| You may be thinking that kids and mindfulness are not two things that naturally go together. But as anxiety continues to become an epidemic for our children and teens, we must find ways to help them make mindfulness a part of their lives.|
So, what is mindfulness?
A great definition by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction describes it well:
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
Stopping, paying attention, and noticing what’s happening around you, and everything you’re feeling, thinking and doing in that particular moment with honesty and without judgment is being mindful. Sounds easy enough, right?
Actually, this Harvard study found that we spend almost 50% of our time thinking about something else and NOT what we’re actually doing!
Here are just a few of the health benefits of mindfulness that have been researched:
Increased focus and attention
Improved memory and learning
Less anxiety and depression
Better emotional self-regulation
Stronger immune system
Here are a couple of my favorite mindfulness exercises that you can do with your kids:
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN
You and your kids can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime. A great way for kids to learn how to be mindful is by using the STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN method. This involves, STOPPING what you are doing, LOOKING around you and using all 5 senses (what are you seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and even tasting) and LISTENING (listen to your body and mind and how it feels in that moment).
THE FIVE SENSES EXERCISE
Another quick exercise that can be done anywhere is the 5 senses exercise. Notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This exercise can bring you to a mindful state quickly.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can practice mindfulness with your kids.
Your Partner in Health!
Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC
By: Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC
Picky eating often begins early in life for our kids and is often one of the top concerns reported in our practice. It’s not about perfection, it’s about creating a love of food and how it fuels our mental and physical health.
Healthy eating habits start at home. With a few changes and persistence, we help patients go from eating chicken nuggets and white pasta meals to filling their plates with more colorful fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for picky eaters:
#1 Lead by example. If you want your children to add more colorful and healthy foods to their plate, then you must eat them too. Help them understand why it’s important to eat healthy. “Because we want to feel good and have energy.”
#2 Make food FUN and Accessible. We eat with our eyes so access and presentation are key. For example, put healthy food at eye level in the refrigerator or create a vegetable tray and set it out on the counter. Cut food into fun shapes or arrange the snacks in a mini muffin tin for something different.
#3 Timed Snacking. Endless snacking does not allow time for kids to get hungry and eat what is prepared for meals. One idea to help guide snack choices is to set out the veggie/fruit tray at designated snack times and “close” the kitchen soon after. If you prefer them to choose their snacks, a great rule is to pick something from the fridge before the pantry.
These are just a few tips to help you get started with creating more colorful plates that your kids will want to eat. Our pediatric team has experience and more ideas to handle the pickiest eaters. Every child is different and learns to eat new foods and make healthy changes at a different pace. With a little persistence, patience, and fun, positive changes can happen.
Contact our office for an appointment to get started with our Pediatric Team
By: Blair Cuneo, PA-C
Pediatric Supplement Prevention Options:
1. Annual Vitamin A “flu” shot (Seeking Health liquid vitamin A, CTW Vitamin A caps): • 150,000 IU vitamin A once
2. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C):
• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg daily
• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg daily
3. Vitamin D (CTW Liquid D3 or CTW Vitamin D3):
• 3-6 years: 1,000 IU daily
• 7-12 years: 2,000-3,000 IU daily
• 13-18 years: 3,000-4,000 IU daily
4. Zinc (Zinc Drink, Zinc Glycinate):
• 3 years: 5-10 mg daily
• 4-12 years 10-25 mg daily
5. Probiotics (Ther-biotic Chewables, CTW Daily Probiotic, CTW S. boulardii):
• All ages: 1 a day
6. Omega 3 (Nordic Naturals DHA (strawberry), Nordic Naturals CLO (orange), CTW Omega 3s):
• 4-12 years: 2000 mg daily
7. Elderberry: • <7yo: 250mg daily • >7yo: 500mg daily
8. Boiron Oscillococcinum (homeopathy):
• 1 vial once a week
Pediatric Supplement Therapeutic options: Start at first signs of upper respiratory illness.
1. Vitamin C (CTW Complete Vitamin C)
• 3-5 years: 125-250 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements
• 6-12 years: 250-500 mg dosed every hour, reducing if loose bowel movements
2. Zinc liquid or lozenges (Zinc Drink or Zinc Glycinate)
• 3 years: 5-10 mg every 6 hours
• 4-12 years: 10-15 mg every 6 hours
• Kids: 1-2 tsp 3-4 times a day
• Teens and Adults: 1 TBL 3-4 times a day
Homeopathy options begun at symptom onset:
1. Boiron Oscillococcinum
• One vial 3xday for 24 hours
2. Boiron ColdCalm
• Ages 3+: 2 tabs under tongue every 15 min for 1 hour; then 3xday until symptoms resolve.
3. Umcka ColdCare/Cough/Cold+Flu (ages 12 and older) and Umcka ColdCare Kids (ages 6 and older)
• Use as directed
Carolina Total Wellness also carries “Viracid” and “Viragraphis”, combination formulas to combat viral illness, in capsule form. Ask your provider for more information on dosing.
Healthy foods and restorative sleep are fundamental, especially when sick. Bone broth daily, minimum 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Restorative Sleep guidelines from AAP:
Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps)
Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours
Children 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.