This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

Flavor Your Life. Is Cooking with Olive Oil Dangerous?


I learned about this Zucchi olive oil applying to the blogger program through Moms. Meet, the experience was pleasant, even that I enjoy Olive Oil I love this type fresh flavor, and pure smell that I experience in this sampling campaign. I loved the presentation, the kit and the convenience container to keep it fresh and easy to use for my daily cooking routine.

Zucchi 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil combines quality and tradition in a blend of carefully selected extra virgin oils made by the mechanical cold-pressing of Italian olives only.

You’ve probably heard that olive oil is great for drizzling and dressing, but bad for high-heat cooking like sautéing and roasting. Maybe you’ve also heard that olive oil develops dangerous toxic compounds when you use it with high heat. Olive oil is perfectly safe to cook with. “I have found no evidence that high-heat cooking with olive oil is unhealthy,” says Rebecca Blake, RD, director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “There’s no proof.”

Still, this is not to say that you should run off and deep-fry a turkey in for dinner tonight. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking with olive oil:

  1. Choose the right olive oil for the job.
    Extra virgin isn’t the only game in town. There are several different varieties of olive oils, all of which have different flavor profiles, smoke points (more on that later), and cooking purposes. Follow this quick guide to make the best choice for your dish:
  • Extra virgin: Made from the first cold pressing of olives, this has the strongest, fruitiest, and arguably most pleasant flavor. Use in dressings, dips, and garnishes to allow the robust flavor to shine. It’s also a fine choice for sautéing.
  • Virgin: Made from the second pressing of olives, virgin has a milder flavor. Use in medium-heat sautéing and pan-frying.
  • Pure: Made from the second pressing of olive or by a chemical extraction process, pure olive oil isn’t exactly “pure” and lacks the flavor and fragrance of extra virgin and virgin. Use in roasting, baking, or deep-frying.
  • Light: Don’t be fooled—light olive oil isn’t lower in fat or calories than other types of oil. And this type should actually be avoided, since it’s made from a combination of virgin and refined oils, and lacks both the flavor and health benefits of virgin and extra virgin.
  1. Don’t hit the smoke point.

Smoke point is the temperature at which oil starts to break down. You’ll know its happening when the oil starts to, well, smoke. Each type of olive oil has a slightly different smoke point:

    • Extra virgin: 375 to 405°F
    • Virgin: 390°F
    • Pure: 410°F
    • Light: 470°F

Do your best to avoid the smoke point. While it’s not harmful to your health, Blake explains, cooking oil past its smoke point can cause nutrient loss and create unpleasant off-flavors that’ll affect the taste of the finished dish. I hope you found this article Is Cooking with Olive Oil Dangerous? informative and useful for your daily cooking activities. Sometimes information is misunderstand.

5 Best Deodorants for Women

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Living in South Florida means that is warm and hot most time of the year. As a result here is a short list of the five best deodorants found for women.

 1.Native deodorant

Made from natural ingredients, blew us away in terms of effectiveness, and is one of the favorite deodorant by far.  It is fantastic at eliminating odors – you can wear it to yoga and to the gym multiple times, and never felt worried about your body odor. In addition, Native kept us feeling dry all day long, and didn’t leave behind that sticky or oily feeling that some deodorants gave us.

Native deodorant is completely natural, and doesn’t contain chemicals like aluminum and paraben. Most antiperspirants (like Secret, Dove and Degree) have aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, so we wanted to avoid it.  Native comes in a few different scents, including Unscented, Coconut & Vanilla, Lavender & Rose, Eucalyptus & Mint, and Citrus & Herbal Musk.

2. Aesop Deodorant

Aesop Deodorant is a skin care company that started in Australia and has really begun making a name for itself in the United States.  Like the other deodorants on the list, Aēsop Deodorant is aluminum and paraben free.  It has a sophisticated scent and is on the pricey side for deodorants and earned the #2 spot.

3.Jason Deodorant

JASON has a long history of making natural products, and its deodorant is no different. It came in stick form as opposed to a spray or cream, and based on some reviews the stick form tend to be more effective at keeps you dry.

4. Honest Deodorant

If you are a parent, you’ve likely experimented with some Honest Co. products. Honest Deodorant comes in a spray format.  Has been found that natural spray deodorants don’t do a good job at preventing wetness.  Honest Co is no different – it has great scents (Bergamont Sage ) but doesn’t do enough to prevent wetness, ranked Honest Co. #4 on the list.

5. Organic 101 

Organic 101 Deodorant is certified organic by the USDA, and I’m not sure if any other deodorants are able to say that. The deodorant smelled a bit manly more like Old Spice or a heavy dose of cinnamon, and comparing with Honest, Honest’s scent was superior.  It is also a bit dry to roll on, it earned #5 spot.

I hope this list helped you to choose the best and natural option, through years aluminium and paraben has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and we can start to be more careful and choose the best option for us and for our family.

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Kids & the Pasta Relationship


Use the “power of pasta” to introduce more variety in meals and see your child learning to enjoy a more balanced diet without mealtime drama.

Imagine this scenario. You found time in your busy day to schedule and prepare a family dinner. You included protein and vegetables to make it balanced, only to see your child piling pasta on his plate… then more pasta… and eating nothing else but pasta!

Sound familiar? You are not alone. I have met many parents who were concerned about their child’s love for plain starchy foods like noodles, bread, rice, or mashed potatoes.

A seemingly logical step would be to implement portion control and encourage the child to eat in a more balanced way. But limiting food does not work for children (or grown ups) who tend to react to dietary restrictions with intense cravings and usually find a way to get what they want. I remember counseling a family in which a five year-old girl was sneaking bagels into her bedroom after her health-conscious parents started “watching” her portion sizes.

But the question is, are starchy foods bad for your child?

Far from it. Starchy foods are rich in carbohydrates. This makes them a great option for kids. Here’s why:

* Kids have a innate penchant for sweet and starchy foods, which is logical from an evolutionary stand point. These foods make an efficient source of fuel for developing bodies and rapidly growing brains.

* Although many adults choose to limit carbohydrates or eat only whole grains for weight and health reasons, I typically do not recommend doing the same for children unless directed by a health professional for medical reasons. First of all, carbohydrates are a great way to meet high energy needs since they are easy for even the pickiest eaters to like. Secondly, too many fiber-rich foods may fill kids’ small stomachs before children get enough calories or nutrition. Aiming for a 50/50 ratio of refined to whole grains is a good goal for most kids.

* Although many starchy options like pasta and potatoes get a bad rep as “empty carbs”, they are far from being nutritionally void. Potatoes, for example, are a good source of fiber (if you do not peel them before cooking) and vitamin C. And did you know that just one serving of pasta contains around 1/3 of a toddler’s daily protein needs? And if you take into account that many starchy foods like pasta and cereals are fortified, it’s clear that these foods are quite nutritious.

But it’s easy to fall into the trap of preparing the same starchy foods, even nutritious ones, over and over again. For example, my kids went to three playdates last week and were served some kind of pasta at every single of them. And guess who made noodles and mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner the same week?

Here are a few ideas to increase variety without making your child feel carb-deprived:

* Experiment with other grains and vegetables. Explore the grain and starchy vegetable aisles in your grocery store. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with wheat unless one has a gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy, it is very easy to over rely on it, mainly because it is so ubiquitous in our food supply. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, crackers for snack, and pizza for dinner make up a fairly typical menu. What about granola, cooked oatmeal, or buckwheat pancakes for breakfast? Corn tortillas with guacamole or veggie chips with hummus for a snack? Potato fritters, roasted sweet potato wedges, grilled corn on the cob, polenta, boiled potatoes, rice, or quinoa for a dinner side?

* Think of veggie and protein “safe food” options. Do you always include a familiar and liked option in family meals for your child? If so, great! I am a big proponent of the Division of Responsibility in feeding, where parents carefully and lovingly plan meals while kids choose what and how much to eat. To make it work for your family, make a list of your child’s preferred or safe foods, divide them into foods groups, and include one or two in every meal you plan for the whole family. Remember, the safe food you include does not always have to be starchy. Try serving a familiar veggie or protein instead and combine them with a new or less liked starch. Example: breaded chicken and peas (both safe foods, perhaps) served with quinoa (a less familiar food).

* Mix it up. It is absolutely fine if your child eats only white pasta or rice, but, for the sake of variety, why not introduce their whole grain cousins? To start, mix a small amount of whole grains into the refined option and increase the ratio of whole grains gradually over time.

* Set up a “bar”. Instead of offering plain noodles or a naked baked potato, set up an exciting mix-and-match toppings bar. Make sure to include some conventional options like cheese, butter, or tomato sauce as well as more interesting toppings like olives, canned tuna, avocado, corn, herbs, fresh tomatoes, cooked chicken or ham, crumbled bacon, wilted or fresh spinach, sautéed or fresh onions, and even jalapeño peppers.

Starchy foods are most kids’ all-time favorites. Instead of limiting them in the hope to get children to explore other dinnertime offerings, use the “power of pasta” to introduce more variety in meals. Chances are you’ll see your child learn to enjoy a more balanced diet without mealtime drama.

I hope you identify with article and found it informative about Your kids’ eating habits that sometimes is a challenge for many parents.

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The Benefits of Himalayan Salt

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The pink Himalayan Salt has a myriad of healthy medicinal properties, being rich in 84 minerals and trace elements.

It can be used as a replacement of the processed table salt, as a bath soak or body scrub, or as pink Himalayan salt lamps. Yet, you might not know that you can use it as a salt inhaler and enjoy its numerous health benefits!

These salt inhalers have small Himalayan salt rocks at the bottom, and when you inhale, the natural moisture of the air helps absorb the salt particles into the lungs.

This is highly beneficial in the case of colds, congestion, allergies, and asthma. The method is completely safe and natural, and thus causes no side-effects.

These are the benefits of salt inhalers:

  1. Protect against Harmful Organisms

Himalayan salt protects against numerous dangerous organism, and due to the high extent of minerals and natural elements, it boosts the immune system and offers potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties.

  1. Detoxification

The air we breathe is full of chemical pollutants, smog, smoke, dust, and pet dander, and the lungs are exposed to constant stress due to air pollution. The use of such a Himalayan salt inhaler detoxifies the lungs and the air around you.

  1. Soothe Sinus issues

Salt inhalation therapy strengthens the respiratory system, and the inhalation of pure, ionized air in salt mines treats respiratory issues, and even general irritation due to smoking and air pollution.

  1. Mucus Buildup prevention

Pink Himalayan salt cleanses the body of the mucus deposits from toxins in the air. These inhalers will relieve congestion and eliminate mucus buildup.

  1. Improve sleep

Salt inhalers soothe a nighttime cough and snoring by reducing mucous build up and congestion, and help you breathe easily and get the needed rest.

This is how to use them:

You should avoid plastic inhalers, but put the Himalayan rocks in a ceramic one. Then, put the mouthpiece in the mouth, and start breathing slowly and deeply through the mouth, and exhaling through the nose.

This is a dry therapy, so do not add water. Deep breathing will bring the small salt ions to the lungs, and they will bypass the nasal filtering system and go directly to the lungs.

They will be easily absorbed in the lungs and brought into the bloodstream, where they will soothe the inflammation and pain due to various reasons, like respiratory issues, such as pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.

I hope you enjoyed this information about Himalayan Salt

I was not aware it was useful for many health conditions.