January 4th-10th, 2015 was Folic Acid Awareness Week, however we feel that this is an important topic for the entire month, and beyond!
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth. If taken before and during early pregnancy from a multi-vitamin or fortified foods, folic acid can prevent from 50% up to 70% of some forms of serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
The CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service recommend that all women between 15 and 45 years of age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent two common and serious birth defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. Women need folic acid, even if not planning to become pregnant, since 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Women who could possibly become pregnant can consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day by:
taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid, and
eating fortified foods like grains, pastas, or breakfast cereals, and
eating a variety of foods as part of a healthy diet.
Although all enriched cereals and grain products in the U.S. are fortified with the B-vitamin folic acid, only one-third of U.S. women of childbearing age consume the recommended amount from their diet. Taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day is the easiest way that women can get the recommended amount of 400 mcg.
Hispanic babies are more likely than others in the U.S. to be born with a neural tube defect (NTD). The CDC reports that Latinas in the U.S. consume the least amount of folic acid and have the least knowledge about folic acid among racial or ethnic groups
News & Announcements
Talk, Read, Sing
What math skills for small children look like, and how they help build success for later in life.
Research tells us that exposing children to math early improves their success in school. Talking to young children about numbers helps their brains develop, and may improve their confidence with math later on. So get counting! These ideas will help you spark your child's math interest while you talk, read and sing!
1. Find opportunities to count everywhere you go.
Count the steps as you and your child are walking up and down the stairs, or the cars passing by. Use your baby's fingers and toes to count one, two, three, four, five!
2. Ask "how many?"
Ask your child questions like "how many children and adults live in our home?" or "how many silver cars do you see?" These questions encourage children to count and compare things they see every day.
3. Talk about the shapes and sizes of objects all around you.
Describe the shapes of everyday objects: the large table that is a rectangle, or the small, round orange. When your child has mastered these concepts, describe less common shapes: the stop sign is an octagon, the pond is an oval.
4. Sing and clap along together.
One clap for each syllable builds understanding of "one-to-one correspondence," or the ability to count in sequence. Practicing rhythm and melody also helps children understand patterns.
5. Talk about directions.
Use physical descriptions of the world around you, such as "through," "next to," "around" and "behind" to help your child understand where things are in relation to other things.
6. Use comparison words throughout the day.
Is the grapefruit bigger or smaller than the orange? Is my hair longer or shorter than yours? Grouping objects together helps children discriminate between sameness and difference. Sort things by size, color, length, or anything else you can think of together. The list is endless!
7. Talk math in any language.
Math is a universal language, and its concepts are translatable across all languages. Look for ways to talk about math in whatever language you feel comfortable with. Talking math to your child every day builds her brain.
Child care providers are invited to this special workshop that addresses solutions for the day-to-day stresses of caring for young children. Join guest speakers Melissa Granchi, MFT and Erika Simmons from the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council to learn ways to effectively manage stress, avoid burn-out and go home with practical tools to accomplish this. For home-based and center-based providers! Please call 257-1092 to RSVP or for more information.
As a parent, you are your child's first & most important teacher!
Save money on books for your children--get them for free! Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book a month from the Imagination Library. This is a free program, available to all Amador County children 0-4 (from birth until their fifth birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child! For more informationclick here.