The Pre-school Top Ten Reading List

It’s back to the wonderful world of classes, studying, research, and papers – vacation is definitely over. But, after spending such a great weekend with my adorable niece and nephew, my sister and I talked a lot about ideas for giving young children the best preparation for school – and life. In addition to being a mother, my sister is also an early childhood educator, so this is actually her field of expertise. One of the things we talked about was reading readiness. My sister has prepared a list of books she advises parents to read with their pre-school children, and I wanted to share it with the parents out there. So here is her top ten list:
1. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
2. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
3. Curious George by H.A. Rey
4. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
5. Harry and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
6. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
7. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
8. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
9. The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole
10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Happy Family Reading!

Eating Disorders Rising Among the Youngest Patients

Eating disorders among children seems to be on the rise according to a new report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday. The report showed a large increase in the hospitalization of children for eating issues.

An increase in hospitalizations of 119% was observed among children younger than 12 years old for eating disorders between the years 1999 and 2006.

Another report was released last year by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed similar results. That study found an overall increase of 15% in hospital stays during the same seven year period with the largest increase among the youngest patients.

The academy is urging pediatricians to be on the look-out for affected children with routine screen for eating disorders and special treatment for those found with such disorders. The Academy stated that physicians can play an important role in preventing eating disorders by teaching their young patients about good eating habits, proper nutrition and the benefits of exercise so that there is not an unhealthy focus on weight gain and dieting.

A Quick and Easy Salad Recipe

Salads are both delicious and nutritious, but sometimes take too much time or effort to prepare. Here is a great recipe for a simple, tasty salad. You will need:

Fresh, crispy lettuce

3 cucumbers

4 carrots

2 peppers

Bulgarian cheese (optional)

For the dressing you will need:

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

¾ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, peel and cut the vegetables however you like them. I prefer larger pieces, but some prefer more finely chopped. I also like to use one yellow, and one red pepper, as they add some color to the dish. Make sure to dry the lettuce before cutting it to retain its crispiness. Mix the ingredients of the dressing in a blender- this will produce a thicker dressing and strengthen the emulsion of the oil and vinegar. Grate the cheese, or crush it with a fork, and sprinkle over the top of each serving. Do not add it directly to the salad bowl if you plan on saving some for a later date.

Eurythmics Helps Elderly Maintain Balance and Prevent Falls

In a 12-month trial it was shown that when elderly people take classes in eurythmics they actually cut their risk of falling by half.

Eurythmics is an exercise and music program that was originally designed for children, but it has been shown to have great benefit for the elderly.

134 people whose average age was 75 and who were unsteady on their feet were studied for one year after they were randomly assigned to two groups. One group studied eurythmics for one hour a week for a full year, while the other group only took up the program the last 6 months of the study.

Outside of class the two groups were observed to see how often each group was subject to falling. In the first 6 months the full year group had 24 total falls, while the other group had 54 falls. Even after the program ended the participants continued to show improvements in their balance and were able to walk with a more normal gait. They also showed improvements in walking while doing other things at the same time, like talking.

Eurythmics was developed by the Swiss composer Émile Jaques-Dalcroze in the early 20th century. Movement in time to music is taught, whether the music is a Mozart minuet or a jazz improvisation. Walking, turning around and staying in step with varying tempos is practiced, and participants also learn to shift their weight, maintain balance and manipulate objects while walking. Participants are also taught to make exaggerated body movements of the upper part of their torsos also while standing and walking.

Black Friday Shopper Arrested in Wal-Mart

In an incident in which many shoppers were afraid would escalate into a full-blown brawl, an off-duty police officer arrested a woman in an Indianapolis Wal-Mart for cutting in line.

A native Indianapolis woman tried to cut in front of other customers who were already waiting patiently for their turns on-line. This angered those waiting, but the woman continued to argue with them. After the officer insisted that the woman leave the store, she continued to argue with others in the store on her way to the exit.

Requita Sullivan, the quick-thinking off-duty officer decided not to wait until it was too late and arrested the argumentative woman before any real harm could take place. The early morning incident occurred at 12:45am on what consumers and marketers call “Black Friday.” Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and about one month before Christmas. The pressure to shop intensively by marketers and the media have created a great deal of pressure on consumers to make their holiday purchases early in order to get the best possible deals, therefore causing a bit of hysteria among shoppers. The police have formed a preliminary charge of trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.  As Christmas approaches we can expect more such incidents to increase in number and intensify in spirit.

Is Chocolate Truly Bad for Your Dog?

The answer is yes. Chocolate, as well as other foods like onions and macadamia nuts, are dangerous and often deadly for dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a diuretic compound which stimulates the heart. If your dog overdoses on chocolate, he can become hyperactive and excited. Frequent urination, unquenchable thirst and vomiting often occur. The most dangerous effect this substance can have on your dog, however, is an increase or irregularity of his heart rate. This can be fatal, especially with exercise. The symptoms may not appear for several hours after the chocolate consumption.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic, as they are the most concentrated form of chocolate your dog can consume. Smaller dogs are more easily affected by chocolate, but even larger, heavy-weight dogs can be affected if they eat enough of it. Semi-sweet and dark chocolate are the second most dangerous forms of chocolate for your dog, and milk chocolate is the least, as it contains the smallest amount of theobromine. So make sure to pay attention, and look out for your dog when he is unable to do so for himself!