Cherry Creek Pediatrics wants to make sure your holiday season is one of joy. While holiday lights can bring beauty and happiness to your house, they can also cause overloaded circuits which can cause cords to overheat resulting in fires. Listen to this great holiday safety tip from the AAP to help prevent your risk of a fire this holiday season.
The holidays are upon us and with them often come big, holiday meals. These meals typically include long standing family traditions and often times the food can be a source of a major break down for a picky eater. We know that Thanksgiving can be extra challenging for parents of picky eaters. In order to prevent dinner from turning into a battle zone, check out these tips below to keep your Thanksgiving dinner fun for all!
Prepare something your picky eater eat will. Choose at least one food you know your child will like and make enough to imply that anyone can eat it, even if it’s unlikely that they actually will. This allows you to have something your child will eat without sending a message that he or she has their own special food. This way, your child is guaranteed to eat something during the meal and it also shows your child you care about his or her preferences when planning meals.
Prepare your child. Let your child know that you plan to offer at least one protein, grain, vegetable and fruit and tell them about any foods you are definitely planning on including (such as a turkey as a protein and stuffing as a grain). Make a few dishes ahead of time that your child will see Thanksgiving day on the table one at a time and let them try them during a normal family dinner.
Involve your child in meal planning. Kids are much more likely to eat foods that they have helped planned themselves. Ask your child if he or she has any ideas for the other food groups. For example, “What type of vegetable do you think we should include?” Then together, find recipes that use those foods as ingredients.
Invite your child to help with meal prep. When kids help to cook food, they will often sample what they are preparing which helps to make them more likely to eat their masterpieces later. Ask your picky eater to help you work behind the scenes washing vegetables, mixing ingredients or putting together a fancy cheese tray.
Use food bridges. Once a food is accepted by your picky eater, find similarly colored, flavored or textured “food bridges” to expand the variety of foods your child is willing to eat. For example, if your child likes pumpkin pie, try including mashed sweet potatoes on his or her Thanksgiving plate.
Give holiday foods fun names and make the food smell, taste and look delicious. We know it sounds silly, but studies have shown that kids are much more likely to eat “Magical Mashed Potatoes” or “Superpower Sweet Potatoes” over plain-old mashed potatoes. Many times, kids have made up their mind about a food before actually trying it. By adding a “cool” name and making the dish smell, takes, and look delicious, you’re already increasing the odds that your child will try it. For example, when preparing a veggie tray, try arranging the veggies in the shape of a turkey.
Don’t make it a battle. Focus on enjoying your time together with family or friends. Try not to worry if and what your child is eating, you have done your job. Go easy on yourself and your child and celebrate this day of gratitude.
As natural as we are all told breast feeding is, it is important to remember that it doesn't always come easy for a new mom or baby. Here are the top 5 most common problems mothers face with breast feeding and tips from our Lactation Counselor, Susan Cohen.
We are commonly asked what mothers can do to help with the discomfort they often experience during these early days:
- Use heat and massage before pumping or nursing followed by ice or cool cabbage leaves afterwards
- Take warm showers or do warm baths to help relax the breast and then massage them to allow the milk to flow.
- Ibuprofen can help with pain relief as well
Low Milk Supply
- You are breast feeding on demand 8-10 times/day or pumping 7-8 times/day (or a combination of pumping and breastfeeding)
- Your baby is making 6-8 wet diapers per day, having yellow, curdy stools and gaining weight
- Moms who pump breast milk can expect 1 oz total at each pump session by the end of the first week post-partum and 2-3 oz per session after 2-3 weeks.
- A yeast infection on the nipple - This is a condition that can be treated by your provider
- Baby's tongue tie - This is a condition diagnosed by your provider
- Flat nipples - This can make it hard to center the breast in the baby's mouth. A nipple shield can help as well as a manual hand pump for inverted nipples
- Too much pressure on a breast pump - Remember to only turn the pump pressure up as high as is comfortable and productive
When your baby latches, it may initially be painful but if the pain persists or comes back after the engorgement phase, there may be a problem.
- Red, painful breasts may indicate mastitis -- an infection of the breast that will required antibiotics to treat. This does not affect milk quality so it is recommended to keep pumping or nursing to ensure your supply stays up.
- A clogged milk duct can be relieved with warm compresses and massage while pumping of breast feeding on that breast.
- Avoid underwire bras as these can lead to clogged milk ducts. Keep your breasts as empty as you can by using hand massage while you pump and by nursing early and often.
