Mar 22

Spring Break 2016

Schools may be closed for Spring Break but we are open Monday, March 28 – Friday, April 1, 2016.  We have lots of activities planned for your school age child.  From STEM to Field Days and Cooking to Movies, there will be something exciting for every child no matter the age.  Call us at 757-686-0026 for more details.

Aug 30

Fun, Healthy Snacks Kids will Love!

Today I came across a great posting from Trish at PreschoolPlaybook. She highlights some great healthy snacks that children will love! But hey, who am I kidding? I love them too!

  • Ants on a Log – This classic children’s snack has been a childhood favorite for as long as I can remember. It is very simple. Just take a stalk of celery and cut it into child sized segments. Fill the center with creamy peanut butter and add a few sweet raisins to the top as ‘ants’. There you have it, a tasty and protein filled snack that kids will gobble up. If your child is allergic to peanut butter, you can always fill the celery with cream cheese.
  • Frozen Grapes – In the heat of summer there is nothing better than eating something cool. When I was young I remember my father sticking a bunch of grapes in the freezer and I could not figure out why. A few hours later he took them out and I bit into a frozen grape for the first time. From then on I was hooked. Now it has become a summer staple in my house and a great way to encourage kids to eat more fruit.
  • Trail Mix – When I am on the go and do not have time to stop for a snack I find that a bag of trail mix will hit the spot. You can purchase trail mix with healthy ingredients like unsalted nuts and dried fruit at the grocery store or you can mix up your own. My preschoolers love pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, and pecans. You can add a few chocolate chips in there for sweetness if you would like but I prefer to avoid that. Dried coconut flakes and banana chips are also a fun addition for kids to crunch on.
  • Dried Fruit – I know it may seem a bit strange to some people but my kids loved dried fruit. There is just something so appealing to the tiny bits of fruit. For the older kids I buy large fruit slices. Dried pears and peaches are my all-time favorites, though the peaches can be a bit stinky. Even little kids can nibble on soft apple rings and dried bananas.
  • Dry Cereal – Another go to snack on the go is dry cereal. Many children’ cereals are loaded in sugar, so try to pick more natural varieties like Cheerios and Kix. You can even blend different cereals together for a variety of shapes and textures. You can also make a simple Chex Mix type of snack by adding cinnamon or other spices that kids enjoy.
  • Goldfish Crackers – What else needs to be said? These tasty fish shaped cheese crackers are baked and much better for you than fried potato chips. However you can also make your own cheese crackers with a few simple and natural ingredients that are just as tasty and even better for your kids. Look up a recipe online and you are sure to find one that will work for you.
  • Graham Crackers – Sweet and tasty, graham crackers are a favorite snack just by themselves. I usually buy the low-fat version that does not taste any different. They come in a variety of flavors from cinnamon to honey and even chocolate. My kids also like the Teddy Grahams, but they are usually too expensive for me to purchase.
  • Animal Crackers – Although I personally do not like the bland flavor of animal crackers there are many who do, including my kids. They love to bite the heads off of the animals and play zoo with their food as well. Paired with apple juice, you can make kids happy all snack time with just a few crackers.
  • Lunchables – Crackers, cheese and meat, what more could you want? I usually make up my own version of this quick and tasty snack. With low-fat whole grain crackers, low fat cheese slices, and lean turkey lunch meat it only takes me a few minutes to cut the meat and cheese up into nice little squares and give everyone a ‘sandwich building kit’ of their own. Kids love to put these together or eat them separately, as one of my kids is wont to do.
  • Frozen Banana Pops – Another summer treat is the frozen banana pop. All you have to do to make it is slice a banana in half and poke in a stick. Put it in the freezer until it is hard and then serve. To jazz it up a bit you can also dip it in melted chocolate chips. Yum!
  • Apple Sandwiches – An apple sandwich is a fun treat for kids because you are replacing bread with apple slices. First core the apple. Then slice it with the hollow core in the center of each slice. Then take one slice and spread on a thick layer of peanut butter and sprinkle on some raisins if you desire. Top with another slice of apple and your sandwich is done. You can also use a thick slice of cheese between the apple slices.
  • Baby Veggies – Getting preschool children to eat their vegetables is sometimes hard. However I have found out that it is much easier to get them excited about their veggies if you buy baby veggies. Baby carrots, tiny bunches of broccoli, and cherry tomatoes all make them smile and want to eat. For picky eaters I also offer small amounts of low fat ranch dressing to dip it in.
  • Pretzels – Although I am not a fan of pretzels many people really like them. Large pretzels are often soft and great for smaller kids. They can be flavored with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of grated cheese or a dash of sugar and cinnamon. They can also be dipped in mustard or peanut butter for a fun addition. Crunchy, small pretzels are a hit with kids when they are paired with cheese or peanut butter. My kids love to eat a slice of banana with peanut butter and a pretzel on top. It doesn’t sound good to me, but if it makes them happy who am I to argue?
  • Oatmeal Cookies – Last but not least is another long lived childhood favorite. Whoever came up with the idea of making oatmeal into a dessert was a genius. Kids who won’t normally touch the stuff gobble up the cookies. I substitute low fat and low sugar ingredients in my homemade oatmeal cookies. Adding things like applesauce helps to cut down on the sugar without messing up the taste of the treat. I also like to add raisins or dried cranberries and nuts to my oatmeal cookies for added nutritional value.

