Eating Healthy

Eating unhealthy foods is a bad habit for everyone, especially children. In the early stages of life, good nutrition is extremely important. If your child is having a hard time liking healthy foods, here are some tips and tricks to get them on the right path.

Eating Veggies

Some children naturally dislike the taste of vegetables. Over time their taste-buds will mature, but developing a healthy veggie-eating habit can start right away with a few recipe changes.

Try adding an easy topping like cheese. One serving of warm, gooey, delicious cheese drizzled on top of veggies can make a delicious and healthy meal. Some examples you can try are broccoli with cheddar cheese, cauliflower au gratin, or baked asparagus with parmesan!

Stop the Snacking

When your child is nibbling nonstop on unhealthy snacks throughout the day, it means they won’t want to eat their healthy meals. To get them to break this unhealthy eating habit, there are a few things you can try.

It’s recommended to serve your child two to three snacks daily, and around the same time each day. Eating a limited amount of small snacks throughout the day can keep your child’s mental energy at its best and even increase their metabolism.

Snacking too much can be very easy for children when they can easily find junk food in the house. Stop buying the bad stuff! Baby carrots, veggie straws and low-calorie popcorn are all great substitutes for junk food.

Limit the Sweets

It seems like nowadays everything has sugar, and a lot of it. Sugar turns straight into fat, can cause cavities and affects the body’s daily internal rhythm. It’s not practical to make a child outright quit the sweets, but try to limit how much they have.

Full sugar juices, soda pop, and candies are all major sources of sugar. The daily recommended amount of sugar is 38 grams. Some drinks have more than that in a single serving! Instead, find other sweet alternatives like dried fruits or fig bars. Maybe, every once in a while, you might want to give them a fun dessert to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Model Healthy Eating

It’s a lot easier to stay healthy when you cook food at home. Instead of getting fast food or going out to restaurants frequently, try buying ingredients to prepare fresh, healthy, delicious meals. It’s easier on the waist, and the wallet.

Find new and interesting recipes to expand your pallet. If you are willing to try new foods, it can make your child more likely to try them as well.

 

How Prep Approaches Healthy Eating

At Prep Academy Schools, we believe each student has unlimited potential that can be fostered through caring for the whole child-academically, emotionally and physically. Maintaining a healthy diet is key to ensuring that each child performs to the best of their ability every day!

 

Breakfast: the Most Important Meal of the Day!

Breakfast is often the hardest meal for parents to get their children to eat. We have always heard that it’s “The most important meal of the day,” but is it really that important for you? According to numerous studies on child development and health, the answer is yes.

Why is breakfast so important?

Breakfast is important for healthy growth because it’s the fuel that your child’s mind and body needs.

Energy in the morning will help your child stay attentive and alert during school or play. Without breakfast, your child might doze off or get distracted during class. Ensuring they eat well before heading out the door can keep your child positive and prepared for their entire day.

Breakfast is good for keeping your child’s metabolism running smoothly too. Eating at the same time every morning can improve their metabolism. This can help your child stay in shape, decrease the chances of developing heart disease and keep them active.

Also, certain nutrients like fiber and healthy fats found in common breakfast foods act as brain boosters for your child! The brain needs fuel to perform and develop properly, just like any other organ in the body. Eating the right foods in the morning can improve memory and concentration for the day and keep your child’s brain developing.

What to eat for breakfast

Sometimes, it can be difficult to get your child to eat in the morning. Whether they’re not hungry or they just don’t know what they want to eat, it’s still important for your child to have breakfast every day. The best way to get them to eat is to start preparing something nutritious.

The most important nutrients for childhood development are complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and fiber. Here are a few examples of where to find them and what they do:

Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains like brown rice or wheat fill our stomachs up with less calories than those that are found in white bread.

Protein: Lean protein from turkey, nuts or egg whites is great for muscle growth and repair.

Healthy Fats: These come from fish oil and some fruits like avocado, and are good for brain function.

Fiber: Eating vegetables and fruits that have skins will help the body flush out toxins.

Make breakfast exciting, but healthy

Some children don’t like breakfast foods, and others get queasy at the thought of eating so early. To get your child to eat in the morning, try thinking outside the box!

Do they want spaghetti and meatballs? Use brown rice pasta with turkey meatballs. How about a burrito? Wrap some chicken breast and avocado with black beans in a corn or wheat tortilla. Does your child like smoothies? Put strawberries and bananas in a blender with ice and a scoop of natural peanut butter.

