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Mountain West Wellness Health Tips, Issue #041
July 20, 2016

Welcome to our July 2016 Newsletter. Since it is summer and many of our kids are home much more I thought I would dedicate this newsletter to a couple of kid related topics. The first article is about kids and electronics. It has been shown that too much electronics use in kids can cause many problems, so there are some tips to help keep them away from excess gadget use. The second article is about sugar. We all know sugar is not good for us, but here are some good reasons why. The last thing I have included is a yummy little recipe for chocolate popsicles. Try it! Enjoy and feel free to share this with a friend.

Ways to Keep Kids Off Electronics

In this day and age, kids seem to always be glued to some sort of electronic device. Whether it is a phone, computer or tablet, there is always some form of technology kids can get their hands on, As a parent, it can be frustrating and difficult to limit screen time. Below are some alternatives to keep your kids occupied and having fun without the need for a screen!

Get them outside

One of the best ways to keeps kids not only occupied but healthy is to get them playing outside. Whether it is hiking or playing catch, the outdoors have been proven to improve physical health as well as mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that kids who get more outdoor time can have reduced symptoms of ADHD. It is a great opportunity for children to let out energy in a constructive way while having fun.

Head to the library

Reading is a great pastime for a number of reasons. Making books and reading a regular activity in your household will not only help your child improve their reading skills, but will keep them focused and their imagination active. Take them to the library to explore and find what types of books they really like.

Consider a family pet
Family pets have benefits not only for kids but parents as well. They can be great companions for kids and their emotional development. Studies have shown that children who grow up with animals are better adjusted later on in life. Pets encourage nurturing, comfort and responsibility.

Make chores fun

Chores can be a drag, but also are important for children to learn responsibility and keep them busy and off their electronics. Make chores a game or a competition. Set goals and tell them when they complete a certain task they are on to the next “level”. Make chores a task that kids will look forward to doing!

It is especially important to limit screen time in summer when kids are out of school. Signing them up for a day camp or sport activity during summer can help keep them active and social. There are many different types of camps for kids from theatre and dance to outdoor and sport camps. This is also a great way to get them off your plate for a bit!

The Not So Sweet Side of Sugar

A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than 70 percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sadly, most of us are addicted to sugar, which happens to be hidden in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Added sugar can cause a whole array of problems that can be short term as well as long term. If you are experiencing health problems, lowering your sugar intake may be one of your best options. Below are some truths about the ugly side of sweets.

No nutrients Refined sugar has no nutritional value and it is recommended to consume as little as possible. The first step in eliminating sugar is from drinks such as soda, juice and mixed alcoholic drinks. Because of the large amounts of sweetener in these drinks, it can make them very addictive and hard to quit drinking.

Harms your liver Sugar can be just as damaging on your liver as alcohol and lead to fatty liver disease. When you consume too much fructose, your body becomes insulin resistant resulting in various problems that can cause disease.

Raises cholesterol One study done in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that participants who ate the highest levels of added sugars showed the biggest increase in bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride blood fats and the lowest levels in the good cholesterol levels.

Leading cause of obesity In America, sugar is one of the leading culprits of obesity. It is estimated that 80 percent of food products in the U.S. contain added sugar. The best way to lose weight and lower your risk of obesity is to eliminate all processed foods and drinks.

Bad for your teeth It should be a no-brainer that sugar is bad for your teeth. You may remember growing up having the dentist tell you as a kid to eat less candy to prevent cavities. As an adult, we know it’s not only candy that will cause cavities, but sugar that is found in your favorite drinks and everyday foods as well. Best way to sustain healthy teeth and gums? Cut the processed and refined sugar.

Can lead to type 2 diabetes When your body is consuming too much sugar, your glucose levels become too high, which can be toxic to the body. When this happens, your body has a harder time producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes.


Yummy Sugar Free Dessert

1 Yummy Sugar Free Dessert
It can be hard to get kids off sugar and maybe you’re even trying to kick the habit yourself. There are plenty of sweet alternatives that not only taste good but are healthy as well. So, throw out all the refined sugar you have at home and try easy recipes like the one below to fulfill your sweet cravings.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding Pops Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener

2 btsp cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp stevia extract

Dash of salt

2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate

2 tbsp coconut oil

Popsicle molds


Either using a food processor or a blender, puree avocado until smooth. Next, add milk, sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, stevia extract and salt. Blend on low until the ingredients are mixed well. Melt chocolate with coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave or until melted. Pour melted chocolate with other ingredients in the blender or processor and run on low until the ingredients are well mixed.
Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least three hours.

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Stay Healthy!

Jack, Kim, Alicia, Jonathan, and Lynn

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