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By Pediatric Associates of Wellesley
August 14, 2018
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Children ExercisingChildren need physical activity on a regular basis to keep them healthy and strong. It’s unfortunate that many kids today are considered overweight. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. And in 2008, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

The effects of obesity on a child’s health can be severe. Overweight children are more prone to chronic illnesses as well as a poor self-image during childhood. It's critical that kids are getting the right amount of exercise in order to regulate obesity, promote heart and lung fitness, and prevent other serious illnesses. Adopting healthy habits at a young age can keep kids fit and healthy into adulthood.

So as a parent, how do you find the time to stay active and healthy? And how can you make physical activity fun and enjoyable for your child? To help kids stay fit while having fun, follow these helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Set a good example and embrace a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Children who see a parent making health and fitness a priority will be more inclined to do the same.
  • Limit TV time to two hours a day to encourage physical activity elsewhere.
  • Keep physical activity fun and enjoyable so that your child wants to participate again and again.
  • In combination with an active lifestyle, provide well-balanced meals and promote healthy food choices.
  • Talk to grandparents, teachers, and other caretakers about your expectations for fitness so that you can work together to encourage healthy activity when your child is away from home.
  • Turn mundane tasks, such as raking leaves, into a fun family activity that involves exercise.
  • Learn your child’s interests and suggest team sports, such as soccer as a great way to keep kids active and fit on a regular basis.

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle for your entire family. Parents can turn exercise into a lifelong habit by making fitness a part of their daily schedule. When your child is interested in physical activity at a young age, exercise and fitness are more likely to become a routine that lasts for years in years.

Questions about fitness or nutrition? Talk to your pediatrician for advice and suggestions for promoting a healthier lifestyle for your family.

July 27, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Plastic Containers and Food Safety

            A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has outlined some simple ways families can limit exposure to chemicals used to process, package and preserve everyday foods. For years there has been concern about some of these chemicals, this report gives recommendations based on solid scientific research.

            The additives of most concern, based on rising research evidence cited in the report, include:

  • Bisphenols,

  • Phthalates

  • Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs)

  • Perchlorate

  • Artificial food colors

  • Nitrates/nitrites

            In addition to new legislature to regulate plastic, additives, and chemicals,  the AAP recommends safe and simple steps families can take to limit exposures to the chemicals of greatest concern. These include:

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables (as opposed to canned), and fewer processed meats--especially during pregnancy.  

  • Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic when possible. Also try to avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher.

  • Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible. Consider going "old school" and wrap sandwiches in wax papaer.

  • Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless they are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware.” Recycling codes can be found on the bottom of a plastic container.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food and clean all fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.

            At Pediatric Associates of Wellesley, we know that feeding your children is one of them most basic - and at times stressful - jobs as a parent. These guidelines should not add to any stress. As always, offer your kids food you would like them to eat, not food you think they will eat. This helps avoid food ruts and battles. Please reach out to your doctor if you have questions about any feeding issues. Happy cooking and parenting!

 

July 02, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the bumps and bruises of life. It impacts how children suffer illness and supports their pursuit of excellence in school, sports, arts and just about everything they do. Resilienceis an important part of health as it helps children steer through all types of challenges and thrive.

Here are some of the building blocks to resilience.

Time:   There is a lot going on in a growing child's life. Children need unplugged “down” time to process what they experience and learn. Time is our most precious possession, and parents must make conscious decisions about how their family spends it.

Connection:   Children need to be with those who love them. Sometimes they just need to be in the same space, but far more potent is the attention of a caring parent or family member. The increasing pull of technology on us all makes giving this attention harder.

Community:   Children profit from being a part of something bigger than themselves and their family. Communities of faith, ethnic or national organizations, neighborhoods, civic organizations, etc. all offer customs and values that teach and ground children.

Role Models:   Children are keen observers of those around them. They study the way parentsand other adults respond to frustration and setbacks. Children need roles models who inspire an active, healthful lifestyle and good-humored resilience.

Limits:   Beside love, discipline is the greatest gift parents can give their child – even if it brings brief unhappiness. Consistent, authoritative and responsive limits define a safe space in which children can explore their own power. Limits and how they are communicated ought change and grow as your child does.

Choices:    . . . but not too many. Choices give children a taste of control, but too many can overwhelm them. Choices also require children to make decisions. It is good to practice on small decisions before life presents big ones.

Failure:   Failure and frustration are something of a playground for resilience; these are where resilience is practiced and strengthened. Children must be able to push themselves beyond what is comfortable, and again, practice on small failures in order to prepare for bigger ones.

Freedom:   Children need the space to work out emotions, resolve conflicts, figure out solutions and sometimes, just have a good cry. While parents want to help with these challenges, the stakes are always higher for a child when a parent is involved.

Responsibility:    No one likes to be told what to do, but everyone wants to help. Children want to feel that they have something to contribute and are valued for it. A parent's request for help and her or his praise for that help both can make a child's day.

Confidence:    Nothing succeeds like success. Children's self-esteem and confidence are built on achieving age-appropriate expectations and praise from those whom they value.  Praise for good effort, persistence and bravery - rather than an actual accomplishment - helps build resilience.     

Love:   Most of all, children need to know they are loved. They cannot hear or feel this enough.  Resilient children know that nothing can threaten a parent's love. Naughtiness, tantrums, poor decisions, accidents, failures . . . all these are but drops of water to the ocean of a parent’s love.

What each of these looks like in your family is, of course,  up to you.  We, at Pediatric Associates of Wellesley, are honored to partner with you as you do the hard and important work of parenting. Your doctor would welcome an appointment with you to discuss these or other steps to help in your jouney.

We hope this is helpful and welcome a conversation with you about any of this.

                                                                                                                        

Plastic Containers and Food Safety

            A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has outlined some simple ways families can limit exposure to chemicals used to process, package and preserve everyday foods. For years there has been concern about some of these chemicals, this report gives recommendations based on solid scientific research.

            The additives of most concern, based on rising research evidence cited in the report, include:

  • Bisphenols,

  • Phthalates

  • Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs)

  • Perchlorate

  • Artificial food colors

  • Nitrates/nitrites

           In addition to new legislature to regulate plastic, additives, and chemicals,  the AAP recommends safe and simple steps families can take to limit exposures to the chemicals of greatest concern. These include:

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables (as opposed to canned), and fewer processed meats--especially during pregnancy.  

  • Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic when possible. Also try to avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher.

  • Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible. Consider going "old school" and wrap sandwiches in wax papaer.

  • Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless they are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware.” Recycling codes can be found on the bottom of a plastic container.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food and clean all fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.

            At Pediatric Associates of Wellesley, we know that feeding your children is one of them most basic - and at times stressful - jobs as a parent. These guidelines should not add to any stress. As always, offer your kids food you would like them to eat, not food you think they will eat. This helps avoid food ruts and battles. Please reach out to your doctor if you have questions about any feeding issues. Happy cooking and parenting!