Your Growing Child Pediatrics team is committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe. During our current crisis, it has been noticed that many children have fallen behind in their vaccination series. 

Children of all ages have missed their well-child appointments and their immunizations due to COVID-19. We want to ensure your child’s safety and this is one important thing parents can do to help protect their children.

Vaccines at every age are essential to protect children against diseases that we know can cause serious harm.

In the one to two year olds, we administer vaccines that prevent measles, mumps, rubella, as well as hepatitis A and childhood meningitis and whooping cough.

For children who are 4 or 5, they receive important booster doses of these vaccines to prevent the spread to younger siblings and other children.

Teenagers receive boosters to previous vaccinations as well as additional vaccines. These include two vaccines against five different types of meningitis as well as a vaccine that has been developed that can prevent a form of cancer and sexually transmitted disease.

We feel it is essential to schedule your child for vaccines they may have missed or are due for in order to protect them against these dangerous diseases.

At Growing Child Pediatrics, we follow the latest CDC guidelines for you and your child’s safety in our offices. So, PLEASE schedule a visit now with your Growing Child Pediatrics provider to keep your child SAFE and UP TO DATE.

About the Author

Dr. David Katz, DO, IFMCP, graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, completed medical school in Texas, and finished his residency in Michigan. He settled in Canton, OH where he became part of a three-person pediatric practice which grew to a group of eight providers. Thirty-one years later, Dr. Katz and his wife decided to move to the Triangle to be closer to one of their daughters, her husband, and some of their grandchildren.

In addition to practicing general pediatrics, Dr. Katz has enjoyed expanding his medical expertise to include other facets of medicine, taking special training in the relatively new modality of Functional Medicine – a concept that involves the examination and treatment of the root causes of chronic illness that lead to dysfunction and imbalance in the body.

Dr. Joanne Wagner answers, “One question I get asked a lot is how to start solid foods.”

  1. The recommendations are to start spoon feeding your infant pureed foods around 6 months of age. 
  2. Look for signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. These  include  good head and neck control, sitting up with support, opening his/her mouth for a spoon and having interest in the foods you are eating.
  3. Start with one new food at a time. After a few days if the new food well tolerated, you can introduce another new food. It does not matter which order you introduce new foods, for example vegetables first versus fruit first. Your baby will develop preferences over time regardless of the order the foods are introduced. 
  4. Keep in mind it may take 10-15 times of offering a new food before you baby may like it.
  5. Let your baby tell you when he/she has had enough. Signs that your baby is full include turning away or leaning back. The amount of pureed food your baby takes will not be the same each feeding. Offer solid foods 2-3 times a day. Formula and breast milk intake may decrease once you start solid foods. This is ok and we will monitor your baby’s growth at each well visit.
  6. Do not give raw honey or any large chunks of food that can be a choking hazard. 
  7. It is OK to give foods with eggs and peanut butter. Research now shows that introducing these foods at an earlier age may actually prevent food allergies. Talk to your pediatrician first if you have any questions.

Dr. Joanne Wagner, MD

Joanne Wagner, MD was raised in Raleigh and attended North Carolina State University. She went on to East Carolina University School of Medicine and then the University of Virginia where she did her pediatric residency and met her husband, Scott, who is a family medicine physician.

Shortly after the births of her twin daughters, Joanne returned to family and friends in Raleigh to join Growing Child Pediatrics. She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, boating, and just about any water activity. Doctor Joanne looks forward to forming lasting relationships with her patients and their families.

This is the last in a series of blogs on the current situation with COVID-19 and your children from the interview with Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D, a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center and Yahoo News.

