Tips for Raising Healthy Kids

From the Show: Dr. Taz Show
Summary: From the overwhelm of technology to packed school-day schedules, the stage is set for kids to be tired and sick.
Air Date: 4/4/17
Duration: 27:32
Host: Dr. Taz
Guest Bio: Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD
Jen-TrachtenbergPediatrician Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD, known to her patients as Dr. Jen, is a nationally renowned parenting expert, board-certified pediatrician, the co-founder of Baby Bundle App, and has maintained a successful private pediatric practice in New York City for the past 20 years.

She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and mother of three children.

Dr. Jen has appeared numerous times on NBC's TODAY Show, CNN, and Fox News, contributes regularly with health and parenting topics, including child development, childhood obesity and sleep issues to Baby Chat TV, Fatherly and RosiePope.com. She has published two parenting books, The Smart Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids through Check Ups, Illnesses and Accidents (2010), and Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children (2007).

Dr. Jen Trachtenberg’s mission is to maximize the potential that is within every child. Her lifework as a pediatrician and parenting expert emphasizes the importance of a child's emotional, behavioral and physical well-being, while focusing on improving social and environmental factors to reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood.

During her free time, Dr. Jen enjoys reading, yoga, playing with her kids outdoors, nature walks, bicycling, and swimming. She and her husband live just outside of New York City, where they are raising their three children.
  • Book Title: Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/Dr.JenTrachtenberg/
  • Guest Twitter Account: @AskDr_Jen
Tips for Raising Healthy Kids
Raising kids in this day and age is not easy.

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.
Dr. Jen also discusses how you can maximize appointments with your pediatrician by fully preparing before you get to the appointment. Write down any questions and ask them right away. Don't wait until your doctor is walking out the door. Be honest and truthful. You need to feel comfortable with your healthcare provider and he needs all the information in order to effectively treat your child. 

Finally, Dr. Jen provides her take on antibiotic use (or overuse) and when she feels antibiotics are appropriate.
FREE RadioMD Newsletter: