Why Are We Painting Our Pumpkin Teal?

Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is a great time of year.  All the kids get so excited about their costumes, going to a Halloween party, marching in their school Halloween Parade and of course eating all the Halloween candy.  But what about those kids that can’t eat halloween candy.  What about them?  Many kids may have to abstain from Trick or Treating because they can not eat the candy safely.  It can be for a variety of reasons.  They may suffer from celiac disease, have a nut allergy,  diabetes, other food allergies and intolerances or they may need to follow a special diet. Why should these children not be able to enjoy the festivities?

But for many years to protect their children from a possible anaphylactic reaction or severe allergic reaction parents would keep them away from this celebrated tradition. Then the campaign called #THETEALPUMPKINPROJECT started.

Last year I saw only 1-2 Teal pumpkins painted in my neighborhood.  It piqued everyone’s curiosity. Many just thought “oh how pretty.”  But what is the purpose?  In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)  launched a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project™.  The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!  This year they have even started an interactive map for houses that are participating in this project offering Non Food items to kids on Halloween.  Teal Pumpkin Project

It seems a daunting task at first.  Many say, “I don’t want to be the house not giving out candy or chocolate, the kids will hate us and egg our front door!”  In reality there are many really cool fun nonfood items that you can hand out.  Kids would love to get glow sticks or glow bracelets.  They will undoubtedly put them on immediately and use them the rest of the night.  Bouncy balls, stickers, tattoos are all great options.  You can find a list of recommended Non Food Halloween Treats here

TPP-Treats-Infographic-Download

To let the neighborhood now that you are participating in this event you can paint your pumpkin teal and also put up one of the FAREs downloadable signs on your window or front door. And YES you can still give out candy if you choose too.

Teal Pumpkin

tppprintposterthumb

 

Here are a few of the FAQ’s about Teal Pumpkin Project:

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

For more info on this go to FARES website for Teal Pumpkin Project at TealPumpkinProject.org

So who is going to join me this year in painting their pumpkins Teal?  Please help spread the word about this!!  Share this post and make Halloween a fun experience for every child!!

#TealPumpkinProject #KidsTummyTroubles #FARE #foodallergies

 

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A Survival Guide for the Colic Baby

As new moms we have all been there.  We are so happy to be home with our new perfect infant.  They are being perfect angels, sleeping, feeding wonderfully.  We know exactly what they need and all is right in the world……okay so that lasted for about the first 10 minutes you got home.  Now your baby is crying and  its time to feed her .  You would think that I had an edge on the mommy thing being a doctor but honestly it doesn’t really help much.  If anything it makes us always think of the worst case scenario.   So when my kid began to cry for HOURS at a time I was looking for mosquitos in her crib at night, hair tourniquets, early signs of teething, until it finally dawned on me that I had a kid who had colic.  What is colic you may ask??  Colic stinks.  It sucks for the baby, it sucks for the mommy and daddy and everyone else involved.   

Colic is a frustrating condition marked by predictable periods of significant distress in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. Babies with colic often cry more than three hours a day, three days a week for three weeks or longer. The Infamous “Rule of 3s”. Nothing you do to try to help your baby during these episodes seems to bring any relief.  When the parents come to see me with their colic infants they are frustrated, sleep deprived and in need of help.

There are many supportive measures that can be used to help with colic.

The 5 S’s

The Dr Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s should be the first line to help.

Shush- this should be loud enough to be heard over the babies crying, white noise and music can be used with this also.

Swaddle- infants need to be wrapped up snug.  Many times their own limbs will wake them up from sleep. This can be done with a blanket or with the swaddling blankets with the velcro.

Side lie- also known as football hold, this works great when you are holding them on their side and you are gently swinging them at the same time.

Swing- This was my best friend. Typically works best when the child is about 4 weeks old and up.

Suck- It has been proven that pacifiers have decreased the rate of SIDS and also makes for a happier baby, but sucking will help colic also.

Carriers

mobybc-miracle-why-forward-tiny-pngOther methods that help colic babies is to wear your baby in a front carrier or sling.  The baby likes to be close and this sense of comfort instantly soothes the baby.

