Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Day March for PEACE! 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tips for Smart Snacking

So how do you turn preschoolers into smart snackers?

  1. Keep healthy snacks in your refrigerator or pantry. Let kids choose their own snacks from among a couple of nutritious options.
  2. Offer a variety of snacks, not just the ones kids already likes. Offer new choices, but don't give up on foods that may have been rejected in the past. It may take a few tries before a child accepts a new food.
  3. Have a schedule for meals and snacks. This lets kids manage their hunger because they know when to expect the next chance to eat at the next scheduled time. Avoid letting kids pick throughout the day, which can dull internal hunger cues and make them more likely to overeat.
  4. Don't let kids eat in front of the TV. Serve snacks and meals at the table.
  5. Keep mostly healthy foods in the house, with those high in calories, fat, and added sugar kept to a minimum. This doesn't mean kids can never have these foods, but they should be offered only once in a while.
  6. Serve skim or low-fat milk or water with snacks instead of sugary drinks and soda. Limit 100% juice to one serving per day.
  7. Make your preschooler a part of the action! Kids this age feel important when adults let them help out. Let them do what they safely can to prepare their own snacks — whether that's tossing the fruit salad or putting utensils and napkins on the table.
  8. Keep an eye on how your child's moods affect eating patterns. Preschoolers often confuse boredom or fatigue with hunger. If your child just ate and is complaining of hunger again, see if a change of scenery or some active play could do the trick.
  9. Share a healthy snack with your kids, who will follow your lead and get the message that you're serving something good.

Be Creative

Preschoolers are anything but boring, so why should their snacks be? Being creative when it comes to expanding the snack menu doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming.

Here are a few action-snack suggestions to get you started:

Cut it! Use a cookie cutter to cut cheese, veggies, and sandwiches into fun, irresistible shapes.

Dip it! Pair slices of fruit, veggies, or whole-wheat crackers with a side of dip. Whether it's peanut butter, low-fat ranch dressing, guacamole, salsa, applesauce, or yogurt, everyone loves to dip.

Create it! Make art out of food. Try apple-wedge flower petals around a kiwi slice for some flower art. Or maybe fun food faces with berry eyes and a banana mouth.

Sip it! Who says you have to eat a healthy snack? Fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt or milk and fresh fruit are a great way for kids to drink up needed nutrients.

Crunch it! Low-fat granola and lower-sugar, whole-grain breakfast cereals are good choices. Also try toasted whole-wheat pita wedges for a satisfying crunch without the salt and fat of potato chips.

Play it! Turn healthy snacking into a game. For example, try making a "food rainbow" on a plate and let your child decide which colors to eat first. Next time, you can do the same with different shapes. Which will it be — squares or triangles?

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2015

Monday, January 9, 2017

Fitness Fanatics is off to a great start at The Academy of Maryland Farms! We're exercising our bodies and brains! Fitness Fanatics is a unique Academy program that encourages family fitness time, learning about fitness, nutrition, and health, and getting active. Learn more about The Academy at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Go Noodle Friday's coming in January! 

Freckles Sinclair

Join the movement

More than 12 million kids get active with GoNoodle every month to become their strongest, smartest, bravest, bestest selves. Used by 1 in 3 teachers, trusted by millions of parents, and loved by kids everywhere.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Safe Kids is committed to keeping you informed about recalls of products that can put kids at risk. This recall report includes infant bath tubs and electric scooters. The Safe Kids’ recall center is a unique place where parents and caregivers can go to stay up-to-date on recalls of all child-related products.
SIGN UP! Did you know that 7,000 baby bath seats were recalled recently? Would you have wanted to be among the first to know? Sign-up for our twice-monthly recall email.

Top Recall

December 13, 2016 CPSC; Conair Corp recalls over 20 different models of Cuisinart food processors because the blades can crack over time and small metal pieces of the blade can break off into the processed food. Only food processors with four rivets in the blades are included in this recall. Units: 8,000,000 (an additional 300,000 were sold in Canada.)


