Teen vegetarian diet basics

teen vegetables

veggies, veggies, veggies

“Monitor your child’s diet closely to make sure they are getting enough calories… Some teens need 4,000 calories a day when they’re in a growth spurt!”

Check out the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Tip of the Week- a post on vegetarian teen diet basics with input from Dr. Lai!

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2020 Two Peds in a Pod®

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Halt the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences: #findyour3

participating in sports can alleviate effects of adverse childhood experiencesSubstance abuse, bullying, poverty, violence, chronic illness— all adverse childhood experiences that can lead to toxic stress in children. Sounds overwhelming, but there are ways from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)  to prevent adverse experiences in childhood from causing lifelong trauma. Bloggers like us are teaming together with the American Academy of Pediatrics to spread the word about one method which carries the hashtag #findyour3.

Toxic Stress

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can cause unremitting stress. Termed “toxic stress,” this type of stress  will actually change a child’s brain structure. This stress can lead to health and social problems such as depression, substance abuse, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung and kidney disease, and even unemployment.

Finding three

Identifying just three people or organizations that kids can turn to for help, can build resilience in the face of adversity. The three can include a parent, grandparent or other relative. But the three do not have to be biologically related. Pediatricians, therapists, teachers, counselors, neighbors, sports coaches, or youth group leaders are all examples of possible positive adult influences. Encourage your own child or children you know to engage in school or community related activities in order to help them to find their three.

For a more comprehensive review of ACEs and the prevention and treatment of toxic stress please see this review article from the NIH (National Institute of Health).

More resources on navigating adversity

You can also read some of our earlier posts for more ways to build resilience in your children and  ideas on how to explain scary news to your children. Also, read on how to tell your child about an impending divorce and tips on how to communicate effectively with your young children.  

Spread the word  #findyour3 #preventACEs

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2020 Two Peds in a Pod®

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Is it a cold or the flu?

A cold or the flu? Both can get out of control

“Remember: colds = gradual and annoying. Flu = sudden and miserable.”

Please read here for our post of how to tell if your your child has a cold or the flu.

Stay well, may the new year bring you neither one.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2020 Two Peds in a Pod®

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The winter cold virus

Do not use this to a treat winter cold

Believe it or not, pharmacies sold this “cold remedy” until the 1960s!

Honey, tar, and alcohol, oh my! Tucked away in a display at the Mercer Museum of Bucks County, Dr. Lai found this old bottle of cough syrup from the late 1800s. While we do NOT recommend this type of medicine for children of any age for any condition, it does remind us that we wish we had the perfect cold remedy to offer our patients who have a winter cold virus. 

Whether your child caught their cold from the infant room in daycare or the high school hallway during change of class time, kids with colds suffer similar symptoms in a similar time course.

Kids can start out feeling extra tired or out of sorts for a day or so, then they may develop a sore throat, runny nose, maybe a fever, and then the cough sets in. Fever from a cold virus starts within the first two days of a cold. Younger kids sometimes develop loose bowel movements or vomit mucus. Colds can cause watery eyes. Symptoms from a winter cold virus interrupt sleep and disrupt appetites.

What can parents do to help their children feel better from a winter cold virus?

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Tribute to Big Bird and 6 year olds

We were thrilled to hear Caroll Spinney, a.k.a. Bird Bird and Oscar the Grouch, address the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference back in 2011 (Dr. Lai’s iPhone 3 or 4 captured this “high” quality photo).

Caroll Spinney, the late puppeteer who was both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, had the idea back in 1969 to make Big Bird a forever 6 year old. We were sad to hear of his passing today, but glad that Big Bird’s portrayal of 6 year olds lives on. Please read our post to learn more about 6 year olds.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2019 Two Peds in a Pod®

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Thank-you Magic: Happy Thanksgiving 2019

thank-you: teaching manners

Manners can work magic. Here’s how, when, and why to say “thank-you” to your children.

“Thank-you for bringing your plate to the sink,” to your 2-year-old becomes “Thank-you for clearing the table,” to your 8-year-old becomes “Thank-you for cooking dinner,” to your 14-year-old.

“Thank-you for putting your clothes in the hamper,” to your 3-year-old becomes “Thank-you for folding your clothes,” to your 6-year-old becomes “Thank-you for doing the laundry,” to your 10-year-old.

“Thank-you for sharing your toy with your sister,” to your four-year-old becomes “Thank-you for babysitting your sister,” to your 13-year-old.

“Thank-you for climbing right into your car seat,” to your 3-year-old becomes “Thank-you for buckling your seat belt before I drive,” to your 9-year-old becomes “Thank-you for driving over to the store for more milk,” to your 16-year-old. 

“Thank-you for the hug,” to your 1-year-old becomes “Thank-you for the hug,” to your 5-year-old becomes “Thank-you for the hug,” to your 15-year-old becomes “Thank-you for the hug,” to your 50-year-old.

May your Thanksgiving include many servings of “thank-you.”

Happy Thanksgiving,

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2019 Two Peds in a Pod®

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Screen time for kids: How much is too much?

screen time for kids

When Dr. Lai’s niece was in preschool she would complain of headaches- the culprit? Too much screen time and the need for glasses. Check out the post that Dr. Lai contributed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Health Tip of the Week on screen time for kids.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
2019 Two Peds in a Pod®

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Afraid of a tantrum? How to set limits for your child

set limits for your child and don't fear the tantrumHas your toddler ever pulled off your glasses and thrown them? Slapped another toddler at the playground? Bitten their brother? Run off in a store and ignored you when you called? Are you afraid to set limits for your child because you fear the tantrum that may result?

Yes, toddlers are cute, but left to their own devices, they grow into the school bully, the family bully, or worse yet, they don’t listen to an adult and run into the street in front of a car.

Unbeknownst to you, you probably started to set limits for your child as early as 6 months of age.

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