Kids Stomach BugsYour child may be "healthy as a horse," as the saying goes, but horses get sick too.And kids go to school and out to restaurants,and what they eat there may not be what you would want them to eat.So you try to figure out:

  • what to offer at home
  • how to make the best of eating "out"
  • how to get more fruits or vegetables in
  • what to do if your child gets a stomach bug
  • what you can do to help her or him perform better as an athlete and as a student
  • how to prevent allergies or obesity and the problems that go with it
  • if you should give a vitamin, or iron, or a probiotic, or a prebiotic
  • the best sources for various vitamins or minerals
  • or the answers to a hundred different questions

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We don’t judge whether you have enough vitamin D just based on what you eat anymore.  In part that's because the sources of the vitamin are both sun exposure and diet.  They aren't the same every day and they really aren't the critical issue.

I enjoyed my recent opportunity to speak with a number of customers at Kroger Supermarkets when I was there signing copies of What to Feed Your Baby. Some had come because they heard my interviews at WSB (that felt particularly wonderful). And some were shoppers that had specific questions they wanted to address, with implications far beyond childhood.

For the child who

  • Rushes out of the house without time for breakfast
  • Fills up on carbs (muffins or waffles or toast) for breakfast
  • Is having trouble gaining weight • is constipated
  • Eats few fruits or vegetables
  • Needs a healthy snack after school

I have the solution-literally -- one that many kids (and adults) love. And it is so simple. Blend together:

I am amazed at how many parents tell me their children won't eat or they'll just eat a few foods --and usually those foods are breads, pasta, pizza and potatoes--maybe with a chicken nugget or a little protein or one fruit thrown in (when they're coaxed).  Some of these children are underweight-but just some.  Far more are normal size and some are actually overweight, filling up on these foods and often on sugary drinks to wash them down.

Have you ever gone to the doctor for a strep throat or pneumonia or urinary tract or intestinal infection?  Have you been hospitalized with an even worse infection?  Likely you have received treatment for one of the first group of illnesses, and hopefully not the latter.  Your doctor recommended an antibiotic, no doubt.  But a specific antibiotic, for a specific infection.  My point is: that while all antibiotics treat infections, the decision of which antibiotic should be used depends on the type of infection and its probable cause.

Our initial understanding of vitamin D grew out of the recognition that cod liver oil and sunlight could cure rickets, a disease causing bent and weakened bones. The Vitamin D from the sun and fish oils helped absorb of calcium and magnesium and in using these minerals to form teeth and remodel bones.

But recent data are beginning to suggest that vitamin D has a far broader role in preventing high blood pressure, some autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.

We know that Vitamin D is crucial in preventing rickets in the young and osteopenia (decreased bone mineralization) and osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones) with advancing age.  But we are now learning that Vitamin D seems to have an important role in immune function, high blood pressure and preventing diabetes. The problem is that it doesn't necessarily mean that the dose need to affect bone mineralization is the same dose that's needed for these other roles. 

Dr. Kristin M. Broderick, a pediatric urologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, shares her tips on when to be concerned about the possibility of kidney stones and ways to help avoid the problem -- Dr. Stan

Kidney stones are caused by a variety of reasons: frequent urinary tract infections, a blockage in the urinary system, or just "bad genes."

Serious liver injury caused by herbal dietary supplements has been rising significantly over the past 10 years, according to a review of 839 cases included in the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network by Dr. Victor J. Navarro, chair of the hepatology division at the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. And while this study was done in adults, teen athletes are often tempted to take supplements. So Dr. Jay Hochman has written about the need to insure that your doctor is aware of any supplements you or your teens are considering to ensure the supplements are not harmful--and Dr.