Little people, big impact!

5 ways you and your kids can make a difference this summer

5 ways kids can make a differenceMany of us think of giving back during the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Winter holiday season, but needs exist year-round for most organizations.  Why not take advantage of some of your summer downtime to help? Our patients and families here at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital always appreciate something to brighten their day, whether that’s a homemade blanket or a new toy, and there are many other organizations that would love to be remembered during the summer months. Continue reading

Insect repellants and kids: Is DEET safe?

Insect repellants and kidsSummer means sun, backyard barbecues and lots of outside time.  And all of those things generally also come along with a generous dose of bugs.  Unfortunately for us in Michigan, it’s shaping up to be a buggy summer – especially when it comes to ticks.

The best way to avoid the not-so-fun bugs of summer is to wear long sleeves and long pants, and to avoid dusk, which is often the buggiest time of day.

Bugs tend to like perfumes.  Your 8 month old is probably not wearing perfume, of course, but it is worth thinking about the scent of shampoos and lotions you use on your children, as well.

Even if you avoid dusk and wear long sleeves, there are certainly times when you can’t avoid bugs. That’s when many of us reach for bug repellants.  Continue reading

Tick Season

What parents should know about ticks and children

mott blog - ticks and kidsThe number of ticks in the Great Lakes region has been on the rise for the past few years, but many experts are reporting that this year is going to be even worse than the last.

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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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

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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