Finally! Science Proves That Pizza is Good for You

Pizza contributes to higher calorie, saturated fat and sodium intake in children’s and teens’ diets. And as the second largest contributor to calorie and nutrient intake in children’s diets, its impact on maintaining healthy weight is important. The authors of the study, “Energy and Nutrient Intake from Pizza in the United States,” appearing in the February 2015 issue of Pediatrics, (published online Jan. 19) examined dietary recall data from a period of several years for children age 2 to 11 and teens aged 12 to 19. On the days pizza is consumed, it makes up more than 20 percent of the daily intake of calories. Plus, overall calorie intake for that day is much higher. Since dietary counseling is more effective if focused on specific foods, rather than overall nutrients, and pizza plays a prominent role in children’s overall diet, the authors suggest that pizza be directly addressed in nutrition counseling. And because pizza is available from multiple sources (restaurants, fast food, stores and schools), efforts should focus on improving nutritional content and marketing.

Tips for Dads: Discussing the Tough Topics

Daddy talking to his son about serious things

Daddy talking to his son about serious things

It is a complex world in which we live and, for young children, certain complexities are difficult to comprehend. Communication with your kids evolves as they get older, challenging us to figure out the best way to talk about important topics. But this is all new territory and you’re not sure how to explain “the bird and bees” to an eight year old in an appropriate way.

So, Dad, it’s time to learn the rules for talking to your kids about the tough stuff.

Make it Age-Appropriate

There is a joke where a little boy asks dad, “Where did I come from?” Dad pulls out books and diagrams, launching into the entire birds-and-bees lecture. When he is done, the horrified son looks up and says, “Billy said that he came from Miami.”

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Safety-Net Parenting

Leon Scott Baxter, author of Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting.
Topic:
Raising happy and successful children.
Issues: The importance of letting our children fail—and learn from the experience; helping children find their passions and strengths; the difference between nudging a child in a particular direction and pushing; why you’re not your child’s friend—and shouldn’t try to be.

Wiser Divorce + The Importance of Failure

Angie Hallier, author of The Wiser Divorce.
Topic:
Positive strategies for your next best life.
Issues: Developing a solid game plan to keep tempers in check and everyone moving forward; identifying bad habits that can lead to unhealthy choices; how learning to collaborate with your ex-spouse will give your kids a bright future; saving money by choosing your battles wisely; why going to court is rarely the best solution.

Leon Scott Baxter, author of Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting.
Topic:
Raising happy and successful children.
Issues: The importance of letting our children fail—and learn from the experience; helping children find their passions and strengths; the difference between nudging a child in a particular direction and pushing; why you’re not your child’s friend—and shouldn’t try to be.

Winter Indoors

According to Punxsutawney Phil, that famous, four-legged weather prognosticator, we’re in for at least another month of winter. And if the overtime is anything like the first part, we ‘re going to be spending a lot of time indoors. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with some great indoors activities.

nintendo e-shopNintendo eShop (Nintendo)
Craving a new video game but don’t want to actually go out to get it? At the Nintendo eShop, you can order the latest games and have them shipped, or download them directly to your Wii U or 3DS/2DS. There’s also plenty of exclusive, digital-only content. One especially nice feature is the ability to demo selected games before you buy. The eShop gives you access to all of Nintendo’s well-known franchises as well as some new, indie gems. Whether you’re buying for a seasoned gaming pro or a novice, old or young, adventurous or timid, there’s something fun for everyone. Prices vary widely. http://www.nintendo.com/eshop

kidz gear headset and splitterHeadset for Kids (Kidz Gear)
Kids have an amazing capacity to do the same thing over and over and over, whether that’s playing a game, watching a movie, or listening to music. Adults, however, sometimes need a break from the repetition—especially when we’re trapped in the house. When that happens, break out these headphones. The over-the-ear pads are a lot more comfortable than in-ear buds, and they’re really easy to adjust. They have a 3.5mm (1/8”) plug, meaning they’ll work in pretty much any phone, tablet, computer or MP3 player. Unlike most headphones, Kidz Gear headphones have “KidzControl Volume Limit Technology” which, as you might guess from the name, keeps the volume well below danger levels. This particular Kidz Gear model comes with a boom mic, making it perfect for interactive games or just talking on the phone. Kidz Gear also makes a nice headphone splitter cable which lets you plug two headphones into one jack so you and your child can snuggle up and watch or listen to something together. Headphones and splitters are available at retailers everywhere for $29.99 and $5.99, respectively. https://www.gearforkidz.com/

kidfit trackerKidFit Tracker (X-Doria)
Getting exercise when you’re snowed in can be tough. But KidFit can help. It’s a simple, attractive wristband that measures your children’s activity throughout the day. It also lets you use Bluetooth and a free iOS or Android app to establish fitness goals and set rewards for meeting them. The app can support multiple trackers for multiple kids (or adults if you get one too). Besides activity, the KidFit also tracks your child’s sleep, which is extremely important (and just as extremely underrated). KidFit is splash proof—a feature that sets it apart from some competitors. Our only complaint is that there’s no display—if you want to see how close you’re getting to your goal, you need to connect to the app. Available at Amazon and other retailers for $39-49.

zoku ice creamZoku Ice Cream Maker (Zoku)
Ice cream cravings can hit anytime—even when it’s 20 below zero outside. When that happens, all you need is Zoku’s new Ice Cream Maker, which lets you create individual portions of ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, or sherbet in as little as 10 minutes. Comes with great-tasting recipes, but you can make your own too. $25.99. http://www.zokuhome.com
 

 

 

alex sno-markersMini Sno-Markers (Alex Brands)
Snow or not, sometimes you just have to get outside. And with Sno-Markers, you can brighten those dreary days with a splash of color. Just add water to the colored powder, shake, and you’re ready to create. The set comes with five markers but 10 color packs so you’ll be able to illustrate all winter long.. $14.99 at www.alexbrands.com and www.poof-slinky.com.