Cough Battles With Your Children

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Submitted by Angela Zito

temperturefaceThere it goes again…and again…and again. It is the sound that grates on your nerves at the same time it rips out your heart: your child’s cough. But, it may be trying to tell you something—if only you’ll listen.

Daniel McGee, MD, pediatric hospitalist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, shares five telltale cough sounds that offer clues on what may be ailing your child:

Barking: It may be croup. Croup is a viral illness that causes swelling and inflammation of the vocal cords. The cough sounds like a bark, and may also be accompanied by stridor—a harsh, high-pitched wheeze—when breathing in.

Hear it:

Whooping: It may be pertussis. Commonly known as whooping cough, pertussis is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause coughing fits in which children are forced to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound as they gasp for breath.

Hear it:

Staccato: A repetitive cough with short, staccato sounds is a characteristic sign of the lung infection chlamydial pneumonia, especially in infants.

Dry: A persistent, dry cough may be a symptom of asthma, a disease affecting the lungs.

Wet: The common cold often produces a wet, productive-sounding cough with mucus or phlegm behind it.

Dr. McGee advises caregivers to resist the temptation to medicate children with a cough suppressant. Doing so, he warns, may do more harm than good in most cases. However, if your child has had a persistent cough for a week or more, don’t write it off as the common cold. Dr. McGee suggest to make an appointment with a pediatrician to determine if something else is going on, especially if your child appears ill and is working hard to breathe.

How To Cut Orthodontic Braces Time In Half For Adults And Children

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Submitted by Dr. Michael Stosich

dentistIs it possible for both children and adults to cut the time spent wearing braces by half?

It seems it would be easier for children to lessen the time spent in braces than that of adults: Is it?

Dr. Michael Stosich with iDentity Orthodontics believes in covering all the bases with his patients from initial consultation to post-braces removal and care. The cornerstone of his orthodontic practice was set with the principles of educating his patients, caring for his patients, and providing the best possible services available to them.

He carefully listens to your concerns and takes time with you to ensure you are comfortable with the treatment, and that you fully understand his role (and yours) throughout your professional relationship. Dr. Stosich will not be put off by questions—in fact, he welcomes them and acknowledges that this is the best way to feel comfortable and confident in choosing him as your orthodontist.

When it comes to asking questions about wearing braces, it’s true that children’s bones are not fully developed until around the age of 18; teeth are more easily moved through the application of braces due to that fact. However, it is still possible to lessen time in braces for adults of any age, as well. Each individual will have his or her own set of circumstances which Dr. Stosich will address with you, and this will determine the length of time needed to correct your specific problems.

Orthodontic treatment in many cases consists of brackets, wire, and elastics which exert gentle forces on teeth to move in a certain direction to straighten teeth and to correct an occlusion. Most people want the process to be over as soon as possible, and by following the very specific plan designed by Dr. Stosich, results can be achieved faster than you think.

As a children’s and adult orthodontist, Dr. Stosich and his staff will be glad to share important information with you on how to cut braces wear time if you will just follow some very basic instructions:

• Always keep your appointments
• Brush after every meal and floss daily
• Do not eat foods or drink beverages that can harm your braces or get trapped in them
• Wear your elastics (if applicable) at all times and do not be tempted to remove them
• If you are wearing Invisalign braces, keep them on for the proper amount of time each day

As a republe orthodontist, Dr. Michael Stosich with iDentity Orthodontics in the Grayslake and Kenilworth, Illinois areas can provide you with all the information you need for your child’s orthodontic treatment or for ortho treatment for adults. Dr. Stosich believes a good smile is a lifetime investment. He says, “Smiles are like diamonds: they last forever.”

He also believes that taking time to do the research it takes to find a good orthodontist for yourself or for your family should be a priority. Set up a consult appointment and make sure all of your questions are answered. Although everyone wants braces wear time to be as short as possible, when it comes to having straight, healthy teeth, there is no magic wand and your orthodontist will be your best guide for your particular set of needs.

Fact is, the best results take time, and they are usually worth waiting for, but you can shorten it by working with Dr. Stosich and his staff. Once your braces are removed, you will still need to plan on visiting iDentity Orthodontics to ensure your newly straightened teeth will remain straight. You will be fitted with a retainer, and will be wearing the retainer for as long as recommended.

– Dr. Michael Stosich, who has served the Grayslake community for many years, has recently opened his second office in Wilmette/Kenilworth area. Dr. Stosich and his staff at iDentity Orthodontics look forward to helping you to have a better life and a healthier, happier smile through good orthodontics. To learn more about Dr. Stosich or to schedule a complimentary consultation visit iDentity Orthodontics.

Keeping Your Children And Family Health High And Costs Low

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By James Helliwell

familytvFast food restaurants, burgers, and video games are taking precedence over home cooked meals, vegetables, and outdoor play time for kids of all ages. Instead of playing cricket and chasing after runaway footballs, kids are glued to video games and munching on junk food. With a rise in obesity comes a rise in children’s diabetes as well as other health issues. This also has a financial impact with freedom and free charge activities of playing out, playing sport in the park and building rope swings being replaced by the expensive screens and great value healthy lunches being replaced with the local expensive fast food joint. Our little children are experiencing an epidemic that never should have occurred. So, in what ways can we encourage our children to keep active and eat the leafy greens and engage in the activities that they need to grow strong and healthy?

Here are a few great ideas for both you and your children to try!

Encourage Outdoor Activities:

The more you’re outside, enjoying the fresh air and drinking in the warm rays of the sun, the better chance both you and your children have at staying healthy. Worldwide we are losing this natural connection to the outdoors and nature Keeping active and staying in motion not only keeps the extra pounds off you and your children’s frames, but it also helps to keep your system running the way it should.

Encourage your children to play at least one to two hours a day outside. If at all possible, go outside with them, throw the ball around, build a fort, or let them help you wash your car. Any outdoor activities done together as a family will not only make it fun, but will keep all of you active.

You could also enroll your children in extracurricular activities, such as sports like hockey, cricket, football, or even golf. There is no shortage in fun and active sports, so finding something your children like and enjoy should be easy.

Healthy Eating is Cost Effective:

Whether or not you realise it, children follow the large footsteps of mum and dad. When you eat healthy, your children eat healthy, so make sure to load their dinner plates, as well as yours, with lots of veggies, good meats like lamb chops or mincemeat, and healthy sides. Make their breakfasts as filling and nutritious as possible, like porridge or granola If you pack your children’s lunches for school, fill their boxes with a healthy sandwich and a piece of fruit. Keeping your children interested on healthy food is a great way to make sure they are getting what they need and help keep your costs lower and healthy home mad food is always much better value.

Visit Your Doctor Regularly:

Make sure your little ones visit their pediatrician regularly to ensure that they’re not only growing properly, but that they receive the help, shots, and nutritional advice they need. An excellent pediatrician will not only help to give you tips and advice on healthy living for your children, but a good doctor and an excellent insurance will help to keep your children as healthy as possible. By covering your children with a high quality health insurance, you can rest easy knowing that your children will and can be seen by the best Doctors around. Finding a quality health insurance will help cover most of your doctor visits and medical expenses. If your child has diabetes, having insurance will help to cover the costs that come with the disease.

Make sure you have the right health insurance:

familywalkIn some countries people have access to medical services that are free (or cheap) at point of access. However, even people going between European Economic Area countries and who hold an EHIC card are only entitled to the service a national of that country gets – so it doesn’t replace insurance. In most countries, such as the US, an adequate level of health insurance in crucial, otherwise you could end up with very large bills or even not be able to be treated. There are even stories of people being turned away from some countries for not being insured.

