Wednesday, March 2

SNACKTIME: Eating for a Healthy Heart

According to the American Heart Association, you can never start too early when it comes to heart health. It may be surprising to learn, but plaque deposits (atherosclerosis), can begin building up in the walls of the arteries in children as young as five years old, leading to coronary heart disease.
Food is Fuel
In addition to regular exercise, diet can help lower the risk of heart disease later in life. Children age two years and older should be encouraged to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as a wide variety of other foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Doing this can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and promote cardiovascular health.
Healthy Eating Tips for Heart Health
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and pectin (a soluble fiber).
Choose whole-grain foods like steel-cut oatmeal, which are a good source of dietary fiber.
Eat fish for heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids.
Limit saturated and trans fats such as fatty cuts of meats, whole milk, cheese, butter, lard, ice cream, coconut oil, and palm oil. Trans fats are found in deep fried foods such as doughnuts and French fries. Look for “partially hydrogenated oils" on ingredient labels and stay away from those foods.
Limit your red meat intake and choose lean meats, fish, and poultry. Try meat-free alternatives such as tofu, beans, lentils, quinoa, and tempeh for protein.  
Snack on nuts! High in healthy fiber, protein. and healthy mono-unsaturated fat. A one ounce serving size of nuts is about 28 almonds or two tablespoons of nut butter.
Add flax seed to cereal or fruit smoothies for a high fiber, healthy fat boost!
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Making smart choices every day has a big impact on heart health. Develop proper eating habits early in life for better heart health.
Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services
Image by MintFit 

Monday, February 29

EVENTFUL: What is Leap Year?

Every four years, the day of February 29th graces our calendars and gives us one extra day to the year. But why does this happen? It takes the Earth 365.25 days to fully orbit the sun. Since it’s difficult to have a one-quarter day, those .25 are saved up until they equal one day, then are acknowledged every fourth year on February 29th.
Before Julius Caesar came to power over the Roman Empire, people used a 355-day calendar that included an additional 22-day month every two years. However, due to the movement of the stars and the shifting of feast days as they fell into different seasons, Caesar’s astronomer, Sosigenes, was tasked with created a more simplistic solution. Sosigenes developed the 365-day calendar that would save each year’s extra hours until they created an extra day.
Like any mathematical equation, there are rules. Generally, every fourth year is a Leap Year. However, a potential Leap Year that is divisible by 100 does not qualify as a Leap Year unless it is divisible by 400. Since Earth’s orbit around the sun is slightly less than 365.25 - 365.2422 to be exact - Pope Gregory XIII’s astronomers established the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which loses three leap days every 400 years to remain mathematically sound and astrologically aligned.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Beachside LA

Wednesday, February 24

A to Z: Academy Award Nominated Movies for Your Family

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony is coming up and what better way to celebrate than with a classic, award-winning or nominated film! The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California. Founded as a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of the film industry, the Academy was initially organized in 1927 by Louis B. Mayer, film producer and co-founder of MGM Studios. The Academy’s first president and ceremony host was renowned Broadway actor and silent action film star, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Share a piece of cinematic history with your children this weekend!
 Around the World in 80 Days - Won Best Picture (1956)

The Sound of Music - Won Best Picture (1965)

Little Women - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

State Fair - Nominated for Best Picture (1933)

The Adventures of Robin Hood - Nominated for Best Picture (1938)

The Wizard of Oz - Nominated for Best Picture (1939)

The Quiet Man - Nominated for Best Picture (1952)

Roman Holiday - Nominated for Best Picture (1953)

To Kill a Mockingbird - Nominated for Best Picture (1962)

Mary Poppins - Nominated for Best Picture (1964)

Doctor Dolittle - Nominated for Best Picture (1967)

Fiddler on the Roof - Nominated for Best Picture (1971)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial - Nominated for Best Picture (1982)

Up - Nominated for Best Picture (2009)

Look for these films on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, at RedBox locations, or your local library! Use Can I Stream It or Go Watch It to view streaming options and availability!

Individual parental discretion will determine which films are suitable for a family’s child.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Common Sense Media & Rotten Tomatoes

Friday, February 5

ARTS & CRAFTS: Chinese Lanterns

Decorate for Chinese New Year with these red, paper lanterns!

Red construction paper
Clear tape
Colorful string or ribbon
Glitter paint (Optional)
Paint brush (Optional)

  1. On one side of a piece of red construction paper, lightly paint glitter and let dry.
  2. After the glitter has dried, fold the construction paper in half, lengthwise. Using scissors, cut strips into the paper along the fold, but do not cut to the paper’s edge. Strips should be about an inch in width.
  3. Unfold the construction paper and secure the top two corners together with tape, and do the same with the bottom two corners. The paper should now be in a cylindrical shape.
  4. Cut a small length of ribbon and secure each end with tape on the inside top edge of the lantern.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Photos & Instructions by Nature Store


Weekly Highlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Friday, January 29

ARTS & CRAFTS: Valentine’s Day Votive

Decorate your house for Valentine's Day with these festive votive candles!

Recycled glass jars
Colored tissue paper (white, red, pink)
Liquid Starch or Mod Podge
Craft brushes
Tea Lights

  1. Using a craft brush, paint liquid starch or Mod Podge onto one side of a clean glass jar. Tear small pieces of white tissue paper and place on the painted side. Paint a layer overtop of the tissue paper now stuck to the jar. Continue painting and placing tissue paper until the outside of the jar is fully covered and a topcoat of Mod Podge has been applied.
  2. While the jar is still damp, cut small hearts from the red and pink tissue paper. Place the hearts onto the damp sides of the jar. If hearts do not stick, apply another layer of Mod Podge to dry areas of the jar.
  3. Once the hearts are in place, paint one last coat of Mod Podge over the jar to seal all tissue paper into place.
  4. Allow the votive to dry overnight then place a small tea light inside.

Contribute by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images and Craft Instructions by Homemade Serenity


Weekly Hightlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes,Fairmont Private Schools