There are a variety of carrier options available.  Just to start with a few,  the Moby Wrap offers the wearer different configurations using the given fabric.  There may be a learning curve associated with it but the babies do love the belly to belly positioning that helps with the colic.

The Baby K’Tan is also available and is a “ready-to-wear” wrap, meaning that you do not need to buckle or wrap anything.  The double loop design goes on over your head and you adjust it for comfort. They also have videos on their website but they describe it as an easy 3 step process.

The Baby Bjorn is one of the first commercially available. It is well known and has good lower back support as the babies get bigger.

Feeding

bottlesThe best advice that I give all my patients is to not stick to your schedules so strictly.  If you think your baby is hungry but your chart says its not time yet- WHO CARES!! Feed the baby.  Many times feeding the baby will calm her down. Since we are talking about feeding I always like to look at the baby feeding during the appointment.  Many times we may need to change the bottle.  If the baby does not have a good latch on the bottle she will suck air in and that can contribute to her gassiness which can make her very fussy.

Always stop and burp your baby every 1-2 ounces during feeding.  Also feed your baby upright at about a 45 degree angle.

Homeopathic Medications

coliccalm

GW-Lineup1-OPT-min

Gripe water, Colic calm and Simethicone drops can be given for symptomatic relief.

 

 

Chamomile and Bay Leaf

If you actually look at the ingredients in the above products you will find these herbs.  I have been recommending to my patients to brew one bag of chamomile tea with a bay leaf and let it come to room temperature and it give the baby 1 oz of this during their fussiest time of day.  If your baby also suffers from contipation I have them add 1 tsp of Karo Corn Syrup to the tea which aids with the stool softening.

Massage

Gently massage the babies belly and legs.  Bring the legs back and forth bending the knees towards the belly button.  Ths promotes gas release and makes the baby more comfortable.

Warm compress

You can apply a warm heating pad over the babies onesie.  Place it on the abdomen for a few minutes.

Music

Music or white noise is very helpful for both mommy and baby.

 

Occasionally other changes may need to be made including changing the babies formula, or eliminating foods from the breastfeeding mother’s diet.  This may need to be discussed with your pediatrician.

#kidstummytroubles #moby #BabyBjorn #colic #homeopathy #BabyKtan

 

Stay Healthy and Be Well.  Let me know your thought and comments.

Helping Your Child Deal with Grief & the Death of their Pets

Duke1

In our lives, we will all experience loss.  It is part of the “circle of life”, (yup Disney reference there but we all know how Disney loves to incorporate death in the first 10 minutes of all their animated films).  However when trying to explain this to young children it can sometimes be difficult and challenging.  My girls have attended funerals before and we explained everything to them about the sadness that they will see in everyone, and all the people will be crying, etc.  But it was never anyone very close to them.  We recently experienced the loss of my kids biggest protector, playmate and even at times their largest bully- our beloved family dog Duke.  He was 11 years old and we had him prior to marriage and kids.  My husband and I joke that we always have 4 kids- our 2 girls and our 2 dogs.  Our girls grew up at times taking his presence for granted, assuming that all families had a pet and that they were treated the same as our 90 lb beautiful, playful, goofy Weimereiner.

For many children, the death of a pet will be their first exposure to death. The relationship that children build with their pets are very strong, and the death of a family pet can be very upsetting. This may also be the first time that kids see their parents truely upset and cry.  Don’t minimize its importance, or immediately replace the dead pet with a new animal. Instead, give your child time to grieve for his dog or cat.  This is an opportunity to teach your child about death in a healthy and emotionally supportive way.  There are a few things that we should know when we try to help our children through the grieving process.   At least this is what I noticed with my kids and wanted to share it, hoping others will find these techniques useful.

