Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI

How to Keep Kids Active this Winter from Board-Certified Pediatrician Dr. Cherie Chu

December 14, 2021 Moms Meet and KIWI magazine Season 2 Episode 6
Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI
How to Keep Kids Active this Winter from Board-Certified Pediatrician Dr. Cherie Chu
Show Notes Transcript

Keeping kids active and engaged can be a challenge, especially during the winter months in the snowier, colder parts of the world. Making sure your kids get the daily exercise they need is crucial to support their health and development. Hear from board-certified pediatrician Dr. Cherie Chu about her recommendations on this and more. She shares how to keep kids active year-round, the importance of exercise at every age, and how to instill lifelong healthy habits to help kids grow and thrive.

Lindsey:

Welcome to raising healthy families with Moms Meet and KIWI. We're giving you the tools to enjoy the beauty and chaos of life with little ones in the healthiest way possible. Hi everyone I'm Lindsay Klinger-O'Donnell one of your Raising Healthy Families hosts. Making sure your kids stay active at any age is important to support their health and development. During the winter months, especially in some snowy or colder parts of the country. It can be a challenge to keep kids activity levels up. Today hear from board certified pediatrician Cherie Chu about how you can keep your kids active all year round and instill lifelong healthy habits to help them grow and thrive. This episode is brought to you in part by Else Nutrition. When it comes to your kids nutrition you shouldn't have to compromise unhealthy or flavor. packed with protein carbs, healthy fats and over 20 essential nutrients kids need Else Nutrition Plant Powered Complete Nutrition Shake Mixes for Kids offer good clean fuel for growing, available in two flavors, dreamy chocolate and creamy vanilla. Their organic protein powder shake mix for kids is mom, pediatrician and kid approved. Learn more at elsenutrition.com. Today we're joined by Dr. Cherie Chu, a Board Certified pediatrician and certified diplomate of lifestyle medicine. She currently practices pediatrics in a multi specialty medical group in San Diego. She incorporates her knowledge of lifestyle medicine into her daily interactions with her pediatric patients and their families. She is also the founder of the website wellness pediatrician, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Thank you, Lindsey. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

Lindsey:

Absolutely. So as a mom, I know that finding things to keep our kids occupied in the winter can be tricky, especially when it's cold and snowy or rainy outside. So I know I find this to be true especially for myself, I have an almost an eight month old and I have a four and a half year old. So it's tough because you know, you want to keep the younger one bundled up, but you want to give the older ones something to do and and kind of burn off some of her her energy. So I'm very excited to chat with you today. And pick your brain just about why this is important and learn any tips that you have for us. Sounds great to start, I'd love to hear more about what it means to be assertive to be certified in lifestyle medicine. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and why you chose this

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Sure. So lifestyle medicine is an field? evidence based approach to health. And it focuses on six main areas of lifestyle. So that is nutrition, which is specifically more of a whole food plant predominant diet, physical activity, which we'll talk about today, restorative sleep, stress management, having positive social connections and then avoiding risky substances. So what we're finding is that when we optimize these six areas of life, it can really do a whole lot to keep us healthy, both as a child and into adulthood as well. So I said you certified that you do it through the American Board of lifestyle medicine, also affiliate with the American College of lifestyle medicine and involves doing some additional studies on top of what I do for my primary specialty, which is pediatrics. And then you take a board exam and you have to maintain certification.

Lindsey:

Okay, great. All right. Can you also tell us why it's important to teach kids to stay active, starting at a younger age? Just specifically, you know, getting getting their right foot forward, as it were, like, just, you know, getting the right start?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah, well, you know, there are numerous health benefits to being physically active, even from early childhood. And it ranges really from what you would think is most obvious, like our bone and your muscle strength, but also for brain development helps with sleeping better. In addition, like behavior, attention, mood are all better when you're getting like good physical activity. So it's important even for infants to get some physical activity.

Lindsey:

Yeah, as a mom of two with a four year old and eight month old, I realized that it's important for even my youngest to be getting out and getting physical activity in any season. I also realized that my kids should be getting different types of exercise based on their ages. And what are the different types of exercises that kids should be getting each week? Can you Is there a category of categorization of that that you could go into?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Okay, yeah, so there's there's several different types of exercise, we're looking at aerobic exercise. So that's things that kind of get your heart rate pumping, and specifically both moderate and vigorous activity. So moderate activity is like you're exercising enough that you can can still sing, but you couldn't talk and then vigorous like you couldn't talk or sing. So you're looking at aerobic exercise. You're also looking for bone strengthening exercises and muscle strength and exercises. So bone strengthening would Anything that creates a load on the bone. So jumping, for example, would be like a bone strengthening exercise. And then muscle strengthening is anything that creates resistance. So like climbing, climbing a jungle gym, for example, or things that would increase your muscle strength, and would be muscle strengthening.

