Moms, Dads and Kids: Tips to Stay Healthy from the Experts

With the start of the new year, many of us are looking to improve our lifestyles. This often means not only getting healthy, but also staying healthy. Renewed with excitement, many people like to make New Year’s resolutions, but most find it hard to keep them. Studies show commitment to resolutions wanes after the first month, and even fewer people make it past six months. We’ve compiled a list of the top five tips from medical experts, to make it easy for you to identify the basics to keep everyone in the family healthy throughout the new year – no more excuses!


Stephanie Burleson, DO
Family Practice with Utica Park Clinic Glenpool/Sapulpa

  1. Most importantly, eat a healthy diet including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and be sure to include 5 servings daily, 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy daily and 3-4 ounces per serving of lean meat/protein.
  2. Get plenty of rest. At least 6-8 hours of sleep each night is recommended.
  3. Get moving! Routine exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, improves sleep, decreases stress and increases energy overall.
  4. Get a check-up. Preventative maintenance is very important. A yearly physical with a breast exam and pap smear is recommended. Other exams, depending on age, include a mammogram, colonoscopy and bone density scan. Be sure to take a multivitamin and calcium with vitamin D.
  5. Use sunscreen routinely. Sun damage begins early and is cumulative. Cover your face, neck and arms with at least SPF 15 on a daily basis. Check for abnormal skin lesions.


Pat Bolding, M.D.
Warren Clinic Family Medicine Physicians

  1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. You will be more productive, happier and live longer.
  2. Take 2000 IU of Vitamin D every day. It helps your bones, muscles, heart, brain and immune system.
  3. Exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Walk, run, cycle, swim, climb stairs – any choice works.
  4. Get the weight down. Keep it off. Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, fish and share a little red wine.
  5. Don’t use tobacco – at all! This includes no smoking, dipping or chewing.
    family health-NoSmoking.jpg


Michael Lee Chang, M.D.
Warren Clinic Pediatric Infectious Disease

  1. Wash your hands. Teach children to wash their hands for the length of the “alphabet song,” especially after using the bathroom or blowing their noses. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work, but only if hands air dry.
  2. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. This keeps the germs off hands.
  3. Make sure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date, especially influenza. Parents and grandparents should make sure their vaccinations such as tetanus boosters, pertussis and pneumococcal are also up to date. This helps protect the children around you from disease.
  4. Get enough sleep. Being sleep deprived can suppress your immune system. Make sure that your child is getting enough sleep – especially teenagers! According to the National Sleep Foundation, preschoolers (3 to 5 years-old) need 11-13 hours of sleep, while school-aged children up to age 12 need approximately 10-11 hours of sleep. Teens need at least 9 hours every night.
  5. Quit smoking. Second- and third-hand smoke can damage the respiratory tissue and make it easier for children to get viral and bacterial infections, including pneumonia, ear infections and sinusitis.

When to Head to the Emergency Room

family health-emergency.jpg
Here are some common reasons to bypass the doctor’s office and head straight to an Emergency Room or Emergency Department.

by Ethan Warlick, M.D., Medical Director for the Pediatric Emergency Center at Saint Francis

  • Difficulty breathing, or choking.
  • A large burn, especially one that involves the hands, feet, groin, chest or face.
  • Sudden neck stiffness, along with a rash and a fever.
  • Loss of consciousness, confusion, headache or vomiting after a head injury.
  • Experiencing persistent vomiting and also no urine output for over eight hours.
  • Accident or fall and refusing to use or move an arm or leg.
  • Symptoms that your parental instincts are telling you need immediate attention. Call your pediatrician first if you need a confirmation from a health professional.

Physical Fitness

Monique Washington, B.S.
St. John Siegfried Health Club Certified Personal Trainer

  1. Start slow! If it has been awhile since you’ve had any physical activity, don’t go from zero activity to exercising seven days a week. More than likely, you’ll burn out.
  2. Listen to your body! If you experience pain while exercising, stop. Try a different exercise that yields the same results. If your knees are bothering you when you run, hop on a bike instead.
  3. Incorporate weight training. The benefits to weight training are endless. It increases the metabolism, increases strength, increases bone density, improves body composition and improves flexibility, just to name a few.
  4. Increase your water intake. This is a vital part of any fitness program. True health cannot occur without proper hydration of the body. Water cleanses your body from pollutants and toxins, helps lubricate the joints, and is required for everyday functions including energy production, muscle building and fat burning.
  5. Make it FUN! If you enjoy working out, then you will be more likely to stick with your exercise program. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, and you don’t have to be confined to a gym to get a good workout. Take a family walk around the neighborhood or challenge a friend to a tennis match.


