by Sarah Szczypinski for the Washington Post
For most of us, the topic of puberty doesn’t evoke fond childhood memories. The word alone — puberty — conjures the need to stockpile zit cream and blare grunge music.
Maybe that’s just me.
As tough as the tween and teen years were, watching your kids experience them can be just as challenging, especially when it comes to the awkward topic of hygiene. That first whiff of change means bigger things are on the horizon, and approaching the next phase with a plan will make things easier for everyone. I asked some experienced parents for advice.
Prepare kids early
Adolescence arrives earlier than you might think. The average age of menstruation for girls is 12, according to Mayo Clinic research, and boys begin showing signs of puberty as early as 10, according to a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The first conversation can be a struggle. “Convincing tweens that they smell bad is a big challenge for most parents,” says Deborah Gilboa, a doctor and mother of four boys. “That’s because the child’s brain makes that kiddo ignore their own smell in order to pay attention to what’s happening nearby. So when a tween says, ‘I don’t smell anything!’ they are telling the absolute truth.”
by Joe Thompson for Parentology
A new study by Dr. Liping Pan, MD, MPH of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the CDC showed that childhood obesity rates have plateaued or even dropped in the last 9 years. They revealed that though obesity rates among low-income families were on the upswing between 2000 and 2010, they’ve dropped for preschoolers since then. That is some of the best news we have heard in a while.
Though findings do suggest that obesity rates are highest among low-income children, additional research found that children’s meal options at fast food and sit-down restaurants may contribute to childhood obesity.
“We compared the nutritional value of kids’ menus to [adult menus] in [select] establishments and found that most of the meals offered to children did not comply with the US Dietary requirements,” said Dr. Luz Claudio, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who conducted the study. She explained to Parentology that, according to the study’s findings, the majority of meal options for children had fat, sodium and saturated fat contents that exceeded daily meal recommendations. They were also low in fiber.
“Based on those studies,” Claudio says, “I recommend that families avoid eating out with children. When they do, they may choose to share an adult entree with their child or share a side dish such as a vegetable or salad. These habits will not only save them money but also be a more nutritionally-balanced option for the children and serve as a teachable moment [in which] healthy choices can be discussed.”
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