The Richmond Register

Local News

March 16, 2013

Workshop 3: Increasing a child’s learning through sleep, eating well and doctor visits

Bornlearning Academy

BEREA —  

Editor’s Note: The Register published an article in November about the addition of the Toyota “bornlearning Academy” at Berea Community School. The school received a $11,500 grant to fund the academy, which includes monthly workshops for parents and children 0 to 5. The workshops teach parents and caregivers how to turn everyday activities into learning activities. A Register reporter with a 2-year-old signed up for the Academy. This is the third in a series about what was learned at the workshops.

I know I’m not the first mom to say this, and I definitely won’t be the last, but my son is a picky eater.

March’s bornlearning workshop focused on ways to engage your child in eating nutritious foods and caring for their physical well-being.

Although a recent well-child checkup revealed that my 2-year-old fell into optimal percentiles on height and weight, it is a constant challenge to get him to eat the right things – or anything for that matter.

I say to Ryker, “Son, you’re crying because I’m making you sit down in front of a plate of food while others in the world are crying because they want food.”

I might get a blank stare, or a giggle, because he doesn’t understand the implications of my little anecdote. However, I still can’t help feeling a pang of guilt because my son lives in a household where eating is optional, and not the key to survival.

My mom always made the same argument as to why I should eat my dinner, but she was from the Philippines and was actually surrounded by poverty and hunger.

Regardless of the world’s hunger problem, as a parent I have to find a way to get my kid to eat. Not just chicken nuggets and French fries, but nutritious foods.

The best way to teach children the proper foods to eat is to set the example, said Barb Mills, the bornlearning Academy workshop facilitator.

She said it also was important to involve children in food decisions instead of saying, “You’re going to eat this because I said so.”

For children Ryker’s age, quick preparation of food is important because toddlers are generally short on patience, she said. Some examples of quick snacks are peanut butter and jelly, scrambled eggs and cheese, vegetable sticks and dip (my kid is a double-dipper) or homemade popsicles made from fruit puree.  

However, letting your child participate in cooking the food spikes their interest in eating it, Mills said.

So I decided to try it out. This might not be the most healthy thing in the world, but Ryker and I made mini-pizzas one night.

I got a can of large biscuits and let him mash the biscuit all he wanted until it was a flat circle. Next, I let him spread the pizza sauce over his flattened biscuit, but not before he spooned two big scoops of pizza sauce into his mouth. He got a kick out of sprinkling his own cheese and placing pepperoni on top. But before I could stop him, he scraped all the toppings off and ate them, getting pizza sauce-covered cheese all over himself.

I realized this is all part of the process and scolding him would be counterproductive.

Instead, I just replaced the toppings before popping the mini-pizzas into the oven.

When the pizza came out, I kept telling him, “Ryker, you made that. You cooked the pizza.” His eyes lit up when I told him this, and I think he understood. I didn’t have to ask him to eat the pizza because he had a hand in making it, and he seemed awful proud of himself.

During the workshop, we discussed other ways to make food fun. I always beat myself up over not being one of those creative moms who make smiley faces or cool shapes out of food, but I know I’ve got to step it up.

Mills said she remembers when, as a child, her mom would make pancakes in the shape of her initials. One of the other parents at the workshop remembered when his mom used to make peanut butter smiley faces on his sandwich.

One parent talked about cutting up small chunks of hotdogs, sticking pieces of raw spaghetti through them and boiling them together to make something that would look like a hotdog and spaghetti necklace.

“I don’t have any small children, but I have to try that,” joked Mills, who has two college-aged sons.

Another way to make food attractive is to talk about it. What color is it? How many are there? What does it feel like?

In the meantime, try pureeing carrots, spinach and other nutritious vegetables and hiding them in foods your kid will eat. For example, Ryker’s spaghetti sauce is always spiked with hidden vegetables that he doesn’t even know he’s eating.

Sometimes you have to improvise. My son thinks his daily vitamin is candy, so he never has a problem eating it.

We also talked about the importance of sleep and its role in promoting memory, learning and concentration. Toddlers should get a total of 12 to 14 hours of sleep; preschool-age kids should get 11 to 13; and elementary-aged kids (ages 5 to 12) should get 10 to 12 hours, Mills said.

During doctor visits, parents should ask as many questions as possible, she said.

When limiting TV and video game time, children must be given opportunities to exercise and be active for at least 60 minutes a day, said Mills, which is hard to do for kids these days.

“We only had two channels when I was a kid, and you had to get up to change that channel. Then, you had to go to the back porch to adjust the antenna – so we didn’t watch much TV,” she said.

The next bornlearning workshop is April 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Those who are interested in joining may contact Diane Smith at 986-1021. Dinner and childcare is provided.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Owner requests business zoning for corner of West Main and Tates Creek

    The owner of three lots at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue wants the property rezoned from R-1B (Single-family Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business).

    April 14, 2014

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results