Category Archives: Children

DIY Liquid Handsoap – Castile Soap

Castile Soap is a vegetable based soap and perfect for a non-toxic hand washing experience.castilesoap

How to make handmade soap (super simple super easy!)

1/2 c Distilled Water
1/2 c Castile Soap
1 TB Sweet Almond oil or Jojoba oil or Olive oil
1 TB Vitamin E oil (optional)

Make sure to fill water first then add the rest of the ingredients and any optional scents – see below. Shake it baby!

WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How to make FOAMING handmade soap (still super simple super easy!)

Foaming dispenser (yes that’s all you need!)
1 1/2 c Distilled Water
2 TB  Castile Soap
1 tsp Sweet Almond oil or Jojoba oil or Olive oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil (optional)

Just make sure to fill the water FIRST to about 1 inch from the top of dispenser and any optional scents – see below.  Shake it baby!


Essential oils: about 5 drops each

*Tea Tree (Melaluca)

Nature Kit’s

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Sample of some of the items

Kids LOVE these!!!  Toss out the video games, turn off the TV, and go to the dollar store and make a Nature Kit!  I just took some old fabric and a shoelace and made the bags myself.

Here is what I put in my kids Nature Kits:

    • small plastic bottles
    • tweezers
    • small notebook
    • gardening gloves
    • magnifying glass
    • tape measure
    • pencil
    • pencil sharpener
    • colored pencils
    • small sand shovel
    • sifter
    • tape
    • hat
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A few of the items shown

Trunk and Core Exercises to Prevent Low Back Pain

Because so many adults suffer from lower back pain, core exercise training is a must to include in an exercise routine which could then alleviate or lower back pain occurrences.  I believe it should be done after childbirth as well (however never do any abdominal or core work without knowing what your transverse abs are and how to hold them in!!)

“Since risk factors of LBP (Low Back Pain) are thought to commence during childhood, results of this study suggest that it may be desirable for children and adolescents to perform moderate-to-high intensity dynamic core exercises during physical education warm-up to improve trunk and core muscular endurance.” read more here

Here is some tools to get you started to help your kids improve their core strength:

Fun Core Exercises For Kids!
Core Strength Activities for Preschoolers and Beginners
Core strength and postural control needed for fine motor skills in children
Kid Ab Workout (video)
Winning Core Body Exercises for Kids (video)

Vitamin D and its orgins in adiposity

There has been so much interest in Vitamin D and the research is ongoing.

Here is a what they have found: “Lower vitamin D status was associated with lower fat mass in the offspring at birth but with greater fat mass at ages 4 and 6 y.”  Interesting!

Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with adiposity in the offspring: findings from the Southampton Women’s Survey.

Could Low Vitamin D Be a Piece of the Childhood Obesity Puzzle?

A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Interested in Tooth Decay and what you can learn from the traditional diets? This is an great link by Weston A. Price with a wealth of information.  It also has chapter and topic links so you don’t have to scroll through the whole thing.  Click here for the ebook.

Staying fit as a parent, help your child maintain a healthy weight

What!!  Yes, its true.  You have a big responsibly to stay fit as a parent.  Why?  Because parental obesity before pregnancy and up through your child’s adolescence years is a very strong prediction factor to your child being overweight.  Its as simple as that-stay fit.  But harder to make the changes so start now!!  Don’t be discouraged either ~ Can your genes be changed after you are born?–click here.

Source: Jääskeläinen A, et al,  Intergenerational transmission of overweight among Finnish adolescents and their parents: a 16-year follow-up study., Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Oct;35(10):1289-94.

Maternal weight gain and risk for obesity in offspring

Yes, you can influence your child’s weight during pregnancy.  A study done in Finland showed that a maternal weight gain of more than 7 kg (or 15.4 pounds) in the first 20 weeks of gestation predicts overweight/obesity (using BMI) and abdominal obesity in adolescence.  However, an even stronger predictor of adolescent overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity was maternal obesity before pregnancy.

If you fall in this category, and you want your children to be as healthy as possible, not all hope is lost.  Please see the post on how lifestyle behaviors can change those children that have predetermined obesity risks.

Source: Laitinen J, et al, Maternal weight gain during the first half of pregnancy and offspring obesity at 16 years: a prospective cohort study, 2012 May;119(6):716-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03319.x.

Can eating 5 meals a day reduce your child’s risk for obesity?

The answer is “Yes!” based on a 2013 Northern Finland Birth Cohort study of adolescents aged 16 years.  The data collection on the population began prenatally up until the age of 16 years.

Previously, the results of a study on the same Finnish population showed that environmental factors such as physical activity could modify the effect of common obesity-susceptibility gene variants.  This means that those children who carried the genes associated with the risk for obesity could stop their predisposition to obesity by modifying their lifestyle behaviors. The researchers also showed in a previous study that eating 5 meals a day reduced abdominal obesity in children.

Specifically, for this current study,  two meal patterns where looked at:  those that ate 5 meals per day and those that ate 4 meals or less per day on the relation between obesity-related genotypes and body mass index (BMI) among the 16 year olds.   A genetic risk score (a multiple-locus indicator based on eight obesity-susceptibility loci) and a separate analysis of the effects of two well-established obesity loci, FTO and MC4R, on BMI were analyzed.

Results showed:

  1. A 5 meal a day pattern (including breakfast) decreased the predisposition to increasing BMI
  2. Those that skipped breakfast had a greater increase in BMI

I loved reading up on this study because it shows that even though you may be born with a set of genetic predispositions to obesity you still have the power to be at a healthy weight.  And it starts in childhood.  What power parents have to influence their kids and impact their health!!  Interested in the effect of maternal weigth gain and obesity risk? Click here

Source: PLOS One, September 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 9 | e73802: Jaaskelainen A, Schwab U, Kolehmainen M, Kaakinen M, Savolainen MJ, et al. (2013) Meal Frequencies Modify the Effect of Common Genetic Variants on Body Mass Index in Adolescents of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073802


Outdoor Children

5 Secrets for Healthy and Adventurous Children








1. Start Early with Foods from Nature:   Breastfeeding and Beyond
2. Every Day is an Outdoor Day to Play:   Get Dirty
3. Sunshine is Natures Strength:   Vitamin D is key to optimal muscle growth and development for activities
4. Pure Environment: home, organic, alternatives to mainstream thought and practices?
5. Family Camping and Hiking in the Mountains, Deserts, and Beaches:    Experience Nature. Explore the Terrain.

© Sara Newell: June 2008

Eating Patterns

I was researching eating patterns in childhood and the connection to adult eating patterns and found some great information.  See below!  (DGAC = Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee which establishes the American Dietary Guidelines based on updated research every 5 years.)

  • Eating patterns established during childhood are carried into adulthood: Report of the DGAC on the Dietary Guidelines of America (2010)
  • Those children who eat fruits and vegetables and milk are more likely to as adults: Report of the DGAC on the Dietary Guidelines of America (2010)
  • Fathers who believe that dinner is an important family gathering might help lower a child’s intake of fast food. (Journal of Nutrition Education Behavior, 2011, McIntosh A. et al., 43:142-149)
  • Children and teenagers sharing three or more family meals per week were more likely to be in the normal weight range, have healthier dietary and eating patterns and less disordered eating compared to children eating one or fewer family meals. (Pediatrics, 2011, Hammons AJ and Fiese BH, 127:15565-1574)