Starting with Halloween, it can sometimes feel as if parents are struggling against overwhelming forces in order to keep children eating healthy. We move straight from the pumpkin buckets overflowing with candy, into Thanksgiving with the dining tables overflowing with turkey, trimmings and pie. From there, it can be an endless parade of holiday parties filled with cookies and rich foods. Add traveling and extended family into the mix, with well-meaning relatives who encourage a little overindulging here and there, it can be easy to simply give in and go with the flow.
From a kid’s perspective, what could be better than Halloween — dressing in costume, asking (and actually getting) candy. But, in the excitement of the day, it can be easy to overlook simple safety tips that can help ensure the only scary parts are the costumes.
- Use makeup instead of masks. Masks can make it difficult for kids to see and breathe. But, make sure the makeup is safe and non-toxic and remove it before your child goes to bed.
Books Build Better Brains. Even better, those same books, when shared together with a child, become even more important to their development. This is because social connections and relationships matter deeply.
For young children, being aware of books and familiar with their conventions is key — despite not being able to “read” yet, the positive associations of being read to regularly, of understanding that books contain delightful stories, and of the critical idea that print conveys information, all together leads to their brains wiring in the best possible way for school readiness. The research is clear: children who are read to on a daily basis have improved language scores and will enter kindergarten with higher letter recognition.