Snack ideas courtesy PreschoolPlaybook

Aug 18

Back to School: Immunizations

Back to school is a great time to get a physical and eye exam for your child. Also, make sure immunizations are up to date. Here are the immunization requirements for the state of Virginia:

Vaccine Age/Grade Comments
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP) Day Care, Head Start, K-12, College/University Day Care, Head Start- 3 doses minimum or age appropriate (means that the number of doses of a vaccine a child should have received is dependent upon the child’s age, and this defined by CDC at Four (4) doses of DTP/DTaP are required for children less than 7 years old. Three (3) doses of tetanus and diphtheria containing vaccines (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT or Td) are required for children 7 years of age and older.

College, University- Td- Freshman and new enrollees in 4-year public colleges and universities

Hepatitis A None/No Requirements None/No Requirements
Hepatitis B Day Care, Head Start, Kindergarten, Sixth Grade Day Care, Head Start, K-12 – 3 dose series required for all children born on or after 1/1/94. Two doses of Hepatitis B vaccine is acceptable only if the student was vaccinated with the Merck & Co. brand vaccine RecombivaxTM HB Adult Formulation. RecombivaxTM HB Adult Formulation vaccine is licensed for use in adolescents 11 – 15 years of age as a two-dose series. 
Hib Day Care, Head Start Day Care, Head Start – Age appropriate (means that the number of doses of a vaccine a child should have received is dependent upon the child’s age, and this defined by CDC at No vaccine is required after 30 months of age. 
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Day Care, Head Start, K-12, College/University Day Care, Head Start, K-12- 1 dose after 1st birthday, 2nd dose to be administered prior to K or 1st grade.College, University- MMR and 2nd dose of measles are required for all freshman and new enrollees in 4-year public colleges and universities

K, 6- 2nd dose of measles is required prior to entry

Meningococcal College/University College/University – All college and university students who live in dorms are required 1 dose or student must sign a waiver or if minor, the waiver must be signed by the parent.
Pneumococcal Preschool 2 doses by 23 months of age. Not required for children older than 59 months (5 years) of age.
Polio Day Care, Head Start, K-12 Day Care, Head Start- age appropriate (means that the number of doses of a vaccine a child should have received is dependent upon the child’s age, and this defined by CDC at 3 doses, last dose after 4th birthday
Varicella Day Care, Kindergarten One dose of varicella (chickenpox) is required for a student younger than 13 years old. Two doses of varicella vaccine are required for a previously unvaccinated student 13 years of age or older. Medical diagnosis of varicella disease is acceptable in lieu of vaccination. Medical diagnosis is documented history of disease provided by a physician or health care provider. Documentation must include month and year. In the absence of documentation a medical provider or local health department may verify immunity via blood test, but revaccination may be more expedient.

Table from Immunization Info


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