Keeping children on
a safe path
Wondering how to keep children from starting to drink or smoke? Start young — preferably before your child experiments with either one — to build a sturdy foundation.
• Talk to a school guidance counselor or your child’s doctor about free, helpful programs for parents on guiding healthy behaviors.
• Brainstorm with your child about ways to say no to risky behavior. Aim for a full scale of options between “No, thanks” and “Stop asking — I said no.”
• Discuss good reasons not to drink or smoke. Ask children what they think and share your beliefs and values. Talk honestly about relatives who had health problems or died due to tobacco or alcohol addictions. Problems like bad breath, yellow teeth and embarrassing behavior may be persuasive, too.
• Set expectations for healthy behaviors. Use simple rewards and consequences to encourage good behavior.
• Set an example. If necessary, try to quit smoking or drinking too much.
• Keep lines of communication open. Check in regularly about how the day went. Ask about plans, friends and activities.
• Call your child’s doctor or guidance counselor for more help if you think your child is smoking or drinking.
In this case, the numbers tell a surprising story. Though a recent national poll determined that the number of adults who read a book within the past year is on the decline, the percentage of people who reported checking nutrition facts labels on foods is on the rise.
According to its most recent survey in 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that more than 50 percent of those interviewed — a 10 percent increase in six years — indicated that they frequently check labels to determine whether they should buy or avoid certain foods. More
It’s not just nutrition facts labels that crowd food containers. Consumers are bombarded with claims that a product is “reduced fat,” “fat free” or offers some other guarantee of good health. Even more confusing, some of these terms are used interchangeably. “Free,” “zero,” “without,” all mean supposedly the same thing. More
Grains: It’s better to be whole than refined
One path to better health is a wholesome diet, and one steppingstone on that path is whole grains. More