A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

Read the full story »
Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » Archive by Category

Articles in Health

If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan
Friday, 24 Jun, 2011 – 13:12 | 2 Comments
If you’re laying off nurses, you better have a backup plan

The lack of health-care workers in schools is nothing new.
We saw the impact when Big Guy was in kindergarten and cooled his heels in the office for half a day after a snooty secretary diagnosed …

We can’t say we weren’t warned – but do we care?
Thursday, 27 Jan, 2011 – 16:59 | Comments Off
We can’t say we weren’t warned – but do we care?

There are two types of warning labels in this world:

The types that tell us that what we’re about to do or consume will shorten our lives, harm our health or turn us into crazed killers. …

Note to insurance companies: Not all meds are created equal
Wednesday, 12 Jan, 2011 – 18:00 | Comments Off

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – and if you have a chronic medical condition, you probably have.
One drug works so-so, or not at all to control your symptoms. This is the one …

A SWAT for forgetting that a hypothesis is just that
Thursday, 30 Dec, 2010 – 17:51 | One Comment
A SWAT for forgetting that a hypothesis is just that

So it turns out that the number of people going to emergency rooms as the result of food allergies might have been dramatically underestimated, according to new research.
Reuters reported this week that an article in …

Take my kids’ dessert, Michelle. Please.
Wednesday, 29 Dec, 2010 – 18:00 | One Comment
Take my kids’ dessert, Michelle. Please.

Note to Sara Palin: Michelle Obama is free to stop by my house any evening and tell my kids they can’t have dessert. After seven-plus years of this war, I’m battle fatigued. Michelle would probably …

A tricky conversation that went well
Wednesday, 22 Dec, 2010 – 10:16 | Comments Off
A tricky conversation that went well

Big Guy was looking over my shoulder last night as I was writing a post about 13-year-old Katelyn Carlson, the peanut-allergic Chicago girl who died from anaphylaxis after a party at school.
He often does that, …

Yes, let’s have food allergy policies everywhere
Tuesday, 21 Dec, 2010 – 18:34 | One Comment
Yes, let’s have food allergy policies everywhere

There’s egg-free, and then there’s the kind of egg-free that led Big Guy to puke up his pastries despite a donut shop owner’s assurances that he didn’t use egg. It was true as far as …

Look out, guys! It appears that Vapor Rub works
Tuesday, 23 Nov, 2010 – 18:29 | Comments Off
Look out, guys! It appears that Vapor Rub works

It was near the top of my pre-mommy list of things I’d never do.
I’d never yell at the kids. I’d never say, “because I’m the mom, and I said so.” And I’d never make them …

Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first
Sunday, 21 Nov, 2010 – 20:03 | One Comment
Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first

Everyone loves to look at the military’s health insurance with envy. It’s free! They don’t pay an arm and a leg like civilians do!
And when the budget recommendations come, implementing Tricare premiums, deductibles or co-pays …

Adding to our asthma vocabulary
Thursday, 18 Nov, 2010 – 12:03 | One Comment
Adding to our asthma vocabulary

It’s been a while – nearly three years, in fact – since Big Guy has had a major asthma episode. He’s done well, thrived even, despite a change in primary doctor and specialist that had …

Battling obesity one Happy Meal at a time
Thursday, 4 Nov, 2010 – 13:13 | 2 Comments
Battling obesity one Happy Meal at a time

Four things my kids know about marketing and commercials:

Fruit snacks are neither fruit nor snacks.
Blowing up a juice bag and stomping on it won’t launch you into the air, though they have tried.
The toy is …

A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything
Thursday, 28 Oct, 2010 – 21:54 | Comments Off
A SWAT for sucking the fun out of everything

I was about Big Guy’s age when apples again became the forbidden fruit.
I’m not sure where it happened, but I can guarantee you it wasn’t  in our town. I didn’t spend my childhood in Mayberry, …

Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?
Tuesday, 21 Sep, 2010 – 23:49 | Comments Off
Can playing football cause suicide? Can sensationalism cause hysteria?

There are more than 17,000 football players each year in the NCAA’s top two divisions. Anyone know how many have been diagnosed in the past year with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease typically found in …

No, the government can’t limit your salt. But you should
Tuesday, 27 Apr, 2010 – 21:52 | Comments Off
No, the government can’t limit your salt. But you should

Calm down, folks. Uncle Sam isn’t going to bang in your door and confiscate your salt shaker. Though it’s really not a bad idea.
According to a very poorly phrased Rasmussen poll, 55 percent of the …

School lunch do-gooding takes a goofy turn
Tuesday, 13 Apr, 2010 – 19:06 | Comments Off
School lunch do-gooding takes a goofy turn

Foods made with white sugar, fructose, corn syrup, or any thing ending in “-ose” are banned – presumably, this doesn’t apply to lactose – but peanut butter laced with honey is OK.
Crackers …

More research, more bad results for high-fructose corn syrup
Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010 – 16:56 | Comments Off
More research, more bad results for high-fructose corn syrup

Here’s another one from the files marked “eat real food, please”:
Two separate studies at Princeton University found that lab animals fed high fructose corn syrup – presumably the mercury-free variety – gained more weight than …

Confessions of a closet snacker
Wednesday, 3 Mar, 2010 – 18:45 | 2 Comments
Confessions of a closet snacker

Back when my job involved actually leaving my house, there wasn’t a lunchbox in the world big enough for me.
I usually ran out the door without breakfast, triggering the need to pack snack one. The …

The first step to solving a problem is knowing you have it
Monday, 1 Mar, 2010 – 19:15 | Comments Off
The first step to solving a problem is knowing you have it

Here’s a tricky one to tackle:
According to an article in March’s edition of Pediatrics, nearly 30 percent of overweight teens don’t know that they’re overweight. And if they don’t know they’re overweight, they’re less likely …

Finally, a nutrition campaign that takes a practical path
Wednesday, 10 Feb, 2010 – 19:50 | Comments Off
Finally, a nutrition campaign that takes a practical path

Yes, I eat the occasional burger and fries. Ice cream and cookies, too.
Now that first lady Michelle Obama has stepped into the confessional and admitted as much herself, I feel safe in going public as …

I’m not sedentary. I’m muscularly inactive
Monday, 25 Jan, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
I’m not sedentary. I’m muscularly inactive

I’ve been eeking out just enough minutes of activity to meet the government’s fitness recommendations – they’re not as demanding as you think – though my gymophobia holds me back on weeks too wet to …

A new law needed to get current law enforced on generics
Monday, 18 Jan, 2010 – 22:35 | Comments Off
A new law needed to get current law enforced on generics

It’s kind of awkward that the Federal Trade Commission wants the health-care bill to include a ban on settlements between drug companies that keep generic drugs off the market – delays the commission says costs …

Good luck to New York in its assault on salt
Monday, 11 Jan, 2010 – 21:38 | Comments Off
Good luck to New York in its assault on salt

From the state that led the battle against transfat comes the latest assault on manufacturer-induced nutrition nightmares: New York City wants companies to cut down on the amount of sodium in food.
Good luck on that …

The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma
Wednesday, 2 Dec, 2009 – 22:28 | Comments Off
The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma

With a callous eye toward the bottom line, insurance companies unhesitantly ax coverage for medications asthmatic children need. Don’t deny it. It’s happened to us.
If executives won’t shell out $300 to prevent an emergency room …

Dirt gets its due again
Tuesday, 24 Nov, 2009 – 22:23 | Comments Off
Dirt gets its due again

Bacteria are normal. Bacteria are good. Bacteria can even help the immune system.
So say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.  According to an article in The Guardian, the very same staphylococci that causes …

No worries? Try to find some quickly
Friday, 20 Nov, 2009 – 23:35 | Comments Off
No worries? Try to find some quickly

Are you walking around humming a happy tune, blue birds over one shoulder and a rainbow over the other?
You better find something to worry about and fast. It turns out that, while walking around in …

Drug companies robbing everybody to pay Paul
Monday, 16 Nov, 2009 – 22:47 | Comments Off
Drug companies robbing everybody to pay Paul

It took me a while, but I finally figured out where I’d previously seen the scam the drug companies are trying to pull off on health care reform.
It was about this time last year, at …

Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time
Thursday, 29 Oct, 2009 – 14:40 | Comments Off
Battling obesity one trick-or-treat basket at a time

The best parenting advice I ever heard was from an older co-worker who’d raised three daughters.
“Don’t try to ban junk food,” he said. “It will backfire. They’ll sneak it on the sly anyway and wind …

Kids should stay in boosters until 8, study reaffirms
Tuesday, 20 Oct, 2009 – 22:31 | Comments Off
Kids should stay in boosters until 8, study reaffirms

If you have a chance to pass a law that would reduce by almost half the chance that a kid would be injured in a car accident, how quickly would you ask, “where do I …