Cathy Marshall, MD
Dr. Marshall is a mom of 28-, 14-, and 11-year-old daughters and a pediatrician in Encino, CA.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Try to have fun with your children every day.
What surprised you most about parenting? How much energy it takes—both mental and physical!
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? The toddler years are especially challenging. All toddlers are picky eaters! It’s important to remember that toddlers do better with smaller, more frequent meals than three square meals a day.
My strategy for my daughters was to give them plenty of snacks, but to make sure those snacks were healthy foods, not empty calories. I’d pretty much offer the same foods as snacks as they’d have for meals. I had a round Tupperware container that held several pie-shaped containers. I’d fill these containers with healthy snack options, such as carrots and cheese. I used to prepare a snack my kids loved: Spread whipped cream cheese onto thinly sliced deli meats and roll into spirals.
One temptation to avoid is crackers. They offer very little nutrition and fill kids up so they don’t want to eat healthier foods.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? My children are older now, but when they were younger, we took them for walks with the dog and rollerbladed outside. Now that they’re older, we dance together and play active Wii games. We also love geocaching, which combines hiking with a treasure hunt! Sometimes you have to find creative ways to keep kids active.
How do you recharge your batteries? I love to read good books. When I can, I find quite moments to scrapbook. I also love Zumba!