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Summertime lunches don't have to be a headache!
Summer’s here and that means no more school lunches. The transition to providing your child a lunch doesn’t have to be a tough one. We talked to Ayelet Goldhaber, a registered dietitian at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone for her insight into providing food for your children during the summer months. Structure Is the Key One of the biggest obstacles to good nutrition over the summer is the likelihood of skipping meals, particularly lunch, as schedules become more flexible and unpredictable. Goldhaber recommends that parents avoid substituting snacks for lunch. “Structure is the key here,” Goldhaber says. “Kids of all ages, from infant to toddler to young adult do well when they know what to expect and when...Not only does lunch often get skipped in the summer, but we are more likely to give in to quick fixes like sugary snacks and drinks to pacify hungry kiddos on the go.” One helpful way to ensure that kids are getting a healthy lunch is to insist on a strict schedule for mealtimes. This ensures a degree of dietary continuity between school and summer. “The key is to always schedule a time for lunch,” Goldhaber explains, “even when activities and daily schedules are changing around you. This will maintain the expectation to eat, just like lunch period at school, and ensure healthy lunch remains a constant over the summer months.” Think in Parts One difficulty in preparing children’s lunches is coming up with what to serve them. Providing a variety of meals may seem like a daunting task, but Goldhaber recommends thinking in terms of parts of lunch rather than trying to plan a full meal. “It is always a good idea to pack a few options...ensuring at least some nutritious food gets in, even if not the whole lunch.” Goldhaber recommends foods that take little effort to prepare. Usually, these foods can be inexpensive. “Think cheese sticks, crust-less sandwiches with a protein-rich filling (nut butter, turkey), already sliced and peeled fruit, and fresh veggies with a fun dip.” Breaking a meal into options can help parents maintain diversity in what’s being served for lunch without much work or money. This approach can also make it easier to ensure that lunches are nutritionally complete. Watch out for Drinks One of the biggest spoilers to your child’s nutrition comes from sugary drinks, especially in the summer. Whether it be at camp, birthday parties, or barbecues, children are constantly being served sugary sodas, lemonades, and iced teas. Goldhaber recommends sticking to flavored water and seltzer for the kid who won’t drink plain water. She also recommends making homemade no sugar lemonade or iced tea with the kids. Preparing food items with your children will not only save you work, but it will also teach them how to prepare healthy food choices for themselves. Food Ideas for Summer One of the biggest difficulties in preparing children’s lunches is ensuring they get a balanced meal that represents all the food groups. To help you out, we have provided a list of healthy and easy to prepare food choices for those summer lunches. No prep - Cheese sticks - Bananas - Apples - Peaches - Apricots - Nectarines - Carrots - Yogurt - Grapes - Berries - Pretzels - Fruit cups -Applesauce -Nuts Little Prep - Celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese - Meat and cheese sandwich with lettuce and tomato - Peanut butter and jelly sandwich - Cheese and crackers - Oranges - Clementines - Hard-boiled eggs - Sliced cucumber - Melons - Mangoes One-Time Prep - Egg salad - Tuna salad - Potato salad - Coleslaw - Veggie dip - Hummus - Trail mix - Banana bread Beverage Ideas - Cucumber-lemon water - No-sugar lemonade - Iced tea - Strawberry-mint water - Fruit smoothies
Professor-turned-Director wants parents to work with JEI when preparing for college
Formerly a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Stony Brook University, Director Jianping Schoolman of the Stony Brook, NY location discussed in an interview with JEI Learning Center the importance of the Self-Learning Method® for college, as well as how parents can take part in preparing their children for the future. She proved herself to be a big advocate of the Self-Learning Method® as it helps young children try to be responsible for their own learning without depending on others. “I just love JEI,” she said. “It propels the student to not just be good at academic learning but also to become a good and responsible person overall.” This sense of responsibility and independence, she believes, is necessary for kids to make it in college and in life. However, Jianping pointed out that JEI and the students could not reach success and discover potential alone--rather, parents are also an important player in this trifecta: I spend half the time talking to parents, explaining that they should let kids make mistakes, explore, and learn from their own hearts instead of pushing, pushing, and pushing them. From asking about 100 students [at the University of Pennsylvania], I saw that students try to please parents, especially as most kids I interviewed were Asian-American kids...Most parents pushed them when they were young to be the best they could be--they didn’t have a choice, so they don’t think for themselves [even in college]. Once they get to college, no one is there to push