Healthy Holiday Habits For Families

Healthy holiday treats

The winter season is a time for celebrating with friends and family, indulging in tasty treats, and a few well earned days of relaxation. However, as the holidays approach and winter continues, your kids will have extended time off school, the days will be short, and more than likely they’ll be spending more time indoors. Additionally, families tend to eat heavier comfort food so staying healthy is difficult this time of year. Typically from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the average weight gain is 3-10 pounds. While this may seem insignificant, it could result in future health problems and the development of bad habits. But don’t panic! If you’re looking for healthy holiday tips for kids there are plenty of ways to encourage your child to keep the treats to a minimum, keep activities high, and everyone’s stress low.

Healthy Holiday Treats

Treats featuring fruit, veggies, or high protein foods are a perfect alternative to snacks saturated with sugar or fat and are a great way to keep kids healthy during celebrations. Keep your holiday meals filled with plenty of vegetables to keep your calorie counts from getting too high.

In addition, keep an eye on portion size as holiday meals tend to encourage overindulgence. Make sure your children are eating appropriately sized meals, snacks, and treats.

Regular Meal Patterns

The holidays can be hectic for everyone, but keeping your kids’ meals as regular as possible is vital to preventing overeating and overindulging. Avoid eating less to indulge more in a holiday favorite, keep your meals regular so you can still enjoy some of your holiday favorites without eating too much.

You may also want to consider involving your children in the meal prepping process. Let them help in selecting healthy meal recipes and get them in the kitchen to learn how to prepare their own food. Teaching them about healthy eating habits at a young age will leave a lasting impact on their overall health and self-sufficiency.

Stay Active

This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym for two hours with your kids in tow — there are plenty of ways to keep the whole family active without involving free weights! Winter weather offers plenty of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy including:

– Ice skating
– Ice hockey
– Snowball fights
– Building snowmen
– Sledding
– Skiing/Snowboarding

Don’t let the cold weather keep your family cooped up in the house, get outside and make sure everyone gets to burn off some energy.

If the weather is not ideal for playing outside, get creative with some indoor activities. Avoid screen time as much as possible so your children still get plenty of exercise. Here are a few ideas:

– Cook holiday meals together
– Plan a scavenger hunt
– Play a board game
– Build a fort
– Play hide and seek
– Do chores together

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep and taking time to relax is always important, but the stress and excitement of the holidays can take an extra toll on you and your family. Getting enough sleep will keep the whole family happy and healthy as you begin the new year.

However, make sure your kids aren’t sleeping in too much during winter break. Ensure they wake up around the same time each day so going back to school won’t be a huge shock to their system.

Enjoy Yourself!

This time of year is magical and festive for all, and it’s especially important to remember to treat yourself. Don’t let the stress of the holidays keep you from relaxing and celebrating with loved ones. Kick back and enjoy a hot mug of cider by the fire and watch your favorite holiday film or read your favorite book. It’s a magical time of year, after all!

Looking for a way to stay active this season while also giving back to your community? Check out our blog on holiday volunteer opportunities for families.

MythBusters: Fake News Regarding The Flu Shot

Woman giving child flu vaccine

 

As the holidays approach, so does a not-so-pleasant time of year — flu season. Whether you vaccinate your children or are considering vaccinating them for the first time, having the facts is imperative to your family’s health and safety. However, there are several skewed pieces of information out there regarding influenza and the vaccine which could prevent you from taking the proper precautions. So, what are common flu vaccine misconceptions?

A Flu Shot Causes The Flu

Flu shots do not cause the onset of flu symptoms. You may notice some side effects such as soreness, redness, or possible swelling at the injection spot. In rare cases, there may be instances of headaches, a low grade fever, or potential muscle aches.

When a flu vaccine is made, it is either conceived from an inactive flu virus that is no longer infectious, or without any flu viruses such as in the case of the recombinant vaccine. A vaccine does not contain active flu viruses that can cause the illness.

Getting the Flu Is Better For Your Immune System

Absolutely not! Influenza is a serious disease that can have serious complications and can even be fatal. This is particularly true amongst young children, senior citizens, or those with certain chronic health conditions.

Even amongst the healthiest of children and adults, the flu can mean hospitalization and even death. Vaccination is by far a safer choice than risking a dangerous illness to strengthen your immune system.

Pregnant Women Should Not Get Vaccinated

No way! Pregnant women or people with pre-existing conditions do not need to avoid vaccinations or require special consent from their doctor.

