HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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and experiences can help your teens know they are not alone. Show love and affection and care for your child. Encourage him to speak about his feelings with you. Deal with problems as they arise, rather than letting them build up. Lastly, be alert and attentive to your teen’s behavior.


Avoid sarcasm, threats, yelling and whining. Speak in a calm voice and be prepared to listen without interrupting your teen. Don’t demean or make personal attacks. If things get too heated, take a break and come back to the discussion later. Remember what it was like to be a teen.


Teens need to know mental health problems can be treated. To find help, they can talk to their school counselor, health care providers and, of course, their parents.

•  does reckless things that could harm you or others;

•  often feels very worried or angry;

•  is aggressive or consistently disobedient or has temper tantrums;

•  thinks someone is controlling their mind;

•  feels grief for a long time after death or a loss;

•  sleeps too much or not at all;

•  is not interested in academics;

•  experiences loss of self-esteem;

•  abandons or loses interest in his or her favorite pastime; or

•  displays excessive isolation and secrecy.


According to research, teens with mental health problems who got appropriate treatment showed an increase in scholastic test scores, and effective mental health interventions and a positive school climate contributed to improved student achievement.


As parents and caretakers, you must communicate constantly with your children by being honest and open about anything and everything. Talking about your fears

Being a teenager is not easy. They are under stress to do well in school, make big decisions, get along with family and friends and be liked. Most of these pressures cannot be avoided, and it is very normal for teens to worry about them. However, feeling persistently hopeless, sad or worthless may be warning signs of a mental health problem.


According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, 90 percent of people who develop a mental health problem show warning signs during their teen years. When left untreated, these problems may lead to family conflicts, school failure, trouble with the law, alcohol and drug abuse and even suicide.


Teenagers are known for their sudden shifts in behaviors and moodiness. However, if you notice a significant change in your teen, that can be a danger sign. Some common mental health disorders are depression/ anxiety disorders, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Help may be required if your teen:

•  uses drugs or alcohol;

•  is obsessed with dieting and/or binge eating and exercising;

•  destroys property or hurt others;

MENTAL HEALTH AND TEENS

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh