Posts Tagged "Health"


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many parents are thinking about the best ways to keep their kids healthy. Given that many families will be having group gatherings for the first time in over a year, it’s always wise to step back and think about the ways that you can help to ensure that your child stays safe over the holidays.

Good Habits for Staying Healthy

The best place to start is, of course, always going to be with the basics. Make sure that you’re practicing the same kind of basic hygiene practices that you practiced with your child before the pandemic. That means washing hands, stepping back from people who are actively sneezing or coughing, and keeping hands off of objects like doorknobs and railings. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your child doesn’t put anything in their mouth that doesn’t belong to them.

Staying healthy this year may also mean making choices about where you go and when. Always keep the health of your child and family in mind before you go to gatherings, and feel free to stay back if you know that someone at your party isn’t feeling well. The last thing you need is to exacerbate existing problems, and almost everyone around you will appreciate your willingness to stay home to keep others well.

Finally, make sure that you’re keeping up with your child’s general health. Making sure that they can get plenty of rest and that they stay hydrated can play a massive role in making sure that their immune system stays strong. This isn’t going to be enough to fight off every contagious illness, of course, but your child’s body really will function better if they are getting everything that they need.

There’s no perfect way to keep holiday illnesses away, but you can take steps to keep your child a bit healthier. Make sure that you’re practicing good hygiene, that you avoid places where people are already sick, and that you keep your child to a good rest and hydration routine. If nothing else, doing so gives your child a better chance to stay well.


A good diet is incredibly important for growing children. It ensures that they’re not only able to grow, but that they also receive the fuel that they need to meet the challenges of growing up. While you can certainly make dining decisions for your children when they are very young, things become more complex as they get older. As such, it’s essential to start talking to your children about making healthy eating choices.

Starting Healthy Eating Habits as Children

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that healthy eating isn’t about how someone looks. Don’t bring up issues like weight with your child when you talk about eating healthy. Instead, focus on his or her health as it relates to how he or she eats. With younger children, it might be essential to talk about strong bones or a healthy heart. With older children, though, it might be best to talk about how they feel after they eat certain things.

Above all else, this process is about helping your child to understand that he or she will have to make choices. Don’t talk about completely eliminating desserts or going on diets; instead, talk to your child about how it’s important to practice moderation with certain kinds of treats. Helping your child to understand that eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the things he or she loves can be a great way to help make the lesson stick.

Don’t forget to involve your child in helping to make healthy meal choices. For example, let your child help the family’s shopping list and discuss why you choose certain items instead of others. If you can get your child involved with his or her own diet early on, he or she will find it much easier to eat healthy when he or she is out on his or her own. The groundwork you lay now can lead to a healthier future for your child.


Many children are picky eaters as they often seem to have more sensitive tastebuds than many adults do. As your children grow, you may very well find that they become less picky over time and that they are more willing to try new cuisines, unique condiments, and different fruits and vegetables. Until that time, here are some tips for getting your picky child the nutrition that he needs.

  1. Be a Good Role Model

It may seem obvious, but your child will not be motivated to try different foods if you display the same sort of pickiness. Show your child firsthand how tasty it is to try new foods and flavors.

  1. Schedule Regular Meals and Snacks

When your child is overly hungry or thirsty, he is not motivated to eat healthy foods. Sticking to a routine will keep your child from filling up on processed, sugary treats.

  1. Stay Away From Pressure, Threats, and Rewards

Although these options may work initially, they eventually lose their effectiveness as your child no longer wants to eat anything without being rewarded. This teaches independence and healthy, lifelong eating habits.

  1. Try One New Thing at a Time

Instead of serving a meal filled with new foods, offer mainly foods that you know your child will enjoy along with one new food to try to limit overwhelming sensations.

  1. Let Your Child Take Only One Bite

Tell your child that he only has to take one bite of a new food. If your child does not like the food, try it again in a few weeks.

  1. Listen to Your Child’s Appetite

Trust that your child knows when he is hungry, thirsty, or full.

Keep in mind that it is best to make mealtimes family times. Instead of serving your child a different meal from the rest of his family members, remember that you are the one who chooses what foods and drinks are put out on the table. It is your child’s job to decide whether he will eat and how much food will be cleaned up on his plate. Over time, you will find these picky eating habits falling by the wayside as you follow these tips. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, growth or development, do not hesitate to contact a trusted provider at Kids 1st Pediatrics today.


It is estimated that at least 6 million children in the United States have head lice every year. It is particularly common for infestations to happen in schools where kids spend a great deal of time together. If you find your child scratching at his head more than he usually does, you may be wondering whether lice should be a concern for you and how you should address this problem.

What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny insects that only feed on human blood. Because lice do not have wings, they cannot fly long distances. Instead, they can only be passed from child to child through direct contact or through very close proximity.

How to Determine Whether Your Child Has Lice

Although frequent scratching of the scalp is a major symptom of head lice, an itchy scalp could be caused by other problems, such as psoriasis or even an allergic reaction. To determine whether lice are to blame, you will have to get close to the problem area to check for these tiny creatures. You should be able to see lice on the hair or even on the shoulders if they have fallen out of the hair. The tiny eggs, which are called nits, may be attached to individual strands of hair. Your child may also complain of a ticklish feeling on his scalp.

Choosing the Right Treatment for Head Lice

If you see tiny adult lice or nits in your child’s hair, you will most likely be able to treat the problem on your own in the comfort of your home. While treatment is time-intensive, it is quite effective when done correctly. There are several over-the-counter shampoos that you can use along with a fine-tooth comb to get rid of all the lice. If this does not take care of the problem completely, you should contact your child’s pediatrician for a topical or oral prescription medication because some lice have become resistant to the ingredients in over-the-counter shampoos.

Why You Should Not Let Head Lice Worry You

Although head lice is certainly an inconvenience and may mean that your child has to take some time off school, you should rest easy knowing that lice are not known disease carriers and that there are plenty of good treatments for the problem. Contact Kids 1st Pediatrics if you have any further questions.


As the weather becomes increasingly warmer and sunnier, your children are probably more than ready to shed their jackets along with their homework and head outside to play. Outdoor play is actually a vital part of childhood, not only for the imaginative fun and socialization it provides but also for the physical and mental benefits that come hand-in-hand with this type of natural exercise.

  • First, children who play outdoors are able to get the vitamin D that their bodies desperately need. Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods, although it can be gained from supplements or from certain fortified cereals and juices. However, as always, the best way to gain any type of nutrition is from natural sources, and sunshine is a great option for vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones. Not only can getting regular sunshine exposure provide necessary vitamin D, but also it can improve sleep and boost the immune system.
  • Second, children can benefit from activity in the fresh air. Children can build muscular strength and improve cardiovascular performance with simple activities, such as jumping rope, playing games of tag, and biking. Ideally, your children should be active for at least 60 minutes every day, and the outdoors provides a big enough space for this to happen easily. Plus, fresh air can help clear your child’s lungs, improve mental clarity and even improve digestion.
  • Third, outdoor play actually impacts mental health, improving executive functioning and even boosting your child’s mood. Outdoor environments are inherently calming, with plenty of green grass, blue sky, and sunshine to spark the imagination. By using the imagination to play in nature, children can avoid spending so much time in front of computer screens, smartphones and televisions and can instead explore for themselves and interact with their friends or siblings. This is critical for social development, especially in the early childhood years. In addition, the outdoors is a great place for children to explore taking risks and to develop numerous gross and fine motor skills.

Spending plenty of time outdoors during the growing years is vital for good physical health and mental wellbeing. If you are concerned that your child is not spending enough time outside or if springtime allergies or illnesses are keeping your child indoors more than you would like, schedule a visit with your trusted physician at Kids 1st Pediatrics.