February is American Heart Month

HeartMonthGiving kids the best start to life is not just about A.B.C.’s
It’s about healthy habits too. Child care and early education
providers have a tremendous opportunity to help young kids
learn healthy habits that prevent childhood obesity and can
keep them healthy for life. Let’s join together, Provider and
Parents, in 5 simple steps to success for healthy children.

  1. increase physical activity
  2. limit screen time
  3. encourage healthy eating
  4. offer healthy beverages
  5. support infant feeding
And let’s help our kids grow up healthy!

For Growing Bones…….Which Milk?

milk-mistacheIf you have a child under two years, offer whole milk after breast milk or formula. Babies and toddlers need the fat from whole milk to grow properly.
Starting at age two, children can drink low-fat milk. It’s a good habit for your wholefamily to learn. Drinking low-fat milk is one way to get less fat, especially saturated fat.
Change slowly to low-fat milk. Switch first from whole milk to 2% milk. When your child gets used to the flavor, try 1% milk. Offer 1% milk on cereal and in smoothies. Your child probably won’t notice.
Check the Nutrient Facts panel on milk cartons to find the benefits. You’ll see several nutrients that everyone in your family needs.

  1. Calcium and vitamin D
  2. Protein
  3. Vitamin A

PREPARING FOR KINDERGARTEN

Encourage children to take responsibility and accomplish tasks independently.

Lined-UpSelf-help skills

  • Go to the bathroom alone.
  • Wash hands alone after using the bathroom.
  • Open snacks independently.
  • Throw trash away and clean up after him/herself.
  • Putting away personal items.
  • Dressing
  • Tying shoes

Academics

  • Write his/her name.
  • Recognize the letters of the alphabet
  • Sing the ABC song
  • Count to 30
  • Identify basic shapes and colors
  • Sing songs and recite nursery rhymes

Behavior and Socialization

  • Wait his or her turn.
  • Follow 2 & 3 step directions.
  • Sit for a 10-15 minute story.
  • Keep hands and feet to self.
  • Share
  • Be kind to self and others.
  • Practice good manners: “thank you”, “please”, etc.

STAYING HEALTHY THIS WINTER

Healthy Tips for Winter timeTIPS for staying healthy this winter:
  1. Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs.
  2. Cover your sneezes and coughs……I teach all my little kidos to (COUGH IN YOUR ELBOW)
  3. Drink lots of fluids to keep your body hydrated.
  4. Stay home when you are sick. You will feel better and help prevent others from catching your illness.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  6. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, and eat healthy food.

FUN SNACK IDEAS

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.24.22 PMKids like to snack. Most children do best when they eat 4-6 times a day. Snacks timed about 2 hours before a meal can help curb the craving for non-nutritious foods. Here are some fun, easy-to-fix nutritious snack ideas to try with your kids:

Milk shakes and smoothies! Milk, juices,crushed ice, yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try a variety such as strawberries, banana, peaches, berries.

Fruit juice Popsicle! Freeze 100% fruit juice in ice cubes trays or paper cups. Insert a rounded wooden stick for a handle. Your kids will love them!

Cinnamon toast! Toast a piece of *Whole wheat bead* , spread a small amount of butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and a tiny bit of sugar! Kids love the fragrance of cinnamon spice. It is delicious, and a great antioxidant.

HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (HFMD)

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.36.58 PMWhat is HFMD ? HFMD is a common viral infection that usually affects children under the age of 5 years. According the the California Department of Public Health, HFMD is caused by a number of viruses including enterovirus 71, coxsackie virus A16 and a new strain called coxsackie virus A6.

The symptoms are: fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, and a feeling of being sick. A day or two after the fever begins, small red spots develop in the child’s mouth and on the inside of the cheeks, gums and tongue. This is followed by tiny painful blisters on the hands and feet. The new coxsackie virus A6 strain, causes a higher fever, a larger more severe rash with blister-like lesions covering the hands, arms, legs, buttocks and trunk.

HFMD is spread by sneezing, coughing, or contact with fluid from the blisters. The virus is often passed when an infected person touches someone else or a commonly touched surface, such as a door knob chair, or toys without washing their hands first. Symptoms usually resolve on their own within 10 days. If your child is diagnosed with HFMD, be sure he is kept home from childcare or preschool, as to not infect or risk other children.

Any child diagnosed with HFMD should be fever free and symptom free for a full 24 hours, with a Pediatrician’s note of release to return to child care.

WHAT IS TEETHING?

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.39.35 PMTeething is the normal process of new teeth working their way through the gums. Your baby’s first tooth may appear anytime between age 3 month to 1 year old. Most children have completely painless teething. The only symptoms are increased saliva, drooling and a desire to chew on things.

Teething occasionally causes some mild gum pain, but it does not interfere with sleep. Because teeth erupt almost continuously from 6 months to 2 years of age, many unrelated illnesses are blamed on teething.

Common myths about teething…….teething does NOT cause fever, sleep problems, diarrhea, diaper rash, or lowered resistance to any infection.

It probably doesn’t cause crying. If your baby develops a fever while teething, the fever is caused by something else.

CHOOSING A CHILDCARE PROVIDER

childcare-providers70 % of working parents place their young children in childcare. I’m a firm believer of the “it takes a village” school of thought. The moment a working parent drops off the child for the first time, whether its a new born, or a 4 yr old, a parent will never forget this moment.

If you have the “peace-of-mind” that your caregiver will be a partner in your happy village , it will help. Start early, begin touring and interviewing in-home child care providers during pregnancy if possible. In-home child care is much smaller than the big center based care, and enrollment fills up quickly.

Be sure your provider has years of experience. It is best for the child to stay with the same caregiver as they grow from infant to toddler to preschooler. Once you have made up your mind and decided on a provider, ask to be put on a waiting list. Many in-home facilities will take a deposit and reserve contracted days for your child. So remember, visit many in-home child care providers, interview providers with much experience, and reserve your child’s place early.