Just for fun

April Duck of the Month

Our mascot Dr. Duck and his friends love comforting our patients when they visit Urgent Care for Kids. Since Urgent Care for Kids opened, we have used ducks as a way to cheer up our patients. When a patient leaves our clinic, we want them to continue feeling better and that is where Dr. Duck comes in.

Each month, our patients vote via social media for our next “Duck of the Month.” Most recently, we have had dinosaur ducks, heart ducks, and this month we are thrilled present the Artist Ducks.

http://www.orientaltrading.com/

These cute rubber duck friends provide enjoyment, relief, and can easily put a smile on even our toughest of patients’ faces. Going to the doctor is not always fun for kids, but knowing you get one of these yellow buddies at the end of your visit really makes a difference.

Stay tuned next month to vote on our next duck of the month!

 


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

14 Ways to Say I Love You

Today on the blog, our Austin Area Marketing Director Tomi Fanning is sharing her Valentine’s Day tips!


Hi there! Tomi here. February 14th, also known as Valentine’s Day, is one of my favorite holidays because it is a special holiday where you get to spread the love to those around you! Whether it is your parents, friends, soul mate, teachers, or your cat, love is in the air. There are many ways to do this. I came up with 14 ways to say I LOVE YOU and here they are:

 

1 – Give a big bear hug: hugs make people happy! Go and hug someone you love

2 – Decorate a Valentine’s Day card: No matter what age you are, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to get crafty!

3 – Do something nice and selfless for someone: Take out the trash or put away their laundry. A little act of kindness goes a long way.

4 – Give flowers: This thoughtful gesture is a great one! By the way, my favorites are lilies!

5 – Learn “I love you” in another language: Te Amo (Spanish) , Je T’Aime (French), Ich Lieb Dich (German)! Try one!

6 – Play a song that reminds you of the other personThis is a perfect way to take a walk down memory lane with a lovely tune

7 – Write a list of all the reasons you care about someone: Showing someone the reasons you appreciate them will always be a way to their heart

8 – Decorate and frame an adorable photo of the two of you: Get the whole family involved in decorating and find a photo that captures your relationship.

9 – Leave them a secret note

10 – Create homemade coupons that the other person can redeem: Free massage, free car wash, free room cleaning… the list goes on and on!

11 – Cook them their favorite meal: They say the way to some people’s heart is through their stomach!

12 – Blow a kissSimple and straight to the point!

13 – Watch their favorite movie with themNothing better than a family snuggle session on the couch!

14 – Say “I love you”: Need I say more?!

 

These are just a few of the many ways to tell those around us how much we love them. Put a little bit of thought in and it will mean a lot to the other person. Do you have anything special planned for Valentine’s Day??


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.

Meet Dr. Duck!

If you’ve visited any Urgent Care for Kids clinic, chances are, you’ve seen Dr. Duck! He serves as the mascot for Urgent Care for Kids, and is loved and recognized by many of our patients and their parents. We decided to interview Dr. Duck so you can learn more about how he helps make Urgent Care for Kids the best pediatric urgent care in Texas!

What’s your favorite part about working at Urgent Care for Kids as our mascot?

I love being able to assure parents that they’re at the right place, and help kids feel more comfortable at the doctor. My job is to make Urgent Care for Kids a kid-friendly place, so I love to see kids smiling and on their way to feeling better when they walk out the door! I’m happy to be a face that parents and kids alike recognize, know, and trust.

What do you like to do for fun? 

When I’m not in the clinic, you can find me at community events, visiting schools, or riding around in my Duckmobile! The Urgent Care for Kids marketing directors have taken me to some really fun places, and I love getting to meet all of my little fans. I’m proud to be known as “The Duck Doctor” in Austin, Houston, and DFW!

What are some ways you help kids feel better when they’re at Urgent Care for Kids?

Well, I mostly try to keep them calm so our experienced pediatric providers can do their job well. There are pictures of me and my friends in each clinic and exam room, which can add a little bit of fun and distraction to a doctor’s visit. Also, each child leaves Urgent Care for Kids with a Dr. Duck of their own!

