March 2013

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live with family Ask Doctor Mom A shot of straight talk about the HPV vaccine By Dr. Kari Hegeman Smarter Snacking Local moms create a colorful cookbook to grow a new generation of healthy snackers By Liz Pelton Julie Stephenson, a freelance photographer, and Sarah Fox, a family practice doctor, know that getting kids to choose healthy snacks over ever-prolific junk foods can be a challenge. That���s why these two moms teamed up to author, ���Super Snacks for Super Kids,��� a bright cookbook full of easy snack recipes that also raises funds for their local school district. Here, Stephenson explains why the snacks we grab can help make or break a healthy diet. Where did the idea for your book come from? Sarah and I met through a parenting group. I had been working as a nutrition educator for UW-Extension and a photographer, and one day Sarah just said, ���You could put your own great photos in and we can do it.��� So we tossed it around for a few months and then went to work. How does forming healthy snacking habits impact a child���s overall well-being? It���s really important for children to have a positive relationship with food right from the start. [Often] adults eat when we���re tired, stressed out or bored. Eating healthy snacks is a good way to reinforce to your child that you should eat when you���re hungry. This shows your child that snacking is not just a filler for your emotions. What tips do you have for changing the snacking habits of picky eaters? Getting your kids involved with the food prep and the process [of cooking] from start to finish really helps. Also, keep it fun and avoid food battles. And keep in mind if they���re hungry, they���re going to come and eat. Be consistent with your offerings and the picky eating problem will take care of itself. 22 BRAVA Magazine March 2013 Dr. Kari Hegemon is a pediatrician at Dean Clinic and mother of seven. Photo by Sarah Maughan Sarah Fox and Julie Stephenson, authors of ���Super Snacks for Super Kids.��� Childhood immunizations are a tough sell. As a pediatrician, I find myself talking to parents about the importance of protecting their children from serious illness through immunization all the time. But one of the immunizations that can really make parents (and kids) squirm? The shot for HPV. Human papillomavirus is sexually transmitted. Yikes! STDs are a discussion I do not want to have with my own almost 11-year-old, so it���s no surprise many other parents would prefer not to as well. But parents also have concerns of safety and efficacy and wonder: ���Why on earth would I give my child this vaccine if they are not having sex?��� Here is the explanation: HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. and more than 20 million teens and young adults are currently infected. What���s worse, every year approximately 18,000 women and 7,000 men are diagnosed with HPV-associated cancers. Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer in women, and more than 4,000 women die from it every year in the U.S. Other HPV-associated cancers include vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, penile cancer in men, along with anal cancer, and some head and neck cancers in both men and women. But the vaccine has been shown to help prevent all of this. The HPV vaccine is given as a threeshot series over a 6-month period, and is found to be most effective when given at a younger age for best immune response. The vaccine has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2006, and was studied in clinical trials and found to be safe and effective even prior to then. Armed with that information, I encourage parents to discuss and decide how best to approach vaccination questions with their preteens. And when my eldest turns 11, I will be doing the same.

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