When parents smoke, their kids may face a higher risk of a common heart rhythm problem decades later, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who grew up with smokers were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, versus those with nonsmoking parents.

Atrial fibrillation (or “a-fib”) is a heart arrhythmia in which the atria — the heart’s upper chambers — periodically quiver instead of contracting normally.

A-fib episodes are not immediately life-threatening, but over time they can lead to a stroke or heart failure.

“It’s pretty well-established now that smoking is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Gregory Marcus, the senior researcher on the new study.

Much less is known about whether secondhand smoke can raise the risk. But in an earlier study, Marcus and his team found hints that childhood exposure to secondhand smoke might contribute to a-fib.

The new study bolsters that evidence. It was published online Sept. 23 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers used data from two large health studies that followed families over two generations. That, Marcus said, gave them reliable information about parents’ smoking habits — and their adult children’s exposure to secondhand smoke when they were growing up.

Of more than 2,800 adult offspring, about 14% were diagnosed with a-fib over 40 years. That risk, the study found, rose in tandem with their childhood exposure to parents’ smoking.

For every pack of cigarettes parents smoked per day, their children’s risk of eventually developing a-fib rose by 18%, the investigators found.

Of course, parents who smoke may also have kids who smoke, Marcus noted. And that was often true in this study. Those smokers, in turn, had a 32% higher risk of a-fib than nonsmokers.

Still, that appeared to explain only part of the link between parents’ smoking and their kids’ a-fib risk.

“That suggests there may be something about secondhand smoke exposure, itself, that contributes to atrial fibrillation,” said Marcus, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

A healthy, balanced diet plays a vital role in keeping your kids’ immune system strong.

When the immune system meets a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. In other words, it helps the kids to prevent from getting sickness effectively.

So, if you are looking for ways to keep your kids’ immune system strong, then you should plan their meals to include these 8 powerful immune boosting foods.

Do you know that you can be happier and healthier by eating MORE vegetables?

Yes, we all know that eating more vegetables is a good thing, but many people still prefer to have more servings of meat and fewer servings of vegetables, which is really not recommended.

In this video, MOMmy from Energise Kids will be sharing with you many interesting reasons why we need to increase our vegetable intake and why we need these health savers to be a priority in our diets.

Many people tend to believe that the term “low-fat” are generally associate with health or healthy foods.

Some nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, are naturally low in fat.

However, processed low-fat foods often contain high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

In this video, MOMmy from Energise Kids will explain to you why packaged low fat foods are very bad for your health!

Do you ever wonder why it is important to eat vegetables and fruits?

Today, MOMmy from Energise Kids is going to share with you about how eating vegetables and fruits are going to help us strengthen our body and improve our general well-being!

Did you know that our body is actually made up by approximately 70 percent of water? Our body needs water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other important bodily functions. This is because our body can easily lose water through breathing, sweating and digestion. Hence, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids.

In this video, our Mommy – Emiza from Energise Kids reminds us to drink water regularly and should not drink only when we are thirsty!

via Firstcry Parenting: A decade ago, no one was familiar with green tea but to this day, Green tea has found a permanent place in every kitchen in our country. Green tea has many health benefits but if you are wondering if green tea is good for children and whether or not you can add it to their diet, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Green Tea?
Green tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and is made from unoxidized (unfermented) leaves found mainly in Japan and China. It’s laden with several antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients, thus having a powerful effect on the body which makes it one of the healthiest drinks.

Can Children Have Green Tea?
Whether or not green tea can be given to children depends on their reaction to the caffeine content in it. If your child exhibits hyperactivity and wears out too quickly to the brink of exhaustion, then it’s a good idea to not give teas of any kind at all, including green tea. Other telltale signs of whether green tea is suitable or not for your kids are insomnia, lack of focus, and short attention span. If your child doesn’t crash after sipping on a little green tea, then you can give it to him.

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea for Children
The following are the benefits of drinking green tea for toddlers and children-

1. Good Oral Health
Children who drink green tea are less likely to experience cavities or any form of tooth decay. ‘Catechins’ contained in green tea fight against cavity-causing bacteria and sulfur compounds which cause bad breath.

2. Fights Against Flu
Green tea has antiviral properties which fight against infections like the flu. It is reportedly an amazing detox drink for kids and drinking one to five cups a day is recommended. No additional benefits are found in those who drink more than five cups of green tea a day.

