Monday, August 18, 2014

Healthy Eating Habits for Children 

By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up while they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults. Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat your child eats. Simple ways to reduce fat intake in your child's diet and promote a healthy weight include serving:

  • Low-fat or nonfat dairy products
  • Poultry without the skin
  • Lean cuts of meats 
  • Whole grain breads and cereals 
  • Healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables 
Other approaches parents can take to develop healthy eating habits in their children include:

  • Guide your family's choice rather than dictate foods. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Leave the unhealthy choices like chips, soda, and juice at the grocery store. Serve water or milk with meals. 
  • Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait 15 minutes to see if they are still truly hungry. This will give the brain time to register fullness. Also, that second helping should be much smaller than the first. 
  • Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, and not a time for scolding and arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress. 
  • Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals. These activities will give you hints about your children's food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. 
  • Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating,  but snacks that are planned for different times of the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling your child's appetite.  You should make snacks as nutritious as possible 
  • Discourage eating meals while watching TV. Try to eat only in designated areas of your home such as the dining room or kitchen.
  • Encourage your children to drink more water. Over-consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to obesity in children. 
  • Try not to use food as punishment or reward your children. Withholding food as a punishment will make children fearful that they will not get enough food. When food is also used as a reward, they learn the lesson that more foods are valuable than others. 
  • Make sure your children's meals outside the home are balanced
  • Pay attention to portion size and ingredients. Read food labels and limit foods with trans fat. Also make sure you are serving the correct portion sizes. 
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bricks for Kids 

Yesterday, we had Bricks for Kids here at Holly Tree of Brentwood for a fun visit! They visited our Pre-Kindergarten classroom and worked on their pre-math skills with them! They did such an awesome job, and the kids didn't even know they were learning! They built an ice cream cone, and a ship, and practiced their patterning! The kids had such a good time with them! Here is a recap of all the fun we had with Bricks for Kids! 

The children got to choose two colors and practice their patterning!

Hunter had a great time building a rocket ship! 

Kylee was super proud of the spaceship that she built! 

They brought the biggest bag of legos that we have ever seen! 

Kaelyn was concentrating very hard on putting the finishing touches on her spaceship! 

Lyla is all smiles from her visit with Bricks for Kids!

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Establishing Good Sleeping Patterns 

All children are different in many ways, but they all need to posses consistent sleeping patterns. Establishing a routine is extremely important because it gives them a good sense of a routine and what to expect next. 
How much sleep a person needs is directly proportionate to their age. There are exceptions to every rule and this one is no different. Some children can get by on less sleep than others, but for the most part, it stays consistent. According to The National Sleep Foundation, by the age of two, most children have spent more time asleep than awake, and overall, a child will spend 40% of their childhood asleep. Sleep is especially important to children because it directly impacts physical and mental development. 

Sleep and Newborns 

For newborns, sleep during the early months occurs around the clock and the sleep-wake cycle interacts with the need to be fed, changed, and nurtured. Newborns sleep for a total of 10.5-18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake. Newborns express their need to sleep in different ways. Some fuss, cry, rub their eyes, or indicate this need with individual gestures. It is best to put babies to sleep when they are sleepy, but not asleep. This way, they are more likely to fall asleep quickly and eventually learn how to get themselves to sleep. Here are some great sleeping tips for newborns:
  • Observe baby's sleep patterns and learn signs of sleepiness
  • Put baby in the crib when drowsy, not asleep. 
  • Place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Encourage nighttime sleep
Sleep and Toddlers

Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. When they reach about 18 months of age, their nap times will decrease to once per day lasting about one to three hours. Nap times should not occur too close to bed time as they may delay sleep at night. Many factors can lead to sleep problems.  Toddler's drive for independence and an increase in their motor, cognitive, and social abilities can interfere with sleep. In addition, their ability to get out of bed, separation anxiety, the need for autonomy, and the development of the child's imagination can lead to sleep problems. Some sleeping tips for toddlers include: 

  • Maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine. 
  • Make the bedroom environment the same at night and throughout the night. 
  • Set limits that are consistent, communicated, and enforced. 
  • Encourage the use of a security object, such as a blanket or a stuffed animal. 
Sleep and Preschoolers 

Preschoolers typically sleep for 11-13 hours a night, and most do not nap after 5 years of age. Difficulty falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night are common. With further development of imagination, preschoolers commonly experience nighttime fears and nightmares. In addition, sleepwalking and sleep terrors peak during preschool years. Some sleeping tips for preschoolers include: 

  • Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule 
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the room where the child sleeps
  • Child should sleep in the same sleeping environment every night, in a room that is quiet, cool and dark-and without a T.V.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Teething Soothers

Teething can be a momentous occasion for any baby. But along with that, can come many sleepless nights, cranky babies, and ideas about how to handle teething that don't really work. Teeth actually start developing while the baby is in the womb, when tooth buds form in the gums. Teeth break through one at a time in a period of months. First, the bottom two middle teeth, then the top two middle ones, then the ones along the sides and back. They may not all come in straight, but over time they usually straighten themselves out. All babies are different, but most seem to start teething around six months. There are many signs that accompany teething,but the classic ones are: drooling, chewing on solid objects, irritability and crankiness, and sore or tender gums. There are many solutions out there, but most only seem to provide very short relief. According to, many parents have come up with their own ways to relieve teething, and provide great relief for their babies. Some of the ideas parents had are:

  • Cold washcloths. You can also add ice chips to the washcloth, tie it up, and let them chew on it. 
  • Frozen bagels
  • Frozen grapes in a baby feeder mesh bag
  • Suck up water in a pacifier and then freeze it
  • Vibrating teething star (frozen)
  • Teething blanket
  • Freeze breast milk into ice cube trays and then place into baby feeder mesh bag

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Preschool One Makes A Splash

Last week, our Preschool One Classroom had so much fun playing in the sprinklers for Water Day! We have two sprinklers set up on the playground. One is a huge circle with water coming out every which way! The other is a straight line sprinkler with water coming out in every direction! The children love jumping over the sprinkler, running straight through it, and putting their hands and feet over it. Here is a recap of all the fun we had at Water Day! 

Eva enjoyed standing in the middle of the sprinkler and putting her hands in the water! 

Charlie is all smiles at Water Day! He took a quick break from all the running he was doing! 

Bill's favorite part of Water Day was letting the water run on his hands and feet! 

Eva and Charlie found a ball and had fun tossing it back and forth through the sprinkler!

Eva loved posing for the camera after running through the sprinklers! We love Water Day! 

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