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[Video Games]   [Weaning]   [Weight Problems]  



General Information:

The world has changed dramatically for children in the United States in the last twenty years because of the development of video games. Like most technological developments there are both good and bad results from this development.

Video games are a better form of entertainment for children than television because they are interactive. Your child has to think as he or she plays the game whereas with television your child can be completely passive. The better games have the benefit of increasing your child's attention to detail, planning strategy, promoting eye-hand coordination, and encouraging the use of imagination.

The disadvantages of video games are similar to the ones for television. Video games can dominate your child's free time leading to reduced study time, reduced reading for pleasure, and less time to develop more important skills such as musical or athletic talents. Your child can become quite isolated by playing the games all the time particularly if the game is primarily a one-person game. Many of the games are violent and might harm impressionable younger minds.

Parental Positions on Video Games:

  1. Video games should not be eliminated from your child's life because they have become such a central part of many children's growing up. Rather, you need to moderate the negative influences.
  2. Make sure that you child has done her homework and chores before playing video games.
  3. Limit his video game time to 1 hour on school nights and 2 to 3 hours on weekends.
  4. Do not let your child stay up past her bedtime to finish a video game since "finishing" can take a long time.
  5. Screen out the more violent video games and watch your child play so that you know the games he plays.
  6. Let siblings settle their own disputes over the video games; this will help them to negotiate disputes later in life.
  7. Try to plan for a variety of activities for your child including social activities, outings, music, hobbies, etc. so that your child is not just looking to video games for her entertainment.
  8. Do not use the video games for babysitting purposes.



General Information:

Weaning from breast feeding is usually accomplished before 18 months of age although some women will nurse their children longer. In developing countries it is normal and safer (due to scarcity of drinkable water) for mothers to nurse their children until 2-3 years of age.

Issues with the bottle are different. It is recommended that an infant be off the bottle and to the cup by 12 months of age, 15 months at the latest. The infants should not be given fluid in the middle of the night in a bottle because it can cause choking, ear infections, and cavities from prolonged exposure to sugar in the formula. During the day children older than one year will tend to carry their bottle around with them much like a security object. They will also sip on the contents repeatedly throughout the day. These children will often develop bottle cavities where they have multiple teeth affected and many teeth needing to be capped, pulled, or drilled.


  1. With breast-feeding, eliminate the least favorite feeding (usually in the middle of the day) and replace it with a formula in a cup if older than 6 months and less than one year of age.
  2. Continue to eliminate more nursing times every few days. This allows your breasts to reduce the amount of milk they are producing.
  3. Finally, eliminate the bedtime feeding which is typically the most preferred by your baby.
  4. If you develop engorgement of your breasts while trying to wean, take a warm shower and try to express the excess milk until you feel more comfortable.  If this does not help you may need to add one nursing time back and wean more slowly.
  5. For bottle-feeding, you can replace the bottle with a cup every few days in much the same way that you wean from nursing. However, you can wean faster if your child tolerates it because you do not have to worry about breast engorgement.
  6. For both breast- and bottle-feeding, once the weaning is complete, if your child asks to nurse or for a bottle, hold her for a while and explain that breast- and bottle-feeding are for little babies and she is a big girl.
  7. Some infants are excessively attached to the bottle and will throw a tantrum if not given the bottle. Regardless of how upset he is, for health reasons do not give in when he is on the cup. His tantrums will subside in a few days.




General Information:

Being overweight is one of the most common problems in America.  More than 40% of people are at least 10% overweight.  Americans also tend to eat the wrong kinds of foods with too many of our calories coming from fat instead of carbohydrates and proteins. 

Although some people tend to gain weight easier than others, hormonal problems almost never cause obesity. The real problem for many people is an inherited ability to use calories efficiently. Thus some people can eat many more calories daily and not gain weight because they are inefficient users of the calories. Other people who are overweight can eat fewer calories and still gain weight. Choices our children make contribute to their high weight. Most children snack too much, especially on high calorie, high fat food, such as cookies, ice cream, and soft drinks. Snacks are helpful if a child eats fruit which tends to be filling and relatively low in calories and fat. Many children do not exercise enough because they spend so much time watching television or playing video games. Often children's programs advertise sugary cereals and candy which may increase snacking while watching television. Losing weight takes some will power, exercise, and common sense.  There are no rapid ways to lose weight safely.  An average loss of about 1 pound a week is the best goal.  For your child who is still growing, simply maintaining his weight at about the same place so that he can "grow out" of his weight is also a good approach. Fad diets usually cause you to lose weight by giving a limited, boring food selection, thus causing you to decrease eating temporarily.  However, this tends to result in dieting for a time followed by binge eating, followed by further starvation diets.

Weight Loss for Children and Teenagers:

  1. She has to be motivated to lose weight, because she will eat what she wants at friends' homes or from convenience stores. This is especially true the older she is.
  2. Do not increase his temptation by having lots of high calorie foods in your home.
  3. If others in her family are overweight, then all your family should diet at the same time.
  4. Give him 3 meals a day with 1 (reasonable) plate of food and one snack of fruit.  
  5. Give her diet soft drinks instead of the very high calorie regular soft drinks.
  6. Provide him with ice cream, cake, pies, and other high calorie, high fat desserts only for special occasions.
  7. Exercise is very important to help her lose weight. Exercise tones her body, decreases heart disease, relieves tension, and tends to decrease her appetite. 
  8. A book on the "diabetic exchange diet" is also a good resource for nondiabetic persons.  It gives him many choices of food types while limiting his total intake of calories.
  9. If she is having trouble losing weight despite these recommendations, a nutritionist might need to be consulted.
  10. The bottom line on weight loss is that he and the adults in his family need to make a change in his dietary and activity habits that can last his lifetime, not just a quick fix for a time.



The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at
Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000 We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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