Island Kids Pediatrics
Island Kids Pediatrics

RICHMOND AVE. (718) 982-9001
Mon – Thur : 9 AM – 7 PM
Friday : 9 AM – 4 PM
Saturday : 9:30 AM – 3 PM
Sunday : 10 AM – 1 PM

HYLAN BLVD. (718) 667-5500
Mon – Thur : 10 AM – 7 PM
Friday : 10 AM – 4 PM
Saturday : 10 AM – 2 PM
Sunday : Closed

BROADWAY (718) 447-5437
Mon – Thur : 9 AM – 7 PM
Friday : 9 AM – 4 PM
Saturday : 10 AM – 2 PM
Sunday : Closed

ISLAND KIDS PEDIATRICS

Welcome to Island Kids Pediatrics, P.C., where you will find health care professionals and staff dedicated in providing you with high-quality, compassionate care.

Blocks

About Us

Our mission is to provide our patients with high-quality and compassionate care, while building trusting and healthful relationships with our patients.  Our health care professionals and staff are dedicated to providing children from birth through adolescence with personalized and comprehensive care to achieve the best health possible.

Meet Our Staff

Same Day Appointments

Our office has Extended Hours and In-House Diagnostic services that helps our patients avoid the higher cost of visiting one of the many growing urgent care facilities in the area.

As Primary Care Providers we keep your child’s complete Medical history on file so we understand your child’s health and healthcare goals. In addition to all aspects of General Pediatrics, we offer appointments with Board Certified Pediatric Infectious Disease specialists.

Make Appointment

New Patient Info

CANVAS

Island Kids News

February 27, 2020

By Alexa Wilson, MPH

INTRODUCING FOOD & DRINKS TO YOUR 6-24 MONTH OLD

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, children aged 6 months and above should be introduced to a variety of foods, other than infant formula or breast milk.  Since every child is different, signs that indicate that your child is developmentally ready to be introduced to a variety of new foods include:

• ability to sit independently, with minimal or no support provided

• good head control

• leaning forward when food is offered, and opening his/her mouth to accept food

Recommended Foods to Introduce

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, offering food in a certain order is not necessary.  At 6 months of age, solid foods may be introduced, followed by an assortment of foods from different food groups.  Such foods may include:

• infant cereals (offering a variety of infant cereals fortified with iron is essential; these include oats, barley, and multi-grains, rather than cereal that exclusively contains rice, as children may be at risk to be exposed to arsenic). More information regarding iron-fortified infant cereals is available at U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

• meat & other types of protein

• fruits & vegetables

• grains

• dairy foods, such as yogurts & cheeses

How to Introduce New Foods to Your Child

Offering one new food at a time is recommended, as this allows you to observe if your child has food allergies, or issues with certain textures.  Waiting 3-5 days in between offering each new food is beneficial.

The 8 most common allergenic foods include:

•  milk

• eggs

• shellfish

• tree nuts

• peanuts

• wheat

• soybeans

It is not necessary to delay introducing these foods to your child. However, if there is a family history of existing food allergies, speaking to your child’s Primary Care Physician is recommended.

Recommended Food Preparation

Offering foods that are easier for your child to eat, including mashed, pureed, strained and smooth textured foods are recommended.  As new textures may be an adjustment for your child, they might cough, spit up, or gag when initially tasting new foods.  Thicker and lumpier foods may be introduced gradually, as your baby’s oral skills develop.

Offering food in small, bite-sized portions, encouraging your child to eat slowly, and watching your child as they are eating, help to prevent choking.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helpful food preparation tips include: 

• Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.

• Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.

• Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.

• Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.

• Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.

• Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit and then cut the fruit into small pieces.

• Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices

• Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.

• Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.

• Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

 


February 26, 2020

By Alexa Wilson, MPH

“MY CHILD IS A PICKY EATER.  WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP THEM TRY NEW FOODS?”

When we hear the term “picky eater”, we typically envision a young child who is refusing to eat his or her vegetables, right?  While this is quite often the case, vegetables are certainly not the only foods that children avoid eating.

Many children who are picky eaters typically consume a diet consisting heavily of carbohydrates and sugar.  This is often the case as carbohydrates tend to be bland and doughy.  Picky eaters gravitate toward such foods, since overpowering flavors and textures can be quite intimidating.  In addition to trying new flavors, incorporating new textures into a child’s diet can be not only challenging, but also quite nerve-wracking for the child.

HELPFUL TIPS FOR PICKY EATERS

1. Bring your child with you when you go grocery shopping. 

Children are observant and independent in their own ways, and they have their own preferences, particularly when it comes to food.  Let them choose a fruit or vegetable of their favorite color, so they feel as though they made the decision to try this new food.  It’ll make the whole process more fun for them!

2. When offering a new food to a child (whether it is a fruit, vegetable, protein, whole grain or dairy), always offer a bite-sized portion (I typically recommend the size of a blueberry), on a completely empty plate.

The bite-sized portion of food will make the process of trying something new less intimidating, compared to offering an entire portion.  If we offer a bite of brand new food next to a food that the child already enjoys, they will likely eat the familiar food and leave the new one on the plate.  Kids are smart, after all ツ

3. If your child is struggling with the taste and/or texture of the new food being offered, encourage them to spit it into a napkin. Do not force them to swallow it!

Whenever I offer this suggestion during a dietary consultation, I’m met with mixed reactions.  50% of parents are relieved, as they practice this method at home as well.  The other 50% of parents are sometimes skeptical, and typically say “but I thought forcing them to swallow the food would help them to understand why it’s important to try new foods”.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Think about this logically (from a child’s perspective, not an adult’s): if you have just taken a bite of a new food, that you absolutely hate taste and texture of, is your first reaction to just swallow it? No.  Definitely not.  So, if you force a child to swallow it, they will gag or vomit.  Trust me.  Take away message?  If they don’t like it, that’s okay.  The single most important part of this process is the fact that they tried the food, regardless of whether it was a success or a failure. 