3. Prevents Clogged Arteries
Green tea is highly beneficial for cardiovascular health since it prevents arteries from clogging up, keeping the blood flowing and heart pumping. And the result is regulated blood pressure.

4. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are known to prevent oxidative stress, fight against free radicals and prevent the formation of cancers and various diseases by boosting immunity. Green tea improves cognitive health and prevents Parkinson’s disease as well.

5. Improves Bone Density
Want your kids to have healthy bones? Science says that regular intake of green tea over a prolonged period has been shown to improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis in later ages.


Side Effects of Giving Green Tea to Kids
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it is about giving green tea to kids. Green tea has its share of side effects, particularly for those who are sensitive to caffeine and have an underdeveloped immune system. The following are its side effects:

1. Hyper Activity
Your kid will literally prance around from corner to corner till he drops due to exhaustion. For kids who are sensitive to even the tiniest amount of caffeine, this is what happens.

2. Short Attention Span
Hyperactivity and lack of focus go hand-in-hand. Don’t expect your child to sit down and listen to a lecture for 10 minutes if you’re giving him green tea.

3. Insomnia
Children have developing metabolism and it processes caffeine and sugar too fast. This is also another reason to avoid green tea as it will keep them awake in the middle of the night, therefore it’s not a good idea to give them green tea. Caffeine may also affect a child’s various bodily processes.

4. Acidity
Green tea also contains caffeine in small amounts which may cause acidity. This can even lead to issues like stomach pain and even nausea.

5. Anaemia
This is a condition when the blood doesn’t have enough iron. This is because green tea has tannin which reduces the ability of the body to absorb iron from iron-rich sources.

6. Vomiting
Taking green tea in excess of 400mg per day or on an empty stomach may lead to vomiting.

7. High Blood Pressure
If the green tea being consumed has high caffeine content, then your blood pressure is likely to spike due to the high-absorption rate of flavonoids.

Whether or not you should give green tea to your kids will depend on their age. Think about their age, nutrition, and activity levels before giving green tea to them. You could always try experimenting but it’s always best to ask a paediatrician before you take matters into your own hands especially when their nutrition is concerned. Drinking green tea occasionally won’t hurt and if your kids stay healthy and seem fine (without showing any signs of the reported side effects), then they can keep drinking it.

via theAsianparentSingapore: For most Asians, no meal is complete without the addition of a few spices. It’s a part of our lives and adds enjoyment to every meal. I personally like all my meals to be extra spicy. But when it came to introducing spicy food to my toddler, I was of two minds.

I feared that spicy foods might not agree with his fragile digestive system. But, I also knew that I had to do it someday.

Introducing spicy food to your toddler: A guide for all new parents

As you know, spicy food triggers pain receptors in the mouth. Most of them have an active ingredient known as capsaicin. When eaten, the capsaicin binds with vanilloid receptors inside our mouths. This triggers sensory neurons to depolarize and send out a signal indicating the presence of spice in the mouth.

While an adult can handle this stimuli, it is far too much for a toddler.

Now some may argue that if eating spices can trigger pain the mouth, why would you want to subject babies to that pain? Well, the answer is simple. Spices are not just flavourful, they also add nutritional value. In most cases, they have remarkable health benefits.

What spices and herbs can I give my toddler?

Since herbs and spices are loaded with health benefits, you can introduce them all. Take turmeric, garlic and cinnamon for instance. Each of them are rich in phytochemicals, and are anti-inflammatory. They also help wounds heal faster and boost the immunity of the body.

Also, because they are packed with flavours, they decrease our dependency on ingredients such as salt, sugar and added fat.

Incidentally, you can introduce aromatic spices and herbs including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, turmeric, nutmeg and dill to infants as young as six months.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of common spices and herbs that you can easily give to your toddler.