Travelling abroad to live will usually mean making sure that you have international health insurance to keep you covered for unexpected medical treatment or illness. For an idea of how much costs can vary for the uninsured, this recent infographic shows the often very high costs of operations worldwide. So make sure you are covered as this is a cost you never want to incur it great for your peace of mind to know your family and children are covered.

Tips For Properly Disciplining Children

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– Courtesy of PRWeb, submitted by – what are your opinions about this article written by Is it a controversial or sensitive topic?

kidsunningtogether“Disciplining” children is in the news a lot lately. It’s an important issue for those who care about children and parents. Many parents think the word discipline is all about punishment ― and especially about physical punishment. But discipline really is about helping a child understand what to do ― and learn how to self-regulate.

“The word discipline actually means to teach or to guide,” says D’Arcy Lyness, PhD, behavioral health editor for “It’s not about punishment ― and certainly not about shouting, scolding, or physically hurting a child. Effective discipline is built into the daily parenting of a child ― not used an after-the-fact reaction to an unwanted behavior.”

Parenting (and discipline) that is emotionally warm, has high expectations for kids, and focuses on teaching children positive ways to act is far more effective ― and far more rewarding ― than parenting that focuses on punishment.

Physical punishment, like slapping or hurting a child, is never acceptable. And not just because it’s wrong ― it is also less effective than other methods. Why? A parent who hurts a child almost always does so out of frustration and anger. It’s an out-of-control moment that sets a bad example for children. A parent who uses physical force might get a child to stop doing something for the moment, but risks damaging the parent-child relationship permanently.

“Children who are physically disciplined develop less self-control rather than more. They do worse in school and have more emotional problems than children who are disciplined in other ways. That’s just the opposite of what their parents intend,” says Lyness.

KidsHealth offers these tips for parents looking to help their children learn better behavior and how to self-regulate:

* Have high expectations for good behavior ― but make sure your expectations match your child’s age. For example, it’s unrealistic to expect a toddler not to touch things. Toddlers naturally explore and touch everything within reach. With that developmental reality in mind, parents can focus on toddler-proofing the home to make it safe, providing things to play with and explore, and being attentive and responsive. If your toddler ventures toward something off-limits, protect and redirect him, rather than scold or punish.

* For preschoolers, have clear rules and consistent routines, and be proactive by patiently showing kids how you want them to behave. Your everyday interactions ― from playtime to bedtime to mealtime ― are the perfect opportunities to show and tell your child how to behave in different situations. Model positive cooperative behaviors, and be clear and firm about what’s OK and what’s not.

* Look behind the misbehavior. Misbehavior isn’t always intentional. Sometimes a preschooler is cranky because he’s hungry or sleepy. Or perhaps the spilled water was part of young child’s experiment with water. Looking at the misbehavior from your child’s perspective might affect how you react.

* Respond to your child’s emotional needs with warmth and understanding. Give your preschooler opportunities to do things “all by himself,” but offer help as needed. Use routines to help kids get into good habits like putting toys away, helping, sharing, saying sorry, cooperating when it’s bath- or bedtime. Expecting and praising desired behaviors helps them become habits. And practicing these habits helps kids develop self-help, and social and cognitive skills.

groupkids* When it comes to responding to a young child’s misbehavior, take firm but gentle action without too much talking or explaining. Making too much of your child’s misbehavior, or reacting too emotionally, sometimes keeps it happening.

* Avoid asking questions, (‘why would you do that!?’) and avoid harsh words that disparage or shame your child (‘you are so selfish’). And don’t be distracted by your child’s story about why he did what he did (“she started it!”). Instead, stay focused on the specific misbehavior you want to correct. Simply stop your child, and calmly (but firmly) say what’s not allowed (‘it’s not OK to grab her toy’). Then say what will happen next (‘you need to say you’re sorry for grabbing, and give her back the toy’). When your child does that, offer brief praise (‘that’s better, thanks’). Most times a longer punishment is unnecessary. It can be more helpful to encourage your child toward a positive way to behave (‘OK, ready to get back to playing nicely together?’).

