Packing safe lunches

Food safety tips for lunches, picnics and other on-the-go meals

mott blog - packing a safe lunchPacking a lunch is often the best way to ensure a healthy meal, but is that true if perishable food becomes too warm? In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers tested the temperature of perishable lunch items and found that of the 618 perishable items packed in a lunch bag with one ice pack, only 14 items were at an acceptable temperature. Even with multiple ice packs, more than 90 percent of the food was at an unacceptable temperature.

So what’s a parent to do? Continue reading

Tick Season

What parents should know about ticks and children

mott blog - ticks and kidsThis summer has been high season for ticks in Michigan, especially in the Upper Peninsula and on the west coast of the state along the lake. Ticks can carry and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. It’s important to be on alert whenever you, your children and even your pets spend time outside — especially in or near wooded areas.

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Strength and agility exercises for kids

Strength and agility are two skills that can be tough to develop for many kids, but they’re very important.  Most team sports involve movements for a fixed length of time that seldom occur in a straight line.  Agility and strength training improves a child’s ability to change direction, brake suddenly, and perform sport specific skills with more speed and dexterity.

Our Camp Little Victors team stopped by Sport Club, a 6-week program offered by our pediatric physical therapy program, to learn some strength and agility exercises that your kids can do at home!

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Kid-friendly breakfast ideas

Fresh takes on the most important meal of the day

mott blog - breakfast post picWhen people say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” they aren’t kidding! Multiple studies have shown that children and adults who consume breakfast are more energetic and have healthier body weights than those who don’t.

Breakfast can be more exciting than cereal or eggs or toast, but doesn’t necessarily have to take longer to prepare. An easy way to switch it up? Increase the variety of color! A perfect way to add in fruits and vegetables (even if your child doesn’t like them), is to add finely chopped onions, peppers, tomatoes, or broccoli to scrambled eggs. Whole grain cereals and oatmeal go perfectly with berries, dried fruit or nuts. Of course, be mindful of choking risk if your child is younger than 3 years old.

What do you do if you’re in a real rush? Make smoothies ahead of time! Smoothies are a great way to incorporate fruits, and even vegetables, into a quick and nutritious meal. Berries, melons, citrus fruits, bananas and other similar fruits work well. Use fresh, frozen or canned (in juice, not syrups). Add plain or lightly sweetened yogurt for additional creaminess and bone-building calcium. If you’re feeling daring, try sneaking in a few leaves of spinach or kale, which likely won’t change the taste or appearance of the smoothie, but add important immune nutrients like vitamin A and C. Smoothies can be prepared ahead of time and frozen in perfect portions. To defrost, just take them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator in the morning or the night before. An added bonus? Let your kids help you choose the ingredients and prepare the smoothies — they’ll think they’re getting dessert for breakfast!

mott blog - details about chop chop giveaway

And for mornings where you do have time for some hands on cooking, here are some recipe ideas from Chop Chop Magazine that your kids will enjoy helping you prepare:

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What is your pulse?

Hands-on activity to help kids see and understand their pulse

learn about pulseHave you every wondered what doctors are listening for with their stethescope, or when you see someone putting their fingers on someone’s wrist to check their “pulse?”

Feeling your pulse is one thing, but here is a fun activity from PBS Kids that will allow you to SEE your pulse!

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Taking corn beyond the cob

Fresh ideas for integrating sweet corn into your summer menus

mott blog - corn featured imageNothing tastes better on a warm summer evening than fresh sweet corn. As delicious as it is straight off the cob, you’ll find that there are many other ways to use it in a wide array of recipes your kids will love.

Our Patient and Family Nutrition Services team helped us find a few recipes that have their seal of approval:  summer corn fritters, grilled chicken and corn quesadillas, and fresh corn soup with basil.

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