Healthy Choices: Sugary Drinks Affect Toddlers

soft-drink_500The consumption of empty calories by children is having the effect of greater increase in their (BMI) Body Mass Index by the age of 5.   In a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, those children who consumed sugary drinks at younger ages like 2 years old, had increased their BMI in the next 2 years at ages 4 and 5 at a higher rate than those who did not consume them. 


While it makes no sense for government officials to set policy, certainly this study and others shows the need for parents to set policy in their own home and schools about beverage choices.  I am not sure how all of the different studies relate to each other, but it has also been found that those children who had 8 oz. of sugary drinks per day also were more likely to watch more than 2 hours of television daily.  Is that a parenting issue or are the two related in some other way?

Nonetheless all of this adds up to higher rates of obesity in our young people.  It is interesting too that increase of exercise in many children increases their ability to learn and focus.

The Balanced Life Skills Way

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Reduce or eliminate the sugary drinks.  Check the labels to see what your child is taking into their body.
  3. Parental modeling of good habits – regular exercise routine, drink lots of water.

Healthy choices is one of our main headings of instruction for our students.  Healthy choices includes eating, exercise, friendships, and staying away from drugs.   Check out our most nutritious food chart at our studio.

Primary source: Pediatrics    Source reference: DeBoer MD, et al. “Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in 2- to 5-year-old children” Pediatrics 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0570.

Focus: reaching our goals

There are no parts of life that focus is not needed.  It does not matter if we are playing a game or doing the specialized work of a doctor or scientist.  But in fact many of us have problems focusing on the task at hand as we think about all the other things going on in our lives.  

I would like to think for a few minutes about the things that really need our focus.  For each of us those things may be different, but I would think that it is possible that many of them may be the same.  Who would not say that focusing on our family and health are two of the most important.  Yet for many children today the average amount of time their parents spend with them alone without interruption from media and other distractions may only be 8 minutes per week.  

Our health is another area that we could all agree needs our focus.  Yet our eating habits and workout schedule may be pushed to the side due to us focusing on other matters.  So many times I have parents tell me how healthy they and their children eat, yet both parent and child are not at a healthy weight.  So what is it that you want to focus on?   What are the most important things in your life?  

One of the things that will help us focus on our ‘most important’ things is by setting goals.  With a goal that is specific and with a completion date our mind can focus to reach that goal.  General goals do not help us focus.  Specific goals however concentrate our energy on the stated goal.  

Goal setting, focus and commitment to them is something I work on all the time.  In fact I invite you to join with me in that regard.  I believe that having ‘teammates’ is an important part of keeping our focus and reaching our goals and holding us accountable.  I am here and ready to do that with anyone that wants the support.  Of course it will be a two way thing, as in any team, both of us will benefit.