Newsletter September – October 2013
First 5 Commission of San Diego
Supervisor Ron Roberts, Chair
The Director’s Corner
A new school year is beginning. Whether or not your child is just starting preschool, going back for another year, or entering Kindergarten, healthy habits are essential to a child’s academic success and lifelong wellbeing. Children who eat healthy foods and get plenty of exercise have more energy and concentrate better in school.
You may recall that we kicked off our Healthy Start Campaign last Spring, aiming to get families to adopt healthy habits at home. Hopefully, the Summer was a good time to practice the key habits we’ve been telling you about, messages of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative’s 5210 Every Day! campaign – 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables; 2 hours or less of recreational screen time; 1 hour or more of physical activity; and 0 sugary drinks, more water and low fat milk.
Yet, I know that with the start of a new school year, also come busier schedules and it may be harder to ensure your child gets five servings of fruits and vegetables each day or gets out for that one hour of physical activity. To help parents and caregivers, here are some easy tips to ensure your child maintains a healthy lifestyle during the school year:
Have a healthy, great school year!
Dr. Dean E. Sidelinger, MD, MSEd is the Child Health Medical Officer for the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency.
With one in three children in the United States being overweight or obese, it is important for parents to realize their role in providing healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for their children.
Let’s look at nutrition first. There is some truth to the old saying – you are what you eat. Eating healthy foods is one part of being a healthy child, and growing up to be a healthy adult. This starts with babies’ first food. Babies get almost all of their nutrition from the milk that they drink – and breast milk is best for babies. Beginning around six months old, parents can start giving solid foods to their babies like iron-fortified infant cereal, strained fruits and vegetables, and pureed meats. For most children under two years old, parents don’t need to restrict fat in children’s diets. A healthy amount of fat at this age is important for children’s brain development.
Toddlers and preschoolers can present challenges when it comes to eating. One rule to remember is that parents are responsible for what their children eat – and children decide when and how much. It is important that parents offer their children a healthy and varied diet. Encourage kids to eat new fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans to get fiber. Also, pay attention to the calcium that children get in their diets – from milk or foods with added calcium in them. What doesn’t need to be a part of children’s diets? Sugary drinks. Children should drink water and low fat milk instead.
Children need to be physically active – for at least one hour per day. Limit children’s screen time – television, computers, and video games – to two hours or less per day. There should be no screen time for children under two years of age and no televisions or computers in children’s bedrooms. Provide a safe environment for children to play. Provide active toys – like balls and jump ropes – for your children. Consider activities that the whole family can do together – you are a role model. When your children see you enjoying sports and being physically active, they are more likely to participate themselves.
Together with your children, make a promise to eat healthier foods. Together, go outside and be active. Also remember to cut down on the time spent in front of a screen. With these tips in mind everyone in the family will feel better – and be healthier.
Left to right: Andy Barker – Vons Vice President of Retail Operations, Soren Betancourt, Kimberly Medeiros – First 5 San Diego Executive Director, Diego Ontiveros, and Supervisor Ron Roberts – Fourth District San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
First 5 San Diego-Vons Healthy Eating Initiative Now Underway
First 5 San Diego successfully launched its new healthy eating initiative in partnership with Vons on July 10, 2013.
Representatives from First 5 San Diego, Vons and Fourth District San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts attended the official kickoff event at Vons’ Mission Hills store located at 515 W. Washington St.
“We know kids do better in school if they get into good eating habits, so we’re promoting it,” said Roberts who also serves as Chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego County. “We want to make sure they know at an early age what is good for them.”
To kick start the initiative which encourages parents and caregivers to provide healthy food choices to children at an early age, Roberts along with First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kimberly Medeiros and Vons Vice President of Retail Operations Andy Barker helped debut a full-size San Diego MTS bus wrapped in the First 5 logo and messaging. The officials unveiled First 5 San Diego-Vons healthy eating window clings and take-home fliers that are now posted in all 58 San Diego County Vons store locations. They even helped bag groceries for Vons customers with reusable First 5 San Diego bags at the checkout stands.
“We want to encourage families to use grocery shopping as a time to talk with children about healthy eating,” said Medeiros. “The earlier you introduce new fruits and vegetables, the more likely they are as adults to carry on with those good eating habits.”
Vons customers can now grab a healthy eating flier inside the store to help guide them in making great food choices for their children and families.
“Our company deeply believes in the communities that we serve,” said Andy Barker, Vons Vice President of Retail Operations. “That is why we look forward to promoting the health and well-being of children ages 0 through 5 through this healthy eating initiative.”
