Pediatric School-Based Health Clinics

February Heart Health Month

Since February is the month of the Heart….our Hearts… I thought it appropriate to share with you this beautifully written excerpt from “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” by E. M. Haas, M. D. Enjoy!                                               Denise Hajjar                       

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Vitamin L (the love vitamin) is commonly known as the “universal” or the “love” vitamin, as coined by humanologist, Bethany ArgIsle. One of the most important nutrients for optimum health is a daily dose (or more) of Love. The vital human emotion/expression/experience is necessary for the optimal functioning of people and all of their cells, tissues, and organs. It is found in most of nature – in foods, domestic animals, friends, and family – and is used to heal a wide variety of diseases. There are no toxic effects, but deficiency can cause a wide range of ailments.

Sources: As stated, vitamin L is found in a great variety of sources but must be developed and nurtured to be available. Fear, anger, worry, self-concern, and many other human emotions can destroy vitamin L. It is found readily in most mums and dads and is very highly concentrated in grandmothers and grandpas. Sisters and brothers may be a good source of vitamin L, though often this is covered up in early years, develops in the teens, and is more available in adulthood. Massage therapy is a particularly good source of vitamin L.

Vitamin L is also found in cats, dogs, and horses; in flowers and birds; and in trees and plants. In food, it is especially found in home-cooked or other meals where vitamin L is used consciously as an ingredient. It is digested and absorbed easily and used by the body in its pure state, being eliminated almost unchanged; in this, it is unique among the vitamins. It is also made by friendly bacteria and all positive reactions and attitudes in the body.

Functions: This vitamin acts as the “universal” vitalising energy. Vitamin L helps to catalyze all human functions and is particularly important to heart function and the circulation of warmth and joy. Digestion is very dependent on appropriate doses of Vitamin L, as is the function of the nervous system. Adrenalin, the brain endorphins (natural tranquillisers and energisers) and other hormones are enhanced by Vitamin L as well. A wide variety of other bodily and life functions are dependent on vitamin L, and it is extremely important to the healing process.

Deficiency and toxicity: There are rarely any serious problems from excess intake of vitamin L. Side effects, however, may include swooning, a strange feeling in the centre of the chest, goosebumps, and staring blankly into space.

Nutrition Service Learning Students come to Oakwood!

A big “Thank You” to Haley Fernbleaux and Vanda Yenikomshuyan, students from Montclair State University Nutrition Department. They joined the kindergarten, second and third grade classes and at the Oakwood avenue school and delighted the students  with a nutrition presentation project!

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Follow the links below!

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The team also did an outstanding presentation to parents/guardians where they discussed healthy eating and how the overconsumption of processed foods effect the risk of cardiovascular disease hypertension. Diabetes high blood pressure. They also discussed the My Plate recommend rations and how to purchase produce at a lower cost reflective of “in season” fruits and vegetables. Please follow link below for further discussion:

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October : Breast Cancer Awareness

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The Oakwood Avenue Community School Health Clinic presented a workshop on “Breast Cancer Awareness during October.  Thank You to all who joined us!! Please see below some helpful information:

 

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Health Club!

 

img_5821-2A Big “Thank – You to Marianella Martinez, our Nutrition Educator and Nurse Powell, for working together to do lunch time activities for the Health Club! Ms. Martinez will be doing focus groups and healthy snacks for interested 5th through 7th graders.  Click on calendar on home page for days and times!

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A Happy Halloween!

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Having raised four children, believe me when I say that Halloween festers up a whole bunch of emotions.  While we absolutely love to see our little nuggets prancing around in their favorite costumes, the days before are filled with stress ie. sowing and trying on customs, searching for creative odds and ends, or standing on long lines exchanging last minute costumes…hmmm not so much.  So as we wait for this deliciously ghoulish holiday to begin, here are some healthy alternatives to the day’s activities:

If you do have some time to whip up a healthy pizza before, during or after trick or treating try:

 Pizza dough

Mozzarella Cheese

5 large rip tomatoes peeled or 1 large can of peeled plum tomatoes

1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, first cold press

1 tablespoon of basil

1teaspoon of oregano

sea salt

First, pre-heat oven to 425. Mix tomatoes, basil, oregano, and a few sprinkles of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a blender until puree into a sauce.  Arrange on dough and pop in oven for about 10 minutes     on 425.  In meantime, use a ghost cookie cutter and cut out ghost shapes of mozzarella cheese add a green pepper slice or carrot slice for a top hat…ok some ghosts wear hats, right?  Pop in the oven until shapes start to resemble a ghost about 5 minutes…. take out of oven an cut some olives for eyes; could be green olives or black olives.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, lutein and scientist believe this rich mixture of phytochemicals fight disease as well as serve up a good portion of anti-cancer benefits– not to mention they are an excellent source for healthy eyes. Oregano is about one of the healthiest herbs you can serve your family. It contains vitamins A, B6, K and C as well as minerals such calcium and potassium. Oregano is a great digestive aid.  Keep in mind that adding a few drops of oregano oil in your favorite juice each morning helps to boost your immune system.  Basil also contains vitamin A and K and they don’t call it Holy Basil for nothing.  Ayurvedic medicine has been remedying with basil for thousands of years.  It too helps to fight infections and works well to help clear acne due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities and of course, vitamin A, helps to cleanse infected skin, cells.