Suzanne Forsberg, RD/LD, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator
St. John Medical Center Healthy Lifestyles Program

  1. Follow the new “added sugar” guidelines (see below).
  2. Eat more vegetables (3-4 servings daily).
  3. Drink mostly water daily (use fresh lemon, lime, orange, or ginger-root for flavor).
  4. Plan all three meals (add protein to breakfast, pack lunches, plan all dinners).
  5. Eat dinner at home six days a week (Think Lean, Clean and Colorful).
    • Lean: lower fat versions.
    • Clean: limit pre-packaged foods, preservatives, food colorings, and chemicals.
    • Colorful: eat all the colors of the rainbow daily for essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

New Added Sugar Guidelines:

37 grams of added sugar daily (150 calories for men).
25 grams of added sugar daily (100 calories for women).
This would be equivalent to approximately one 12 oz. can of soda for a man and approximately 8 oz. (1 cup) of soda for a woman. If sugar is listed in the first five ingredients on the food label, you must count the grams of sugar toward your added sugar. If you want to eat more sugar, you must exercise more!

Healthy Snack Tips

Suzanne Forsberg, RD/LD, St. John Medical Center

Try to keep snacks between:
100-125 calories
15 grams of total carbohydrates, < 5 grams added sugar.
Less than 5 grams of fat

Snack Ideas for Kids

8 Kashi Autumn Wheat Cinnamon Squares dipped in 1 T peanut butter.
Baked apple sliced with cinnamon and spray butter (microwave).
1/3 c frozen peas and 1/4 c frozen corn layered in a clear parfait cup.
Cut a “pumpkin” face in a fresh apple.

Snack Recipes

  • Back Packer – 1/2 whole wheat mini bagel, spread with peanut butter, add 1 sliced apple ring, drizzle it with honey, sprinkle Fiber One cereal on top and enjoy the crunch.
  • Coconut Colada – 1/2 cup FAGE Total 0% plain yogurt, add 1/4 cup crushed pineapple and 2 drops of coconut extract. Mix well and enjoy.
  • Cheese Crunchy – 1 apple cinnamon rice cake and 1 laughing cow cheese chunk. Place cheese on top of rice cake and melt in the microwave 15-30 seconds.
  • Peanut Butter POWER Balls – 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey. Mix well. Add 1/4 cup powdered milk and 2 T wheat germ. Roll into balls and then roll into a bowl of wheat germ to coat. Refrigerate.
  • Healthy Applesauce – Mix 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 T raw oatmeal and 1 T ground nuts into 1/2 cup natural applesauce.
  • Chocolate Monkey – slice 1/2 banana on a small plate. Drizzle with Hershey’s syrup, add 2 tsp chopped pecans and freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Eat frozen.

How Much Is a Serving?

For adults:

• 1 piece of fruit (the size of a tennis ball)
• 1/2 cup cut up fruit, raw, cooked, frozen, or canned (looks like 7 cotton balls)
• 1/4 cup dried fruit
• 3/4 cup 100% fruit juice

• 1/2 cup cut up veggie, raw, cooked, frozen, or canned (looks like the bulb part of a light bulb)* * 1/2 cup cooked, canned or frozen legumes
• 1 cup leafy greens
• 3/4 cup 100% vegetable juice

Meat, chicken, or fish
• 3 ounces (looks like a deck of cards or a checkbook)
• 1 egg

• 1oz. of cheese (1 oz. looks like 2, 9-volt batteries)
• 1/2 cup ice cream, cottage cheese or pudding
• 1 cup milk or yogurt

• 1/3 cup (a small handful)
• 1 tbsp nut butter (size of both your thumbs)

Serving Sizes for Kids

Kids 4-6: 6 servings daily
Kids 6-11: 5-7 servings daily
Serving suggestions for bread, rice or cereal:
1 slice whole-grain bread (1 oz)
1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal

Kids 4-6: 3 servings daily
Kids 6-11: 4-6 servings daily
Serving suggestions:
1/2 cup raw or cooked vegetables
(a variety of colors)
1 cup leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach)
1/2 cup legumes
This group includes beans, starches, and legumes.

Kids 4-6: 2 servings daily
Kids 6-11: 3-4 servings daily
Serving suggestions:
3/4 cup 100% fruit juice
1/2 cup fruit (chopped, fresh, or canned)

Kids 4-6: 2 servings daily
Kids 6-11: 3 servings daily
Serving suggestions:
1 cup whole milk (after age 3, skim milk)
1 1/2 oz. sliced cheese (natural) or 2 oz. (processed)

Kids 4-6: 2 servings daily
Kids 6-11: 5-6 servings daily
Serving suggestions:
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2-3 oz. cooked lean meat or skinless poultry
2-3 oz. fish
1/2 cup cooked dried beans
1 medium-sized egg

Categories: Health, Health (Departments)