DHA and Omega-3 Demystified

Omega fatty acid, DHA, Omega-3, Omega-6, fish oil, flax oil… ACK!!  Confused?  You’re not alone.

Omega Fatty Acids

While most adults assume that they should reduce fat in their diets, fat is actually a critical building block for the developing brain of a child.  Getting sufficient supplies of the right types of fats are important for your child’s brain growth and development.   (more…)

May 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm 2 comments

Pre-K Child Care Affects IQ, Impulsiveness of Teenagers

Working Mom with ToddlerGood news (for the most part) for working moms:  teenagers who had higher quality child care performed significantly better in cognitive tests and had fewer adolescent behavioral problems than those given low-quality or no care outside the home.

Research published in May 2010 by Deborah Lowe Vandell, professor at UC Irvine followed 1,000 children from their births in 1991 to age 15 to identify the effects of childcare outside the home.  Surprisingly, the childcare received in the critical birth-to-kindergarten years continued to show effects over 10 years later.  Those receiving higher quality care scored 5.3 points higher (100 points is average) on cognitive tests.   They also had fewer problems “acting out” as teens.  Previously released research had concluded that the positive academic effects were apparent for these children in fifth grade. (more…)

May 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm Leave a comment

Baby Sign Language

12 month old signing airplaneBy the time that they are a year old, infants can understand far more words than they can speak.  Over the past few decades, research has shown that pre-verbal toddlers can use simple hand gestures to communicate through baby sign language.  In addition to reducing frustration for both parents and toddlers through improved communication, studies have shown that babies who were taught basic sign language have larger vocabularies, increased IQ scores, and better ability to interact socially with other children.   (more…)

May 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm 2 comments

Fostering Generosity in Kids

While many Kids Gardeningpeople are private about charitable activities, there is one case where it is a good idea to be open: with kids. It turns out that children who observe charity work among the influential adults in their lives are far more likely to be generous when they grow up.

A study by Independent Sector determined that: (more…)

May 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

Morality: A Matter of Nature and Nurture

Nature and NurtureIn a New York Times magazine feature in May 2010, Yale professor Paul Bloom describes the research on the moral instincts of babies being conducted by his research team at the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University.  The researchers found that the significant majority of babies as young as 5 months old prefer good (helpful) characters over bad (hindering) ones, moreover babies at 8 months show preference for characters that act justly by either rewarding a good guy, or punishing a bad actor.

However, that is not to say that babies have “moral” preferences in all cases.   (more…)

May 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

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