Until next time!
– Today’s Family
Happy Friday Parents!
School, Soccer Practice, Music Lessons…who has time to cook a healthy meal on the fly? You do, friend! As an honorary Super Mom or Super Dad, you can totally find a few minutes to prepare a meal that is as nutritious as it is delicious – no drive thru necessary!
We know, we know – Salmon?! Do kids even eat Salmon? With the yummy, sweet glaze that our very own Michele created, we can assure you that they do, and this recipe is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Check out the recipe below! Let us know what you thought on social media! @TodaysFamilyOnt on Twitter or Today’s Family Early Learning and Child Care on Facebook!
You will need:
In a sauce pan, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until thickened. This takes around 30 minutes. You can do this step ahead of time if you’d like to! Just microwave or heat the glaze when ready to use.
Back the salmon at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (or barbeque, if you’d like to!) When the salmon is cooked through and flaky, brush the glaze all over it!
That’s it! Super easy, sweet and delicious. Not to mention packed with protein and omega 3’s and 6’s for a healthy brain and body.
Michele served her salmon with basmati rice, chives, baby peas and oranges. The oranges compliment the sweetness of the glaze while adding a lovely bit of freshness.
Until next time!
– Today’s Family
Even if your school-aged child is too young for actual “homework”, revisiting subjects that they’re learning from their teachers and peers can make or break a successful school year, and encourage your child to get into the habit. Start ‘em young, as they say! Here are 5 tips on how to help your child with school work, whether it’s assigned or not!
#1. Keep an open line of communication
Always, always ask your child what they’re learning. If the topic of the day is colours, take them for a walk and ask them what colours they see. What colour are the leaves on the trees? What colour is that car? Practise makes perfect! If it’s numbers, ask them how many of a certain item is on their plate at the dinner table. Ask them how many cookies they want for dessert!
#2. Establish a routine
Even if it’s only 20 minutes in the evening spent practising a skill, following a routine is crucial. Maybe it’s 7 o’clock pop quiz time! Your little one will learn that the things they learn at school are important and they need to make time every night to revise. This will make your life easier when they get a little older and there’s real homework!
#3. Stick with the “Emergent Curriculum” beyond Child Care!
The “Emergent Curriculum” – the method that many child care locations, including Today’s Family, use to encourage kids to learn through experience can stay with your child for years! As they learn about topics at school, they will naturally begin to apply these things to their lives outside of school. Encourage this by asking your child lots of questions. If you’re out for a walk, ask them to count cars or do basic adding and subtraction. The possibilities are endless!
You can read more about how the Emergent Curriculum works on our website. Click here (hyperlinked).
#4. Get to know the teacher!
Nearly every school offers an agenda, and this little book is your ticket into your child’s school day! Leave notes for the teacher asking questions about your child’s progress so you can help out when your child comes home every night. Make your relationship with the teacher a partnership when it comes to your child’s learning. Make sure your child knows when there is a note for the teacher and ask them every night if there is one from them.
Alternatively, if there is no agenda, leave the note in your child’s lunch pail or pencil case.
#5. Don’t help too much!
We know how hard it is watching your little one struggle through a question or problem. Our first instinct is to rid them of their stress as quickly as we can. Resist! Instead, watch them figure it out themselves or suggest that they take a break. You’ll be so proud of them when they eventually come to the conclusion themselves! This tip only works to a point though; if they’ve been on the same question for too long, then it’s time for Super Mom or Super Dad to step in to save the day.
What are some of your back to school tips? Share them on our Facebook or Twitter! We’re Today’s Family Early Learning and Child Care on Facebook and @TodaysFamilyOnt on Twitter.
Until next time,
(image from clipartkid.com)
So, you and your kids have had an awesome summer full of fun in the sun, but now back-to-school season is upon us and you, like everyone, are feeling a little rusty when it comes to the routine. Or maybe you’re a first timer when it comes to the daily grind of having school aged little ones. Fear not, fretful parent! Today’s Family is going to be bringing you two blog posts dedicated to preparing you and your students for a stress free year!
For our first post, we bring you 5 tips for the first day!
