COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseases

Public policies can help support better individual choices

COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseasesThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light both weaknesses and opportunities in the way public policies can support children’s long-term health, according to the seventh and final Alberta Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth, released recently. “Kids eat what’s available to them, what’s affordable and readily accessible,” said principal investigator Kim…

How to help kids cope with back-to-school stress

A helpful guide to easing the transition

How to help kids cope with back-to-school stressKids anxious about heading back to school after a year of pandemic lockdown can best be helped by parents and teachers getting themselves grounded and present, says a University of Alberta education expert. Connecting with how their bodies respond to stress or fear can help adults deal with any stress or trauma children are experiencing,…

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age children

Active students have better grades, enhanced memory, lower absenteeism and better behaviour

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age childrenThe physical activity levels of our young people were already trending downward when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic made things worse. Kids around were stuck at home, forced to try to learn virtually. An online math class is one thing. A physical education class at home is nearly impossible. During the pandemic, physical education has been…

What’s the pandemic doing to my young child?

Spoiler alert: everyone’s going to be OK

What’s the pandemic doing to my young child?If you’re the parent or caregiver of a toddler or preschooler, you might be wondering how the past 16 months of relative isolation has affected them. For many kids, the pandemic shut down their opportunities to interact with peers and increased their screen time. It has also disrupted family routines, increased anxiety among many caregivers…

Canada has a baby-making problem

Missing marriages, empty baby carriages

Canada has a baby-making problemWedding industry vendors are reporting a boom in bookings – or at least south of the border according to the Associated Press. Couples who waited out the pandemic are booking their big day, as are those who married during the pandemic but are now planning celebrations with family and friends. The increased bookings are likely…

Have faith in our children to create a better world

Giving our children the tools to move the world forward is the most valuable investment we can make

Have faith in our children to create a better worldAmerican musician and songwriter Louis Armstrong wrote, “I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” As an educator, parent and adult functioning in our society, I can think of no higher ideal than this. It’s an empowering, humbling…

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?

The simple answer is no

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?Providing quality care for preschool children is a good thing. Children learn to socialize in groups beyond their family. They acquire the skills and readiness that will allow them to succeed in elementary school and later in life. With children well looked after, all parents are free to take jobs or pursue careers contributing to…

When spouses disagree on the best course of treatment for their kids

Each parent wants what is best for their child, but their version of what that is tends to differ

When spouses disagree on the best course of treatment for their kidsWhen a child is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it changes the family dynamic. For parents, it is devastating news, and regardless of the outcomes, they will never be the same again. These parents are expected to make difficult medical decisions about treatment for their child. However, they often don’t have the mental or emotional…

Nutrition researcher gets funding to find out why diet affects immunity

Immunology is at the centre of virtually every chronic disease

Nutrition researcher gets funding to find out why diet affects immunityTwo decades ago, Catherine Field’s University of Alberta nutrition lab showed that specific fatty acids in breast milk during the crucial first period of life could program how the immune system responds to food allergens. Her group looked at milk, egg and soy allergies – the ones babies tend to grow out of but can still…

Child-care subsidies won’t stimulate the economy

Officials need to streamline and eliminate child-care regulations

Child-care subsidies won’t stimulate the economyThe federal government has spotted another pretext to increase its intrusion in our lives: subsidized child care. Despite knowing economic lockdowns have caused massive job losses, federal officials argue that unaffordable child care impedes women from returning to the workforce. Subsidies are a shallow, top-down policy that would generate aid dependency from child-care centres and…
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