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    4 Tips for Healthier Kids

    As a pediatrician, you know better than anyone how to advocate for healthier children. Now that it’s National Children’s Health Month, we pulled together some board pearls from our Pediatrics Core as a quick reminder of ways you can influence your patient’s lives forever!

    Healthy, balanced diet

    Emphasize with caregivers that for normal growth and development, nutrition is key. Specifically, children >1 year of age should eat a variety of foods from the 5 major food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. Also advise parents to keep their child’s sugar intake to moderate levels. 

    The required amount of nutrients varies, depending on age and sex. Here's a chart from our 10th Pediatrics Core.


    pediatrics boards core books

    Daily Nutritional Requirements chart from 10th Edition Pediatrics Core

    Go outside

    What your patients' parents might not know is that outdoor play has been extensively documented as beneficial for the development, health, and general well-being of children. In a world where so much time revolves around screens, consider ways to arm parents with what they need to get their kids outside.

    Three great tips include:

    1. Do things they’re into. If they like to watch football, maybe they’d like a ball to toss around. Have an avid reader? Set up a cozy outdoor space to soak up some sun while escaping to Hogwarts. 
    2. Go outside with them. The family that plays together, stays together! So not only does this idea get kids outside, but playing as a family reinforces that ever-important family bond.  
    3. Plan outdoor playdates. Whether parents invite other children to their home to play outside or plan to meet-up at a park, kids find it easier to have fun with their buddies—we all do! 

    Plus, it's important to remember that obesity rates have more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 35 years. 1 out of 3 children and adolescents are either obese or overweight. So one great way to help combat obesity is telling parents the importance of outside activities like the above!

    Oral health

    You may recall from your studies that it’s preferable for all children to have their first dental visit at or near 1 year of age. Not all parents are aware of this. 

    Another good reminder for parents: Teeth should be brushed twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste starting at tooth eruption. 

    Other frequent oral health concerns revolve around teething in young children. Ways to lessen pain and soothe angry gums include:

    • Firm objects to chew on
    • Cold (but not frozen) items
    • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed


    As a pediatrician, there are several topics you must know very well—one of the most important is everything and anything about vaccines. Three immunization pearls to help your patients be even healthier include:

    1. Routine and “catch-up” immunization schedules
    2. Differentiating live vs. inactivated vaccines
    3. Vaccine adverse effects and contraindications

    10th Peds Core Flipping with Background ColorLooking for more ways to keep pediatric patients healthy? Much of the above info is from the Core, which is an incredible resource. Get your copy of the printed or online Core and efficiently review every topic on ABP/AOBP boards while enjoying our crisp, conversational writing style.

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