Reinforce School Lessons at Home for Better Learning

As an adult, you may know that lessons learned in high school or college can quickly go by the wayside. Studies have shown that children struggling in school score higher on achievement tests in June than they do at the end of the traditional summer break. Even more concerning are findings that indicate how these learning losses can add up with each passing year. In fact, by the time they reach middle school, some students may experience a 2-year lag in reading achievement.

Lessons in Retention: Parents Can Help Young Minds Learn at Home

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As an adult, you may know that lessons learned in high school or college can quickly go by the wayside. Studies have shown that children struggling …

Help Your Child Make Healthy Eating Choices Through the School Year

The school year marks a hectic time for parents. Children run out the door to catch the bus,  then spend their evenings at after-school programs or practice. As parents rush children between activities and struggle to balance work and family obligations, many might choose the easiest option available – fast food or convenience foods, like chips and cookies.

But there’s no reason that busy families can’t enjoy healthy meals and healthy snacks through the school year. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers the following tips for providing healthy food no matter how tight your schedule:

The Academic Journey to Success — Helpful Strategies for School Transitions

div img class=”category-img” src=”” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=””NewsUSA/a) – This fall, some students face more than a new school year — they face a whole new school. Transition years, in which students move from elementary …/div/div

A Back-to-School Checklist for Parents

<b>A Back-to-School Checklist for Parents</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As summer winds down, thoughts turn to the school year. But it’s easy to put off back-to-school preparations until the last minute, when you find yourself frantically throwing packs of No. 2 pencils in your cart.

This year, why not try for a more organized approach? Here are some tips:

* Go through your child’s wardrobe. The end of summer marks the perfect time to have a fashion show. Have your child put on a fashion show, and note what items you will need to replace. Get rid of ill-fitting, ratty and never-worn items. Consider donating “gently used” pieces.

When choosing back to school clothes, practicality is key. Company Kids Moby Goby line was created to be durable and be comfortable for a longer period of time with their adjustable waistband, double seaming, elastic gussets and fabric lining. Most of the clothing is machine washable, too, which is a must for kids who love the playground!

* Organize classroom supplies. When you receive your school’s supply list, don’t immediately run to the store. Look through what you bought last year — you may still have spare notebooks, pencils or binders that haven’t been used.

All children will need a backpack. If your child’s due for a replacement, look for plenty of pockets for organizing and a fun design. Company Kids backpacks offers backpacks for toddlers, children, tweens and teens. All have ample pockets, compartments, and heavy-duty zippers so your child can stay organized. And their fun prints, like the Blue Zoo backpack, lets each kid represent their personality.

* Take a look around your child’s room. Nothing says that your child’s growing up like entering a new grade, so the start of the school year is a good time to see if your child would prefer more “big kid” décor.” You don’t have to hire a decorator — a few posters and a new bedspread may do the trick.

And don’t forget the college kids! The Company Store offers a twin extra-long bedding package that includes a Company Cotton four-piece sheet set and a LaCrosse Primaloft comforter for $124.99. And unlike other pre-packaged bedding sets, your college bound kid can pick the color for each piece in the set, allowing them to mix and match according to their tastes.

For more information, visit

Fight Against Childhood Obesity Begins at Home

<b>Fight Against Childhood Obesity Begins at Home</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Schools nationwide are revamping their lunch menus, celebrity chefs are going on reality TV and First Lady Michelle Obama has started a health initiative, all to combat the same thing — childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 million American children are obese or overweight, setting them up for a lifetime of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Many school systems have made attempts to provide healthier school lunches, such as offering salad bars or fresh fruit.

Food and drink makers are also making efforts to solve the problem. Companies like Coca-Cola have removed regular soft drinks from schools, and recently, major beverage companies, together with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced that they have successfully cut total calories from drinks delivered to schools by 88 percent over the last three years.

“From my experience, schools alone cannot stop children from becoming overweight or obese,” says registered dietitian Sylvia Klinger. “It is very important for parents to make an effort to encourage healthy eating habits at home and outside of the classroom.”

Klinger suggests these tips for parents who want their children to live healthy, active lives:

* Make healthy foods easy. We’re all familiar with the phrase “eat the rainbow.” To make it easy to get your family to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, chop bite-sized portions in advance, so you can take them out of the fridge and run. Sneak fruits into smoothies, and veggies into sauces, salsas or soups. Also, look for individually packaged whole-grain products, like 100 percent whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice.

* Create healthy eating habits. Always eat breakfast — children who eat breakfast not only weigh less, but also perform better in school. It is also important to schedule regular meal times. Try involving your children in the preparation of each meal. Avoid the clean plate system, which only promotes overeating. Also, don’t ban treats, which can encourage sneaking food or overeating when sweets are present.

* Get active. Exercise is important regardless of your child’s weight or age. If your child is overweight, focus on maintaining that weight while the child grows in height, which can be accomplished through exercise. No matter your child’s size, activities like team sports, swimming, hiking, cycling or just taking a family walk can help manage weight, increase energy and improve self-esteem.

Make Packed Lunches Cool Again

div img class=”category-img” src=”” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=””NewsUSA/a) – For elementary school kids, tastes change about as often as the school bell rings. A child might be interested in racecars one day and …/div/div

Make Packed Lunches Cool Again

<b>Make Packed Lunches Cool Again</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For elementary school kids, tastes change about as often as the school bell rings. A child might be interested in racecars one day and skateboarding the next. Another might like drawing before moving on to fashion. And finding an insulated lunch bag that reflects a child’s personality is almost as important as finding the perfect pair of shoes. So, how do parents keep up?

One company, California Innovations (, knows that kids need lunch bags with the right designs and features.