* Manage your own emotions. It’s natural for parents to feel frustrated or angry when children misbehave. Be aware of your emotions, but be in control of how you express them. Remain calm and clear when responding to your child. Avoid yelling or preaching. Teach kids to manage their own emotional meltdowns by setting a good example.

* When it comes to discipline, parents should be warm and fair…but firm and clear. Don’t use threats, physical punishment, or consequences that are too harsh or out of scale with the misbehavior. Have reasonable consequences for misbehavior, and carry them out calmly.

* Use approaches that help your child learn to problem-solve and to manage difficult emotions. Some young children are more challenging than others, such as those who are often oppositional or uncooperative. Help kids learn to cooperate with your requests by giving specific instructions (nicely), and breaking down tasks into small parts. Teach cool-downs or use time-outs to help kids regroup. Ignore your child’s protests whenever you can. Stay calmly focused on what you expect. Praise your child for self-reliant cooperative behaviors. Teach your child to know and name emotions and to tell you how he feels and why.

* Reach out for help and support. Your support network may include family members or friends. But also consider talking to your child’s doctor, nurse, teacher, or a child therapist. Take a parenting class. Read. Talk to other parents who are successful at raising children without having to use physical force.

* Above all, be patient. Being a parent is a difficult job. But raising a happy child who is socially and emotionally equipped to be successful in life is probably the most important (and rewarding) job a parent can have.

For more information about disciplining children, visit these KidsHealth articles:

Disciplining Your Child

How Can Parents Discipline Without Spanking?

Am I Too Tough When I Discipline My Kids?

Nine Steps to More Effective Parenting

Prevention And Treatment Of Sports Injuries In Children

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By Lynn Lee

boyssportsOne of the most enjoyable things for parents is watching their kids participate in sports. Win or lose, competition can help children learn about themselves and what they are capable of, and this can be a rewarding process for parents to watch.

While a lot of fun and excitement can come from sports, there is one thing all parents dread: injuries. Whether it’s a scraped knee, twisted ankle, bad bruise or something worse, parents always hold their breath when they see their child hit the ground.

Although parents can try to prevent injuries, many are inevitable and impossible to anticipate. The best thing to do when a child gets hurt is to make sure the injury is treated properly.

Check out this list of ways to treat common injuries seen in kids:

Sprains and Bruises

With all the running around kids do while playing sports, falling down is often unavoidable. Because of this, sprains and bruises are common injuries with kids. Luckily, most can be treated at home using the RICE approach:

• Rest – Make sure your child takes some time off to let the injury heal completely.

• Ice – Until the swelling goes down, apply ice to the injury for 10 to 20 minutes every few hours.

• Compression – Wearing an elastic compression during the first 24 to 36 hours can help reduce swelling.

• Elevation – Keep the injury above heart level for 2 to 3 hours a day. This may require sitting or lying down.

girlsoccerChildren can also wear a protective brace while the injury heals to help ensure they don’t further injure themselves. Additionally, anti-inflammatories that contain ibuprofen like Advil or Motrin or medication with acetaminophen like Tylenol can be used to reduce pain or swelling.


Even if kids aren’t playing sports, they still always seem to find ways to end up with cuts and scrapes, so knowing how to treat these is essential.

• Clean the Cut – For small cuts or scrapes, rinsing with cold water will remove dirt and debris from the cut, and something stronger like hydrogen peroxide is unnecessary. If a cut is deep, or if a child is cut by a dirty object, using hydrogen peroxide can be beneficial.

• Stop the Bleeding – Small cuts usually stop bleeding on their own. If a cut is a little deeper, apply firm pressure to the area with a clean cloth or gauze. Don’t remove the pressure to check and see if the cut has stopped bleeding; this can cause it to start again.

• Cover the Cut – After the wound has been cleaned and the bleeding has stopped, the abrasion should be covered. Use a bandage or gauze and tape, depending on the size of the cut, to cover the area.

When to Get Help

Sprains and cuts seem to be part of life when you have kids. What most parents fear, though, is the thought of something more serious happening to their child. Sometimes, it is immediately clear whether or not a child needs medical attention. In situations where a cut is more than ¼ inch deep, is jagged or looks like it may need stiches, calling or seeing a doctor is the best thing to do. Another way to know when to seek medical attention is to gauge your child’s level of pain. If some time passes and the pain hasn’t subsided, an injury may be worse than it appears on the surface. If you aren’t sure whether or not your child needs medical attention, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and head to the doctor.

– This article was contributed by Miami Children’s Hospital, a leading children’s hospital that is renowned for excellence in pediatric medical care from birth to adolescence. With leading physicians in South Florida, Miami Children’s hospital offers expertise in orthopedic sports medicine to help patients recover from injuries.

10 Simple Dos And Don’ts For Parents To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

groupkidswbgEveryone wants happy, successful children, but everyone parents in a way that increases the chance that this will happen. The reasons are simple: parenting great kids is a lot of work. It’s uninterrupted, consistent, hands-on dirty work at times, but if you delegate parent’s work to teachers, youth leaders, or someone other than yourself, then your kids don’t end up getting what they need. What do they need? Well, they don’t need more after school programs, computer classes, or the latest game.

They need discipline, chores, family dinners and engaged adults who are willing to be parents and not friends.

1. Do pay attention to your kids when they are talking and demand they do the same with you. Having your focus on your phone when your child is trying to talk to you tells them their feelings don’t matter. Minimizing or ignoring your kid’s feelings is a big no-no.

2, Do not be your child’s friend. Do be their parent.

3. Give your child chores and follow through with consequences when they don’t do them. Taking something away from your child means you take it away with a chance for them to earn it back.

4. Don’t bend rules or be inconsistent with rules. Whatever was a rule yesterday should remain a rule today, tomorrow and next week.

5. Don’t compare your child to you when you were a child, to their sibling or to a friend they have. This only leads to judgment, resentfulness and anger. Your child will show you with their behavior what your constant comparing has done to them, and you won’t like the way it looks.

6. Don’t ever talk badly about your child’s other parent. This makes children anxious and depressed and they end up with distorted views about what love is.

7. Encourage your child to take calculated risks, and don’t bail them out when they make a mistake. Your child is supposed to make mistakes. This is how they learn. Constantly hovering or making excuses for them turns them into enabled, entitled adults who cannot think for themselves without wanting help.

8. Do let your kids come to you for advice, but let them work out solutions for their own interpersonal and school-related relationships. The one exception is bullying, and this is an area you should get involved with taking your child’s side if they are the victim.

groupkids9. Do become part of your child’s team, but don’t baby them. If they have an assignment due in the morning and they must stay up late, make sure they have a well lit place to study, but don’t make yourself a martyr staying up late with them. Compliment their commitment, but go to bed. In real life, we all have to make sacrifices for our choices. School represents work for a child.

10. Whenever possible, no matter how old your child is, hug them as much as you can and tell them how happy you are they are yours.

Parenting will always be the toughest job any of us can take on, but if you decide to take it on, do it with the commitment and follow through you give your other jobs. You cannot parent part-time, nor can you take a sabbatical when times get tough with your kids. Signing your kid up for one more class can never fix what is broken at home.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Ingredients Nannies To Children With Gluten Intolerance Should Be Aware Of

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kidsAs a primary caretaker of children, nannies are constantly on alert – from helping little ones avoid slipping in the bathtub to keeping a careful eye on them as they play at the playground. For children with gluten intolerance, it’s imperative that nannies are vigilant during meal times to safeguard them from harm.

Learning how to avoid ingredients that can cause the child discomfort and understanding the signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance will help ease the minds of the parents, the child and the nanny.