We are so proud to have Dr. Duck as our mascot, and the face of Urgent Care for Kids. He makes it easy for us to be kid-friendly and help each child feel better as soon as possible.

Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.

The Holiday Season At UC4K

The holiday season is known for its hustle and bustle, parties with family and friends, and fun traditions, and it’s no different here at Urgent Care for Kids! Between Christmas events, staff parties, and our annual clinic decorating contest, we have been very busy!

Holiday Events

We were out and about in the community quite a bit this holiday season. Throughout the year, we try to be as involved as we can, but there’s something a little more fun and exciting about Christmas events! We participated in multiple events across our three markets, including a special Cookies With Santa event at our Spring, Texas location. In partnership with Kroger, we offered free photos with Santa, cookies, and letters to Santa! It was a great way to connect with our neighborhood in Spring and give back to the community.

Staff Parties

 Here at Urgent Care for Kids, we refer to our team as the Urgent Care for Kids “Family”, so of course we had to celebrate together! Our staff Christmas parties were such a great opportunity to spend time with our staff members outside of clinic hours. We played games, ate great food, and had lots of fun!

Clinic Decorations

Each year, our clinics participate in a decorating contest for the Christmas season, and many of our clinics go above and beyond! We had a variety of themes this year, from Winter Wonderland to Who-ville. This activity is a great teambuilding opportunity, and a chance for our staff to show off their creative side!

Overall, we had a fun and festive holiday season here at Urgent Care for Kids, and we hope you did too!

Urgent Care for Kids Participates in Operation Christmas Child

The holiday season is a time for giving back, whether that’s by volunteering locally or making the holidays special for someone halfway across the globe. While many people do this with their family members or friends, Urgent Care for Kids, the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, decided to give back as a company.

“Giving back is something that not only helps build a stronger team, but it’s something that’s very important to us,” said Melissa Bauman, Vice President of Marketing & Customer Service. “With our team spread out across Texas, it was fun to have a project that every single employee could participate in and see a global impact. We’re looking forward to establishing this as an annual project, and can’t wait to see how it grows each year.”

Urgent Care for Kids chose to participate in Operation Christmas Child, a project directed and implemented by Samaritan’s Purse, a faith-based organization that provides crisis relief around the world. Staff members who participated packed a shoebox filled with toys, hygiene products, and school supplies to be delivered to children in impoverished areas. All nine Urgent Care for Kids clinics and corporate staff participated to donate shoeboxes to be shipped internationally.

“Operation Christmas Child is an amazing mission and Urgent Care for Kids is thrilled to be a part of it,” said Brian White, CEO. “I am so proud of our many team members who participated this year in order to make a difference in the life of a child in countries across the globe.  We have a wonderful team of people at Urgent Care for Kids and the passion they showed for Operation Christmas Child only proves how dedicated they are to helping children.”

Urgent Care for Kids is an after-hours pediatric facility designed to provide quality pediatric healthcare with short wait times at an affordable price. Each location offers flu and strep testing, x-rays, and laceration repair 365 days a year.

Trick-or-Treating Safety

TRICK OR TREAT! Halloween can be one of the best nights of the year for children. They get to dress up, stay up later, and run from house to house asking for candy.

As much fun as this can be, trick-or-treating can be dangerous if parents and children aren’t careful or are unprepared.

Here are some tips from MSN for staying safe while trick or treating:

1. Always Trick or Treat with an Adult: If children are under 12 years old, they should not be alone at night without supervision. If they are mature enough to be alone, they should stay in familiar areas that are well lit and stick with groups.

2. Factory Sealed Snacks Only: Examine your kids’ goodies after trick or treating and make sure all of their treats are sealed properly. Throw away any candy with damaged packaging or homemade treats by strangers

3. Stick to Sidewalks: Halloween brings excitement and children may want to sprint from house to house to collect their candy. However, stick to the sidewalk to ensure safety from cars.

4. Choose Comfortable Shoes: Boots or Heels may be the fashionable choice for your child’s costume but they could lead to stumbling or sore feet. Wearing tennis shoes will make for a more enjoyable evening for all.

