How to Set Achievable Goals for the New Year

Want to set a New Year’s Resolution that not only sounds good, but is feasible to achieve too? Goal setting is a national past time duringhow to set achievable new years goals this time of year as we reflect on what we have accomplished and what changes we can continue to make as we evolve into the person we strive to be.

The first step to success is to be realistic in terms of size and scope of the goal. No one is saying NOT to shoot for the stars and become bikini ready…just opt for bikini ready for 4th of July and not Spring Break. Setting realistic time frames will prevent a defeated attitude since you are not setting yourself up to fail.

Along with this, you need to identify realistic short-term goals that will help you to master smaller steps on your way to your larger goal. Short-term goals help to modify the long-term goal and reduce overwhelming feelings and increase accountability. For example, if you’re child wants to make a resolution to become more organized, don’t assume that by the time winter break is over they’ll be a wiz.

Create manageable short-term goals to help reach a long-term goal.  For example:

Long term goal: Become more organized Read more

Health Benefits of Hockey for Kids

Many parents often ask me about the best sport to enroll their children in during the winter time. Hockeythe health benefits of hockey always comes high on my list of recommendations. Children as young as 5 years old can participate and benefit from this total body work out.

Health Benefits of Hockey:

Endurance

Hockey is a high-intensity sport that has many cardiovascular benefits. Between bouts of running, skating, and bouts of rests, kids are participating in interval training without even realizing it. High-intensity interval training has been known to boost aerobic capacity, energy levels, and metabolism. Read more

How to Make Building a Snowman into a Speech and Language Activity

Winter 2013-2014 has arrived and it has not been afraid to show us who’s boss this year. Snow, wind, ice, and frigid temps have alreadyhow to make building a snowman a speech and language activity graced us with their presence and getting outside is not always enjoyable. While some of us are not exactly fond of the snow, the kids love it! Building a snowman is a great way to enjoy the snow with them while targeting some speech and language goals such as sequencing, categorizing, and basic concepts.

Sequencing

Before going out into the arctic tundra that is Chicago, you can print off this worksheet to talk through, or sequence, the steps of building a snowman.

  • Cut out the pictures and put them in the correct sequence in front of your child. Have him verbalize a sentence or two about the pictures. For example, “First, you roll a big snowball.” You can also give your child verbal models for extra support as needed. Read more

Infant Feeding: When Your Baby Is Turning One Year Old

Your baby is a year old- what a milestone! At this time, along with many other developmental changes you’re probably witnessing, baby is ready for some advancement at mealtimes as well.  Here are the next steps as toddlerhood begins:

At one year old, transition to cow’s milk or other milk alternative, if your baby meets the following criteria:

  • Your child does not have any growth or nutrition concerns.*Feeding your one year old
  • Your child does not have history of cow’s milk protein allergy.*
  • You are planning on weaning breastfeeding in the foreseeable future. If not, be sure that your child is getting at least 12 oz of breastmilk at scheduled times (preferably immediately after meals) daily, as well as 1-2 servings of calcium foods. Avoid allowing your child to “snack” on breastmilk at this age since it may decrease appetite for food at meals.
*In these cases, it may still be appropriate to trial cow’s milk at one year old; however, this must be under supervision of your child’s physician or dietitian.

Tips for a healthy one year old diet:

  • To transition to cow’s milk, offer 4-6 oz of milk in a cup at mealtimes. If baby is adamantly rejecting it (presumably because of the taste difference from breastmilk or formula), be patient and do not stress. Stay consistent by offering milk in a cup at meals, but fill it with mostly breastmilk or formula (whichever they are used to drinking) and add a small amount of cow’s milk (ratio of 4 oz:2 oz or even 5 oz:1oz). Every day, make the ratio a little more cow’s milk and a little less of the breastmilk or formula.
  • Limit milk to no more than 24 oz per day to ensure baby has a healthy appetite for meals.
  • Offer milk at meals and water at snack time and throughout the day as needed. There is no need for juice, and in fact, juice can fill baby up with empty calories which decreases appetite for more nutrient-dense foods.
  • Begin phasing out the bottle. Stick to cups at meals and snack times. Often the bottle is most difficult to wean when it precedes a Read more

Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician When You Suspect a Developmental Delay

Pediatricians oftentimes only have fifteen to twenty minutes with a child and family during a wellness visit.  Most of that time would bequestions to ask your pediatrician when you expect a developmental delay used to ensure the medical health of the child.  It is imperative that time also be spent on ascertaining information regarding the social, emotional, and behavioral development of the child.  I always recommend that parents bring with them a list of questions that they have regarding their child’s development.

Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician About Your Child’s Development:

  • Ask the doctor questions about his or her language development.   Is the child meeting necessary developmental milestones with regard to his or her speech and language?  Are there any concerns that might be addressed through speech and language therapy? Read more

The Hidden Benefits of Sledding

Looking for fun winter activities to do with the kids this season? Sledding is one of the easiest snow-day experiences to learn, especiallythe hidden benefits of sledding for young children. With minimal equipment required, there are numerous fitness benefits of sledding. So find the closest hilltop and take that toboggan or flying saucer for a spin!

Find the right hill:

Look for snow-covered hills right outside your home and in your neighborhood parks. Make sure the hills are easy to climb back up, without rocks, trees, or other obstructions that might make the downhill ride dangerous.  In the city, make sure you stay clear of roads or areas with cars. Read more

How I Plan to Eat this Holiday Season without the Guilt Trip

Christmas and New Year celebrations are just around the corner and we’re bound to meet old friends, families, and enjoy good food. Yes, the holidays, especially Christmas and New Year is all about home-cooked meals—those scrumptious delights we’ve been hoping for throughout the year. But, we also feel guilty after eating these foods. So, how can we have fun, eat heartily, and live healthy? In this article, I’m sharing my plans to enjoy eating during the holidays, while also keeping lean.
tips to stay healthy for the holidays

Healthy Holiday Eating Plan:

Plan #1: Always Check Ingredients

Most people think that the food that they eat is what makes them fat. However, this isn’t entirely true: there are certain substances or “hidden ingredients” that can make you fat.  In an article for Save Our Bones; writer Vivian Goldschimdt, MA, warns people of these hidden ingredients:
  • Soybean Oil
  • Yellow # 5 (a food dye)
  • Propylene glycol alginate (E405)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
These ingredients have been found to cause nausea, heart irregularities, migraine, seizures, and skin rashes. Aside from these side Read more

Holiday Tongue Twisters

Christmas is almost here! With the hectic holiday schedule, here are some festive tongue twisters to try with your kids!Holiday Tongue Twisters

 Christmas Tongue Twisters:

  • Santa stacked six singing snowmen in his sleigh.
  • Mrs. Claus counted carolers on Christmas.
  • Don’t drop the dreidel down, Danny!
  • Tiny Tim trimmed the tall tree with tinsel.
  • The thermometer thawed to thirty degrees on Thursday!
  • Comet caught a cold on Christmas!
  • Harry hung holly on the hearth for the holidays.
  • Rudolph ran around wearing a red ribbon.
Can you say them 5x fast?  Merry Christmas from North Shore Pediatric Therapy!

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Infant Feeding Series: How to Transition Your Child from Purees to More Advanced Textures

It is generally recommended to feed infants pureed foods starting at 6 months old. After a few months of sampling a variety of pureed introducing finger foodsfoods, your child will be ready for other textures. Around 9 months old, your child will develop a “pincer grasp” where they can pick up small objects with their thumb and forefinger. This fine motor skill is acquired around the same time that babies develop the oral motor skill of up-and-down chewing motions. These two skills are both very important and necessary when you think about what your baby needs to do in order to accomplish eating foods that are not pureed.
Therefore, around 9 months is a good time to introduce little finger foods and other soft textured foods. Here are some tips to make the transition:

First and foremost, a few feeding basics:

  •  Always feed your infant in high chair or other belted seat that is pulled up to the kitchen table. Read more

What to Expect After Neuropsychological Testing

The process of going through a neuropsychological evaluation can be tiring and time consuming.  This process is long-starting fromWhat to expect from neuropsychological testing concerns brought up by the teacher, sharing the information with the pediatrician, getting a referral, meeting with the neuropsychologist, having the child participate in the comprehensive evaluation, and meeting at the end for feedback.  This process may take weeks or months to fully complete.

It is important to understand that the neuropsychological evaluation is really the start of the process.

The focus of the evaluation is to provide information and diagnostic clarification about what is going on with a child’s behavior or learning.  Once the evaluation is completed, the entire process of help and change begins. Read more