Wednesday, January 28

CHALK TALK Learning Science at Home

It would be advantageous if children had some knowledge of science, even if they have interests outside of physics, chemistry and biology.  Students need to have a basic understanding of science to make informed decisions about their own health and their surrounding natural environment. Embracing the basic scientific concepts complements a well-rounded education. 

Parents can play a significant role in helping their children develop a curiosity and appreciation for science. There are many educational resources readily available for parents to explore. What is more beneficial than joining your child in the exploring, observing and learning about the wonderful world of science around you.  

Taking your child on a fun journey to a museum or observing nature at a park are a few of the many exciting opportunities in your community to engage in scientific exploration. For example, you and your child can take a walk on the beach and examine the diverse biosphere of a tide pool. In the comfort of your own home, you can study how water boils when it reaches very hot temperatures! You can even conduct a scientific experiment by watching how items float in your sink or bathtub! 

Everyday interactions can inspire your child to observe and appreciate the wonders of nature and science. 

Here are ideas for you to try at home:

·         Look for constellations in the night sky
o   Do you know how to describe a constellation? It is a group of stars that makes a pattern and has a name. Can you spot the big dipper in the night sky? You can familiarize yourself with different constellations, including the big dipper, by conducting a quick search online.
·         Bake a cake
o   It’s one of the first lessons in culinary school: baking is a science. Each ingredient has a job to do. Flour provides the structure, baking powder and baking soda give the cake its airiness, eggs bind the ingredients, butter and oil tenderize, sugar sweetens, and milk or water provides moisture.
·         Observe nature – different trees, rocks and leaves
o   Collect and identify leaves or rocks. Talk about the differences between the color, texture and smell of the objects you encounter! Where are they located? Do certain trees only grow in certain terrain? Do leaves change color in different seasons?
·         Learn about different animal breeds
o   Go for a walk and talk about how the dogs (or birds or cats) that you see are alike and different. Observe your favorite animal(s) around your neighborhood or park. If you love dogs, then talk about the different breeds and what that includes, such as: color of fur, size and even different barks!

Contributed by Natasha
Photo courtesy of

Monday, January 26

SNACKTIME: Recommendations for parents to help their picky eaters eat healthy food

It is not uncommon for a parent to experience a child who is a picky eater.  This phenomenon occurs in both boys and girls regardless of ethnicity and economic background.

For example, a child might insist on eating only one particular food item at each meal or display fear when introduced to new foods. They can even completely refuse to eat the food on his/her plate.

There are a number of strategies parents can use to help their children overcome their picky eating habits.  Here are some helpful recommendations:

1. Keep Trying--Repeatedly offering a food item during mealtimes will increase the chance that the child will finally eat it. Studies show that it may take 8-15 attempts before a child will finally taste the food.
2. Involve Children in Meal Preparation and Cooking--Becoming familiar with a food item can help overcome a child’s hesitancy to try it. Studies show that when children engage in meal planning and preparation, they are less likely to be picky eaters. Children involved in grocery shopping, gardening and meal preparation will significantly increase the likelihood that they will eat the food prepared for them. 

Children can help select foods when shopping for groceries or even help create the menu. Young children can retrieve items from the pantry, garden or refrigerator. They can also help measure and stir various ingredients. Older children can help read and follow recipes.
3. Role Model Healthy Eating Habits--Children learn by watching and listening.  Parents can set a good example by eating a variety of healthy foods.
4. Be Patient Especially with New Foods--Remember, a child might taste a certain food item ten or even twenty times before eating it.
5. Make Meals More Fun—There is a variety of visual tools you can use to make nutritious meals pleasant and even exciting for children. Try using bright colors, unique shapes and special plates. Be sure to discuss the benefits of good eating right from the start. For example, children love finger foods and anything prepared in miniature sized arrangements. 

Try bite-size chunks of fruit, cheese or berries.  A colorful bowl, special plate or fancy fork can make a child feel special during meal time. You can also use seasonal cookie cutters to transform ordinary sandwich bread into special shapes for snacks or lunches.

Begin the year with strategies to help picky eaters eat right!

Submitted by

Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD

Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services CompanyImage from Newsolio

Friday, January 16

CHALK TALK The Benefits of Studying History

As a junior high student, I was fortunate to have a theatrical history teacher who made every lesson a journey back in time. From the Roman Empire to World War II, he told vivid stories of presidents, generals, inventors, and explorers along with a host of not-so-famous people simply trying to make a living. 

From the teacher’s captivating insights “behind the text of the history book,” I learned both the triumphant and tragic sides of humanity. My teacher’s lessons offered more than a window to the past. It helped me understand the world beyond my life of family, friends, and immediate community. 

History shows how social, political, and economic actions of the past influence current news from around the world, far beyond our comfort zone. Studying history gives profound examples of how decisions by individuals hundreds of years ago still affect millions of people decades later. Records of both good and bad decisions give students in all grades models to shape their decision-making and worldview.  

History also provides students role models of character, wisdom, bravery, and good leadership. Reading about significant figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who represents courage and integrity in the face of daunting challenges, illustrates a positive role model for students to look up to in their lives.

Scholars point out that the study of history fosters analytical thinking by causing students to dig deep into historical content to identify specific information for building a sound argument or making an accurate comparison between the past and present. This strengthens abilities to examine, organize, and explain factual information. These skills are essential in other academic subjects, as well as career pursuits.

Contributed by Doug Fleischli
Image courtesy of What Answered 

Wednesday, January 14

How To: The Importance of Good Manners

Good manners are important for children to learn, especially in their formative years of interacting socially. Whether it is in a classroom, playground or larger social engagements, good manners will help your child gain respect and make a positive impression. Here are some helpful tips to assist children in understanding and practicing proper etiquette. 

Practice basic courtesy – 

Say “please” and “thank you,” even to those you briefly encounter. People notice when you are courteous and respectful toward them. It sets a good impression and builds a foundation for strong character.
Hold doors open for other people – 

It is courteous to hold the door open for someone, even if they are a stranger. If you do not know the person, you can say “after you.” If you do know the person, you can address him/her by name. If you are unsure about whether or not a person would appreciate having the door held open, ask politely “Can I get the door for you?” This gives the individual an opportunity to accept or decline.

Speak politely – 

Be aware of the volume of your voice when speaking in a public setting. Keep in mind that speaking with a lower voice tone is encouraged especially in classrooms and other places where people are in deep thought. When engaging in conversations, it is wise to be a good listener and speak when it is your turn, rather than interrupting a person in mid-thought. 

Dining etiquette, chew politely – 

Do not chew with your mouth open. It is easy to forget this rule when having lunch with friends, but it is important to maintain in all social settings. Others around you might be distracted if you chew with your mouth open, and they may not be able to focus on finishing their food or conversation. 

Share food politely – 

Ask someone to pass you a dish or a seasoning. Never reach across a dish or someone else’s plate for something; instead, politely ask the person sitting next to you to “please pass” the desired item. It can be inconsiderate if you reach out for something across the table. For example, your hand might knock over a glass or graze the food on someone’s plate. 

Excuse yourself when leaving – 

Always try to say “excuse me” whenever you need to leave a table. It is appropriate for a child to ask an elder for permission to leave. This is important because leaving a table without excusing yourself might be abrupt, leaving others to wonder what happened. 

Contributed by: Natasha 
Photo credit: Hart Total Fitness

Friday, January 9


Highlights of the week: 

Junior High Spelling Bee

The Anaheim Hills Campus kicked off the year with a Junior High Spelling Bee.
Congratulations to all who participated.  Participants spelled words such as edification, gambol, phonetics, stalwart, gainsay and wraith it was a spirited competition!

1st Place - Ali A
2nd Place - Kayla T
3rd Place - Ryan Z

Our top 3 finalists will represent us in the Orange County Spelling Bee, which is the next step toward the National Spelling Bee. 

Pranav K
Dylan P
Aidan A
Sarah H
Ishaan V
Sunny Y
Mariano C
Patrick G
Ishan P
Karina P
Arjun M
Andrew Y

For exciting news and updates from the campuses, check the weekly newsletters below:

Weekly Newsletters:

December Lunch Menus:

Friday, December 19

FRIDAY FOLDER december 19

Despite the rain, the CHOC Toy Drive succeeded in collecting a truck load of toys for the young patients of Children's Hospital of Orange County. The hospital staff will give the toys to the kids who spend weeks or months inside the hospital.  The toys are used as therapeutic play to help patients adjust to their hospitalization and create a positive experience. It’s a very rewarding experience for the Fairmont family to bring smiles to the young patients who frequent CHOC due to catastrophic illnesses. 

A big thanks to the 25 members of the Orange Coast Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOG). Their help every year brings smiles to both to the givers and receivers of this special event.

Weekly Newsletters:

Thursday, December 18

SNACKTIME: Fun, healthy holiday recipes

Cooking with your children during the holiday season offers opportunities to have fun in the kitchen and build lifelong memories. As an alternative to making only sweet, not so healthy holiday treats, consider preparing healthier versions from scratch with your children using simple substitutions or additions. This will significantly improve the nutritional content without compromising flavor or fun!

Substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose white flour
--Use ¾ to one cup of whole wheat flour to replace one cup of all-purpose flour. Since whole wheat flour is slightly denser, you may need to add a bit more liquid to the recipe.

Nutritional Benefit:
Whole wheat flour provides more fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins and trace minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and copper than all-purpose, white flour.

Substitute flaxseed for butter or oil in baked goods
--Flaxseed provides a fat substitute in most recipes. Three tablespoons of ground or milled flaxseed can replace one tablespoon of margarine, butter or cooking oil. Grind flaxseed in a coffee grinder or purchase packaged ground flax seed/flax seed meal. Flax has a slightly nutty flavor. Add to baked goods for a nutritional boost.

Nutritional Benefit:
Flaxseed contains lignans, a type of fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Both help prevent inflammation that affects the body’s immune system and may also lower risk for certain types of cancer.

Additional ingredients for baked goods--Add chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts

Nutritional Benefit:
Nuts are rich in healthy, monounsaturated fats. They help stabilize blood-sugar levels and improve cholesterol and triglycerides, which may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Nuts are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6, which increase protection against cardiovascular disease.
Spices such as cinnamon, cloves and all-spice--For generations, traditional herbs and spices have been used as food, flavor enhancers, as well as to treat ailments. There is scientific evidence supporting how these herbs and spices provide medicinal properties that alleviate symptoms or prevent disease.

Nutritional Benefit:
Many spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger not only add flavor, they are high in antioxidants and other health promoting properties.

Enjoy holiday goodies more by modifying recipes just a bit to create healthier alternatives without sacrificing taste!

Submitted by Leslie Kay-Getzinger, MS RDN
Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services Company

Image credit: