Health Watch: Start kids cooking with sandwiches
Experts agree that getting children involved with cooking has many benefits, from getting them to try new foods and learning about nutrition, to providing bonding time with family members.
WebMD notes that many children begin to express an interest in food preparation as early as age 2 or 3, and it is possible to get them started at that age at the right pace and with close supervision.
Sandwiches are a good first-timer dish that kids can learn to create in the kitchen because they'll likely grasp the basics quickly - two slices of bread or a bun and some nourishing ingredients in between. Sandwiches in particular offer kids the opportunity to get creative. Parents should encourage them to explore new types of breads and buns, and introduce youngsters to unique types of fillings.
Because burgers are so popular with adults and kids, introducing younger cooks to different types of innovative or "gourmet" burgers, like those that include chicken, salmon or vegetarian proteins, creative toppings and inventive ways to prepare them can also spark kids' creative juices.
New Research: ‘Smart’ cells may regenerate heart muscle
Mayo Clinic has taken regenerative medicine beyond the laboratory and into clinical studies by completing the first trial of 45 patients – individuals who had experienced heart damage.
These volunteers were injected with “smart stem cells” – adult stem cells reprogrammed and enhanced to be potential heart cells. This first trial was to determine safety and feasibility of the concept – and it did just that, though specific data are still being analyzed.
Future trials to determine efficacy will involve upwards of 200 participants. Those studies will determine how well it works.
-- Mayo Clinic
Health Tip: Are my eggs OK to eat?
Is it safe to eat the eggs in your fridge, or could they be those affected by salmonella?
Check the carton for the "Sell By" date and the two numbers below it, federal health officials say, to see whether your eggs are involved in the recall. One number is the plant number, and the other is the packaged date, or Julian date, showing what day of the year the eggs were packaged. For example, Jan. 1 is 001 and Dec. 31 is 365. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a list of what numbered designations are included in the recall at fda.gov.
Also, be advised that raw eggs may be used in Caesar salad dressing, homemade ice cream, cookie dough and mayonnaise. Also, avoid eggs prepared "sunny-side up" or "over easy."
For more on salmonella, go to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, nlm.nih.gov.
Did you Know?
Organic ketchup delivers three times as much of the cancer-fighting carotenoid lycopene as do non-organic brands.
Number to Know
2: Lung cancer is the second-most-common form of the disease in men and women, and is the leading source of cancer deaths in both, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Children’s Health: Backpack safety
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips to keep backpacks from causing harm to kids as they return to school:
-- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
-- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the your child’s body weight.
-- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
-- Consider a rolling backpack. This may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
Senior Health: Meditation helps stress, chronic pain
Thousands of people are successfully using meditation to deal with stress, chronic pain, high blood pressure and other issues.
Neuroscientists are uncovering the changes in the brain that accompany these benefits. Their research relies on a concept called neuroplasticity — the idea that what we focus our attention on reshapes the brain in crucial ways.
The stress-busting effects of meditation may even protect our cells from damage associated with aging, as well as from autoimmune disease and other inflammatory conditions. A Harvard Medical School team reported in 2008 that it found these beneficial changes in the genes of people who regularly practiced meditation, yoga and other relaxation-inducing routines.
Emory University scientists found in 2007 that those who meditated regularly seemed to avoid some normal age-related decline of gray matter in a part of the brain that helps control motor skills and learning.
The disciplined repetition of redirecting attention is what seems to drive the brain changes that can be seen in brain-imaging studies. It’s much the same as what happens with a musician repeatedly playing scales or an athlete or dancer practicing a movement.
GateHouse News Service