Now that everyone’s overcome the transition to daylight savings time, note that spring begins in just two days. Even though our winter was a rather mild one, for the most part, it will be nice to have a more steady diet of warm weather.
Looking back for just a moment, our Children’s Healthy Fun Fair, which took place on March 3, was a major success with just shy of 900 people attending. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Many of the exhibitors reported running out of supplies before the event concluded, or having to dash back to their office for more. If you missed the event, mark March 2, 2013, on your calendar for the Tenth Annual Children’s Healthy Fun Fair.
The Children’s Healthy Fun Fair is passed, but it is still National Nutrition Month. Let’s take a look at information the American Heart Association released in March of 2011, “Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.
“Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.
“Excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood. Perhaps one of the most sobering statements regarding the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic came from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who characterized the threat as follows:“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."
The children’s library has a number of good books on the subject of nutrition. Among them are: Good Enough to Eat – A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell, Eat the Right Stuff: Food Facts by Catherine Reef, Staying Healthy, Eating Right by Alice McGinty, and Too Fat? Too Thin: Healthy Eating Handbook by Melissa Sayer.
Parents in search of information will find a number of resources in the adult collection, among them Raising Low-Fat Kids in a High-Fat World by Judith Shaw. Dr. Dean Ornish’s endorsement on the cover of the book reads, “A major book for every parent, an invaluable companion. Judith Shaw quickly and simply leads the way through the maze of lower fat confusion. I highly recommend this book.”
K-State Research & Extension, Seward County spends time in the classrooms and at some of the after school programs teaching nutrition to children. In addition, Snack Attack, which is a nutrition education program provided through this library, takes place monthly at the Rec Center. So if your children come home talking about something they learned about nutrition, take a moment to listen and answer any questions on points that need clarification or expanding on. Remember, their future health depends on it!
Summer reading is the next big project in the children’s library. A couple of workshop opportunities are available for library staff to get some fresh ideas to bring back for this event. The dates will be May 29 through June 29, with sign up May 21-26. It’s always fun to visit the schools with a presentation about the program. Students are then given an information slip about the program. Be watching for that in your student’s backpack in early May.
Two more storytime dates remain for the little ones. Those dates are April 5 and April 19. New children are welcome any time during the session. In addition, our summer reading program includes a Wee Ones group for birth to age 3 and a Preschool group for 3’s and 4’s and those entering kindergarten in the fall. More information will be available soon in the library and on our website. Stop in real soon—new materials are arriving daily, so you’re bound to find something you like. See you at Memorial Library!