You can prepare any of these nutritious breakfasts the night before or with your child in the morning. Changing up the menu, but keeping the healthy nutrients, can make breakfast an exciting start to the day for your child and ensure healthy all-around development!

 

How Prep Feels About Fueling Growth

At Prep Academy Schools, we are passionate about the overall development of each of our students. Our goal is to help children reach their full physical and academic potential at every point in the day, which begins with a nutritious breakfast that fuels fun and growth!

Sports: Benefits for the Body and Mind

Sports, or any physical activity, are crucial for a child’s development and well-being. Whether organized by a school, a club or just a few friends in their free time, sports offer countless opportunities for a child’s physical, social and emotional growth!

Physical Benefits

Getting active is important for young children who are at a stage in life where physical development occurs quickly. Specifically, sports help with physical growth in these ways:

Motor skills: Hand-eye coordination and timing come with movement and practice. Sports are perfect for training both.

Bone and muscle development: Occasional resistance stimulates the growth and strengthening of muscles and bones. Too much can hurt growth though, so don’t let your child go without rest.

Stronger vision: Taking in an appropriate amount of natural light will decrease the probability of your child developing vision problems in the future. But on really sunny days, a hat or glasses should still be worn to protect your child’s eyesight.

Social Benefits

Almost every organized sport is played with teams. The competition, and the team dynamic itself, comes with perks and lessons for your child:

Team skills: Communication, understanding rules and the importance of sharing are vital skills your child will learn when playing sports.

Friend group: Your child may not like every person on their team but spending time with other children at practice can foster strong friendships.

Confidence: Making friends is not always easy, but playing sports with other children offers opportunities for your child to practice introducing theirself and feeling like they are a part of the group.

Emotional Benefits

When it comes to developing emotional traits and qualities, childhood is an important time in a person’s life. Organized sports not only help build a strong foundation for emotional growth, but also have some added benefits:

Self-esteem: Being a part of a team can give your child a sense of importance, and going to practice to get better can offer a sense of accomplishment as well.

Lower stress: “Letting it out on the field,” is sometimes very healthy. Sports can be a physical outlet for stress, leading to improved sleep and a longer attention span.

Emotional recognition: By playing sports, children will learn that they must control their anger and recognize their emotions in order to keep a clear mind and perform well.

Choosing a Sport

Ultimately, it should be up to your child what sport they would like to play. Moreover, you should accept and support their decision. However, there will be times when your child will want to quit when things get hard. At that point it’s up to you to evaluate what would be best for your child’s physical, social, and emotional development.

To get started you can go online to find local clubs for age-appropriate sports, or find out what sports your child’s school offers after class. You can also observe your child during playtime and see what they like to do!

 

Sports and Activities with Prep

At Prep Academy Schools, we passionately seek to guide the growth every student through an innovative curriculum and a healthy balance of work and play. We have a variety of after-school enrichment programs that children can join to be physically active and develop important life skills.

5 Healthy Hobbies for Preschool Children

Hobbies are activities that are meant to expand the mind, develop skills and pass the time. They can reduce stress or be a creative outlet, but most importantly, they help with the physical, emotional and mental development of children.

Hobbies give preschool children the chance to express themselves in healthy ways that let them practice setting goals and planning how to achieve them. Allowing your child to explore their interests and put them into practice can bring out the best in your child, especially when they dedicate themselves to a hobby that is geared towards growth.

Here are 5 examples of hobbies that are healthy for your child’s development:

Origami 

This is the art of folding paper into particular shapes. There are instructions online, and even books, on how to make boats, dogs, 3D shapes, almost anything! This is a hobby that works as an age-appropriate challenge for any child because there are so many structures to fold with varying difficulties. Origami develops fine motor skills, exercises patience and ends with very satisfying results that you can see and hold. Plus, all your child needs is paper!

Drawing 

This is a classic pastime for children because it can be done anywhere at any time. While the results might not be very organized for every preschool child, the actual process of putting pencil to paper is sometimes the most fun part. Whether it’s about what they make or how they do it, drawing teaches children how to express themselves in as many ways as they can imagine.