Lindsey:

Oh, that's really interesting. I really never thought about it in that way before. You think about exercise, but you don't always think about the different types of exercise and in that way. So can you also go into kind of how much exercise kids should be getting? And is there a specific amount of time each day that we should aim for our children to reach?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah, so that varies by age. And so for a child who's under one, we're looking at putting them on the floor several times throughout the day, there's not a specific guideline for time, but just as much as you can, when they're awake, put them on the floor for tummy time. And eventually, it's going to be more than that when Sir crawling around. And then for a one to four year old, we recommend at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, which really looks like unstructured play. But really, we're looking for more than that, like, if you can get several hours a day would be even better. And then we would like to see at least 30 minutes of that time being more structured play led by an adult. And then for a child who's five and older, we'd like for them to do 60 minutes of exercise every day. moderate to vigorous and so three days should include vigorous activity. Three should include bone strengthening activities, and then three days should include muscle strengthening activities.

Lindsey:

Okay, great. Thank you. And then are there different suggestions that you have for younger kids, especially during like the toddler age?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah, well, their their exercise really is going to be play. And you know, play is just so important for our brain development. They've done studies with like rats and deprive them play of play. And so what they found is those rats had like decrease in problem solving skills, they had decrease maturity of their prefrontal cortex, which is like the thinking part of the brain. And then they were also less socially active. So we know for children, that playing leads to improvements in executive functioning, and how they think basically, also their attention levels or problem solving skills. And it actually can be protective against stress.

Lindsey:

Well, yeah, that's really important. I know, with my four year old in particular, I can tell when she hasn't had enough exercise or been outside enough, like I can tell by her mood, you know, when she hasn't had that play time. The next question I have is, you know, with childhood obesity really being on the rise in the United States, especially since the start of the pandemic, can you tell us more about what physical literacy means and why it's very important to teach it?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Physical literacy, like reading literacy are basically the skills like the physical skills that you want your child to learn. And so these skills will build as they get older. And so for like a baby, you'll, their physical literacy skills will be things like rolling and crawling, and eventually, as they get older things like catching a ball. But the importance of this is that there are studies that show that having good physical literacy is associated with being and staying physically active as an adult, which we know can decrease your rate of cardiovascular disease, your risk of obesity, and so really like getting your child set up with good physical literacy skills as a child, it sets them up for life for being at a better place and more higher likelihood of being physically active and staying healthy as an adult.

Lindsey:

Yeah, so that is really important for kids to be active. So just branching off of that, why are routines so important? And how can they help kids stay active every day?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, I think that if you don't include physical activity as part of like your daily routine, it can be hard to plan to put it in, and so it doesn't become a priority. So I think the routine is probably more for parents and for kids, because they very naturally want to be active. But when we're just busy with our lives, we're, you know, plantings, nap times and planning, going grocery store and planning everything else, sometimes physical activity can go to the wayside. So if you put it in your schedule like this is when we are going to go to the park, for example, then you're more likely to do it.

Lindsey:

Yeah definitely. Just make it part of the day. And no question just, yeah, part of the routine. And then how can screen time play a role in kids activity levels?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, screen time. Obviously, when you are on a screen, you're not moving for the most part, unless you're on a specific video game. That's her movement. But for the most part, most activities that kids are doing the screen are very passive. And so we're sitting or absorbing whichever on the screen. And so it takes away from the time that kids are spending doing things that are physically active, and that has a huge impact on health. And we saw a big rise in childhood obesity rates during the pandemic, kids were spending significantly more time than what the recommended amount of screen time less than two hours a day. And for good reason, because they were doing school on the screen. Parents were working from home and they there was not much else for the kids to do. So definitely not faulting anybody for that. But that's just the nature of what happened. But the good news is what I'm seeing, at least in my practice, is that now that kids are back in school, I'm actually seeing those kids whose like weight BMI is had increased during the pandemic starting to come down in some cases, which is great.

Lindsey:

That is great. We've talked a lot about screentime, and Moms Meet before and how it can impact our kids. So it's definitely something to be aware of, especially during the winter. It's something we're all very aware of. But it's such great news to hear that things are starting to get better and kind of turn around for our kids and our families. So another question is, why is it important for kids to stay active during the winter time?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, we as we need physical activity in the summer, we also need it in the winter. So it's year round, we need that those kids need those 60 minutes of physical activity every day. It's just, it's difficult, more difficult in winter, because our perception is that there's more barriers, because, you know, we often assume physical activities, the things that kids are doing, like on sports teams, for example, that don't always run as much in the wintertime. So I think sometimes it's overcoming that barrier of, can I still be active in the winter? Because you can't be you just have to think, you know, take extra steps to think about how you're going to do it.

Lindsey:

Yeah, yeah. So I feel like, a lot of times, it's hard because I have two, and so it's getting outside when you have two kids, and you have to get both of them ready. And I'm reminded of a Christmas story with the little boy in his snow suit that he can't put his arms down. And as soon as you get them all dressed, they have to go to the bathroom or something like that. So it's hard just kind of, to get two kids out the door and get them dressed appropriately and that kind of thing. But you feel so much better when you do actually get outside and get that activity in. And it's just as important for parents and adults to stay active in the winter as well. Right?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

All year round, right? Yeah, we absolutely we need to fill our cups so that we can be as effective parents as possible. And that's not always the easiest thing to do. And I'll tell you firsthand that that is one of my biggest struggles as a working mom to figure out when am I going to stay active, but adults need not quite as much physical activity as kids, but still 30 minutes, five days a week of moderate physical activity. And we want to also include into physical activity, some muscle strengthening exercises, so it doesn't have to be divided 30 minutes, five days a week, like if you could do 150 minutes all in one day if you wanted to, because 150 minutes per week is the recommended amount of time. Now if you're short on time, if you have the time to do vigorous physical activities, remember, that means you're out of breath that you couldn't sing or you couldn't talk when you're choosing that number of how much exercise you need, actually is half of that. So like 75 minutes per week. So that's a way to kind of cut down if you're short on time.

Lindsey:

Yeah, great. So, as you've said, it's really important for parents and adults to kind of model for their children to stay active, just to set a good example. But what are some of your suggestions for how to keep ourselves kind of motivated, especially with busy schedules, fewer daylight, daylight hours, you know, post daylight savings? You know, and just just these these shorter days, if you will, like shorter daylight hours?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah. Well, I mean, I think where I would start is to start with your why, like, why, why do you want to be physically active, right? And everyone's Why is going to be different. But I'll tell you, like, for example, for me, I have to so one is I've noticed that when I stay physically active, I'm much more effective and efficient at work like so I try to go for a walk with one of my co workers at lunch when we when we can make the time to do so. And I noticed that my afternoon is a little bit more smooth, because I'm just a little bit thinking better and more sharp when I'm when I've exercised at lunch. And the other thing for me is just I know that physical activity can help keep me healthy. And having been someone who lost I lost my mom right before my kids were born. And I don't want that same. Thank you. But you

Lindsey:

I'm sorry to hear that. know, I don't want to have my kids go, it's the same thing. And so, for me, a big driver is like I want to keep myself healthy and and knowing that even you know, whatever your genetics are, that put you at higher risk for certain diseases. It's really your lifestyle that pulls that trigger whether those genes turn on and so like physical activity is a big part along with the other pillars of lifestyle medicine, but that's awesome either way. But I think the other thing is when you're someone who's really short on time, like think about how can you incorporate physical activity into things that you normally do anyway? Right. So like, for example, if you're going to go to the grocery store, like could you park farther, and that means you're walking further to get into the grocery stores. If you are going to believe that has several floors, could you take the stairs into the elevator so you it's something that you have to do anyway, it's part of your routine day. But can we make it more active? Something else I've done it, I requested a standing desk at work. And so I can stand when I do my work. And again, that's just it's something it's, it's not going to the gym, but it's something. But I think also, you know, if you are home with the kids, like, plan, think about some ways that you can strategize to exercise with your kids. And so that they get exercise and you do too. So like, for example, like my kids, like my kids, and my family and I we like to go hiking. And so I and that's it to give you some background like I am not a outdoorsy person. I consider myself so... Yeah, I can relate to that for sure.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

So like, I'm not some like avid hiker who's like doing all this stuff. But it during the pandemic, we picked this up. And it's been really fun. And my kids really enjoy it. It gets us all out in nature, which we know nature's good for prevention of or can actually help with, like depression and anxiety. And so we use an app called All Trails. I'm not sure if you've heard of it before, right? Yes, trails. And it's kind of like Yelp for hiking trails. So very cool. Yeah, all rated, you'll get driving directions right from the app. And then the cool thing is, there's a map in the app that you can like see yourself on GPS, like where you are on the trail. So if you hit like a fork in the road or fork in the trail, you can tell which way you're supposed to go. And for me who that doesn't have doesn't have like the confidence that I'm going hiking, like having that map is really crucial to be confident to go hiking.

