Libraries are there to be joined!

One proud owner of a (pretty cool) kid's library card

One proud owner of a (pretty cool) kid’s library card

Have you looked into all the library has to offer…?

The library is a wonderful place full of free books AND so much more!  Have you joined yet, at least for books for your children?

The best things to get started are to:

  • Join at the library and get yourself (or your child) a card
  • Look at their website and get familiar with the online catalogue and reserving books online
  • Sign up to a newsletter or join the library on facebook so you can hear about all the great events and courses they run
  • Checkout the kids’ activities they run – story telling, nursery rhymes, kids craft, teddy bears picnics, baby sign, you name it!!
  • Look out for toy libraries linked with the library

Making the most of going to the library

Get your child involved from the beginning, encouraging them to look for books they like, ones they have read before and also new ones.

Talk about ‘authors’ and ‘illustrators’ and comment on those that have written/illustrated other books you have enjoyed.  Comment on the letter in the top corner which tells us where they are kept at the library.  Encourage your child to go and look for other books by a favourite author – ‘remember to look for A for Pamela Allen!’.

Get your child involved in returning and borrowing the books to feel a part of the process.  Having their own card can be quite exciting too!

Comment on the different areas of the library and what is happening, for example, ‘look that’s for the older kids’, ‘they are the computers to find out where a book is kept’, ‘that is a librarian, they work here’.

Attend storytelling and other activities to show your child what else the library is about.

Get your child to ‘round up’ the books when it’s time to return them to the library and discuss taking them back for other kids to enjoy too, but to find new and other favourites as well!

Take note of the really-loved favourites and reserve them from time to time online.  That way, you can build excitement, telling your children that you have requested the book and it will be waiting there especially for them very soon.

Show your children that you like to find books on your interests also, even if it’s magazines!

How do I get my fussy eater to EAT??

Some strategies to get children eating:

1. The best way to get your children to become healthy eaters is to ensure you are a ‘healthy eater’.

2. Involve your children in the cooking process. Some of the soft vegetables are easy to cut with a butter knife. For example mushrooms, capsicum, snow peas and beans.

3. Only offer small amounts on the plate. If you are really trying to introduce a ‘disliked’ vegetable maybe just start by them having it on their plate. Baby steps!

4. Look at your routine, are the children filling up on afternoon tea and snacks. When the 4.30 hunger strikes and dinner is not ready, Jessica Seinfeld suggests offering vegetable sticks. Her book Deceptively Delicious has some wonderful recipes and strategies. I offer my children a cup of ‘frozen peas’, for some reason they think this is special because they are frozen.

5. Keep offering. I know how hard this is because we are all so busy and there is nothing more frustrating and heartbreaking than having a meal you have lovingly cooked pushed away. Or what my Miss 2 year old does is looks in the bowl and yells “YUK”!!! But I keep trying and I know that her sister Miss nearly 4 is a wonderful eater, so it is just a phase.

6. It can be a long process of getting them to change but if you are consistent and have clear expectations of what you want them to eat, they will do it.

7. Create the atmosphere as pleasant as possible. Ask the children to put a table cloth on, set the table, arrange some flowers, even light a candle, put some lovely background music. Try not to turn dinner into a screaming match, ignore behaviour that can be ignored. Encourage the positive behaviour.

When to get help? If you a worried about your child not eating enough or the food battles are getting too much there is help out there. I once had a little girl in my class that would only drink apple juice (not diluted), nearly 2L a day and over 250g of ham. The sugar content in the apple juice was enough to cause concern. This had gone on for 6 months before her mum had decided to put her into daycare to see if she could get some help. After a month she was eating normally. She was almost at the point where the doctors were going to admit her into hospital. She had turned the food into a power struggle, which as you can understand this is not something we ever want our children to associate food with power. So please speak to your doctor if you are concerned. If you still feel this hasn’t satisfied your worries then speak to a child psychologist. The Triple P parenting program is also a good way to help with some strategies.

I will post some other great kid friendly food hints and recipes soon…..