Collecting Rocks 

Any kind of collection would work, but rocks are a great place to start. There are all sorts of rocks of different colors, shapes and sizes that may catch your child’s eyes, and they can be found anywhere you go. It requires careful observation of nature and ordering skills. As a parent, it tells you a little more about your child too.

Gardening 

Getting your hands dirty is one of the best forms of learning by experience. It’s highly involved and very satisfying, especially when your child sees the fruits of their labor, literally! Gardening requires care and responsibility, which will benefit your child’s development in the long run. It’s good for the earth, produces healthy food and can be relaxing if your child wants it to be.

Reading 

If your child wants to further explore their interests, books are some of the best tools for it. There is so much information on pretty much anything your child could think of. All they need is a book, a quiet reading nook, and some time to themselves. Reading improves language skills, vocabulary and sometimes, creativity. They can read stories to play with their imagination, or books that show them how to make things. If knowledge is power, then books are batteries.

 

There are so many hobbies to choose from that help children grow and learn. They just need your help to get started! Many of these hobbies have lessons to learn already built in. Talk to your child and watch them carefully to see how they express their interests. You might be surprised by what they like to do!

What Prep Academy thinks about Hobbies

At Prep Academy Schools, we want to bring out the best in all of our preschool students. With the help of our caring, nurturing and certified teachers, we dedicate ourselves to finding out what each child needs to grow and develop their passions. Through hobbies, technology and experiential learning, we believe in helping our children excel.

Parenting Pointers on Sharing

The phrase, “sharing is caring” gets thrown around a lot for new parents trying to teach their children how to share. Now, does that mean a kid who doesn’t like the idea of sharing is a kid who cares about nothing and will grow up to be selfish? Not necessarily. It probably means you have a young kid who’s going through a healthy set of developmental stages. So don’t sweat it too much.

While these stages are not always easy to work through, they are quite common. Young children learn how to be emotionally attached to things, then eventually become aware of their own identity, building their persona apart from their parents. All of this usually happens, by the way, before the age of six. And the thing is, only after going through those stages can kids really understand how to share!

Learning how to share is a very lengthy process; just because it doesn’t happen overnight doesn’t mean your child is ruined or that you have failed.

So concerned parents, be not afraid, there is still plenty of time to help your kids grow into healthy and sound individuals. Many parents have gone before you and have studied the most effective ways in teaching how to share, offering words of wisdom on raising children. Here are three parenting pointers for teaching kids how to share.

1. Let your sharing shine.

Learning begins with observation; kids have to see something first, to do it later. If mommy laughs when daddy plays with his food, expect the spaghetti to fly the next night. The same works with sharing. Whenever there is an opportunity to share something with your partner, make sure the child hears what’s going on and sees how happy both of you are after the exchange.

Keep in mind though, if you want your kid to learn how to share, you’ll have to share a lot of things too. Make sure both of you are prepared for that and plan how these “sharing moments” will go.

2. Watch carefully.

Problems will arise during group play-time, they are inevitable. As embarrassing as they can be (and scary, when worries of how they’ll grow up begin to creep in), they should be seen as fantastic opportunities to learn more about your child. The point is, look to see what kinds of influences might have taught your child how to behave in such ways.

3. Don’t force it.

To us, Mr. Booboo is just a teddy bear. To your child, he is a friend, valuable beyond measure. There are some things in life that are just too important to part with. The fear of loss (and understanding loss itself) is extremely important in a child’s development, but that doesn’t mean your kid has to learn it the hard way. The last thing you’d want to do is create resentment early on in life.

Understand the barriers and build from there. Be reasonable about what can be considered priceless and what you can separate from your child. This, too, will have a huge impact on your kid’s ability to prioritize. No two children are exactly alike; not even twins can be parented the same way!

 

These are a few tips to consider when teaching your children how to share, but it’s ultimately up to how you want to mold your child. Some methods will work better than others, so it’s really about being attentive and learning as you go.

Sharing at Prep Academy

At Prep Academy Schools, children are exposed to real social interactions in a productive environment, led by committed teachers who help each student realize their full potential in any situation. This allows children to learn how to share through enriching programs that value each student’s emotional and developmental needs.

The Benefits of Character Education

During a time when school violence and bullying have become so prevalent, it’s important now more than ever that we teach our kids more than just literacy and math skills. That’s where character education comes into the picture. Character education is about teaching our children values and setting a moral foundation for them that they will carry with them throughout their lives. Fairness, honesty trustworthiness, perseverance, compassion, generosity, responsibility, respect, and citizenship are the main pillars of character education.