Duke3

Be Honest and Direct
Robin Goodman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, art therapist, and author of The Day Our World Changed: Children’s Art of 9/11, explains: “When you don’t tell the truth it makes feelings and information go underground, which is never good. Kids also get crazy ideas because they have to make up information to fill in the blanks.” She adds, though, that your child’s age and personality will determine how much information they can tolerate or process. With our daughters, the 7 yo was able to understand when I discussed with her how sick our dog was and that he was in pain and might “die soon.” I felt it important to not mask it with “go to sleep” or other variations.  However, my 4 yo understood that he was sick but did not understand the concept of death.  She was expecting him to come back home even a few weeks after, thinking he would come back from Heaven to us again.  When discussing death, never use euphemisms. Kids are extremely literal, and hearing that a loved one “went to sleep” can be scary. Besides making your child afraid of bedtime, euphemisms interfere with his opportunity to develop healthy coping skills that he will need in the future.

“Think of it as an open discussion, not a lecture,” Dr. Goodman says. “Start with some basics to open the discussion, then find out what they know and think, which will lead you to how much they need to know and any incorrect information they may have.” Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Loss and Transition in Fort Collins, CO, says, “Children can only deal with what they know, not what they don’t know.” By trusting your kids to handle the news, you send the message that they can come to you for anything.

Most young children are aware of death, even if they don’t understand it. Death is a common theme in cartoons and television ( again Disney puts it in every movie- they are always killing off a parent or family member)  and some of your child’s friends may have already lost a loved one. But experiencing grief firsthand is different and often a confusing process for kids. As a parent, we want to always protect our kids from the pain of loss, but we can’t always do that. What we can do is help them feel safe. And by allowing and encouraging him to express his feelings, you can help him build healthy coping skills that will serve him well in the future.

Duke4

Every child grieves differently

After losing a loved one, a boy may go from crying one minute to playing the next. His changeable moods do not mean that he isn’t sad or that he has finished grieving; children cope differently than adults, and playing can be a defense mechanism to prevent a child from becoming overwhelmed. It is also normal to feel depressed, guilty, anxious, or angry at who has died, or at someone else entirely.  Very young children may regress and start wetting the bed again, or slip back into baby talk.

Our family dealt with the grieving process together.  My oldest daughter was trying to be too strong.  I talked to her and told her it was okay to be sad and cry.  I also told her that we were all very sad and were going to miss Duke very much and that both Mommy and Daddy cried alot when Duke died earlier in the day.  That finally made her feel that she was allowed to cry over it, I think she was trying to be strong for her little sister.  Meanwhile, the little sister took it all very smoothly, she turned it into a joyful occasion that he was now in Heaven with Jesus.  She talked about having a guardian angel now and that he was in a very happy place.  Her happy, upbeat personality helped our family.

Encourage kids to express feelings
It’s good for kids to express whatever emotions they are feeling. There are many good children’s books about death, and reading these books together can be a great way to start a conversation with your child. Since many children aren’t able to express their emotions through words, other helpful outlets include drawing pictures, building a scrapbook, looking at photo albums, or telling stories.  We decided to look through all of the pictures we had and made a photo album of our silly doggie so that we could always remember him and look at it when we missed him.  That helped the girls tons, they were able to laugh looking at the pictures and we reminisced about all his silly antics together.

Duke Collage

Be developmentally appropriate

It is hard to know how a child will react to death, or even if she can grasp the concept. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer his questions. Very young children often don’t realize that death is permanent, and they may think that a dead loved one will come back if they do their chores and eat their vegetables. As psychiatrist Gail Saltz explains, “Children understand that death is bad, and they don’t like separation, but the concept of ‘forever’ is just not present.”

Older, school-age children understand the permanence of death, but they may still have many questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.

Another consideration with the death of pets is if you want to take your children with you if you choose to have the veterinarian help euthanize or “put your pet down.”  Base this decision on if your kids are at a developmentally appropriate age to allow them to see it.  Many children will not understand the scenario and may see it as their parents choosing to kill their pet versus to end their suffering.  This may only add to their confusion and grief when they are younger ages.

Incorporating your religious beliefs
Discussing your religious beliefs, such as heaven or an afterlife, with your kids can be very helpful to a grieving child.  Now is the time to share these beliefs.  But even if you aren’t religious you can still comfort your child with the concept that a person continues to live on in the hearts and minds of others. You can also build a scrapbook or plant something that represents the person you have lost.  My youngest daughter, 4 yo, attends catholic preschool and on her own she asked her teacher if the class could say a prayer for her dog that was now in heaven.  Even at that age and of her own accord, she chose to express her grief and find solace through our faith.  This brings up also the importance to inform all teachers and school advisors about the death so that they can help your child during the day if needed.  It’s important for their school to know why your child may be withdrawn or sad during the school day.

