Protein comes in many forms, and toddlers can get the 13 grams they need each day from beans (1/4 cup chickpeas=3 grams), eggs (1 hard-boiled egg=7 grams) and dairy (1 cup milk=8 grams). But if you want to make meat more appealing to your child, try one of these tricks from Natalia Stasenko, R.D., who specializes in family nutrition.
Little Louie is sick. His nose is stuffed up, his voice sounds strange, and when he yells “Mom!” his slobbery dog Bob thinks he’s calling for him instead. Your kid will have fun shouting out the words to Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon’s book Bob, Not Bob!: to be read as though you have the worst cold ever. It’ll also show her that catching a bug isn’t that bad when she gets to snuggle in bed and read with you. 3 to 5 years, $18
Give your kids probiotics if they have to take antibiotics.
Only one antidepressant, Prozac, is effective enough to justify being prescribed to children and adolescents, concludes a review of 34 randomized trials published in The Lancet. The meta-analysis included 14 different antidepressants and more than 5,200 kids and teens with major depression. Even so, don’t let this news make you panic. “If your child is already on an antidepressant other than Prozac and is doing well, there is no reason to change prescriptions based on this study alone,” says Ajit Jetmalani, M.D., director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, in Portland. But if your doctor is considering an antidepressant for your child, the research is worth bringing up.
Imagine a place where kids can slide down the shinbone of a giant skeleton or see how wrinkly their skin will get if they skip sunscreen or they smoke. These exhibits at the recently opened HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum, in St. Louis, are the latest examples of a new trend: teaching about science and health through interactive experiences. “I’ve heard so many kids walk away from our age-progression exhibit saying, ‘I’m never going to touch a cigarette,’” says HealthWorks! president and CEO Shannon Woodcock. A few other memorable museums where kids can learn about their body through fun, hands-on adventures:
Made from natural ingredients including shea butter, coconut oil, and colloidal oatmeal, Skinfix Kids Eczema Balm is a safe alternative to steroid cream, so you can slather away worry-free. Dermatologists recommend it, and so does Parents senior health editor Julia Edelstein, who tested it on her toddler’s stubborn eczema. After just five days of nightly post-bath use, the rash on his legs cleared up and has yet to return. $19; CVS & Target
Backyard chicken coops are earth-friendly, fun, and...full of bird poop. Now that they’re trendy, they’re also making more families sick. There were over 600 cases of Salmonella poisoning linked to backyard poultry in 2016 (more than twice as many as in 2015). Worse: About a third of those affected were under age 5. If you’re considering a coop, have your family follow these rules.
Don’t kiss or nuzzle baby chicks. Salmonella live in the chicken’s intestines and easily spread through their droppings to their feathers and feet, explains Megin Nichols, D.V.M., a veterinary epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Never wash a fresh egg. Many people don’t realize that eggs have a natural protective coating, and washing it off may actually increase the risk of contamination because the germy water can be absorbed into the egg through the shell’s pores, says Dr. Nichols. But always wash your hands after handling eggs or feeding the birds.
Chickens should be off-limits for kids under 5. Children—along with seniors and those with a suppressed immune system—are more likely to have severe (even potentially fatal) illnesses from Salmonella, which is why the CDC recommends that families with little kids keep poultry out of their backyard.
Plenty of parents rely on a humidifier to ease their kid’s congestion during cold and flu season, but using it the wrong way could do more harm than good, especially if a child has allergies, says pediatrician Dennis Cooley, M.D. Stick to these important guidelines.
of 6- to 11-year old girls get the recommended 60 minutes or more a day of exercise, according to the American Heart Association. Half of boys that age do.
Who better to lead the redesign of a baby-to-big-kid room than its color-obsessed inhabitant?
10 Quick and Easy Toddler-Meal Ideas, From Toddler