The next time you feel a little overwhelmed and exhausted having 2.1 kids in the house, pay a thought to this Pennsylvania couple who are about to welcome their 72nd foster child. That's seventy-two, as in 70 plus 2!
Typically, the couple has rarely looked after more than a one or two kids at a time since fosters are generally short-term houseguests.
Thomas and Ann could teach us all a few things when it comes to spreading love, time, and money... They have been foster parents for over 15 years. Even more shocking, perhaps, is the fact that Thomas is in his seventies, Ann in her eighties.
“We have grandchildren. They were getting older (and) didn’t have any babies, so we thought we’d do this,” explained Ann Rose.
Thomas described his foster parenting experience as very satisfying. “It’s really a lot of fun to see little kids develop and go from not being able to sit up to maybe being able to crawl and then walk and then talk. So it’s pretty rewarding.”
The couple takes pride in teaching the kids to “have fun and get a sense of humour and, if they’re old enough … some manners.”
A great big thank you is in order for this incredible couple.
Fad diets are as fickle as fashion itself. Cabbage soup, that God awful lemonade-maple-syrup-cayenne-pepper potion, the acai berry cleanse...
But the latest trendy diet in Europe might surprise you. Known as the "baby food diet" it involves basically eating, well, what your baby does -- pureed fruits and veggies, up to 14 times a day. Even more surprising, unlike some of its contemporary quick fixes, nutritionists say this diet isn't all that bad for you.
"Food that makes a baby grow is pretty good food," said Dr. Samuel Klein, Director, Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis.
Typically baby foods don't have much added sugar, sodium or preservatives. And because fruits and vegetables are baby food staples, dieters won't be lacking in these often-neglected food groups.
Concocted by celeb trainer, Tracy Anderson, the diet gained popularity last spring after Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga were rumoured aficionados. British celebrity Cheryl Cole was the latest star to jump on the baby food bandwagon. UK grocer Ocado noted a significant increase in baby food sales before and after Cole got on board the craze.
"While Ocado cannot categorically state this uplift was due to media discussion around the diet, there was a confirmed sales spike," claimed an Ocado spokesperson.
Because most infant food comes in small, store-bought jars, there is less chance of overindulging. But seriously, how much fun can it be to eat baby food all day every day? It's hardly a diet that can be maintained and sustained in the long term.
Jim White, a registered dietician and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, suggested that baby food be used as snack, not a meal substitute.
"Who wants to eat baby food 14 times a day?" said White. "We've got to enjoy ourselves too, and chew our food. It's just not liveable, unless you're in a retirement home."
Mummies deserve to baby themselves but this could be taking it a bit too far.
Do you think the baby food diet is safe? Would you try it to shed a few nagging pounds?
For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is changing its warning labels on cigarette packages. The nine new images depicted are even more disturbing than the usual bold statements such as, “Smoking can kill you” and “Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease”.
Already there is mounting concern over the graphic and disturbing nature of the pictures. But isn't that the point? To scare kids out of picking up the lethal habit?
“These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking," says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "These labels will encourage smokers to quit and prevent children from smoking.”
The likelihood of kids seeing the ads is not great unless a family member smokes. On the plus side, kids will learn early on of the harmful effects of cigarettes and perhaps even sway a parent or relative to quit.
The new warnings, which will cover at least half of all cigarettes sold in the US by mid-2013, will hopefully "have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy and lower medical costs." Every year in the States alone, it is estimated that cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly 450,000 deaths, and costs the economy $200 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.
One of the images feature a man with a tracheotomy hole and a mouth filled with rotting teeth. As a result of The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, the government now has the authority to regulate the marketing and labelling of tobacco products.
"What we've seen in terms of best practices globally is that you want pictures and accompanying text that elicit an emotion from the viewer," said Joanna Cohen, PhD, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at Johns Hopkins University. "It makes people react."
And when it comes to size, bigger is apparently better, "because people notice [the labels] more." A recent Centers for Disease Control study has shown that warning labels are effective in getting smokers to consider quitting.
To Dr. Richard Hurt of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, pictures are a good start, but they are not enough. He suggests a hike in the price of cigarettes would be a more effective deterrent.
What do you think? How would you feel if your child saw one of the new labels? Should Canada follow suit?