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The Checkup Archive: Parenting

Ranch dressing revisited

Ranch is often offered to children along with cut-up vegetables or baby carrots. Like the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, the ranch dip makes vegetables more palatable to kids who might otherwise shun them. But full-fat ranch is high in fat and calories, and reduced-fat versions are packed with sodium. Is it really such a great idea to induce kids to eat vegetables by loading those carrot sticks with such nutrition-unfriendly glop?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | March 8, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Childhood obesity, Dietary Guidelines, Family Health, Kids' health, Nutrition and Fitness, Parenting, School Nutrition, Sodium  
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Is that right? Menu calorie labels can curb obesity?

Offering calorie information on fast-food menus is the law of the land now, with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which requires fast-food and other chain restaurants to display calorie counts for the foods they sell. The idea, of course, is that people are overeating because they're not aware of how many calories are in a Big Mac, and once they are properly informed they'll choose the salad instead. But does it really work that way?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | February 18, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Food labeling, Is That Right?, Nutrition and Fitness, Parenting  
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New data on crib injuries

What hasn't been tallied until this study is the number of non-fatal, but often quite serious, injuries to babies who have been placed in cribs, playpens or bassinets. An average of 26 such injuries per day occurred during the time studied, most (66 percent) involving falls, usually from cribs (83 percent) and most commonly affecting the head or neck (40 percent).

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | February 16, 2011; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Family Health, Infant health, Kids' health, Motherhood, Parenting, Prevention, Sleep  
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On energy drinks, a voice of caution -- and reason

The thing I most appreciate about this JAMA editorial is its clear-headed presentation of information without an accompanying demand for government regulation. Its stance seems to be that the public (and the health professionals who advise the public) needs to be aware of the potential risks of energy drinks -- not that people shouldn't be allowed to enjoy energy drinks if they so choose. And there is, thankfully, no mention of an energy-drink tax.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | February 10, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Alcohol and Drugs, FDA, Family Health, Kids' health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Teens  
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Study: Womb surgery for spina bifida beneficial

Performing surgery on babies with the most severe form of spina bifida when they are still in the womb doubles the chance that they will be able to walk, according to a federally-funded study released Wednesday.

By Rob Stein  | February 9, 2011; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Parenting, Pregnancy, Reproductive Health, Women's Health  
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Why flu vaccine may cause narcolepsy

Scientists think they have found a clue to why there may be an increased risk for the sleeping disorder narcolepsy among some people who got the H1N1 flu vaccine: The cases appear to have occurred among those carrying a gene that increases the risk for the rare disorder, which causes...

By Rob Stein  | February 8, 2011; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Influenza, Parenting, Sleep, Vaccinations  
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Older Entries in This Category »

Teen birth rate hits historic low , Rob Stein , February 2, 2011
Will Ice Cream Guy catch a cold?, Jennifer LaRue Huget , January 31, 2011
Got milk? What kind?, Jennifer LaRue Huget , January 25, 2011
Modern Family: When kids walk in during sex, Jennifer LaRue Huget , January 20, 2011
U.K. experts question 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, Jennifer LaRue Huget , January 17, 2011
Autism/vaccine link: Another nail in the coffin, Jennifer LaRue Huget , January 6, 2011
SIDS deaths rise sharply on New Year's Day, Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 30, 2010
One embryo good for IVF, study finds, Rob Stein , December 22, 2010
CSPI helps mom sue McDonald's over Happy Meal toys, Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 16, 2010
Drop-side cribs finally outlawed, Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 15, 2010
Relax, parents. Your kids don't care what you eat., Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 13, 2010
Keeping caffeine from kids, Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 9, 2010
Food-allergy guidelines released, Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 6, 2010
Babies on diets? Now I've heard it all., Jennifer LaRue Huget , December 2, 2010
Disordered eating needs doctor's attention , Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 29, 2010
Used too long, pacifiers may harm speech, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 18, 2010
When your chubby freshman comes home, mum's the word, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 16, 2010
Hyper-texting teens' troubling behaviors, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 11, 2010
Kids get an eyeful of fast-food marketing, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 8, 2010
Second thoughts about nude baby photos, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 4, 2010
Your college kid, plus 15, Jennifer LaRue Huget , November 1, 2010
Home fertility tests questioned, Rob Stein , October 26, 2010
Tracking trick-or-treaters, Jennifer LaRue Huget , October 25, 2010
Is that right? Scarrots for trick-or-treaters?, Jennifer LaRue Huget , October 22, 2010
Teen birth rates vary by state , Rob Stein , October 20, 2010
Could your kid go without Facebook for a month? Could you?, Jennifer LaRue Huget , October 18, 2010
Homemade baby food: worth the fuss?, Jennifer LaRue Huget , October 12, 2010
Parents and their overweight children, Jennifer LaRue Huget , September 27, 2010
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