When we teach our children these core values in school at an early age, the benefits are plentiful. Below are some of the many benefits that character education provides:

  • Higher academic achievements: In a research study done by a Rutgers professor, the results showed that schools that focused on developing the moral character of their students proved to be more academically successful than those that did not.
  • Improved attendance: When a child learns how to be responsible, he will understand that going to school is one of his responsibilities. Not only does responsibility improve attendance, but it also helps them understand the importance of showing up to class and turning in work on time.
  • Fewer disciplinary issues: The focus on respect makes children value not only themselves but also their peers and their teachers. Respectful students take their assignments more seriously because they respect their own skills and abilities, as well as the teacher who gave them the assignment.
  • Reduced violence: When children are taught the concepts of fairness, compassion, and respect at an early age, they will use words instead of fists to solve their problems. This creates a learning environment of peace and harmony rather than tension and violence.
  • A feeling of safety: Both children and their parents have reported feeling safer knowing that they are attending schools where the other students also value the same character traits, such as compassion, respect, and trustworthiness.

Character Education at Prep Academy

Our curriculum at Prep Academy is designed to ensure the development of the whole child – intellectually, socially, developmentally and emotionally. Through age-appropriate activities and real-world scenarios, we help our students develop positive character traits such as self-worth, responsibility, self-confidence, and compassion. All of our teachers lead by example and serve as caring and nurturing role models for their students.

Is there a difference between daycare and preschool?

As you first begin to think about childcare options for your little one, you may become overwhelmed with how many choices there are. It can be difficult to figure out which early childhood education center will be best for your family’s needs. Of course, it’s not long before the big question arises: daycare or preschool? You may even find yourself wondering what the difference is (if any at all) between a daycare and a preschool.

To help you decide what will be best for your child, let’s take a look at some of the areas where daycare centers and preschools may be different:

Ages

Although each childcare establishment is different, many places that have ‘preschool’ in the name may not accept kids under the age of 2 or 3. Preschools typically focus on providing academic programs for children between the ages of 2 ½ to about 5 or 6. Daycares, unlike most preschools, tend to offer programs for a wider age range of children, oftentimes including infants.

Prep Academy Schools gives families the best of both worlds by offering a strong educational foundation for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Prep Academy provides high-quality education programs for infant, toddler, preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten age children, also offering an enriching before and after school program for children up to 12 years old.

Curriculum

At a daycare, the focus can often be on keeping children on a healthy nap and sleep schedule, and entertaining them while their parents are at work. Some informal learning at daycare centers is often introduced through educational games and activities. Preschools, on the other hand, often implement a learning methodology of some type, such as Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, or Montessori.

Prep Academy Schools implements The Accelerated Program, a prestigious Flagship Early Childhood Educational Experience. This prestigious learning model was designed by Early Childhood Development Specialists with the accelerated student in mind. Educators at Prep Academy tailor their lessons based on the strengths of the individual student to make sure that each one is being challenged appropriately.

Kindergarten and Elementary Readiness

The aim of many preschools is to make sure that children are prepared to move onto the next level in their academic journey, which is usually kindergarten or elementary school. While some daycares may have a preparedness plan for higher education, it is often not their primary goal.

At Prep Academy Schools, one of our main developmental goals for our kindergarten students is to prepare children for future educational success by fostering literacy, mathematics, science, and art skills.

Hours of Operation/Calendar Schedule

Another big difference between daycares and preschools can be the hours of operation and the calendar schedule. While preschools are typically only open during your average school hours, and often follow public school calendar for breaks, daycares usually open earlier and stay open much later to accommodate working parents. Daycares are also often open year-round or provide camps during the summer and holidays when most preschools are closed.

Luckily, Prep Academy Schools offers an exciting summer camp program with topics in arts, humanities, sciences and more! Prep Academy also offers an engaging STEM camp with fun activities that keep kids learning and interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

 

At Prep Academy Schools, we mix the best elements of daycares and preschools to serve families in our communities with convenient, high-quality early childhood education. In addition to offering an advanced academic curriculum, Prep Academy Schools ensures that students are having fun and exploring their interests through additional enrichments such as physical education, foreign language, computer technology, music and art.