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Healthy Weight Kids = Happy and Healthy Kids

Healthy-WeightThe increasing number of children who are overweight or obese is a growing concern for parents and caretakers. While healthy eating and exercise has become a national topic of conversation, it’s important that the potential social and medical problems many of these children face be a part of that discussion as well.

More than “baby fat”
It’s a common assumption that heavier children might lose some of their roundness as they grow up, but many children do not outgrow their tendency to be overweight. Heavy kids generally grow up to be heavy adults and, more importantly, overweight children have many of the same health risks involved with extra weight that adults do, including:

  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Higher risk for diabetes, liver disease, gallstones and esophageal reflux
  • Pain and other joint problems
  • Decreased coordination/dexterity
  • Higher risk for social and psychological problems due to bullying

A pediatrician can help determine a healthy weight for your child and advise you how to help your child meet that goal weight. Other goals may include increased strength, decreased percentage of body fat, reduced anxiety, and improved aerobic fitness and physical activity level. A physical therapist may be able to help with some of these goals as well. Continue Reading »

Fun and fitness for Halloween

Children In Fancy Costume Dress Going Trick Or Treating

October 31, or All Hallow’s Eve, is a yearly celebration that begins a three-day Christian observance dedicated to remembering and honoring the dead, including saints and martyrs. While this day is celebrated differently in many countries (attending church, lighting candles on graves of the dead), in the United States we tend to celebrate it with festivities such as costume parties, pumpkin-carving contests, decorating our homes with orange and black and, of course, trick-or-treating.

To balance the increased intake of sugar and calories from all of those treats, think of different ways to incorporate fun and fitness into trick-or-treating. Here are a few suggestions that will provide an opportunity to be active this Halloween: Continue Reading »

A twist on tradition

stuffing low rez
As seen in @Affinity magazine…

Along with the holidays comes a deep adoration for traditional dishes, such as stuffing, green beans and even the bread basket. Many of our favorites are laden with calories, fat and carbohydrates, so we tested these healthy sides in the kitchen and give them the green light as new additions to this year’s menu.

Makes 6, ½-cup servings. Use as stuffing for poultry or pork roast, or bake tightly covered in a separate baking dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

½ cup slivered almonds (or walnuts)

2-3 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 medium tart red apple, cored and diced (or prunes)

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

½ tsp. poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

3 cups brown rice, cooked (in chicken or vegetable broth) Continue Reading »

Meal planning for diabetics: A meal-by-meal guide

Meal planning for your week can take some extra time initially, but knowing what ingredients you need for each meal can save time and stress during you daily routine, especially if you have special dietary needs. Below are enough ideas for each meal of the day to go through one week, and they’re all diabetes-friendly! Look these over, made a list of ingredients for your favorites, and head to the grocery store.


  1. Veggie omelet | Coat a skillet with cooking spray and cook one egg. Add a handful of spinach leaves and mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs as you like them. Top with 2 tablespoons of reduced fat cheese and serve with one slice of whole-grain toast.
  1. Crunchy yogurt | Top 6 ounces of fat-free, unflavored yogurt with ¼ cup granola, 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, and 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts.
  1. At-home egg McMuffin | Coat a skillet with cooking spray and scramble one egg with chopped tomato, onion or other veggies. Serve with a toasted whole-grain English muffin.
  1. Breakfast smoothie | Mix 6 ounces of fat-free, unflavored yogurt with 2 tablespoons dried mixed fruit, 2 tablespoons ground flax seed and 2 tablespoons of your favorite nuts.
  1. Bagel breakfast | Spread half of a whole-grain bagel with 1 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese or 1 tablespoon of 100-percent fruit spread.
  1. Simple cereal | Combine 1 cup of Cheerios cereal with 1 cup fat-free milk. Enjoy with a medium orange on the side.
  1. Oatmeal with nuts | Cook ½ cup of oatmeal and top with ¼ cup of your favorite nuts and ground cinnamon to taste.

Continue Reading »

The ABCs of healthy aging


Back in your school days you learned to use the alphabet as the building blocks for words, but do you know the building blocks of healthy aging? Your education isn’t complete until you’ve reviewed the ABCs of aging well—in both mind and body!

  • A: Fight anemia
    While not caused by aging per se, anemia is a common condition in older adults and is often the result of more than one issue, such as poor diet, medications or hormone imbalances. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anemia—fatigue, feeling cold, paleness, weakness—talk to your clinician.
  • B: Break routine
    Make small changes in your daily routine to increase brain stimulation. Something as simple as taking a different route on a daily walk or trying something new for breakfast can be enough spark to keep your mind fresh instead of foggy.
  • C: Cultivate your relationships
    Staying connected with people is an important aspect of mental health. Maintain communication with your family and friends, especially after a significant loss or life change.
  • D: Dine with others
    Plan meals with friends and family several times a week. Studies show that those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone, decreasing your risk of overeating, and keeping your weight in check.
  • E: Eat healthy foods
    Did you know that a high percentage of adults in the U.S. consume more than double the recommended intake of sodium? Too much sodium can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, so skip the extra salt and focus on nutrient-dense food like fruits, vegetables and whole-grains.
  • F: Fight fatigue
    If you’re feeling tired during the day more often, having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food, like prunes or blueberries, can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind. Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

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