|Totally Outdated Health Myths
Carrots improve eyesight? Rice cereal helps babies sleep? Nope. We bust the misconceptions even pediatricians may believe.
MYTH Giving children sugar makes them hyper.
FACT This is an old theory and is not true. More than a dozen studies have shown that when you give kids high doses of sugar versus a sugar substitute, there's no difference in their behaviour. Still, parents have a hard time believing this one – probably because we've all seen what happens to kids after eating cake and ice cream at birthday parties. But it's more likely that the party itself, not the treats, has your kid bouncing off the walls.
MYTH Children with diarrhea should not eat dairy products.
FACT While it's true that dairy can make severe diarrhea worse, it's best to continue feeding your child her normal diet, including cow's milk, if she has a mild case and no vomiting. If your child is passing only 2 or 3 stools a day, she should continue with her normal diet. But if her diarrhea is severe and continues for 3 or 4 days, we advise that you don't give her milk, but continue with other dairy products like yogurt, chaach, or lassi. Yogurt contains probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that can help reduce the duration of diarrhea. Probiotics are known to replenish the gut with the good germs that the diarrhea has taken away. It's also important to continue breastfeeding a baby who has a gastrointestinal illness because breast milk contains the antibodies and pre-biotics (which promote the natural regrowth of good germs in the body) that battle the diarrhea.
MYTH Vitamin C helps ward off colds.
FACT The cold-fighting properties of vitamin C have been hailed since at least 1970, when Nobel Prize-winner Linus Pauling wrote a book touting massive doses of the vitamin to prevent colds and flu. But a recent review shows no evidence that taking the vitamin helps prevent sickness. It may shorten the duration and severity of a cold, but only if you were already taking the vitamin every day before symptoms started. If you catch a cold today and start taking vitamin C, it definitely won't help. Kids on a regular diet, which includes citrus fruits, juices and vegetables, will get enough vitamin C. And that's all they really need.
MYTH Reading in the dark causes visual problems.
FACT Reading in dim light may strain your child's eyes or give him a headache, but is not likely to cause any visual problems. Hearing a whisper doesn't hurt your ears, right its the same thing. For thatmatter sitting too close to the TV won't hurt their eyes either. Young kids like to sit right near the screen because it makes them feel like they're part of the show. If your child's still doing this past age 3, however schedule an appointment to have his eyesight checked. It could be a sign that he needs glasses.
MYTH Caffeine can stunt a child's growth.
FACT Caffeine does not stunt a child's growth. But it is a stimulant and can cause sleeplessness and hyperactivity in children. The myth may have come from studies showing that caffeine can weaken bones in older people, but researchers have found no such link in kids. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to limit caffeine: It can interfere with sleep, raise your child's heart rate and blood pressure, and cause jitteriness or indigestion. So it's probably just better to keep caffeine at bay anyway.
MYTH Eating carrots will improve vision.
FACT Carrots are known to be a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness, but it's not true that eating extra vitamin A can help improve eyesight. So, while carrots are a healthy food to munch on, loading your kids up on carrots will not necessarily keep the glasses away. This myth has a great backstory.
MYTH Adding rice cereal to milk helps a baby sleep.
FACT The research is clear: Children who eat rice cereal at an early age don't sleep any longer at night than those who don't. Babies may be hungry when they wake up, but they don't necessarily wake up because they are hungry. Sometimes they're just looking for attention. The myth probably started because most kids begin sleeping through the night when they're between 8 weeks and 4 months old, the age range when parents used to be urged to give babies their first cereal. This coincidence probably caused this myth to originate.
Help Baby Burp
To cut down on your baby's post-meal discomfort, use our easy-to-follow tutorial. It's a gas!
Get The Right Latch Babies need to burp when they take in too much air during feeding. To reduce the amount of air coming in and keep baby at ease, make sure he's latched on well: His lips should be sealed around the bottle.
Pat Him On The Back Tap the palm and fingertips of your free hand across your baby's should blades. Your palm should feel relaxed but heavy. Baby may move back and forth a bit; this won't hurt him as long as your shoulder supports his head.
Put Baby On Your Shoulder Sit comfortable, slightly reclining, or stand, holding your baby under his bottom so he's well-supported. Make sure your baby is facing behind you, looking over your shoulder, with his chin resting on a soft cloth.
Put Him On Your Lap As an alternate position, sit your baby sideways on your lap, with his chest leaning slightly forward. Make sure he's firmly seated. Support his chin between your thumb and index finger, and pat his back across the shoulder blades.
Food for Thought
Make family meals a priority: Research shows that more meals together mean healthier kids.
Adding flavour to milk doesn't take away its nine essential nutrients.
When your kid refuses regular milk, sweeten the deal. Flavoured milk provides the same nine nutrients, including the three that most children are not getting enough of; calcium, vitamin D and potassium. While there are some added sugars, flavoured milk drinkers do not have overall higherintakes of added sugars or total fat compared to children who do notdrink falvoured milk.
Packed with fibre, vitamins A, B6, C, and beta-carotene, mangoes are the world's sweetest super-fruit. Enjoy their tropical flavour in different ways:
The best way to eat a mango is raw. To make eating less messy, cut the "cheeks" off either side of the pit. Slice the flesh into a chequerboard pattern. Hand your kids a spoon to scoop out the flesh with.
Whip Up Some Mango Lassi. Put 1 cup of chopped mango, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk and 4tsp sugar in a blender for two minutes. Pour into glasses. Sprinkle a dash of ground cardamom on top.
Try This Refreshing Salad. In a medium bowl, toss together 1 chopped mango, 2 chopped apple, 3/4 cup toasted cashews, 1tbssp vinegar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt.