February 17, 2017

Hello Parkside Families,

We had a wonderful week at Parkside learning about and celebrating Friendship Day as well as enjoying (as much as we could) the large snowbanks from the snowstorm on Monday!  Without sounding repetitive we want to thank you for your support and understanding of the decision we made to close Parkside (for the 2nd time in 10 years) on Monday!  Without a doubt, we know that we made the right decision for the safety of our staff and families!

Pre-K registration reminder:  Deadline is February 24th!    We have 1 more week left to register for our fall Pre-K program.  Parents, please remember that you MUST bring in your registration form (the last page of the letter) as well as a $100 prepayment for September’s tuition.  It is not assumed that if your child is eligible for Pre-K that they are going to stay with our program; you have many choices and we want you to make the decision that works best for your family.  If you have any questions about our program please feel free to stop by the office, e-mail Jen M-R at, or e-mail me at

Thursday, March 2nd: Olympic field trip to the UMA dental clinic:  Our Olympic classroom will leave the UMA Bangor campus at 8:45 by Cyr Bus and arrive at the clinic by 9:00.  The kids will have a tour of the dental clinic from the dental hygiene students at UMA; they will be introduced to all of the tools a hygienist uses and will sit in the dental chair too.  We plan to leave the clinic at 10:00 and will be back at Parkside by 10:15.  There will be a permission slip on top of the cubbies beginning Monday; please make sure to sign this in order for your child to go on the field trip.

Friday, March 10th:  Parkside is CLOSED for shut down day, all day teacher training.  We will have an opportunity to meet with your child’s teachers in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 during this day.  We will have sign-up sheets on the top of your classroom cubbies beginning next week to sign up for a 15 minute conference.  If you are unable to meet during this time, but would like to meet with your child’s teacher please stop by the office to set up another appointment.

Mealtimes at Parkside is an important part of our schedule for children: it provides them the opportunity to work on their self-help skills, socialize with their peers and teachers, and to build healthy eating habits.  Below is an article about how to build healthy eating habits and what habits we should be avoiding.  This article can be found at:

Is your child struggling to try to new foods? Ask them if they can lick it! As silly as it sounds, even licking a new food is a way to introduce the taste. You may have to introduce a new food more than 10 times before a child will eat it. Learn this and other strategies in our tip sheet.

Habits to Start

Offer three to four healthy choices at mealtimes. Make sure that at least one of the choices is something the child likes to eat.

Providing two to three health snacks per day. If children don’t eat a lot at a meal, they will have a healthy option for a snack.

Let children take a “dip.” Children like to play with their food. Healthy dips, such as low-fat salad dressing, ketchup, salsa, yogurt, or hummus, make eating fun. Children can dip vegetables, fruits, and even meat!

Offer a new food an “old” way. If you want children to try something new—like fish—offer it to them the first time with breading on it so it looks like something familiar (such as chicken nuggets).

Be silly. Make a face out of vegetable slices (cucumber slices for eyes, shredded carrots for hair, a cherry tomato nose, a red pepper slice for a smile). Or make “sweet surprise stew” where you hide fruit at the bottom of a cup of yogurt. When children are having fun, they are more willing to try something new.

Give it a licking. If children don’t want to put a new food in their mouth, ask them if they can lick it. As silly as it sounds, even licking a new food is a way to introduce the taste. You may have to introduce a new food more than 10 times before a child will eat it.

Look for ways to include and respect the family’s culture. Food is an important way children experience their cultures. Talk with parents about recipes they frequently prepare at home, and discuss ways you might adapt them to make them more healthful, if this is an issue.

Habits to Avoid

Forcing children to eat. The truth is that forcing children to eat usually leads to the child eating less. Forcing also teaches children to rely on others to tell them how much to eat and what they are feeling. This does not lead to healthy eating habits.

When it comes to eating, you and the child each have your own jobs to do. Your job is to provide each child with healthy food choices and pleasant meal and snack times. It is the child’s job to decide which of these healthy foods to eat and how much to eat. This approach helps children learn to listen to their bodies and to make healthy food choices.

Nagging or making deals with children. “Just two more bites, just two more bites!” “If you eat your vegetables, you will get dessert.” Strategies like these don’t work in the long run. Children who learn to make deals about eating quickly learn to make deals and ask for rewards for doing other things—like cleaning up. Soon they won’t do anything unless there is a reward for it!

Eating with the television on. It is true that children will often eat more when they are placed in front of a television for mealtime. However, this is because they are paying so much attention to what is on television, they are not paying attention to whether they are hungry or full. One of the most important healthy eating habits for children to learn is to pay attention to their body’s cues and eat only until they are full. Also, mealtimes are important opportunities to talk and connect with children. There is no chance to bond this way if everyone is watching television.

Enjoy your weekend,

Jen V.