If you have any concerns about receiving vaccinations during pregnancy or for any other reason, consult with your primary care provider.

A Flu Vaccine Won’t Protect You From New Strains

Getting vaccinated helps your body fight off the strains included in the current vaccine, but it also helps your immune system fight off any other strains that may inevitably develop. This is also why the vaccine is updated every year, to keep your body up to date on the latest flu strains and keep your immune system strong. Additionally, the effectiveness of the vaccine declines after one year, and staying up to date is important.

Don’t fear flu season, and don’t fear the flu vaccine! The positives for vaccinating you and your family far outweigh any possible negatives, and protecting your loved ones from a potentially fatal disease in a time when it is the most prevalent is the safest choice to make.

For further information regarding flu vaccinations, contact the experts at Grow Pediatrics today!

Fighting Germs: Flu Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Sneezing child in need of flu prevention tips

 

Fall and winter mean pumpkin pie, trick or treating, Thanksgiving, and snow days! But although the colder weather promises lots of fun things, the inevitable flu monster is guaranteed to rear its ugly head. This doesn’t mean you need to keep your children in isolation for fear of getting sick, however. There are a variety of flu prevention tips for kids and parents that will help everyone get through another season of coughing and sneezing this year.

Continue reading “Fighting Germs: Flu Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids”

Twin Cities Mini Golf

Enjoy the outdoors this spring and summer with an afternoon playing mini golf with your loved ones and little ones! Mini golf is a great way to exercise as a family, and helps children with their hand-eye coordination. If you need a rainy day activity, several courses are available indoors as well.

To find a course near you, just move your curser over the map!

Keeping Your Children Safe with Poison Safety Tips for Kids

Did you know that children under the age of six make up almost half (48%) of the poison exposures each year? It is essential that you as a parent have access to the information and strategies you need to keep your child safe, so we wanted to give you some simple tips to prevent your child from getting their hands on something that could be hazardous to their health.

Around the House
Whether you have children, or are expecting, there are a number of things that you can do around the house to keep your children safe, and it all starts with baby proofing. Of course, softening sharp corners and edges around the house is one thing, but when it comes to poison prevention, your number one objective is to keep medicines, household cleaning products, and other potentially poisonous household goods out of sight and out of reach. How?

  • Install safety latches on any cabinets containing poisonous materials.
  • Store hazardous household products up high.
  • Purchase products that come in child-resistant packaging* as an extra line of defense.

*It is extremely important to note that child-resistant packaging is NOT childproof. This type of packaging is designed to make it difficult for a child to open the product, giving you more time to notice and remove it.

 
Medicine
Children get sick, it’s a fact of life, and naturally we reach for a variety of medicines to cure their ailments. But, with that being said, improper use of medicine, be it the wrong dosage or use of the wrong medicine, can have devastating effects on your child. To avoid any mishaps, use the following poison safety tips concerning your over the counter and prescription medicines:

  • Always turn on the light when searching for and administering medicine to avoid grabbing the wrong bottle
  • Read the label and any directions listed on the packaging thoroughly
  • Double-check the dosage before administering
  • Never leave a medicine bottle out (on a counter, at your child’s bedside)
  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or a “treat” to entice your child to take it
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children whenever possible

 

Household Chemical Products
Household cleaning products, especially things like bright colored laundry detergent pods, and other sweet smelling cleaners, are dangerous for young children who learn with their mouths. The same goes for things like paint, rodent/insect poison, and more. To protect your child…

  • NEVER, under any circumstance, use a food container, cup, or bottle to store chemical products
  • Always remove any toys (child or pet) from your yard before applying pesticides of any kind
  • Rinse and re-cap empty cleaner/product bottles before recycling or disposal
  • Keep products in their original containers whenever possible

 

In General
There are other potentially dangerous products and items that can be found around your house. For instance, you need to know about the plants in and around your home, removing any that are poisonous, regardless of how beautiful they may be. From washing all clothing worn when using pesticides and other aerosol paints to keeping purses containing medicine up high and out of your child’s reach, there are many ways to create a safe environment for your children. Two of the most important tips are the following:

  • Always close containers if you are interrupted during use, this way, your child never has access to an open hazardous product/medicine/etc. while you are distracted.
  • Teach your child to always ask an adult before eating or drinking anything.

By following these tips, you can help to protect your children from a potentially life-threatening encounter with poison. If you ever suspect that your child, or anyone that you know has been poisoned, do not hesitate to call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.