Duke2

Don’t ignore your own grief
Children will often imitate the grieving behavior of their parents. It is important to show your emotions as it reassures children that feeling sad or upset is okay. However, reacting explosively or uncontrollably teaches your child unhealthy ways of dealing with grief.

Stick to routines
Children find great comfort in routines, so if you need some time alone, try to find relatives or friends who can help keep your child’s life as normal as possible Although it is important to grieve over the death of a loved one, it is also important for your child to understand that life does go on.

Seeking additional help and support
If you notice that your child seems unusually upset and unable to cope with the loss, she may have something called adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorder is a serious and distressing condition that some children develop after experiencing a painful or disruptive event. It is a good idea to consult your child’s doctor if you feel that your child isn’t recovering from a loss in a healthy way.

Stay Healthy and Be Well. Please share your thoughts and comments.

#RIPDuke 3/16/16 #kidstummytroubles #Grief #mansbestfriend



Remember When Breastfeeding Was Featured On Sesame Street?

This was a great article that I read by Kristen Tea on mothering.com. Definitely makes me wonder what happened in society in the past 35 years that now makes us feel so ashamed of breastfeeding in public.

http://www.mothering.com/articles/remember-breastfeeding-featured-sesame-street/

#kidstummytroubles #breastfeeding

WHO says that childhood obesity is an ‘exploding nightmare’ in developing countries

Wanted to share this with my followers.  Please let me know your thoughts and comments.  Stay Healthy & Be Well!

 

Is it the phthalates? The early antibiotic exposure? The low levels of physical activity? Parental tolerance (or ignorance) of how much junk food kids are eating? Each has been attributed in some way to obesity, but regardless of the impact of each of these individual components, the World Healt …

Source: WHO says that childhood obesity is an ‘exploding nightmare’ in developing countries

 

#kidstummytroubles #childhoodobesity

Why Are We Painting Our Pumpkin Teal?

Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is a great time of year.  All the kids get so excited about their costumes, going to a Halloween party, marching in their school Halloween Parade and of course eating all the Halloween candy.  But what about those kids that can’t eat halloween candy.  What about them?  Many kids may have to abstain from Trick or Treating because they can not eat the candy safely.  It can be for a variety of reasons.  They may suffer from celiac disease, have a nut allergy,  diabetes, other food allergies and intolerances or they may need to follow a special diet. Why should these children not be able to enjoy the festivities?

But for many years to protect their children from a possible anaphylactic reaction or severe allergic reaction parents would keep them away from this celebrated tradition.  Then the campaign called #THETEALPUMPKINPROJECT started.

Last year I saw only 1-2 Teal pumpkins painted in my neighborhood.  It piqued everyone’s curiosity. Many just thought “oh how pretty.”  But what is the purpose?  In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)  launched a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project™.  The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!Teal Pumpkin Project

It seems a daunting task at first.  Many say, “I don’t want to be the house not giving out candy or chocolate, the kids will hate us and egg our front door!”  In reality there are many really cool fun nonfood items that you can hand out.  Kids would love to get glow sticks or glow bracelets.  They will undoubtedly put them on immediately and use them the rest of the night.  Bouncy balls, stickers, tattoos are all great options.  You can find a list of recommended Non Gift Treats here at FARE’s website.

To let the neighborhood now that you are participating in this event you can paint your pumpkin teal and also put up one of the FAREs downloadable signs on your window or front door. And YES you can still give out candy if you choose too.

Teal Pumpkin

tppprintposterthumb

 

They have some FAQ‘s on their site. Here are a few:

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

So who is going to join me this year in painting their pumpkins Teal?  Please help spread the read about this!!  Share this post and make Halloween a fun experience for every child!!

