Friday, December 21, 2007

Check Out a Great Website on Kids 0-5

Traditions from ECFE Families

From ECFE Families to Yours:

Besides gifts, what traditions do you have at holiday time that children enjoy?

·        Read Christmas Books
·        10 Days of Giving - Each Child Got a Bag
·        Bake Cookies with Children Giving Them Easy Tasks
·        Make Candy
·        Drive Around and Look at All the Lights
·        Listen to Christmas music
·        Decorate the Tree Together
·        Sledding: St. Mary's, Valley Oaks Park, WE Valley, Holzinger Lodge, Your Backyard
·        Gift from the  Giving Tree – Shop Together
·        Wrap Old Christmas Books – Unwrap and Read a Different One Each Night
·        Visiting with Family
·        Sing Christmas Songs
·        Bundle Up and Go Outside
·        Make Ornaments with Pictures
·        Simplify and Relax

Friday, December 7, 2007

Early Childhood Family Education - Winona

Early Childhood Family Education
Chris Overhaug, Coordinator
5100 W 9th Street, Winona MN
507-494-0913 (office)

What is ECFE?
*ECFE is a Winona Area Public Schools, Community Education program for all families
with children from birth up to kindergarten.
*ECFE offers weekly classes and special events for parents and their children.
*ECFE is a fun place to learn and play in an informal setting and to meet other parents
and children.

What are ECFE classes like?
*All classes begin with parent child activities where parents and children play together in
the early childhood room.
*Parents move to the parent room, facilitated by a licensed parent educator where they
will meet other parents, ask questions and share parenting ideas. Children play in the
early childhood room guided by a licensed early childhood teacher. They will make new
friends and enjoy art activities, music, gym time and snack.
*In baby and toddler classes, parents do not separate from their children. The baby group
is held in the parent education room and the toddler group is held in the early childhood

ECFE Welcomes ALL Families!
The Mission of ECFE is to educate, empower, and support all families by supporting parents as their child's first teacher, by offering information about child development and parenting techniques, and by giving children opportunities to discover and learn.

Term 2 classes still available

Just for Babies and Toddlers
Non-separating classes
Baby and Me
Babies sure bring joy and big changes to families. Join us for a weekly class for infants, 0-12 months, to explore topics relating to those bundles of joy! This is a relaxing and informative class. You can ask all your baby questions and we'll share ideas with you about building a solid base for your family. We'll also sing songs and play baby games. Sibling care is available, please request with registration.
1:30-3 PM
Parent Education Room 103

Toddler Gym Night
If you want a special time to bring your toddler to the gym, come join us on the dates listed below. Parents and toddlers 12-36 months are invited to drop in for an evening of active play. Just drop in, no registration is required. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for your toddler. This class meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
5:30-7 PM
Early Childhood Gym Room 107

Extreme Parenting NEW
The class, based on the book, "Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box", offers a way out of the perfect parenting race. We will learn strategies to follow your gut connect with other parents and curb our need to over protect, over perfect or over produce. "Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box" by Ann Dunnewold

11/7/07-1/16/08 Term 2
9-11 AM
Early Childhood Room 106

Call 507-494-0913 for class availability or if you have any questions about ECFE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007



The Winona Area Public School District has scheduled the Institute for Environmental Assessment to be in our district with a Niton X-ray Fluorescence Analyzer on December 19 and 20 to identify toys containing lead. Toys identified as containing lead will be labeled and separated for disposal.

If parents would like to have their children’s toys inspected and tested for lead, they can bring them to Winona Senior High School, 901 Gilmore Ave., Winona MN 55987 between the hours of 5-8, PM on December 19, 2007 and December 20, 2007.

For more information, please contact Bill O’Laughlin, Director of Winona Area Public Schools Buildings and Grounds at 507-494-0870 or e-mail

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

WCDCPA Training This Saturday!

What Makes Them Tick?      Sat Dec 8th  9-11am @ Timber’s

Do you often wonder how two children can be so different?  Are some of the children in your care easy going, while others are stubborn and strong-willed?  Is one child’s insistence at having her clothing “just so” driving you over the edge?  Do you have some children who thrive on routine and others  who live for adventure?  There are many factors that shape a child’s personality, and this class, based largely on research by parenting expert Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, will look at a few of those, including in-born temperament, characteristics of introverts and extraverts, and provide ideas for accommodating those unique in-born aspects of a child’s personality.  We will also spend a few minutes examining your personality type, and how that can shape your relationships with your children, as well.

Call Carolyn Goree to sign up at 458-0015

Come early for the Breakfast buffet -at your cost-

$10 for non-members and as always FREE to members


Monday, December 3, 2007

Breakfast with Santa

Merchants Bank (102 E 3rd) will be holding a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 8, from 9 to 11 in the employee lounge. The breakfast is free to families who bring a bag of groceries for the Ten Days of Giving; otherwise the charge is $2 per person.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Toy Safety at Christmastime

From Newsweek:
It’s a tough year to be a toy-buying parent. In recent months, almost 25 million mostly Chinese-made toys have been recalled because they have dangerous amounts of lead or magnets—which can cause intestinal damage when swallowed—in them. Then there were Aqua Dots, pulled when it was discovered that the popular beads were coated with a toxic chemical that metabolizes into gamma hydroxy butyrate, or GHB—the date-rape drug. Last week California filed suit against 20 toy companies, alleging that they had knowingly exposed kids to unlawful levels of lead.
The article goes on to give practical tips for making sure toys are safe for kids--you can read the rest of the article at Newsweek.

December Family Events Calendar

Rotary Holiday Lights • Through Sun, Dec. 31 • Riverside Park, La Crosse
• More than one million lights illuminate Riverside Park from 5-10 pm daily (5-9 pm on Dec. 24 & 25), including a 140-foot Christmas tree, drive-through tunnel of lights, live entertainment on select nights, hayrides, carriage rides, animated light displays, live Nativity scene, and Santa. More info: (800) 658-9424 or

Old World Christmas • Weekends through Christmas, 8 am-5 pm • downtown Winona
• Wagon rides and visits with Santa, strolling carolers, Christmas decorations and lighting, sales. More info: 452-3722

Light Up Galesville • Daily, 5–10 pm, through Dec 31 • Trempealeau County fairgrounds, Galesville
• Lights display, Santa Claus, sleigh rides, free hot chocolate and coffee.

Holiday Lighted Parade • Sat, Dec. 1, 5:30 pm • Goodview
• Numerous lighted Christmas floats, elves, and Santa. Parade route follows 6th St., beginning at 40th Ave. Fireworks and refreshments to follow in Memorial Park. More info: 452-2618

Breakfast with Santa • Sat, Dec 1, 7 am – 11 am • Pickwick Fire Department
• Have breakfast with the department’s firefighter Santa Claus; kids can have pictures taken with Santa. $5. More info: 454-2263

Visit with Santa Claus • Wed, Dec. 5, 5–7 pm • Kryzko Commons, Winona State University
• Have your picture taken with Santa. Punch and cookies will be served.

Breastfeeding Class • Thu., Dec. 6, 1:30 pm • Community Memorial Hospital
• This class will help expecting mothers to prepare for breastfeeding their baby. Cost: $10 per participant/couple.

Gingerbread House Contest
• Fri., Dec. 7 – Mon., Dec. 17 • Bank lobbies in downtown Winona
• The five banks located in downtown Winona will be sponsoring a gingerbread house contest; come see the houses on display in the banks’ lobbies. Vote on your favorites Dec. 7–13.

Breakfast with Santa • Sat., Dec. 8, 8 am – noon • Buffalo Town Hall, Buffalo
• Pancake breakfast, raffle, bake sale, and pictures with Santa. Adults $5.50, children $3.

Christmas for the Birds • Sat, Dec 8, 9:30 am • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge
• Build a birdfeeder from recycled products to give our feathered friends a happy holiday. All supplies and materials, including seeds, will be provided. A short presentation about winter bird watching will take place during the activity. Meet at the refuge office. More info: (608) 539-2311

Christmas Toy Store • Sat., Dec. 8, 9 am – 1 pm • National Guard Amory, 1303 Homer Road
• All parents who are in need of some help providing a Christmas gift for their children are encouraged to attend the Christmas Toy Store, which is sponsored in conjunction with Hiawatha Valley Marines Toys for Tots. Toys are free; parents will be asked for the first names and ages of their children. New toys will be put out throughout the day. More info: Christine Bellock, 458-5203.

Drop ‘n’ Shop • Sat., Dec. 8, 10 am – 2 pm • Community Bible Church, 69 East Third Street
• Do your Christmas shopping while your kids enjoy games, coloring, crafts, and other fun activities. Cash or non-perishable food items will be collected for area food shelves in conjunction with the Ten Days of Giving.

Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights • Sat., Dec. 8, 7 pm • Downtown Rushford
• The 12th annual Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights includes visits with Santa, hot chocolate and cider, and cookies and caroling at the Rushford Fire Station. Monetary donations to the SEMCAC food shelf are encouraged.

Concert for the Hungry • Sun, Dec. 9, 2 pm • Winona State University Performing Arts Center
• WSU hosts the 7th Annual “Holiday Concert for the Hungry” with the WSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the WSU Chamber Orchestra. Admission is a non-perishable food item as part of the Ten Days of Giving. More info: 457-5257

CPR Holiday Train • Mon, Dec. 10, 5-6 pm • Amtrak Depot, Winona
• Live performance featuring Tracey Brown, Juno award-winner Colin Linden, and the critically acclaimed family duo Ennis from the lighted Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train. “Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early and check the arrival time prior to attending as this schedule is subject to change.” Food items and cash donations will be collected to benefit Winona Volunteer Services. More info: or 452-8612 (Amtrak station)

WCDCPA Holiday Fair • Sat., Dec. 15, 10 am – 2 pm • Winona Mall
• The Winona County Day Care Providers Association sponsor their annual Holiday Fair, including food, vendors, and visits with Santa.

The Nutcracker • Sat., Dec. 15, 2 pm; Sun., Dec. 16, 1 & 4 pm • Mayo Civic Center, Rochester
• The Rochester Dance Company will present The Nutcracker at Mayo Civic Center’s Presentation Hall. The production will include more than 75 talented young dancers from Rochester and the surrounding area, dancing alongside professional guest artists. After each performance, audience members will be invited to attend a Land of Sweets Party at the Civic Center (for an additional $6 cost), where they can enjoy holiday treats and capture memories by taking photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara and other Nutcracker characters. Cost: $15-$18. Reserve tickets through the Mayo Civic Center Box Office, 507-252-1010 or online at

Big Family New Year’s Eve • Mon., Dec. 31, 5:30 – 10 pm • Central High School, La Crosse
• Food vendors, family board games, inflatables, live entertainment, dancing, open gym, toddlers’ area. Bonfire and fireworks at 6 pm. More info:

Did we forget your event? Add it in the comments section.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Help Us Make a Kid-Friendly Cookbook

Dear friends,

The ECFE PTA is hoping to gather together a collection of recipes that are child-friendly, either those that children like to help cook or those they really like to eat. Quick and easy recipes are also a good bet. Please consider submitting more than one recipe. Our book will include the following sections:

Appetizers and Beverages
Soups and Salads
Side Dishes
Main Dishes
What to Pack for Lunch
Kid-Friendly Cleaning Tips
Craft Recipes
This and That (a catch-all for recipes that don’t fit elsewhere)

The finished book will also include ECFE children’s artwork and will be available for purchase in the early spring.

Please turn in your recipes by Friday, December 14. You can submit recipes and make suggestions by e-mailing Jill Krase jillkrase ~at~ charter . net. (Replace the "~at~ with the
ppropriate keyboard symbol and remove spaces from her address, of course.) You may also pick up recipe forms at the ECFE office at Goodview School.

All recipes should include a title, the name of the person who submitted it, an ingredients list (be sure to include container sizes, e.g., a 16 oz can), and clear directions.

Thanks for contributing to this effort!

Sleep May Affect Postpartem Weight Loss

A new study finds that sleep, as elusive as it may be, may play an important role in helping women lose weight after the birth of a baby, according to MedPage Today:
OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 21 -- Women deprived of only a couple hours of sleep a night after the birth of a child may find it more difficult even a year later to lose weight gained during pregnancy.

New mothers who slept five hours or less per day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely to have retained at least 11 pounds at one year than those who slept seven hours per day, showed results of a large cohort study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The story cautions that "the study was not designed to show whether increasing sleep duration after the birth of a child would help women lose weight." Read the whole story at MedPage Today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Winona Health Fantasy of Trees

The sixth annual Winona Health Auxiliary Fantasy of Trees will be held on Friday, November 16, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturday, November 17, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Watkins Manor Great Hall, 175 East Wabasha Street.

The Fantasy of Trees will feature beautifully decorated holiday trees, which will be available for purchase by sealed bids. The themed trees have been donated and designed by various businesses, organizations and individuals. At the end of the silent auction, the highest bids will be accepted and the winners will be notified by phone. Also available for sale will be holiday centerpieces, wreaths and decorations individually priced and sold from display. See's Candy will also be available for purchase

On Friday, entertainment will include Jean Smith on the Watkins Great Hall organ from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Emily Brom playing the flute from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

On Saturday, entertainment will include harpists Jonelle Moore, Kathy Geiger, Vickie Kunz and Barb Manahan from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m., Taff Roberts reading a Child's Christmas in Wales at 2 p.m.., and Jean Smith on the Watkins Great Hall organ and Emily Brom playing flute throughout the day. Also on Saturday, Santa will visit from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Parents bring your cameras for a photo with Santa.

Raffle tickets to win a sleigh centerpiece, grapevine tree or a floral reindeer will be available for one dollar per ticket on both days. Proceeds from the sale will be used for Auxiliary projects including healthcare scholarships and a patient lift system. For more information please call the Winona Health Volunteer Services Office at 507.474.3328.

Photos from Flippin' for Books

About 300 kids and 250 adults attended the 2nd Annual Flippin' for Books Literacy and Wellness Fair on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Senior High.
Thanks to our many sponsors!

Eating pancakes, sausage, and fruit is even more fun when it's free!

