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Bitter leaf soup, like most other Nigerian soups is named after the particular leaf which is used in preparing it. But of course you need to wash this leaf to remove at least ninety percent of the bitter taste, just so you don’t end up with a very bitter soup.



Ingredients For making Bitterleaf Soup

This would serve about ten persons or more depending on stomach size and all. You are free to increase the size of the ingredients if you want to serve a larger number of people. You can also refrigerate the remainder in case you have a smaller family.

Ingredients for Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup

2kg Meat of choice (beef, chicken, pork, turkey)
Bitter leaf (wash to desire)
Half cup of ground Crayfish
Maggi or knorr seasoning (3 cubes)
Ogiri (a product of castor seeds)(optional)
Dry fish (2 medium sizes)
Stock fish head (1 big size)
Palm oil (about 25cl)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cocoa-yam (pounded)




The bitter leave soup takes almost the same process as the making of uha soup, as a matter of fact, one pot of soup could be cooked up to the point of adding the leaves then you divide it to add uha to one and bitter leaf to the other.




Below is the images for Ofe Onugbu (bitterleaf soup)

It is better and more hygienic to wash the leaves yourself, it is a bit of time consuming but the result is worth the effort. This is possible if you live in Nigeria and can find them in your garden. But you can also get the “already made” from any market in Nigeria.


Bitter Leaf Soup Preparation

To soften the leaves and further remove the bitter taste, it is advisable to boil alone in ordinary water for 10 to 15 minutes, most people like to add a little quantity of edible potash to hasten this process but I highly advise against it. My reason being that this catalyst (potash) tend to affect the entire soup in a slightly negative way.

If you still want to add potash, it will completely wash off the bitter taste and soften the leaves in less than 3 minutes of boiling (the reason most people like using it), but then you would want to boil again alone and wash thoroughly with just water to remove every trace of the potash.

Parboil meat with every necessary ingredients, use 3 cube of maggi or knorr, a teaspoon of salt and half cup of onions. Allow to boil for 10 minutes then add water and cook till the meat is tender.

Add the (hot-water) washed dry fish, stock fish and cook until it is tender, add more water then add palm oil, ground crayfish, pepper, maggi seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow to boil.








At this point it should give a good soupy taste (even though it would be watery). Then add the pounded cocoa yam as you can find in the video below (at this point you can add the ground egusi if you choose to make bitter leaf soup with egusi), also add the ogiri now.







Cook till the cocoa yam dissolves, (this would likely take about ten minutes) then add the bitter leaves, stir, taste, add more salt if necessary then cook for three to two minutes and you are done with the making of Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu)

Either of these five can go along with it – Eba, Fufu, Semo, Wheat or pounded yam






Source: All Nigerian Foods


Published in Newsletter Articles


1. The Cloud: A Beautiful Thing

Services like Dropbox and OneDrive are a great way to get access to all your documents across multiple PCs, tablets, and your phone. The problem is you have to remember to place files in the specified Dropbox or OneDrive folder for it to be of any use.










2. Have Desktop, Will Travel



One solution to this problem is to put commonly used folders such as your Windows desktop in the cloud. This is a great solution for anyone that uses their desktop as a general dumping ground for downloaded files, or frequently accessed items.


That way you'll always have those files synced across your devices. For maximum desktop madness you can also set other PCs you use to sync their desktops with OneDrive. That way you'll get all your files from all your desktops no matter where you are--even if you're on the go with a phone or a Chromebook. 


If moving your desktop to the cloud doesn't grab you, and you have Windows 10 installed, you can also set your PC to automatically suggest OneDrive each time you want to save a document. Then you won't even have to think about where to put your files as your PC will go to OneDrive automatically.


We'll cover both of these solutions in this article starting with moving your desktop to the cloud.



3. A Note About Security



Moving your desktop or other folders to the cloud is far more convenient than having files locked down on a PC or needing to remember to save your files to a USB thumb drive before you leave the office.


However, there are some security implications to consider. Whenever you put files online they are potentially accessible to others. Law enforcement can, for example, use a warrant to demand access to your files, and you may not even be made aware of this when it happens.


Now I know most people reading this probably aren't concerned about law enforcement trying to see their files saved in the cloud. A more common predicament is when malicious hackers guess or outright steal your account password. If that happens the bad guys would potentially have access to your OneDrive files. That's not a huge deal if all you've got saved to the cloud is old poetry from high school. Unauthorized access to work documents or files with personal information, however, can be devastating.


