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News Bulletin

February 2014 Aurora Early Learning Center • A program of One Hope United 525 College Ave., Aurora, IL 60505 • 630. 256.7700

Monthly

Healthy Lifestyles Curriculum

Overall Health • Exercise •

Nutrition • Environmental Sustainability

Say Yes to Healthy Snacks!
Snacks are an important part of children’s daily nutrition in child care as well as at home. Be aware that a young child may eat little one day and a lot the next. In planning healthy snacks, consider food safety and known allergies as well as “snack appeal!” Serve snacks from a variety of food groups. • Grains and carbohydrates. Young children will enjoy these snacks as part of the 3-4 cups needed each day: crackers with cheese spread, ready-to-eat cereal, mini rice cakes, and graham crackers. • Vegetables. Snacks can be a good way to work 2 cups of these foods into a child’s daily diet. Try vegetable strips, such as cucumber or squash, cherry tomatoes cut into small pieces, steamed broccoli or carrots, green beans, or sugar peas. Offer a low-fat dressing or hummus for dipping. • Fruit. Sections of fruit (apples, tangerines, bananas, or pineapples), canned fruits, and juices are good choices. A child needs 1-1½ cups of fruit each day, but be careful not to overdo the juice. A serving for 4- to 6-year-olds is ¾ cup. • Milk products. Some good choices include milk shakes made with fruit, cheese slices or string cheese, and mini yogurt cups. One-half cup of milk or 1 ounce of cheese makes up 1 of the 4-5 servings young children should have each day. • Meat and protein. Children may enjoy hard-cooked eggs; peanut butter spread thinly on crackers, fruit, or vegetables; or bean dip thinly spread on crackers. Two to 3 ounces of meat, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as 1 of the 2-3 recommended daily servings of meat or protein recommended for children ages 2 to 6. • Sweet and high-fat foods. Everyone enjoys an occasional treat, and a child’s daily diet should include 2-3 teaspoons of oil or fat in his food. Do try to limit the number of these foods. Eating them may keep a child from eating the foods he needs and can lead to overeating. Take safety precautions in serving food. • Watch out for foods that may cause choking, including hot dogs, meat chunks, chips, nuts and seeds, popcorn, raisins, grapes, cherries, marshmallows, pretzels, large chunks of fruit or raw vegetables, peanut butter (when eaten by the spoonful), and round or hard candy. Some of these foods (like grapes or cherries) can be served if they are cut into small pieces. Peanut butter can be spread thinly on crackers or bread. Children love finger foods! • Know a child’s allergies. Be sure that anyone who cares for a child is aware of her allergies and reports any allergic reactions to her parents. Severe reactions can be life threatening and may require emergency medical attention.

Four Components of the

Source: http://www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/healthysnacks.htm

YoUR tRUstED PARtNER IN EARLY CARE aNd EDUCAtION

Parent Café— Strengthening Families Initiative
Our center participates in the Strengthening Families Initiative, and we are happy to start implementing components of the program. This initiative (Strengthening Families Illinois) is a statewide movement to build six Protective Factors that keep families strong. SFI’s network of parent leaders is mobilizing thousands of parents to strengthen families in their communities. Early childhood staff and families, in child development centers throughout Illinois, are partnering with strengthening families to keep children safe and families strong. As part of this initiative, we will be introducing ways for parents to connect with each other and learn more about strengthening families. Parent Cafés will be introduced at our center and is one of the tools for parents to learn more about the protective factors. These café’s provide opportunities for families to have life-changing, family-strengthening conversations and support each other in their very important roles as parents. Surveys have indicated that many of our parents would like to have events such as these to collaborate, learn and gain support from other parents that may have similar questions and concerns. Parent Cafés are based on the principles of adult learning and family support and are a gateway to providing parent leadership opportunities. We will be hosting a Parent Café on March 20, from 5–8 p.m. Dinner and child care will be provided. Parents will need to sign up in advance for the Café, as all participants must be pre-registered.

the oven and watched as it baked. This activity was a great extension of the story they read. They were able to participate in a hands on experience as well as develop the skills of sequencing and re-telling a story—literacy skills. The children also made home made butter for their bread. They learned that butter is made from cream. They took whipping cream in a jar and shook it a lot! After some shaking, their cream was solid and a delicious way to top their freshly made bread.

Preschoolers are Baking Bread and Making Butter!
Classroom 207 spent a week studying farm animals. They dressed as farmers, pretended to milk cows (latex gloves) and read many stories about farm life. They enjoyed reading “The Little Red Hen” in which the hen makes bread for several animals that she lives with. After reading the story, which describes the steps to bread making, the teachers wanted the children to share in that experience by baking bread themselves. They took turns measuring, adding and mixing the ingredients and saw the dough rise. They put it in

Our Active Twos are Learning about Color!
The Twos classroom is finding fun ways to learn about color. They are very active, and as a result, the teachers incorporate lots of movement when planning activities for this group. To learn about colors, the teachers asked children to find colors from all over the room and match them to paper. Children were eager to find items all over and fill each color. After they had found many matching items throughout the room, and still had loads of energy, so they hopped onto the colors as each were called out.

Thanks for Our Recent Donations!
A special thank you to Tony Alonso, our social work intern, who arranged for the recent donation of bread to the center. Warm bread was really appreciated on those cold days! Thanks also to Liza Monich from the Pajama Project of Illinois who provided all the pajamas. We saw many children proudly wearing their new pajamas the next day!

Recycling in the Toddler Room!
Our toddlers love to paint with all sorts of things. Most recently our toddlers used empty infant food containers to create artwork displayed in the classroom. There are so many ways to reuse materials, and we are always finding new ways to reuse everyday household items. Parents, we are always in need of empty water bottles, milk caps, and empty plastic containers to use in the classrooms. Please feel free to bring them in if you can!

Kindergarten Registration
We had a very large response to our own Kindergarten Program, which is currently full with a waiting list. Those who need to register for Kindergarten in District 131, packets will be available starting April 2 at District 131 elementary schools, online at www.d131.org, or by contacting the central registration office at 630.299.7302. If you have any questions, or if we can assist you in this process, please do not hesitate to ask!

Healthy Lifestyles Family Raffle
Congratulations to Nadia Landa (parent of Allison) and Alva Castillo (parent of Jamileth and Jafet). The proud owners of a new slow cooker and recipe book! We hope you enjoy some warm comforting meals as a family!

Reminders
• Please remember that all nap time items (blanket, pillow, etc.) must fit in your child’s individual basket in their cubby. Please also help us reinforce healthy practices by reminding your child that these items are only used for nap time and need to stay in the basket throughout the day. For health reasons, we need all parents to follow this policy. Thanks for your cooperation. • Please also reinforce to your child that hats worn to school need to be put in their basket when they arrive and not worn throughout the day. When these are worn during the day, children may be tempted to share them, which poses a health concern.

Calendar
March 2014
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21 20 5–8 p.m. Parent Café (remember to sign up if you want to attend) 27 Full day School Age Program 28 Full day School Age Program

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24 Full day School Age Program 31

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