#TealPumpkinProject #KidsTummyTroubles #FARE #foodallergies

 

Breastfeeding- The Ups & Downs Told By a Kids Tummy Doc

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Breastfeeding is the recommended form of sole nutrition for babies until 6 months of age.  Once the baby starts solids it is still recommended that breastfeeding continues with the solid foods until at least 1 year of age.

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for the baby.  These include a decrease in the following:

  • chance of ear infections
  • allergies
  • respiratory illnesses
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • meningitis

The benefits of breastfeeding to the mother is:

  • Return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster
  • Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Less postpartum bleeding
  • The hormones that help with breastfeeding also make the uterus contract and helps decrease your belly size more quickly

These are the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  They have many helpful links for breastfeeding moms and many FAQs on their webpage that are very useful.  I now want to share with you my experience with breastfeeding as a “Kids Tummy Doctor.”

I see so many new moms come into me exhausted, frustrated and emotional.  I was one of these new moms with my first daughter.  It was exhausting to breastfeed her especially when my milk hadn’t come in yet fully.  She was constantly crying and hungry.  As a Peds GI doctor I should have been able to do this easily, right??  Well I guess not.  I was an emotional mess!! Eventually with taking some some herbal supplements ( I took fenugreek 3 times a day) and drinking Mothers Milk Tea to help my milk production, pumping constantly between feeds and latching her on as frequent as possible it started coming together. BUT I had to supplement her with formula due to her poor weight gain and not enough wet diapers.  As a new mom we try to write EVERYTHING down.  We keep a record of when they pee, poop, eat, burp.  We follow the rules, do what we are told to do by our doctors.

As a doctor, I tell my new moms something and I will tell you guys now, it’s okay if you have to supplement.  It’s okay if you only partially breastfeed because that is what works with your schedule and for your own sanity.  When I see moms with very apparent postpartum depression, sleep deprived and worried to switch to formula because they were told breastfeeding was the “right thing to do” I say to them that as a mom you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your baby.  I see moms who won’t take their antidepression meds because they don’t want to keep breastfeeding. PLEASE DON’T FEEL GUILTY IF YOU HAVE TO SUPPLEMENT OR STOP BREASTFEEDING!  You can still pump your milk to keep up your supply if you want to return to breastfeeding.  If you tried breastfeeding for 2 months than your baby did receive some of these valuable benefits for the first 2 months.   Please take care of yourself as a mommy so that you can take care of that beautiful, wonderful baby.

Also to those moms that are able to keep breastfeeding and pump and stock pile a freezer full of milk, YOU ROCK!  I was always so envious of you as a mom.  I honestly was breastfeeding my daughter probably for a full month every night towards the end and she would receive probably 2 oz combined from both breasts.  I knew this but didn’t want to lose that bonding that breastfeeding gives us with our babies.  Did I feel guilty when I realized that it was time to stop?  Yes.  I was so sad that I cried. In retrospect why did I feel guilty?  Why did my supply dry up?  It was most likely a combination of things.  When I went back to work when my daughter was 8 weeks old ( yup all i got off was 8 weeks; I had 6 weeks maternity leave plus my 2 weeks vacation that I saved and added on… but don’t get me started on that) I was never able to pump more than once a day during my workshifts when that timespan would cover 3 feeds, and the breastpump also never produced much milk for me.  I was supplementing with formula which can get tricky to do and still keep up with breastfeeding.  I felt guilty because I should have been able to make this work.  I am a Peds GI doctor, this is WHAT I DO!!  AGHHH!!  I was so angry with myself and what I want to say to you is that it’s okay to stop breastfeeding whenever you want.  Everyone’s situation is different.  You have to do what is right for you.   We try our best.  I paid for a private lactation consultant to come to my house, did everything and with my first baby I breastfed til 14 weeks old, with my second I was able to breastfeed til she was 7 months old.   Just because it doesn’t work perfectly with your first doesn’t mean the same scenario will happen with your other children.

Why am I telling you all this you ask??  Its because I don’t feel like enough people tell you their real stories.  They make it seem like breastfeeding will be easy.  That once you become a mommy you are supposed to automatically know how to do this. And if it doesn’t come naturally you feel like you are a bad mother.  I want you to know that it’s not easy for everyone.  It can be painful, so painful that when they latch onto your nipple it can make your toes curl.  That it is difficult and if you are able to experience this with your child even if only for a few weeks, you did awesome!!