 

For dessert, a special treat:  Carve an orange jack o lantern…scoop out orange and fill with some organic orange sherbet…great fun watching the sherbet drip through the eyes and mouth!  Oranges are very high in vitamin C and quercitin and there is much press regarding oranges’ health benefit in reducing the onset of asthma.

If you are really into this festive holiday, and of course wish to not sleep the night before…. boil eggs, peel and add a ghost face with edible black marker.  Eggs are an awesome start to a school day; the protein keeps your child full longer and focused on schoolwork.

 Finally, a few treat ideas for bags:

Cereal bars

Granola bars

Rice crispy treats

Fake teeth

Fake eyeballs

Spider rings

Halloween pencils (unsharpened)

Crazy Halloween erasers

Glowing rubber bracelets

 

Finally a treat for mom! Don’t know what to do with that left over, carved pumpkin?

Make a promise to yourself after all the day’s activities and the kids are soundly asleep.  Go to the bathroom…lock the door and relax with a good lavender soak and apply:

To create a face mask of oatmeal and shredded pumpkin and add a few drops of fish oil and relax with face mask for about 10 minutes.

1 and ½ tablespoons of shredded pumpkin

1 teaspoon of oatmeal (old-fashion)

1 teaspoon of fish oil or if you cringe at the thought of the smell, you can use coconut oil.  While the fish oil will help to rebound elasticity to help with wrinkles, coconut oil is a great rejuvenator and skin softener.  In fact, put some on your lips to help soothe and keep them moist during sleep.

The pumpkin is high in beta-carotene and aids in washing away dead skin cells, oatmeal helps to cleans and calm the skin.

Rinse and follow with a good night cream of

1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of coco butter or honey

This will both soften and smooth out wrinkles!

 Happy Halloween!

Denise Hajjar, MS

 

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As I begin to look forward to this school year and contemplate how to address Nutrition and Wellness for our students, I am please to announce that Graduate and Undergraduates in the field of Nutrition from various Colleges and Universities will be working hard to help bring information to our students and families through activities and workshops!

As a Nutrition Educator, I am please to host various group sessions in October to salute  “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and will be doing workshops at your school. (Please check calendar for date and time). We salute all Survivors this month and always!

I will leave you with this thought.  We are fortunate to live in the “Garden State” where seasonal growing has afforded us the opportunity to visit farms and Fall is certainly apple picking season!

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So, does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

Well, according to Ayurveda medicine (Western medicine practiced in India), our favorite apple is a powerful antioxidant that serves up over 100 times the benefits of vitamin C! They also contain pectin, which is a great source of fiber.

Here is an awesome way to give your children an inexpensive, great morning start:

Take an apple and peel it.  Cut it into quarters and place a clove in each quarter piece. Boil it for a few minutes until soft.  This assists with digestion. Remove from heat and remove the cloves. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Not only does it help to lower cholesterol but also assists in stabilizing blood sugar. The mineral, Boron, in apples have been linked to bone health and osteoporosis prevention while the fiber helps us feel full through morning classes so we are not reaching for that candy bar!

So what about the clove? Well, the clove reigns from Indonesia.  Although it carries a pungent smell and taste, it has been used as an antiseptic and not only kills bacteria and soothes toothaches but aids in circulation.  One tiny clove provides the mineral, manganese, also an important mineral for bone health.

And how can I forget the delicious taste of cinnamon!  The new rumor about cinnamon is that it helps in regulating blood sugar and its true!  Here are some other truths: It helps with stiffness in muscles and joints and is a great digestive aid.

So not only will this breakfast treat serve you and your child a host of health benefits, it will fill you up and keep you energy charged to meet the stresses of the day!

Namaste!                                                                                                                                                   Denise Hajjar, M.S.

 

March Eye Exams!

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Why Do We Need a Vision Program? A policy brief titled “Childhood Vision: Public Challenges & Opportunities”, issued by the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, of the George Washington University Medical Center, states that there are approximately 13.5 million children in the United States from birth through age 17 who are affected by some form of vision problem.

Although undetected vision problems affect all children regardless of socio-economic status, there are a few considerations reflective of low-Income children such as: history of poor healthcare or lack of preventative care, delayed detection of visual conditions resulting from a nutritional deficiency, or direct trauma to the eye.

This March, the Oakwood Avenue Community School Health Clinic was pleased to partner with Helen Keller International (HKI) to bring visual health services to all students in grades 4 through 7.

The students took part in a three-part series which included an initial screening, a more thorough exam for those detecting need, and finally the eye glasses and prescription.

This unique opportunity to have this service available for all students in grades 4 through 7 insures that each student needing glasses actually received them.

Business as usual…..students K through 3rd that were registered in the Health Clinic also received exams and glasses by the Oakwood Avenue Community School Health Clinic Eye Team