Growing healthy kids

Tulsa moms share their advice for raising healthy children.



Like most moms, Nancy Smith worries about her children’s nutrition. But she says her concern escalated about a year ago when she read a report from the Governor’s Office that ranked Oklahoma at the bottom of the country in terms of health and fitness. She decided to do something about it — and not just for her family but for others as well.

Smith set out to teach children how to prepare healthful meals for their families. And, she thought, who better to show them than her 9-year-old daughter?

Remmi Smith was 4 when she started helping her mom in the kitchen. By the time she was 6 or 7, she was preparing full meals for her family on her own.

Now, Remmi is working with her mom to teach other young people how to make nutritious meals. Together, they created “Cook Time with Remmi,” a cooking show for kids, by kids.

In pigtails and an apron, Remmi walks viewers through simple recipes, step by step. Each episode includes recipes for a main dish, a side dish and a salad.

The fourth-grader says her favorite meal, both to cook and to eat, is Grandma’s gourmet chicken with rice and summer salad with hearts of palm.

Remmi says she knows eating nutritious meals is important, and she wants to help other kids learn that as well.

“If kids make their own food, they can be more healthy,” she says.

But eating a nutritious diet is only one part of the fitness puzzle. Physical activity is another critical piece. Remmi says she gets her exercise by rollerblading and swimming, two of her favorite activities.

In the Hinson residence, exercise is not an issue. Pat Hinson says all three of her teenagers are involved in sports and enjoy working out at the YMCA, where the family has a membership.

She attributes her children’s athleticism to the example she and her husband have set.

“We both work out,” Hinson says.

Their routine includes running three to four days a week and lifting weights one day a week at the YMCA.

For Hinson, fast food is the biggest source of contention in the battle to keep her kids, ages 14, 16 and 17, healthy.

“We don’t give them money for fast food,” Hinson says. “If they want it, they have to spend their own money.”

The family eats out once every week or two, but a home-cooked meal is much preferred, she says.

Sleep is key to healthy, happy children in the Determan family. In fact, mother of two Deedra Determan says her friends call her the “sleep nazi.”

Her children, ages 4 and 5, go to bed each night at 8 on the dot. The routine keeps them from getting rundown and cranky, she says. They also take a 60- to 90-minute nap each afternoon.

“They operate better with a nap,” says Determan, co-founder of 918moms.com, an online community where Tulsa-area parents connect. “Even if they don’t fall asleep, they have quiet time in their room to read a book or do a puzzle. It’s their down time.”

Before bedtime, the family exercises together.Whether it’s collecting bugs outside or playing hide-and-seek in the house, the goal is to have fun together, Determan says.

“If they’re having fun, they don’t realize they’re exercising,” she says.

That strategy also works for dietician and mom Rachel Vincent, who says the trampoline was the “best invention ever” for her family.

It’s something the whole family can enjoy and it’s great exercise, says Vincent, the food and nutrition manager at St. John Hospital in Owasso.

As a dietician, Vincent discourages parents from practicing the “clean plate club” mentality.

“Promoting cleaning your plate is not a good idea,” she says. “That becomes a habit,” which will stretch into adulthood. Instead, have small children eat just one bite of everything you offer.

“Most kids won’t let themselves starve,” she says.

Vincent also recommends using smaller plates for smaller kids.

“It’s a better representation,” she says.

If children aren’t eating enough, she recommends cutting out appetite curbers such as soda and juice. Also, encourage physical activity.

“They’ll be hungry if they get exercise,” she says.

But Vincent’s No. 1 piece of advice for parents is to set a good example for their kids.

“Nutrition is a family thing,” she says.

 

Doctors’ orders

Pediatricians Matt James and Walter Exon weigh in on some of the most pressing health concerns they see in their practice.

Setting an example

Practice what you preach. Exon says that if one parent has a weight problem, there’s a 50 percent chance the child will, too. If both parents have a weight problem, that chance increases to 80 percent.

Vaccinations

Get them. James says all the science there is shows that vaccines are safe.

“Vaccinations are the most important thing we do as pediatricians,” James says.

Immunizations save more lives and protect from more diseases than any other medical practice, James adds. This includes Gardasil, which prevents certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

James says he understands that parents have concerns about the treatment because HPV is sexually transmitted, but parents need to realize that, with this vaccine, they have an opportunity to protect their daughters not just from genital warts but also from cancer. Girls can get the treatment as young as 11, but they can wait until their teen years, too, he says.

“Make sure they get it before they start having sex,” James says.

Vitamins

It’s OK to skip them, unless your child is a picky eater. Then, Exon says to make sure the vitamin includes iron, the nutrient most likely missing from a picky eater’s diet. Vitamin deficiency is almost unheard of in this country, he says.

Preventing the spread of germs

Nothing is more effective than good, old-fashioned hand washing. When soap and water aren’t available, antibacterial hand gels are just as effective, James says. Just make sure they have alcohol to kill bacteria.

Soda

Go for diet or sugar-free sodas. Exon says not to worry about artificial sweeteners. There is no scientific evidence that they pose any health risk, he says. Regular pop, on the other hand, is a major culprit of weight gain, he says.

“If you drink a can of pop a day, you’ll gain 12 pounds a year,” Exon says.

Juice often has excess sugar, he adds.

Sending sick children to school
James says to keep your children home if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or if they are vomiting or having diarrhea. If it’s just the sniffles or a runny nose, send them to school, he says.

Eating out

Limit it.

“It’s OK to go out once or twice a month,” Exon says.

But he warns that all restaurant portions are too big, and he says to stay away from buffets altogether. He also recommends that children take their lunch to school because so many cafeterias are full of pizza and vending machine junk food.

TV and computer time

Limit it. Children of any age should spend no more than two hours a day watching TV or on the computer outside of school work, James says.

To get them out of the house and doing something physical, do it with them. James suggests playing ball or going for a bike ride.

Forcing your children to clean their plates

Don’t do it. Instead, Exon says to put good, healthy foods out and let the child determine what to eat. He suggests kid-friendly foods such as yogurt, peanut butter and jelly, fruit and raisins.

“I’ve got childhood trauma from my father forcing me to eat peas,” Exon says. “I still won’t go near peas.”

Editor’s note: Dr. James is a pediatrician and internal medicine physician with the OMNI Medical Group in Sand Springs. Dr. Exon has been practicing pediatrics for 32 years. He works at the Utica Park Clinic.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2019

ATTENTION ELEPHANT LOVERS! Have you ever wanted to spend the day with an elephant? Now you can! Due to a great deal of public interest, the Oklahoma Awesome Adventures is partnering with the...

Cost: $400

Where:
Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
Telephone: 580-743-5849
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Join us on September 22nd at 10:00 a.m. for Uptown 23rd’s fun run through the tree-lined streets of historic Mesta Park and Heritage Hills Historic Neighborhood Oklahoma City. The official...

Cost: $30-40

Where:
Uptown 23rd District
Uptown 23rd District
Oklahoma city, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405-200-5848
Contact Name: Riley Cole
Website »

More information

Woodland Hills Mall is excited to host Beauty Week, which is a unique way for the people in Tulsa to experience all the beauty that Woodland Hills Mall has to offer.  Participating retailers...

Cost: Free and open to the community

Where:
Woodland Hills Mall
7021 S Memorial Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Telephone: 713-224-9115
Contact Name: Woodland Hills Mall

More information

The Home Remodeling Showcase is the premier showcase of newly remodeled homes in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.  Presented by the Remodelers Council of the Home Builders Association of Greater...

Cost: 10

Where:
Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
, OK


Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

The Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa invites the public to come celebrate its annual Buddy Walk on Sunday September 22nd, 2019. The Buddy Walk Event will be 1:30-4:00 PM at Holland Hall...

Cost: Free

Where:
Holland Hall School
5666 E. 81st St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-804-3728
Website »

More information

Get moved with Tulsa Ballet! Experience incredible works from the most in-demand choreographers in the world at Creations in Studio K. Tickets start at $25. Read all about the exciting pieces...