  • Maintain routine as much as possible: This means bedtimes, mealtimes and behavior rules. Getting good rest and eating healthy is important for overall health.
  • Consider implementing designated family time for a family activity as part of your routine. Give each family member a turn to choose this activity.
  • Take a break: It is important to take a break from COVID-19 coverage and discussions. Do this by doing activities you usually do when you are stressed or anxious. Activities like meditating, watching a movie, reading a book, working on puzzles, art, journaling, gardening or listening to music are all great ways to take a break from the news.
  • Be a role model: Children look to you to determine how they should be coping. Being a good role model can reduce children’s worries. Be sure you have adults to talk to about your concerns (out of earshot of your child). If you need professional support for your distress, there are hotlines that are available 24/7.
  • When in doubt, approach things with a little extra patience, attention and love: These will go a long way to reduce your child’s distress. We can all benefit from these three qualities.
  • Something humorous by Jimmy Fallon on handwashing to watch

Fifth in our blog series deals with talking with your teen during this difficult time. Taken from an interview done by Yahoo News with  Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D  a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center.

If only we had a magic formula of how to speak with teens so they would always listen,” Gurwitch jokes.

Teens are very, very different from younger children in that they have access to information through their friends and social media, but similar in that you can approach them by asking what they already know and meeting them on their level. Additionally, Gurwitch says that “teens are developing a greater sense of independence; therefore, we need to respect that they have their own ideas and opinions.”

This does not mean that we should be letting teenagers engage in unhealthy behaviors, but it does mean having an open and honest conversation about how COVID-19 is affecting all of us. Explain to your teen that teenagers are low-risk for contracting the virus or may not show symptoms, but if they are out and about, the risk of returning home and passing this to loved ones who may not be as fortunate is greater than if they are responsible and follow recommended guidelines.

With a lot of teenagers facing sporting events, school musicals or plays, proms and more being canceled, there is bound to be a lot of disappointment and frustration. Some are facing very real disappointment that they haven’t had to work through before. Being unable to see their friends or go out to socialize is just the icing on top of the cake. Be honest with your teen about why they cannot go out and why it’s important not just for them, but for others, to stay home to stop the spread of the virus.

When your teen is helping out around the house, playing games with the family and using social media to stay in contact with their friends, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their actions. Perhaps even reward them somehow!

 Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.

Continuing our blog series on the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and your children, Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center discusses how best to approach this topic.

Gurwitch suggests being honest and telling your toddler that, because we need to make sure that we are healthy, we have to do some things that are not as much fun, like staying away from our friends. Instead you can:

  • FaceTime/Skype/WhatsApp family and friends for “playdates”
  • Give them the alternative of having plenty of fun with the family! Ask them what games they would like to play, what activities they find the most fun, and find some fun projects to do together.

Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.

Third in our Blog series on the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and your children with Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center.

“Discussing death with children is often frightening for adults as we may struggle with what to say,” Gurwitch acknowledges. But that does not mean that these conversations are not important. In fact, it is incredibly important that we do not shy away from these conversations.

Here’s an example of language you can use while talking to your child: “Even though doctors and nurses and everyone are working to keep us well, sometimes, sadly, it is not possible and people die. Together, we are doing all we can to keep ourselves well.”

Gurwitch stresses that you should “never promise children/teens that you or they will not get sick.”

“We cannot guarantee that we can keep this promise,” she explains. Adding, “When we make any promise that is broken, our children’s sense of trust in us is compromised, they are less likely to bring us concerns in the future and they are less likely to trust our responses.”

Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.

Second in our Blog series on the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and your children with Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center.

First of all, it’s important to validate your child’s feelings. Gurwitch says to ask yourself: “Has it ever worked for you when someone says, ‘Don’t feel that way?’ ”

“When a child/teen shares their feelings or thoughts, reflect their statements back to them,” Gurwitch advises. “This lets them know they are heard and assures that you understood them.” For example, if your child tells you that they are scared, you can say something like, “I know it is a little scary. Sometimes I get a little worried too, but here is how we are going to keep ourselves as healthy as we can so that we can be okay.”

When you do this, be sure that you are staying calm and providing a sense of ability to cope with the current situation. Providing your child with a sense of security, optimism and confidence will help your child feel the same.

Next, talk to your child about actions that are being done in your community, state and country. Make sure that you are keeping this language age-appropriate.

For young children, Gurwitch advises saying something along the lines of: “Everybody in (city, state) is working very hard to be sure we are as healthy as we can be. That is why we are staying home. When we stay home, it gives everybody a chance to be sure our schools/childcare settings can be cleaned. It also gives us time to be sure we are doing everything in our family to stay healthy.”

Then, tell your child what your family is going to do to stay healthy.

Tell your child that you are going to be washing your hands with soap and water (and maybe even singing while you do it), showing them how you will sanitize surfaces and keep the house clean to keep the family as healthy as possible. Here’s some language Dr. Gurwitch suggests:

“We can do lots of things to keep our family as healthy/well as possible. We need to wash our hands with soap and water to be sure we wash any germs away. When we wash our hands, we can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ two times. That will get rid of any germs. I will be sure to wipe things that can have germs, so we can be even more healthy. When we sneeze or cough, we cover our noses and mouth. We can also sneeze into our elbows.”

Make sure that you are encouraging your child as they use good hygiene and demonstrating these behaviors for your child.

Finally, encourage your child to ask questions.

Letting your child know that your initial conversation is not the last time you will be talking about COVID-19 and opening the floor to conversation down the line is essential as children try to wrap their head around the situation. Gurwitch suggests ending the conversation by saying, “If you have any questions about this virus or what we are doing, I am here to talk to you anytime you need me.”

Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.

David A. Katz, DO FAAP IFMCP

This is the first in a series of Blogs on the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and your children. They were from an interview done by Yahoo News with Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center.

“Many parents/caregivers are worried that talking to young children will lead to increased worries and anxieties,” Dr. Gurwitch explains. “The opposite is actually the case — bringing difficult topics into the conversation can actually help to quiet these worries.”

You’ll want to approach conversations with your kiddos in a way that is developmentally appropriate for them; that way you’re not overwhelming them with information that they can’t quite understand.

Start by asking them what they know about coronavirus, and then meet them where they are with facts and compassion. Remember, you set the tone when it comes to your kids: They’re going to mirror the way that you act, so try to keep calm and not panic.

Gurwitch offers up these conversation starters:

  • There has been a lot of talk about coronavirus. Tell me what you know about it, OR, Tell me what you’ve heard about it.
  • Tell me what your friends are saying about coronavirus.

This gives you a chance to listen to what your child knows and correct any misconceptions and misinformation.

Some websites are providing comics that can help your children better understand what COVID-19 is and how we can reduce our chances of getting ill or spreading the virus with hand-washing and social distancing. This one from NPR is great for older kids, while this one from Little Puddings is great for younger children.

Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.

David A. Katz, DO FAAP IFMCP

Back to school health checklist for kids

It’s that time of year again, when you need to review your back to school health checklist for kids. Summer is quickly coming to an end, and preparation for the school year is starting to ramp up. As we transition from July into August, most parents start running through lists in their minds of everything they need to do before school starts. Hopefully, you have a number of health items on your lists.

In case you don’t, we want to provide you a quick reference for items to include on your back to school health checklist for kids. This list can serve as a good starting place for you as you think through a healthy start for the school year. While you might need to include more or less depending on your particular situation, this list can nonetheless provide a skeleton to build your own plan off of. Many times, we as parents, forget how important starting a new school year can be for our kids. If nothing else, this article can provide a helpful reminder to think ahead about your child’s health and the school year.

Take some time before the school year begins to think through the different changes that your child must make. Then sit down and use this list as a starting place to prepare a plan to make those transitions healthy and beneficial. Let’s discuss some key elements that you should consider including on your back to school health checklist for kids.

