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September 2008


     Welcome to the Doc Grubb newsletter for September 2008.

    The big news for September is that CHILDREN RETURN TO SCHOOL!!!!! and that September is also Organic Harvest Month.

     Most parents say their main back-to-school activity is SHOPPING! While nearly all parents shop for back-to-school clothing and supplies, fewer than half find out what their child will be studying in school; take the time to meet their child's teacher; establish the habit that their children get a nutritional breakfast; and after school, increase the amount of time their children spend in reading for school and for pleasure and reducing the amount of time they spend watching television or movies and playing video or computer games.

This is a great time for us to focus on eating healthy. When they are in the school lunch line or sit down with their friends to eat the lunch you packed for them, our children face foods that contain high fat and a large number of calories that also have few colors and even lower nutritional benefits. It’s our job as parents to educate and set examples for our children by packing colorful food variations for take along lunches and snacks and to set examples as to what are correct choices for proper brain function and body developing nutrition.

The Organic Trade Association in 1992 created the “Organic Harvest Month” to promote organic food and agriculture. As consumers demand for certified organic products grow, it is a wonderful time to highlight this growing industry. Did you know that organic farming helps replenish and maintain soil fertility; eliminates the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and, builds a biologically diverse agriculture. Currently approximately 40-60% of all growers at farmers’ markets farm organically, and the numbers continue to grow.


                                              Back to School

     In the summer my son still gets up at 5:30 or 6:00 AM even though he doesn’t have anything scheduled to do until 9:00. He’s just an early riser. Thank goodness I am an early riser too so we have the chance to spend special time together when the world is quiet.  However, for most children, after a summer of sleeping in or doing things on their own time schedule, hearing the alarm ringing and telling them that they need to get up to go to the first day of school can really throw them off their schedule. For children of all ages, and of all grades, heading back to school means many changes. You will be in new classes, and might have to change classrooms for the first time; you might have a new teacher; new schedules for in and after school; and a new group of friends.

Organization is the key to life. Make yourself a checklist of everything you need to buy for school and talk it over with your parents. One of the best things schools are now doing are providing school supply checklists and packages of information telling parents and children what to expect for the school year and what supplies you need to buy. Some schools even have WebPages which are a great source of information.

The first day of any school will be crazy, especially if this is the first time you will be in school, or if you are going to a new school.  It’s great if you can arrange a visit to the school before classes begin. This will make your first day so much easier.  Explore any areas that you really want to see, such as the gymnasium, library, or science labs BEFORE the crowd is there. Some schools even provide maps. Get a map and study it before school starts and then put it in your backpack for the first week or two of school. Find out where the restrooms are located. I always feel better if I know where the bathroom is located.

Bring in school supplies and paperwork on the first day. Pack your backpack the night before school starts. In addition to basic school supplies (such as notebooks, pens, pencils, and a calculator), hunt down any of the school forms that were mailed to your family over the summer: immunization (shot) records, permission slips, and class schedules. Clothes are always a big issue. If your school doesn’t have a uniform, wear what makes you feel good, whether it's a brand-new school outfit or comfy older clothes. If you want to wear new shoes, wear them in the house a few days, or weeks, beforehand. You have a lot of pressure to “be in style,” but it’s impossible to stay in stay and most of us can’t afford to buy new clothes every few weeks.

It's perfectly normal to feel anxious, scared, or excited about school. Getting back to the school routine and adjusting to new workloads takes some getting used to after a long summer break. Meeting new people or getting reacquainted with classmates can feel overwhelming, especially if you are shy. The key is to sit up a routine!!!!! Remember that we just talked about visiting the school before hand. That is a great way to lower the anxiety level. Just talking with your parents and your friends to share how you feel about school is great for decreasing anxiety (for you and your parents).

I’d like to ask you to do something special. If you have new kids show up in your class, try to make them welcome. If you can remember how scared you were about going to a new school for the first time, you can understand how they feel.  Ask them their name, where they are from and what they like to do for fun. You might be surprised how good it feels to help someone else feel better about coming to your school.

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     Most mom’s mornings are frantic as you try to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door. Offering a healthy, well-balanced breakfast is the most important way to help your family and children get the most out of his school day. I bet that your mother always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and research shows that, at least in this case, mother knew best. Children who eat a healthy breakfast have been found to have better behavior in class, higher test scores, fewer episodes of hyperactive behaviors and are better able to concentrate in the class setting.

But many families don’t have the time or opportunity to gather as a family for breakfast. Many times, breakfast is a grab-and-go event.  Try to give your children a healthy breakfast that includes whole grains, lean proteins and fruit (even vegetables if you can sneak them into the meal!). When your child starts his day with a good meal, he or she will have a more consistent energy level throughout the morning and will feel fuller longer. Children who fill up on sugary cereals and white-flour based foods often have energy highs with a “sugar crash” after a short time. They also become hungry earlier and tend to eat more at lunch. In most cases, choose those unusual snack items for lunch. Because your children are better fed, their minds are clearer and better focused for making the right choices at lunch.

                 So, what are good choices for a school-day breakfast?

Whole grain breads: bread, bagels & English muffins

Whole grain cereals: oatmeal and high-fiber, whole grain cereals

Lean proteins: lean meats, hard-boiled eggs, low-fat yogurt and low-fat milk

Fresh fruit

     Under the “Color Your Plate” section of this newsletter you can routinely find fresh ideas and even innovative recipes that will spark your own good nutrition capturing our season’s harvest.

     School days are best started with a well-balanced meal but that healthy meal can be just as beneficial for mom or dad. So, if you can carve out a few minutes to join your child for breakfast, you may find yourself reaping the same benefits at work that he does at school.