Every child received a free book to take home and read.

Creating with Wikki Stix
Face painting, courtesy of the MN Marine Art Museum

Many local organizations offered kid-friendly information and activities.

Early Childhood Family Education's booth--looks great Stephanie & Ann!

Storytime with guest reader, Ms. Michael Nelson

Winona County Public Health nurses provided a car seat clinic
with support from ECFE PTA. Approximately 30 carseats were checked
& properly re-installed.

The smile says it all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Minnesota Marine Art Museum Family Programs

Toddler Tuesday is November 13th!
10:30am- Noon
Come and Go as You Please!
Attention all Toddlers (not yet in kindergarten)! Grab your favorite grownup(s) and head over to the Museum for a kid-friendly discovery day in the galleries! Expect to do some activities, exploring, snacking and more! This busy morning will engage you in a variety of ways, and even give you and your grown up something fun to think about the next time you visit! Sponsored by Target.

Friday, October 26, 2007

ECFE Parents Meet with School Nutrition Director on Chocolate Milk

Several parents from the Winona Early Childhood Family Education program attended a Wednesday morning meeting with Lyn Halvorson, the school nutrition director for the Winona Area Public Schools, to discuss chocolate milk in the schools. Margaret Schild, director of Winona Community Education, also attended the meeting in her role as co-chair of the school district’s Wellness Committee.

The meeting was prompted by some parents’ concerns about the amount of extra sugar contained in the flavored milk. The chocolate skim milk served to students in WAPS contains 14 more grams of sugar and 60 more calories than white skim milk, with the extra calories presumably coming from the added sugar.

The parents expressed several concerns about making chocolate milk available to students at meals (breakfast and lunch) and during kindergartener’s snack time. Their primary concern was that the amount of sugar contained in one serving of chocolate milk (26 grams, including the 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar from lactose) represents about half of the discretionary calories recommended by the USDA on its food pyramid website,, for active five-year-old children. The parents said they worried that providing young kids with that much sugar through one or more servings of chocolate milk made it much more likely that they would exceed their recommended daily caloric intake from discretionary fats and sugars, increasing the risk of childhood diabetes and obesity. They also asked whether providing sweetened milk at every meal establishes unhealthy eating habits, with kids who have had a sugary drink at every meal for years as kindergarteners and elementary students becoming more likely to “graduate” to mealtime soda pop as teenagers.

Ms. Halvorson presented extensive information supporting the widespread practice of offering flavored milk to school children. (Some of the information she presented can be found in the post, “Milk Facts.”) She pointed out that the consensus among nutritionists and medical professionals is that chocolate milk consumption is not harmful to children and actually provides substantial benefits. She said that most children do not receive nearly enough calcium on a daily basis to build healthy bones and teeth. But studies show that children are more likely to drink more milk when the milk is flavored or packaged attractively. For example, eliminating chocolate milk in the New York City public schools reduced students’ milk consumption by 10 percent. Many nutritionists and medical professionals say that the extra sugar contained in chocolate milk is not significant enough to be a health concern for most children, and is outweighed by the benefits of providing kids with more calcium.

Parents at the meeting asked whether experts’ assertions that the extra sugar is not a concern for most kids applies equally to very young children, such as kindergarteners, whose overall caloric intake is less than the average elementary age child. They asked whether the schools could investigate the possibility of replacing sugary chocolate milk with a lower-sugar chocolate milk. They also suggested that parents ought to have some control over whether their young children are allowed to have chocolate milk at school.

Ms. Halvorson raised some concerns about the practicality of having cafeteria staff monitor kids’ milk choices. However, she suggested that she would be willing to investigate the possibility of providing more parental control over kindergarteners’ chocolate milk consumption during their snack time. She also said she would investigate whether a lower-sugar chocolate milk exists.

The meeting was sponsored and facilitated by the Early Childhood Family Education PTA, which has not taken a formal position on the issue other than to raise parents’ concerns with school district officials.

Milk Facts

Here are some facts about milk and kids, compiled by Lyn Halvorson, SNS, the school nutrition director for the Winona Area Public Schools:
  • More than half of the children ages 2-8 do not get the recommended daily servings of dairy.
  • More than three-quarters of the children ages 9-19 do not get the recommended daily servings of dairy.
  • The National Dairy Council, the School Nutrition Association, and the School Nutrition Foundation conducted a study and found that 97% of schools offer flavored milk. Over 70% of the milk consumed in schools is flavored.
  • Virtually all the calories in 100% juice and nearly one-half the calories in unflavored milk is from naturally-occurring sugars. See handout; fat-free white and 1% white contain 12 grams of naturally-occurring sugar, chocolate skim contains 26 grams (12 grams of naturally-occurring sugar and 14 grams of added sugar).
  • The importance of providing children with milk they like, and therefore will drink, was highlighted by the 2002 School Milk Pilot Test, which demonstrated that with simple product improvements – including flavors and packaging – milk consumption increased 37%.
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showed that when compared to their peers, children who drank flavored milk drank more milk overall and are more likely to meet their calcium needs than those who did not.
  • Frank Greer, MD, FAAP, Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition states, “The AAP recommends that children eat three servings of milk, flavored milk, cheese or yogurt a day.”
  • Robert P. Heaney, MD, Professor at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska takes a realistic approach to flavored milk. “I favor milk consumption because of its many nutritional benefits. If there is a choices between flavored milk and no milk, there shouldn’t be any difficulty there; you have to go with the flavored milk because that is where you are going to get the nutrient package that you need.”
  • The kids who drank flavored milk in their diets reported higher milk intakes than those who drank plain milk. Source; Nutrient intakes and body measures of children and adolescents in the United States drinking flavored, plain or no milk. FASEB J 21:833.3
  • When it comes to flavored milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetics Association and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee agree that the added sugar in flavored milk does not negate milk’s many benefits. Specifically in regard to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), there is very little different between sucrose, which is granulated sugar, and HFCS. Once absorbed, they are indistinguishable to the human body.
  • In a recent survey among 4,000 3 A-Day of Dairy moms, 92% said that they were comfortable with their children drinking flavored milk at school.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

November Family Events Calendar

Library Storytimes • Tuesdays throughout November • Children’s Department, Winona Public Library
• Stories for toddlers, 10 - 10:20 am; preschoolers, 10:30-11 am; and families, 6:30-7 pm. No storytime in December. More info: 452-4592

American Queen docking • Mon, Nov. 5, 11 am - 5 pm • Levee Park

Winona Area Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group • Mon, Nov. 5, 6-7:30 pm • Goodview Elementary preschool classrooms, 5100 W 9th St.
• The Winona Area Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group is a newly formed group for families, friends, and primary providers of persons with ASD (including Asperger's PDD/NOS or other related disorders). Onsite childcare by Home and Community Options is provided. More info: Stacey Marg, parent facilitator, at 452-8731 or Karen Bunkowski, social worker, at 457-6264

EagleWatch Opener • Sat, Nov. 3 – Sun, Nov. 4, 10 am - 5 pm • 50 Pembroke Ave, Wabasha
• The National Eagle Center’s observation deck opens for the fall bald eagle and tundra swan migration; volunteers on hand to assist with scopes. Music, storytelling, Native American dance, new exhibits, and presentations. Note that the center has relocated to its new building. Admission is $5 for adults, children under age 5 free. More info: or 877-332-4537

Flippin’ for Books • Sat, Nov 10, 9 am - noon • Winona Senior High School
• Come join us for a free pancake breakfast (9-10:30), plus dramatic storytelling by local celebrities, free books, children’s activities (build a book, butterfly making, face painting, etc.), family resources from many local organizations, a car seat clinic, and McGruff the Crime Dog. This event was planned especially for families with young children.

Old World Christmas • Fri, Nov. 23 – Sun, Nov. 25, 8 am-5 pm • downtown Winona
• Wagon rides and visits with Santa, strolling carolers, Christmas decorations and lighting, sales. More info: 452-3722

Rotary Holiday Lights • Fri, Nov. 23 – Mon, Dec. 31 • Riverside Park, La Crosse
• More than one million lights illuminate Riverside Park from 5-10 pm daily (5-9 pm on Dec. 24 & 25), including a 140-foot Christmas tree, drive-through tunnel of lights, live entertainment on select nights, hayrides, carriage rides, animated light displays, live Nativity scene, and Santa. More info: (800) 658-9424 or

Kid-Friendly Halloween Events around Winona

Halloween Fun Night • Mon, Oct. 29, 6-8 pm • SMU Toner Center
• Face-painting, coloring contest, games, and trick-or-treating in the residence halls. Stop at the guard booth at the main entrance for parking directions.

Halloween Stories and Crafts • Tue, Oct. 30 • Children’s Department, Winona Public Library
• Halloween stories and crafts for toddlers, 10 - 10:20 am; preschoolers, 10:30-11 am; and families, 6:30-7 pm. More info: 452-4592

Preschool Halloween Party • Wed, Oct. 31, 9-11 am • East End Rec Center

WSU Trick-or-Treating • Wed, Oct. 31, 6-8 pm • WSU residence halls
• Winona State University Housing and Residence Life invite Winona community members and their children into the WSU Residence Halls for trick-or-treating. The following halls are participating: Prentiss-Lucas, 265 W. King St.; Sheehan, 264 W. Mark St.; The Quad (Morey, Shepard, Conway and Richards), 256 W. King St.; and Lourdes, 457 Gould St. More info: Jodi Anderson at (507) 457-5320

Kensington Trick-or-Treat • Wed, Oct. 31, 4-6 pm • The Kensington, 157 W. Third St.
• Kensington residents, many in costume, distribute treats to young trick-or-treaters in the building’s cafeteria area.

