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supermarket family
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Elderly parent? Picky toddler? Newly declared vegetarian teen? Food allergy? When shopping for family members with different health needs or preferences, it helps to plan ahead. • Plan menus and grocery lists together. Include food options that everyone can enjoy. Look at cookbooks,magazines or websites for meal ideas that meet your needs. • Take into account each person’s energy needs and appetite. Children have smaller stomachs than adults and their appetite is also smaller. Choose smaller formats, such as nutritious and delicious drinkable yogurts made for children. • Try a “do-it-yourself” meal, such as fajitas, tacos,sandwiches or salads. Just put all the healthy ingredients on the table and let everyone assemble their favourite combo. • At the grocery store, read food labels carefully to look for ingredients you need to avoid. • When checking food labels, look at the % Daily Value on the Nutrition Facts table. Choose foods with more of the nutrients you want and less of the nutrients you don’t. • Check if your grocery store offers tours led by a Registered Dietitian. Bonus item! Ask each member of your family to give you a list of their favourite healthy foods. It will be easier for you(…)

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market_family
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The grocery store is a great starting point to get kids interested in food, cooking and nutrition.38 Involve your child in planning meals and adding items to the grocery list. At the store, talk about how much food costs, where it comes from and howto make healthy choices. Teach them what food provides their body, for example dairy products such as yogurt provide calcium that contributes to the formation and normal development of bones and teeth. These tips can make your shopping experience more enjoyable: • Minimize stress. Timing is everything! Shop when the store isn’t busy. Don’t go when your child is tired or hungry. • Explore and experiment. Let your child pick a new vegetable or fruit in the produce section. • Ask for help. Have older children and teens help with reading food labels and comparing brands. • Set rules before you go. Have a plan to deal with requests for sweets and salty snacks you wouldn’t usually buy – and don’t give in! • Have fun! Make grocery shopping like a scavenger hunt for healthy foods. Give your child the list and apen to cross off items as they’re added to the cart. Bonus item!Take advantage of(…)

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discovering colours
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Everything is pink: the house, the teddy bear, the tee-shirt, the car, the bedspread. Even if she knows colours, my three-year-old daughter has fun with the concept. With the hint of a smile and sparkles in her eyes, she swears that everything around her is pink. Perhaps it’s her way of checking the evolution of her learning – or just a way of teasing her mother. Discovering colours is an important learning process for preschool children. It usually takes place between the ages of two and six. “Knowing colours is a prerequisite for entering preschool,” says Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and Professor Emeritus at Université de Montréal. A school-age child’s knowledge will be refined by listing the shades: pale blue, dark grey, etc.”. Around the age of four, a child is generally able to name the usual colours. The little ones will integrate the notion of colours through games. Children need concreteness; they need to handle objects. Coloured blocks, sticks or pencils, and buttons (starting from the age of three) are recommended. A child’s curiosity may also be stimulated through games that don’t require any material. “For example, we show the child an item of a certain colour in the(…)

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count
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He counts the steps, the number of holes in his piece of cheese, the quantity of books on the bookshelf in the living room, the red tee-shirts in his clothing drawer. My six-year-old son is obsessed with numbers. He loves to count. A statistician-to-be? Maybe. But it is more likely that Pumpkin is going through a phase. Learning how to count is a skill all children try to acquire at some point in their development. “Before entering kindergarten, a child possesses basic mathematical knowledge”, explains Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and author of thirteen pieces on child development. Beyond knowing how to recite a series of numbers, a child learns how to count objects little by little. Around the age of two, children learn notions like “only one” and “several”, and then “a little” and “a lot”. Usually, around the age of three or four, they can count mechanically to ten. “They will be able to count between three and six items”, Ms. Ferland says. Around the age of five, children are able to count to 30 and can quantify up to ten objects displayed before them. Parents may use games to help their children learn how to count. Asking questions(…)

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playing
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“Come play with me!” If you are the parent of a young child, this sounds quite familiar to you. Sometimes we give our little ones positive answers; some other times, we refuse for all sorts of reasons like fatigue, stress, household chores, or… lack of interest. All the experts say it: playing with our children is essential. “Everything, from changing the diaper to learning a new word, is much easier through games”, says Julie Philippon, blogger and mother of Camille, 8, and Félix, 6. Catherine Goldschmidt, a mother of three, adds: “Playing is a daily break. It allows children to take some kind of control. The roles are reversed.” According to Gilles Cantin, a professor at the Faculty of Education at Université du Québec à Montréal, playing strengthens the bond between an adult and a child. It is a communication driver. “It is an open door for sharing”, he says. “Playing allows building a relationship and learning to know each other.” Parents demonstrate to children that they hold an important place by giving them time and attention. Children gradually gain self-confidence and develop bonds with their father and/or mother. Some parents feel more comfortable than others when it comes to(…)

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