5. Make Yourself Visible: If your child has decided to dress in a spooky black outfit, it could be tough for cars or other trick or treaters to see them. Have your child carry a flashlight or a glowstick to light themselves up. Also you could add reflective tape to kid’s bags to make them even more visible.

Check out more Safety tips from MSN here

Urgent Care for Kids wishes you a happy and safe Halloween!

trick-or-treat-2

 


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

5 Tips to Help with Homework

School is in session and that means homework is in session too. Homework can often be a pain point for parents and children. It can cause a frustrating struggle on a daily basis for families. Homework is an essential part of the learning process and important for children to take seriously.

We asked Kids Health to share their tips to encourage your child while doing homework! See below for their 5 tips to help your kiddo’s with homework:

1. Get to know the Teacher: If you know the teacher assigning the homework, you will have more of an idea of what they expect for assignments. Ask about their policies and how you as a parent can be involved.

2. Limit Distrations: Create a calm environment with the TV off, iPad away, and focus completely on their school work. Try to have good lighting and supplies needed in reach to help limit distractions.

3. Monitor and Motivate: Monitor their assignments by asking about the progress and status of each and checking the completion of them. Motivate them with encouragement and being available for questions.

4. Set a Good Example: Try to set an example of diligence and hard work by sitting and working or reading a book. Kids will succeed and try to follow in parents’ footsteps.

5. Praise Praise Praise: Hang good grades or projects on the refrigerator and mention achievements to relatives. Never stop encouraging and praising.

primrose3

Check out more Homework Tips from Kids Health here


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

DIY: Mummy Madness

Halloween is just around the corner. Pumpkins are being carved and costumes are being designed. Mummies are one of the spooky creatures that make an appearance during this Halloween Season and what better way to decorate than adding an homemade Mummy to your home. Toilet Paper Roll crafts are cheap and easy to find in your household! Check out this Halloween Twisted Toilet Paper Roll Craft from Gluesticks and Gumdrops.


Materials Needed:

-Toilet Paper Rolls

-Black Paint

-Gauze

-Googly Eyes

-School Glue


Step 1: Paint the toilet paper rolls black. Let them dry.

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Step 2: Glue the googly eyes near the top of the tube using the school glue

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Step 3: Wrap the toilet paper tubes with strips of gauze, gluing occasionally along the length of the strip to secure it.

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Gluesticks and Gumdrops

Check out more from Gluesticks and Gumdrops here!


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

Get Fit Friday: Secret Smoothies

fit-friday-banner


Physical fitness is very important to overall health, even in kids. In this series, we will share tips on how to make fitness fun, creative ways toy get kids moving, steps to take to make fitness a healthy habit, and more! Lace up your sneakers and let’s get moving!

Growing up, we were all told we had to eat our vegetables. Raw, boiled, baked, or pan seared… some children are harsh critics for getting their greens. However, there is a secret way to sneak in extra greens without your children knowing: Green smoothies!

Green smoothies have many health benefits and can include any greens such as: spinach, lettuce, kale, or collard greens. They offer pure nutrition and TONS of vitamins. They are low in calories but very filling. They help with hydration and digestion. Green smoothies are the perfect way to conceal extra greens in your child’s diet.

Photo Courtesy of: Family Sponge

Photo Courtesy of: Family Sponge

Check out these 5 tips to from Whole Life Nutrition to consider when first introducing green smoothies to your kiddos:

1 – Start with MORE fruit and LESS greens: When you begin making these smoothies, you can sneak a few kale or spinach leaves without changing the color of the smoothie. Gradually you can add more greens each time.

2 – Use Creamy Fruits: Frozen bananas and avocados are great to add to smoothies. This will give it a rich and creamy feel!

3- Use a High Powered Blenders: If you can, use a high powered blender because these will thoroughly break down the greens so the smoothie is extra smooth. Chunks left by a regular blender may be less desirable by a child.

4- Serve with a Straw: In kid’s minds, straws make everything more fun and easier to drink!