Halloween Safe Night • Wed, Oct. 31, 5-7 pm • Goodview Elementary School
• Hot dogs, pop, cookies and candy, free goodie bags and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog. Open to children through fourth grade.

Fall Harvest Festival • Wed, Oct. 31, 5-7 pm • Rock Solid, 75 W. 3rd St., Winona
• Activities for children of all ages from 5-7 pm, including inflatable bouncing and climbing equipment, costume contest, games, rock climbing, airbrush tattoos, and hot apple cider. More info: 452-2125

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


9 to Noon
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Winona Senior High Concourse

Join us for a morning of fun for families with young children!!

Pancake Breakfast 9 to 10:30
Storytelling with Local "Celebrities"
Children's Activities: Build-a-book, Face painting, Butterfly-making and More...
McGruff the Crime Dog
Resources for Families with Young Children
Car Seat Clinic
And MORE...
Every Child Receives a Book to Take Home

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Minnesota Marine Art Museum Family Programs

Minnesota Marine Art Museum: Upcoming Programs

Family Storytelling: Saturday, October 20th
See artworks in a whole new way as Museum staff and volunteers read family-friendly stories in front of original artworks. This Saturday our spooky theme will be ghosts and goblins! All ages welcome, but stories are geared to 8 and under. Admission is free!

Toddler Tuesday: Tuesday, October 23rd
10:30-12noon: Come and go as you please!
Attention all Toddlers (not yet in kindergarten)! Grab your favorite grownup(s) and head over to the Museum for a kid-friendly discovery day in the galleries! Expect to do some activities, projects, exploring, and more! This bust morning will engage you in a variety of ways, and even give you and your grown-up something fun to think about the next time you visit!

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is located at 800 Riverview Drive in Winona.
Our website is

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Infant cold medicines pulled from stores

From the Star Tribune:
Drug makers on Thursday voluntarily pulled kids' cold medicines off the market less than two weeks after the government warned of potential health risks to infants.

Products aimed at children under the age of two are being removed from store shelves due to "rare instantances of misuse" that could lead to accidental overdose, a trade group that represents over-the-counter drug makers said.

Cold medicines being withdrawn include: Johnson & Johnson Pediacare Infant Drops and Tylenol Concentrated Infants Drops, Wyeth's Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops, Novartis' Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips and Prestige Brands Holdings' Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough.

Read the full story at the StarTribune.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Healthy Kids Club Kick-Off Event

Calling all 6-11 year olds! Join us:

Sat, October 13
Winona Middle School Concourse

Fun activities, Iron Man obstacle course, healthy snacks, free journal & jump rope to those who register!
Healthy Kids Club is a year-long partnership launched by Winona Health and supported by many area community health, rec, social service, educational, and business groups. The goal is to encourage children ages 6-11 to live healthy, make smart food choices, and maintain active lifestyles.
For more info visit
If you can't make it to the event & want to join Healthy Kids Club, email us at or call 457-4161.

Library Storytimes

Storytimes are held every Tuesday in October & November at
Winona Public Library, 151 W 5th St:
Toddler Tales (for babes & toddlers), 10-10:20am
Preschool Stories (for 3-5 year olds), 10:30-11am
All in the Family Night (all ages), 6:30-7pm
No sign-ups, just come when you can! Storytimes can include book sharing, poetry & rhyme time, puppetry or fingerplays, music & movement, basic sign language or Spanish, and an occasional craft or snack. Questions? Call Lezlea at 452-4592.
See ya at the library!

La Leche League of Winona NEW Meeting Schedule

LLL of Winona meets on 2nd Mondays of each month from 9:30-11am (Series Mtg) and 1st Saturdays of each month from 10:30-noon (Toddler Mtg).
Meetings are held at 1st Congregational Church, 161 W Broadway, Winona. Refreshments & play area for kids provided.
La Leche League of Winona provides breastfeeding info and support for all mothers desiring to breastfeed. Learn from experienced mothers and accredited Leaders, check out books from our extensive lending library, and find out more online at
For more info, contact Linda at 507-453-9783 or Heidi at 507-961-0094

Winona Area Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group

The Winona Area Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group is a newly formed group for families, friends, and primary providers of persons with ASD (including Asperger's PDD/NOS or other related disorders). Please join us for our first meeting & be part of the planning for this new group:
Mon, October 8, 2007, 6-7:30pm at Goodview Elementary preschool classrooms, 5100 W 9th St in Goodview. Snack provided.
Future meeting dates: Mon, November 5, 2007, 6-7:30pm &
Mon, December 10, 2007, 6-7:30pm
On-site childcare provided by Home & Community Options, funded by Winona County Interagency Early Intervention Committee
For more details, contact: Stacey Marg, Parent Facilitator ~ 452-8731 Or
Karen Bunkowski, Social Worker ~ 457-6264

Friday, October 5, 2007

Chocolate Milk and Kids

Should young children be able to drink up to two cups of chocolate milk a day while at school? That's the questions currently being discussed in local Early Childhood Family Education classes.

