Lifestyle Quickies!

It’s no secret that kids are spending way too much time on their devices these days, and experts are worried that it’s become hazardous to their health. The American Heart Association released new recommendations for kids' screen time, and they want parents to drastically reduce the amount of time kids are spending on their devices.

According to the AHA, kids between the ages of eight and 18 currently spend, on average, more than seven hours a day looking at screens, but they recomend it be limited to just two hours a day for most kids and one hour a day for, kids ages two to five.

While digital technology isn’t all bad, and can definitely be educational for kids, experts worry about the health risks that come with the sedentary lifestyle of those who spend too much time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other devices. Doctors suggest it could pose an increased risk of things like obesity, cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. 

As for what parents can do to get their kids off screens, experts suggest encouraging their children to go out and play more outside, and establish media free zones and times in the home, like say no devices at dinner or in the bedroom. 

Source: CBS News

Parents can sometimes be creatures of habit and tend to stick with products and brands that they love, and a new report reveals just which brands they love the most. For the 2018 BRAND LOVE study, Smarty Pants surveyed more than 8,900 children and their parents to find out which brands they tend to go back to again and again.

So, what brand do parents love the most? Well, for a second year in a row, Amazon tops the list, followed very closely by Crayola, and then Netflix. Snacks are apparently very popular with moms and dads too, with five snack/confection brands making the Top Ten.

Parents' Top Ten Most Loved Brands

  1. Amazon
  2. Crayola
  3. Netflix
  4. Google
  5. Hershey's
  6. M&M'S
  7. Doritos
  8. Reese's
  9. Halos
  10. Kit Kat

Source: Yahoo Finance

While some people are happily soaking up every last ray of summer sunshine they can, there are others out there doing their best to patiently wait for August to end so they can get to their favorite season: fall. And if you’re one of those people who loves the -ber months best, you’ll be happy to hear Starbucks has created a special group for fall enthusiasts: the "Leaf Rakers Society."

So, what’s this society all about? It’s a Facebook group about all things fall-related for those obsessed with the season. Starbucks recently tweeted about it with an adorable autumnally-themed animated video and asked, “It’s never too early to celebrate fall, right? If yes, go here,” with a link to the group so you can request to join.

On the fence about whether or not this society is for you? According to Starbucks, “This is a safe place for a) pumpkins b) year-round scarf wearers c) those who would rather work on their Halloween costume than their tan d) members of the Great Pumpkin watch 2017 Facebook group.” And they don’t allow “hatin’ on fall,” so no Pumpkin Spice Latte-bashing here.

Clearly, this group isn’t for everyone. If you’d rather be sipping rosé on a sunny beach somewhere, maybe you’re not Leaf Raker Society material. But if you’re all about pumpkin scones, apple cider, and checking out the natural beauty of the leaves changing color, the Starbucks mermaid welcomes you to the group.

Source: Bustle

You’ve probably heard that fiber is an important part of your diet. It does things like helps keep blood sugar under control, lowers cholesterol levels, and of course, it helps keep things moving like they should. But it turns out, there’s another benefit to fiber that we overlooked - it can relieve stress, too.

So when we eat fiber-rich foods, like grains, legumes, and vegetables, it stimulates the bacteria in our gut to produce short-chain fatty acids, which are important to keeping the metabolism and immune system healthy. Researchers from Ireland studied the effects of introducing short-chain fatty acids into the guts of mice and found it helped reduce stress and anxiety-related behaviors.

“There is growing recognition of the role of gut bacteria and the chemicals they make in the regulation of physiology and behavior,” the study’s lead author Professor John F. Cryan explains. “The role of short-chain fatty acids in this process has been poorly understood up until now.”

Of course, this research was only done on mice, so scientists still need to look at whether the short-chain fatty acids can alleviate stress-related issues in humans. But fiber is good for us anyway, so we’ll keep eating it and hope for the best.

Source: Women's Health

Parents who are tired of begging their little ones to eat their vegetables will be pleased to know a new study may have found a hack to help. According to research just published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, segmented plates with pictures of recommended foods in each compartment led preschoolers to eat more veggies.

The small study observed 235 preschool kids in Colorado with an average age of 3.8. On days when kids used these plates, they served themselves almost 14 grams more vegetables on average and actually ate about 7.5 grams more than they do with their usual plates. That means they ate an extra portion about the size of a baby carrot or two, but when you’re dealing with preschoolers, every little bit helps.

Researchers say these plates could be a tool to nudge kids toward healthy habits early in life. “It’s a really important time period in children’s lives to experience fruits and vegetables,” explains study author Emily Melnick. And she points out that other researchsuggests that a willingness to try more fresh produce could be linked to a greater preference for the healthy stuff later in life.

So if you’re struggling to get your kiddos to quit griping and eat the dang green beans and broccoli already, maybe it’s as simple as swapping your go-to dinner plate for one with sections and images of the veggies on it.

Source: CNN

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