December 15, 2016 CPSC; Figi’s Companies Inc. recalls Figi’s Companies Christmas Wishes Tins because the tin’s music mechanism can separate and expose button batteries, posing choking and battery ingestion hazards. Units: 5,000.
December 14, 2016 CPSC; Trek Bicycle Corporation recalls the Trek Bontrager Flare RT and Ion 700 RT bicycle lights because the light can operate intermittently when paired with a remote transmitter, reducing the rider’s visibility and other road users’ ability to see them. Units: 600.
December 13, 2016 CPSC; Bingo Deals recalls the Bump 'N Go Walking Egg Laying Chicken because the toys contain small plastic eggs inside the chicken toy which can break open. A child can swallow the plastic eggs and pose a choking hazard. Units: 2,700.
December 13, 2016 CPSC; World Trading recalls Orbit brand self-balancing scooters/hoverboards because the lithium-ion battery packs in the devices can overheat, posing fire, explosion and burn hazards. Units: 1,900.
December 8, 2016 CPSC; Barnett Outdoors recalls six different models of Barnett crossbows because the sensor that indicates whether an arrow is properly loaded can malfunction, which can cause the crossbow to fire unexpectedly, posing an injury hazard to the user or bystander. Units: 3,300.
December 8, 2016 CPSC; Yankee Candle recalls Luminous Candle Collection fragrance candles because when the candle is lit, the glass jar can crack, posing a laceration hazard. Units: 31,000 (an additional 300 units were sold in Canada).
December 8, 2016 CPSC; Masterbuilt recalls Masterbuilt and Cabela's 7-in-1 gas smokers because the smoker’s gas hose can disconnect, posing fire and burn hazards. Units: 41,000 (an additional 300 were sold in Canada.)
December 7, 2016 CPSC; Schurman retail group recalls VIVID Red Wine Crush Gift Boxes because mold can be present in the boxes posing a risk of respiratory or other infections in individuals with compromised immune systems, damaged lungs or an allergy to mold—small children are especially compromised by such mold. Units: 8,400.
December 7, 2016 CPSC; Playworld recalls Lightning Slide stainless steel playground slides because the weld attaching the bedway to the sidewalls can crack and separate allowing a child’s fingers to get caught in the space, posing an amputation hazard. Units: 1,300.
December 6, 2016 CPSC; Target re-announces its recall of clear acrylic Hannukah menorahs because the menorahs can melt when the candles are burning posing fire and burn hazards. Units: 2,600.
December 6, 2016 CPSC; SafeHarbor recalls SafeHarbor Series 65 and 265 vinyl impact windows because the glass can separate from the frame during hurricane conditions, posing an impact injury hazard. Units: 580.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

10 Tips: Keeping Children Safe in Cold Weather

When temperatures drop, children need extra attention to stay warm, safe and healthy. Young children are less likely to recognize when they are cold and more likely to lose body heat quickly due to their smaller size. Here are some tips to protect children when the thermometer dips:

Keep your kids safe with these easy to share tips on staying safe during the cold winter!
Keep your kids safe with these easy to share tips on staying safe during the cold winter!

  1. Think layers. Put several layers of clothing on your child and make sure their head, neck and hands are covered. Dress babies and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear.
  2. Beware clothing hazards.Scarves and hood strings can strangle smaller children so use other clothing to keep them warm. 
  3. Check in on warmth. Tell children to come inside if they get wet or if they’re cold. Then keep watching them and checking in. They may prefer to continue playing outside even if they are wet or cold. 
  4. Use sunscreen. Children and adults can still get sunburn in the winter. Sun can reflect off the snow, so apply sunscreen. 
  5. Install alarms. More household fires happen during the winter so make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
  6. Get equipped. Children should always wear helmets when snowboarding, skiing, sledding or playing ice hockey. Any sports equipment should be professionally fitted. 
  7. Teach technique. It takes time to master fun winter activities like sledding, so make sure children know how to do the activity safely.
  8. Prevent nosebleeds. If your child suffers from minor winter nosebleeds, use a cold air humidifier in their room. Saline nose drops can help keep their nose moist.
  9. Keep them hydrated. In drier winter air kids lose more water through their breath. Keep them drinking and try giving them warm drinks and soup for extra appeal. 
  10. Watch for danger signs. Signs of frostbite are pale, grey or blistered skin on the fingers, ears, nose, and toes. If you think your child has frostbite bring the child indoors and put the affected area in warm (not hot) water. Signs of hypothermia are shivering, slurred speech, and unusual clumsiness. If you think your child has hypothermia call 9-1-1 immediately.

Sources: Save the Children, American Academy of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Health System

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Santa came for a visit! See more pics on Instagram! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Check out your daily reports on tadpoles and don't miss a thing! 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgathering 2016