“We realize how important it is for each child to have the perfect lunch bag, and we work hard to make sure that we have the right one for everyone,” says Mel Mogil, President and CEO of California Innovations.

The company has some suggestions to help parents find the perfect lunch bag for their child:

* Monstrous fun. Elementary school kids will have fun with the animal or monster designs, such as those on the Neo Lunch Pack from California Innovations. These lunch bags are made from neoprene, the material used in wetsuits. And they’re machine washable for easy cleaning.

* For boys or girls. Arctic Zone offers insulated lunch bags with car designs for little boys, and monkey designs for little girls. As they grow up, boys and girls can choose from skateboarding, graffiti graphics and fashion prints.

* Personalize it. Look for lunch bags with transparent pockets so budding artists can add a picture or their own work of art to their lunch bag. Switchable, self-adhesive patches and glitter glue can also help kids customize their lunch bags.

* Style up. Tween fashionistas might appreciate a lunch bag that looks like a purse but that has enough room to carry lunch and snacks for an entire day.

* Fashion meets function. As kids get older, durability and functionality become increasingly important. Look for lunch bags with hard liners. Expandable front pockets allow kids to take extra food to school as their appetites increase.

All of California Innovations’ products are Ultra Safe, a designation that means that their products meet all applicable FDA and CPSC safety requirements and the company’s own quality assurance and safety standards that go well beyond legal compliance. California Innovations is also the exclusive licensee of Microban for soft-sided insulated products, lunch packs and diaper bags. Microban anti-microbial protection helps to eliminate odors and bacteria build-up and makes cleaning easier.

Put “Brain Power” on the Back-to-School List

<b>Put “Brain Power” on the Back-to-School List</b>“></td>
<p>(<a   href=NewsUSA) – That groan you hear is most likely the collective sound of children’s disappointment that summer is almost over and a new school year is about to begin. And while you’ve probably thought of all the back-to-school essentials, there’s something you might not have considered — brain health.

Based on considerable research indicating that diet, exercise and rest can help improve cognitive performance, the California Innovations BrainFuel program helps parents lay a strong foundation for their children’s education. It features short articles that highlight recent brain research, the impact that sleep and fitness have on mental acuity, quick tips for packing smarter lunches, and recipes for brain-healthy meals. Here are a few tips to get you started:

* Skip the snooze and make breakfast. Research has found that breakfast-eaters have higher school attendance, reduced tardiness, better behavior, and stronger test performance than breakfast-skippers.

* Drop the pop. Is soda pop really that bad? “Yup. Affirmative. Absolutely,” says board-certified nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS. Loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, soda pop offers a lot of calories and no nutritional value. Stick with the basics — 100 percent juice, milk, or plain old water.

* Go nuts! For snacks, skip the potato chips and pack nuts instead (allergies aside, of course). Walnuts are high in Omega-3 and antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin B6.

* Focus on fitness. Experts aren’t exactly sure how exercise fuels learning, but they know that it does. According to Dr. John J. Ratey, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Exercise itself doesn’t make you smarter, but it puts the brain of the learners in the optimal position for them to learn.” Studies show that exercise enables cells to sprout synapses, which are crucial to forming connections the brain needs in order to learn.

* Encourage plenty of sleep. “Even minor changes in sleep… can impair a school kid’s learning, memory, attention [and] concentration,” says researcher Avi Sadeh, DSc, director of the Laboratory for Children’s Sleep and Arousal Disorders at Tel Aviv University.

The California Innovations BrainFuel program is made possible with support from LeapFrog, Horizon, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Bumble Bee, Dole Fruit Bowls, Parents Magazine and other sponsors. Get additional tips, learn more, and register for the $30,000 Sweepstakes at

Healthier Meals on the Way to Schools

<b>Healthier Meals on the Way to Schools</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For the first time in U.S. history, kids may face a shorter lifespan than their parents. The cause? Obesity.

American children are suffering from the obesity epidemic that has plagued the nation for the past decade. Today, nearly 20 percent of 6-11 year-olds and over 18 percent of 12-17 year-olds are obese, and over 1/3 of both age groups are overweight. Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A reliance on fast food, poor nutrition education, excessive caloric intake and lack of physical activity have been blamed for the ill health of the nation’s youth.

First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity a central cause in her husband’s administration. She has initiated the “Let’s Move” campaign to solve the epidemic of dangerously heavy children within a generation. The goal is to give parents support, provide healthier meals in schools, encourage and enable kids to become physically active and to provide healthy, affordable food to all parts of the country. “We want our kids to face a different and more optimistic future in terms of their lifespan,” says the First Lady.

A cornerstone of the Let’s Move campaign is the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge Program, designed to create healthy and active kids. The program calls for higher school food quality, participation in meal programs, physical activity and nutrition education. Food service workers in more than 75 percent of schools have pledged to work with school authorities to improve the nutrition in meals. Teachers, principals and school administrators have sworn support for the new measures. Major school food suppliers have agreed to decrease the sugar, fat and salt in school meals, and increase the use of whole grains and produce.

School suppliers of higher-quality food at an affordable price are welcoming the trend toward feeding nutritious wholesome meals to the nation’s youth. Food safety leader iPura, producer of organically cleaned seafood, provides schools with a safe, clean source that includes guarantees of good farming and manufacturing practices from Source-to-Kitchen. iPura offers schools the benefits of food safety, sustainability and the health attributes of seafood backed by a strong guarantee of quality, contributing to the efforts of school meal authorities to improve the health of students nationwide.

Ending childhood obesity will require that parents, schools and food companies join forces and maintain focus for years to come. The lifespan of our children depends on it.