them, so they are lost. The students had often told Jianping during the interviews, “I don’t know what to do. My parents used to ask me to do this and that, but now, is this very important? Should I do this?” These students were full of questions and hoped someone would lead them and tell them what to think. She is concerned that college students today still do not know what to do after depending on their parents’ guidance all their lives. She told JEI, “It is likely the parents have done everything for the kids, so eventually when the kids go to college, [some] parents are like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know college or what happens--you will have to figure it out on your own.’” On top of that, colleges are competitive and require students to make their own decisions and manage their own time. Jianping found that many students had not cultivated those skills when they were younger, leaving them to flounder helplessly as independent adults. To prevent this, Jianping often advises parents of young children, “Let the kids figure out their own way, find their own interests, and, as parents, just be there to support them to let them know their weaknesses and strengths.” Jianping also believes JEI Learning Center is the perfect place for children to develop those very skills: “JEI has such a good system to help the kids realize their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as manage their time. I think JEI is the best after-school program that any parent could ask for.” Thanks to Jianping for the kind words and her constant efforts to spread the Self-Learning Method to others for a brighter, better future. Find a center near you and see how you could help us prepare your child for college and adulthood with our many programs that promise long-term effects.
What is your stress teaching your child about stress?
Stress is one of the worst things that anyone can experience. It negatively affects people both physically and mentally, resulting in symptoms like headaches, weak immune systems, lack of drive, depression, and anxiety to name a few. Because it affects so many people in so many ways and often leads to other mental health issues, it is an important issue to discuss during National Mental Health Awareness Month. As a parent, you are probably concerned about how stress might be harming and holding back your child. But have you considered your own level of stress? Did you know that another horrible aspect of stress is the fact that it is contagious? It is frighteningly easy to spread your stress to your surrounding environment if left unbridled, namely your very own children. Stress, or any strong emotion, can be very contagious, triggering the same feeling in somebody else. It is especially potent as there is a greater level of intimacy between parent and child. This has been backed by multiple studies. Harvard researchers found in 2004 that children were likelier to develop health issues like asthma or allergies if their parents showed high levels of stress. Additional studies that support this claim were published in journals Child Development and Pediatrics in 2013. The former showed that the DNA of children who are around stressed parents in their formative years were affected permanently. The latter showed that they were less likely than other children to fully develop their language, motor, and social skills. If you are often showing stress or anxiety regarding your child’s school grades or behavior, you pass that habit of constant worry onto your child. Adopting that, he or she will continue to stress and be able to handle or cope with any negative consequence or obstacles. As understandable as it is, if you are constantly worried about your child’s future, this shows, whether you know it or not. It shows in the frown when you see a bad grade, it shows in your voice when you suggest they go study, and it shows in the exasperated sigh you leave in the air like bad fumes. You start exerting pressure. You start feeding your child’s stress--and now everyone is stressed! So ask yourself this: what are you doing to monitor your own stress? Before tackling stress in the people around you, you may want to consider putting that attention on yourself first. A bit of self-care and stress relief for yourself could alleviate stress for your child. Adopt meditation or yoga. Put aside one day every week for me-time. Plan a weekend getaway. Pick up a hobby. They say you cannot pour from an empty cup, so keep yours overflowing with peace and love. Then your child will adopt that same level-headedness and excel even more in anything he or she tackles. A good way to make sure you and your child stress less is to enroll them in one of JEI Learning Center’s many programs. The Directors and Instructors at the centers take care of parents by working as a tag team effort with them. They step in to mentor children while the parents take a break at home. The centers also promote a Self-Learning Method that naturally eases children’s stress. Because the pacing is individualized for the students, never rushing them but challenging them just enough, they will naturally grow more confident in their abilities and take on the responsibilities of their education and lives. Enroll your child today and take a diagnostic assessment test to see how he or she can begin removing some of the stress from their studying habits! Find a center near you.