School Lunch Ideas

Although many of us from an older generation used to “brown bag” our lunches that doesn’t cut it anymore. Parents and children can easily overlook the necessity for healthy school lunches. Despite attempts to improve nutrition content the school cafeteria with its sloppy joes, pizza and heavily breaded chicken fingers may not be appropriate for overweight children or children with food and dietary sensitivities. It’s time to accept the fact that raising healthy children means they won’t be eating school cafeteria lunches, but instead will need to bring lunch from home. Here are some suggestions for how even the busiest parents can do it.


Having the right containers will help a lot. Be sure to have an insulated lunch box so that food intended to be cold doesn’t end up warm by lunchtime and vice versa. Four small containers and a wide-mouth thermos will usually do the job. It’s a good idea to buy two sets of containers to avoid having to wash them each night.


It’s best to encourage your child to drink water using the wide-mouth thermos. Of course pop and soda should be avoided at all cost. Even juices are not necessarily of good nutrition. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that juice consumption contributes to cavities and gastrointestinal problems for children. Milk can be a common food allergy and create sensitivity for many children.


Source of protein like cubes of baked chicken, turkey or fish are great. You can serve these in small portions and use them randomly over the course of several weeks. Hard-boiled eggs can also be used. Beans kept in the thermos and served with organic tortilla chips are another idea as well as stew and chili.


Better sandwich choices include using whole-wheat bread with lots of grains and almond butter instead of peanut butter. Another alternative is a healthy wrap using whole-grain tortillas with baked turkey or chicken and lettuce, cucumbers, tomato and peppers.

Side Dishes:

Many kids don’t consider lunch complete without cookies or chips. These must be avoided. They should only be an occasional treat and not a staple. Side dishes may include tasty, crisp vegetables-the greener, the better. Fruit is also healthy but can be a major source of sugar. Try to serve just one fruit serving for every five servings of veggies.

Other Factors:

Organically grown foods have been shown to be more nutrient and vitamin dense than foods grown with pesticides. Although organic foods are more expensive the prices are now coming down even though you are paying more you’re getting more in return.

And no one knows better than your own child what they are going to eat so let them help you pack their lunches. Children like to participate this will help them learn what’s healthy and they will be more likely to enjoy their meals. Every Sunday have them help you choose the week’s menu and you both can begin pre-packing those options that can be frozen or stored for a few days.

A balanced diet is more than just a healthy recommendation. It is the building block of your child’s growth and well-being. Remember, it’s your responsibility and not the school cafeteria to provide them with the right food.

The Answer to Childhood Obesity? Ayurveda – Not Statin Drugs!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read in the New York Times that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines to “aggressively screen and medicate for high cholesterol in children” and that they plan on administering cholesterol-lowering drugs – called statins – to kids as young as age 8! Age 8!
But before we go into that, let me remind you of the simple facts about cholesterol…
Back in April, I posted an article that dispelled the myths surrounding cholesterol, so allow me to reiterate a few things: in Ayurveda, there is no “bad” and “good” cholesterol – it’s all good. High cholesterol is the informant, a warning sign, that something else is not right in your body – it’s not the criminal. Don’t blame the cholesterol!

Use of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins, also known as Lipitor – Pfizer; Pravachol – Bristol Myers Squibb; and Lescol – Novartis) rose by 156% (from 15.8 million people to 29.7 million people) between 2000 and 2005. Spending on these drugs catapulted from $7.7 billion to $19.7 billion, and prescriptions rose from about 90 million to nearly 174 million during that same time period.

In 2004, the U.S. government’s National Cholesterol Education Program advised those at risk for heart disease to reduce their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to the ridiculously low levels of less than 100 (or even 70). If you want to meet these dangerously low targets, you would generally have to take multiple statins in combination.

Big business shouldn’t dictate how we treat ourselves or especially our children, and statins are not the solution to the “problem” with cholesterol. Don’t just take my word for it. Dr. Joseph Mercola, D.O., has spoken out against the use of statins for children. “I do not find it particularly heartening that these drugs are as safe for children as they are for adults, considering that they are highly dangerous for adults to begin with,” Dr. Mercola notes in his article “Now They Want to Treat Kids with Statins.”

Dr. Mercola also lists some of the known dangers of statins (“Crestor and Other Statins: Are They Really Worth the Risk?”) including: “potential increase in liver enzymes…muscle aches, weakness, immune system suppression, an increase in cancer risk, and a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition called rhabdomyolysis.”

Hugs (and Ayurveda) Not Drugs: Treat childhood weight and obesity disorders the SAFE and NON-TOXIC way…

Choose the RIGHT Labels: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha – NOT “Fat” or “Lazy”…

Taking Care of Your Baby’s Teeth

As a parent, I wouldn’t think of putting my child’s health in the hands of any doctor other than a qualified pediatrician. The same goes for my kids and their dental health. Choosing the right dentist is very important. It aids in fighting the number one condition that affects children’s teeth – tooth decay. This is why having a great “pediatric” dentist – yes I said “PEDIATRIC DENTIST” is important. There’s a big difference and it’s critical to your child’s dental health.

I didn’t realize why choosing a pediatric dentist was so important until I had my own children. I had to learn a few lessons the hard way, but thankfully I was able to locate a dentist who has been wonderful in maintaining my children’s teeth and gums. By the way, the reason I stress pediatric dentist is for the obvious reason, just like a pediatric doctor specializes in children’s bodily health, pediatric dentists specialize in children’s teeth. This makes a world of difference – trust me.

