From the overwhelm of technology to packed school-day schedules, the stage is set for kids to be just plain tired and sick.
Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD, author of Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children, joins Dr. Taz to share her top tips for raising healthy kids.
- Create healthy habits surrounding technology. Place limits on when and where your kids can access devices. This varies from family to family, but a good rule of thumb is to ban screens/interruptions at the dinner table and an hour before bed.
- Don't sit your toddler down in front of a screen. Kids learn and thrive the best when they "play" with real, 3D toys. As they get older, educational programs are fine in small doses.
- Elementary schools are starting to use devices like iPads within the curriculum. Physical play is still essential, so schedule it if needed.
- Don't single out picky eaters (or alternatively, really good eaters).
- Be a role model with your own healthy choices.
- Understand how important breakfast is. Your kids have a long day ahead, and you don't always know what they're eating for lunch.
- Be prepared for that healthy breakfast. Set the table and the menu the night before. Don't cater to pickiness; one child can pick the menu one day, another can pick the next, etc.
- Over-scheduling has made it challenging to balance sleep and activities, but kids need downtime to unwind before they go to sleep.
- Have a sleep routine, or good "sleep hygiene."
- Have them read instead of watching TV or being on the computer.
Finally, Dr. Jen provides her take on antibiotic use (or overuse) and when she feels antibiotics are appropriate.