#1: Meal Prepping makes lunches a dream!
We’ve all been there – a hectic morning. You’re half ready for work, perhaps your hair is half curled or your tie is askew, and you have to project your voice all the way to your kids bedroom to beg the question, “What do you want for lunch?”
You head a sleepy, groggy reply that is something to the effect of, “I don’t know!” or “Whatever!” or “Pizza!” and you are left staring into the fridge with a lack of inspiration.
Meal prepping will save you! Find recipes that you can batch cook and will keep in the fridge all week. Try our Delicious Veggie Couscous or our Rainbow Quinoa Salad. On Sunday, gather your kids and have a meal prepping party! We recommend making at least 2 different options and staggering them throughout the week, pre-packing them in single serve containers for grab-and-go simplicity.
#2. Labels, Labels, Labels!
Buy Iron-on tape and arm yourself with a permanent marker. What’s the point in investing in a back-to-school wardrobe if your kids are just going to lose pieces of it throughout the year? Iron the tape onto sweaters, jackets, everything and label the garments with your child’s full name.
As an added bonus, help your child dress themselves in the morning so you know with confidence that your kids can take items on and off with changing temperatures. Also, make sure your child knows where the Lost and Found is at their school!
#3. Now is the time to reset!
It’s so easy to let bedtimes slip in the summer with schedules being more flexible and daylight lasting longer, but there is no time like right now to start resetting sleep schedules for back to school. Move bedtime earlier by about 15 minutes every night and make sure your kids are up 15 minutes earlier every morning to avoid the dreaded, “Are you up yet? Are you up now? How about now?”
#4. Yearly inventory
We all remember relishing our brand new school supplies every September. Why use last years pencil crayons of varying lengths when you can have shiny ones that are all the same length and still live in their box? Unfortunately, school supplies can be super expensive and new everything sometimes just isn’t possible. Have your kids to an inventory of all of their school supplies from last year. Count every pencil and evaluate the beat-up-ness of every pencil case. Your wallet will thank you, and your kids get to learn a valuable life skill!
Bonus! Don’t buy anything, aside from the absolute necessities, until after day one. You never know what might not be necessary this year as compared to last year.
#5. We know it’s hard – but don’t let your jitters show!
If you’re sending your little one off to school for the first time, it can be an emotional rollercoaster. But these first day jitters can definitely rub off on your little scholar. Instead, get them excited for school! Talk about what the bus is like, or take them on the walk that you’ll take to get to school. Ask them what their excited about, and quell any nerves that may be brewing. We guarantee, an excited kid is easier to send off to school than one who really doesn’t want to leave your side.
Good Luck! Come visit us soon for more back to school tips!
Until next time,
They’re colourful, they’re free and you can find them at any hardware store – they’re paint swatches! With such a vast array of colours, the possibilities are endless – and not just for your walls! Here are 3 art projects you can do with a handful of these beautiful, coloured pieces of cardstock.
What you’ll need:
1. The Colour Match Game!
This one is not only a fun craft, but a fun game that will have your kids matching colours all over the place! And it’s easy too!
Step One: Choose an array of swatches to use – as many colours as you like! Then, begin to punch holes in the upper-left hand corners of all of your swatches.
Step Two: This one is a little tricky. Punch a hole closer to the bottom of your swatch and use it as a starting point to cut a hole in the swatch. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Repeat this step with all of your swatches. If you have a fancy shaped punch at home, use it! Don’t worry about the holes lining up – it’s actually better if they don’t!
Step Three: Lace a piece of ribbon through the holes you made in the upper-left of your swatches, turning the swatches into a little booklet.
Step Four: Decorate the front cover of the booklet.
Step Five: Start matching colours all over your house!
2. 3D Butterfly Art!
Why create flat butterflies when you can make ones that look like they may fly off the page at a moments notice? These beauties look gorgeous in a frame or a shadow box too!
Step One: Fold a paint swatch in half and draw a butterfly wing along the fold. (This is just like the age-old heart method).
Step Two: Cut out your butterfly. It should look something like this. We folded it inside out so you could see it better – but you don’t have to!