To mitigate this risk there are a number of security measures you can take. One is to enable two-factor authentication for your cloud storage account.


An easier measure is to simply not put anything in the cloud that has information you wouldn't want others to see. For home users, that usually means keeping items such as financial spreadsheets, bills, and mortgages on your hard drive and not in the cloud.



4. Moving Your Desktop to the Cloud with OneDrive

Here's how to move your desktop to OneDrive. This assumes that you have the OneDrive desktop sync client installed on your PC. Anyone running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 will automatically have this program, but Windows 7 users will have to download and install the sync client to their PC if they haven't already.


The next step is to open File Explorer in Windows 8.1 or 10, or Windows Explorer in Windows 7. All three versions of Windows can open Explorer use the keyboard shortcut: hold down the Windows logo key and then tap E.


Now that Explorer is open right-click Desktop, and then from the context menu that appears select Properties.


Now a new window called Desktop Properties opens with several tabs. Select the Location tab.



5. Point to the Cloud

Now we get to the meat of the change. It may not seem like it to you, but as far as your computer is concerned the desktop is just another folder on your PC where files are saved. And just like any other folder it has a specific location.


In this case, it should be C:\Users[Your User Account Name]\Desktop. If you login to your PC as Fluffy, for example, then your desktop would be located at C:\Users\Fluffy\Desktop.


All we have to do is add OneDrive to the folder location, and the sync client will take care of the rest. Click the location text entry box and then edit it to look like the following: C:\Users\[Your User Account Name]\OneDrive\Desktop


Next, click Apply and Windows will ask you to confirm that you want to move the desktop to OneDrive. Click Yes, then your computer will copy the files over to OneDrive. Once that's done click OK in the Desktop Properties window, and you're done.



6. A Safer, but Longer Approach

Using the steps above it's critical to type the location correctly; however, if you're not comfortable with that there is a more involved, but more foolproof, method.


Start once again by opening Windows Explorer, right-clicking the Desktop folder, and selecting Properties from the context menu. This time in the Desktop Properties window under the Location Tab click Move..., which is right underneath the text entry box.


Clicking that button will open another Explorer window showing a variety of locations on your PC such as your user account folder, OneDrive, and This PC.


Double-click OneDrive from among those options to open the OneDrive folder. Then on the next screen click New folder at the top left of the window. When the new folder appears in the main section of the window name it Desktop and hit Enter on your keyboard.



7. Keep Clicking

Now, single click that new Desktop folder with your mouse, and then click Select Folder at the bottom of the window. You'll see that the text entry box in the Location tab now has the same location as it did using the previous method. Namely, C:\Users\[Your User Account Name]\OneDrive\Desktop


As with the other method click Apply, confirm the move by clicking Yes, and then hit OK in the Desktop Properties window to close it.



8. Not Just for Desktops



You don't have to move just the desktop to the cloud. Any folder you want can also be moved over to OneDrive using the same process. That said, I wouldn't recommend doing that if all you need is to move your documents folder to OneDrive.


By default, OneDrive already has a documents folder, and for that reason it makes more sense to use a different method--at least if you're on Windows 10.



9. Embracing the cloud by default


The second way is tell Windows to offer OneDrive as the primary location for saving your documents. If you use Office 2016 in Windows 10 this already happens for those programs, but you can set up your PC similarly for other programs as well.


In Windows 10, click the upward facing arrow on the far right of the taskbar. In the pop-up panel that appears, right-click the OneDrive icon (a white cloud), and then choose Settings from the context menu.


10. Auto Save


In the OneDrive settings window that opens click the Auto Save tab. Click the drop down menu to the right of Documents and select OneDrive. Do the same for photos if you want to, and then click OK.


If you selected the Pictures option, you'll be asked to choose a folder in OneDrive where your images will automatically go. I'd suggest choosing the Pictures folder, or creating that folder if it doesn't exist.


After that, you're done. The next time you try to save a file Windows should automatically offer OneDrive as the default save location.


Source: Lifewire



Published in Newsletter Articles


Being a good leader is a valuable skill no matter how old you are—whether you’re in school or the workplace. But not everyone has innate leadership qualities. That’s why it’s important to teach kids early on how to develop the skills to be a good leader.

Being a leader will help kids build confidence and succeed in activities like group projects, team sports, clubs, etc. And these skills will only continue to benefit them as they grow older.






What Defines a Great Leader?


