30 Nov




Loth,Katie_hsWherever we and our children look, we confront ads for the latest ways to get “the perfect body” along with air-brushed images of celebrities with unattainable bodies. How do those messages influence your child’s eating behavior and body image? Even more important, what can you do to counteract those unhelpful influences and support your son or daughter in maintaining a strong healthy body and feeling good about his or her body image? Dr. Katie Loth, from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, joins Marti & Erin to discuss some recent research findings that might surprise you. And she offers practical tips that will help you be more reflective about the subtle ways you shape your child’s attitude, behavior and self-acceptance. TUNE IN HERE 

How do Katie Loth’s research findings about body image and weight gain compare to what people often think about how to encourage weight loss or prevent weight gain in girls and young women? Why do you think the pattern was different for boys and girls? Reflecting on your own words and actions, in what ways could you improve the way you support healthy behavior and body image? Leave a comment below!

To read the research findings, click here.
To read an editorial about the research findings, click here.
To read an article about the research findings, click here.
For Project EAT, click here.
For Marti’s suggestions on promoting a healthy body image, click here.

MomEnoughpic-300x224This post was created by Mom Enough and used with permission

29 Nov

Learned Gratitude


As we gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, we would do well to think about how to make each day one of thanksgiving. In the midst of our busy lives – and especially in a culture that often leads our kids to say, “Give me, give me!” – how can we instill in our children a spirit of gratitude for all things, large and small?

Here are the practical tips for raising thankful kids that Marti shared with KARE 11 News at 11‘s Diana Pierce:

1) Set an example of thankfulness
2) Establish a daily “thanksgiving ritual”
3) Avoid over-indulging your children
4) Engage your children in contributing, in the family and beyond

View the VIDEO here. To read more about making Thanksgiving an everyday way of being, click here.

MomEnoughpic-300x224This post was created by Mom Enough and used with permission

27 Nov

Welcome to My Enhancing Young Minds Site!


This site is dedicated to supporting early childhood educators and parents in enhancing young minds. You’ll find good articles and neat features like early childhood guest speakers, Adventures in Eating, MomEnough programs, Bam!Radio programs, and my newest feature- blog book studies! Spread the word- please share this site with your social networks.

I’d love to stay connected! Subscribe (in the upper right-hand column) to receive an Enhancing Young Minds weekly newsletter. Just enter your name and email address. I’d also like to invite you to join my Facebook Ideas & Resources Community!

25 Nov

Bam! Radio: Squeezing Social-Emotional Learning into the Common Core

rae-picaRae Pica has been a children’s physical activity specialist since 1980. She is the author of 18 books and has shared her expertise with many groups and advisory boards.

As co-creator and host of Body, Mind and Child, an Internet radio program for parents and educators, Rae interviews experts in the fields of education, child development, play research, the neurosciences, and more.

Rae Pica with Maurice J. Elias, Ed Dunkelblau, Melanie Link Taylor, Jason Flom.

1DunkelblauEliasFromTaylor“Our guests argue that social and emotional learning must precede numeracy and literacy. Tune in as we talk about how teachers can find ways to balance these needs in the current educational climate.”

Follow:  @mzteach @JasonFlom @bodymindchild @bamradionetwork


25 Nov




childhood memories guest Nathan Dungan's bookMarketers have had us and our children in their sights for a long time, giving us a million ideas for how to spend our money to make this the best holiday season ever. But what are the childhood memories you cherish and recall from the holidays? Chances are they are less about expensive gifts than about fun and laugher with the people who loved you. Nathan Dungan, founder of Share, Save, Spend, joins Marti & Erin for a timely, helpful and heartfelt discussion about how to reduce stress, increase joy and enhance the significance of this special time of year. You will be glad you tuned in! TUNE IN HERE.

What are some of your favorite childhood holiday memories? What made those moments so special for you? How can you use those childhood memories to help you create the kind of low-stress, joyful season you want for yourself and your family?

For Nathan’s ME show about reducing materialism in our children & teens, click here.
For Nathan’s ME show about teaching children about money, values & accountability, click here.
For Nathan’s suggestions on keeping holiday spending under control, click here.
For Money Sanity Solutions: Linking Money + Meaning, click here.

MomEnoughpic-300x224This post was created by Mom Enough and used with permission

25 Nov

Adventures in Eating: Fun with Fruits and Vegetables

Good news! Children are eating more whole fruit and drinking less juice. The not so good news is 60% of
children are eating enough fruits and only 7% are eating the recommended amount of vegetables!
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

One reason children’s intake of vegetables is so low may be that children’s taste buds are different from adults’ taste buds. Children taste “bitter” flavors more than adults. Since a lot of vegetables are bitter, many children do not like the taste of vegetables. That doesn’t mean we should give-up. It’s important to continue to encourage children to try vegetables. The more they try different vegetables, the more their taste buds will become familiar to the bitter taste.lana1I like the process the curriculum LANA (Learning About Nutrition through Activities) uses to introduce children to new vegetables (and fruits).  Children are first introduced to a specific vegetable during a tasting activity where children have the opportunity to see, feel, and touch the vegetable. Children are also encouraged to taste the vegetable.

Children have small tastes of the vegetable over the course of a few weeks. The vegetable is then introduced as part of cooklana2ing activity. It has been shown that children are more willing to try new foods if they help to prepare it.  The vegetable is later served as a snack and finally at mealtime.

The advantage of slowly introducing new vegetables in a variety of ways is children will gradually become accustomed to the taste and texture of the new vegetable.  It also reduces waste (and frustration) of teachers, child care providers, and parents as they will not prepare a new vegetable for a meal only to have most of it go uneaten.

Visit the LANA website to view the tasting activities, cooking activities, menu ideas and more.

The LANA Preschool Program is available to download. It was developed through a grant from the National Cancer Institute to the Minnesota Department of Health. With the goal of promoting preschoolers’ consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables, LANA was originally designed and tested as a 24-week program focusing on eight specific, highly nutritious fruits and vegetables.

In summary, remember to introduce vegetables to children in small amounts over a long period of time. Stay positive and encourage children to try the new vegetables.


Mary SchroederMary Schroeder works for the University of Minnesota Extension which helps to connect community needs with University of Minnesota resources.  Specifically the Health and Nutrition programs and resources focus on disease & obesity prevention, healthy school environments, and continuing education for community professionals.  You can link to the Extension Health and Nutrition website at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/health/

Mary Schroeder, MPH, RD, LD
Extension Educator
Health and Nutrition
University of Minnesota Extension
Email:  hedin007@umn.edu
Website:  www.extension.umn.edu
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/UMNExtSimplyGoodEating