Monday, May 19, 2008

Are They Serious? "For an All-Organic Formula, Baby, That’s Sweet"

Baby formula packed with sugar is the equivalent of giving your baby that new Oreos breakfast cereal. Noooooooo!

Kudos to the New York Times for their article on the topic.

Here are some useful tidbits from the original article:

“When I saw the organic at Publix, I bought it, no questions asked,” said Ms. Chase, a self-described “yoga mom” in Atlanta.

Lesson: Read the label and be alert. Products for kids are a profitable sector!

“I would be very concerned about this as a pediatrician,” said Dr. Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an expert in risk factors for childhood obesity. “The issue is that sweet tastes tend to encourage consumption of excessive amounts,” Dr. Caballero said. Evidence shows that babies and children will always show a preference for the sweetest food available, he said, and they will eat more of it than they would of less-sweet food.
All infant formulas contain added sugars, which babies need to digest the proteins in cow’s milk or soy. Other organic formulas, like Earth’s Best and Parent’s Choice, use organic lactose as the added sugar. Organic lactose must be extracted from organic milk, the global supplies of which have been severely stretched in the last three years, driving up the price of the lactose.

Lesson: The experts are warning you. The only reason to cram lots of cane sugar into baby formula is because it is cheaper than lactose sugar and you can put in tons of it and babies prefer the formula. Some mothers put Coke into bottles and babies like that, too. If you would not put Coke into your baby's bottle, compare the labels.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Brain Development & Montessori

Through the years, Montessori equipment has become an entity in itself. Attractively assembled, interesting to the eye, and very expensive, this equipment has become a focal point of classrooms and the idea of Montessori.

However, the original intention of the equipment was simply to use precisely-crafted materials that would allow children to employ their sensory abilities to learn. Using the senses of touch and sight, a child can order a set of ten knobbed cylinders that vary only by height. It is the process of trying to fit these cylinders into their holders that is the point of the exercise. Many teachers and parents mistakenly focus on having children succeed in the getting the cylinders into their holders and, unfortunately, lose focus on the key value of the exercise, namely, the process itself that is key to brain development!

So, forget about having your child "learn how to use the equipment" or "getting the exercise right" and let him or her use the equipment for it's original purpose.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

NEW: Colors & Shapes DVD

Our brand-new Colors & Shapes DVD is now ready to order!

Colors include all of the first and second Color Tablet colors ranging from primary colors to secondary colors as well as gray and pink.

The shapes section of the program introduces all the Metal Inset shapes such as the circle, square, ellipse, and quatrefoil and then goes on to present Geometric Cabinet shapes such as the trapezoid and rhombus.

Adorable short stories are included for all the sections, too!

Enjoyable spelling review for all of the colors and shapes allows beginning readers to work on their vocabulary as intermediate students practice spelling.

Learn more about our Colors & Shapes DVD

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The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori: Online

Has everyone found this free digital version online?

If not, here's the link to A Celebration of Women Writers's posting of the book

The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori online

It's written in the language of the time, 1912, so some of the phrasing is a bit different, but it's super interesting for those of you who already know about Montessori and are curious about her work and method.

If you can get around the phrasing, you will find brilliant observations, pithy quotes, and lots of good ideas!

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