Kids attending local schools typically get to choose white or chocolate milk at lunchtime, and children in kindergarten may also receive chocolate milk at snack time. Not surprisingly, most choose chocolate over white milk. On the upside, kids are more likely to drink chocolate milk, meaning they get the calcium and Vitamin D they need. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children age 4-8 need 800 milligrams a day, which is about the equivalent of three servings of milk. On the downside, each carton contains 26 grams of sugar, according to the nutrition facts label. That's about as much sugar as is found in half a cup of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream, a York Peppermint Patty, or an 8 ounce can of Sierra Mist. But...chocolate milk typically contains only twice as much sugar as white milk, which contains 12 grams of sugar. And the sugar content of chocolate milk is about equivalent to that found in most unsweetened fruit juices.

So should kids be given such a sugary snack, even if it helps them get the calcium they need for growing bones? Experts offer differing opinions, although most seem to think the trade-off is worth it. Below, you'll find a sampling of some of those opinions. After reading them, weigh in with your own opinion by clicking on "comments."

American Dietetics Association: Regular or Flavored? The Benefits of Milk
"Getting children to drink more milk is a big issue for parents. If you're struggling to convince your children to drink more milk, try adding flavor to it. Research has shown that students who drink flavored milk have higher calcium and milk intake and lower sugar-sweetened beverage intakes. Like unflavored milk, chocolate and other flavored milk supplies calcium, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin and vitamin D that people of all ages need.

"For chocolate milk, the only difference from white milk is an additional 60 calories per 8-ounce serving from the added sweetener, and chocolate or cocoa. For most people, the health benefits outweigh extra calories the milk may contain."

Vincent Iannelli, M.D.: The Case Against Chocolate Milk (
"The biggest case against chocolate milk is that adding any flavoring to milk adds extra sugar and calories to an otherwise healthy drink. Even the newer 'no sugar added' varieties, like the Nesquik Chocolate No Sugar Added brand, has 3g of extra milk sugar and an extra 40 calories. And the more traditional varieties can add up to 18g of sugar and 90 calories per serving, which more than doubles the amount of calories that you would get from just the glass of milk....

"Although milk is an important drink and an easy way for your child to get calcium and Vitamin D into his diet, it is usually best to encourage your kids to drink plain white milk. Adding chocolate flavoring just gives your child unnecessary sugar and calories. If your child won't drink plain milk, you might offer alternative sources of calcium before jumping to flavoring his milk with chocolate, as it is usually difficult to get kids to later go back to drinking plain milk once they start drinking chocolate milk."

Dr. Alan Greene: Chocolate Cow (
"Parents are often reluctant to let their children drink too much chocolate (or otherwise flavored) milk, concerned that this will give their kids too much sugar or fat. Actually, a glass of flavored milk contains less sugar than many juices, fruit drinks, or sodas. Furthermore, a University of Vermont study published in the June 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association culled very interesting information from the from USDA's large Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals (CSFII). Children who drink flavored milk are more likely to meet the calcium requirements than their peers, and no more likely to have greater sugar or fat intake."

Nutrition Experts Applaud Chocolate Milk As Good-For-You Treat (

"Chocolate milk may be one answer to help curb the excessive consumption of nutrient-void soft drinks, which some experts say is a major contributor to childhood obesity in this country. Studies have shown that kids who drink flavored milk tend to drink fewer sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks, which are the No. 1 source of calories and added sugars in a child's diet.

"Children ages 9 and up who consume more milk -- including chocolate milk -- instead of soft drinks not only have nutritionally superior diets, but they also tend to weigh less than kids who drink more sugary sodas and little milk, according to recent research."

Dietitians of Canada: Chocolate Milk for Toddlers

"Chocolate milk provides the same 15 essential nutrients as white milk. With no more sugar than a glass of unsweetened fruit juice, and no more caffeine than a cup of decaffeinated coffee, chocolate milk made with fresh cows' milk is an excellent choice. Satisfy your urge for chocolate with a glass of chocolate milk. It's a low fat, nutrient -rich choice.

Food Guide Recommended Daily Servings of Milk Products:
Preschoolers: 2 cups or 500 mL of white or chocolate milk and one more Milk Product serving such as: yoghurt 1/3-3/4 cup or 75-175"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FDA considers banning cold medicine for kids under 6

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — Safety experts for the Food and Drug Administration urged the agency on Friday to consider an outright ban on over-the-counter, multisymptom cough and cold medicines for children under 6.