5 – Use a colored or opaque cup for serving: If kids see green, they may not like it! This way they can taste the goodness with their mouths instead of being afraid to try it.

Do your kiddos enjoy greens? Have any green smoothie recipes for us? Check out more from Whole Life Nutrition here.

 

Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.

Trick-or-Treat Tips

As well as providing superior pediatric care for your little ones, Dr. Whitenton has an array of knowledge of helpful tips for your family! With school back in session, Dr. Whitenton is here to talk about children’s allergies and staying safe while trick-or-treating this year!

pumpkin-ducks

Halloween remains one of the most exciting and fun holidays for kids, but for a number of children, it can be a life-threatening challenge.  Most parents are familiar with rules at daycare and school regarding peanut butter and other allergens in children’s lunches, snacks, and treats, but a great deal of care must be taken for children at Halloween with tree nut allergies.

Imagine the disappointment of going trick or treating, collecting an orange plastic pumpkin full of treats that aren’t usually enjoyed in large quantities for the rest of the year, and examining the bounty only to find they can’t be enjoyed because of an allergy.  Many parents avoid that disappointment by avoiding participation in the holiday at all.  Having treats available to kids on Halloween that are free from common allergens such as peanuts means that all children can participate in and enjoy a fun night trick-or-treating.

One way to communicate to families that you have non-food treats available is to place a pumpkin on your front porch that’s painted teal.  It’s a universal sign to families that your treats are safe.  Some ideas for non-food treats would be vampire teeth, spider rings, stickers, pens and pencils, or glow sticks.

For a list of peanut-free treats, visit this website:  http://www.allergysf.com/safety/candy/nuts/

To learn more about the teal pumpkin project, visit:  https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project


Dr. WhitentonDr. Kristi Whitenton is a graduate of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, followed by general pediatrics residency at the University of  Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  After two years of additional training in pediatric critical care, she became a medical director for Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care in San Antonio.  In August 2014, she joined Urgent Care for Kids as the medical director for the Austin area.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has a son attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and supporting the visual and performing arts.


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.

Fall Craft Fun

The air is starting to crisp, the colors are starting to change, and the leaves are starting to fall. Autumn is approaching quickly! What better way to celebrate the seasons changing than with a fall craft?!

Check out this EASY and fun craft perfect for all ages from Arty Craft Kids:


Materials Needed:

-A sheet of white paper
-Paint (preferably: brown, orange, yellow, green, and red
-Q-tips


Step 1: Trace your child’s hand and arm with a pencil on the white sheet of paper

Step 2: Allow your child to paint the arm and hand brown. This will be our tree trunk!

Arty Crafty Kids

Arty Crafty Kids

Step 3: Dip the end of a Q-Tip into each of the colors and make dots (leaves) on the tree.

Arty Crafty Kids

Arty Crafty Kids

Step 4: Build onto the dots with varying colors and sizes and patterns.

Arty Crafty Kids

Arty Crafty Kids

For more fun craft ideas from Arty Crafty Kids click here! Happy Crafting!


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

Get Fit Friday: Balance and Benefits

fit-friday-banner


Physical fitness is very important to overall health, even in kids. In this series, we will share tips on how to make fitness fun, creative ways to get kids moving, steps to take to make fitness a healthy habit, and more! Lace up your sneakers and let’s get moving!

 

 

bigStrollGa

Having an active lifestyle is so important to overall health, and yet it is so easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Understanding the benefits of exercise can help you and your family begin healthy habits such as cardiovascular exercise and strength training. However you choose to get moving, it’s important that you do. This week, we invited fitness experts, Jami and Eryn with Nema Verda, to share some of the benefits of exercise!

