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Upstate Parent gets answers to those health and wellness questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Here’s your chance to Ask the Expert. You ask us, and we ask local experts to weigh in with some answers. Have a burning question? Let us know! This month’s questions are answered by several local experts. Have a burning question? Let us know! Remember that these answers are the opinions of these specific experts and not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal doctor about your health.

Q: We want to take a babymoon. Should I avoid travel in the third trimester, even if everything is going smoothly?

A: Travel during pregnancy is rarely restricted. The exception would be air travel during the last month of pregnancy, when the increasing chance of labor or ruptured membranes could pose a risk due to the inability to seek immediate medical attention.  For those who do travel, important considerations are avoiding destinations with known infectious risks — think Zika virus — avoiding dehydration and fatigue, and stretching your legs on longer trips to prevent leg vein clots from forming. It’s not a bad idea to develop a plan for whom you would call or where you would seek help should a complication arise.

— Eric Dellinger, OB-GYN, Greenville Health System

Q: I refuse to battle with my 4-year-old at the dinner table. Do you have suggestions for vegetables that I can try? 

A: Remember ROY G BIV?  The colors that make up the rainbow? Think of these colors when you are preparing your dinner each day. Red: tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, apples; orange: peppers, carrots, oranges; yellow: peppers, apples, squash, corn; green: avocado, lettuce, broccoli, snap peas, green beans; blue: blueberries; and indigo and violet: grapes, blackberries, purple cabbage, purple potatoes. Let your child make her own salad mix or cut the produce into fun shapes and make food art like faces or animals. Kids love to dip, so try hummus, black bean dip, guacamole or salsa for the veggies and peanut or almond butter, or yogurt, for the fruit.

—Kerry McKenzie, childhood obesity prevention expert, GHS Children’s Hospital 

Q: At what age should children begin team sports? Is there a benefit to starting early? 

A: The National Institutes of Health recommends structured activities like T-ball, softball, baseball, running, dancing, racquet sports, soccer, swimming or gymnastics in the 6 – 9-year-old range. More complex skill sports like football, volleyball, hockey and basketball are recommended for ages 10 and older. Before allowing your child to participate in a contact sport, consider his or her age, maturity and physical size. Make sure the coach focuses on safety. For younger children, parents should emphasize the child’s effort, improvement and enjoyment as opposed to winning and competition. Girls on the Run integrates running but teaches girls ages 8 to 15 the life skills of caring, cooperation, confidence, character, competence and contribution. For more information, call 864-455-4001.

— Kim Hein, GHS Life Center, program coordinator council director, Girls on the Run 

Have a question?

Email questions to Upstate Parent writer Chris Worthy: chris@worthyplace.com.

Find more on www.upstateparent.com

Find more health and wellness stories like this, as well as other stories relevant to Upstate moms and dads, on www.upstateparent.com.

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