Do You Have Food Insecurity? You’re Not Alone

In medicine, as in so many other fields, often a “buzz phrase” becomes popular. It’s often something that describes a problem that’s been there all along. Once it has a name, sometimes it starts going viral. People start writing articles on it, and suddenly it’s a problem that people pay attention to. With any luck, a few of those articles might even propose some solutions. Such is the case with one that’s been in the pediatric news lately: food insecurity. What this term basically translates to is people, especially parents, having trouble buying enough food to sustain their families. Who’s The post Do You Have Food Insecurity? You’re Not Alone appeared first on The Pulse.

Do You Have Food Insecurity? You’re Not Alone

In medicine, as in so many other fields, often a “buzz phrase” becomes popular. It’s often something that describes a problem that’s been there all along. Once it has a name, sometimes it starts going viral. People start writing articles on it, and suddenly it’s a problem that people pay attention to. With any luck, a few of those articles might even propose some solutions.

Such is the case with one that’s been in the pediatric news lately: food insecurity. What this term basically translates to is people, especially parents, having trouble buying enough food to sustain their families.

Who’s Affected, and Why

It’s estimated that about 1 in 6 families are affected by food insecurity. And quite frankly, a lot of us who provide services to families are probably missing quite a few of them. I admit to having some skepticism initially. I look at grapes on sale at the local supermarket and see a price of $1.99 for a huge bunch that will take me 12 or 13 sittings to get through. And I compare it to the 7-dollar burger that I can down in about 4 minutes. I then look at my part-time practice, which largely serves low-income families, and see about 2/3 of kids—babies and toddlers, even—in the “overweight” or “obese” range. Clearly they’re being fed; what’s going on?

The issue appears to be getting the right kind of food. Obviously, kids can’t live on grapes alone (especially infants and toddlers, who can only be given cut-up seedless grapes with caution). Variety is important, and yet, especially during early childhood, there is the added issue of that child who will only eat one or two foods. Many parents can’t afford to throw away food and may lean on a lot of processed choices guided by kid preference, which might not be the most nutritious choices.

Let’s do a deeper dive into why parents may not be able to obtain enough food. Certainly cost is one issue—though the term food insecurity was coined before the COVID crisis, latest developments have certainly meant less disposable income for many as well as rising food prices. Another big contributor to the problem is the lack of availability of nutritious foods: Residents of low-income neighborhoods often don’t have the same access to markets as those of wealthier neighborhoods, meaning that often the only choices are from fast-food places and convenience stores or smaller, more expensive markets. People working to make ends meet may have less shopping choices during their off hours or may simply be too exhausted to shop and cook.

Finally, having trouble making ends meet can be a stress for everyone, including children. Binge eating of non-nutritious foods, especially if they’re only intermittently available, is unfortunately one coping mechanism that is used by all of us, including kids.

The Effects of the Wrong Kind of Food

As I’ve alluded to, food insecurity is pretty closely linked to obesity in kids. This sets them up for all sorts of problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, bone and joint problems, and depression. And increasingly, these problems are affecting children a ways off from adulthood. Add that to deficiencies of nutrients we know a lot about (such as iron) and ones we’re just beginning to learn about (such as antioxidants, like the ones in brightly colored fruits) and we realize how important it is that we solve this problem.

What to Do to Fight Food Insecurity

Lots of times, it’s a lot easier to talk about a problem than to solve it. No one answer will fit all situations, and more research will be needed to determine what will work to end food insecurity for the greatest number of people. That said, let’s brainstorm a few things that parents can do:

  • Remember that breastfeeding your infant provides a ready source of essentially complete nutrition; Moms are encouraged to do so for the first year.
  • Take advantage of the programs that are out there for struggling families; the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP—formerly known as “food stamps”), school lunches and after-school supplemental programs are some examples.
  • Strategize with friends and neighbors: Can you travel together to a market with better choices? Can you buy in bulk and split your purchases? Can you cook and freeze? And remember that involving your kids in shopping and food preparation is a great strategy to get them interested in the variety that’s out there.
  • By all means, talk to your child’s pediatric provider! Nutrition is one of the first topics that’s discussed at a well visit, so you’re going to be discussing food anyway, and providers often know of resources specific to your area.

Food insecurity is, unfortunately, a thing. I hope to discuss some additional strategies in a future article. Meanwhile, if this is you, realize that you do have company, that increased attention is being paid to the problem, and that solutions are out there for many—maybe one day for all.

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50 Easy Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers

50+ Hands-on and simple to set up alphabet activities for preschoolers and kindergartners. Learn, practice & play with the alphabet at home! The post 50 Easy Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers appeared first on HAPPY TODDLER PLAYTIME.

50 Easy Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers

INSIDE: 50+ Hands-on and simple to set up alphabet activities for preschoolers and kindergartners. Fun and easy ways to learn, practice and play with the alphabet at home or in the classroom!

