Every day the world is progressing, and that provides both problems and solutions for new parents and grandparents. On March 4, a class of nursing students gave presentations on issues that 50 years ago most parents wouldn’t even think about but now are very much a part of a child’s everyday life.
The presentation was put together by Suzanne Chaplik MSN, RN for the second-degree nursing students and was held in the Kelly Center. The second-degree students all have previously-earned bachelor degrees in something other than nursing. The students were presenting as their final project for their pediatric clinical which consisted of them working with children at the Yale New Haven Hospital.
Chaplik stressed the importance of his project saying that the students were learning as much and the people they were presenting to.
“Part of it is they need to be able to present what they are leaning. It’s about education and informing people.”
There were three topics the students focused on, each topic was given to a team of two. The first topic was entitled “family time,” which focused on children watching less television and spending more time with their parents. There is a worry that children are learning more from television than they are from their parents or teachers.
The nurses gave a variety of suggestions for things children can do other than sitting down and staring at a  TV screen, which included playing board games, being artistic and, the best of all, going outside.
In addition, the nurses also stressed the importance of family dinners with the TV off. This way children spend more time with their parents and less time with the “baby-sitter” that TV has become.
The next presentation was about children and vegetarianism. The students explained the four types of vegetarians: vegans, lacto-vegetarians, lacto ovovegetarians and Flexitarians.
Andrea Campbell ‘10 was one of the presenters on this topic. “We thought it was important to look at how safe it is for children to be vegetarians because the truth is, you are missing something.”
She went on to explain “The Farm Study,” which followed 404 vegetarian children. The study discovered that vegetarianism in children is healthy, often more so than regular diets, as long as it is regulated correctly. If children aren’t eating meat they will be missing out on fiber, protein and iron. Peanuts and dried beans were two of the many food suggested to help supply children with the balance they need to grow without eating meat.
The final pair somewhat elaborated on that very thought, their project was on the importance of vitamins and minerals in children. The nurses showed which vitamins (A-E and K) and minerals (calcium and iron) were most important for children. They also stressed that too much of anything is not good. If a child hasn’t taken vitamins in a week they shouldn’t be given seven pills in one day. Also, vitamins that look and taste like candy should be kept out of reach of young children.
The event was predominantly attended by faculty members. There were no students.
Tina Daries, the director of health and nutrition at a preschool in Norwalk, was particularly interested in the second topic.
“I’m revising the snack menu and thinking about going in a vegetarian direction.” Soon children at her school will have the option of a vegetarian or regular snack.
My, how the world has changed.

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