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How to Correct Your Child’s Bad Eating Habits

Some of our kids will refuse to eat their veggies. What is it about those green things anyway? Some of them will only eat mac and cheese and hotdogs. What are hotdogs even made out of? And still others will fill up on candy and sweets before dinner. Why do we keep letting them do that?

We keep on kicking ourselves for letting these habits continue but we’re so stumped about how to break them that it seems like an impossible feat. The good news is – there are solutions, you just have to be willing to stick with them.

How to get them to eat their veggies

  • Try a topping – Adding a topping, such as shredded cheese, to the veggies may make the veggies taste delicious to our child. Broccoli and cheddar cheese, cauliflower au gratin, or baked asparagus with parmesan are all great ways to make those veggies irresistible!
  • Add a dip – Your child may not like the veggies by themselves but with their favorite dip, such as ketchup or ranch dressing, it’s a game changer.
  • Get creative – Allow your children to help you make an appetizer tray full of veggies and arranged in any way they want. Include some hummus on the side so they can enjoy the fun and flavor of dipping!

How to keep them from snacking throughout the day

When your child is nibbling nonstop on unhealthy snacks throughout the day, it means they won’t be hungry come mealtime. To get them to break this unhealthy habit, try the following.

  • Set a snacking schedule – It’s recommended to serve two to three snacks daily, and all around the same time; for instance, midmorning, midafternoon, and bedtime (optional). Children will thrive with this structure because their hunger will become more regulated and predictable.
  • Prepare snacks ahead of time – When you set aside time to prepare your child’s snacks for the day, you will have time to think about making the snacks healthier and more filling. Snacks that are high in protein tend to keep kids satisfied longer. For example, you can try healthy combinations like bananas and peanut butter or apple slices in yogurt.
  • Get rid of or hide the junk food – When your child sees the junk food on display in the kitchen, that’s the first thing they will ask for or try to grab when they get hungry for a snack. Keep these foods hidden or get rid of them altogether – out of sight, out of mind. Rearrange your refrigerator or pantry to have the healthy stuff in the front, so that’s the first thing they will see when they open it.

How to stop them from eating too much sweet stuff

  • Limit their intake – It’s not practical to make a child quit eating sweets cold turkey, but it is feasible to limit their intake to once or twice a day. Because they’re not going to like this policy at first, its important to give them some choice in the matter. For example, you can ask them, “Would you like to have a chocolate muffin now or two small chocolate squares after dinner?”
  • Make replacements – Not all sweet treats have to be unhealthy! You can find healthy sweets such as fruits and yogurt or bananas sprinkled with cinnamon. Cereals and fruit snacks that are high in sugar can be replaced with low-sugar versions that they will grow to love just as much.

How to get them to try new foods

  • Repeated daily exposure – Even if your child initially rejects the food, researchers have found that it takes between 10 to 15 exposures for a child to like the new food. So stick with it even if they don’t like it at first!
  • Offer non-food rewards – It’s important for us to offer praise when our children try new foods, but we should have a neutral stance if they decide not to eat it. You may also choose to offer a small physical reward such as stickers when your child accepts a new food.
  • Be a role model – You can’t expect your child to eat a food that you’re not eating yourself. Always eat the same food as your child when you introduce something new. Research has shown that children who have parents that model healthy eating habits tend to be less “picky.”

Eating at Parker-Chase

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we know that healthy students are happier students! We provide our students with daily chef-prepared meals and nutritional snacks. All of our meals are prepared with fresh produce and ingredients. With a different theme each week, our menu is diverse and gets children excited about eating!

 

 

Bedwetting Solutions for Your Kindergartener

Once you’ve gotten past one of the most difficult stages in early childhood development – potty training – you may find yourself facing something just as challenging – bedwetting. Nighttime involuntary urination usually becomes a concern around 5 or 6 years of age, often when children enter kindergarten. This is also an age when children can become embarrassed by the issue, and parents simply become exhausted with having to change the sheets every night.

Below are some bedwetting solutions that you can try to help your child stay dry throughout the night.

Adjust daily schedules.

Make sure your child urinates right before bedtime and on a regular basis throughout the day. Also, increasing your child’s fluid intake earlier in the day, and reducing it later in the day, can help decrease nighttime accidents.

Stay calm and reassure your child.

