ChildCare Education Institute July Newsletter
Children in the Culinary Environment     
In This Issue...
Provide the Ingredients
The 20 Best Snacks for Kids
The Food Friends: Encouraging Preschoolers to Try New Foods
What are CCEI Students Saying? Take a Look!
Advance Optimal Development with Child Care Training Course on Play
Include Culinary Education in Child Care with CCEI Online Training
Alumni Profile: Alison Mawson
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA Coursework, Director's Certificates, & Early Childhood Credential

Provide the Ingredients 


Some children are incredibly picky eaters, behaving as if there are only two or three edible substances in the whole world. Others seem to be natural-born gourmands, willing to try all sorts of new things and gobble up anything fit for human consumption. Of course, most children fall somewhere in between, wary of new things but willing to try, maybe, and probably less apt to fall in love with healthy foods as opposed to the many processed, sugary, salty choices at their disposal.


Ultimately, as caregivers, we want children to develop lifelong healthy eating habits. We also want them to grow up appreciating the wonderful variety of foods and flavors our world has to offer. But, as with most things in the early childhood environment, there is no single magical formula to make all children interested in eating. Or is there?


Well, no, there's certainly no magic formula, but there is a very important factor to consider with nearly all young children if you want to promote healthy habits. In a word, that factor is...control!


And, in a way, it is a bit like a magic formula, at least for certain food marketers. Perhaps Oscar Mayer, creator of the Lunchables® brand, was the first to really hit on it. Whether a Lunchable represents a healthy meal choice is perhaps a matter of opinion, and we are certainly not here to endorse any particular product. However, Lunchables are relevant because of how and why they were created.


One day in the 1980s, a market research team at Oscar Mayer was tasked with developing a new product for children's lunches. After all sorts of tests and trials, their final product actually turned out to be quite simple: crackers, cheese, and turkey (or ham), plus a little treat, really no different from anything parents weren't already putting in lunch bags.


Lunchables have since evolved, but the basic formula remains the same. It all comes down to presentation. With ingredients compartmentalized in neat little stacks, children everywhere were fascinated and eager to try. As an adult, you probably don't think it's that cool to put cheese on a cracker, but for young children, the opportunity to arrange their food provides opportunity for decision-making and various forms of play (including constructive, expressive, and dramatic, but hopefully not too much physical).


Consider the Lunchable concept next time you decide to bring children into the culinary environment. Instead of giving them a recipe or a bunch of choices, try providing the ingredients and let them take it from there. Remember: presentation and portions are important. Make it fun and interesting and you may be surprised at the great things they're willing to try! 

Volume 8, Issue 7

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The 20 Best Snacks for Kids  

By: Jacqueline Plant, Fraya Berg, and Lori Brookhart-Schervish


Toss out the junk food and start making snack time fun again! Check out these 20 kid-friendly ingredients that make great snacks, plus an easy recipe for each one.

1 - Cheese: The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make "satellite snacks," but you can also make cheese more interesting to kids by cutting it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter and making kabobs with your favorite fruit.

Article courtesy of Parents

The Food Friends: Encouraging Preschoolers to Try New Foods 
By: Laura Bellows and Jennifer Anderson


Many children are naturally picky eaters. Teachers and caregivers can help children overcome their picky eating by allowing them to explore and taste new foods. With the rise in childhood obesity, it is important that we establish healthful eating habits early in life. One way to do this is to encourage young children to try new foods. The preschool years are a critical time to introduce and encourage healthy nutrition because early exposure to healthful foods helps children establish good eating habits that carry into adulthood (Birch 1998).


View Article

Article Courtesy of NAEYC


What are CCEI Students Saying? Take a Look!

ChildCare Education Institute has received numerous testimonials from child care professionals in a variety of roles, one of which is below. Please know that CCEI fully appreciates you all and your feedback!

I had an excellent experience. I learned a lot of new and interesting things about childcare that I did not know before. I have shared a lot of it with my parents in my classroom and they were thankful to know these things. I would definitely recommend this course to someone who wanted to work with children.

~Derby, NY


View CCEI's testimonials webpage for additional student feedback! For more information, contact a CCEI recruitment coordinator at 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm EST.
Advance Optimal Development with Child Care Training Course on Play

CCEI announces CHD104: The Importance of Play! as the newest addition to the CCEI catalog of 100+ online child care training courses. Research shows that young children often do not have enough time during the day to play. Many factors contribute to the loss of playtime, but one thing is certain: play is essential for optimal development. Play promotes nearly everything developmental across physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains. It helps with memory retention, vocabulary, motor skills, processing visual stimuli, and much more! This course is a two-hour, beginner-level training, available for purchase through online enrollment now. CCEI students with active, unlimited individual or center-based subscriptions can enroll in this course anytime at no additional cost when logged in to their account. Once the course is concluded successfully, students will receive 0.2 IACET CEUs and have access to the certificate of completion.

Include Culinary Education in Child Care with CCEI Online Training

Online child care training course CCEI550: Cool Cooking is offered as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users during July in recognition of National Culinary Arts Month. This month, the art of food preparation is celebrated and encouraged as a focus in the child care setting. Teaching children about cooking can promote healthier eating, as well as a number of the activities important to children's education, such as gathering needed materials and measuring ingredients accurately. Additionally, preparing one's own food promotes self-sufficiency and the desire to try new things.Cool Cooking explores preparing food as a classroom activity and focuses on activities that require little to no heat. Upon successful completion, participants should be able to describe objectives for cooking activities and identify appropriate methods for integrating cooking activities in the preschool classroom. Current students with active, unlimited subscriptions can enroll in this course at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account. Returning users without subscriptions can purchase this child care training course anytime through online enrollment. 

Alison Mawson 

Plumsteadville, PA 


Congratulations to Alison Mawson for successfully completing CCEI's Online Director's Certificate Program of Study!


Throughout her lifetime, Alison has always known she wanted to be a childhood educator. Alison first learned of ChildCare Education Institute through another director, and her staff includes several CCEI Online Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate graduates. As a director, Alison gets to spend the most time with the children in her center during the morning hours, and she is motivated by their excitement and reactions. The children in Alison's care love dancing and she loves helping them develop to be the best they can be.


In her spare time, Alison enjoys reading and being outdoors. Alison plans on pursuing her formal education in the future, and currently receives her ongoing online child care training through CCEI. She is also interested in owning her own child care center one day. Alison recommends CCEI to anyone and tells us, "CCEI is available online and you can complete coursework during any free time slots at home, work, etc."


Congratulations, Alison! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!  
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded online child care training courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions 
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.

Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and
Director's Certificate Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Texas Director's Certificate Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's Customer Support Help Desk.

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential (ECC) is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate. Graduates of CCEI's Online Early Childhood Credential (ECC) will have met all training, portfolio, and observation requirements of the national CDA Credential and only need to complete the Council's exam at a PearsonVue testing center to finalize the CDA Credential application process.The ECC is an expanded program that incorporates the other CDA required elements such as the formal observation and portfolio creation.


CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider credit. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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