Cost: $25 - above

Where:
Tulsa Ballet - Studio K
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Think you can’t do something? Think again! Step outside your comfort zone and try something new at the I Can’t workshops. The fall lineup includes crowd favorites as well as some new...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

NSUBA RiverHawk Run 5K Tuesday, Sept. 24 – 6 p.m. $25 early signup, $35 after Aug 16, kids 12 & under free. 3100 E. New Orleans St., Broken Arrow, OK 74014 Invite your...

Cost: $25/$35 after Aug. 16

Where:
NSUBA Campus
3100 E New Orleans Ave
Broken Arrow, OK  74014
View map »


Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

DivorceCare is a faith based, 13-week support program to help you through the after-effects of divorce. The DVD teaching includes topics such as understanding the hurt, dealing with anger,...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Whether you are remarried or planning to remarry, discover the key steps to building a healthy stepfamily with expert Ron Deal, using his Smart Stepfamily book and participant guide. Through eight...

Cost: 0

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury United Methodist Church
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Why walk through grief alone when you can participate in GriefShare’s highly acclaimed 13-week video-based support group with others experiencing the same? This group offers a comfortable...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Started by husband-and-wife team Matthew and Kelsey McAfee _ graduates of ORU and TU, respectively, _ the bookstore, named Eleanor's Bookshop, will carry books with unique perspectives that...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mother Road Market
1124 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

The Champions of Health Gala celebrates people and organizations that are making a positive impact on the health of our state through innovative programs. The proceeds from the evening benefit The...

Cost: $100/ticket

Where:
Cox Business Center
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: The Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux
Website »

More information

Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2019 Champions of Health Gala at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Cox Business Center in Tulsa. To make a...

Cost: 100

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

More information

Pop-acoustic worship group I AM THEY is announcing plans to headline The Trial & Triumph Tour this fall during the month of September with special guests Dan Bremnes and Elle Limebear....

Cost: (prices vary)

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center Marketing
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Get your wheels in motion and join us for our 6th Annual CF Cycle for Life NIGHT RIDE! Participants will start the evening at our Get Lit tent, getting their glow on, and gearing up to ride along...

Cost: $150 Fundraising Minimum

Where:
River Spirit Casino
, OK


Sponsor: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Telephone: 918-744-6354
Contact Name: April Mitchell

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

The Tasting at Woodward Park is an elegant fundraising gala that matches upscale wines with delectable hors d’oeuvres to provide a stimulating culinary experience, all while enjoying leisurely...

Cost: $150 for members, $175 for non-members

Where:
Woodwark Park
2435 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Garden Center
Telephone: 918-576-5155
Contact Name: Laura Chalus
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
Website »

More information

A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
Website »

More information

It's a 5k run or 1 mile walk with a twist. See all the historic churches in downtown Tulsa while participating in the Rosary! Children can listen to the Fatima story as parents participate in...

Cost: 30

Where:
Holy Family Cathedral
122 W 8th St
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: St. Michael Catholic Radio
Telephone: 918-260-3617
Contact Name: Tricia Schittler
Website »

More information

We’re excited to announce that New York Times best-selling author Amy Stewart will be our guest speaker for our fourth annual literary brunch on Saturday, September 28, starting at...

Cost: Cost is $65 for Garden members; $75 for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

The Drunken Botanist at OK Distilling Company. Amy Stewart’s New York Times best-seller, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks, is a favorite of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Oklahoma Distilling Company
1724 E 7th St.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

As the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally,   Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the romantic era’s finest composers. Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony...

Cost: $20-$42

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Back by popular demand, we've found some more wild and crazy stories told by the funniest people in Tulsa! Blue Whale Comedy Fest and Story Club of Tulsa present "Offbeat: Crazy and...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

What's New


3:04: 'Actually Innocent' - Corey Atchison

A conversation with Atchison, who served 28 years in prison after a wrongful murder conviction

Comments

Tulsans in Automobiles Getting Food

A special 918 Day video with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum to discuss comedy, the city's celebration and more.

Comments

918 Day special events and deals

The city's annual celebration includes discounts at numerous local businesses as well as special events

Comments

Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Sept. 15

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments

Branjae on the sixth sense, the street light and empowerment

A Q&A with the singer/songwriter, who just released a new single: “Street Light.”

Comments