  • The ability to instill in others a sense of wanting to go the extra mile to provide for the greater good of a team.
  • Inspiring people to be better tomorrow than they are today and help the team focus on what matters most in life.
  • The ability to communicate, understand, and assist followers. Assisting does not mean it always has to be positive, but can include constructive criticism.
  • Willingness to take risks and be courageous.
  • Having insightful, clear visions of targeted goals.


How to Teach Kids to Be Leaders

There are a number of ways to develop leadership skills in children:

  • Help them learn to see different viewpoints in a situation, which will be helpful when trying to manage multiple opinions in a group setting.
  • Teach them to set goals and always try to do their best at everything.
  • Help them maintain a positive attitude—even when others make things difficult or tell them they can’t achieve something.
  • Teach them that mistakes will always happen and are a natural part of life—and not to let the mistakes beat them down. Instead, teach them to ask themselves what they can learn from each situation.
  • Enroll kids in extracurricular activities to give them the self-confidence needed in order to lead people both as a kid and as an adult.
  • Let them make decisions. Start out small, such as letting them choose food in a grocery store. As they get older, they can start making more difficult decisions, like how to spend their money.




Published in Newsletter Articles


Answering their kids' questions about sex is a responsibility that many parents dread. Otherwise confident moms and dads often feel tongue-tied and awkward when it comes to talking about puberty and where babies come from.

But the subject shouldn't be avoided. Parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex if they answer kids' questions in an age-appropriate way.






1. When do kids start becoming curious about their bodies?

From as early as infancy, kids are interested in learning about their own bodies. They notice the differences between boys and girls and are naturally curious.

Toddlers often will touch their own genitals when they're naked, such as in the bathtub or while being diapered. At this stage of development, they have no modesty. Such behaviors are signs of normal curiosity, not sexual activities, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and shouldn't bring scolding or punishment.

So, what should you do when your toddler begins touching himself or herself? Each family will approach this in their own way, based on their values, comfort level, and style. But keep in mind that your reaction to your child's curiosity will convey whether these actions are "acceptable" or "shameful." Toddlers who are scolded and made to feel bad about their natural curiosity may develop an increased focus on their private parts or feel shame.

Some parents choose to casually ignore self-touching or redirect a child's attention toward something else. Others may want to acknowledge that, while they know it feels good to explore, it is a private matter and not OK to do in public.


2. Is it OK to use nicknames for private parts?

By the time a child is 3 years old, parents may choose to use the correct anatomical words. They may sound medical, but there is no reason why the proper label shouldn't be used when the child is capable of saying it. These words — penis, vagina, etc. — should be stated matter-of-factly, with no implied silliness. That way, the child learns to use them in a direct manner, without embarrassment.

In fact, this is what most parents do. A Gallup poll showed that 67% of parents use actual names to refer to male and female body parts.


3. What do you tell a very young child who asks where babies come from?

Depending on the child's age, you can say that the baby grows from an egg in the mommy's womb, pointing to your stomach, and comes out of a special place, called the vagina. There is no need to explain the act of lovemaking because very young kids will not understand the concept.

However, you can say that when a man and a woman love each other, they like to be close to one another. Tell them that the man's sperm joins the woman's egg and then the baby begins to grow. Most kids under the age of 6 will accept this answer. Age-appropriate books on the subject are also helpful. Answer the question in a straightforward manner, and you will probably find that your child is satisfied with just a little information at a time.


4. What should you do if you catch kids "playing doctor" (showing private parts to each other)?

Kids 3 to 6 years old are most likely to "play doctor." Many parents overreact when they witness or hear of such behavior. Heavy-handed scolding is not the way to deal with it. Nor should parents feel this is or will lead to promiscuous behavior. Often, the presence of a parent is enough to interrupt the play.

You may wish to direct your child's attention to another activity without making a lot of fuss. Later, sit down with your child for a talk. Explain that although you understand the interest in his or her friend's body, people are generally expected to keep their bodies covered in public. This way you have set limits without having made your child feel guilty.

This is also an appropriate age to begin to talk about good and bad touch. Tell kids that their bodies are their own and that they have the right to privacy. No one, not even a friend or family member, has the right to touch a child's private areas. However, the AAP notes, an exception to this rule is when a parent is trying to find the source of pain or discomfort in the genital area, or when a doctor or nurse is performing a physical exam.

Kids should know that if anyone ever touches them in a way that feels strange or bad, they should tell that person to stop it and then tell you about it. Explain that you want to know about anything that makes your kids feel bad or uncomfortable.


5. When should parents sit kids down for that all-important "birds and bees" talk?

The "big talk" is a thing of the past. Learning about sex should not occur in one all-or-nothing session. It should be more of an unfolding process, one in which kids learn, over time, what they need to know. Questions should be answered as they arise so that kids' natural curiosity is satisfied as they mature.

If your child doesn't ask questions about sex, don't just ignore the subject. When your child is about age 5, you can begin to introduce books that approach sexuality on a developmentally appropriate level. Parents often have trouble finding the right words, but many excellent books are available to help.


6. At what age should girls be told about menstruation?

Girls (and boys!) should have information about menstruation by about age 8. This is an area of intense interest to girls. Information about periods might be provided in school — and instructional books can be very helpful.

Many moms share their own personal experiences with their daughters, including when their periods first started and what it felt like, and how, as with many things, it wasn't such a big deal after a while.


7. At what age should nudity in the home be curtailed?

Families set their own standards for nudity, modesty, and privacy — and these standards do vary greatly from family to family and in different parts of the world. Although every family's values are different, privacy is an important concept for all kids to learn.

Parents should explain limits regarding privacy the same way that other house rules are explained — matter-of-factly — so that kids don't come to associate privacy with guilt or secrecy. Generally, they'll learn from the limits you establish for them — and by your own behaviors.


8. To what extent can parents depend on schools to teach sex education?

Parents should begin the sex education process long before it starts in school. The introduction of formal sexual education in the classroom varies; many schools start it in the fifth or sixth grade — and some don't offer it at all.

Topics addressed in sex-ed class can include anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy. What teachers cover and when varies greatly from school to school. You may want to ask questions about your school's curriculum so you can assess it yourself.

Children, when learning about sexual issues in school or outside of school, are likely to have many questions. The topic certainly can be confusing. Parents should be open to continuing the dialogue and answering questions at home. This is especially true if you want your kids to understand sexuality within the context of your family's values.

Body changes and sexual issues are an important part of human development. If you have questions about how to talk with your child about them, ask your doctor for suggestions.


Source: KidsHealth



Published in Sex Education

Most parents know that kids need to have regular physical activity, both to maintain a healthy weight and to stay healthy.

Not getting enough physical activity can put kids at risk for:

    childhood obesity
    higher blood pressure
    higher levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL cholesterol)
    lower levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL cholesterol)

In addition to lowering your child's risk factors for coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus, regular physical activity can help to reduce anxiety and stress, boost self-esteem, and help build strong bones and strong muscles.

But how much physical activity is enough?
Exercise Recommendations for Kids

In general, exercise guidelines recommend that kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Keeping up with these recommendations is not as simple as telling your kids to go outside and play for an hour, though. To keep up with the physical activity recommendations, kids should do some age-appropriate:

    moderate intensity aerobic physical activity
    vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity
    muscle-strengthening physical activity
    bone-strengthening physical activity

While it might seem like it will be difficult to keep your kids active for an hour at a time, it is important to keep in mind that the recommendation for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day doesn't have to be done all at one time. So your child could meet his physical activity requirements if he were to walk or ride his bike to and from school (20 minutes), play actively at recess at school (20 minutes), and then go to a gymnastics class after school (20 minutes).

And although it is possible that your kids can be active on their own, getting them signed up for an individual or team sport is a great way to help them meet their daily physical activity requirements.

Parents can also help their kids be physically active by setting a good example and being active themselves, joining their kids in active family outings, and setting limits on screen time.
Aerobic Exercises

Most of your child's 60 minutes of daily physical activity should be aerobic physical activity, which can include activities such as:

    brisk walking
    jumping rope

Active free play games, such as playing tag, and participating in most youth sports, such as soccer, karate, and tennis, would also usually be considered aerobic physical activities.

At least three days a week, your child should be doing some more vigorous intensity physical activities, like running or bicycling at a fast speed, that should get him breathing harder and his heart beating faster than other less intense physical activity, like brisk walking or bicycling at a slower speed.
Muscle Strengthening Exercises

In addition to aerobic activities, kids should do some age-appropriate muscle-strengthening physical activity at least three days a week.

Depending on your child's age and abilities, these muscle-strengthening physical activities might include:


    modified push-ups, with your child's knees on the ground
    rock climbing
    rope climbing
    sit-ups or crunches
    swinging on playground equipment and bars

Active free play games, such as playing tug-of-war, and for older kids, doing push-ups, pull-ups, and lifting weights, would also be considered muscle-strengthening physical activities.
Bone Strengthening Exercises

Parents often think their kids get strong bones by drinking milk and getting enough calcium in their diet. Regular bone-strengthening physical activities, at least three days a week, are important too, and can include:

    hopping, skipping, or jumping
    jumping rope
    playing basketball, gymnastics, tennis, and volleyball, etc.

