The “Finding Active Things Kids Like To Do” Challenge

A recent study out of Scotland found that after the age of 7, activity levels go down for both boys and girls. When Randy Clark, manager of the Pediatric Fitness Clinic read about it, he wasn’t at all surprised.

“Finding ways to engage kids in physical activity is a huge challenge I face as a parent and in my work at the Pediatric Fitness Clinic,” he says.  Clark, whose children are 12 and 14 years old, shares that part of the problem, in his opinion, is the increasing time we spend looking at screens.  He shares that as part of the ‘baby boomer outside generation’, fun included wiffle ball, touch football, capture the flag, kick-the-can and skating at the local rink. Now kids are growing up in a very different world filled with cell phones, iPods, personal computers and hand held devices. For him, while they are wonderful advancements in technology, they have led to an increasing amount of sedentary screen time.”

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Being Mindful: Especially for Families

What does being mindful mean? Mindfulness has gotten a lot of buzz. Most researchers agree that “Mindful” means being in the present.  Mindfulness is allowing your thoughts to be about right now, not worrying about the past or planning the future. Another important part of being mindful is accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgement:  good or bad. Read more

Keep Food and Media Separate

Keep Food and Media SeparateTurn back the clock to when you were 3 years old. Sit down to a “satisfying” snack; half banana, sliced cheese and crackers with ice water before snuggling up on a comfortable couch to watch your favorite show- Elmo’s World. You notice two bowls in front of the couch: one filled with bear-shaped graham crackers and the other with corn chips. Throughout the 14-minute show, nine commercials appear advertising corn chips. Despite feeling satisfied, you naturally indulge in the snacks in front of you. Which snack did you eat more of?

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How to Read a Growth Chart

How to Read a Growth ChartChildhood growth is a strong sign of health. In order to monitor growth and development, all children should have their height and weight plotted on a growth chart at every trip to the doctor’s office. This helps to provide a picture of the child’s growth and an opportunity for parents and the medical team to measure changes over time. All children with significant changes in their body mass index (ratio of their height to their weight) should be examined.

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Cutting the Sugar in Your Family’s Diet

Sugar and KidsSugar is a hot health topic. Many of us are aware of its health effects and links to a number of diseases, but what about the effects on kids and their eating habits? 

This is a topic that comes up frequently in our Pediatric Fitness Clinic. The American Heart Association recommends middle school age children have about 5-8 teaspoons of added sugar in their diets daily. On average though, kids in this age group get about 30 teaspoons! 

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