Schedule Your Physical Exam

First, as part of our back to school health checklist for kids we need to cover setting up an appointment for a physical exam. After all, you need to have regular checkups for your children. After age 5, though, it’s only recommended to have a physical once every two years unless your child plays sports. If your child plays sports, they should have a physical exam once a year. Before the start of school each year, you should review when the last time your child had a physical exam was. If it’s been two years, you should schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for a regular physical checkup for your child.

This appointment should be setup to give you a general overview of your child’s health and development. Again, for healthy children without noticeable illnesses or developmental issues, once every two years should be sufficient to give your pediatrician an idea of your child’s general health. Many times, parents only think of physicals in terms of needing it for sports. While having a physical is a requirement for any sports participation, each child still needs regular checkups.

Keep in mind the physical is the same as wellness check when your child was a new born. It serves the same role and provides the same necessary function in measuring overall health and well being. As a result, parents need to be sure not to skip the regular checkups.

Your pediatrician provides the best opportunity to catch illnesses or health concerns well in advance before they might become a serious risk. Also, if a health concern does exist that might negatively impact your child’s progress at school, you need to identify it before school starts to be sure to learn to manage the issue appropriately.

Check Your Vaccines

Secondly, you also need to include checking up on your child’s vaccines as part of the back to school health checklist for kids. One problem that inevitably comes up in households each school year is an increase in the instances of falling ill. From everything from the common cold to the flu to chick pox, schools act as a breeding ground for diseases. After all, kids love sharing things with one another, even to include that nasty stomach bug.

Before your child goes back to school, you need to give their bodies the necessary defenses against the worst of possible diseases. This means checking up on your child’s vaccination record and making sure they are up to date with their shots. No one likes getting shots. Getting shots, though, is much more preferable to potentially exposing your child to harmful pathogens.

At the end of summer, when you go to your child’s pediatrician for their physical, double check that your child has all the vaccines they need. Your child’s pediatrician can help you stay on top of what vaccines do what and when you need them and why. Ultimately, vaccines help protect everyone’s health. They help protect your child from catching viruses. At the same time, though, they also keep your child from unknowingly spreading disease to other kids at school.

Visit the Dentist and Eye Care Provider

Next, after covering everything with your pediatrician, you want to make appointments with your dentist and eye care provider. Sometimes in the rush to get so much done, we tend to forget about the dentist and eye care provider. We think that as long as we see our child’s pediatrician we should be covered. Unfortunately, while visiting your pediatrician is essential, that really isn’t enough to provide holistic care for meeting your child’s health needs. You need to also have regular checkups for vision and dental care.

When it comes to caring for your teeth, most experts recommend having a dental checkup at least once every six months. To make this easy for parents, you should think about scheduling appointments at the beginning of each semester, once in the beginning of the school year and once at winter break. This makes remembering to take your child to a dentist easier and helps make sure your child has a healthy smile after each longer break from school.

Seeing your eye care provider might be a little less regular than seeing your dentist. For school age children who don’t need corrective lenses, most experts might only recommend seeing a doctor once every two years. Ideally, though, you can base your frequency on the recommendations from both your pediatrician and your eye care provider. Your regular pediatrician can help gauge overall eye health and can recommend more regular visits if needed. If your child hasn’t seen an eye care provider in a few years, though, now before school begins is a good time to have their eyes checked.

Get New Gear

Fourthly, an aspect of your back to school health checklist for kids needs to involve getting critical new gear for your child’s school year. Children grow constantly. They outgrow clothes and shoes sometimes multiple times a year. Depending on your child’s personality, they may or may not let you know every time they need a new set of shoes. They might not even think of it themselves.

In reality, though, shoes that don’t fit and small clothing can be both a distraction and detriment to growth and learning. Additionally, research has hinted that what we choose to wear might impact how we think and focus and how well we might perform at tasks such as taking an exam. For parents then, you need to think of the start of the school year as an excellent opportunity to check if your child needs either new clothes or new shoes. More than likely, you will need to invest in getting something new for them to wear.

Additionally, you really need to make sure that your child has a new backpack that is the right size for them. Backpacks that are too big and too heavy can cause back problems and pain for your child. With the start of a new year, take extra time to buy a new backpack that they like that fits their age.

As school starts, help your child pack their bag and weigh it. If the backpack seems too heavy, work to find a way to cut down on the weight. Ask your child’s teacher for help as well to work out a system that works best for everyone. When your child has a new backpack and new gear, you help remove distractions and possible negative health side effects from their school day.

Practice Your Child’s School Sleep Routine

Another aspect of your back to school health checklist for kids needs to involve your child’s sleep routine. During the summer, when our kids have few responsibilities during the day, we can let our child’s sleep routine slip some. When it comes time to get ready for school, though, we really need to get our kids back into a regular habit of getting to bed on time.

At least two weeks before school begins, start implementing a sleep routine for the school year. Plan for your child to go to bed with enough time to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Put in place boundaries on preparing for bed. For instance, you should make sure your child turns off electronics one to two hours before bed to help their minds settle and prepare for sleep. Also set times for getting into sleepwear, brushing teeth, and taking baths or showers as needed.

Next, think of the morning routine and when your kids need to get up. Make sure they wake up with enough time to get prepared for school and have a healthy well rounded breakfast. Also, you should make sure to provide enough time so that the mornings don’t feel chaotic and rushed. You want your child to have time to wake and get oriented so that they don’t feel stressed about the day ahead.

Once you have a good routine ready, start practicing it through at least a week before school begins. Practicing beforehand gives you the opportunity to work out any issues. It also makes it so that your child really feels refreshed and alert on their first day of school.

Get Prepared with Your Kid’s Diet

Finally, the last critical aspect of any back to school health checklist for kids needs to involve your child’s diet. Just like sleep, our rules around what our kids eat usually become a little more relaxed during the summer months. As a result, as you start to transition out of summer, you need to sit down with your kids and plan out healthy diet options.

More than likely your child won’t want to accept a healthy change to their diet. Additionally, rational reasoning probably won’t work on them. In lieu of that, you should encourage them to eat healthier with using creativity and providing them food options that actually taste good. The problem with healthy options, though, is that most of them are neither creative nor tasty. As a result, you as the parent will probably need to do a little more research and put more effort into a diet plan.

Before the school year begins, sit down and do some research. Look into some fun ideas for healthy snacks and meals. Consider things like what your child likes to eat and what they like about different colors or textures. Try to incorporate something of your child’s personality into the food options you choose.

The best approach might be to come up with a list of potential options for your child to consider. For different creative and fun ideas, take a look at the options at this link and in this article. Once you have several options selected for meals and snacks, go through them with your child and let your child pick ones they might want to keep and others they want to get rid of.

Getting Ready for the School Year with a Back to School Health Checklist for Kids

Preparing for a new school year can be hectic and stressful for both kids and parents alike. After having the time off during the summer, sometimes you struggle to even get back in the school mindset as the school year approaches. Changing your mindset, though, can be the least of your worries. You have to meet new teachers, get new school supplies, figure out new schedules, and make sure your child prepares mentally for the new challenges. Just thinking about everything you need to do can leave you exhausted.

We hope this article at least helps give you the basic framework of what to consider when it comes to your child’s health. With so much going on with a new school year, it can be easy to put off or forget about the health checkups and screenings. To set your child up for success, though, you really should make health items a priority. If all else fails, start with your child’s pediatrician and with a brief check-in. Your pediatrician can then help guide you on making sure you cover your bases when it comes to an effective back to school health checklist for kids.

Healthy summer routine for kids

With school out, parents really need to focus on planning a healthy summer routine for kids. Without thinking about it, summer can quickly fly by with endless activities and things to do. Before you know it, your kids can be out of school and back to school in a blink of an eye. Since summer flies by so quickly, parents really need to think and plan ahead if you want your kids to stay on a healthy schedule.

As any pediatrician will tell you, living healthy matters a lot. Unfortunately, healthy living doesn’t come naturally to any of us. Simply taking precautions to maintain a healthy routine, though, can help to prevent disease such as the flu as well as assist in overall development. Nonetheless, as our culture and society becomes more fast paced and fast food-centric, traditional understandings of “healthy” lifestyles become more and more rare. When it comes to your kids, though, parents really need to slow things down and make healthy living a priority.

Since summertime acts as a break from many things in life, parents should work harder during these months to keep a healthy lifestyle in focus. In this post, we want to talk through five key ingredients for building a healthy summer routine for kids. Living healthy involves more than just one area of your life. Read through the different key ingredients outlined below to see how each area impacts living a healthy lifestyle.

Key Ingredient #1 – Schedule

Finding a healthy summer routine for kids starts with planning out your schedule. Schedules provide a regular rhythm and consistency in a child’s life. These things are necessary to help kids feel safe and help them stay out of negative or repetitive behaviors. During the school year, the school day provides the structure and schedule. With summer break, though, that structure goes away.

During the summertime, you as the parent need to help provide the regular schedule that your child really needs. The younger the child, the more important regular and consistent structure are for providing self-discipline and development later in life. After all, none of us should simply be allowed to just do as we feel with our day. We need discipline and accountability.

With the summer, you should think about having a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. For the daily schedule focus on developing consistent blocks of activity that your child needs each day. For instance, build in regular amounts of play or exercise. Also, make sure you have consistent and regular times for eating meals and going to sleep. Next, for weekly schedules, make sure to fit in regular times during the week for more occasional activities. These could include things like weekly chores or weekly trips to the library. Finally, for monthly schedules, include larger activities that you want to plan out well in advance. These could include things like summer vacation plans.

After you have your schedules planned out, sit down with your child to go over them. Your child needs to know the plans in advance so that they know what to expect. You can then refer back to the schedules daily and weekly and make sure you’re staying on track.

Key Ingredient #2 – Diet

Secondly, a healthy summer routine for kids depends on maintaining a healthy diet. During the school year, your child’s school might help with a healthy diet with school lunches. When school gets out, though, many times our eating times get off course. Not only that, but with summer being a break, we also sometimes allow for greater liberties in what our kids might regularly eat. Occasional treats are fine, but we need to remember that healthy diets are much more important to the overall development of our children.

When summer hits, you need to be ready with a comprehensive healthy diet plan for your kids. This means covering all parts of your child’s day including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. While you don’t have to map out every single summer meal before summer holiday starts, you want to have a general idea of what most of those meals may look like. Ideally, you could then sit down and plan out a week’s worth of meals at a time, updating as the summer progresses.

To get a head start on summer dieting, you should take the end of summer as a great opportunity for a refrigerator and pantry cleanse. Go through the food you have at home and get rid of all the unhealthy processed options. After tossing out the unhealthy foods, next replace them with healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other healthy alternatives.

After you complete your cleanse, start thinking of creative healthy meal ideas. Kids many times don’t want to eat healthy foods because they look and taste unappealing. By thinking creatively, though, you can make almost any food idea fresh and exciting. For creative healthy meal and snack ideas, check out the suggestions at this link or in this article.

Key Ingredient #3 – Bedtime

Thirdly, a healthy summer routine for kids must involve a mostly consistent sleep routine. This means that your child has a regular habit of when they start to prepare to go to bed and how they prepare to go to bed. Sleep plays a vital role in your child’s development no matter their age. While our society increasingly puts less and less emphasis on sleep, we, as parents, need to steer our children in the opposite direction. We need to teach them that getting regular sleep is very important for their overall health.

When summer starts, you need to sit down with your child to go over what their summer time sleep routine will look like. First, determine a set time that they must be in bed by. You might set this a little later than their regular time during the school year. After you have that time set, next set rules for when they have to turn off electronics before bed. Ideally, these should go off at least two hours before they go to sleep.

