Category Archives: Kids

Why Drinking Water is Important

5 Major Functions that Water Aids in

  • In the blood, water transports oxygen, glucose, and fats to working muscles and carries away metabolic by-products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
  • Water helps urine eliminate metabolic waste products.
  • Water aids saliva and gastric secretions, which helps digest food.
  • It lubricates joints and cushions organs throughout the body.
  • In sweat, it dissipates heat through the skin.

Did you know that your body will retain less water if intake is sufficient?

How can water help weight loss?

  • When water takes place of sugary beverages or juice, it results in a reduction of total calorie intake.
  • Drinking a glass of water before meals and snacks can help an individual feel full and consume fewer calories.
  • Maintaining sufficient amounts of water can help the body to function more efficiently, especially in the areas of maintaining ideal body temperature during exercise and increasing fat utilization.
  • Its common to mistake thirst for hunger. Click here for my recent post: are you hungry or thirsty
  • Drinking water helps decrease the desire for other sugary, high calorie drinks.

What type of Water is Best?

Water that does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners is best. Excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners can stimulate hunger. When that happens, it can derail your health goals and eating plans as a result.

How Much Water is Enough?

Making changes gradually can help reduce the daunting affects and help contribute to permanent success. Start making small increases. See what works for you. A doctor or registered dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that is right for you. I have included a quote from the Mayo Clinic’s website below as a reference.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

You’ve probably heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.

Factors that influence water needs

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.
Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog,

Catherine Bares


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Does your child have any Intense Interests?

Obsessed with Dinosaurs

I came across an article, on, that I found interesting and I wanted to share it.  “Being obsessed with dinosaurs enhances kids’ intelligence”.

The article explains that the incredible knowledge of children on a specific subject is called “Intense Interests”, a strong motivation for a specific topic. “In fact, a third of children develop at some stage throughout their childhood, as a general rule between 2 and 6 years of age…”

In some cases, that interest is not extinguished in childhood but accompanies them for a large part of their lives.  They are those people who have always had a passion that, in a certain way, has served as a guiding thread and refuge over the years.

In reality, it does not matter what the object of that passion is, what is really important is the effort that children dedicate, and the passion they experience.

An investigation carried out at the universities of Indiana and Wisconsin proved that intense interests are very beneficial for the intellectual development of children.

In practice, this type of interest, especially those that demand a conceptual domain as is the case of dinosaurs, not only make that the child have more knowledge about a certain subject but also enhance perseverance, improve attention and enhance skills of complex thinking as the processing of information. It has also been proven that linguistic skills are significantly improved and are an indicator of high understanding.

In fact, these psychologists explain that the way in which some children study dinosaurs or any other object of interest, in reality, reveals the strategy that they will then use to face new situations and problems throughout their lives.

The wall against which intense interests clash

An investigation carried out by psychologists from the universities of Virginia and Yale, revealed that the intense interests in childhood do seem to be mediated by the interests of the parents since they usually appear during the first year of life without the parents having encouraged them.  In fact, some of those interests are rare for the parents themselves.

The bad news…Only 20% of children are still passionate about the same issues as they grow up.  In most cases, the end of passion comes with schooling.

Apparently, when children start studying, they have much less free time to devote to their “investigations”.  To this is added that they understand that school requires a broader knowledge but also more superficial and often their interests do not fit within the school curriculum, so they just end up abandoning them.

Click on the link (the article title) to read the article in its entirety. It has suggestions on how to nurture these intense interests.


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The Cutest Wishes Ever

Thanksgiving Day

Part of my family duties at Thanksgiving is carving the turkey. It’s usually an uneventful part of my day. My encounter with 2 curious girls would change that uneventful part into an experience that I felt compelled to share.


I was wearing my blue crab apron and armed with an electric knife. Curiosity took over and a little girl stops and asks me what I was doing. It appeared she lost interest quickly when she turned and ran off. To my surprise, she returned quickly with her cousin who was just as cute and curious.

