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smcternan March 2nd, 2014, 5:34 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Recently I read an interesting article about activity levels in different ages of children and adults. Apparently we do little exercise even though we ALL know it is good for us in many ways. Research shows preschool children tend to do better at sit down activities that require focused attention if they have the opportunity to move and exercise in-between focused activities. Have you ever noticed that if you walk on a nice day you feel refreshed and focused on your return to your desk. Most preventative health practices encourage…

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Look into My Crystal Ball…

smcternan January 20th, 2014, 10:20 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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What do you see? I see a torrent of change. Where is it coming from-EVERYWHERE! Why is it coming? Well that would truly be a magical skill if I knew the absolute answer- but maybe you do. I am speaking of where the future of health in this nation. Yes, we all WANT and maybe NEED to be healthy, BUT do we know how? My guess is that if you survey most Americans of any age the answers would vary tremendously. Ask a five year old and he will tell…

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The New American Plate

smcternan May 28th, 2013, 12:59 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Feeling overwhelmed by all the new and improved nutritional advice to be had? That is OK, take heart some changes now  will help you for a long time. First of all that two thirds of our plate should be vegetables, yes 2/3!!! I actually love vegetables and often feel that eating out shortchanges me on what I consider a balanced meal.  I am not looking for a mound of starch with a few random vegetables mixed in. Or a plate that is 80% protein and a tablespoon of potatoes. I need all the colors of the…

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Preventive POWER of Movement

smcternan April 29th, 2013, 1:03 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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From the day we are born, we age. It is inevitable. But did you know that the more sedentary you are, the less efficient all your organs become? And as we age, our ability to make up for this sedentary lifestyle decreases dramatically. As more children are diagnosed with what I refer to as ‘TOO MUCH Sitting Syndrome.’ From urinary incontinence, skin rashes on their laps from laptop computers, lack of normal sleep and chronic backpain and eyestrain, where will our children be at 30? 40? 50? Probably not well.…

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Are You "Grazing"?

smcternan January 28th, 2013, 2:11 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Many people feel overwhelmed by the diet and nutrition information that abounds in type and online. If you are always trying to lose weight this time of year–let”s all get ready for summer!–then you have probably tried many different weight-loss plans over the years. How about your kids? Have some of your diet successes and failures trickled down to them?

You know showing your children how to eat healthy is necessary, but buying fresh fruit for a change is only a part of it. Many children, both boys and girls, begin developing food issues,…

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Diet or Exercise? Which is best?

smcternan September 17th, 2012, 11:39 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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blackbeanburgerThere is a trend in obesity research that suggests we may be going about correcting this healthcare issue in the wrong way. Recent research shows that caloric intake in obese adolescents is less than their fit peers. This and many other research expresses concern that addressing diet is only a small part of the problem. Younger children were also studied and found that caloric intake did impact weight overall. So now what?  Time to exercise and incorporate healthier habits has always been proven in the adult population to be of…

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Once Upon a Time…

smcternan September 10th, 2012, 7:53 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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8a05727rOnce upon a time there were children who played all day. There was no television, computer, or electronics keeping them inside. Duck, Duck, Goose, and Ring-Around-the-Rosie were sung and played by every preschooler around. Parents would join in and the fun would begin. Imagination and creativity would abound with stick ball, street hockey and baseball. A bicycle was had by everyone and was used everyday. We read books about adventure and we made our own adventures. We were action heroes and we did not play the action hero with our…

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Why Are Our Children Getting So BIG???

smcternan May 21st, 2012, 11:09 AM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Mom says,” Please pick up something on the way to school for lunch. I have to run to work. Bye!” Child says, “OK.”  As he does. Most days, it is something quick and processed. No fruit, no vegetables — and potato chips do not count as a vegetable! He’s picking whatever is convenient. Does this scenario sound familiar?

As we increase our need for quick food, that quick food is costing more and providing less and less to your body. The rate of obesity in 12-19 year olds in 2000 was…

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Is Our Food Killing us?

smcternan May 9th, 2012, 12:17 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Credit: pdphoto.com

Credit: pdphoto.com

In my many years in pediatric nursing, I have seen many changes in the health of our youngest population and one of the biggest issues I see is weight. Children born today will be 18-year-olds in 2030, and the CDC projects that by 2030, 42% of people in the United States will be obese. One word: WOW!!! What are we doing to cause this horrible trend that will cost our nation over $500 billion in healthcare costs? We cannot afford nor should we stand back and let this happen.

For…

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Kids Eating Healthy — Can it Happen?

smcternan November 9th, 2011, 1:57 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Why are our children getting heavier? It’s a topic in the news and on almost every other magazine these days.

There are many causes for the weight gain in our children, some of which I have addressed in this blog. Today I want to talk about picking good foods for your kids. When shopping for foods it is always best to choose the non-processed option. I know you are rolling your eyes about now thinking your kids don’t like broccoli, fresh lettuce, fish or real fruit. It’s true, a healthy diet takes…

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