Through trial and error, I’ve learned a few things along the way. I’m going to share a few tips I’ve gathered, some of which you may already know, some of which maybe a surprise (they were to me). Hopefully these tips can help you on your quest to locate the ideal dentist for your little one(s).

The First Visit

(1) It’s best to take your child for his/her first dental visit around 18 months. Bringing them in at 3 or 4 years, is not the best because many times there’s already an underlying problem which my result in a shot in the mouth (ouch), caps over teeth or even extraction.

(2) Make sure the first visit is a good one. What do I mean by this? For starters, make sure you’re comfortable with the dentist and make sure your child (or children) is also. I’ve learned that if the child feels comfortable, you’ll get a lot more productivity out of the visit and a lot less drama when it’s time to return. There are some dentists who are “paycheck” encouraged and really aren’t concerned about the overall health of your child’s teeth (been there done that). Just be very observant – you’ll know.

(3) The visit should consist of an evaluation, a discussion with you the parent, a quick cleaning with fluoride, stickers, prizes, etc. and a follow up appointment made. You don’t want to horrify the kids on the first visit.

Another good reason to take your child to the dentist early is to prevent any onset of unusual spots or discoloration which can be an early sign of tooth decay. It doesn’t take long to surface due to children’s primary teeth having thinner enamel than those of their permanent teeth.

Take for instance drinking juice. When a child drinks juice, the first place the juice hits is the front of their mouth and that’s where the problems usually surface first. I also have a few suggestions on this (the dentist backed me up on these too).

(a) Try to only give 100% juice to your child due to the high sugar levels in juices made with high fructose corn syrup. Because so many are made this way, remember this – regardless of the juices given, water them down a bit and then have your child rinse with regular water afterwards. It helps swish out some of the sugar that deposit on the teeth after eating and drinking.

(b) Get your kids in the habit of brushing even at a small age. Twice a day is a good start and you can gradually add more after certain meals. If you make it fun (I brush with my kids and we sing and shake a bit), they won’t think it so much of a chore to do.

(c) Look for toothpaste that has the ADA (American Dental Association) recommendation logo shown. You’ll be amazed that little things like this do make a difference.

Ultimately, prevention is the most important aspect of our children’s dental health. But we know that as long as they are kids, candy, juice, fruit, etc. will play a part in their dental lives in some form or fashion. We need to just make sure we take note of the little things and manage our children’s eating intakes wisely. If problems are addressed early enough, some problems can be blocked with early intervention.

Medical Transcription – Tips to Improve Accuracy While Transcribing

Fast and error-free medical transcription service is the need of the hour. Physicians want transcripts in quick turnaround time (TAT). Many specify TAT which could be as be as short as 10 hours for electronic radiology reports. Typing fast to ensure the specified turnaround could result in errors and transcriptionists end up wasting time correcting these errors. Of course, some professionals would argue that correcting errors is easily accomplished with a spellchecker or backspacing on the computer. But think of the time you can save on these non-transcription activities if you can produce error-free transcripts the first time. In fact, accuracy is the key to success and higher productivity in transcription. Here are some important tips to help:

Listen to Whole Sentence before Transcribing it

Even if you have efficient transcribing software or machines, it is not a good practice to listen to a few words, pause the recording and transcribe just these words. Practices like this can result in more errors as you wouldn’t know in which context the word or words are used until the sentence is complete. For example, the abbreviation ‘AF’ is used for Atrial fibrillation, Atrial flutter and Amniotic fluid. It is not possible to understand for which condition this abbreviation is used unless you hear the complete sentence. If you assume a word, you are likely to make a mistake and would have to delete and retype it – a sheer waste of time. Basically while transcribing a Cardiology transcription note you do not want to transcribe a medical term used more commonly for Pediatric transcription.

So proceed (key) slowly and make sure there are no errors so that you don’t have to make any changes. What is the best way to do this? Listen to what the doctor is saying, understand the exact context, pause the playback and type the sentence. This will allow you to catch the right meaning and type correctly. Listening does not mean merely hearing what is said, but understanding each word in the dictation. If you have the ability to understand different accents, this would definitely be a plus point.

Slow Down Typing Speed to Avoid Errors

Keying speed definitely increases the turnaround time of medical transcription. But typos or errors that occur due to fast typing will slow you down as you would have to spend time correcting them later. So you need slow down the typing speed and focus on what you are typing while listening to the dictation. This will help you to avoid errors and omissions. The time saved on correction can be used for more compensable work. However, this does not mean typing words too slowly. Type fast, but make sure that the speed is comfortable for you to recognize mistakes.

Set Auto-Backspace Short

It is true that auto-backspace in the dictation recorders available today is a great help. However, there is a problem with automatic-backspace on playback: it rewinds the tape or dictation whenever you stop and this can be a real waste of time as you would have to listen to a portion of dictation that you already transcribed once again. The solution is to set automatic backspace so that you only hear a single word after you stop.

A professional medical transcription company has trained and experienced medical transcriptionists with excellent language and listening skills who have the knowledge and skill to ensure accurate and timely transcripts. Physicians can certainly expect their productivity to go up when they partner with the right service provider.