Lindsey:

Well I do not have a sense of direction to so that would help me Yeah.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Another one I like to do with my kids, is I have a subscription to the peloton digital, like you don't have to have the bike to have the digital app. And they have a family series within the app. So there's specific exercises that are actually you know, programs, specifically for kids. And so like one that my kids and I like to do are the yoga one for by Kristin McGee. And it's fun because she makes it into little stories. So you're doing like the regular yoga moves, but it's actually a kid story. So it just makes it fun. That's sounding and I guess the last thing that I would suggest is maybe making exercise your me time and like making your pre arrangement if you have a partner at home, to say like, Hey, I need these 30 minutes exercise and it could be the time that you're using to refill your cup. And you can tell your kids like mommy needs 30 minutes to to make my heart healthy. Right. And I think kids will understand that.

Lindsey:

Definitely. Yeah, I mean, that's, that's one thing that I find, just with myself, you know, kind of being a few months postpartum, and then just trying to make that time and fit that in. But yeah, if you get if you get some, some, you know, help from your partner, just to kind of, you know, share that load. And then you're also kind of modeling that for your children like this is this is for me, and this is something I'm doing to keep myself healthy. So just encouraging them to do that as well.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah, right. I think creating those boundaries is important. Because otherwise, you know, there's a whole mom guilt thing, like you feel like you have to spend 100% of your time with your family, like if you're at home with them all the time, like, and so, but I think that it's good modeling for them to know that, hey, mom's taking care of herself. Like that's a good, good example to show them for as they grow older.

Lindsey:

Yeah, definitely. And you also you mentioned the virtual yoga class that you that you take. So what are some other activities that kids can do inside during the winter months to stay active?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

So I mean, I think that you can think about dividing into different categories like things that you can do in the home and then things you can do there indoors, but outside the home. So let's start within the home. When I love, especially for little kids is family dance party, like you could put on some music or maybe as you're like preparing dinner, like you could just put on some music and dance. And that's great for everyone to get exercise. Another one that's great for little kids is the cleanup game. So, you know, you put a timer on, like how could you can get this room clean and everyone has to put the toys away right? So it gets to kill two birds with one stone.

Lindsey:

Whether they call it like the five minutes sweep, like there's the cleanup game cleanup song. I love that.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah. But then of course, there's things like the video exercise, which I don't have a ton of familiarity with, but like, there's the Xbox Kinect and then there's like the old Wii system. So these video games are designed to keep you active. So there's the things inside the home and then outside the home. Things like going to a gym or your local YMCA. If there's maybe an indoor pool in your community. We enjoy going rock to rock climbing gyms are pretty fun. for kids. And then, of course, there's like bullying or ice skating, those are all indoor activities that you could do.

Lindsey:

When our kids are at like other people's homes, how can we encourage them to get their activities in? When they're there? Like, maybe they're not necessarily with us, but they're at someone else's home? How can we encourage them to stay active?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, I think um, maybe if he if it's like a daycare type situation, like maybe like a home daycare, we'll say versus like a group daycare situation that I would probably speak with the caregiver about, like, what you are requesting, as far as limits for screen time, screen time. So we want to limit to less than two hours a day. And so outside that time, I think kids naturally will end up being active because they're like, Well, I can't have the screen on what can I do, I think maybe going to that play space with different like tools to say active like bringing jump rope over there, maybe bring the ball over there, or something like that might be a way to encourage them to be active when they're not in your actual home.

