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Living Well In Yalobusha County

There are countless reasons to feed your children nutritious food.  In addition to reducing the risk for obesity, diabetes and other chronic illness, nutrition impacts growth and development from the womb and beyond.  Scientists recognize that poor nutrition not only affects the body physically, but also mentally.  Children suffering from malnutrition at an early age are at higher risk for learning disabilities.  

For example, iron deficiency can reduce dopamine transmission and negatively impact brain function and cognition.   B vitamin deficiencies (thiamine, B6) as well as mineral deficiencies (zinc, iodine) can also affect concentration and learning.  It’s no secret that kids who eat breakfast score higher on exams than those that don’t as their focus is on learning and not a growling stomach.  Thankfully, free breakfast and lunch programs in schools have gained popularity over the years, but the quality of the food makes a difference.

New research suggests that certain dietary components may also impact the risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a psychiatric condition that affects approximately 3-4 percent of children and teens globally.  ADHD is one of the most common neurobiologic disorders and scientist believe its consequences can span into adulthood.  Symptoms include impulsiveness, hyperactivity and attention- deficit.  Currently, the most effective treatments include medical and psychological treatments as well as educational psychology intervention. 

According to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, Mediterranean diet patterns have been linked with a lower diagnosis of ADHD.  Researchers in Spain are investigating how poor quality diet (higher in processed foods and lower in fruits and vegetables) affects the risk for ADHD.  The authors theorize that poor quality diets are more likely to be deficient in iron, zinc, magnesium and other nutrients that may be protective of the development of ADHD.

A poor quality diet contains more processed foods such as fast food, fried snacks, pastries, soda, and other foods that offer little nutritionally. Scientists also believe that the impulsiveness of children with ADHD may lead them to a vicious cycle of poor food choices, potential nutrient deficiencies and poor behavior.

A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, low fat dairy, whole grains and minimal sugar, red meat and processed foods.  Switch from white to whole wheat bread or pasta and add leafy vegetables or tomatoes to sandwiches, casseroles and soup.  Snack on fruit, unsalted nuts or seeds or light string cheese and yogurt. This dietary pattern has been found to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and may also play a role in reduction in mental health disorders such as dementia. 

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The United Y.C MHV Club will meet on Tuesday, September 18th.  The business meeting will be at 9 a.m. and the program, presented by Chanda Darby of Stay Home Health Care, will begin at 10 a.m.  All are welcome.

The 4-H FCS Club will meet on Thursday, September 20th at 4 p.m.  We will be having fun with Arts and Crafts as Mrs. Jo Davis and Pat Rodrigue lead us in a craft.  4-H is free and is open to all youth ages 8 to 18.  Adult guardians invited to stay and help.

The Looped with Love Crochet MHV Club will meet on Thursday, September 20, at 10 a.m.  The group is led by Karol Jarmon.  Participants will need to bring the yarn of their choice and a crochet hook.  This is a great opportunity for beginners to learn how to crochet, as well as, a good time for more experienced people to get ideas for new projects, or finishing existing projects.

The Healthy You exercise class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Extension Office.  The classes are free.  Make sure to wear cool comfortable clothes, good walking shoes and bring some water to drink. 

Sewing for Service will meet on Monday, September 24th.  We have the projects and equipment we just need volunteers to help sew.

The annual Holiday House is scheduled Saturday, October 27th starting at 8 a.m.  We will have vendors to help you start your Christmas shopping, holiday demonstrations, Halloween Costume Contest, Trick or Treating and fun activities for the kids. The 4-H club will serve a pancake breakfast and barbecue lunch.

The next Child Care training, Books You Can Count On, is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 a.m.  The cost of the training is $5 per participant.  Please pay with check or money order.  Participants will receive two contact hours.  Registration deadline is Friday, September 21.  We must have at least 10 people registered for class to be held.

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