Please, make sure you ask for help when you need it.  Call your pediatrician, they can recommend a lactation consultant if they can’t help you.  If your are feeling sad and overly depressed and emotional please go back to your OB/GYN and tell them.  You may be suffering from postpartum depression and need help.  As women, professionals and mothers please lets start to help build each other up as a society.  Share your true stories with your family and friends.  Don’t sugarcoat it, lets help each other become better moms.

#KidsTummyTroubles #Breastfeeding

When Should I Call and When Can It Wait??

Answers to Your Questions About Your Child’s Tummy Aches

littleboybellypain

It’s been a busy week for everyone.  My Facebook feed is flooded with back to school pics of their kids holding the cute back to school signs.  So of course I posted my pic also.  My oldest daughter went back last Thursday.  Here she is holding up her sign.  She started the 2nd Grade this year. She was looking forward to seeing all her friends again.  The summer was great but after multiple trips to the pool, swim lessons, music lessons, vacations and staycations I think we were all ready to start this school year.  It is a bittersweet time.  I loved spending those lazy summer days with my girls, but they DEFINITELY need to get back to school for everyone’s sake.  The amount of fights I have broken up between these 2 sweet little girls is now in the DOZENS!!  So the school grind will do them both some good.
Back to School

This is her second year in this school, she knows the principal, all her teachers from last year, this year should be a stroll in the park for her.  Yet not even one week in and I have already had 2 phone calls from the school nurse and 5 visits to the nurse’s office. Living in the Northeast, this has been a brutal week hitting temps of 90s every day, no AC in the school (except the nurses office…..hmmmm I maybe onto something here).  The classrooms are very hot, but when should I be worried??  It is way too early in the school year to start a precedent of running to pick her up with every phone call and visit to the nurse.  But my inner mommy doesn’t want to neglect her pain and leave my baby in school if she is sick.

In my practice the start of school year is a busy time, especially for kids complaining of “tummy aches.”   As a “Kids Tummy Doc” I am going to share with you when to be alarmed with your child’s complaint and when it’s ok to wait and watch before calling your doctor. 

When should I call and when can it wait??

A Guide to your Kids Tummy Aches

  • Is it only after she eats? If so I would keep a careful eye on frequency and try to keep a record of what foods cause her to have the belly ache (fatty foods, spicy foods, dairy, etc)
  • Is it when she wakes in the morning prior to school? Make note if it only occurs weekdays, if she is symptom free on weekends this may be school related and due to stress or anxiety. I recommend talking to your child about her classmates, reach out to the teacher if this occurs excessively and always ask your child about bullying.
  • Is it after physical activity? Make note of when last meal was prior to onset of pain.  Send your child to school with water daily to avoid dehydration.
  • Does the pain wake your child from a sound sleep?  If this occurs there may be some organic etiology occurring.  Call for an appointment immediately with your child’s Pediatrician or Pediatric GI
  • Is it occurring more than 2-3 times a week?  Call for an appointment with your child’s Pediatrician or Pediatric GI
  • Where is the location of your child’s pain?  Think of the stomach as having 4 sections with the belly button at the center.  Each area helps the doctor narrow down the source of your child’s pain.  An example is that most commonly pain in the Left Lower Quadrant indicates issues with stooling or bowel movements and this patient may be suffering from constipation. Make sure to ask your child where the pain is and report this to your doctor.Quadrants
  • Does the pain radiate or spread to any other areas?  Many times it may start right around or above the belly button or in the Left Upper Quadrant and can radiate up to their chest.  This indicates gastroesophageal reflux and occasionally occurs with gastritis, and YES even kids can get stomach ulcers.  This child needs medication and a strict reflux diet to be followed.  Call for an appointment with your child’s Pediatrician or Pediatric GI.
  • Does the pain improve with eating? This may indicate gastritis or possibly a gastric ulcer, contact your child’s Pediatrician or Pediatric GI.
  • Has your child lost weight since the onset of these symptoms?  Unintentional weight loss should always indicate an immediate appointment with your child’s Pediatrician or Pediatric GI. 