After you have times set, next make sure to put your routine in place. Help your child start to get ready for bed at about the same time each night. Also, you need to help ensure their bedroom sets up the right environment for sleep. Make sure the room is dark and at a temperature to encourage sleep.

Do your best to stick to your bedtime routine during the summer months. While you will have to break your routine for vacations, try to keep to your schedule outside of those interruptions. Keeping to a set routine will help with maintaining your child’s overall health and will help with transitioning back to a school based routine during the year.

Key Ingredient #4 – Electronics

Speaking of electronics before bed, we next need to cover electronics in general as part of your healthy summer routine for kids. Our culture becomes more and more enamored with electronics every year. Every year, too, our kids get more and more electronics and spend more time in front of screens. From video games to TV to tablets and phones and even watches, our kids have screens everywhere. For the sake of everyone, we as parents need to help our children structure their schedules to limit electronics as much as possible.

As part of your child’s summer routine, you need to sit down and decide appropriate amounts of electronics usage. A good approach to take might be setting daily limits on different types of electronics. For example, you could possibly limit watching TV each day to no more than an hour. Video games then, you might limit to two separate 30 minute blocks of time. You might also say that your kids can only use their cell phones for a limited period in the morning and again at night.

Next, after you have set limits, you need to give your children ideas for appropriate substitutes in place of electronics usage. You should try to encourage activities that engage your child’s mind and body in more creative ways. Some ideas for alternative play could include reading different books or painting or drawing. You can also encourage playing outside with friends or going places such as to the park or to the mall.

Key Ingredient #5 – Getting Active

Finally, as a last part of your healthy summer routine for kids, you need to make sure your kids get active. As we just talked about, too many kids spend too much time sitting in front of electronics. Even without electronics, our lives have become far too sedentary. This inactivity has led to increases in rates of obesity, diabetes, and depression among other health issues. Simply put, our bodies were designed to be active. When we don’t get the activity we need our health suffers as a result.

The need to get moving is possibly even more important for kids than adults. Children’s minds and bodies are still developing. They need exercise to help with regular muscle growth and overall development. Furthermore, physical activity helps to spark and encourage healthy brain activity and development.

At a minimum, you should encourage your child to get active for at least 60 minutes a day. You can break this time up into 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening if that makes it easier. Whatever you do, though, you need to make sure they get moving.

As a way of encouraging them, you should join them in a regular activity. Think of something creative and fun for the family to do and put it into action. Perhaps you can get a volleyball net and play volleyball in the backyard. Alternatively, you can go roller skating or bike riding.

Think of fun ways to get active and keep encouraging your kids to do more physical activities. After a while, your kids will get so into it, you won’t have to do much encouraging. For more ideas on getting kids active during the summer check out the suggestions at this link.

Thinking Outside the Box for a Healthy Summer Routine for Kids

Living a healthy active lifestyle takes planning and will power. As we’ve said, no one accidentally stumbles into eating healthy and staying active. No matter who they may be, they have to work at it and stay on top of things to keep their bodies and minds healthy.

The same truths apply for your kids. Your kids simply won’t stumble into a healthy summer. To make sure the summer months aren’t wasted, you as the parent have to help put in place a fun healthy summer routine for kids.

To make summer a positive healthy experience, you need to plan ahead and think outside of the box. After all, your kids have a lot of options of things to turn to to fill their time. You don’t want them to hate the idea of eating and living healthy. Instead, you want them to feel excited about it.

Before summer starts, sit down and think through the different ingredients of a healthy summer routine for kids that we just discussed. In each area, look for ideas and resources for engaging kids specifically. Use creativity and imagination to lock your kids in. Once your kids see healthy options as fun options, you won’t have to worry about trying to convince them anymore. Use the suggestions and ideas in this post as a place to start. From that point, launch off into creating a fun, engaging, and healthy summer plan.