9 Ways to Get a Fussy PreSchooler to Eat

Diet and Nutrition, For The PreSchool Mama 19 Comments

preschoolers-and-food.jpg

Picture Courtesy: Flickr – Mojo Daisy

Blessed with a fussy eater myself, I’ve tried most of the ideas below with good results, , and have had relatives vouch for the the rest. You might not end up with a child who can pack it in in 10 minutes flat, but you’ll feel better knowing that she has had something wholesome and filling to eat.

  1. Try other ways of getting her to eat her veggies. Puree lightly cooked mixed vegetables, and use them as sandwich spread.
  2. Lower your expectations. We all know how great broccoli is for bright sparkling eyes, but if the only vegetable she eats is beet , that’s fine too.
  3. Have a list of foods by the refrigerator, consisting of foods that she can eat without having to ask you. Include all her favorite fruits, nuts, and healthy snacks. Having her preferences listed out will make her feel important, and encourage her to reach for an apple or raisins, whenever she feels those pangs.
  4. Use a sticker chart to reward her for vegetables eaten that day. Avoid cash treats – here’s a reward system that works even better.
  5. Use portion sizes based on her age. She has to eat as many mouthfuls or spoonfuls of veggies as her age. Calculations like these make sense to a child.
  6. It’s okay to choose unusual substitutes when she’s having a particularly fussy day. Ice cream over cereal works as well as milk.
  7. Compromise if she’s addicted to sugar bomb cereals. Mix unsweetened cereal with sweetened. She gets her sugar fix, and eats the more nutritious cereals too.
  8. Occasionally, change your dining setting to make things fun. Eat on plastic trays, or pie tins. Eat lunch in the garden or the balcony.
  9. Above all, quit fighting over food. If there are some things she has a natural dislike for, let them go and find substitutes.

Bon Appetit!





Time is Running Out!!!

For The PreSchool Mama 71 Comments

The International Medical Corps. is in the running to receive funding for $1.5 million to feed malnourished children. The agency has been chosen from a group of 1,190 participating projects, and all they need to win the grant that they plan to use to feed hungry children in the developing world, is your vote!

Just click here, and you can cast your vote in favor of the IMC to help bump them up to the top of the list, and win their funding. $1.5 million could feed a LOT of hungy children, and all it takes is a click on the VOTE button at the top of the page.

Voting ends on September 29, so please hurry. And if you have your own blog, please consider spreading the word. We don’t all have the time or the energy to feed hungry kids ourselves, but what we can do is vote for someone who will!





“The Family That Laughs Together…:” 7 Ideas for Laughter with Your PreSchooler

Games and Activities 50 Comments

Preschoolers have a natural inclination to be silly. They like to rhyme words meaninglessly, make up new words, and come up with new words for every day objects.

Kids this age may be too young to appreciate any “real”jokes or riddles, the kind that make older children laugh. What you can do at this age is to encourage their natural silliness. Here are some ways you can encourage a preschoolers sense of fun and laugh with her.

  1. Play “silence” games. Everybody sits in a room, not saying anything. The one who laughs first is out of the game. The laughter is even more contagious when there is more than one child in the room.
  2. Share funny things that happened during the day with your kids. Tripped on a step at the supermarket? Your preschooler will find it hilarious!
  3. Share comic strips in the newspaper that are about hilarious kids his age, like Calvin and Hobbes.
  4. Play what if? games. Create outlandish scenarios. What if she was in charge of the house for a day? What if your pet was a dinosaur?
  5. Tag any day of the week as “special.” Have a Roller Skating Day when you wheel yourselves around the house. Or a “Blender Day” when you whip up juices together. Let her come up with her own ideas for the Day.
  6. Laugh at her jokes, even if it takes her 20 minutes to get to the punch line. It’s important for her to know that she has the power to make others smile.
  7. Place an empty carton at the door way, and insist that she has to crawl through the carton and into the house every time she wants to come in that day. Encourage her natural playfulness.

Above all, have fun!





PreSchool Problem Solving Activities…and a Plea

Games and Activities 40 Comments

Here are some more preschool problem solving activities you can do to get that little mind ticking.

  1. Give your child a coffee can, and let her roll it on the floor. Now, give her some objects like a coin, a marble, a block, a small metal toy car, a crayon, and let her place each object one by one in the coffee can, and then try rolling them on the floor. Does the can roll any differently when there are objects inside them? Do heavier objects slow down the cans? What can she do to get the can to roll faster or slower? Discuss.
  2. Use world issues to teach about problem solving. For instance, global warming. Explain how traveling by car less, and walking or cycling around more, is one of the ways she can solve the problem of melting glaciers.
  3. Use real life situations to tackle problems. For instance, if she’ s having a tough time getting ready for preschool in the morning, talk about things she can do to get dressed, fed and ready on time. She could wake up a few minutes earlier, she could time all her daily morning activities so she gets them done quicker, she could just go to preschool in her night clothes… Talk about the feasibility of the solutions.
  4. Most kids’ movies have the theme of problem solving. When you’re done watching a cartoon show or a movie together, discuss the problem, and how the characters solved it.

