Friday, January 1, 2010

Ring in a New Year of Eating Right

The new year is already here and as your family gets ready to hit the ground running with school activities and busy schedules, you might have questions about how to fit in a New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Not to worry- you’re not alone in your goal to reach a healthy weight; according to the U.S. government's official web portal,, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, followed closely by the resolutions of “get fit” and “eat right”.

Let the expert’s at Dayton Children’s guide you and your family in your quest to get fit this winter.

Things to keep in mind while trying to achieve a healthy weight….

  1. Losing weight is hard work, made even more difficult by feelings of hunger and deprivation. Fight off feelings of hunger by eating regularly scheduled, small meals and snacks. One of the biggest culprits we see derail healthy eating efforts is skipping breakfast. You can start the year off on the right track by making everyone in your house starts their day with something healthy in their tummy.
  2. Best breakfast picks include whole grain (low-sugar) cereals, low-fat milk, reduced-sugar yogurt, fresh and canned (in light syrup/juice) fruit, whole grain toast, and eggs or egg whites.
  3. Remember those fruits and vegetables! Incorporate a serving of fruits and/ vegetables at every single meal. In the winter months when fresh produce is hard to come by and more expensive, opt for frozen or canned (low sodium and in fruit juice) to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
  4. Don’t drink your calories. We see countless patients who could easily reach a healthy weight just by cutting out juice, soda pop, energy drinks, and sports drinks.
  5. Drink water throughout the day and when thirst strikes, continue with water, calorie-free beverages, or skim milk.
  6. Don’t skimp on the protein when trying to lose weight. In a study led by researchers at Purdue University and published in the Journal of Obesity, it was found that a lower calorie diet that contained a higher amount of protein helped overweight women retain more lean body mass (such as muscle) while losing weight compared to women who consumed the same amount of calories but ate less protein. What does this mean for you and your family? Try to include protein at each meal and snack. The best sources of protein include lean meat, skinless poultry, eggs, low fat dairy, fish, soy products, and legume (such as kidney beans and pinto beans).
  7. Stay active during the winter months. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean it’s time to sit on the couch! Take advantage of playing out in the snow when it’s available and, if you are able, get your exercise by shoveling. If you’re stuck inside all day, stay active with dancing, jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups and more. For more ideas about ways to stay active, visit our website.
  8. Remember, it’s not always about the number on the scale; it’s about your health. By making simple changes to improve your diet and by becoming more active, you can reach that New Year’s Resolution of “get fit” and “eat right”. And that’s a HUGE accomplishment!

About our Expert Pamela M. Nisevich MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Pam has been a clinical dietitian at Dayton Children's since 2006. She is currently the director of The Body Shop and is the primary clinical dietitian for the 3E General Pediatrics unit and metabolic disorders. Pam received her BS in Dietetics from Miami University and completed her MS and dietetic internship at The Ohio State University. She has completed an American Dietetic Association Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate and is currently working on a certification in sports nutrition. She is very involved in the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) Dietetic Practice Group and is interested in sports dietetics, food marketing, nutrition communications, teaching, and writing. Pam is a talented marathon runner and triathlete who dreams of becoming a professional athlete in an endurance sport.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dayton Children’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Kids

Teach your children simple ways to make change

The New Year is already here and as your family gets ready to hit the ground running with school activities, work and busy schedules, you might have questions about how to fit in your New Year’s resolutions. The experts at Dayton Children’s offer their top ten New Year's resolutions for kids that can be easily accomplished. As parents, you should set realistic goals for your kids. Remember, small steps equal big results.
  1. Eat healthier – try to eat five fruits and vegetables each day and drink no sugary drinks.
  2. Get more active - spend less than two hours each day in front of the TV, computer or playing video games and get at least one hour of physical activity each day.
  3. Take care of your teeth - brush your teeth twice a day. Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease.
  4. Be safe - make sure everybody in the car (including parents) is properly buckled in with a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
  5. Give back – help someone else in the community through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  6. Be kind - a smile and a kind word can go a long way. Tell your mom and dad, brothers and sisters or your friends that they are appreciated and loved. Be friendly to kids who don’t have any friends.
  7. Try new things - find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding a bike) you like and try to do it a few times a week.
  8. Protect yourself - never give out personal information such as your name, home address, school name or telephone number on the internet. Never send a picture of yourself to someone by cell phone, e-mail or the internet without your parent’s permission.
  9. Lend a helping hand – pick up after yourself, put your toys away when you’re done playing with them and don’t leave your dirty clothes on the floor. Your parents are very busy and need a little help.
  10. Express yourself - when you feel angry, frustrated or stressed out, take a break and find better ways to deal with these feelings, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking to your parents or a friend.

