Monthly Archives: March 2014

Nutrition and Food Safety for Young Children

Feeding children can sometimes be challenging but proper nutrition is essential to their development.

For the pickiest of eaters, exposure to new foods is key. Children may need to be exposed to an unfamiliar food up to 8 times before they are willing to try it. When introducing a new food, serve it alongside foods the children are already familiar with and like. Maintain a positive attitude and model sampling new foods in front of them. Best practice is to offer no disappointment or praise when a child refuses or tries the food.

??????????????????????????

Allowing children to choose how much they would like to eat (if at all) is best so it’s important to offer a variety of healthy foods and textures. When possible allow children to serve themselves by offering a buffet or assisting them to pass dishes around the table.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that toddlers and preschoolers eat the following each day:

Children aged 2-3 years: 4 servings of vegetables and fruit, 3 servings of grain products, 2 servings of milk/milk products and 1 meat product

Children aged 4-8 years: 5 servings of vegetables and fruit, 4 servings of grain products, 2 servings of milk/milk products, and 1 meat product

Note that one serving is considered the typical amount a child of that age will eat in one serving, and is not necessarily a portion size.

In order to achieve these nutritional goals, aim to include all of the 4 food groups at each meal and foods from at least 2 food groups for each snack. This can be as simple as serving raw vegetables with hummus for dipping. Add a glass of milk to add a third food group!

healthier choices include:

– choosing wholegrain for more fiber

– steaming or baking foods instead of frying

– selecting foods that are unsweetened, low in sodium and fat

– choosing at least one dark green and one orange food per day – these options are high in essential vitamins (folate and vitamin A)

For more information on ~feeding children, visit:www.goodbeginnings.ca 

~ food safety, visit: www.befoodsafe.ca (I love their food storage chart)

~ the NutriStep (Nutrition Screening Tool for Every Preschooler), check out: http://www.nutristep.ca/

Thanks for reading!

Signature - Jo

Advertisements

Storypark and ELECT

I want to share with you a new website that child care professionals can use to document and preserve observations of their daycare children – in a safe, fun, and organized way. With this exciting new tool, daycare providers can create an online portfolio for each child, capture special moments in a child’s day and then share it with that child’s parents. This collection of recorded observations – or stories – not only makes a keepsake for families, but can also be used by care giving professionals to plan play-based curriculum, reflect on their practice, and develop partnerships with parents.

Storypark

Once registered with the Storypark website, users are given unique usernames and passwords to protect each child’s information and maintain their privacy. Caregivers post stories to the site and parents receive an email alerting them when a new story about their child has been added. They can then log in and check it out at their convenience. Parents have the option to comment or even share the story with friends and family.

Storypark Vim at work looking at stories

Each child is given their own profile in which their stories are saved, creating an organized collection of observations in chronological order. In cases where a story contains more than one child, the caregivers can easily save and share that story with several families at one time. This tool is also a convenient way for providers to share information in situations where parents share custody of a child.

Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT)

Because Storypark is a tool used to record observations over a period of time, it supports and enhances any child care provider’s work within the ELECT framework. Sharing a snapshot with a short anecdote about a child’s day is a great way to open the lines of communication and promote parent engagement (one of the six ELECT principles). Sharing these moments and insights about a child empowers parents to be actively involved in their child’s development and gives them the opportunity to support learning strategies at home.

Child care professionals can use Storypark as a resource to track each child’s development and mastery of new skills. By observing the development and interests of a child, caregivers can plan learning activities with those interests in mind. Documenting these observations is useful for planning curriculum that furthers meaningful play-based learning concepts centered around the interests and learning goals of the children. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10 21 22 am

Storypark is a great resource for caregivers to demonstrate their professionalism, validating their important work with children. There is a small fee to use this service, but it can be offset as a business expense for operating a home daycare business. CCPRN members will also receive a discount for using this software!

On March 31stStorypark is offering a free information session by webinar. You can either attend this by logging in from your home, or joining us at the CCPRN office from 7 to 9pm. There will be a home child care professional currently using the Storypark platform at the office to answer your questions as well as an online demonstration. Registration is required for either option.

For more information about the benefits of Storypark for parents and caregivers click here.

To sign up for your 30 day free trial of Storypark click here.

Thanks for reading,

Signature - Jo

%d bloggers like this: