating in an athletic event or donning a bathing suit when it's time to hit the beach or pool. Your child probably knows better than anyone else that her weight is an issue. For that reason, she needs your support, acceptance and encouragement.

Focus On the Family.

Don't set your overweight child apart because of his weight or make a special issue out of it. Instead, make gradual, healthful changes in the whole family's physical activity and eating habits. Family involvement helps to teach everyone healthful habits and does not single out the overweight child as “being on a diet.” Changing the family environment provides your overweight child with the support he needs.

Increase Your Family's Physical Activity.

Regular physical activity, combined with good eating habits, is a must for promoting a healthy weight–and good health–among the whole family. Below are some simple ways to get the whole family moving:

  • Be a role model for your children. If your children see you enjoying regular physical activity, they're more likely to get active and stay active for life.
  • Plan family activities that are fun for everyone such as walking, dancing, biking or swimming. For example, schedule a walk with your family after dinner instead of watching TV. Make sure the activities you plan are done in a safe environment.
  • Be sensitive to your child's needs. Overweight children may feel uncomfortable about participating in certain activities. Help your child find physical activities he enjoys and that aren't embarrassing or too difficult.
  • Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities such as watching TV or playing video games.
  • Find ways for you and your family to be more active throughout the day. For example, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, do some stretching during a work or school break, or encourage your child to walk to and from school, if possible.
  • If your child likes structured sports activities or classes, sign him up and support his regular participation.

Teach Your Family Healthy Eating Habits Right from the Start.

Teaching good eating habits early and by example will help children develop a healthy attitude about food–that it's enjoyable, and required for energy to keep the body running right and to grow properly. Parents should provide children with the structure of regular meals and snacks, and choose the foods offered. Parents should allow children to choose what to eat from among the foods offered and how much.

To learn more about nutrition for children, make an appointment with Nastaran. See your doctor if you think your child has a serious weight problem.

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Eating Alone

Eating alone can be difficult for people of any age. It may not seem worth the effort to cook just for you. But there are ways to put the fun back into eating. Start with keeping your cupboards well stocked with nutritious foods that you enjoy. Studies show that when you eat with others, you tend to have an improved nutrient intake. So, sit down with some friends, family members or neighbours and enjoy their company while you dine. Treat yourself well; you deserve it!

Make it a pleasure

  • Create a pleasant place to eat. Set a table with flowers, place mat and napkin, even candles. Listen to music.
  • Sometimes moving to a different location or doing something else while eating is helpful. Take your meal out on the porch, sit near a window, go to the park for a picnic, watch TV or read a book.
  • Enjoy a dinner out in a restaurant occasionally. Ask for a “doggie bag” to take leftovers home.
  • Want a break from cooking? Try a no-cook meal, ready-made meals or other convenience foods.
  • Consider taking Meals on Wheels a few times a week or more.

Find companions

  • • Share a potluck dinner with a friend, or form a regular lunch group.
  • Start an eating club. The host makes soup and others bring bread, salad or fruit.
  • Join a collective kitchen or share cooking with friends. Find a place where a few of you can meet to plan, shop and prepare several meals together. Take those meals home, freeze them and pull them out when you don't feel like shopping or cooking.
  • Ask other seniors who are alone for ideas and suggestions, and share yours.
  • Exchange recipes.
  • Teach your grandchildren how to cook or bake.
  • Check your local senior or community centres; many serve weekly meals.
  • Beyond the nutritional benefits of eating with others, starting a supper club or joining an eating group can also help you meet new people and forge new friendships.

If you have lost your appetite for more than a day or two, talk with your doctor. Nastaran can provide food and nutrition information you can trust.

©2009 Dietitians of Canada. Reproduced with permission.

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