Children are commonly not able to completely explain their pain to us.  I usually feel like a detective trying to get info from my patients regardless if its a 4 yo or a 16 yo (but it’s way easier to get info out of the little ones than the teenagers, believe me…. the teenagers require me to go into interrogation mode).  However, if you keep a watchful eye on their symptoms and think about these questions you will definitely know when to call for that appointment.

Now that school is back and I am trying to schedule all my kids after school activities, I think to myself that I don’t want to overload their schedules. I want them to have time to focus on school work and still have playdates with friends.   As parents we all want to offer our kids the world, but what we forget sometimes is that too many activities for children can lead to stress about their school work, their inability to keep up academically and the first way they may exhibit this, before even telling mom and dad, is by having GI complaints.  Be mindful when putting together their schedules and even with your high school kids look over how many times the teams and groups they want to join meet for practices and games each week.

Please let me know your thoughts regarding today’s post.  Did I miss any questions that your kids always complain of?  Is there something you would like me to add to this list?  Leave it below. Stay Healthy & Be Well!

#KidsTummyTroubles #bellyaches #whenshouldicall #abdominalpain

Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets – Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I can not tell a lie.  My kids prefer to eat the typical toddler foods.  They love pizza, hot dogs, french fries and chicken nuggets. I had to spend ALOT of time to find a recipe for chicken nuggets that taste as good as their favorite frozen nuggets.  I played around and came up with a recipe that my kids love and that is also gluten and dairy free, YAY!  Hope you like it and let me know what you think.

Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour mixture  (may use recipe provided for Gluten free flour or coconut or almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut ( I get it from Whole Foods Markets)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper ( may substitute with regular back pepper if not available)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together and place in a large zip-lock bag.
  3. Beat the egg in a medium bowl.
  4. Add chicken to egg mixture and coat all chicken pieces with egg.
  5. Add chicken and egg mixture to the dry ingredients in bag and close.  Gently shake the bag to coat all chicken pieces with flour mixture. 
  6. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add chicken to pan.
  7. Keep moving chicken in pan until it is cooked through to a golden brown.  May need to add more coconut oil to pan as the chicken soaks up the oil.  However do not place too much oil as it will make chicken soggy and won’t allow them to brown.
  8. Allow to cool and serve.

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Sophia gives this a THUMBS UP!!  Let me know what your family thinks!!

#KidsTummyTroubles #GlutenFree #Celiac #Glutenfreeliving #GlutenfreeCoconutchickennuggets #Kidapproved

My New Fav- Fair Life Milk

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So I wanted to share with you a new product that we started drinking in our house.  Its called Fairlife milk.  My kids love drinking it and it keeps mommy and daddy happy knowing how transparent they are with their methods of filtration and dairy farming.

Directly from their website they describe their product better than I can. “.. ultra-filtered milk flows through soft filters to concentrate milk’s goodness, like protein and calcium, and filter out the sugars. That allows us to bottle only delicious, nutrient-rich ultra-filtered milk – no protein powders necessary.  Fairlife® is ultra-filtered for more natural protein and calcium that comes directly from our milk. The protein found in milk is an excellent source of energy and vitality to get you through your busy day. Calcium helps keep your bones strong. And with less sugar and no lactose, it’s a fresh source of simple nutrition you can feel good about.”

This product has more protein and less sugar than other milk products and is lactose free.  It has 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and 50% less sugar than ordinary milk, which definitely makes me smile, especially with a picky eater at home any extra nutrition source part of their every day diet is great.   They maintain their cows on dairy farms that pride themselves on finding innovative, sustainable farming practices.  They are using every resource from the farm to put back into the farm, which includes creating a biofuel that is created from the cow “poop” and then convert it into fuel to run their trucks and machinery and so much more.

It makes me happy to pick a product that is doing things the right way.  I hope you give this product a trial and let me know what you think!!

#KidsTummyTroubles #Fairlife #BelieveinBetter

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