For more information about First 5 San Diego, please visit www.first5sandiego.org.
Watch this video.
New Potter the Otter Book: It’s Picnic Day, Potter!
The book teaches kids the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle by drinking water, eating healthy foods and being active.
The preschool year is here! Typically, children enter preschool at 3 or 4-years-old, however, a child’s age shouldn’t be the only factor in a parent’s decision to enroll their child in preschool. Each child grows and develops at their own pace and the child must be prepared for what preschool brings – starting preschool can be an exciting experience and often a little scary. Fortunately, parents can prepare their children for entering preschool by helping them learn what to expect. As their children’s first and best teachers, parents can encourage their children’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development before they step foot into a preschool classroom.
Parent Preschool Prep Tips
Protecting your most precious cargo
Keeping kids safe in the car
With today’s technology, cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. But with all of the choices of car seats and booster seats, how do you know which one at what age is right for your child? In honor of National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15-22, we want to prepare you with the information needed to make the right choices and ensure that your most precious cargo stays safe.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death and injuries to children ages 0-13, but by correctly installing your child’s car or booster seat, you can help keep your kids safe and reduce injury or death by as much as 71 percent.
It’s up to the parents or guardians to get the right seat for their child and make sure that seat is installed properly, so when thinking about what seat to get for your car and how to install it, first remember these four steps to help protect your child:
And remember that, the best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way. Here is an easy car seat checklist to help ensure your kids will stay safe:
In January of 2012, the State of California updated the Child Passenger Safety laws, from the “6-years-old and 60 pounds” rule, to children remaining in booster or car seats until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall. The new law is extending coverage to the six and seven year olds who may be too big for a car seat and too small for lap/shoulder belts. Please note that if your child is under 8 years of age but is 4’9’’, or taller, they may ride in the back seat with a lap/shoulder belt.
Learn more on Child Passenger Safety, and more tips on how to buy the right seat for your children, at the right time.
Fun San Diego Fall Adventures
The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fun, educational things to do in San Diego. With great weather during the autumn months, get out with your little one and experience all that our home town has to offer.
Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch
15954 Woods Valley Road
Experience the fall harvest at Bates. with the colors, scents, tastes and sounds found on our 100 acres. Shop for pumpkins, squash and gourds in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Enjoy numerous activities including hay rides, straw maze, pony rides and farm zoo. Many special events take place each weekend to celebrate pumpkin season.
September 28, 2013 to Sunday, September 29, 2013
On a beautiful day, look no further than taking a trip to Balboa Park, “a landscape of art and culture.” At the nation’s largest urban cultural park you can experience museums, performing arts venues, gardens, trails and play areas. Younger grandchildren will love the Balboa Park Carousel and Miniature Railroad. The museums offer exhibits that will thrill your children as well.
Residents Free Tuesday at Balboa Park Museums
Park organizations offer free admission on a rotating basis on the first four Tuesdays of the month to San Diego City and County residents (with ID), and active military and their dependents.
Please note: Some museums may offer complimentary admission to their permanent collections only and charge admission to special exhibitions or films. Also note: Some museums may require ID for minors
Due to large crowds and for visitor safety some museums may restrict entrance to strollers.
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Family Day at the Maritime Museum
Kids craft activity will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. aboard the museum’s ships. It’s a great way to spend some family time together!
Children 12 years and under are admitted free!* For an additional $5.00 per person, families can sign up for a Historic Bay Cruise on San Diego Bay aboard the museum’s historic 1914 harbor pilot boat Pilot.
*Children must be accompanied by an adult in order to receive free Maritime Museum admission. Only two children 12 or under per adult will be admitted free.
Lots of fun things to do: scavenger hunt with prize, make brass rubbings, ferryboat steam engine demos, explore our ships, raising sail, rope making, knot tying, rowing…
*Activities available vary each day and are offered with paid admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Halloween Bash at Seaport Village
Celebrate the arrival of fall at Seaport Village, where San Diegans are invited to join the fun at Seaport’s third annual Halloween Bash on the Bay on Saturday, October 26, from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. A week of deals and events leading up to the fall festival will honor San Diego locals from October 21-26. The third annual celebration invites little monsters, pirates, witches and superheroes out to the village for an afternoon of fall festivities, including photos with a living scarecrow, costume contest for kids and pets, music including a monster mash band and Thriller DJ, and games for kids.