Defining Gluten Intolerance

Children with gluten intolerance, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, are unable to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and contaminated oats. According to Laura Cipullo, New York-based nutritionist, registered dietitian and founder of, those with gluten intolerance experience similar symptoms to those affiliated with Celiac Disease, where the intolerance can lead to inflammation that damages the intestinal lining, ultimately leading to malabsorption.

“Research suggests that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a natural immune response to the ingestion of gluten and affects an estimated 18 million Americans,” says Cipullo.

If a child who is gluten intolerant ingests gluten, says Cipullo, they can experience some of the following symptoms:

* Stomach discomfort
* Diarrhea
* Cramping
* Gas
* Bloating
* Brain fogginess
* Joint pain
* Numbing of the extremities
* Headaches

When a child is sensitive to gluten, his body considers it a foreign substance and produces antibodies to eliminate it, says Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and author of Disease Proof. “Inflammation from gluten sensitivity can result in damage to the villi, or tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine which absorb nutrients and cause problems with absorption of nutrients necessary for good health.”

Furthermore, if gluten sensitivity goes unmanaged, it can affect a child’s behavior and ability to grow and learn, says Debbi Beauvais, New York-based registered dietitian, nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “For growth and development, children have very high energy and nutrient needs,” she says. “To manage a diet for children with this sensitivity, it is best to consult a registered dietitian to work with you and your child to plan meals that will ensure all energy and nutrient needs are being met.”

Ingredients to Avoid

informationredOne rule of thumb is to avoid any food with the word wheat in the ingredient list, says Beauvais. “Many foods now are clearly labeled gluten free and most food markets have specific food sections which contain gluten free foods clearly labeled as such,” she says.

However, you can never be too careful. Keep an eye out for the following ingredients:

* Barley (flakes, flour, pearl)
* Breading and bread stuffing
* Brewer’s yeast
* Bulgur
* Durum (type of wheat)
* Farro/Faro (also known as spelt)
* Graham flour
* Hydrolyzed wheat protein
* Kamut (a type of wheat)
* Malt, malt extract, malt syrup and malt flavoring
* Malt vinegar
* Malted milk
* Matzoh, matzoh meal
* Modified wheat starch
* Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour and whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats)
* Rye bread and flour
* Seitan (a meat-like food derived from wheat gluten that is used in many vegetarian dishes)
* Semolina
* Spelt (a type of wheat also known as farro or faro, dinkel)
* Triticale
* Wheat bran, flour, germ or starch

According to Cipullo, common sources of gluten in packaged goods include bars, candies, fruit snacks and chips. “Hidden sources of gluten can lurk in ketchup, salad dressings, oats, dried fruits, sauces, soy sauce, processed meat products and certain ice creams,” she says.

What to Eat

With a long list of ingredients to stray from, it’s easy to get discouraged when trying to prepare meals for a child who is gluten intolerant. One common concern of parents and caretakers is ensuring their children with gluten sensitivity are getting the proper nutrition, says Dr. Katz. He suggests the following:

* Look for whole grain gluten-free products

* Aim for at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables a day

* Incorporate beans, as they are a great source of gluten-free fiber and protein

One of the best ways to ensure a gluten intolerant child is getting his daily dose of nutrients is to enhance his diet with the very nutrients he needs, says Katz. “Boost the child’s diet with a gluten-free, nutrient-dense children’s multivitamin,” he says, “which combines a full multivitamin, Omega 3 DHA and EPA and more than 100 percent of Vitamin D.”

To avoid the symptoms and further enhance the child’s diet, it is essential to discuss the child’s gluten intolerance with his parents and ensure that appropriate gluten-free snacks are available for the child, recommends Cipullo. “This child’s intolerance to gluten should be a top priority and planning a safe and effective way to have safe snacks and meals available to him or her is beneficial to avoiding gluten,” she says.

