5 Tips for Getting Young Kids to Eat Healthier!

“Trust me, it’s good for you,” has never been a compelling enough argument to move broccoli from the fork to a toddler’s mouth. “Just try it,” doesn’t tend to yield much better results either.

At times, getting your toddler (let’s be honest, maybe even your teenager) to eat healthy feels like an uphill battle. After all, what three-year-old wants green beans when there are fruit snacks?!

At St. Thomas Medical Group, pediatricians aim to ensure toddlers and children get adequate nutrition… and for you to keep your sanity! Parents should always feel welcome to discuss diet, nutrition, and eating strategies with providers during wellness exams. Until your child’s next exam, reference these tips below from our pediatric health care team…

5 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Diet

  1. Make it fun. Presenting a plate full of veggies or unfamiliar “healthy” foods in front of a child is often a big turn-off. It’s perfectly fine to introduce new foods (you should!), and nutritious items should be a part of every meal. That being said, mealtime is not an all-or-nothing battle. Include foods your child knows and likes with every meal. Then, make the new or healthy foods that you introduce fun. Broccoli florets can come with a delicious dipping sauce, whole grain toast can be cut into small star shapes, bananas can come with peanut butter, etc.
  2. Involve your child. Children are primed to soak up new experiences. Why not give your toddler the opportunity to pick out a fruit or veggie at the grocery store? Take it home, cut it up, taste it, talk about it. Maybe they won’t like the taste of that grapefruit they selected, but they might be wowed by the brilliant ruby color and enjoy the autonomy that comes along with choosing their own special fruit. By opening up your child to the diversity of food, you’re planting seeds of curiosity, which can blossom into a willingness to explore and experiment.
  3. Be the eater you want your child to be! If you want your child to eat carrots and hummus for a snack, you can’t eat french fries and ketchup. Set an example for your child by eating nutritious foods.
  4. Get on a schedule. You are not a short order cook and the kitchen is not always open. Establish a breakfast, lunch and dinner routine with two snacks during the day. Toddlers will learn to self-regulate. If they refuse breakfast, they can catch up at lunch. While it is perfectly fine to offer options, your menu should have limited options. Finally, keep meal time under a half-hour. Don’t let meals drag out to a point that your toddler becomes fidgety and disinterested. Give the appropriate five- or ten-minute warning and then remove the remaining food, assuming your child is no longer consistently taking bites.
  5. Treats and “junk” are okay. Getting your child to eat healthier doesn’t mean you have to completely purge the pantry of sugar. When you completely forbid a food group, you risk putting that group on a pedestal and creating an increased desire for that thing! Cookies and juice are okay. As the saying goes, “All things in moderation.” Talk through why these foods are special treats and dole them out accordingly.

See a Pediatrician in Nashville Today

Find a pediatrician near you at St. Thomas Medical Group Department of Children and Adults. Please note, walk-ins are available on Saturday for established patients with acute medical concerns. (Learn more.) To schedule an appointment, call +1 (615) 301-7040 or schedule online.

Not Your Mother’s Hearing Aids… What’s New In Hearing Aid Tech

According to Miracle-Ear, one in six baby boomers (born 1946-1964) experience hearing loss. Yet only one in four of those baby boomers proactively seek help for their hearing loss.

Why do so few adults with hearing loss see their doctor about resolving this problem?

For one, the issue may be hard to acknowledge. Hearing loss can take place gradually over many years. Your ability to follow a conversation may diminish. You may begin asking others to repeat themselves more frequently. At first you don’t even think about it. Then you notice that these instances are happening increasingly often in loud environments. Perhaps you start to avoid crowded restaurants or other places where it’s difficult to hear.

There are many warning signs of hearing loss, but it may take many months or even years before people can identify those warning signs in their own selves.

Another reason why so many adults aren’t seeking out the help they need for hearing loss?

Well, let’s face it… hearing aids have a stigma for being… bulky… obvious… a sign of “old age.” The truth is, you probably talk to other people wearing hearing aids every day and don’t even realize it. And with the high decibel machines and environments we’re all exposed to on a regular basis, more people are needing hearing aids at a younger age.

The old stigma is no longer true. Today’s hearing aids aren’t your mother’s hearing aids! They’re barely noticeable – sometimes all but invisible – and high tech.

Advanced Technology, Slim Profiles

Audiologists at St. Thomas Medical Group prescribe Nashville patients with six different styles of hearing aids from brands like Phonak, Resound, Widex, Unitron, Siemens, and Starkey. Styles include:

    • Power Behind the Ear
    • Micro Behind the Ear
    • Full Shell in the Ear
    • In the Canal
    • Completely in the Canal
    • Invisible in the Canal

(See images of these styles.)

Many of these styles, such as “completely in the canal” hearing aids, are all but impossible for anyone to even detect. However, the best hearing aid isn’t necessarily the most discreet. The best hearing aid is the one that helps you boost both volume and your self-confidence!

What’s Stopping You from Exploring Your Options?

Wouldn’t you like to…

    • Enjoy following the conversation in a restaurant?
    • Listen to the television at a volume that agrees with others?
    • Hear the voices of children or grandchildren more clearly?
    • Not have to rely on closed captions?

Schedule an appointment with Nashville ENT Audiology by calling +1 (615) 292-5191. This is a risk-free appointment to learn about the absolute best technology in the hearing industry from highly educated and experienced audiologists in Nashville. What’s stopping you? Call today!

What are the Heart Attack Symptoms Unique to Women?

Eye popping, chest clutching, forward slouching exasperation… that’s what a heart attack might look like on TV. But it’s not how heart attack symptoms actually play out in many real life cases. And it’s especially not an accurate representation of how women experience heart attacks.

In fact, men and women can experience heart attack symptoms quite differently. And, by the way, heart disease isn’t just a man’s problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.”

Heart disease is responsible for one in four female deaths, and approximately the same number of men and women die from heart disease each year. Nearly two-thirds of women who die from heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

In women, heart attack symptoms may include:

  • Angina (chest pain/discomfort that may range from dull to sharp)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back. (These areas can be more common among women than men.
  • Additionally, this pain is more likely to be characterized by women as “sharp” or “burning.”)
  • Indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Note: some women may experience no symptoms at all.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately.

While chest pain is the #1 symptom for both men and women, women are more likely to experience the other pains described above, as well as shortness of breath and nausea/vomiting.

How You Can Reduce Your Risk for Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs every 43 seconds in the United States. However, you don’t have to be a victim. Talk to your internal medicine doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group about how you can manage risk factors such as diabetes, poor diet, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Risk reduction techniques may include:

  • Managing high blood pressure through diet, exercise or medication.
  • Getting tested for diabetes (if recommended by your health care provider).
  • Quitting smoking (if currently a smoker).
  • Learning and implementing healthy dietary habits.
  • Lowering stress levels.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day.

See an Internal Medicine Doctor In Nashville

Do you need a physician who will partner with you in your heart health? Meet the internal medicine providers at St. Thomas Medical Group. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call +1 (615) 297-2700. You can also request an appointment online.