Where Can I Turn for Reliable Information on Breast Feeding?
- Our certified lactation counselor at Cherry Creek Pediatrics
- Stanford University - offers helpful videos on breastfeeding in the first hour, latching, hand-expressing milk and much more
- New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding - a book published by the AAP
(has up-to-date information on how to establish a breastfeeding routine, as well as troubleshooting tips)
We want you to enjoy your breastfeeding experience and help you through the process of providing the best nutrition for your infant and growing child. If you have any concerns about how your baby is feeding or are worried about your milk supply, please contact our office.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Susan, please contact our office at 303-756-0101
From infants and toddlers to school-aged children and teens, one of the most common questions we get is how much sleep should my child be getting? While it's true that sleep needs vary from person to person, there are some very reasonable, science-based guidelines to help you determine if your child is getting the sleep he or she needs to grow, learn and play!
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides some helpful guidelines regarding just how much sleep children need at different stages in their development. Don't forget though that these numbers reflect TOTAL sleep hours in a 24-hour period, this includes naps.
Do These Numbers Surprise You?
It's important to remember that all children thrive on a regular bedtime routine. Regular sleep deprivation can result in difficult behaviors and health problems such as: irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches and depression. Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system and better school performance, behavior, memory and mental health!!
As a parent, it’s important to encourage healthy habits, including exercise, in your youngster to help enforce that physical activity becomes as much a part of their routine as eating and sleeping.
Teach your child that sports such as cycling (always with a helmet!), swimming, basketball, jogging, walking briskly, cross country skiing, dancing, aerobics, soccer and other sports when played regularly, are not only fun but also promote health.
Physical activity is important for all children as it helps to:
1. Increase Cardiovascular Endurance
Did you know that more Americans die from heart disease than any other ailment! Physical activity can help improve your child’s fitness, make them feel better and also strengthen their cardiovascular system helping to protect against heart problems.
How you many ask? Aerobic activity can help the heart pump more efficiently, helping to reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. It can also help raise the body’s level of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that removes excess fats from the bloodstream.
But I thought cardiovascular diseases were thought to be illnesses of adulthood? Fatty deposits have been detected in the arteries of children as young as three years of age and high blood pressure is present in about 5 percent of youngsters, making it important to make physical activity part of your child’s routine from the beginning!
How much activity should my child be getting? It is recommended that children in their middle-years get twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity, at an increased heart rate, at least three times a week. Make certain that each session of exercise is preceded and followed by a gradual warm-up and cool-down allowing muscles, joints and the cardiovascular system to ease into and out of vigorous activity, helping to ensure a safe workout.
2. Improve Large Muscle Strength and Endurance
As physical activity becomes a part of your child’s routine, your child’s muscles with become stronger and they will be able to exercise for longer periods of time, as well as help to prevent future injuries, as strong muscles provide better support for the joints.
What are some exercises my child can do?
Modified sit-ups (knees bent, feet on the ground) can help build up abdominal muscles, increase lung capacity, and protect against back injuries.
Modified pull-ups (keeping the arms flexed while hanging from a horizontal bar)
Modified push-ups (positioning the knees on the ground while extending the arms at the elbow)
3. Increase Flexibility
In order to be well-rounded in terms of physical fitness, children need to be able to twist and bend their bodies through the full range of normal motions without overexerting themselves or causing injury. Although most people lose flexibility as they age, this process can be repressed by maintaining suppleness throughout life, beginning in childhood.
Stretching exercises are the best way to maintain or improve flexibility and should be incorporated into your child’s warm-up and cool-down routine.
How should I instruct my child to stretch? Your child should stretch to a position where they begin to feel tightness but not pain and then hold steady for twenty to thirty seconds before relaxing. Instruct your child not to bounce as they stretch as this can cause injury to the muscles or tendons.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Did you know twelve percent of children in their pre-puberty years are overweight! Physical activity can effectively burn calories and fat and reduce appetite. Ask your provider to help determine whether your child has a healthy percentage of body fat for their age and sex.
5. Reduce Stress
Stress that is unmanaged can cause muscle tightness contributing to headaches, stomachaches and other types of discomfort. Getting your child physically active teaches them to not only recognize stress in their body but also healthy ways to manage it. Exercise is one of the best ways to control stress helping your child to experience less stress-related symptoms than their sedentary peers.
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