Living Coast Discovery Center
$14 Adults (18-64); $9 Children (4-17); Free Children (0-3)
The Living Coast Discovery Center is a natural treasure on San Diego Bay. Our nonprofit zoo and aquarium is uniquely situated on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, offering visitors an ideal setting in which to explore the amazing animals and plants that call our coastal region home.
With a diverse collection of animal ambassadors and hands-on, interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center inspires curiosity and exploration of the living earth in guests of all ages.
We Can’t Wait Conference
First 5 San Diego is pleased to sponsor the Fourth Annual “We Can’t Wait” Early Childhood Mental Health Conference which will be taking place September 27 & 28, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. This year’s focus will be on prenatal experiences important to early childhood development including parent and caregiver factors that impact mental health. Individuals who provide support, assessment, treatment, and education to children 0 through 5 including are encouraged to attend.
The event is also funded by the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency – Behavioral Health Services and is organized by the San Diego Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
For more information, visit WeCantWaitSanDiego.org.
First 5 San Diego was delighted to participate in the WeConnect Health Care Enrollment & Resource Fair on July 13, 2013. At the event, San Diego County residents were able to receive application assistance for Medi-Cal, CalFresh and the Low-Income Health Program. There were also health screenings, dental screenings, healthy food giveaways and other money-saving programs and services. Events like this help connect families to important programs and resources, and most importantly, with the people and organizations who can help answer questions and apply.
WeConnect was established by former California First Lady Maria Shriver in 2005 and is now run by The California Endowment. WeConnect joins the Endowment in challenging conventional wisdom that health solely happens in the doctor’s office.
For more information about WeConnect, visit http://www.weconnect.net/.
Cousins Camila and Sofia, 2 ½ years old.
Fiesta del Sol San Diego
First 5 San Diego was pleased to co-sponsor as well as participate in the 8th annual Fiesta del Sol San Diego held July 20-21, 2013 on Historic Logan Avenue. Presented by Justice Overcoming Boundaries (J.O.B.), thousands of people attended the free two-day festival in celebration of the history and diversity of the region’s rich cultures while honoring Latino communities’ contributions to San Diego.
The event featured live entertainment, food, art, vendors and activities for all ages. The fiesta also provided community resources, education and advocacy opportunities at five themed pavilions – Children’s Village, Arts and Culture, Health and Fitness, Civic Participation and Youth Zone. First 5 San Diego sponsored a Children’s Pavilion that provided educational resources, arts and crafts, and games for young children. First 5 San Diego shared information about its programs and services, and resources available in the community. Giveaways included 5210 Every Day! water bottles as well as Potter the Otter Books, crowns and MyPlate portion plates, all to promote the importance of drinking water and encourage healthy eating. Children also enjoyed a fun bean bag tossing game, coloring and hula hoops.
Other sponsors of the event included Cricket Wireless, The Home Depot, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Huggies, The San Diego Foundation, Northgate Market, Operation Samahan, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, various radio stations and other local businesses and organizations.
J.O.B. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to invest in the development of community leaders so they may address issues affecting families. For more information about J.O.B., visit www.justicesandiego.org.
KinderStart participants celebrating graduation at Laurel Elementary School on August 9, 2013.
First 5 High Fives
Oceanside children are now ready for Kindergarten thanks to First 5 San Diego’s KinderStart program, a high-quality, 5-week, early learning program designed for children preparing to enter Kindergarten who need additional support. The summer readiness camp was held from July 8 – August 9 at Laurel Elementary School, which is part of the Oceanside Unified School District, where 73 children graduated from the program.
The program utilizes a curriculum that promotes both academic and social-emotional development and provides parents with the training and resources to help them promote their child’s development and ongoing academic success. The goal is to prepare students and parents for successful entry into Kindergarten and boost academic achievement and social emotional growth throughout their entire school experience.
Camp Pendleton 4th Marriage, Parenting, and Relationship Expo
Descanso Library’s Storytime
Kids Care Fest
San Diego Public Library Street Fair/ Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Live it Up! Celebrating the Good Life
Add Your Event to Our Website
Our website features an enhanced community calendar. Do you have a community event that you would like to add to the First 5 San Diego calendar? If your event focuses on children ages 0-5, parents, caregivers and/or expectant parents, offered at no or low cost, and sponsored by a non-profit organization, we want to share your event. Fill out our Community Event Listing Request Form.
For more information about First 5 San Diego services call 1-888-5 First 5. For updates from First 5 San Diego, please join us on Facebook.