  • Cinnamon. This easy-to-find herb is low on sweet taste, and fights of bacterial infection. It also helps to reduce inflammation and fends off free radicals that damage the skin and cause premature ageing. In addition, cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar in the body.
  • Ginger. This spice includes the compound allicin and gingerol, both of which have medicinal properties. It also reduces muscle pains and soreness and is especially beneficial in battling colds and coughs.
  • Turmeric. This spice has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it helps heal wounds faster, eases joint pains and also treats inflammatory bowel diseases and indigestion. In India, most homes regularly use this spice in all their meals and therefore, it is natural to introduce it to their kids as well.
  • Garlic. A common household herb, garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant. It is also one of the most common dietary condiments because it stimulates digestion and absorption. It also has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Cardamom. This herb is rich in magnesium and zinc minerals. It is useful in overcoming digestive problems such as an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, intestinal spasms, constipation, gall bladder complaints and even loss of appetite. It also combats cold, cough and even bronchitis.
    When you do add all these spices into your toddler’s diet, remember the key is moderation. Begin with adding a fairly small amount into his meal and add the next spice or herb after a few days.

This window will allow you to analyse if your toddler is allergic to any of these herbs or spices.

Now the next question: how exactly should you introduce spicy food to your toddler? Here’s something to get you started.

Is introducing spicy food to my toddler easy?

Yes, it is.

The key is to first prune their sensory receptors. So introduce spices slowly and individually rather than together in a single meal. Also, choose the spices and herbs carefully.

You don’t want to add chillies into your baby’s food right away and burn his mouth.

  • Choose one spice at a time. Don’t get too excited while introducing spicy foods to your toddler. Take it one spice at a time, especially in the case of aromatic spices. So for instance, you can garnish some cinnamon on top of your toddler’s cereal. Or alternatively, add garlic to his lentil soup.
  • Observe before introducing next. Give your toddler a minimum of five days to analyse if the herb or spice you just gave him agrees with his tummy. Sometimes certain spices like garlic do not agree with some kids. So it’s best to let time take its course so you have a better understanding of what works for your kid.
  • Add to the pot. Once you are confident that your toddler is able to handle all the spices you have given him, try to add two or three together to the pot. So for instance, if you cook chicken curry or fish soup, you can add just a bit of salt and pepper with garlic powder. Keep the quantities minimal and introduce this concoction to your toddler in a small quantity.
  • Share your food. The next best way to introduce spicy food is to just share your own food with your baby. Whatever you prepare for yourself, share a little of it with your toddler. If you feel your food is too spicy, you can dilute it for your baby.
  • Be careful about red chilli. While introducing spicy food is fine for a toddler, when it comes to red chilli, you might want to be extra cautious. As explained before, hot spices such as a chilli can stimulate the pain receptor in the mouth and that might be too much for a toddler. So stay away from adding it into his food till you feel he is ready to try it later on.
    Take note that introducing spices is a personal choice. It is not a compulsion. However, doctors will advise you to add items with various tastes and textures into your toddler’s meals only because it expands their palate.

Introducing spicy food to toddlers: Two recipes to try at home

Here are two simple recipes you can prepare at home with the addition of a few spices.

Spicy Chicken shreds


  • 10 ounces boneless chicken breast strips
  • ¼ garlic salt mix
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Sprinkle garlic salt mix on the chicken breast strips. Lightly cook them on a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken strips and add grated cabbage and ginger to the pan.
  • Shred these chicken pieces and serve them as they are or add a mixture of vegetables that your toddler loves.

Spicy roast vegetable mix


  • ½ cup mixture of any of the vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ garlic
  • Rosemary


  • Break the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Choose a pan and add olive oil to it, then add the vegetables, salt, and grated garlic. Garnish with some rosemary, although this is completely optional.
  • Mix it all well.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and roast the vegetables for about 20-25 minutes.Let it cool down and serve slightly warm or cool it completely to serve it later.

While introducing spicy food remember that the key is to keep it simple at the start. Go slow and gradually add more flavours into the mix.

Also, from a safety stand point, make sure the spices are fresh and have not been sitting on your shelf for the past five years. When it comes to baby food, it’s important to check the expiration date of everything you give them.

Most importantly, do not worry too much about introducing spicy food to your toddler. In most South East Asian cultures, kids are given spices from an early age and if the mother eats spices too babies get a taste through breast milk anyway.

The stomach is one of the important muscular organs that is located on the left side of the upper abdomen in human body. A stomach is the size of a fist, so a carefully planned meal must be taken in order to protect our stomach. In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids is going to share with you on how to measure the size of a stomach and some helpful diet tips to improve your stomach’s health.

Check out more nutrition tips from our other postings under Kids’ Health!