They watched me as I cut the turkey and asked questions, one of which was “can I have a piece?” With a smile, I said sure and handed them a piece. Sharing in this moment, my beautiful niece, who was helping me and adding to the cuteness of the moment. My adult niece shared the same first name with one of the little girls, which piqued her interest.

Making a wish

I am a master at deboning a bird and reached the wishbone quickly.  I held up the bone and asked the girls if they wanted to make a wish on the wishbone. The look on their faces when I was holding the bone out to them, clearly expressed they have never heard of the wishbone before. The look said something like “I am not touching that thing”. By this point, their parents have gathered around us to see what the girls were up to.  I began to tell them about the wishbone tradition and watched their expressions change to delighted with an “I’m in” look.  So they each grabbed a side of the bone, went silent working on their wishes as their parents are enjoying and capturing the moment with snapshots.  

Well, turkey bones aren’t quite as giving as chicken bones so we had a little disappointing outcome.  I assured them that it was okay and that meant both wishes would come true. A few moments later when it was just the four of us again, I asked them what they wished for.  One immediately said she wished for butterflies, which I thought was one of the sweetest wishes I had ever heard.  Then I asked the 2nd little girl what she wished for and she said, “I wished that I will have a friend forever”.  At that point me and my niece looked at each and simultaneously let out an “AWWWW” and then we both laughed.


Adult wishes put into perspective

That sweet moment made us put our adult wishes into perspective. I forget how simplicity can be so joyful. Yes, I walked around and shared that story all day. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience and that you had some great experiences at Thanksgiving as well.

Please, feel free to share your stories with me in the comments. I would love to hear about them.

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#GivingTuesday 2018


Happy Thanksgiving!  How do you give thanks?

There is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday.  Be a part of a Global Giving Movement!  Give to your favorite Charities Nov. 27, 2018.  Some of my favorite Charities:

#ThePeaceFund – Donate link

#CatholicCharities – Archdioceses of New Orleans Donate Link

#SecondHarvestFoodBank – New Orleans Donate Link

Not sure what your community needs?  Click here  #GivingTuesday or  Google it!  You know Google; right? (Always verify that your choices are truly a non profit organization with proper paperwork.  It’s unfortunate but there are many scammers out there.)Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
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Are you thirsty or hungry? You may be thirsty.

Mixed signals

Years ago, I discovered that when I feel cravings for food come over me it was really my body dehydrating and was sending me mixed signals.  I went looking for an article that can help explain the process and found one on

“Thirst Occurs when your body needs water.  When you do not drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals of hunger.  Dehydration causes you to believe you need to eat when you really need liquid intake.  Sometimes you eat food out of boredom.  Keeping track of what you drink and eat will help stop overeating.  It will also clue in to how much you drink a day, and what your liquid needs are.”

“Dehydration Symptoms”
“Dehydration symptoms include constipation, thirst, dry skin, a sluggish feeling, dizziness, dry eyes and decreased urine output.  Drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day will help prevent dehydration.  If you have these symptoms, seek medical help.  Symptoms of diabetes include dehydration.”
“Feeling Tired”
“If you do not get enough to drink on a daily basis, you will feel tired.  You will feel hungry because your body thinks it needs food for energy.  This sense of feeling tired relates to your body not taking in enough fluids, which help your body function better.  Your body’s organs need water just as a car’s engine needs fuel to run efficiently.”

Seek Medical/Nutritionist advice

I am not a nutritionist, I am sharing information that I think helps me feel better.  When something feels off in my body, I try to listen and seek advice on how to overcome it. Always seek medical advice when you experience changes in your health.

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A green two-way street sign with arrows and the words You Decide

Happiness does not come without Stress, Hardships, Heartaches and Regrets.  It comes In-Spite of them.

You have to make a decision to let yourself drive towards happiness and not let all of the ugliness of your life drive you. It takes:

  • Daily meditation of positivism
    • reading inspirational books
    • looking for positive quotes each day to focus on
  • Setting goals in your life
    • Starting with today.  What do I want to get accomplished today?
  • Keeping your eye on the prize
    • you decide what the prize is; completing your to do list, accomplishing a long term goal, etc.
  • Removing negativity from your life. (sometimes that may be a person)
  • Realize that when people are snapping at you or being rude, that is usually a symptom of their problems (don’t make them yours)
  • Celebrate the successes no matter how small or large they are
    • tell a friend who you share your struggles with
    • turn on a happy song and dance while reciting “I did it!”

