Start Your Child Off Right: Breakfast
I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is especially important for children. After sleeping all night on an empty stomach, a good meal in the morning is just what a growing body and brain need to jump start the day. Studies show that elementary school students perform better and have longer attention spans after eating breakfast. However, this is also true for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Young children have more energy to learn and play and have happier moods when they eat break-fast.
What your child eats for breakfast is also very important. Serving foods that are high in protein and fiber are going to keep their little bellies full and happy for much longer in the day. Foods like oatmeal, whole grain cereal or bread, and fruit are slow to break down in the body. This means that they provide energy for your child over a longer period of time.
Foods high in sugar break down quickly in the body and are not good choices for breakfast. Poptarts, sugary cereals, doughnuts, cookies, and candy provide a quick burst of energy to young kids, which then leads them to “crash” soon after—often leading to moodiness and a lack of energy.
So, start your child off right, with a healthy, hearty breakfast!
Friendship Means the World
Friendship means the world to a child. What do I mean by this? Well, you know how excited your child is when he or she gets to go to a friend’s house or have a buddy come over to yours. You’ve probably noticed children are social little human beings who thrive on happy relationships, love to play, and are often more forgiving than adults!
Research supports the fact that these friendship skills can greatly affect a child’s success in school and in life. Consequently, our early childhood teachers promote friendships skills to foster positive social/ emotional experiences in the classroom.
Parents and teachers model friendship in a variety of ways and books can also help teach these skills. A book I would recommend that is wonderful for the whole family…the whole world really…is Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.
Keeping Kids Safe: New Car Seat Laws
The Colorado State Law has changed as of August 1, 2010, stating that it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure all children in a vehicle are buckled up properly in a car seat, booster seat or a seat belt. The education period of one year has just passed which means anyone who is in violation of the law will be fined a minimum of $82 per violation per improperly installed seat and passenger.
The new law states that:
- Children under 1 year of age and 20 pounds must be placed in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat only. It is recommended to place infants in the rear facing back seat as long as allowed by the car seat manufacturer which is usually 30-45 pounds.
- Children ages 1-3 must be place in a rear or forward-facing car seat. For the correct use of the car seat follow the weight limit of the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Children ages 4-7 must use a forward-facing car seat or booster seat. For the correct use, follow the upper weight limit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ages 8 until 16 use booster seat or lap and shoulder seat belt. Follow upper weight limit of booster seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Safe Sleep for Young Children
One of the most important ways to keep your young baby safe in the home is being smart about how you put her to sleep. Before your child is able to roll over on her own, it’s important to follow these tips in order to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation or accidents during sleep.
- Follow the motto “back to sleep” by always placing your baby on their back at bedtime and naptime.
- Use a crib or portable crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheets.
- Don’t put soft, loose, or fluffy items in the sleeping area, includ-ing pillows, blankets, comforters, soft or pillow-like bumpers, and stuffed animals.
- If you want to have your baby close-by during sleep, place her in a separate, safe space near your bed to help protect the baby and make feeding easier. This is called room sharing. It is dangerous to share a bed with your infant.
- Share this information with everyone who cares for your baby!