Step Three: Keep going! Cut out as many butterflies as you like!
Step Four: Either glue or staple the folds of your butterfly’s wings to the page. That’s it! Frame it, or just hang it up as is!
3. DIY Notebook
This may be the easiest art project! Perfect for sticking into a purse or backpack.
Step One: Trace your paint swatch onto lined paper – make sure the lines are straight! Trace it over and over and over again until you have the desired amount of pages.
Step Two: Cut out your tracings. Then, take each page, as well as the paint swatch, and fold them in half.
Step Three: Staple along the spine of your notebook to keep it in place.
Step Four: Decorate the front cover! Get creative! Use stickers, markers – anything!
There you have it, folks! Three easy and beautiful crafts you can make with paint swatches! Can you think of another one? We’d love to see your pictures on Social Media! Tag us on Twitter, @TodaysFamilyOnt, or on Facebook where we’re Today’s Family Early Learning and Child Care!
Until next time!
– Today’s Family
In the September edition of Today’s Parent Magazine, you will be able to catch sight of a familiar name – Melissa Stenhouse is the Program Coordinator at our Huntington Park site, and Supervisor Support at Greendale. She was interviewed for the piece, offering her experience with a little girl named Zoey*, and baking pies and how it related to literacy. It seems far-fetched, but don’t be quick to judge. Through the writing of Katie Dupuis, who spent a notable amount of time researching for the article, Melissa eloquently paints a picture of how learning is everywhere. Check out the article below, filled with entertaining stories and important insight into why play is so important.
Until next time!
– Today’s Family
We’ve all been there; it’s dinner time and you hear a deafening cacophony of, “This is yucky!” “What’s this green stuff?” “Why can’t I have cookies for dinner?” But how do you go about inspiring your picky toddler to be a food connoisseur? Here are our top 10 tips.
#1. Make sure your toddler sees you eating a wide range of healthy foods and that these foods always include items that you want your toddler to try and, eventually, enjoy.
#2. Make dinner together! If your child hates brussel sprouts, have them help to make them. Of course, use your discretion when it comes to what tasks they do – maybe have them wash the brussel sprouts and pull the outside leaves off. Your child will be proud of themselves for helping and is more likely to try the food they helped to prepare.
#3. Combine foods your toddler doesn’t like, or perhaps hasn’t tried, with foods you know they love. That way, they aren’t overwhelmed.
#4. Don’t be a short order cook! If your child knows that they can have whatever they want for dinner – as long as they make a fuss – then they will continue to do so.
#5. Avoid making faces or expressing disgust when trying new foods. This is a monkey see, monkey do scenario. You are your child’s example of what behavior is appropriate.
#6. Take note of your child’s picky points – or things that they tend to not like about food. This could be a colour, a texture or a taste, like bitterness. If they don’t like mushy food, offer them boiled potatoes instead of mashed or give them crunchy food to have with their mushy food – like dipping animal crackers in applesauce.
#7. Don’t put too much pressure on your child. The, “you have to try it, but you don’t have to like it” rule is a good one. As long as your child tries one bite of a new food, you’re making progress.
#8. Some children appear to be picky eaters when, in fact, they are just active and don’t want to sit down long enough to have a proper meal. In this case, keep mealtimes short – 10-15 minutes or so. That way, your child doesn’t get ants in their pants.
#9. Some children rush through dinner because they’re excited for a sweet treat after their meal. Nutritionists have found that it’s effective to serve a small dessert with the main meal, instead of after. On average, children tend to eat more vegetables this way. There’s a great article from Today’s Parent about this idea! http://www.todaysparent.com/kids/why-this-dietitian-says-you-should-serve-dessert-with-dinner/
#10. Be patient. Some toddlers need to try a new food 10-15 times before they decide that they like it, or are at least used to it.
Do you have tips on how you handled your picky eater? We want to hear from you! Share your experiences with us on Twitter, @TodaysFamilyOnt, or on Facebook at Today’s Family Early Learning and Child Care.
See you on Wednesday!
– Today’s Family