Cardiovascular exercise benefits

  • Strengthens your heart muscle, yes your heart is a MUSCLE
  • Reduces fat, while building muscle
  • Helps build type I muscle fibers, which are good for endurance and last for long periods of time
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increases the rate of various processes in your body, known as your metabolism

Strength Training benefits

  • Increases bone density, which is extremely important to maintain when getting older. Our bones lose their density as we age, especially in women causing osteoporosis
  • Builds muscle density which helps decrease your body fat
  • Increases your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), while decreasing your LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Improves your overall body flexibility, which reduces the risk of muscle pulls and back pain
  • More muscle = more calories burned at rest. For every 3 pounds of muscle built, burns an additional 120 calories per day at rest

Differences cardio vs strength

  • Cardio burns more calories per minute (average 10-12), versus strength training (average 8-10)
  • You burn more calories after strength training because your body is trying to help your muscle recover

 


 

eryn-and-jami-2 Jami and Eryn both have Bachelors in Exercise Sports Science degrees from Texas State. Both lovers of adventure, sports, and fitness, they came together and created Nema Verda in 2016. In their freetime, they enjoy any outdoor activity and traveling!

A message from Jami and Eryn: As humans we evolve in order to survive and adapt to our surroundings. We need balance in order to maintain a long and healthy life. From work to family to our own happiness, we must find the perfect balance. The same goes for exercise. We must have cardiovascular endurance while obtaining brute strength. It is important to include both types of exercises in your weekly exercise routine. Taking all of this into account, this is why we created Nema Verda. We felt that people need help when it comes to “the perfect balance.” We have put together multiple programs that include both strength and conditioning, and nutritional guidance. All workouts can be done under an hour at your home, gym, or any outdoor setting.

For more information about Nema Verda visit their page at www.nemaverda.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

Kids in the Kitchen: A Healthy Twist on a Family Favorite

After a long day at school, cooking dinner with your children can be a great way to wind-down and spend quality time with them. Cooking is a wonderful skill to learn early on, and teaching healthy habits can go hand-in-hand with that. This week in our “Kids in the Kitchen” series, we want to share a healthy twist on a family favorite: Spaghetti. For a healthy twist, you can use spaghetti squash instead of pasta!

Photo courtesy of: http://paleogrubs.com/

Photo courtesy of: http://paleogrubs.com/

For this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash (cut in half by an adult)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 24oz Jar of Marinara
  • Ground Turkey

Step 1.

First, you’ll slice the spaghetti sqaush lengthwise. Have your little one’s scoop out the seeds and throw them away. Place the two halves of spaghetti squash on a baking sheet. Help your kids drizzle olive oil over the “spaghetti “and then turn each piece upside down so that the outer shell faces upwards.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 400 degrees.

Step 2.

In large skillet, add olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add ground turkey and brown the meat. Next, combine the marinara sauce with the ground turkey and turn the heat on low.

Step 3.

Remove the cooked spaghetti squash from the oven and turn each half over. Let your child use a fork to scrape the spaghetti from the shell. As they run the fork through the spaghetti squash it will begin to form thin spaghetti-like pieces!

Step 4.

Scoop the spaghetti squash out on to plates, and pour the sauce over each serving. Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy a healthy dinner with your kids!


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


 

Ready, Set, Read!

As well as providing superior pediatric care for your little ones, Dr. Whitenton has an array of knowledge of helpful tips for your family! With school back in session, Dr. Whitenton is here to talk about encouraging healthy reading habits, even before children enter their school years!

Back to school means back to books, but reading skills start much earlier than school.  Reading aloud to kids lays groundwork that is important for future success in school and beyond.  It creates an environment that explains the structure of language in both written and verbal form, and it enhances bonding between child and parent.  Problems with reading often equate to poor performance in school, which may be a struggle for years.  A strong foundation in language, communication, and logical thinking skills will help support early childhood education to ensure a smooth transition into the school years.  Toddlers and pre-schoolers who view books as a treat are more likely to choose reading over television and video games as they grow into students.  Recent studies have actually demonstrated important changes in the brains of children who are exposed to literacy activities in the home.  Parents are the biggest influences in kids’ lives and can truly make a significant investment in adult success by creating a home environment in which literacy can flourish.


Dr. Whitenton

Dr. Kristi Whitenton is a graduate of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, followed by general pediatrics residency at the University of  Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  After two years of additional training in pediatric critical care, she became a medical director for Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care in San Antonio.  In August 2014, she joined Urgent Care for Kids as the medical director for the Austin area.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has a son attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and supporting the visual and performing arts.


