Summer Safety

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Summertime means fun and adventure! Before you dive into your summer vacation, take a minute to consider the safety risks associated with exciting summer activities. As partners in creating healthy and happy environments for children, Minute Menu offers the following reminders for summer safety.

Stay Safe in the Water

As temperatures rise children and adults spend more time in water. When heading to the pool, lake, beach or other water destination, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Have a plan for supervising children swimming or playing in the water. Make sure enough adults are available to supervise the number of children present. Consider using a visual reminder such as lanyards or small flags for adults and children to know who is in charge at any given time.
  • Swim with a buddy. Drowning can oftenlook like swimming or playing in the water, and the person drowning might not make any noise. Each swimmer should have a buddy who is in the water and can watch for signs of distress. Read more here.
  • Never swim in unfamiliar water. Talk with children about the dangers of playing in or near irrigation ditches, overflow drains, or unfamiliar bodies of water, including flood waters. Bodies of water can have varied depths and currents, both of which can be dangerous or deadly.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen and then wait about 30 minutes before going into the water. This gives the skin time to absorb the sunscreen. Remember to reapply after swimming. Read more tips on choosing, applying, and using sunscreen properly here.

Stay Hydrated

Staying safe in the heat means staying hydrated. Dehydration occurs when the body’s fluid levels are too low. This can happen quickly, especially when exercising or playing outdoors in higher temperatures. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, and choose water over sodas, sports drinks, or other sugary beverages. Water helps you stay hydrated without the added sugar and sodium in other beverages. Learn more about the benefits of drinking water here. Visit this page to learn more about dehydration in children.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a very serious and life threatening condition, and knowing the signs can save a life. Someone suffering heat stroke might appear flushed, out of breath, confused or irritated, begin vomiting or get a sudden headache, and might not be sweating even though they are in the heat. If you suspect a child or adult is suffering heat stroke, contact 911 immediately, get them into a shaded area, and begin cooling them down using fans, ice packs, or cool water. Learn more about heat stroke here.

Protect Skin to Reduce Bug Bites

Summer is a great time for exploring nature. Exploring new areas means encountering new insects and critters, many of which are harmless. Using insect repellent, tucking pants legs into socks, and wearing closed shoes are effective and easy ways to reduce bug bites. Try not to scratch bug bites if you get them, and use topical creams or gels to relieve irritation. If you discover a tick on a child or adult, remember the tick has most likely burrowed into the skin and you will need medical assistance to remove it. Learn more about preventing and treating insect bites here.

All of us at Minute Menu hope you enjoy a fun and safe summer!

Have a summer activity you really enjoy? Share it with us in the comments section below.
References:

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning by Mario Vittone; Herald Tribune Online; 2013.

Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply, and Use It Correctly; Centers for Disease Control report; 2002.

Drink Water Instead of Soda or Juice; http://www.chalkcenter.org .

Dehydration; KidsHealth.org .

Heatstroke; MayoClinic.org

Avoid Bug Bites; Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Additional Resources:
Flood Safety; National Weather Service

Water Safety; TeensHealth; KidsHealth.org

Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment; WebMD.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

Three Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

We all know how much kids love trying new foods, right? Anyone who has spent time negotiating with toddlers to get something green and healthy in their mouths can attest to how difficult it can be to introduce children to new fruits, boy and cooked vegetablesvegetables, and other foods. Still, there’s hope. All you need is a little imagination and determination.

Minute Menu is dedicated to helping you provide nutritious meals to children, and we have some ideas for getting picky eaters to venture outside of their culinary comfort-zone. While no single technique will work for every child, we have found that three popular methods seem to bring the most success. Read more of this post

Operation Lychee

Lychee FruitHave you ever had a lychee fruit? These delicious little fruits are packed full of vitamin C and many other important vitamins and nutrients. But most importantly, they are delicious! Click here to read more about the lychee fruit and to see a picture of it on the USDA website.

Serve More Fruit, Less Juice. Fruit can be a fun and delicious way to improve nutrition in children’s diets, and you have the chance to change the lives of children in your very own community by serving more fruit. We challenge you to pick a fruit to serve at snack, and to serve fruit instead of juice at meals. Eating the actual fruit, instead of just drinking the juice, ensures that children get ALL of the nutrition of the fruit, and less sugar! Click here to read “Tips to Help You Eat Fruits” on the ChooseMyPlate.gov USDA website. Read more of this post

Shortcut for Recording Meal Counts in cx2go

Are you looking to make data entry as quick and easy as possible for your centers?  Here’s an idea:  introduce them to cx2go and show them this quick-tip for data entry!

On the Record Meals screen, the center can record meal counts for multiple children at once, instead of having to select attendance for each individual child.

Here’s how:

  1. Access the Record Meals screen and select a meal.
  2. Click the Edit button at the top right of screen.
  3. Select each child who attended the meal.  Note: To select a large number of children, use the Select All button and then deselect those who did not attend the meal.
  4. Click the Edit Selected Children button at the bottom.
  5. Select the meal serving that is being recorded.
  6. If applicable, use the Sick option to note that school-aged children were in attendance at the center because of an illness.
  7. Use the School-Out option to note that a school-aged child was in attendance at the center because of a school holiday or if school is not in session.
  8. Click the Apply button and all selected options will be added to the selected children.
  9. Always remember to SAVE your work!

cx2go meals screencx2go select multiple children2

This short-cut can make data entry into cx2go even faster!  For more information about cx2go, click here!

Accessing the App

To log in to cx2go on a laptop or desktop computer, go to cx2go.mobi using either the Google Chrome browser or Safari.   (The app will not work correctly in Internet Explorer.)  To download Google Chrome, go to www.google.com/chrome.

To login or download cx2go to a mobile device, search for “cx2go” (no spaces) in the product application store (the App Store, Google Play, or Marketplace, etc.).

NOTE FOR SPONSOR AND BACK-OFFICE USERS:  The cx2go application is only accessible by CENTER accounts.  Click here if you would like to learn about setting up a test center account to use for training purposes.  Test center accounts can be very useful for internal staff training and for training new centers.  After you have enrolled a test center, you must enroll children in order to view the screens in the app.

Minute Menu LLC Creates Utility for Procare Software to Integrate Food Program Management Functionality with Child Center Management Software

Minute Menu LLC, the premier developer of child care center food program management software products, is proud to announce a partnership with Procare Software, a leader in the child care center software industry. Procare Software users now have access to the features of Minute Menu CX to help manage and streamline the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) claims and reimbursement process.

Minute Menu LLC has developed a utility that allows Procare Software to add Minute Menu CX functionality to its child center management software. This utility is designed to help child care centers reconcile child and guardian identification numbers from Minute Menu CX to Procare, and to transfer new child enrollment information from Procare to Minute Menu CX. Read more of this post

New App for Centers: cx2go App for iPhones, iPad, and iPod Touch

We are pleased to announce the availability of our new mobile app for Minute Menu CX™—cx2go™!  cx2go allows center staff to use their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to record meal counts, attendance, and in/out times for children without having to be in front of a computer.  Having center staff enter this information directly into cx2go can save time, paperwork, and money!

cx2go is available as a free download from Apple’s iTunes App Store.  The app will work on the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch.  Centers can also access the application from our mobile site, cx2go.mobi, on any computer using the Chrome or Safari browsers. (This includes Mac and PC computers.) Read more of this post

Benefits to Managing Reviews in Minute Menu CX

If you’re not convinced that you should be tracking Reviews/Site Visits into Minute Menu CX after reading my Managing Reviews blog, consider these compelling reasons:

  1. Minute Menu CX will cross-check the number of children recorded in attendance by the Monitor and the Center to make sure they match.  The program will either provide a “warning” or a “disallowance” on the OER if the menus do not match (subject to policy R.2).
  2. Minute Menu CX will cross-check menus recorded by the Center and the menu observed by the Monitor to make sure they match.  The program will either provide a “warning” or a “disallowance” on the OER if the numbers do not match (subject to policy R.3).
  3. Print the Sponsor Review Summary report to take on site-visits.  The report includes general information about the Center (phone #, address, meal times, etc.) and the review history for that center, including the date and meal reviewed, and disallowances made, which allows the Monitor to follow-up on any issues from past reviews.
  4. Print the Review History + Status List to get a quick and easy overview of site visits that have been done throughout the year.
  5. Export any review information into Excel using the Review List Export, the program will allow you to filter by Monitor, program type, reviewed meal, review date, etc. (This could be very useful during an audit.)

Minute Menu CX not only helps to provide claim accuracy, convenience, and planning tools, it also provides the convenience of allowing users to manage all CACFP information in one central program that can be accessed from any computer that has the program installed on it.  Get started managing and tracking reviews in Minute Menu CX today!

Menu Planning Features in Minute Menu CX

Minute Menu CX menu planning features can help make the task of recording menus even faster and easier for Centers.  But different features are best suited for different types of agencies.

Please click here to view our Menu Planning Features document located on training.minutemenu.com.  You can create “Sponsor Templates” available to all center locations, “Center Templates” available to only one Center, and use Sponsor Templates to create a Master Menu that can be “pushed” or “pulled” to/from Centers. Read more of this post

Child Care Learning Center Launched

Originally published on ChildCareInfo.com and can be found here.

Learning opportunities directed toward the child care professional are not lacking, but sometimes it can be hard to find those perfect learning opportunities or maybe you just don’t have time to look. ChildCareInfo.com has just made that process easier for you!

Are these experiences similar to yours?

  • You might be a provider looking for a webinar about reading with the kids that you can take during their nap time or watch after hours because it was recorded.
  • Maybe you are a representative with a resource and referral agency or CACFP sponsor and need some tips on training child care providers or centers on the CACFP or the Let’s Move for Child Care so you would be looking for some “train the trainer” opportunities.
  • You might even be with an association, putting on a conference and looking for that perfect workshop or speaker.

This is where ChildCareInfo.com’s Learning Center comes into play!

Read more of this post