Blog : Healthy

Yoga Instructor Paula at Parkside Early Learning Centre

Yoga Instructor Paula at Parkside Early Learning Centre

At Parkside Early Learning Centre in Gympie we offer lots of extra-curricular activities free of charge as part of our weekly program. We have now worked with Paul McLaughlin, our Kids Yoga Instructor, for 2 years and have seen the positive difference she and her yoga instruction make in the children’s live. We initially engaged Paula to do Yoga with our Parkside children because we found many children lacked the skill to listen to their own body and self-regulate.

Paula has taught our educators and children the importance of breathing and stretching our bodies out to relax and regenerate. At Parkside ELC Paul teaches the children how to bring body and mind into balance.
Paula has given her own testimony of how she became to be a Yoga instructor and Personal Trainer on her Facebook page: “In my 20’s I was a gym junkie, ridiculously fit but with scoliosis I often found myself in spasm and being carried in to the chiropractor for relief, sometimes needing weeks to recover. It was for this reason that I found yoga, which provided me with core strength and flexibility in all the right places.
After becoming a personal trainer in 2004, I was enjoying the physical aspect of fitness training but lacking spiritual connection and growth within myself and with clients. So, in 2005 I became a yoga teacher, and furthered my training a couple years later with Level 2 Yoga Teacher Training and a Cert 4 in Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation. This also enhanced my understanding of how we can best support ourselves and provide balance through diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. In the last couple years, I extended my studies Kids Yoga and have been teaching in an early learning centre. During this time I was teaching yoga and personal training and continued to study the Diploma of Fitness. I started teaching with detailed lesson plans but soon realised that wasn’t my forte and I felt less connected and detached shuffling through notes that never seemed to reflect the energy of the people in class.
The foundation of my class resides in my approach to intuitively feel out each class individually for what is needed from the energy of the group. My classes are a combination of vinyasa flow and held postures, supported by nurturing instructions outlining body alignment and muscle recruitment. My verbal structural guidance stems from my fitness background and provides the client with a strong understanding of their body in the pose and transitions. I get a great sense of satisfaction from seeing my students deepen their practice as they get to know and better trust their bodies, cultivating gratitude and self-worth for themselves and each other.
Each class incorporates strength and flexibility, pranayama, mudra, guided meditation/relaxation through set intensions and mind/body connection via the vehicle of the breath.
I love how yoga continues to show me what my mind, body and breath needs to enable it to feel good, to grow, to release, to learn, to offer up on the mat and in life. Yoga has been my saving grace many times throughout my life. Every day is different and every day I learn from yoga.”
Namaste
Paula

As you can see, Paula is well qualified to work with adults and children in Gympie! The kids love it when she comes into Parkside! If you are not into Fitness or Yoga Paula can also serve you a great coffee at Soma Soma café in Gympie as she works there occasionally!
Check out
Paula McLaughlin’s Facebook Page Free2Be Yoga and PT to see her class schedule for the year!

Learning table manners and skills

Learning table manners and skills

Dining Out With Children

Here are some helpful tips at eating time that we’ve learnt with our children from Parkside Early Learning Centre.

At Parkside ELC the children enjoy all meals together – this builds a real family feel and builds relationships. Our educators at our centre use this time to discuss healthy eating and encourage children to try new foods. It is also a valuable learning time to practice table manners and using cutlery. All these are life skills – learning these can start from a very you age. During free play time the children at Parkside ELC love pretending to cook in the home corner kitchen or play ‘restaurants’.

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Dining out can be a great way for families to enjoy some quality time together, but if things go wrong, it can also be a nightmare.  Here are a few tips to ensure that your family eating-out experiences go more smoothly:

  1. Lay the groundwork:

Children can’t be expected to behave well in restaurants if they are used to being allowed to run riot at mealtimes at home or haven’t been taught the basics, such as how to use the proper utensils. It is safest to give children unbreakable plastic dishes and cutlery to practice but every now and then, and once they are a bit older, move on to proper china but maybe not your grandma’s best! Proper china and cutlery feels a lot heavier and if children are not used to this they may have more accidents.

Prepare your children for proper table manners by eating as a family at home and by teaching, modelling and enforcing positive behaviour while eating. Practising table manners in a safe and relaxed way at home is much easier for you and your child than having a fight or embarrassing moment in a restaurant with lots of onlookers.

  1. Pick your time:

Taking children to a nice restaurant when they are tired, over-hungry and fractious is often a recipe for disaster, so choose your time carefully.  Maybe try a nice brunch somewhere (they can have some toast before hand at home) or go to a café for afternoon tea.  In the Gympie region my favourite place is the Cooloola Berries Strawberry farm. Kids can run around free and are not restricted to staying in a room! Next time move on to bigger events like going out for dinner. Make the evening meal an early one and remind your children about what is expected before hand.

  1. Pick your place:

If there are no other children in the restaurant that you are considering, it might be wise to steer clear.  Children often pick up on an atmosphere that is not child-friendly, and the companionship of other children often encourages better rather than worse behaviour. In Gympie we have a good choice of kid-friendly restaurants like The Royal which has a kids play area!

  1. Order carefully:

Ordering a selection of appetizers rather than main courses not only can mean a shorter wait for the food to arrive, but it also avoids the issue of children complaining that they don’t like the food. Or choose a place that is all you can eat or buffet style. That way children don’t have to wait – try one of Gympie’s sushi trains or Pizza Hut’s All You Can Eat!

  1. The waiting game:

Sometimes it is unavoidable to have to wait – if other children are joining your restaurant get-together then take along some simple games they can enjoy while waiting for their food. How about card games like Pairs/Happy Family or UNO. You could also play games like I spy or make up games like having to find three things that are red. Hopefully this will make time pass quickly and encourage some fun conversations, too!

  1. Finally:

Never use dining out as an opportunity to have your children try something new (unless they are really into trying new foods). Keep your experiments for mealtimes at home – most supermarkets offer a huge choice of multicultural foods. Try a sushi making kit, a curry jar or have a Mexican fiesta at home with some tacos! Then your children will be prepared for a fun dinner out!

 

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Teaching Children About Dental Health in Child Care in Gympie

Teaching Children About Dental Health in Child Care in Gympie

It’s never too soon to teach your children about the importance of good oral health and get them in to a routine that will carry them throughout their lives. While some children will take to the task at hand easily and without much fuss, everyone learns differently and may take a little extra coaxing. Here are a few tips for you to help your little ones keep their teeth and gums healthy.

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  • Teach your children about their teeth. Explain the different types of teeth, how many they have, where they are located and even what their jobs are. As adults we have 32 teeth – twelve molars (in sets of three and are in the back of the mouth), eight premolars (also known as bicuspids and are used to crush and tear food), four cuspids (next to the bicuspids or premolars and are pointed which make tearing food easy) and eight incisors (located in the front of the mouth and are used to cut food.)
  • Read books specifically about dental health. A trip to your library or local book store will provide plenty of age-appropriate reading material that talk about good dental health. For younger children, books with more illustrations are a better choice. If you are able to connect to the Internet, the Australian Dental Association’s website offers more information about going to the dentist.

The younger your children are the better when it comes to teaching about good oral health habits. Don’t put it off another minute.

 

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Healthy Eating for Children in Child Care

Healthy Eating for Children in Child Care

As a parent, the nutritional needs of your children are obviously a priority, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of differing information out there. Parkside Early Learning Centre have taken on providing free nutritious meals.

The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits later in life, so it’s important to instill good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age. Once your child is eating solid foods, you’re likely to find that some of the meals you so lovingly created are rejected. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal, but it is wise to try to get into a good routine as soon as possible.

Ensure your child’s nutrient requirements are met by aiming for three meals a day, each containing something from each food group and up to two snacks. Get into the habit of trying different types of protein with each meal and couple of different vegetables.

Day Care Centres, Child Care Centres, Early Learning Centres should all monitor this closely.

Babies and milk

In the first six months, babies receive all their nutritional requirements from a milk-based diet. Infant formula is the only alternative to breastfeeding for feeding babies below six months of age.  Cow’s milk is not recommended as a main drink for infants under 12 months. However, from six months, children enter the stage of transitional feeding, and progress from a milk only diet towards a varied, balanced diet of complementary foods from four food groups. The food groups that make up this balanced diet are proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and milk and dairy foods.

Why protein is important

Proteins are essential for a number of important functions including growth, brain development and healthy bones. Of the 22 amino acids – or building blocks that make proteins, children need to get 10  ‘essential amino acids’ from their food.

Fruit and vegetables

Aiming for five portions of fruit and vegetables is a good starting point for children. Easy tips for keeping on track could be as simple as keeping a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer or chopping up a piece of fresh fruit for dessert.

Carbohydrates

Children need a source of carbohydrate in each meal. However, young children under 13 months may struggle to digest wholegrain varieties of carbohydrates, and too much fibre can compromise the absorption of important minerals such as calcium and iron.

Dairy and calcium

Children gain a lot of nourishment from dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese. These foods can provide the body with easily absorbed calcium as well as vitamins A and B12, protein and other vitamins and minerals.

The right kind of fat

While children need some fat to grow and develop, too much of any sort of fat is not recommended. Butter, spreads and oils contribute to the taste, texture and enjoyment of the diet. They are important as concentrated sources of energy for young children who are growing rapidly.

Soft drinks, sweets, confectionery, biscuits, sugary pastries and desserts are high in added sugars and often poor quality fats and salt. Children under five should only eat these foods once in a while, ideally saved for special occasions. The over consumption of snack foods high in added sugar, fats and salt is recognised as one of the major contributing factors to high rates of obesity.

The best breakfast for your child

When buying processed cereals read the labels carefully as they are seldom as healthy as they seem. Many contain higher levels of sugar and salt than is recommended per serving. It’s best to choose an unsweetened, simple oat or bran based cereal and add fruit such as a chopped banana or handful of raisins to make it sweet and to add a nutritious-boost.

If you have time to make a more substantial breakfast, there are a lot of healthy benefits from including protein such as an egg, baked beans or natural yogurt. Proper snacks (not constant grazing) are important to keep your child’s appetite satisfied. The more you can help your child judge when they are hungry, the better able they will be to judge how much food they should be eating as they grow older. When children ask for food, check that they’re not actually thirsty as the two are sometimes confused.

Super snacks and smoothies

  • Dried fruit – such as figs and raisins are good snacks when children want a sweet treat.
  • Raw vegetables such as carrot, cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes etc. Serve with a little pot of hummus, bean dip, guacamole, tzatiki of some soft cheese
  • Chunks of cheese with crackers
  • Wholemeal bread or rice cakes with wafer thin ham, cream cheese or nut butter
  • Homemade soup with fingers of toast

Smoothies and juices can be a great way to get children to take in a dose of vitamin C and folate – important vitamins for the immune system, energy production and preventing anaemia. The natural sugar in fruit (fructose) can be better for children (and their teeth) than sugar laden packaged/canned drinks. But this doesn’t mean that children can drink an unlimited about of these drinks. Some smoothies contain a lot of fructose and this can result in a ‘sugar high’ which can aggravate mood and energy levels. Water should be the main source of your child’s liquid intake and one small glass of fresh fruit juice per day is enough and you can always dilute fruit juice with a splash of water.

Child Care Centre Gympie – Parkside Early Learning Centre