29 March 2011

Infant Movie Theme Song Exposure and It's Relation to Later Movie Watching

When my daughter was born, actually even before, I compiled a CD of 14 songs from eight movies and one TV show that my wife and I (well, mostly I) liked.  My hypothesis was that if I played these songs for bedtime, and at other times, that this would make the songs familiar to her and therefore she would welcome the movies or TV shows because they were familiar to her.

The theme songs selected had to be of a softer tone or a classical music type, similar to that of bedtime music.  This was to maintain the goal of the songs being soothing.

24 March 2011

Change of Plans

I do realize this show was aired on January 8, but I finally got around to seeing it.

I am a huge fan of Brooke White, and I could barely wait to sit down and watch the show.  This usually means the offspring need to be sleeping so I can watch a movie.  IT FINALLY HAPPENED.  I watched it. LOVED IT. Recommend it.  So much that I watched it with my daughter later that day, and that I watched it again that night with my wife.  That's right, I watched it three times in one day.  That's just how much I liked it and the message in it.

Here is the trailer for the movie.  It is going to be released on DVD at Wal-Mart, just not sure if that includes Canada.

23 March 2011

Really Doc, You Wont See My Child?

I usually only post “professionally” meaning I don’t intend to include my family in my posts.  However, I feel on this occasion I should breach this.  This is a moment where my professional concerns about family well being was crossed in the personal realm.
Just this past weekend my wife took my four month old son to a walk-in doctor because he was having a very unusual cough. I am not going to specify which clinic in Winnipeg, nor the doctor, but when they asked for our Manitoba Health Card, it was brought to our attention that we had not yet added our son to the health coverage (but yet, our son does have a doctor that he does see on a regular basis, that is paid by Canada’s one tier system, like this walk-in clinic).  So this clinic denied to see our son, and told us to make an appointment with our family doctor (a Monday to Friday doctor, it was now the weekend, and we needed assistance now, not on Monday).
When my wife got home, she immediately called our health nurse.  Her response to the situation was “…they what!!??”  She offered to come over, but she couldn’t diagnose, just to recommend that we should make an appointment for our son to meet with his doctor.
Is this really how we should treat a sick child in our developed country?  That because parents, overwhelmed in the transition to parenthood and forgot to add their son to their provincial health care card, they are denied service?  Really, what does this health card mean?  Well it means that because patient Y comes to see doctor X that the Provincial Government will cover the cost.  So, did this really come down to money?  That this doctor would not be paid soon enough for his services provided to a four month old?
This really begs the question on the effectiveness of the current system.  I do understand why the card is important, because we don’t just want anyone claiming to be a Canadian Citizen and taking advantage of our health care system.  I get that.  But when it comes to the health of an infant, there should be an exception.  Because this situation was just ridiculous.
Luckily, and we are grateful for it, that it wasn’t severe, and was a treatable cough.

21 March 2011

Happy Home Economics Day!

Today, 21 March 2011, is World Home Economics Day!  Your friendly neighbourhood Professional Home Economists/Human Ecologists will be difficult to find as they will be celebrating!

For the Manitoba Association of Home Economists, we will be having a celebration at a local hotel, eating some great food, doing some networking, and learning from Social Media Strategists from CityTV's Breakfast TV.

Happy Home Economics Day Everyone!

19 March 2011

Ways to Cope with Rising Food Prices

Mary Carver of the Ontario Home Economics Association recommends the following ways to deal with the rising prices in foods (read the entire media release here).

Determine what you spend on food; it may be less than you think. Keep track for a couple of weeks. Canadian farm groups celebrated Food Freedom Day on Feb. 12, 2011 marking the date by which the average Canadian earned enough to pay the entire year's food bill. Note that the reference is for ‘food’ only - not for the sea of other items available in your supermarket.

Plan! Smart planning is the first step to saving money on food. Plan menus for a week at a time. From those menus and advertised specials, make a list. Remember to check the pantry and fridge so as not to miscalculate your needs. Over-buying and poor management leads to food waste - something that we as Canadians are too guilty of. Every trip to the store adds to your cost. Many times an ‘empty pantry’ leads to expensive take-out options.

Learn to cook. Home cooking is the surest way to save and to get the best value for your food dollar. A new book, launched for Nutrition Month is entitled Cook! (Robert Rose Publishers) Produced by Dietitians of Canada, it contains 275 healthy recipes using Canadian food. Basic cooking methods, the latest nutrition advice and ‘kid approved’ recipes make this cookbook a good investment for families that need to get back to basics. Look for it in your library if you want to save the $29.95.

Try paying for food with cash. It's estimated that those who use plastic spend more and Canadian families are already carrying too much debt according to the stats

Buy real food from all four food groups. Choose fresh or frozen produce (yes frozen veggies are nutritious), whole grain breads and cereals, dairy, meat, fish or poultry (or alternatives). Write your grocery list in the same order as the food is presented in your store, reducing your chances of getting distracted by items that are not on your list.

Check availability of local produce year round: http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html

Buy in season or join a local crop-sharing program - an emerging trend.

Buy in bulk. Many cereals, rice and rolled oats are less expensive without fancy packaging.

Do it yourself for less. Prepared or semi-prepared food is more expensive per serving. Homemade dressings, cookies and pasta sauces are much less expensive than ready-made.

Quench your thirst with water, not pop.

Shop with a calculator. Check unit price on shelf labels to help determine the best buys.

Look beyond eye level. Often better buys are located above or below eye level.

Ask for and use rain-checks if a store runs out of an advertised special.

Organic is a choice that can be more expensive. Some produce with the least likelihood of pesticide residues are sweet onions, avocados, corn, asparagus, mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, peas, kiwi, grapefruit, cabbage, broccoli and eggplant.

Resist last-minute temptations at the cash register. Be vigilant at the check-out. Mistakes happen where products are scanned twice or even left behind unnoticed.

Avoid waste. It’s estimated that Canadians waste at least 10% of the food they buy. Off-set rising prices by increasing your effort to avoid food waste.

Ask if your grocer will match a competitor’s price to avoid driving across town.

Remember to have Daddy-Daughter Dates

Spending time with your daughter enhances your relationship with her. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is not just about quality time, it is about quantity time. To make your daughter feel loved, and wanted, you need to spend time together. I, therefore, recommend daddy-daughter dates.


Read the rest of the column here at the Battleford's News Optimist.  This was originally written on Notes on Parenting.

Provincial and federal governments fund U of M food study

I always enjoy reading my RSS news feeds and going "I know that person!" I had one of those moments yesterday.

This time, it is my friend and colleague Jocelyne Gaudet.  She is currently the project lead for the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel. The projected was highlighted after receiving money from the government.

Read the University of Manitoba news release on how the Federal and Provincial Governments are investing in this project.

17 March 2011

Positive Parenting Program

There is a new parenting initiative that is being piloted in the Province of Manitoba.  It is called the Positive Parenting Program, or Triple P, for short.  It's an adapted program from the one offered in Australia.

08 March 2011

Organic Food - Weighing the Debate

It has never been more confusing to shop for groceries. Consumers are faced with endless decisions when it comes to choosing their food. With the popularity of the green movement, many households are trying to make nutritious and environmentally-conscious choices, while keeping the grocery bill in check. 

Demand for organic foods has exploded - as has the debate. The trend has created a big industry. To-day, the marketplace is saturated with organic products at premium prices often leaving consumers guessing. 

The following answers to common questions may help consumers make informed decisions about organics. 

Research Idea: Pornography & IPV

Ever since I have written a paper during my undergraduate years, I have always been interested in the relationship between viewing pornography and relational satisfaction, in particular if viewing pornography increases violence in an intimate relationship.

Pornography has taken a different turn in popular culture the past couple of years.  I place that credit on Oprah, she originally had taken to the opinion that pornography does not help intimacy in relationships.  However, she changed her position and feels that if couples view pornography together, it will support their intimate relationships.

Most of the research I have stumbled across, does not have a clear cut line on pornography's influence on intimate relations, however, most has found negative side-effects for the individual.

I want to see if there is a relationship between pornography and intimate relationships.  My hypothesis is that there will be a negative relationship, especially for women.  However, I am intrigued to find results for co-viewing, and relational satisfaction.

05 March 2011

EcoLogo Labels

I had technical difficulties in getting the EcoLogo labels on my blog for the OHEA Green Cleaning Products post.  Again, this label is to ensure Canadian consumers that green products with this label are actually green and safe.

03 March 2011

Balancing Quality & Quantity Time With Your Child

Working from home is becoming a popular thing to do.  The reason often cited for working from home is so that one can create their own work hours, and so that they are home with the family.  While that is a great motivator, the goal of developing a better relationship with the family is often missed.

02 March 2011

Cleaning Products - Is There A Safe Green?

The following was sent to me by Ontario Home Economics Association Member Mary Carver, PHEc.


Many consumers, activists and health professionals believe that danger lurks in our homes through toxic ingredients in chemical-laden cleaners. Some cancers, allergies, asthma, eye, nose, throat and skin irritations are feared to be a result of strong household and commercial cleaning products. Meanwhile consumers are demanding safe products that protect their health and the environment. 

01 March 2011

Explanations for alcohol and drug Experimentation

Why do you think teenagers start doing drugs? Or drinking? Or other self-harming behaviors? I agree (with you), some do engage in it just for experimentation, or for thrill seeking.  However, there are those who do it to ease troubles, numb pains, and to cover up struggles.

I want to offer some understanding of why adolescents do drugs and alcohol. Explanations not excuses, because there are other ways, healthier ways, of handling anger.