The worst thing to do in a bedwetting situation is to get angry and blame your child for the accident. This will just result in more anxiety and pressure for your child. Instead of making a big deal out of the issue, try comforting your child instead. Reassure him that bedwetting is very common among children his age, so he knows that he is not the only one going through this.

Check for constipation.

Your child’s bedwetting problems may stem from constipation since the bladder is located right in front of the rectum. Pay careful attention to your child’s bowel movements. If you notice that she isn’t going regularly, or that the stool is hard, encourage her to drink more fluids and increase her fiber intake. This will ease the constipation and get her system up and running again.

Try an alarm.

If all else fails, you can buy a moisture alarm and attach it to your child’s underwear. The alarm will go off the moment any moisture is detected, and your child will be woken up so that he can get up and go to the bathroom to finish urinating. The bedwetting alarm works best with children over the age of 7. Eventually, in about 12 weeks, your child should be conditioned to get up on his own to use the restroom during the night, or better yet, become able to make it until the morning.

Our approach at Parker-Chase:

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we strive to help each child develop cognitively, socially, emotionally, and academically. We understand that bedwetting is a part of growing up and that accidents at home or in school may make children feel insecure, especially at the kindergarten age. As loving educators, it is our goal to instill confidence and feelings of self-worth in each child. We work with parents to build self-esteem in our students, so bumps in the road like bedwetting can be handled together confidently.

Surprising Childcare Discipline Solutions that Just Might Work

Are your typical discipline techniques just not cutting it anymore? Many parents and childcare experts have become extremely creative with the tactics they use to keep the peace in the household or the classroom – and you can too! Remember, each child is different. So what might work for one of your children, may not work for another. What’s important is to keep trying new tricks until you find the ones that work.

Here are some interesting solutions that might save your sanity in the long run:

For cleaning up a mess:

Let your children know that whenever they leave their personal belongings around the house in places they’re not supposed to be, pick them up and put them in a large box or sack. Do not give anything back to them until the end of the week, and then instruct them that they will have the option of buying back their belongings. You could charge them 25 cents per item if they want to buy them back. If they choose to leave them there, you can take them and donate them to Goodwill or a local charity.

This practice will not only teach your child to put their things away next time, but it will also teach them two other important concepts – the value of money and appreciation of their belongings.

For doing chores:

As much as you love them, sometimes kids can slow you down when you are trying to do housework. They may want your attention, ask you for your help in finding something, or want you to play with them. When this happens, you can give them a choice – if they want to be around you while you are doing chores, then they must help you with the chores you are working on.  If they don’t want to help, they must go elsewhere. The key is that they are not allowed to stay and just distract you.

This tactic works with either option that your children may choose. If they choose option one, then you get some extra help with the chores. If they choose option two, then you get some peace and quiet while you do your housework. Just be sure they still have their own age-appropriate chores and/or responsibilities they must do on their own time around the house to contribute to the household!

For your relaxation:

If you’re trying to relax but being bombarded with shouting, singing, banging and noisy clamor, try this quick solution. Simply tell your children that they are free to be as noisy as they want, just not here.  If your children are whining, pouting or throwing a tantrum, tell them that you’re ready to listen when they’re ready to calm down and talk.

For bedtimes:

Many childcare experts and parents agree that the trick to getting your children to go to bed without a hassle is to stick to some kind of bedtime routine. To make this routine go as smoothly as possible, and to give yourself a few hours of downtime before you go to sleep yourself, try implementing a new policy in your house. For instance, you could eliminate screen time at least one hour prior to bed time and replace it with an hour of reading books. Electronic devices are well-known for emitting a blue light that prevents the body’s natural release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Reading on the other hand is a relaxing activity perfect for helping children put themselves to sleep.

How we discipline at Parker-Chase:

At Parker-Chase Preschool, our childcare professionals use positive reinforcement and individualized discipline techniques that are consistent for each child when necessary. We make sure that the discipline methods we use are appropriate to the child’s level of understanding. Most importantly, we make sure that our teachers use only positive methods of disciple that encourage self-esteem, self-control, and self-direction. Some of these methods include using redirecting behavior and positive statements, focused on the praise and encouragement of good behavior rather than unacceptable behavior.

 

5 Advantages of Hand-Me-Downs

Although it’s nice to make each child feel special with a brand new toy or a new set of clothes, there are many benefits to hand-me-downs! Certain items are extremely easy to pass on from child to child. Whether you are the recipient or the donor of hand-me-downs, there are a variety of benefits and life lessons that are associated with passing on treasures from one child to another:

  1. Children outgrow clothes fast.

    One way to avoid spending money on new outfits every few months for your child is by accepting hand-me-downs. On the flip side, one way to prevent your child’s clothes from going to waste is by saving them to hand them down to your next child, or giving them to a younger relative, neighbor, or your favorite charity.