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.

Get Fit Friday: Trotting with Tots

fit-friday-banner


Physical fitness is very important to overall health, even in kids. In this series, we will share tips on how to make fitness fun, creative ways to get kids moving, steps to take to make fitness a healthy habit, and more! Lace up your sneakers and let’s get moving!


Trotting with Tots is a group of exercise-friendly, hardworking mama’s who meet on a weekly basis and go on various runs across Austin, with their strollers in tow. When it comes to everyday fitness and where to begin, we went to Loren McEllin, the founder of Trotting with Tots to answer all of our questions!

trotting with tots

What made you want to start Trotting with Tots?

When we first moved to Austin in the early Spring of 2014, we didn’t really know anyone. Sure, my husband had his co-workers, but they were mainly single and/or without kiddos.  In addition, we really wanted to be able to socialize our son, who was 19 months old at the time, without having to pay a huge chunk of money for daycare—especially since I was planning on being a stay at home mom for awhile.  So after some brainstorming, and some stroller-toting runs (because how else was I to exercise during the day?), Trotting with Tots was born.  May 2014 was our first meet-up at Town Lake along Lady Bird Trail, and we had a very good turnout. Over half of the members who participated that day are still very active members of the group today!

When you’re having a tough day on which you don’t feel like a workout, what inspires you to go out there and do it?

We all have our tough days, especially when our minions are not cooperating or when we have recently added a new member to the family (i.e. a newborn), but there is nothing better than the way you feel after a workout with the group.  My little ones also help inspire me by looking forward to our runs.  They know they will have the opportunity to see their friends and play if they cooperate while mommy has her ‘me time’ (better described as the time when Mommy is running and endorphins are kicking in!).  It’s certainly nice knowing you can meet with friends that have similar interests, get in a good workout (or therapy session), see your children smiling and laughing with the friends they’ve made, all while they’re expensing energy, playing outside and getting prepped for a good nap.

What are some of your favorite exercises that you don’t have to go to a gym for?

Running in the great outdoors.  This beautiful city is made for outside fun!  There are so many parks, trails, splash pads, swimming pools, etc. that residents are able to take advantage of, so why wouldn’t we?  We meet all over Austin, up to 5 times a week—from Georgetown to Buda—and we experience it all on foot.  It’s amazing what you don’t notice in a car that you truly cherish when you see it up close.

It’s also wonderful being able to exercise with the kids, and teach them about the importance of staying healthy.  By running with them, we are setting a very good example.  My oldest kiddo often will chant from the stroller when he sees a big hill coming, ‘Come on Mommy, you can do it!’  Melts my heart and helps me get up that hill even on the toughest of days.

What advice would you give to a busy mom who cares about her health just starting out on her fitness journey?

We have ALL been there!  I know sometimes groups of Moms, such as Trotting with Tots, can feel overwhelming for so many reasons—friendships have already been made, people are running further and faster than me, I don’t want my kids to embarrass me, etc.  Again, we have ALL been there.  I think I have, hands down, one of the most embarrassing stories that a Mom could have while exercising with her kiddos, and if you ever want to know so that you feel better about making a start, I’d be more than happy to share!  Yes, friendships have been made in the group, but we have plenty room for more.  We are not a clique, we do not talk poorly about one another, we do not judge. We support one another, our children and our partners.  This group has been a life-changer for me, and I hear the same from other members.  Its our shrink, our second set of ears and eyes, our vice, our sanctuary— it is whatever you need it to be.  Start slow, just meet for play times at first if need be, get to know us and I promise you’ll be addicted.

Want to learn more or join in on the fun?  Here’s the link to our website:

http://www.trottingwithtots.com

Loren

Loren is the founder and leader of Trotting with Tots. She logs dozens of miles every week, with two kids in tow. She makes sure the group runs are spread out from Pflugerville to Buda so all members have a chance to trot on their home turf. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, designing custom sheets and shirts, cooking meals for people in need, and photography.

 

 

 


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.