We celebrate with children when they accomplish something small and large.  When my one year old grandson has developed a new motor skill, such as walking, we clap and say “yay”.  That becomes culture and when he does something that he thinks deserves a celebration, he starts clapping and says “yay” while anticipating that I will celebrate with him.  And I always do.

Along the way to adulthood we tend to lose that mentality and focus on the things that we and other people do wrong.  In the most severe cases this can lead to depression and other health problems.

Changing this mentality, that has slowly become culture, takes effort; sometimes it takes a great deal of effort.  But, when you put forth the effort, it then becomes habit which leads to a newly developed Culture.  Get started today by looking for the bright side of every situation you find yourself getting aggravated with and build on it.

Catherine Bares

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Sugar Shocker-How much sugar is in that?

My son came over the other day with one of his favorite soft drinks.  (Jolly Rancher soda)  I was curious so, I picked up the bottle to review the sugar content.

  • 25g sugar-per serving
  • 2.5 servings
  • 62.5g sugar-total intake

My reaction:  Oh My Goooooodness! Are you kidding me?

How does 62.5 grams of sugar equate into teaspoons?  I did some research online and found this equation:

  • One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar.
  • 62.5 grams of sugar = 15.62 teaspoons of sugar.  Wow! in one bottle of soda
  • Sugar Shockers click here to read “Sugar Shockers: Foods surprisingly high in sugar” from WebMD archive.

Names for added sugars on labels include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Pay attention to sugar content.  Do some research, look at the rapidly increasing diabetes statistics and how it is affecting the youth and their health.  Don’t just assume that it is okay to consume because the packaging contains misleading information.

Catherine Bares

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#One of the Best Things About Time Away is Returning Home

Taking a “time-out” and getting away for fun and relaxation is a figurative reset button for me.  Spending quality time with the family is priceless.  I spent a day at the beach with tow (2) of my grandsons.  It was the tow (2) year olds first trip to the beach.  He had a blast!  It was a bittersweet, Déjà vu moment for me.  Sitting there watching my young grandsons run around, soaking up the rays and the waves, I couldn’t help but think back to those moments when I had my boys out there enjoying that same quality time.   It is hard to believe how long ago that was my boys running through the water, building sand castles, flying kites, feeding the seagulls and just enjoying the moment. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

My advice to young parents:  No matter how stressful life is and no matter how busy you are, find a way to fit in quality family time.  You will treasure those moments later in life; I know I do!

Catherine Bares

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Did you know?

Did you know that coaching children to eat slower can help slash weight? We live in a fast-paced world so eating follows the same fast-pace. Children learn from watching adults and friends. When we eat fast we don’t allow time for our body to send the signal to our brain that we’re getting full. By slowing down the pace of eating the body will signal the brain that it is getting full which will lead to less calorie consumption. Coach your children to slow down when chewing, take smaller bites and sip on some water.

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#Exercise for the Brain

Exercise Brain_wm_wm

Did you know that physical activity is just as beneficial to the mind as it is to the body?

  • One study found that #physically fit people are better able to focus, “as measured by a challenging cognitive task.”  That’s good news in a world full of technological distractions!
  • Students who participated in a “dynamic morning exercise program” nearly doubled their #reading scores. Another study found that after 30 minutes on a #treadmill, students solved math problems up to 10% more effectively.
  • Taking a walk in a natural setting (as opposed to an urban environment) soothes anxiety and improves working memory performance.
  • The “biochemical cascade” triggered by #endurance training helps the brain to create new neurons that enhance plasticity and maintain memory and cognitive skills.
  • For every flight of stairs climbed daily, brain age decreases by 0.58 years.
  • Regular bouts of #moderate cardiovascular exercise appear to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.

**source-June 2016 edition of Idea Fitness Journal (Idea fitnographic by Joy Keller and Lisa Quigley.

Catherine Bares

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