Sep 30

Easy, healthy snack ideas for busy parents


20150826_135953_HDRJob. Budget. Commute. Time. These are just a few things that we encounter in our busy lives. Add to that a child with special needs, and healthy eating can be quite a challenge!


Most people hear the word “healthy” and immediately think of too much money, too much time, and too much effort.  Here are some simple suggestions to make healthy eating a little less stressful.


Tip #1: Simple Ingredients 

Whether you prep for your meals weekly or daily, keep it simple! If you can’t read the ingredients on the label, it’s probably not a good choice. When you’re on the go, try grabbing one of these tasty, healthy snacks:

-A bag of cereal
-Toast with peanut butter

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100% fruit popsicles make a simple, fun, and healthy snack!


Tip #2: Consider smoothies
Smoothies have a ton of benefits for your health and can come in as many different flavors as you can dream up! They are also a great on-the-go snack to keep your energy going.


To make it even easier, pre-prep your smoothie by combining the ingredients in a container and throwing it in the freezer for later.  Alternatively, try frozen fruits for a time-saver.


A picky eater may be more likely to drink their fruits and veggies in a smoothie than eat them off his plate.


For those with sensory sensitivities, a blended smoothie may have a more palatable texture than the fruits would if eaten alone.



Here’s a simple recipe to try:


•1 cup frozen or fresh cherries

•1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

•1 cup soy milk



•Mix all the ingredients in a blender or in a food processor.

•Add vanilla soy milk on topping.

•Prepare a smooth puree and serve to your little one. Berry fruit smoothie is ready!

Tip #3: Water, water, water

Drinking water is like giving our cars gas. If we go on with our days without putting gas in our car, we are inevitably going to stranded on the side of the road. Similarly, if you are giving your body the hydration it needs, it’s going to run properly and give you the energy to make it through the day!


Is your kid not much of a water-drinker?  Try these yummy additions for more flavor and interest:


What healthy snacks work for you and your family? Share your ideas in the comments!

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Sep 14

What does Cloverleaf learning look like?

Ever wonder what Cloverleaf learning looks like on an everyday basis?  Last week, I tiptoed into classrooms, unannounced, with a camera on an average day.  What I saw was pure magic:  kids learning in their own ways, everyone incorporating movement, hands-on activities, technology, and differentiation.  I saw expert teachers engaging their students and reaching them in their own ways.  Students used a variety of seating options to access learning in the way that worked for them.  They asked questions and chatted excitedly about their learning.  I am feeling so inspired by this outstanding group of teachers and students this year!  Go Cloverleaf!
-Ms. Jen



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Sep 02

Enrichment at Cloverleaf: Kicking off our new program!

20150820_145130_HDRThis year at Cloverleaf, we’ve made some exciting updates and improvements to our enrichment program!  For each unit, we are bringing in a field expert to lead the course while our Cloverleaf teachers support the expert.  This allows us to bring a wealth of diverse expertise into our school to further enrich students’ Cloverleaf experience.  We believe in balancing academics with opportunities for social growth and exploration of new interests, and now we have a renovated enrichment program to align with our mission & vision!


For our first unit we are excited to team up with Jenna Shea Mobley of Jenna Shea Photography.  Jenna brings to the table a unique background in both elementary education and professional photography.  With 7 years teaching experience and 5 years professional photography experience, Jenna is the perfect person to help us bring photography to Cloverleaf!  Jenna specializes in telling a story through imagery, as you can see in her recent work with 1928346_571118486860_7361_nCommunity Farmers Markets where she blends her photography talents with her other passion: gardening, urban farming, and farmers market involvement.  She is a jack of many trades (who also happens to be one of Ms. Jen’s wonderful friends from teaching college!) and we are thrilled to partner with her for a five-week Cloverleaf photography course!


Here is Jenna on our first enrichment unit:


“During the photography unit, students will learn what tools 456613_217673158348855_603831908_ophotographers use and what photographers do. The middle school group will dig deeper into the tools photographers use, building their own cameras from parts. The elementary school will focus on what photographers do as they learn to find a great subject; light, focus and enlarge their subject within the frame; change their perspective; and adjust their background and foreground. Students will also learn to improve their compositions — leading the eye with lines and using the rule of thirds.  The unit will conclude with a gallery of photos taken by the students throughout the five weeks of instruction.”


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