Active free play games, such as playing hop-scotch, would also be considered bone-strengthening physical activities.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity for Everyone. How much physical activity do children need? Accessed February 2010.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity guidelines advisory committee report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Active Children and Adolescents. Accessed February 2010.

    Exercise and Fitness for Kids
    Up Next

    How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?

    How Much Activity Does a School-Age Kid Really Need?

    How to Control Your Weight With Regular Physical Activity

    Is it Safe for Teenagers to Lift Weights and Exercise?

Kids' Health
Exercise and Fitness for Kids
The Importance of Getting Kids to Be Active


In addition to sports, don't forget that active free play is a fun way to get some exercise too.
Although youth sports are a great way to keep kids fit, don't forget that active free play is a fun way to get some exercise too. Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD
Kids' Health
Kids Health

    Childhood Obesity
    Symptoms of Childhood Illness
    Expert Q&A
    Health Concerns
    Your Baby Week by Week
    Ages and Stages
    Parenting Advice
    Nutrition for Children
    Kids and the Flu
    Immunizations for Kids
    Common Childhood Infections
    Child Safety
    Common Diseases
    Common Vaccines
    Resources for Pediatricians

View All
By Vincent Iannelli, MD - Reviewed by a board-certified physician.
Updated June 19, 2016

Everyone knows that kids should be physically active and need to exercise regularly to be physically fit.

Whether they are overweight or at a healthy weight, regular physical activity is considered by most experts to be an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

That doesn't mean that every child needs to spend four or five hours a day training for the Olympics or practicing with a select baseball or soccer team.

Participating in organized youth sports isn't a requirement for physical activity, as kids can get plenty of exercise during active free play.
How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teens should be "physically active for at least 60 minutes per day," although they stress that it doesn't have to be 60 minutes of continuous activity. For example, if your eight-year-old played soccer for 20 minutes during PE at school and then played basketball with his friends for 40 minutes after school, he would meet the AAP's recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity for that day.

On the other hand, if during a 60-minute PE class at school the class spends 30 minutes getting dressed, choosing teams, and lining up to play, and your child then watches TV and plays video games after school, he would not be active enough that day.
Exercise and Calories

Regular exercise is good for kids.

It has been shown to help them build strong self-esteem, sleep better, have more energy, decrease anxiety, and decrease depression. And as most people know, along with a healthy diet, regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and prevent childhood obesity.

Since your child likely isn't going to be getting his exercise by running on a treadmill or using an exercise bike, it can be hard to always tell how many calories he is burning while exercising.

Fortunately, it doesn't really matter, as long as your child is getting his 60 minutes or more of moderate physical activity each day and maintaining a healthy diet.

If your child is very active and is still gaining weight, you should likely look to his diet as the cause -- not his level of exercise.

Still, it can be helpful to understand how your child can burn more or fewer calories in different physical activities, such as:

    bicycling at 5 mph burns about 174 calories an hour
    jogging at 6 mph burns about 654 calories an hour
    playing recreational basketball burns about 450 calories an hour
    playing recreational volleyball burns about 274 calories an hour
    playing tennis (singles) burns about 450 calories an hour
    playing vigorous, touch football burns about 498 calories an hour
    roller skating at 9 mph burns about 384 calories an hour
    swimming burns about 288 calories an hour
    walking at 2 mph burns about 198 calories an hour

Keep in mind that these are estimates based on a person weighing 150 pounds.

A child weighing less will burn fewer calories, even at the same level of activity. Also realize that a child riding his bike for an hour around the neighborhood with his friends is likely not going to keep up a 5 mph average speed, so he will likely burn even fewer calories. You can, however, use the above list to estimate how many calories your child burns and as a guide to which activities burn more calories.
Youth Exercise and Fitness

Remember that kids, even teens, don't usually stick with exercise programs that involve "calisthenics or programmed aerobic exercise." That is why you don't see many kids in health clubs or using home exercise equipment (never mind that many gyms and pieces of equipment are not designed for use by children). Instead, kids do better with lifestyle exercise programs, including active free play and organized team and individual youth sports.

