The New Interdisciplinary School

April 2018 Newsletter       


4/2 - 4/6




Spring brings the opportunity to introduce T-ball to our NIS students.Using a plastic bat, wiffle ball and batting T is very exciting for kids this age!  Running bases is also great fun! We learn to take turns and cheer for our friends.  Throwing and catching skills are also practiced. We start by learning to roll a ball to a friend, sometimes a teacher will help hand over hand. Next we learn to catch a bounced ball and then a ball tossed to us by a teacher. Playing with velcro mits with tennis balls that stick help with eye-hand coordination and help kids develop hand strength.

At home you may want to set up a target throw activity, coffee cans or soda bottles can be the targets and your child could try to use a overhand thow to knock them down. Demonstrating an overhand throw for your child will help them know how to do it. Also asking your child to put the ball at his ear will help him to throw overhand.Another good eye hand coordination skill is hitting a ball suspended on a string. Your child could hit it with a short bat or paddle. Children enjoy this activity and are developing skill as well!

Hope you enjoy these activities with your kids. Happy Spring!!

The Downsides of Baby Food Pouches
 (And How to Use Them Right)
There can be a time and place for pouches. They can be an emergency supply. If you're stuck in a car with without a packed lunch. Or if they just need a snack.
But you should not rely on puree pouches every day and definitely not every meal. Here's why:
1.)   Labels may be misleading. Even if the front label proudly proclaims ingredients like kale and quinoa, rest assured that the ingredient list (the smallish print next to the nutritional information on the back) will start with a cheaper component -- apple, pear, or carrot puree in most cases. This cheaper puree provides the bulk of the pouch's contents. How much quinoa or kale is in there? No one knows since the manufacturers are not required to declare the percentages. (Beech-Nut, however, has begun listing the percentages on its website and is considering including them on packaging within the next year.)
2.)   Sucking purees from pouches does not promote the healthy development of feeding skills. Pouches encourage more sucking -- something that babies do very well already. In my nutrition practice I have seen many babies "stuck" in a puree phase. They had trouble progressing to lumps and finger foods because the parents relied on pouches for too long. Their child missed the window of opportunity to learn how to handle varied textures and self-feed. Studies show that the late introduction of lumpy food has been associated with feeding problems in the future.
3.) Purees from pouches do not help to expand the palate. Most of them taste sweet, even those with kale, spinach, whole grains, and other generally not-sweet tasting ingredients. Kids already love sweet. Our goal as parents is to help babies develop a taste for the foods they do not like yet, such as savory vegetables, grains, and meats.
No one can argue that purees in pouches are a perfect fit for our crazy busy lives. And although not an adequate substitute for fresh fruit and veggies, purees in pouches still have a decent amount of nutrition and can provide much-needed vitamins and minerals, especially important for children with feeding difficulties.
Here are some ways every parent and child can enjoy the convenience of purees in pouches without contributing to potential feeding problems later on:
- Instead of letting babies and children suck on puree pouches, empty the puree into a bowl and feed it with a spoon.
-Alongside with offering purees, make sure to expose your baby to finger foods from early on. If introducing finger foods from 6 months, serve long graspable pieces of soft foods like mango or avocado, long strips of well-cooked chicken or meat, steamed or roasted veggie sticks, or long pieces of toast. When babies develop finger grasp close to 8-9 months, switch to small bites of well cooked vegetables, soft fruits, eggs, meats, beans and shredded cheese.

- Try not to rely on pouches at every meal, and instead ensure that there is a variety of textures in your baby's diet. An example of a meal with different textures appropriate for babies from 6-8 months is a soft chicken and vegetable stew, mango chunks, and avocado mashed with a fork.

 - Do not let older babies and toddlers walk around while sucking on the pouches. Make meals and snacks sit-down occasions. This will reduce the risk of choking and help children become mindful eaters who pay attention to their food and stop when full.

 - Introduce more challenging vegetables like leafy greens and broccoli as single-ingredient purees or finger foods rather than mixed with sweet purees so that your baby learns to like their flavor.

- Purees in pouches can be a nutritious addition to our kids' diets and a lifesaving solution for parents. But it is important to integrate them mindfully in eating without compromising the development of eating skills and taste preferences.


  • Adapted from an article by Natalia Stasenko MS, RD, CDN is a pediatric dietitian based in London and New York.

    Spring is here!  The weather is getting nicer, so now is the time of year that we love to be outside.  Please keep in mind children should always be dressed appropriately.  Although sandals are fashionable, they are not a safe choice of footwear.  Children should wear supportive shoes that protect their feet.  It is also the time when you should send in a new set of appropriate clothes for us to keep on hand for any emergencies.  I wish everyone a happy and healthy spring!

    You Deserve A Break!


    APRIL 21st

     9 AM - 12 PM  


     Contact Susan Cali for sponsorship opportunities at
     631-924-5583, ext. 128, 631-644-5086 or via e-mail at
    $50 at the door. 
    First 100 attendees get a free beer glass.
    June 8th
    5 :30 - 8:00 PM
    Mediterranean Manor
    Monday, June 18, 2018
    St. George's Golf & Country Club

    Don't golf?  Join us for dinner and raffles for only $100!

    Contact Susan Cali, Director of Development, at 924-5583, ext. 128 or via e-mail for more information. Click here for sponsorship opportunities. We rely on raffle prizes to make this event a success.  Please ask around for gift cards and/or gift baskets.  Click here for a raffle request letter.   We hope to see you there!



    430 Sills Road 

    Yaphank, New York 11980  
     (631) 924-5583 * Fax (631) 924-5687


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    The New Interdisciplinary School is an innovative early childhood learning center that respects the unique needs of all children and their families. Our
    commitment is to provide therapeutic and educational services in a nurturing environment with the highest standard of expertise. 
    While we receive funding from NYS and Suffolk County to help cover the cost of therapeutic, educational, and bussing costs for our special education students, we rely on donations to enhance all of our programs and services. 
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