  2. Kids go through toys just as fast as they outgrow clothes.

    Children quickly get tired of things! One way to keep things fresh, and prevent yourself from overspending on new children’s toys all the time, is to welcome hand-me-downs from others or use the ones you have saved from your older children.

  3. Books never go out of style.

    Your children may outgrow the books as they move on to higher reading levels, but this doesn’t mean that you should throw them away. Books can easily be passed on. And what a special gift it is to pass on the joy of reading from one child to another! If you don’t know anyone that could benefit from your child’s used books, you also have the option of donating them to a local library or bookmobile.

  4. Hand-me-downs will help your child grow to appreciate the value of things in life.

    Being the contributor, or even the recipient, of a hand-me-down provides a valuable lesson in sharing for your child. Encourage your child to help sort through their belongings for items that can be donated and shared. Be sure to use the opportunity to discuss the significance of giving to others!

  5. Hand-me-downs also help your child become more environmentally conscious.

    By giving away old toys and clothes instead of throwing them away, you can teach your child the importance of sustainability. In giving items to others, you are encouraging reuse. In accepting hand-me-downs from others, you are using less “stuff.” These are valuable lessons for your child that encourage a sustainable lifestyle and teach your child how to respect the environment.

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we teach children the importance of sharing, empathizing and caring for others. Learning to share and donate your belongings to others is a valuable way to instill feelings of self-worth in each child, and help to support the development of a more well-rounded individual.

10 Superfoods for Preschool Kids and Toddlers

A healthy diet lays the foundation for a healthier child. Toddlers and children in preschool have such small tummies, so it’s important to pack every mouthful with as much vitamins and nutrients as possible. While candies, chips, and cupcakes are sure to worm their way into your child’s mouth, there are several nutrient-rich foods that are excellent choices for a healthier diet.

These 10 superfoods are perfect for preschool kids and toddlers:

  1. Eggs –

    Naturally rich in vitamin D, eggs are a great source of protein. Eating a breakfast that contains protein makes preschool kids and toddlers feel satisfied longer, easing the mid-morning hunger pains and helping them stay focused.

  2. Oats – 

    High in fiber and digested slowly, oats provide preschool kids and toddlers with a steadier stream of energy throughout the day. Whole oats are generally better than the instant packets, which tend to contain more sugar.

  3. Broccoli –

    A great immune system booster, broccoli contains vitamins A and C. Broccoli florets are a great finger food! Kids may be more excited to eat them after you tell them that they’re “little trees,” and dip them in ranch or their favorite dipping sauce.

  4. Berries –

    Filled with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals, berries are naturally sweet, which children tend to love! They are also a good source of fiber. Another great finger food, berries can be eaten as a snack on the go or as a dessert.

  5. Nuts

    Loaded with healthy fats which are necessary for heart health, growth and development, nuts can be a great choice for children. If your child is not a big fan of nuts by themselves, you can try various nut butters, such as almond butter or walnut butter. Spread them on a piece of whole grain toast or even add them into a smoothie!

  6. Milk –

    Full of protein and calcium, milk gives preschool kids and toddlers strong bones and healthy teeth.

  7. Fish –

    Certain types of fish, such as salmon, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health and known for boosting brain development in children and adults.

  8. Carrots –

    Orange vegetables and fruits provide boosts of vitamins A and C, potassium, and lycopene (a cancer-preventative antioxidant). Carrots are great for growing kids because they are rich in beta-carotene, necessary for good eye health/vision, the growth of bones, skin and nails.

  9. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt –

    Yogurt contains healthy bacteria, protein, and calcium. Many of the “kid-friendly” varieties contain a lot of added sugars and fruit puree. Stick with a low-fat Greek yogurt and add honey or fresh fruits at home to give it that sweet flavor.

  10. Beans and Lentils –

    Full of soluble fiber, beans and lentils promote gut and heart health. Black beans are also a great source of protein and calcium.

