Posts tagged with: Toddlers

Booster Seat Safety

Before you jump in the car to start your summer vacation, we want parents to make sure their children are safely buckled up in the backseat. The majority of serious injuries and fatalities for children under the age of 14 occur in the summer months due to motor vehicle collisions. With only 28 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight using booster seats, parents are putting their children at risk for serious injuries in the event of a car crash. Booster seats are required in most states for children ages 4-8 and those who have not yet reached a height of 4’9″.

I know that kids, especially as they get older, don’t like to sit in a booster seat. When my kids fought sitting in the seat I just explained to them that, I loved them too much to allow them to sit without a booster seat. They understood that and when a friend would see that they still sat in a booster seat and tease them, which happened often, my kids said, “It’s because my mommy loves me. I guess your mommy doesn’t love you very much.” This “positive” peer pressure actually led to several families in our church getting booster seats for their kids.

Some tips for using a booster seat:

– A child is ready for a booster seat when they are less than four feet
nine inches tall and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
– A booster seat lifts a child up so that the seat belt fits correctly.
Both the lap and the shoulder belt must be used and will hold the
child and the booster seat in place during a crash or sudden stop.
– There are two different types of booster seats:
A high back booster seat provides head and neck protection in cars
without head restraints and a no back booster is used in cars that
have adjustable head restraints or high seat backs.
– A child is ready for a seat belt, in the back seat when he or she is at least four feet nine inches or 80 pounds.

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related death for children. Every year, an estimated 100 children age 14 and under are killed and more than 10,000 are injured due to traffic collisions. Show your kids how much you love them. Get them a booster seat.

Toddlers=Picky Eaters

Most toddlers are picky eaters. For parents this can be a very frustrating time. We need to sit back for a moment and think about our child as a toddler and not as a mini-adult. Consider this-a toddler has just come through the fastest growth period in his life. He has probably tripled his birthweight by his first birthday. Now his metabolism is slowing down to a more normal level. Toddlers only need 1000 to 1300 calories a day and ideally that would come from a variety of foods.

In reality though, toddlers are binge eaters. They favor one type of food on Monday and on Wednesday they only want something else. Toddlers are experiencing new food colors, textures and tastes all at the same time and this can be very overwhelming. The first thing we need to focus on is instead of trying to balance their daily food intake work on aiming for a balanced week instead. If it really bothers you, keep a food log. Write down what your child eats for the entire week and see how in the end-if you have offered foods from each food group, he has balanced his intake for the week.

All of this is not to say that we shouldn’t encourage new foods and proper eating. Children should always eat sitting down; either in a high chair or at a child-sized table. Children are more comfortable sitting when their feet don’t dangle. Make sure there is a comfortable foot rest on the high chair or that their feet reach the floor or a phonebook when sitting at a small table. Minimize distractions during meal time, shut off the tv and have all children eat at the same time. Keep in mind that a toddler’s stomach is only about the size of his fist. Keep the food portions small. Usually 1/4 of a pb&j sandwich is a normal serving for a 1-2 1/2 year old. Only introduce 1 new food at a time and don’t make a big deal about it. Often lunch time is the best time to introduce new foods. Here are some hints on ways to introduce new foods.

  • Cut it up-use small, hors d’oeurvres cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes
  • Dip it or top it-toddlers love to “play” with their food. If they like ranch dressing then let them try all sorts of veggie pieces dipped in ranch. Give them yogurt to dip fruit into or a slice of their favorite cheese to roll up that new slice of meat up into.
  • Extremely picky or reluctant eaters often learn best from peers. Plan a lunch date with some friends who are good eaters. Kids are more apt to try a new food on a friend’s recommendation than a mom’s pleading.
  • If your toddler really dislikes veggies try growing some. When a child is involved in the planting, caring for and harvesting of a vegetable, he is more likely to take pride in serving and eating it too.

Due to the small size of a todler’s stomach and their high activity rate they need nutritious snacks. Like all of us though, snacks should be stopped 2 hours before meal time. For afternoon snacks it is great to use a muffin tin and place small cut up singer foods in the differents slots. You can use raw veggies, fruits, cheeses and small bits of bread and crackers. Let your child graze on the snacks, most children will eat when they need nourishment. Toddlers like to drink almost anything. You can always make a fruit or veggie smoothy for them-just no raw eggs. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in extra healthy foods without a fight.

All-in-all don’t fight with your child over food and don’t force feed. Most toddlers balance their healthy eating out over a week, as long as you are offering healthy foods everyday. If you have an extreme case and your child isn’t eating at all, for a prolonged period of time consult your pediatrician for more guidence.