To get kids more active and more interested in exercise and fitness, it can help to:

    Get the whole family involved in being more active, keeping in mind that most kids would rather be outside playing, instead of watching another "Sponge Bob" repeat -- they just don't want to be outside by themselves. If you go outside with your child to play catch, tag, or simply go for a walk, you can usually be sure that your child will be quick to follow.
    Have your kids use "active transportation" in which they have to use stairs, instead of elevators, and walk to school or to their friend's house, instead of always being driven.
    Encourage more unorganized outdoor free play.
    Support personal fitness and fun recreational activities.
    Help your child find an organized sport that he likes. This could be a team sport, such as baseball, soccer, or football, or an individual sport, such as tennis, karate, or dance.


American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity Through Increased Physical Activity. PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 5 May 2006, pp. 1834-1842.

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Exercise and Weight Control.

    Toddlers and Preschoolers Need Exercise Too
    Up Next

    What Is Vigorous Physical Activity?

    Is it Safe for Teenagers to Lift Weights and Exercise?

    How Much Activity Does a School-Age Kid Really Need?

    Make These Lifestyle Changes Today to Improve Your Family's Fitness

Kids' Health
Exercise for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Exercise and Fitness Recommendations


A four year old riding a tricycle.
This preschooler riding a tricycle is getting some unstructured exercise. Photo by Andrew Rich
Kids' Health
Kids Health

    Childhood Obesity
    Symptoms of Childhood Illness
    Expert Q&A
    Health Concerns
    Your Baby Week by Week
    Ages and Stages
    Parenting Advice
    Nutrition for Children
    Kids and the Flu
    Immunizations for Kids
    Common Childhood Infections
    Child Safety
    Common Diseases
    Common Vaccines
    Resources for Pediatricians

View All
By Vincent Iannelli, MD - Reviewed by a board-certified physician.
Updated March 30, 2016

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teens should be "physically active for at least 60 minutes per day," although they stress that it doesn't have to be 60 minutes of continuous activity.

As most parents know, along with a healthy diet, regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and prevent childhood obesity.

Regular exercise has also been shown to help kids build strong self-esteem, sleep better, have more energy, decrease anxiety, and decrease risk of depression.
Exercise for Kids

So if exercise is so important, that leaves many parents wondering when they should get started with their kids.

Do you need to sign your toddler up for gymnastics already?

Is your preschooler behind if he isn't in soccer or dance already?

Of course not, but it is still important that toddlers and preschoolers get some exercise.
Exercise for Toddlers

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that toddlers get at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity each day.

Those are really just minimums, though. Toddlers should actually be physically active for several hours each day and shouldn't be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time unless they are sleeping.
Exercise for Preschoolers

Preschoolers need a little more exercise -- at least 60 minutes of structured physical activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity each day.

Again, these are minimum recommendations and preschoolers should also be physically active for several hours each day and shouldn't be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time unless they are sleeping.
Structured Physical Activity for Kids

Parents may read these recommendations and say it sounds like a great idea that their toddlers and preschoolers be active, but what is structured physical activity, especially versus unstructured physical activity?

That's a great question, because different people do seem to actually interpret the NASPE guidelines in different ways, which can lead to confusion.

It is actually pretty easy, though.

According to the NASPE guidelines, every day, kids should spend a certain time doing:

    Structured Physical Activity - This is activity that is planned or directed by a parent or other caregiver and is geared to the child's developmental level. For example, a parent might play a parade song and have a two-year-old march around, lifting her legs and pumping her arms up and down, and following a path around the room to the beat of the song. Of course, there are plenty of other fun, light-to-vigorous physical activities that would count as structured physical activity that you can do with a toddler or preschooler and that get them clapping, stomping, jumping, walking, running, rolling, kicking, hiding, sliding, and moving in other ways.
    Unstructured Physical Activity - In contrast, unstructured physical activities are those that your toddler or preschooler does on his own, like when he actively plays with a new toy that gets him moving around, like a ride-on car, tricycle, soccer ball, or even running after a puppy.

Whether it is playing follow the leader, hopscotch, or freeze tag (structured physical activities) or rolling around in the grass, chasing bubbles, or pulling a wagon around the house (unstructured physical activities), make sure your kids are active each day.

If they are at day care or preschool, these types of structured and unstructured physical activities should likely be a part of their daily curriculum.

Do toddlers and preschoolers really need structured physical activity?

They certainly don't need to run on a treadmill or be forced to do pushups and jumping jacks, but the type of structured physical activity talked about here is really just about playing with your kids. Active free play on their own is great, but structured physical activity is a great way to help kids understand that physical activity is important for everyone and to make sure your kids are active each day.


American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity Through Increased Physical Activity. PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 5 May 2006, pp. 1834-1842.