Taking Care of Children and Nutrition at Parker Chase Preschool

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we know that good health and nutrition help build stronger, happier students. We offer daily chef-prepared meals and healthy snacks. Each meal is prepared with fresh ingredients. Our menu follows a different theme each week, so preschool kids and toddlers get excited about eating. A typical meal at Parker-Chase includes several superfoods, ensuring each child receives a well-rounded diet. A great example of a Parker-Chase lunch is fish stars with roasted plantains, corn with black beans, and a mixed fruit cup all prepared by our chef. An afternoon snack at Parker-Chase would include fresh veggies, graham crackers, cheese, or hummus.

5 Tips to Make Your Bathroom a Kid-Friendly Space

In daycares and preschools, the bathrooms are designed specifically to make it as easy as possible for toddlers and young children to use. Extra care is taken at daycares and preschools to make sure that toilets are lower to the ground, and sinks are within a child’s reach. Although it probably wouldn’t be practical for your family to install all new toilets and sinks in your house, there are plenty of other ways you can make your bathroom a more kid-friendly space.

Draw inspiration from daycares and preschools when designing your bathroom. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Get a small stool.

    This should be your first priority when creating your kid-friendly bathroom. A small step stool will make it so much easier for your toddler or preschool child to reach the sink and bathroom counters.

  2. Hang things within their reach.

    Towel hooks or towel bars are typically placed too high up for young children to reach. Make sure that you find a spot low enough, such as the lower part of the inside of the bathroom door, where your child can grab a towel with no problems.

  3. Give them their own toothbrush holder.

    Toddlers and preschoolers love the small things that are made just for them. By giving them a separate toothbrush holder in their favorite color or theme, it might encourage them to brush their teeth.

  4. A cute and durable rug.

    You don’t want your child slipping on the wet floor on their way out of the bathtub. A tightly woven rug with a fun design is perfect for the bathroom because they provide durability and breathability.

  5. Don’t be stingy with shower toys.

    The fun of bath time comes in the form of rubber duckies and colorful sea creatures. Stock up on those and keep them in a storage container separate from the cleaning gear.

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we know that when children are comfortable at school, they can reach their highest potential! Our bathrooms are just one way that we try our best to create a supportive environment that fosters a sense of self-confidence and belonging. Parker-Chase Preschool offers “little potties” and sinks that are low to the ground and ideal for any daycare or preschool. The soap dispensers are also placed within a child’s reach, making the bathroom experience for toddlers and preschoolers a breeze, so they can quickly get back to learning!

How to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of Preschool

The first day of preschool can be a big transition for both children and parents. If your child has never attended a daycare before, or if they are starting at a new preschool, the first day of school may be a stressful experience. A new environment, new faces, nerves, and separation anxiety are factors that can make this experience difficult. Luckily, there are many ways that parents can help ease the transition into preschool.

What You Can Do Before the First Day of Preschool:

  • Familiarize your child with her new school environment. Make sure to visit your child’s classroom a couple of times before the first day of preschool to familiarize him with the new space.
  • Introduce your child to her teacher beforehand to ease the nerves and increase her comfort level on the first day.
  • If possible, make special efforts to connect with other new students in the weeks leading up to school, so your child can look forward to seeing his friends again on the first day.
  • Make a plan with the teacher on the first day if you are concerned that saying goodbye will be a particularly hard time for her.
  • Talk to your child and give him a specific run-down of what will happen on the first day, so that he can create a comforting mental movie.

What You Can Do When You Get There:

  • Make the goodbyes go as smoothly as possible. Trying to sneak out isn’t the best idea, as it can pose the risk of your child losing her trust in you. Make sure you say a reassuring goodbye that you have practiced and made a routine.
  • Ask the teacher if it is okay if your child brings something from home that he can keep in his cubby, such as a family photo, a stuffed animal, or a small blanket. This will come in handy if he needs extra comforting when you leave.
  • Don’t linger around when you’re dropping her off. The longer you stay, the harder it gets to say goodbye.
  • Show your child that you are comfortable leaving. You can do this by making a funny goodbye face, or waving from outside of the classroom window.
  • Learn the other children’s names so that you make school feel like a familiar and safe place. For instance, you can tell your child, “Look, there’s some space at the sand table with Alex and Sadie.”

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we try hard to make our school as warm and welcoming as possible. Our teachers are well-trained to ease the first-day jitters, and know how to bond with each child to make sure those tears won’t last long (if they happen at all). Our nurturing staff is experienced in facilitating the formation of friendships between students to ensure that each child develops a sense of familiarity and fellowship beginning right from the first day of preschool.