Kelly Ripa's Take on Mothering
Talk show host Kelly Ripa weighs in on healthy kids, parenting that works, and family dynamics.
Kelly Ripa's Work/Life Balance
Balancing it all without burning out requires skill -- and planning:
"Listen, I run my family like a cruise ship. ‘Shuffleboard at 5!'" Ripa jokes.
"Everybody knows exactly what's happening, all the time. And my house is like
the CDC. I'm all about containment. We keep things really clean, really neat.
The rooms are hydrated with humidifiers. When Michael was first in school, I
had pinkeye six times that year. Now, it's prevention, prevention, prevention:
We do supplements, probiotics, you name it."
A probiotic is a food or drink that contains healthy bacteria.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt, is the best known; yeast is
also a probiotic substance. "Parents may want to "consider the benefits of
probiotics in the diet when it comes to their children, who may experience GI
[gastrointestinal] ailments such as diarrhea that are tied to common childhood
illnesses," says Kimberly Cover, RS, CSSD, LDN, a nutritionist at the
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For example, says Cover, a daily cup of
yogurt goes a long way in maintaining a healthy GI tract for your child -- and
it has many nutrients, including protein, calcium, and vitamin D, if the yogurt
"Foods that provide the body with multiple nutrients pack a powerful punch
in our convenient, contemporary lifestyle -- one that often doesn't allow the
luxury of time and optimum nutrition quality," she says.
Some people prefer taking supplements, which come in powder form and can be
bought over-the-counter. "If you are considering taking a probiotic supplement,
always check with your physician, especially if you are also taking [other]
medications," advises Cover, who adds, "Some research shows that taking
probiotic supplements every day can actually have a harmful effect ... so, as
with any medication, follow your doctor's suggested regimen carefully."
Prevention, in all its forms, is a mantra among family physicians. "To avoid
common infectious diseases, good hand-washing is key," says Parker.
"To prevent behavioral problems such as constant limit-testing and
oppositional behaviors, consistent and firm limit setting will usually do the
trick," he adds.
"And to raise a physically fit child, healthy nutrition -- including low
animal fat in the diet, not a lot of junk food, plenty of whole grains, fruits
and veggies, plus plenty of exercise -- sets the stage for becoming a healthy