Beets, et al. Compliance With National Guidelines for Physical Activity in U.S. Preschoolers: Measurement and Interpretation. Pediatrics 2011; 127:4 658-664

National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children From Birth to Age 5, 2nd Edition.


Source: verywell

Published in Newsletter Articles
  1. Correlation does not imply causation.
  2. Anecdotes are not scientific evidence.
  3. Neither is generalization.
  4. No one is always right, including the "authority" or "experts".
  5. You don't need a college degree to be an educated person.
  6. Disagreement can take place without being disrespectful.
  7. Everyone defines success differently and it isn't always wealth.
  8. Everyone is (should be) created equal (equal rights and treatment).
  9. Judge someone / something by its content, not its package.
  10. Be open-minded: the more you know, the more you know you don't know.
Published in Newsletter Articles







Make Tropical Paper Flower Leis

With the spring season upon us, it's fun to craft with flowers! We're making a tropical flower lei out of paper flowers and straws! A simple craft almost any age of child could make. 


Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Tropical Paper Flower Leis...




Supplies: Tropical Paper Flower Leis




  • colored craft paper


  • 3-4 straws - wider straws are better if you can find them


  • hole punch


  • yarn


  • optional: tape



Step 1: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Start by cutting your paper into small flowers - you'll want to cut out 10-12 flowers. Our flowers are about 2x2 inches in size. We cut out each flower by hand, making them all different flower shapes. You could cut them out free hand or using a template or pattern. 



Step 2: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Cut your straws into smaller pieces. Cut these to about 2-3 inches in length. You'll need as many cut straws as you have flowers. 



Step 3: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Cut a 2 foot length of yarn from your yarn ball. With one end of the yarn, you can add a small piece of tape to the end to help kids thread the yarn through the straw. If you don't do this, it can get frayed on the ends and the yarn can be hard to thread. 



Step 4: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Punch a hole into the center of all your flowers. You can fold your flower in half if you can't get your hole punch to the center of the flower if it's too large. 


Gather all your materials to add them together: flowers, straws, and yarn. 



Step 5: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Start to thread your flowers and straws onto the yarn. Be sure to leave about 4-5 inches on the bottom end, making sure they don't fall off. You could tie a large bead at the bottom of the yarn to help kids not go to far off the end. 


Make a pattern with your flowers and straws. Add them onto your yarn how ever you'd like. 



Step 6: Tropical Paper Flower Leis


Once all your flowers and straws are on the yarn, center them and tie them together in a knot. Trim the ends with your scissors. 



Finished Tropical Paper Flower Leis


It's ready to wear! This would be the perfect way to celebrate a Hawaii themed or Tropical themed party! Maybe you're planning a day at the beach, or you could serve some Tropical Sunshine Smoothies, craft a few Tropical Paper Plate Fish, and wear a few handmade Hawaiian Hula Grass Skirts!



Published in Newsletter Articles

Teen years are the period that most parents dread, because these are the times when your little angel becomes a little “monster”. The hormones start to kick in, they start becoming attracted to boys or girl, they are more secluded, they feel like they know it all and have all the answers, and they feel like you just don’t understand who they really are.

Over time, many parents have come to know what works and what doesn’t in terms of handling kids during their teen years. . recently published an educational article about how some parents discipline their children during this critical time in their lives.

Christina Bess, mom of a 9 year old and a 12 year old in Maplewood, NJ says “When your tween starts talking back, or yelling at you or rolling her eyes every time you start to open your mouth, you’re bound to feel shock, then maybe anger followed closely by hurt. In the beginning you try to chalk it up to a reason, just as you did when she was younger: Is she hungry? Overtired? and then you realize the reason is, she’s a tween.”

The first time I heard her say something under her breath, I was surprised. She’ll mutter, ‘You clean your room’ at me. I know it’s normal, but when you put everything into raising them right and they come back at you with disrespect, it stings and it makes you second-guess your parenting skills.”

Now in Africa, especially Nigeria, most people think they can avoid this phase, as due to our culture, respect for elders is seen as super important.