Have fun!

On a more somber note, I received a request to let my readers know about Russia and Georgia’s use of cluster bombs in their recent conflict. I must admit I haven’t been following the conflict much, but the thought of tens of thousands of tiny bomblets falling over an entire area, being buried as de facto land mines, and then exploding later when kids chance upon these is appalling. My American friends can visit this site for details on how they can voice their support for a ban on these deadly weapons.





Cyclical Patterns: Months and Days

Games and Activities 41 Comments

The concept of the cycle of days and months can be a difficult one for kids to grasp, especially if you tell them that December is the last month of the year, and Saturday/Sunday is the end of the week.

To make them understand that days and months end to begin all over again, write the names of different months on paper plates, and arrange them in a circle on the floor. When you’re teaching her the names of months, let her jump or skip from one plate to the next, instead of memorizing the names of the months verbatim. Do the same for days of the week too. This helps her understand that Monday follows every Sunday, and there is a January waiting after every December.

Have fun!





7 Ideas to Help PreSchoolers Connect With Family

Games and Activities 30 Comments

If your preschooler lives close to her maternal or paternal grandparents, or other relatives, great! If she doesn’t, it can be hard to keep close relatives present in spirit, if not physically.

Here are some ways to keep those family bonds fresh:

  1. Make a family tree chart in your child’s room, and paste pictures of grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Keep the tree simple and uncluttered. Include only family members she’s met already.
  2. If her grandparents don’t mind being called at odd hours, paste their pictures in a special address book just for her, and write their telephone numbers next to the names. She can call them whenever she feels like.
  3. Place pictures of relatives liberally all over the house – in frames, on bulletin boards, the refrigerator.
  4. Pore through family albums together.
  5. Let her make her own special personalized album with all her favorite people. Ask her grandparents or uncles and aunts to write special messages to her in the album.
  6. Take a large map of the country (or world) and paste pictures of family members at the places they are at. It’s easy for a child to understand why she can’t meet her relatives everyday when she sees exactly where they are on the map, and how far from her.
  7. Take all her dolls and teddies and let her make “her family” out of them, assigning relatives’ names to each doll or toy.

Enjoy!





Make a Weather Chart With Your PreSchooler

Games and Activities 32 Comments

Taking temperature readings of the weather outside may be a little too much for preschoolers who can’t really “see” temperature. But your child can see the clouds, feel the rain on his face, and the chill in his fingers when when snow falls. He can see when it’s foggy, and he knows when it’s windy outside.

To establish the concepts of weather, make a weather chart for your child. Make separate rows for each day of the month, and let her decorate with weather symbols – rain, clouds, sun etc. Then, let her use colored stickers to denote the weather outside – blue for a rainy day, black for cloudy weather, yellow for a sunny day, white for snow, and so on. She can even use combinations of stickers to denote a day that started out sunny, but ended up dark and gloomy – a half yellow sticker and a half black sticker. Let he do this every morning.

For an older child, you can take temperature readings, and record these too.

Make sure you hang the weather chart at her eye level – kids like to see what they are taking part in!

Have fun!





Brushing Tips for PreSchoolers

Health and Safety 37 Comments

Getting preschoolers to brush their teeth is easier said than done. To get your child to brush longer than the eight seconds she usually does, name all the foods that she ate that day (or the previous day in the case of early morning), and ask her to remove each of these from her teeth. You’ll get a few extra precious brushing moments out of her.

If the two of you brush together, see how many faces the two of you can make as you brush – make a game of it; she’ll end up brushing her teeth for longer. Sneaky, but may work (at least for a while!).

Call out the names of family members, her favorite cartoon characters, her dolls, and ask her to look for these at the back of her mouth with her toothbrush. It might make those much ignored places easier to reach and clean.





Create a Personalized Coloring Book: Weekend Tip

Games and Activities 20 Comments

This weekend, look through old pictures of your preschooler and the family, and select a few.  Make copies of these in black and white.  Staple a bunch of these copies, and give them to your child to use as a coloring book. Painting is more fun when she’s coloring the dog or the cake at her birthday party!





5 More Ways to Build Handwriting Skills in PreSchoolers

Games and Activities 5 Comments

Here are some more ways you can encourage kids to exercise and strengthen those important small finger muscles, so necessary for writing.

  1. Do string play activities.
  2. Do puzzles that require her to pick up small pieces and move them to their correct position.
  3. Shell peas.
  4. Work that play dough – give her beads and buttons to exercise those muscles.
  5. Practice tying shoe laces. It may be frustrating at first, but every time she tries to lace them up, she’s working those very important muscles.




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