Monthly Archives: April 2013

Anghelika’s Summer Reading

summerreadingHere’s a stack of books Anghelika is currently attacking. These titles were frequently mentioned at this years California Association for The Education of Young Children (CAEYC) conference and at the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS) conference. We think it’s a Pretty Cool Pile for Parental Perusal (PCPPP).

There is a lot of very interesting work being done in the neurological sciences these days. Science now has more to say to those who work with people in general, and children in particular. Maps are being drawn around the way the experience of children and their overall development is connected to the development and structure of their brains.

Stay tuned ….

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Good Eats

We heard a story recently about a local teacher who for a cooking lesson, decided that her kindergarteners should learn how to make cupcakes. This would be a treat … if it weren’t the norm. From what we hear, the kids in this classroom are used to sweet snacks.

Hey, we love dessert. We aren’t against treats! Kid’s deserve celebration from time to time! Besides, constantly forbidding sugar and treats can make a child resentful. But school is for learning … so what is the lesson?

When you have kids to feed, offer variety and begin to introduce kids to all the wonderful, healthful foods native to your area (and then, the rest of the world). Consider fun ways and places to eat, like an afternoon picnic, or put out carrot sticks and hummus at a tea party. Experiment! Kid’s will often eat way more than we think. There is a multitude of foods that are tasty, fun, and interesting and can be introduced in creative ways that invite kids and adults to try new foods. And for goodness sake, a cooking lesson is the perfect opportunity to introduce new foods. In our experience, kids are willing to try more variety when they are a part of the preparation. A classic example: have each child bring one ingredient from home (a la stone soup), and make a great soup or stew together. For a quicker snack, have everyone bring a piece of fruit from home, and make a great fruit salad.

If you want to teach kids about baking (without the cupcakes) make whole wheat breads from scratch. And while it’s not as simple to put together from a trip to the supermarket, you could find whole grains and really start from scratch. Simply grind them in a blender, or get yourself a grinding rock and go olde school. Don’t have time for this? … swap your cupcake mix for a healthy muffin mix.

Bonus: here’s a list from a local pre-school of kid-tested foods that aren’t full of chemistry or all about the cavities. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments …

All Natural
Apples, avocado, bananas, berries, rice, beans, carrots, cranberries (dried), grapes, melons & cantaloupe, nectarines, olives, pears, pickles, pineapple, raisins, cheese, snap peas, jicama, sunflower butter (seeds–like sunflower–don’t threaten kids with nut allergies!) for sandwiches.

Prepared Snacks
rice cakes, rice crackers, seaweed snacks, cheerios, (multigrain), fruit cups, (no sugar added), guacamole (mild), graham crackers, turkey meatballs, fig bars, pita chips, potato puffs, veggie crisps, pretzels, raisin bread, ramen, snack animals, tater tots (check for no trans-fats), tofu (seasoned ok), tortillas & mild salsa.

Cooked Foods
Meats (ham, turkey, chicken, etc), fish sticks, shred-your-own hash browns with catsup, hummus dip, mini whole-wheat waffles & real maple syrup.

Treats
Fruit popsicles, vegan/dairy-free muffins, gummy fruit snacks, sugar free jello & whip, fruit sorbet, yogurt (try it with honey).