Volume 5, Issue 6
In This Issue
Healthy Cooking
Creative Cooking!
Cool Cooking with Kids
CCEI News - New Radio Program: When Parents and Teachers Disagree About Developmentally Appropriate Practices
Alumni Profile - Sue Burt
Professional Development - Individual Annual Subscriptions only $99 per year
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute June Newsletter!
This month, CCEI Discusses Cooking in the Classroom!
Obese, or "excessively overweight," may not be a pretty sounding word, but it accurately describes approximately 60 percent of American children ages 4 to 18. In the United States, the overall rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years. Among preschoolers today, roughly 25 percent are already considered obese, and increasing numbers of their peers will join them as they progress through the childhood years. Furthermore, statistics show that 70 percent of obese adolescents will become obese adults.

The so-called "childhood obesity epidemic" has several contributing factors. People often blame parents, and this is justified to some degree, but it is hard to deny that our overall American food culture breeds obesity. Quite frankly, the foods we eat are often loaded with sugar, fat, and processed starches. And our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, in which the average American now watches 151 hours of television per month (at least 5 hours per day), does not help. It is time to start forming new habits!

Here's a fact: children love to do fun stuff with food! Preparing food gives young children a chance to do an adult activity. Also, experimenting with and learning about different foods is developmentally appropriate. Through cooking activities, children can develop skills across the developmental spectrum, from fine motor and problem-solving skills to social skills and cultural awareness, not to mention the potential health benefits.

Here's another fact: sugar and fat taste good. It does not take young children long to figure that out. If they become accustomed to eating foods that are mainly sugar, fat, and starch (along with salt, artificial flavors, and preservatives), then it will be tough to ever wean them off those foods in favor of things like carrots, grapes, broccoli, whole grains, etc.

If you want to help children develop healthy eating habits, help them develop a passion for trying new things, and invite them to "cook" for themselves as often as possible. Children will be far more likely to try new foods if they have helped with the preparation. Children in centers should never use knives, heat sources, or food processors, but there is an endless variety of safe, fun, and nutritious activities out there.

It doesn't have to be a complicated or messy affair! Think of simple activities using two or three ingredients and a basic skill or theme. For example, the simple act of arranging fruits and veggies on a tray is considered a cooking activity, and it requires planning, fine motor skills, and creativity. Here are some other super-simple cooking activities for children:
  • Design a salad/fruit bar at lunchtime
  • Use a plastic spoon to scoop seeds out of a cantaloupe
  • Mix a dip or dressing for vegetables
  • Cut cheese slices into shapes using plastic knives
  • Create frozen yogurt sundaes with fruit topping
More ideas are available in the articles below as well as in the course CCEI550: Cool Cooking.
What creative cooking activities have you used in the classroom? Log in to the CCEI Online Learning Community and share how you help the children in your classroom learn about healthy eating while developing fine-motor and problem-solving skills!
Creative Cooking
By: Jenne Buffington

Many early childhood educators would agree that cooking is a valuable experience, yet it doesn't take place as often as it should. Perhaps this is due to the fact that having an available kitchen is not always realistic, or budgets are small and extra food for cooking activities is not within the limits. There are ways around these obstacles! Whether you have lots of experience in cooking with kids or someone who's been afraid to take the leap, here's two fun, adaptable cooking activities that can help you easily integrate this great teaching tool into your summer curriculum. 

Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Cool Cooking with Kids 
By: Carolyn Tomlin
Teachers often avoid cooking with young children because of the danger associated with hot appliances. But you can cook a wide variety of snacks and meals without using heat. We've included a few "cool" recipes in this article along with a list of benefits cooking offers to young children. So roll up your sleeves and get cooking!
Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
New CCEI Radio! "When Parents and Teachers Disagree About Developmentally Appropriate Practices"
This month, CCEI Radio features Rae Pica, Maureen Gerard, Ph.D., and Anne Henderson, discussing how teachers and parents can manage disagreements about developmentally appropriate practices. The most common disagreement revolves around curriculum in the three-and four-year-old classroom. The disagreement often stems from a lack of communication between the teachers and parents.
Log on to www.cceionline.edu today to learn strategies for communicating curriculum decisions with parents and for getting the parents involved in the classroom.
Join CCEI's Online Learning Community!
CCEI's Online Learning Community is a communication forum that allows child care providers to share information and discuss topics pertinent to child care. Each month, CCEI initiates a discussion on a relevant topic such as curriculum, classroom management, child development, health and nutrition, etc. Participants interact by posting comments and feedback for others to review and respond to.
Join the CCEI Online Learning Community today! To view posts and for details on how to join, visit www.cceionline.edu and click the link to the "Online Learning Community" in the upper right-hand corner. There is no cost to join.
Did You Know?
  • CCEI has graduated over 3,000 students from certificate programs.
  • Students have completed over 321,000 CCEI online professional development courses.
  • In exit surveys, 98% of CCEI students say that they achieved the objectives they set out with when taking CCEI coursework.
Sue Burt, Voorhees, New Jersey
Congratulations to Sue Burt for completing the CCEI Online Self Study CDA Certificate program of study and being awarded her CDA Credential from the Council of Professional Recognition!
Sue began her career when a friend needed dependable in-home child care. Sue worked for 13 years in a home care setting and is now the lead teacher for infants in a child care center.  She enjoys circle time in the mornings when she leads finger games and songs for her students. She likes witnessing the many "firsts" of this age group which motivates her to create lesson plans that encourage the children to learn and explore. Completing her CDA and being awarded her credential has given Sue the confidence to pursue higher education. In the future, she would like to own her own school.
Sue is also a mother to three children. As a family, they enjoy cycling, kayaking and bowling.
Annual, Unlimited Professional Development Subscriptions, Only $99!
CCEI offers over 100 online, IACET CEU awarded professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has course offerings in English and Spanish and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.
CCEI has articulation agreements with Ashford University and Concordia University that give CCEI students the opportunity to articulate completed CCEI coursework for credit into their early childhood degree programs. For more information, visit the Partner section of the CCEI website.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Directors: Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way to manage and administer continuing education for your staff. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for 20 and 50 users, allow you to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
For more information, contact Admissions at 800.499.9907 or click here to enroll online.
Complete CDA Coursework Online with CCEI!
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Standards established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas. Each hour of completed coursework is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU.
CCEI offers three CDA programs. The CCEI Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who are comfortable with an online learning environment and can successfully complete work independently. The Online Instructor Supported CDA Certificate, available in English and Spanish, provides students with extra support from a CCEI Education Coach (EC). Each EC is an early childhood specialist with previous experience working in a child care center or school. Students seeking college credit should enroll in the College Credit Eligible CDA Certificate program for the opportunity to earn credits at Kendall College.
Online Director's Certificate
CCEI offers an Online Director's Certificate that provides professional development for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. The program is composed of nine instructional units that focus on the core areas of competency required to manage a child care center. Each student in the Online Director's Certificate receives support from an Education Coach.

Click here to enroll online.

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