Lindsey:

Yeah, that's a great suggestion. And then should we encouraged our kids to get outside in the winter, even when it's cold and snowy? So for example, as I've said, I have, you know, an eight month old and a four and a half year old, so to varying ages and different activity levels. And I'm always concerned about you know, bundling up the baby and making sure she's not cold. And trying to just keep the coat on my toddler is actually can, you know, my four and a half year old, so she can, you know, be out there. But so I guess yeah, just how, how would you? What would you suggest for encouraging our kids to be active outside, but while kind of those, those winter months are kind of harsh in the snow and cold?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah. Well, you know, I had a little help on this one, because as you might know, I practice in San Diego. So this doesn't come up as much for me in my personal. But I did crowdsource help from my pediatrician, friends who live in colder areas, one of them being Dr. Yami, which I who I know you guys know. Yes. So this is actually from her. So she said, really think about what you're, it's kind of about mindset, because if you decide that I'm going to be physically active every day, no matter the weather, then you'll make it happen. Right. And so I mean, I think the key thing with exercising in the cold is making sure that you dress in layers. And so that, you know, as you get warmer, as your child gets warmer, as they get more active, they can peel off the layers, may your child's wants to take off her coat, because she's actually hot, she's been running around, right. And then a general rule for little kids like I would say babies and toddlers is that they should be wearing one additional layer aside from like, what you would feel comfortable wearing. Because it's true, like little kids are a little bit more susceptible to frostbite because of their age in their body surface area. So we have to be little bit more careful with the younger kids. But in general, like the pediatricians I crowdsources said that it is definitely something to encourage to go outside and play even when it's cold outside. I mean, I think if we're talking really cold, like sub zero temperatures, you have to deliver them are careful about how much time you spend outside. But again, like in general, if you're wearing the right equipment, right clothing, it can be done. And I think just being aware of like what the signs of frostbite are. And so we avoid things like hypothermia is important. But I think for sure, it's a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about this one because it you know, maybe depends on your specific situation, your child's specific health, you know, underlying health issues. That advice might be different. But I think as a general rule, it is it's encouraged to go play outside when it's cool.

Lindsey:

Yeah. Great. Yeah, absolutely. So what are some activities that we can do with our children outside in the winter months, especially in the snow?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

So there are some fun things that you can do including like making a snowman or building a snow maze. Having a snowball fight for those for those of like like little kids can have fun doing they're just like playing the snow is fun, right? And then I think there's maybe some more directed activities like skiing, snowboarding sledding, now for those last three make sure your kids are wearing a helmet that's really important. And then snow like doing snow shoes, fucking snow shoes, never done, but I find it I want to try. And then one thing I just read about that I've never tried I think suit sounds fun is blowing bubbles when it's freezing outside because apparently the bubbles will freeze. That seems like it's kind of fun.

Lindsey:

Wow. And also just really educational to like kind of a science experiment as well. Very cool. Yeah.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Anything that turns educational is super fun, right?

Lindsey:

Yeah, I remember last winter that was one of my older daughter's favorite things to do was go outside. It's snowed quite a bit in South Jersey and yeah, we would make snow angels she loved making, you know, snow people in the in the front yard and so yeah, definitely a lot of fun. and activities to be had so fun. So have you heard of the trend and a few European countries where they leave their babies outside? So I think it's Sweden, Norway and Finland that they do this. But I'm just curious if you've heard of this and what your thoughts are on this.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

I haven't heard about that trend. Although I heard of some preschools in United States actually, like nature preschools where their entire days spent outdoors, which I think is beautiful and great.

Lindsey:

Yeah, it really is. It's like, it's really very connected to nature. And just Yeah, it's really, really interesting. lifestyle or, you know, habit and way to be.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

So yeah, I think it's, I don't see anything wrong with it, I think that you do want to wear proper sun protection. If you're outdoors, especially for long periods of time. Even in the winter, right, it's important to have some luck, because it can be even more of a risk to get sunburn from the like reflection of the light from the snow. So that's important thing to remember to wear sunblock. But on the on the flip side wearing sunblock does impact your ability to make vitamin D. Right. So you got to balance those two things out.

Lindsey:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So yeah, you touched on this as well. So why is vitamin D so important for children as well?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, by way, these aren't for everybody, but we need it for bone health. And kids who don't get enough vitamin D are at risk for some bone mineralization disorders. So specifically like Ricketts or osteomalacia. So there are associations of vitamin D to adolescents to other things, including like mood and upper respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and cavities, which I just learned this. But they have not been able to find a causal relationship or where like you could therapists therapeutically use vitamin D to prevent these issues. But I think this definitely more research needs to be done. So I think that there's we're learning right now that there's other roles right, but the main one really is for bone health. And we need vitamin D to absorb calcium.

