What will my kids eat all summer? What activities should I be planning to keep them busy and off electronics? The bugs – what do I do about them? These are all the questions running through the minds of moms everywhere as summer kicks-off. Rest assured, The Iowa Clinic has your back.
First, children need occasional calorie boosts throughout the day to provide the energy their growing bodies need.
“But calories alone are not enough to support a child’s healthy physical and cognitive development – children need nutritionally dense calories,” says Dr. Jessica Greenley, a pediatrician with The Iowa Clinic.
We all know fruits and vegetables are best, but did you know too many yogurts sticks or the sports drinks you packed for your picnic, might not be the best choice? If you question what drink to give your kiddo, it is best to stick with water, especially in the heat. Download the Go, Go Slow, No-Go Charts to help make the best snack and beverage choices this summer!
“On average, children spend seven or more hours a day looking at a screen, and – in addition to displacing physical activity – that promotes other unhealthy behaviors,” says Dr. Daniel Pelzer, a pediatrician with The Iowa Clinic.
“For example, sitting in front of a TV or computer can increase snacking. Late-night screen time often interferes with sleep. Combined with physical inactivity, these behaviors promote childhood obesity and the health risks that come with it,” Dr. Pelzer says.
Encourage at least an hour every day with activities that increase physical fitness – and make it part of daily your routine, too.
These Bugs Are Driving Me Crazy!
Here are a few tips from The Iowa Clinic pediatricians provide to protect your kids from those annoying insects swarming you as you walk out the door:
- Use mosquito netting over infant carriers.
- Clothe children in long pants and long sleeves.
- Keep children indoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes hang out (such as standing water; tall grasses; weeds and brush; uncovered foods; gardens).
- Avoid wooded and grassy areas where ticks are thickest.
- Use insect repellent sparingly on children.
For additional tips, check out these simple guidelines in Protecting Children from Summer Sun & Bugs by Dr. Daniel Pelzer, a pediatrician at The Iowa Clinic.
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