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Topic Archives: Sleep & Nutrition

5 Summer Resolutions for School Year Success

June 21, 2016

by Mindprint Staff New Year’s might be the traditional time to make resolutions, but at Mindprint we believe the summer solstice can mark the best opportunity to make important lifestyle changes. Summer affords plenty of time to persevere and make sure that those new habits stick without the competing demands and stress of a rigorous academic schedule. We’ve picked our favorites that should be relatively easy to keep once you get started and can truly benefit the whole family. Our Top 5 Summer Resolutions for Kids of All Ages 1) Get Enough Sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, school-aged children should be getting 10 hours of sleep a night. A good night’s sleep improves emotional and physical health and enhances learning and retention. During the school year,… Read More

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5 Assumptions about Teens and Sleep that are Wrong

September 12, 2015

by Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff We hear it all the time: teens need more sleep. They are burning the candle at both ends with early start times for school followed by hours of after school activities and homework. When I taught high school, I saw my students in first period at 7:45 a.m. and dismissed the last class 2:45 p.m. And guess what? These teens were exhausted at both ends of the day. They wanted coffee. Did you drink coffee in 10th grade? As adults, many of us can empathize with the adolescent’s sense of fatigue and desire for more sleep. We’re tired, too. But do we really understand the unique problem teens face when it comes to their sleep… Read More

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Take a Hot Chocolate Break

February 20, 2015

By Sarah Vander Schaaff It’s cold out. And all of us who are not posting photos of a late February escape to the some warm environs, and Mars is looking pretty good right now, will agree. That’s why today we’re going to talk about the benefits of a nice warm mug of hot chocolate. I’m not throwing in the towel on education and science. No, in fact, I’m embracing it and adding a dash of whipped cream on top. Chocolate, as a 2004 Finnish study suggested, has benefits that start even before your children are old enough to beg for a box of Swiss Miss Marshmallow Madness. It starts in the womb. Researchers at the University of Helsinki asked pregnant… Read More

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Study This: Meditation

December 20, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff In her book, Sitting Still Like a Frog, therapist Eline Snel discusses a school program called Mindfulness Matters that she conducted with three hundred children and twelve teachers. The group had a thirty-minute mindfulness session once per week, and each day after held ten-minute practice sessions. This continued for the entire year. Snel writes, “Both students and teachers responded with enthusiasm and noticed positive changes, such as a calmer atmosphere in the classroom, better concentration, and more openness. The kids became kinder to themselves and others, more confident, and less judgmental.” When I bring up the topics of yoga and mediation to some of my friends, I am often met with the response, “That won’t make… Read More

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Get Smart about Halloween

October 31, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff How we celebrate Halloween is a sign of the times: what costumes are popular, what the weather may bring (snow, hurricanes, ice or wind) and even what we dole out to eager trick-or-treaters. Considering nearly 1 in 13 children has a food allergy, a rate that has increased about 50% since 1997, it makes sense that food allergy awareness and its associated color, teal, are joining the wave. FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is encouraging families to think about making a few additions to Halloween. Their website provides ways for families to create a map of allergy-friendly treat givers, to print a teal pumpkin sign or sheet of stickers, and advice on how to distribute… Read More

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Sleep Like a Violinist

January 10, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff If one of your goals is to resist the urge to over-schedule and pressure your kids, then the New Year is a good time to revisit your intentions. I found myself slipping into an old habit just a few days ago when talking with my third grader about her homework. She’d already had a big day and done her most pressing homework, but she still had to complete a Spanish assignment due later in the week. “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today,” I said, thinking my advice was wise. Then I thought about what I was asking my eight-year-old to do: mimic me. In my effort to “stay afloat” I try to… Read More

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Have a Sensitive, Bright Child? This May Be What You’ve Been Looking For

October 25, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff A few years ago when my youngest child would not sleep, I looked for help. The honeymoon of “sleeping like a baby” had ended abruptly at four months, and after more than a year of frustration, I turned to almost every doctor I could think of. “Is it her eczema?” I asked a dermatologist. “Is it a food allergy?” I asked an allergist. “Is it her teeth?” I asked a pediatric dentist. They did tests; we changed our diets; we re-read the sleep-training books; we bought softer sheets for her crib. We did everything we could think of. Still, I asked: why does she spend more time crying than sleeping each night? Finally, a pediatrician said,… Read More

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What’s for Dinner?

July 23, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff The food of summer: abundant kale and soft serve ice cream. The contrasts in nutritional value abound. So, this week, I turned to Rebecca Rudy, a mother of two with a Masters degree in Nutrition. She gives us some tips both for summer and the school year ahead. 1. What is your background with nutrition and what got you interested in the field? Upon graduating from Harvard, I accepted a fellowship to teach Classics and coach crew at a British boarding school. The experience was fantastic—and I learned from it that I wasn’t meant to teach dead languages to fresh teens! I pursued my interest in sports nutrition instead and earned my Master’s from Tufts University… Read More

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