4. Keep a notebook or a journal that is specifically dedicated to documenting your child’s reaction when trying new foods.

I tend to find that encouraging children to make trying new foods a fun project helps to remove unnecessary anxiety from the situation.  My simple recommendation?  Draw a line in between the page, and create two columns, titled “Foods I Liked” and “Foods I Didn’t Like”.  Encourage your child to draw a ㋡ or a ✓ next to the foods they enjoyed, or a ☹ or an ✗ next to the foods they didn’t enjoy.  Helpful tip for parents: try your best to document your child’s facial and verbal reactions when they try these new foods.  You’d be surprised how convenient this can become, especially when food shopping and preparing future meals for your picky eater(s).

5. Consistency is key.

Each of the previous tips are equally important in the process of introducing new foods to a picky eater.  What is the glue that keeps this process together?  Consistency.  The more consistently you offer new foods, the more comfortable your child will become with the process.  I would suggest waiting three days before offering the same new food, along with offering it prepared with different flavors or textures.  What do I mean by this?  If your child dislikes cooked carrots, offer raw baby carrots, as they are sweeter and less bitter.  If your child dislikes raw sweet peppers, offer diced peppers on top of home-made English Muffin pizzas.  This usually does the trick ツ

THIS POST PROVIDES A SUMMARY OF THE ESSENTIAL FIRST STEPS TO TAKE WHEN HELPING YOUR PICKY EATER TO TRY NEW FOODS.  I HOPE THESE SUGGESTIONS MAKE MEAL TIME A BIT EASIER AND MORE ENJOYABLE FOR YOUR PICKY EATER!

February 12, 2020

By Alexa Wilson, MPH

Nutrition Facts Labels: Figuring Out Your Food

Have you ever picked up a food item, turned to the Nutrition Facts Label, and questioned exactly what you were looking at?  If so, no worries! 

This post will provide a brief summary of the components of the Nutrition Facts Label, as well as the proper way to interpret its contents.

If you haven’t gotten into the habit of figuring out what’s in the packaged products you’re eating, now is a great time to start! 

serving size

The serving size focuses on the amount of food that is typically consumed at one time.  This tells us that the nutrition details provided on the label is based upon a single (one) serving of food.  

servings per container

Servings Per Container provide the total number of servings in the entire package of food.  What’s important to note here is that one package of food may contain more than one serving of food. 

This is a simple & straightforward concept.  Let’s say you are snacking on a bag of popcorn.  If the label states that the entire package contains 3 servings, and you consume the entire package, this means that you have consumed 3 times the amount of calories & nutrients provided on the label. 

calories

By definition, calories refer to the total amount of energy, or “calories”, provided by all food sources in one serving of food.  Calories are a unit of measurement, specifically, a unit of energy.  The body requires energy that is provided by proteins, fats, carbohydrates and alcohol.  By consuming and burning an equal amount of calories, the body is typically able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Customarily:

 100 calories per serving = MODERATE

400+ calories per serving = HIGH

★ remember ★

If we consume more calories than we burn through physical activity, this typically leads to weight gain.

If we consume and burn an equal amount of calories, we are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

If we consume less calories than we burn through physical activity, this typically leads to weight loss.

Disclaimer:

Every body & every individual’s metabolism is different! Caloric needs vary from person to person, depending upon the desire or medical necessity to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain current weight.

calories from fat

Calories from fat act as the contribution of fat content found within the total number of calories of a single serving of food.

Don’t worry, calories from fat do not count as additional calories!

Remember: just because a food is labeled as “fat-free” does not mean that it is “calorie-free”; Also, low-calorie does not always mean healthier! 

A serving of gummy candies (approximately 7 pieces) might contain 75 calories, whereas a serving of cooked salmon, with a cup of cooked broccoli and 1/2 cup of brown rice might contain 400-430 calories.  Although the gummy candies contain less calories, it contains food coloring and excess sugar, while failing to provide the body with essential nutrients.  The prepared meal of salmon, broccoli and brown rice provides protein, whole grains, vitamins and fiber, making it the healthier dietary option.

% daily value

Percent Daily Value, often expressed as %DV, tells us how much of a specific nutrient is found in one serving of food. 

Daily Value refers to the recommended quantity of key nutrients recommended on a daily basis, per each nutrient found in one serving of food. 

Customarily:

 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving = LOW

20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving = HIGH

★ remember ★

Necessary %DV might vary from person to person.  Some individuals might require higher or lower values, depending upon age, weight, height, gender, and physical activity participation.

nutrients

The nutrients section of the Nutrition Facts Label helps us to choose healthy dietary alternatives.  Such alternatives include food products that contain fewer nutrients that we should avoid, and higher amounts of nutrients that we should consume more often.

nutrients to limit

Aim to consume less than 100% DV of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol & sodium.

nutrients to consume often

Aim to consume 100% DV of iron, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C & calcium.

For a kid-friendly version of the Nutrition Facts Label, click the link below!

Using The Nutrition Facts Label

Our Offices

PRIMARY LOCATION
2066 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10314

Call (718) 982-9001
for Appointments.

NORTH SHORE LOCATION
519 Broadway
Staten Island, NY 10310
(Off Forest Ave, behind Santander Bank)

Call 718-447-KIDS (5437)
for Appointments

SOUTH SHORE LOCATION
2627B Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10306
(Across from Hylan Plaza)

Call (718) 667-5500
for Appointments