Valentine’s Tips for a Happy Family

February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day from Bright Steps! We traditionally think of Valentine’s Day as a time to show appreciation for our significant others and spouses. But when love is in the air on February 14th, why not share some of it with our children?  Rather than flowers, chocolates and gifts, there are some simple ways to show your children you love them – while improving their physical and mental well-being.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers 14 Ways to Show Love for Your Child today (and every day!), and here are some of our favorites.

Be a Model of Good Behavior

Always try to remember to use positive language when talking to your children.  They generally don’t understand sarcasm and innuendo the way that adults do.  Also try to practice your please & thank you’s — if you show good manners, it increases the chances of them rubbing off on your children!

Listen, Listen, Listen

Busy is the name of the game for most families day in and day out.  It’s important that you acknowledge your child’s needs, even if you are busy or distracted.  Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day of dedicated time with your child.

Nurture Your Child’s Inner Creative Genius

Encourage time away from technology.  Limit screen time (including cell phones and computers) as much as possible.  Read with your child — even through teenage years! Find books that interest them, and let them try a wide variety of hobbies and activities.  You may have a budding Beethoven or a promising Picasso on your hands!

Get (and keep) Your Children Active

It’s hard during the winter months, but resist the temptation to be inactive or sedentary.  Take a family walk or play outside in the snow.  Or play indoor games — when was the last time you played Twister or charades?

And finally, hug your children and tell them you love them every day!

No explanation needed.

Bonus V-Day Tip

February is also American Heart Month — try a heart-shaped low-fat grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with tomato soup for a healthy Valentine’s Day lunch!

Tips for Avoiding the Vitamin D Blues

January 21, 2012

It seems winter has officially arrived in Rochester! These gloomy, gray months can make everyone want to stay inside, away from the cold and snow (and wind!). Now is the time of year to think about taking a vitamin D supplement.

Image courtesy of newswire.com

Vitamin D is an important building block for health.  It helps control other minerals for bone growth, tooth growth, and assists with hormone regulation. It also affects the immune system and nervous system.  We get a majority of our vitamin D from being exposed to the sun’s UVB rays and also from food we eat.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

In young children, vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a disorder of bone and teeth growth with signs like pain in the arms and legs, loss of muscle strength or muscle cramps, broken bones and increased number of cavities.

In older children and adults, the symptoms are more subtle.  Low levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even dementia. Studies are now starting to show that vitamin D plays a part in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure and even your bad mood!

Keeping Your Levels Up

So in these dark days of winter, here are a few things you can do to make sure you keep you and your family’s vitamin D levels up:

  1.  Make sure you are getting outside for a little sun exposure when you can. Even 10 to 15 minutes makes a difference!
  2. Breastfed babies are at risk too!  Make sure they are taking their vitamin D supplement (400IU) every day.
  3. Watch your diet!  Vitamin D is naturally found in fish, egg yolks, liver, and fish oil. It’s also in dairy products and grains that have been fortified. Take a look at those labels!
  4. If your family is vegetarian, make sure you each take a supplement with at least 600IU of vitamin D.
  5. If you feel your family members are at risk, talk to your doctor and see about having a blood test to check your vitamin D level.

Here are a couple of resources for further information:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001384/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

New Families

We are accepting new patients! Please call to schedule a "meet and greet" visit to look around the office and ask any questions you have.

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