– Submitted by Sara Dawkins of

Fathers: How to Exercise With Your Children

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By Stephanie Lynch

fathersonbaseballChildren may be filled with energy but that doesn’t mean we can’t substitute that for exercise. In today’s technological era, so many children don’t get the adequate exercise they need. Whether it’s playing video games for hours a day or sitting on their phone browsing Facebook, it’s so important that as a father, you encourage your children to exercise.

While you can’t just tell your child to turn off the video game and start exercising, there are some ways to encourage them and get them into the swing of exercising while having fun.

To get your children on the road to healthiness, here are some tips to consider:

Think! Be Creative

All children aren’t interested in baseball, football and soccer, and that’s okay. Instead of focusing on one particular area of exercise, such as sports, try to think outside of the box. Every child has an interest. So for example, if your child is interested in video games, then you may want to consider an active game that focuses on moving. All major gaming systems have add-ons that track your body movement when interacting with the game. This is an awesome way to have fun and play games at the same time.

Even if your child doesn’t like video games, try your hardest to find their interest and capitalize on it. Do they like dancing? Rock climbing? Do they like to explore the woods? The list could go on.

Join Them

Younger children love when their parents join in on activities. Whether it’s riding a bike up to the local park or jumping in on a game of basketball, it may be best to jump in every chance you get. When you’re not in the picture, the child is often discouraged to play for a long time. However, if you join in on the fun, they could be playing for hours, burning off those precious calories.

Set Rules

Don’t let your child sit in front of the television or hang out on the phone for more than two hours a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children shouldn’t get no more than two hours of screen time a day. If it has a screen, limit it. While this could make you the worst parent in the world, it’s going to encourage them to seek other alternatives when it comes to being entertained.

Be an Example

malepushupIf your child sees you sitting in front of the television for five hours a day, what do you think they are going to want to do? Children love to mimic what their parents do. If your children aren’t active, then there’s a good chance that you’re not active as well. In order to practice what you preach, try to create a schedule that gets you off the couch.

Offer Rewards

There are going to be those days where your child won’t want to go out and play, and that’s completely fine. However, what if you offered the child a trip to the movies if they played basketball for an hour? Sometimes, rewards can be an amazing motivator for your child. Remember, when you want to motivate your child, don’t offer treats or something fatty, but instead, consider a reward that is healthy and fun that the whole family can enjoy.


Any exercising advocate will tell you that a routine is so important. If you don’t have a routine, it’s going to be hard to stick to exercising. The same can be said about exercising with a child. While every week doesn’t have to be the same, try your best to work something out every day. For example, Sunday could be a bike ride, while Monday could be a walk to the local park. Try to mix things up, though, because a monotonous schedule can get boring.

– Stephanie Lynch works for, a large resource with more than 4,000 cost helping guides. Find out what the many things in life cost such as surgeries, professional services and health related activities. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @howmuchforit

Raising A Vegetarian: The Growing Trend – Is it Healthy For Children?

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kidseatinghealthyThe push to go green encompasses much more than teaching children to preserve energy and respect the environment. Many households, adults and children alike have chosen to eat green as well, adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.

One of the primary concerns of critics is that children, from toddlers to teens, may not receive the nutrients they need with a meatless diet. Lauren Schmitt, registered dietitian, nutritionist and certified personal trainer with Healthy Eating and Training, Inc., disagrees. Children opting away from diets filled with meat can live a healthy lifestyle with foods from all five food groups while being raised as a vegetarian.

“Children who eat a well balanced lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet which includes dairy products and eggs can achieve the same health status as those children who eat meat products,” says Schmitt. “With attention to detail, deficiencies in vegetarian children are rare and their growth is equal to that of their peers.”

Healthy Meal Planning at its Best

According to Schmitt, research shows that vegetarian kids and teens take in less cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat and eat more fruits, vegetables and fiber. “Frequent meals and snacks need to be properly planned to ensure the nutrient needs of the child are being met,” she says.

Parents and nannies can plan to supplement the common deficiencies that children face, which include protein, iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, iodine, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

“When the meat is taken off the plate, replace it with dairy products, eggs, beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu and nuts or seeds to meet protein and calorie needs,” says Schmitt. “That space on the plate cannot remain empty.”

Foods that are higher in unsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, oils, coconut, avocado and nut butters help children meet their energy needs, says Schmitt. In addition, vegetarian children need at least one and a half cups of fruit, two to two and a half cups of vegetables and approximately six ounces of grains per day.

groupkidswbgThe key for vegetarian children is getting adequate protein at each meal, says Dr. Barry Sears, a leading authority in anti-inflammatory nutrition and creator of the Zone Diet. “For vegans, this means eating adequate amounts of tofu, tempeh, or soy imitation meat products at each meal, along with a lot of colorful carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables,” he says. “The greater the level of fruits and vegetables and the fewer of grains and starches ensures maximum nutrients with the less amount of excess carbohydrates.”

Fortified products can also help supplement a vegetarian child’s diet. Bump up your child’s iron intake with cereals that are packed with vitamins and minerals, and of course, iron. Schmitt recommends eating a source of vitamin C, such as an orange, with cereal to increase the absorption of iron.

“For insurance, a child can take a general multi-vitamin to meet baseline goals for vitamins and minerals,” says Schmitt. If the family is restricting animal products, a B12 supplement will provide the needed vitamins and minerals, too.

Supplementing your child’s diet with more calcium can be a bit tricky, says Carol Cottrill, certified nutritional consultant and author of “The French Twist.” “Since kids aren’t crazy about the plant sources that provide calcium, such as kale and collard greens, the good news is that many foods today are fortified with calcium, including calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, so a vegan child can get enough calcium without downing supplements,” she says.

Maintaining a vegetarian diet can be more challenging during childhood and adolescence and there may be an additional burden on the parent or nanny to shop and prepare balanced vegetarian meals, says Cottrill. “For this reason, start slowly when switching from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet,” she warns. “Begin by serving larger portions of veggies and smaller portions of meat while offering a meatless dinner once or twice a week, which may help digestion by easing into a higher fiber diet. With a little time, knowledge, responsibility, and commitment, a plant-based diet can be a good thing.”

The key is to provide a balance when planning meals for vegetarian children. “Whether vegetarian or not, children need to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of fresh food,” says Schmitt. “Children in general are at risk if they eat a poor diet. So, no matter what type of diet is followed, families need to focus on getting their child a nutrient rich diet filled with whole gains, fruit, vegetables, food sources of calcium and vitamin D and protein rich foods.”

– Submitted by Hannah Anderson of

DHA: A Good Fat For Kids’ Diets

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groupkidsWhile the conversation about kids’ nutrition revolves around reducing fat, Dr. Holly Lucille, RN, ND, host of the Dr. Holly Lucille Show on, suggests that adding one type of fat–DHA, otherwise known as docosahexaenoic acid — to a child’s diet is essential to the health of cell membranes, as well as nerve and brain function. DHA is a form of omega-3 fatty acid that is safe and effective for developing children and sometimes absolutely essential.

“Omega-3 is associated with fatty fishes, not a favorite for some people, so DHA supplements are beneficial for moms that are pregnant or breast feeding, and are a good source for babies still in-vitro,” according to Dr. Lucille, who covers Mindful Medicine, an outgrowth of her background as a nationally recognized and licensed naturopathic doctor, educator, natural products consultant and television host.

She notes that DHA is also an effective way to control eczema, and that the brain benefits from DHA, especially helping to raise kids’ IQ scores and visual skills. DHA is now available in a gummy form, so kids can add it to their diets.

“DHA is an overlooked supplement that can benefit adults and kids alike. I tell all my pregnant friends to take DHA,” concluded Dr. Lucille, who is on the editorial advisory board of Alternative Medicine and Natural Practitioner.

The entire 10-minute Dr. Holly Lucille Show segment can be heard on the RadioMD archives by visiting here.

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– Submitted by David Brimm