Adolescent Health and Fitness


Did you know?

  • Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism and improves your school and athletic performance.
  • The calcium you eat now will protect your bones when you are an adult.
  • Drinking two cans of soda each day for a month, gives you 9,000 extra calories.
  • Smoking one cigarette releases more than 4,000 chemicals into your lungs.
  • Teenagers can show signs of nicotine addiction from smoking cigarettes within weeks or just days of starting to smoke.
  • Alcohol poisoning is a drug overdose that kills over  4,000 children/year.
  • Marijuana impairs your ability to learn.  It takes your body 8 days to remove 90% of the chemicals.

Goals for good health/safety

  • Prevent serious injuries by wearing bicycle helmets, mouth guards and other protective gear – 100 % of the time.
  • Wear a seatbelt and insist all others wear their seatbelts.  Do not ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking or using other drugs.
  • If you have a parent or grandparent with high cholesterol or a heart attack/stroke before their mid 50’s, ask your doctor about having a screening blood test.
  • Say no when you feel peer pressure; whether it is related to cigarette/drugs use or being touched in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Recognize when your need extra help; whether it is related to feeling unhappy, stressed, anxious, or feeling like you want to harm yourself.
  • Know how to reach your parents in an emergency. Make a plan for when you do not feel safe.

Nutrition and physical activity

  • Eat 3 meals/day, including breakfast.  Examples of nutritious breakfast foods include: high fiber cereals, whole grain toast with peanut butter, cottage cheese, eggs, a smoothie with low fat milk.  Eat a healthy balance of protein, fruit/vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
  • Eat 1-2 healthy snacks/day.  Examples include: apple w/cheese, banana w/peanut butter, smoothie w/yogurt and frozen fruit, ½ sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • Eat together as a family at least several times/week.
  • Do not drink too many sweetened beverages (soda, juice, sports drinks, lemonade)
  • Daily physical activity is important to your health.  Exercise at least an hour a day.
  • Take part in “lifestyle” exercise such as walking, biking or rollerblading to school, walking your dog, walking faster than usual to the train/bus stop, mowing the lawn or your neighbor’s lawn, taking stairs instead of elevators.
  • To prevent becoming overweight, avoid grazing on snacks, too much junk food, fast food, juice & soda.
  • Nutrients and vitamins that are often lacking:  calcium (1300 mg/day), vitamin D (400-1000 IU/day), iron (10-15 mg/day), and fiber (20-30 gm/day).

To sleep or not to sleep?

  • Not getting enough sleep can impair academic and athletic performance.
  • It is more important when you sleep than how much you sleep.
  • Instead of staying up late, go to bed early and wake up early to finish your homework.

Feel proud and comfortable with your decisions and actions

  • When something bothers you at home, school or in your community, make sure you feel like you have people to talk to: parents, friends, teachers, a counselor
  • If you feel like injuring yourself that is a sign that you need the help of an adult.
  • Experimenting with cigarettes and/or other drugs put you at risk. Your brain is still developing.  Drugs can damage your brain, especially the part that deals with memory and learning.  Alcohol and other drugs can slow down the development of social skills and
    self confidence

Helpful websites/resources

General information:, – for teens written by teens – the Chicago History Museum – Nemours Foundation, answers and advice

Nutrition and physical activity: – U.S. Department of Agriculture – American Dietetic Association – National Women’s Health Information Center for girls 10-16 yrs – Vegetarian Resource Group

Drugs, sexuality: – support for families/friends with alcoholism – answers to questions about sexual health for teens, – National Youth Advocacy Coalition – Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Alcohol and Drug Helpline:  800-821-4357
Anti-Violence Project Hotline:  773-871-CARE
Horizons Community Service, Lesbian and Gay Helpline:  773-929-HELP

Northwestern Children's Practice

Pediatricians located in Gold Coast, Chicago, IL

The Northwestern Children’s Practice team educates parents to help them raise healthy and loving children and educates children to help them develop healthy habits. As one of the best pediatrician offices in Chicago, our health care providers are dedicated to providing anticipatory guidance to help families navigate from one visit to the next. Founded by Dr. Marc Weissbluth in 1973, the Northwestern Children’s Practice continues to thrive in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a few blocks away from Lurie Children’s Hospital. This welcoming team of experienced child health advocates cares for families in the Chicago-land area and beyond. The Northwestern Children’s Practice offers annual check-ups, lactation support, adolescent visits, sports physicals, vaccines, and more. Besides providing health care for children from infancy through young adulthood, the practice has doctors and nurse practitioners that specialize in sleep consultations, nutrition, and weight management counseling, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity and safe immunization practices. Several of our nurses are trained as lactation consultants to provide support during newborn well-visits. Our lactation consultants and doctors also lead a weekly support group for new parents. Topics often discussed are newborn feeding, including breastfeeding, sleep, development, and safety. 

The Northwestern Children’s Practice has continued to grow throughout the years and now includes a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and office staff who work together to provide comprehensive care with individualized attention. The office is located several blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Patients can be seen at Northwestern Children’s Practice’s convenient walk-in clinic at 8-11 am, Monday through Friday and at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic. Scheduled visits are available Monday through Friday as well as a limited number of well-visits on both Saturday and Sunday. 


  • We offer complimentary prenatal visits to expecting parents as a forum for the concerns of new parents. We have an exchange of information to discuss any prenatal issues, family history of medical issues, what to expect in the hospital, what to expect from your doctor visits in the hospital and what to expect during the transition to home. We will discuss important things to think about including newborn feeding, circumcision, vaccines and newborn screening tests.

    We also offer similar visits to adoptive families and to families who are considering changing pediatricians.

  • Come in for your school physical!

    Make sure your child is up to date with vaccines. At the 11 year old visit we recommend the 3 adolescent vaccines including Tdap, Meningitis and HPV.

    At the 16 year old visit we give a booster for meningitis, and we initiate the Meningitis Type B vaccine series.

    To learn more about the HPV vaccine, please click here.

    To learn more about the Meningitis Type B vaccine, Please click here.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, 


  • We have walk-in clinic hours 7 days/week. Patients can be seen at 8 am by physicians and pediatric nurse practitioners on Monday through Friday. Later walk-in hours with a nurse practitioner are available until 11 am also on Monday through Friday.

    Patients can be seen during our weekend walk-in clinic hours on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am.  

    No appointment is necessary


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Accepted Insurance Plans

Listed are the major insurance providers we accept. Contact your insurance company or Human Resources to verify if we are in network with your specific plan. Please note, currently, we are out of network for all Marketplace Health Insurances.

Coventry Health Care
Land of Lincoln Health
Multiplan PHCS
United Healthcare

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "I have been taking my 6 month old son to NCP since he was born and I have only encountered top level service and medical advice from the doctors and nurses."

    Don J.
  • Yelp

    "We've been going to NCP for almost ten years...I am more than ecstatic to say that they've been very dedicated and have always been there for our family health issues."

    Sylvia O.
  • Yelp

    "They are in tune with our girls, proactive about health care and give honest, practical advice. We moved out to the suburbs but will not stop going to this practice..."

    Pam B.
  • Google+

    "Very happy with my experience with NCP for my three children! Our primary is Dr. Hirsh but had great experiences with Drs. Unger, Li, King and Goldstein as well!"

    Sanna B.
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Northwestern Children's Practice
680 North Lake Shore Drive
Suite 1050
Chicago, IL 60611