Linda Sonna, Ph.D., author of The Everything Tween Book shares that this is the time to:

  • Maintain your parental status: It is not a time to be their friend per-say, you have to be tough. Tough love comes when you can put your emotions aside, and tell your kid off when they need to be told off, and discipline them when they need to be. They are looking to you to be the guiding light, and sooner or later they will take a cue on how to act properly.
  • Draw clear lines not to be crossed: You have to know and learn what to overlook and what not too. Make it clear to your child that raising their voice at or back at you or walking off in the middle of a conversation will certainly not fly, and will attract heavy punishments.
  • Choose a teen-appropriate punishment: After establishing what is allowed or not, make it clear what punishment for misbehavior will be. When it is time to implement this discipline, make sure you follow through always. Don’t let them toy with your emotions or else you will lose all credibility.
  • Reciprocate Respect: Remember that respect is a two-way street. In as much as they are lost and just trying to find their way, you want to leave meaningful and helpful examples for them to be able to work with. If you find out that you were wrong and they were right in an argument, apologize to them.
  • Set aside one-on-one time:  Create time for you and your teen to bond. They are growing, developing new feelings and experiences. Create time away from other family members for both of you to build a better relationship.
Published in Newsletter Articles

Remember those days as a kid, when you could be transported to another world and back all in a single afternoon? Sitting down with a good book was a chance to dream and imagine. Fortunately for adults, reading is not only entertaining and enjoyable, but also a great way to reduce stress and learn about the world around you.


Reading Reduces Stress
According to a study published in the Journal of College Teaching and Learning, reading for just 30 minutes can dramatically reduce stress levels. Researchers studied the stress responses of students enrolled in the Health Science program, a rigorous and high-stress set of courses, at Seton Hall University.

They measured the heart rate, blood pressure, and self-reported levels of stress for each participant. After reading for 30 minutes, the participants scored significantly lower on the measurements for these variables.


Reading is More Effective than Other Stress Reduction Techniques
When we think of ways to reduce our stress, many of us imagine relaxing and listening to music, or enjoying some other form of peace and quiet. Researchers found, however, that reading is a more effective way to reduce stress than walking or listening to music.

Reading appears to add another element to typical stress reduction techniques because it requires high levels of concentration. You are unlikely to be distracted by your own worries and thoughts while you are focused on reading. When your mind is fully absorbed in a good book, your heart rate slows and your blood pressure is reduced.


Reading Before Bed Improves Sleep
Not only does reading reduce stress during the day, but it also promotes a better night’s sleep. You don’t need to read for hours either. Reading for just six minutes before bed can help you sleep better. Researchers at the University of Sussex saw a 68% reduction in stress indicators when participants read for just six minutes.

Instead of texting your friends or scrolling through pages on Facebook, consider reading a novel for just a few minutes before bed. You will be amazed by how relaxed you feel.


Obama Used Reading to Stay Grounded
Researchers and college students are not the only ones to take advantage of the stress reduction opportunities that reading has to offer. Former president Barack Obama also used reading to clear his mind, gain perspective, and reduce his stress during his years in the White House.

Obama has been an avid reader since he was a child, utilizing books as a way to understand others and ease some of the loneliness he experienced in his youth. During different periods in his life, Obama was inspired by the writings of great thinkers like Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. He also read the biographies of other presidents to remind himself that he was not alone in the challenges he faced.

While the benefits of reading have always been numerous, we can now add stress relief to the list. Whether you want to learn a new skill, understand a different culture, or simply relax after a busy workday, reading will help take you outside yourself. This experience of entering another world outside your own perspective is one of the best ways to ease stress.

So next time you have a particularly hectic day at the office, be sure to schedule some reading time before bed. Your heart and mind will both thank you.


Source: Lifehack

Published in Newsletter Articles



A professor of Public Administration, Ladipo Adamolekun, has said that a minimum of a master’s degree qualification for senior secondary school teachers will enhance the quality of teachers and ensure academic excellence.


Canvassing an improvement in teachers’ welfare package as well as the provision of a conducive learning and teaching environment, the scholar referred to Finland where he noted that pre-primary school teachers were mandated to hold master’s degree.

Adamolekun said this in his keynote address on Wednesday during the 25th anniversary symposium of Supreme Education Foundation Schools, Magodo, Lagos.

Speaking on the topic, Selected Issues in Primary and Secondary Education, Adamolekun said that public-private partnership would not only increase school enrolment, it would also ensure the revival of the role of local government in the provision of qualitative education.


He said, “At the primary school level, where teachers are required to have the minimum qualification of the National Certificate in Education, this requirement is not met in many schools (public and private). Similarly, at the secondary school level, the lack of adequate number of teachers with the minimum qualification of a university degree led to the compulsory deployment of NYSC graduates to both public and private schools since the early 2010.”


In her address, the founder of the SEF, Mrs. Adenike Adamolekun, called on stakeholders in the education sector to discharge their duties with professionalism.


Source: Punch


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