News and Nuggets

News and Nuggets

Gift Ideas to Keep Your Child Active

On the hunt for a Christmas gift that won’t leave your kids staring at a screen? Check out this pair of award-winning fitness toys. 

Tetherball—A schoolyard classic, tetherball keeps kids moving as they strike the tethered ball. This portable version is secured by filling the base with water. $100 to $150 at Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and other retailers.

Foam Rocker Board—The Lightweight Foam Rocker Board works many muscles as kids try to balance on it, and it’s a great sensory motor break from homework. $49.99 at

Feeding—Or Is It Starving?—the Myths of Winter

Winter seems to bring out medical myths like no other season. We asked pediatrician Chris Funes, MD, of our Physician Group to explain—or debunk—five common winter health notions.

Myth: Cold or wet weather can cause a cold.

False. A cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract that’s only caused by a virus. However, colds are more frequent during cold or wet weather because children tend to stay indoors where they’re in closer contact with each other. 

Myth: When mucus turns yellow or green, there’s an infection.

Not necessarily. Nasal discharge from a cold can become more cloudy and thicker and darker toward the end of a cold. But mucus turns yellow whenever more blood cells are present, which also happens with inflammation.

Myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever.

False. Children who don’t feel well often don’t want to eat, and that’s fine. Most important is encouraging fluids as dehydration can occur when children fail to drink enough fluids, even for a day or two.

Myth: Babies with colds shouldn’t have milk to lessen mucus.

False. Researchers have found no link between milk and increased respiratory tract mucus. However, children who are allergic to milk may experience a stuffy or runny nose.

Myth: Kids can get ear infections if their ears are exposed to the cold.

False. Infections result from fluid building up in the middle ear space where bacteria can thrive.

Amazing Half Marathon Promises Plenty of Family Fun

Be sure to mark your family calendar for March 4–6, 2016, for the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Amazing Half Marathon. Register or learn more at

  • Friday March 4 Expo
  • Saturday March 5 Expo, 5K, Kids Mini Marathon
  • Sunday March 6 10K, Half Marathon

Grant Spotlight: Catherine Boston, MD

A pediatric hematologist/oncologist at St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Dr. Boston received a $97,000 grant from St. Baldrick’s
Foundation to study cancer in children.

Dr. Boston is studying why young children tend to have more disease-fighting white blood cells, which may be the reason they sometimes fare better in treatment than older kids. Research eventually may lead to better outcomes for all children.

Learn more about our St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at

Healthy Breakfast Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

It’s kumquat season and local writer Maggie Heyn Richardson has a great, healthy recipe for those abundant little citrus fruits. The author of Hungry for Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey suggests a kumquat smoothie that will help your kids fight off colds and give them a great start to the day.

This recipe makes one large or two small servings.

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1 banana

1 tablespoon Agave nectar or honey (optional)

¼ cup of kumquat purée*

An 8-oz can of pineapple juice (any juice will do)

Blend all the ingredients in a juicer or blender and serve immediately.

* To make 1 cup of kumquat puree, slice and seed about 15 whole kumquats (about 2 cups). Purée the fruit, skin and all, in a food processor.

Find more of Maggie Heyn Richardson’s healthy recipes at