FEBRUARY 2019
Greetings!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
During the month of February, we are talking about heart and dental health. In addition, we are as focusing on sharing, caring and giving. The children will be creating projects that we will bring to local nursing home to brighten the residents’ days! We are also collecting items for “Hope 4 Youth,” which is a local organization in Anoka County that provides shelter and basic items to local teens who are homeless. There will be a list of items that are needed by Hope 4 Youth by the donation box. Thank you in advance in for your generosity.  
CENTER HAPPENINGS
VALENTINE CLASSROOM PARTIES
Thursday, February 14, will be classroom parties. If your child would like to bring in valentines to share with their classmates, this is a great opportunity for your child to practice writing their name on the back. We will be making a special snack that day and are asking for no treats to be brought in. 
SPECIAL DAYS IN FEBRUARY
Wednesday, February 6 - Music Class
Thursday, February 7 - Wear RED
Tuesday, February 12 - Wacky Day
Thursday, February 14 – Classroom Valentine Party
Tuesday, February 19 - Hat Day
Wednesday, February 20 - Music Class
Wednesday, February 27 – Pajama day
PARENT REMINDERS
winter hats
OUTDOOR GEAR
Please make sure that you label all your child’s outdoor gear! We have many black snow pants purchased from Target, and it can be challenging to determine whose is whose. Please also check the lost and found on the front counter as we have several new items that might belong to your child. Thanks for your help!
STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
STAR WELLNESS RECIPE
COOKING WITH CHILDREN: CHICKEN AVOCADO ROLL-UPS
Ingredients
2 avocados, cubed
Juice of 1 lime
2 c. shredded chicken
1 bell peppers, seeds and cores removed, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. finely chopped chives
4 large flour tortillas

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine avocado and lime juice and mash until only small chunks of avocado remain. Add chicken, bell pepper, red onion, Monterey Jack, cheddar, sour cream and chives and stir until evenly combined.
   
Spread a thin layer of the chicken avocado mixture onto a large tortilla, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll the tortilla up tightly, then cut off the edges and slice into 1” rolls. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve cold or at room temperature. 

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
LITTLE CHEFS, BIG BENEFITS
Sundays are cooking days at our house. My husband loves to use the weekend as an excuse to simmer, roast or slow cook. With weeknight mealtimes often feeling a bit chaotic (serious understatement), we both relish the opportunity to slow down a bit. And mostly thanks to him, the results are usually pretty tasty.

But what I have come to love even more than the food is the opportunity to watch our 3-year-old in the kitchen. He is the ultimate helper. Loving to get involved, he is constantly asking me what jobs he can do. On busy weeknights, when there are onions to chop and tantrums to sooth, I sometimes find myself rushing through things on my own. My desire to include him butts up against my desire to get the food on the table before our 16-month-old implodes. But on the weekends, when things slow down, we make a point to find ways for him to help.

This often involves stirring, measuring, scooping, spilling (!) and pouring. And always, without fail, it involves several requests to taste each ingredient as it goes in. Even the baking soda - ew! That simple act of tasting is actually an incredibly important step in developing healthy eating habits. Tasting exposes kids to different flavors and textures, making them more likely to grow up as balanced eaters. For my son, there are times when he will taste something as we cook it, only to reject it once it is on his plate. But that’s ok with me, because I know that those little tastes build up to a lot of exposure over time. 
Last Sunday, I walked into the kitchen and saw his face beaming with pride. He and his dad were making pasta, and my littlest chef had chopped all the (soft) cheese on his own. With a butter knife. It was the most excited I have seen him in the kitchen. He felt a sense of accomplishment, knowing that he had done it all on his own. And when the time came to eat, he couldn’t wait to tell his cousins all about “his” pasta.

It was a good reminder to me that with just a little adjustment, kids can do many things alongside us in the kitchen. There are age appropriate ways to get all kids involved and help them grow their skills as they get older. The pride they feel in working alongside us helps them to develop confidence, coordination and patience – and as a bonus, the results are delicious.  
Allison Zomer
Director of Operations
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-mid-February   Centennial Lakes Ice Skating , Edina
Now-2/18 The Three Snow Bears , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-2/23 Night Trains , Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
Now-2/24 Mr. Popper’s Penguins , Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls
Now-5/12   Wild Kratt's Creature Power! The Exhibit , MN Children's Museum, St. Paul
2/2   TC Field House Kid's Run , U of MN, Mpls
2/9   Valentine's Day 5k , Lake Nokomis, Mpls

Especially for Children
8885 Evergreen Blvd 
Coon Rapids MN 55433 

Lisa Ward 
Director, EFC Coon Rapids 
(763) 784-0901
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