Lindsey:

Okay, all right. So how can we make sure that we're our kids are getting enough of it? You know, exposure to being outside? is definitely number one. But are there specific foods that we should make sure that they're getting and make sure they eat? Especially for you know, my four and a half year old is such a picky eater. So are there there there tips for that?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Well, probably the most reliable way to get the vitamin D is to give your child a supplement, because I think that the the specific foods that contain vitamin D, which I'll talk about in a sec, may not always be part of what your child wants to eat, as you mentioned, right. And so that and the other thing is like getting it from sunlight, which is great. You have, there's also some limitations to that. So I'll get to that in a sec. So first off, let's talk about like how much vitamin D doing aid. So for an infant, so a child under one, they need 400 iu or international units a day. And then children one up, need 600 iu a day. And so to get that you have to do a combination, or maybe or just a supplement, whatever you decide to do to get that. So again, the supplements probably the most reliable because you know exactly what's going in. But let's say we want to do it through diet. Well, the most vitamin D rich foods would be naturally would be like salmon, like fatty fishes, so salmon, specifically mackerel, herring, also live liver and organ meats contain vitamin D naturally, as well as egg yolk. And then as far as plants go, I should talking mushrooms and I think white mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light have natural vitamin D. And then as far as probably the most common way that people are getting their vitamin D from food is fortified foods with vitamin D. So specifically, like infant formula is fortified with vitamin D. Cow's milk as well as certain certain plant based milks are also for vitamin D. Again, same thing with yogurt, both cow's milk and plant based yogurts, you have to be careful and look at the labeling because there's a really big variation in fortification of vitamin D. So you just want to look at the label and kind of count up to make sure they're getting enough. And then I think some cereals as well have fortification so that those are from diet. And then the last part would be like getting it from the sun. So I think it's tricky because I think that we would like to do it from the sun. But what you're balancing as I mentioned before is what is your risk of skin damage and sundeck from sun exposure versus you're making vitamin D and then the other part is, there are certain like environmental factors that affect how much vitamin D you can make from the sun. And then also like how much you're getting exposed to and then also like, there's some personal factors that affect how much sun you need. So specifically We know, there was a study that was done for breastfed infants, that they needed 30 minutes a week of sun exposure only wearing a diaper. So that's definitely not happening in the winter. And that's kind of in contraindication, to what we actually recommend right now is really to limit sun exposure for those first six months. So really, for a breastfed baby, and even some formula babies, depending on how much they're getting their formula should get a supplement of the 400 IU of vitamin D. Now we're talking with older children, kind of depends on your skin tone. So chill, people with lighter skin tones need about 10 to 15 minutes between the hours of 10 to 10am to 3pm. In the spring, summer and fall. And the amount of skin that needs to expose is either their arms plus their legs, or their hands, arms and face. And so that amount of time goes up, as you have more pigmentation in your skin. So medium skin tone, individuals would need three times as much time and then dark skinned individuals need six to 10 times as much time as the So then again, again, can be tricky, because what skin tone are you exactly? And how much do you personally absorb. And then the last piece of it is like, well, what's happening in the environment, because in the winter, especially in higher latitudes, so over 40 degrees, there's very little UVB, which is what we need to convert the vitamin D in our skin hitting the ground and because of the angle of the sun, so then also sunblock blocks it and then how much clouds there are, what's the air quality? How much clothing are you wearing. So there's just so many factors that come into play with, like using environmental exposure to sunlight to make vitamin D, that it can be a little bit unreliable, and it can be harder to be assured that your child is getting as much vitamin D as they need. But those are the some of the guidelines that you could use if you are trying to exclusively use sunlight to get vitamin D.

Lindsey:

Okay, thank you. That's really, really helpful. And then another question I had is sleep, you know, we know that sleep is so important. But it can sometimes be elusive, especially when you have, you know, little kids and maybe they're waking up in the middle of the night or, you know, you're just not getting that eight full hours that we know we should have. But can you just speak to maybe how proper sleep patterns can factor into health and wellness? And does physical activity also impact sleep? And maybe as if you could answer for how it's important for parents and caregivers but also for children?