 It’s also important for parents to remember the following three things in order to provide love and support to their children all year long.
  1. Talk less, listen more – children and teenagers will tune out needless words and explanations. However, every kid is different; learn how your child responds to you best. Ask open-ended questions so that you don’t get one word answers. Keep the conversation going by not interjecting your opinion immediately but rather ask them what they think first.
  2. It’s not always about the QT – quality and quantity time with your children is very important. Put down the BlackBerry, turn off the TV and listen to your kids. Shorter periods of time spent each day is better than fewer longer periods of time. Talk to your kids at dinner, during car rides to school and activities or before bedtime.
  3. Give praise and allow failure – give positive feedback to your kids for their efforts but remember constructive criticism is also very important in the development of your children. According to Gregory Ramey, PhD, child psychologist at Dayton Children’s, “Sometimes, failure may be the best option for your children. It teaches them personal responsibility, coping skills and persistence.”
“Remember, it’s not always about making a big change right away, but about the little steps you take to make the changes,” says Dr. Ramey.

“By teaching your children to do simple things to improve their health, become more active or learn to help others, you and your family can all be happier and healthier.”


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't let your child get bitten - by frostbite!

The colder temperatures of winter bring about a host of problems we don’t deal with during the rest of the year. If your children aren’t ones for sitting in front of the fireplace to sip hot cocoa, but instead prefer to get outside and play, help them stay safe by knowing the signs and symptoms of frostbite! 

"Frostbite can result in the same type of tissue damage as a burn," says Heather Koss, RN, clinical resource nurse at Dayton Children’s and coordinator of the emergency medical system/trauma education program. "This is why it is important for parents to periodically check on children who are playing outside. Make sure they are dressed appropriately—gloves, hats, warm socks and face coverings are particularly important since fingers, noses and ears are most vulnerable to frostbite."

Signs of frostbite
  • Skin may look discolored.
  • Skin may feel cold to the touch.
  • Skin may feel numb to child.
  • If deeply frostbitten, skin may look waxy or feel hard (frozen).
What parents should do

  • Take the child to a warm place
  • Remove cold or wet clothing and give child warm, dry clothes
  • Do NOT rub or massage the cold part or apply heat such as a water bottle or hot running water.
  • Cover the body part loosely with a non-stick, sterile dressing or dry blanket.
  • If the skin looks discolored or the child has lost sensation, keep the child warm and call 9-1-1 immediately.
With proper precautions children can be safe and have a great time enjoying winter weather.

For more tips on winter safety visit our website.

Stop the Silence

Join us for a college basketball game to benefit the rehabilitation department at Dayton Children's!

What: Wright State vs Loyola
When: Saturday, January 30 at 2:00 pm
Where: Nutter Center (Wright State University)
Tickets: $10/person—you save $7!
A portion of the proceeds goes to the rehabilitation department at Dayton Children’s
To purchase tickets: Go to the Spot Shop (the Dayton Children's gift shop) or contact the development office at 641-3405.

The purpose of this "Stop the Silence" event is to raise awareness about communication disorders. Imagine how devastating it would be if you lost the ability to talk due to a stroke or accident and what effect it would have on your life. Meet some children who recieve speech therapy services at Dayton Children's and watch them demonstrate how they use augmentative and alternative communication devices to communicate!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Countdown to Good Health the 5-2-1-0 Way!

This week Dayton Children's launches our next installment of the Kohl's A Minute for Kids campaign with tips from our very own Dr. James Ebert, lead physician in the lipid clinic.

For the next two months those in our service area will hear a radio clip featuring Dominique Samuels and his mother, Diana. They discuss how small steps can make big changes for your health and share with listeners the 5-2-1-0 tips from Dr. Ebert.

Here are the 5-2-1-0 tips that your family can use:
  • Children should get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Along with eating healthy, children should spend less than 2 hours in front of the TV, computer, or video game screen each day.
  • To stay physically fit, at least 1 hour of aerobic activity everyday will keep your heart strong.
  • Finally, 0 is the amount of sugary drinks that should be consumed on a daily basis.
These four easy steps create a simple way for families to maintain their overall health and will be a great start to a healthier 2010!

For a sneak preview and additional resources, check out our Kohl's microsite at: