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Monthly Archives: April 2015

River School is Raising Chicks

River School students learning about chickens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will once again be taking part in the egg and chick hatching project at River School. The children enjoyed the project and learned so much last year that we had to bring it back! The farmer arrived at our NYC preschool location with a hen named Wilma and a rooster named Fred who crowed non-stop! The school also received an incubator filled with 12 eggs to have a hands-on study of the life cycle of chicks. What will happen after a week of incubation? We’ll see soon! We hope the children have as much fun seeing the results as last year’s class did! You can read about how the egg and chick hatching project went last year.

Farmer with a rooster at River School

 

Summer is Around the Corner, Are Your Children Enrolled in a Summer Camp Program?

child swimming river school summer camp programAs the weather warms up we are coming closer and closer to a time when we can ditch our coats and start waiting by the window to hear jingle of the ice cream truck. This means it’s time to start thinking about summer camp for your children! River School will be releasing the schedule for our Summer Camp Program very soon, so be on the lookout. This summer some of our activities will include soccer, field trips, sprinklers, theme days, and other special summer time activities. As for now, swimming lessons have already started for students in our NYC preschool!

5 Weeknight Meals for When You’re Truly Exhausted – Cooking With Miss Katie

Five Weeknight Meals For When You're Exhausted - Cooking with Miss Katie

Every parent knows the feeling… You’ve just finished up a particularly long day at work, picked up the kids from school and are returning home only to have them ask, “What’s for dinner?” The thought of spending even thirty minutes preparing and cooking a meal for your family is exhausting, and you know that it’s just not going to happen (Sorry, Rachel Ray!). Normally, at this point, you’d call for pizza or microwave some frozen chicken nuggets for the kids. You would then proceed to eat a piece of leftover turkey over the sink. Sometimes there really are moments that call for a pizza, but listed here are some healthier dinner solutions that are just as simple for crazy weeknights.

Monday (crockpot cooking): If you’re at Trader Joe’s on Sunday and know it’s going to be a long week, pick up a 4 lb beef chuck roast, a 16oz can of beef stock, some baby carrots, some red small red potatoes, pre-diced onions (or dice one yourself), and fresh rosemary. Before work on Monday, simply toss all of these ingredients into a large crockpot. (Searing the meat first will provide a nicer color and richer flavor, but you will still get a melt-in-your-mouth roast without it). Season it well with salt and pepper, turn the heat on to low and forget about it for 8-10 hours. After less than five minutes of prep time, a delicious and healthy dinner will be ready when you get home from work!

Tuesday (no-cook assembling): I call this a French market dinner, because in Provence it is quite common to go to a farmer’s market for lunch/supper, pick up a fresh baguette, some cheese and perhaps some seasonal fruit, and eat it without any preparation. Stop by a grocery store on your way home from work (or simply use what you have already). Grab a crusty loaf of bread, some deli meat/cheese, and some fresh cherry tomatoes and/or grapes. Assemble these on a large plate and watch your family happily devour the no cooking-required meal!

Wednesday (pantry finds): You know you’ve got cans of food you bought the last time there was a snow storm… Time to clean them out! – Grab whatever looks good in your pantry: a pre-cooked bag of rice, can of beans, can of tomatoes, can of greens… The kitchen is your oyster! Simply toss these ingredients into a pan and saute them up into a stir-fry, seasoning with salt, pepper, and whatever else you like as-needed. In just five minutes, you’ll have dinner for your family and a less-cluttered pantry!

Thursday (freezer finds): Freezer leftovers are a gem, because they can often be stretched to create entirely new dishes… Like tacos! Whatever you have in your freezer, be it leftover chicken, beef, veggie stir-fry, etc, microwave it, and then pull it apart into small, bite-size pieces (if needed). For some extra healthy taco goodness, heat up a frozen veggie and serve with “tortillas” of choice – taco shells, tortillas, rice or lettuce wraps… whatever you have on hand. These also pair well with any leftover cheese or salsa you may have already in your kitchen!

Friday (healthier take-out): Sometimes you just have to order a pizza! On nights when you’re trying to find something a little less indulgent on Seamless/GrubHub, try this: ask for steamed chicken/shrimp and broccoli with brown rice from a Chinese restaurant, no sauce. Most places that offer some kind of steamed dish on their menu will accommodate this! When it’s delivered, add oil and seasoning of your choosing. For an appetizer, go for the miso soup or steamed edemame. I have seen children eat edemame like candy, and it’s certainly a healthier option than eating mozzarella sticks or french fries!

Do you have a question for Katie, or something you’d like to share with the River School community on the blog? Feel free to email her at kidslearn@theriverschool.com.

Picture Day with River School

Say cheese! Get your River Schooler ready to pose for the camera because Picture Day is quickly approaching! Help your child pick out their picture day outfit and encourage them to show off their best smile. You can get them ready by snapping a few pictures of them at home to get them comfortable being in front of the camera. We love seeing the smiles that spread across our students’ faces as they sit nicely for the photographers! Photographers will be at our Upper West Side preschool and our preschools in Jersey City mid-month ready to make memories.

Children’s Nutritional Cooking Made Easy – Cooking With Miss Katie

Making sure your little ones eat a healthy and well-balanced diet can be a tricky endeavor. One week, they’ll only eat chicken nuggets. As for the the next week… Well, they’ve decided to never eat them again. Tantrums of epic proportions erupt at the mere thought of consuming a vegetable (except for french fries, of course!). Some children pitch a fit simply at the idea of eating during lunch or dinner. Trying new foods can be challenging, too. Meal times often leave parents feeling exhausted and ready to hand over the goldfish crackers if it’ll only get their little ones to stop crying and eat something already. All of this is, of course, is supposed to happen while taking care of the rest of the family’s needs and balancing a work life, too…

…Consider this blog your respite. Each week, I’ll tackle a subject relating to children’s nutrition, while also providing simple and delicious family-friendly recipes for busy parents who want to instill a love of nutrient-dense foods in their kids. Most importantly, the purpose of this blog is to get you and your little ones cooking together. Not only does this encourage kids to try healthy foods during family meal times, but it also allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment while sharing intimate family moments.

This week, try out this incredibly simple and delicious banana soft-serve recipe. Your child can help you cut the bananas, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and eat the final product!

River School Recipes - Chocolate Chip Banana Soft-Serve
Chocolate Chip Banana Soft-Serve

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft-Serve

(Makes 3 cups of ice cream)

Ingredients:

    • 4 bananas, cut into manageable pieces (about 2”) and then frozen
    • 2 tsps vanilla extract
    • ¼ cup milk of choice
    • ½ cup chocolate chips
  1. 1. Place all ingredients into a blender. Pulse until banana mixture resemble a “soft- serve” consistency.
  1. 2. Serve in your favorite ice cream dish and enjoy!

Do you have a question for Miss Katie, or something you’d like to share with the River School community on

the blog? Feel free to email her at kidslearn@theriverschool.com!