Dr. Cherie Chu:

Yeah, well, I mean, a lot of the same benefits that physical activity give her health and regards to like learning and attention, behavior, mood. Sleep does that as well. So they kind of work hand in hand and getting good physical activity does help you get better sleep. But yeah, we know that that getting adequate sleep is so important for all those development, developmental pieces, but also like our immunity, or body's ability to repair itself. I mean, when we are getting restorative sleep, that's kind of when our brain kind of cleans itself out when we make memories. It's important for brain health. And so, yes, it's hard when you when you have a baby to get enough sleep both for yourself. And then but also I think for the baby, we have to think about, like how can we teach our babies to be good sleepers, right? Because sleep is in some degrees to learn behavior. I think a lot of times, we don't really realize that going into parenthood that we just kind of assume it's gonna happen at some point, and it usually does. But you can approach sleep. Even when you first get a newborn baby with like, I'm going to be teaching my baby how to have good patterns for sleep so that eventually they will learn how to become self sufficient independent sleep. And so you know, having in training our circadian rhythm, which is like our body clock is part of that teaching that you're going to be doing to teach your baby to be a good sleeper. And also, that's going to be important for just general health to like, so your body just knows what to do. Like it knows when it's supposed to release stomach acid to eat, and when when is it supposed to release melatonin for sleep. And so keeping on a regular schedule helps to, we call in train the circadian rhythm. And that's something that we can do to teach our children how to sleep well. But I think also making sure that our children are getting adequate amount of sleep the number of hours asleep. So as a general guideline afford a four month old to a 12 month old will need somewhere between 12 and 16 hours, a one to two year old will need about 11 to 13 hours, a three to five year old will need 10 to 13 hours, a six to 12 year old nine to 12 hours, a 13 to 18 year old eight to 10 hours and an adult seven to eight hours and that's total sleep including nap times. So you can kind of just Do you know a survey about when is my baby sleeping or my child sleeping? Are they getting enough sleep and then adjusting schedule accordingly. But yeah, it's important for everybody, not just our kids For our parents too. And you know, one thing that I like to talk to my new parents about is getting adequate sleep for a new mom is really important because it your risk for postpartum depression goes up if you're not getting enough sleep. And so that seems kind of like an impossible thing, right? But like, it can be done. Like if you can set your baby up for success as far as like having healthy sleep habits. If you work too, if you have a partner, working together with your partner, as a team can help, you know, really help get you some better sleep. But it's it's not just the number of hours of sleep. It's also like the interrupted sleep that can impact that risk for depression.

Lindsey:

Yeah, yeah. In closing, I always knew that it was important to get outside in the winter and be active. But I never really knew until this conversation just how important it is. I'm feeling really prepared to take on this winter with some fun new activities with my kids. So thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful information with us today. And thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Cherie Chu:

You're so welcome. Have fun outside in the snow this winter.

Lindsey:

Feel empowered to instill healthy lifestyle habits in your children with wellness pediatrician from Dr. Cherie Chu. Her website focuses specifically on six areas of lifestyle medicine, healthful eating of a whole food, plant predominant diet, physical activity, sleep stress management, connecting with others to form meaningful relationships, and avoidance of risky substances. Dr. Chu believes that teaching children healthy lifestyle habits when they're young will have exponential returns and their long term health head to wellnesspediatrician.com/toolkit to download your FREE family wellness toolkit and learn more. Here's what's new at Moms Meet and KIWI magazine. Have you registered for WOW Summit '22 Virtual yet? Don't miss your chance to gain the knowledge you need and the community you crave to raise a happy healthy family from March 29 through the 31st 2022. Attend educational workshops learn from compelling speakers network with like minded moms and discover new products in our virtual exhibit hall. The best part it's totally free to attend if you're a member of Moms Meet there's even a unique track for bloggers and influencers. Head to wowevents.momsmeet.com to learn more and register. The winter issue of KIWI magazine is here discover amazing presence and their Meaningful Holiday Gift Guide. Get inspired for winter cooking with delicious soups and sides. Learn how to avoid sneaky toxins and your holiday decor and so much more. Read it online now at Kiwimagonline.com or on the Issuu app. This episode is brought to you in part by MegaFood. MegaFood offers premium supplements for kids and adults made with real food from trusted farm partners plus added nutrients. They use their collective power for good and advocate for organic and regenerative farming to deliver products that work best for you and for a sustainable future. MegaFood is also the first supplement brand to have its entire line certified glyphosate residue free by the Detox Project. To learn more, visit megafood.com Thanks everybody for listening. Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don't miss any upcoming podcast episodes. We'll be back for season three this spring and we hope you have a happy healthy holiday season filled with your loved ones.