Hands-On Letter Activities

Teaching my preschoolers letters, shapes, numbers, and colours has always been one of my favourite things to do. They are key to them fully interacting with their environment and are foundational to all other learning. Most importantly creating simple, fun, engaging ways to practice these fundamental skills is my area of expertise!

If you are looking for ways to help give your preschooler or kindergartner a great start at school you have come to the right place. All of these activities are play-based – they involve elements of play that will help engage and stimulate. Additionally, these activities are also hands-on meaning NO WORKSHEETS.

alphabet activities for preschoolers

I am no knocking on worksheets, I do believe they have a place in learning. However, hands-on learning activities allow your child to actually do and experience something. They involve their senses, their minds and their bodies!

So are you ready!? OK! Let’s get started!

alphabet activities for preschoolers

Easy Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers

  1. Alphabet Matching Activity is a super simple and fun alphabet matching activity you can set up for your preschooler while you make dinner.
  2. Go on a Dinosaur Letter Hunt.
  3. Find and unwrap Moon Rock Letters.
  4. Fill the Alphabet Toddler Activity is an unique way to practice letters using bottles.
  5. Alphabet Drop Fine Motor Toddler Activity is a great way to use all those paper towel rolls.
  6. Car Letter Match is perfect way to practice letters for your car fanatic!
  7. Clothespin Letter Dig combines clothespin and magnetic wands.
  8. Use a paper towel tube in ABC Tube – easy letter matching activity – Busy Toddler
  9. Bring a bit of the outdoors indoors in Rock Letters Alphabet Activity from Days With Grey.
  10. Melt out Icy Letters in this Literacy Sensory Bin.
  11. Letter Presents turns your letters in little presents to open and match.
  12. ABC Paint Match is a great painting alphabet activity for preschoolers from Busy Toddler.

More Simple Letter Activities for Preschoolers

  1. Giant Alphabet Puzzle uses a giant foam puzzle mat as an activity!
  2. Toss & Find ABC is a fun gross motor alphabet activity for preschoolers.
  3. Secret Letters Art & Literacy Activity is a colourful crayon resist activity from Busy Toddler.
  4. Build with letters in ABC Stacks.
  5. ABC Box Stamping is a fun way to use letter stamps. For example, it is a hands-on way to practice upper and lowe case.
  6. Create an ABC TP Tunnel using paper towel rolls.
  7. DIY Alphabet Puzzle is a simple diy puzzle you can easily create.
  8. Feed the Alphabet Monsters in this fun activity from Toddler Approved.
  9. Rainbow Letter Blocks
  10. Poke the Alphabet from Days With Grey is a creative hands-on alphabet activity for preschoolers.
  11. Pom Pom Hide & Seek uses Pom Poms to hide letters for your preschoolers to find.
  12. Strengthen fine motor skills as well as learn the alphabet with Spray The Flower Letters Activity.
  13. Toddler Approved uses paper plates in Alphabet Paper Plate Puzzles to practice letters.
  14. Take leaning outside with Squish the Bugs Alphabet Game.
  15. Squeeze out a little alphabet fun in Sponge Letter Match.
  16. Create this mess free painting Alphabet Sensory Bag for some alphabet practice.
  17. Hide the Alphabet Toddler Activity is a simple way to practice letters in a rice sensory bin

Letter Sound Activities

  1. Grab your puzzles and create a simple matching game with Puzzle Letter Match.
  2. Create an Alphabet Zoo with letters and animals!
  3. Get moving through colour with Fun Learning for Kids’ Rainbow Hop Letter Sounds Game.
  4. Use a muffin to for this Letter Sounds Activity – Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls
  5. Snowman Phonics Discovery Bags
  6. Phonics Christmas Activity

Seasonal Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers

  1. Snowball Letter Unwrap
  2. Snow Letters
  3. Arctic Letters Sensory Bin
  4. Feed the Leprechaun Rainbow Cookies Game
  5. Sticky Hearts Letter Match
  6. Fine Motor Valentine’s Day Letter Match
  7. Heart Letter Match Sensory Bin
  8. Feed the Heart Monster
  9. Post It Present Match Activity
  10. Christmas Stocking Puzzle Hunt
  11. Feed the Reindeer Literacy Game
  12. Christmas Lights Letter Trace: Play Dough Invitation
  13. Turkey Clothespin Letters: Fine Motor Activity
  14. Alphabet Turkey Activity
  15. Leaf Letters: No-Prep Fall Activity
  16. Leaf Letter Stamp
  17. Magnetic Letter Leaf Match
  18. DIY Pumpkin Letter Puzzles
  19. Mini Pumpkin Letter Match

SO, WILL YOU TRY ANY OF THESE ALPHABET ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR PRESCHOOLERS? PIN IT FOR LATER!

alphabet activities for preschoolers

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