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     One of the biggest issues that I deal with when I talk in schools is that of “bullying.”  It happens in all grades, in all types of schools, in all types of socioeconomic areas, and with both boys and girls. The story is that in each class there is usually one (or more) children who go out of their way to make life hard for another child, usually one who is smaller or who has some type of “difference” from the rest of the class. It may be that the kid they bully wear glasses, may be the “smart ones” of the class, are of a different country or speak a different language, but the “bully” chooses that child to pick on.

According to one study in Canada, bullying may start early in elementary school but even when kids are teens a significant number continue to be involved in bullying, or are victimized through bullying. Approximately 23% of Canadian young people in grades 6 through 10 reported that they bullied others, and boys reported bullying behaviors more than did girls. Bullying behaviors peaked in grade 10 for boys and grade 7 and 8 for girls. A small number (1%-6%) reported bullying on a regular basis, at least once a week or more. This trend decreases as girls aged, but not as boys grew older.

Victims and perpetrators of bullying can experience mental health problems such as depression, insecurity, lower self-esteem, loneliness and anxiety, and in severe cases, can be driven to suicide. Some victims become angry and aggressive, and start bullying others. Teens who bully others are at risk for doing more serious forms of aggression such as sexual harassment, dating violence, workplace harassment, marital aggression, child abuse and elder abuse.

Parents and teachers are extremely important in preventing young children and adolescents from becoming bullies and to protect children who are victimized. Help children to learn other ways in dealing with frustration and conflict in their relationships. Parents especially have the opportunity to teach children lessons that help them develop strong and healthy relationships free of aggression. Teachers should and must discuss bullying with their students. Children need to learn that they can walk away from bullies and that they must tell their teacher about inappropriate physical and verbal challenges. It is vital that parents become involved in addressing bullying. If necessary, go to see the teacher or even the principal to ensure that bullying is not allowed.


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     Healthy children are vital to the health of our planet. What we feed our children in the home has a great impact on what they will eat in school, and what foods the schools will choose to serve our children. Schools have classrooms, the school dining room, and other school activities that explain and reinforce healthy eating and physical activity habits. Students learn to make healthy lifestyle choices not only in the classroom and the school dining room, but also at class parties, school sporting events and wherever they are throughout the school day. Students have many opportunities to practice healthy habits and can choose from an array of healthy food options and enjoy daily physical activity.

Good nutrition is important for growth and development, physical well-being, the ability and desire to learn, and decreased episodes of disease. Remember that unhealthy eating habits are established early in life.  Children who have unhealthy eating habits usually keep the same habits as they grow older and may suffer from diet-related diseases such heart disease, some types of cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and osteoporosis. These diseases are showing up earlier and earlier in children.  Don’t forget that even in our country of abundance some children are undernourished. Even being moderate undernourished can have lasting effects on children's growth, development, and school performance. Your child can be of normal weight or over weight but because they are not eating the right type and color of foods they can still undernourished.

One of the biggest impacts we have on the planet are our use of processed and fast foods. Fast foods are usually of minimal nutritional value and our bodies are not able to process the artificial and chemically modified ingredients contained in the foods we serve our children. We are also using up natural resources at an enormous rate when we serve and eat meats in large portions. Teach your children that they don’t have to eat a quarter or half pound hamburger, or my favorite, the two patty hamburger with bacon. Help the school to plan healthy lunches and have your child set an example for other children by not drinking the fructose flavored juices served in the lunchroom.  Instead, have them pack their own bottled water.

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Children Are Endangered by Cell Phone Radiation

     A leading scientist recently warned that “mobile phone firms cynically target children even though they may be most vulnerable to the effects of radiation.” However, in response to the charge, the $100 billion a year mobile phone industry asserts that there is no conclusive evidence of harmful effects as a result of electromagnetic radiation.

Cell phones, which are practically standard equipment for teenagers in today’s world, are finding their way into the even smaller hands of preteens and even younger children. Preteen cell phones will soon be marketed nationwide with big expectations that preteen cell phone usage will become a national trend. Cell phones designed for preteens have controls that allow parents to limit whom kids can talk to but that doesn’t limit how much time they talk on the phone. Do me a favor. The next time you are picking your child up from school, eating in a restaurant, shopping in the mall or riding on an airplane, just look and see how many young children have their own cell phone. I think you will be surprised.

To understand how cell phones affect the human body, think of the human body as being made up of electrical charges. The type of radiation emitted from mobile phones reacts with the electrical charges of the body and has an impact on the stability of cells in the body. This is important because scientists say that children who use mobile phones absorb as much as double the amount of radiation through their heads as adults.  This is because the ears of children are thinner, the telephone is closer to the head and their cell growth and brain wave activity are not yet stable.  One scientist said that the main effects are “neurological, causing headaches, lack of concentration, memory loss and sleeping disorders. It can also cause epilepsy in children.”

So mom and dad…if your child does not already have a cell phone, reread the section above. Please consider all of the possible bad outcomes when you go to buy them a cell phone. For those who are already part of the “can’t be alone or out of contact with my friends” crowd, you might want to limit the amount of time they have available to use their phones and you might want to look at your own cell phone usage.

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Our free newsletter “The Worm’s Eye View” is uploaded to the computer each month. Each issue includes valuable information for all members of the family as well as the inclusion of the most up-to-date information concerning medical research and treatments.

As a subscriber you will be sent announcements of my new books, CD, and seminars at reduced prices and fees. Sign-up now.

You should read my latest book, “Solving the Weight Loss Puzzle.” Please go to the order page and read part of the first chapter. You will learn a lot from this book why everyone has gained weight and the Three Secrets to normalize your weight.


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