The recommendation, in a 356-page safety review, is the strongest signal yet that the agency may take strong action against the roughly 800 popular medicines marketed in the United States under names like Toddler’s Dimetapp, Triaminic Infant and Little Colds.

The next step in the process is a meeting of outside experts on Oct. 18 and 19 to examine the medicines’ safety and offer recommendations to the agency.

In the new safety review, the agency’s experts suggested that all “infant” cough and cold formulations be removed from the market, and that the droppers, cups and syringes included with products for children be standardized to reduce the risks of confusion and overdose.

The reviewers wrote that there is little evidence that these medicines are effective in young children, and there are increasing fears that they may be dangerous. From 1969 to 2006, at least 54 children died after taking decongestants, and 69 died after taking antihistamines, the report said. And it added that since adverse drug reactions are reported voluntarily and fitfully, the numbers were likely to significantly understate the medicines’ true toll.

Read the whole article at the New York Times.

Nasal Influenza Vaccine Approved for Younger Children

From a press release from the Food and Drug Administration:

On September 19, 2007, FDA approved the nasal influenza vaccine FluMist for use in children between the ages of 2 and 5. Approval for the vaccine, which contains a weakened form of the live virus and is sprayed in the nose, was previously limited to healthy children 5 years of age and older and to adults up to age 49. FluMist is manufactured by MedImmune Vaccines, Inc., Gaithersburg , Md.

"The goal of preventing influenza is now more attainable with the availability of FluMist for younger children," says Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "This approval also offers parents and health professionals a needle-free option for squeamish toddlers, who may be reluctant to get a traditional influenza shot."

Until now, there were only two influenza vaccines licensed in the U.S. for children under age 5. Fluzone, manufactured by sanofi pasteur Inc., Swiftwater , Pa. , is indicated for people over 6 months of age. Fluvirin, made by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd, Liverpool, England, is available for children age 4 and older.
Safety and Effectiveness

Approximately 6,400 infants and children age 6 months to 59 months received FluMist in three studies to support the vaccine's safety and effectiveness. Two studies compared FluMist to placebo (no vaccine), both of which demonstrated the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing influenza illness.

A third study compared FluMist to an inactivated or "killed" seasonal influenza vaccine shot. The results showed that there were 53 cases of influenza among 3,900 children who received FluMist compared to 93 cases among the same number of children who received an inactivated or “killed” seasonal influenza vaccine shot.

Commonly observed adverse events from the vaccine were generally mild and most often included runny nose and/or nasal congestion, as well as a slight fever in children 2 to 6 years of age.

Who Should NOT Receive FluMist?

* Children under the age of 2 should not receive FluMist because there was an increased risk of hospitalization and wheezing for this age group during the clinical trials.
* FluMist should not be administered to anyone with asthma or to children under the age of 5 years with recurrent wheezing because of the potential for increased wheezing after receiving the vaccine.
* People who are allergic to any of FluMist's components, including eggs or egg products, should also not receive the vaccine.

Vaccination Recommendations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children age 6 months to 59 months receive a vaccination to protect against influenza.

Studies have shown that children younger than 5 years had rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations similar to those among individuals age 50 through 64 years, emphasizing the need for improved influenza prevention efforts for this younger population.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

WinonaKids Posts now available by e-mail

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From the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Breastfeeding does not cause early childhood tooth decay, according to a new study. "Association Between Infant Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Caries in the United States" analyzed data on oral health, infant feeding, and numerous other factors among children ages 2 to 5, in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Despite some reports that link breastfeeding, especially prolonged breastfeeding, with dental caries, this study found no such increased risk. In contrast, maternal smoking was found to increase the risk for dental caries.

Halloween Safety Tips from the AAP


Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the AAP.


-- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
-- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
-- Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
-- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
-- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
-- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
-- Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.


-- Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
-- Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
-- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.


-- To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
-- Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
-- Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
-- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


-- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
-- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
-- Only go to homes with a porch light on.
-- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween,
remind Trick-or Treaters:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Carry a mobile phone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


-- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
-- Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
-- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
-- Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

(c) 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics.

Monday, September 24, 2007

October Events Calendar

ECFE Drop-in Playgroup • Thursdays, 12:30-2:30 pm through Jan. 17 • ECFE Room 106, Goodview School
• Kid-friendly activities and a chance to play with your preschooler in the ECFE gym. Free; no registration required. More info: 494-0913

Oktoberfest • Fri, Sept. 28 – Sat, Oct 6 • Oktoberfest Grounds, La Crosse
• Music, food, entertainment, carnival, plus three parades: Opening Day Parade (Fri, Sept. 28, 10:15 am, from 2nd & Market to 2nd & La Crosse streets); Maple Leaf Parade (Sat, Sept. 29, 10 am, Clinton & Copeland to 2nd & King); Torchlight Parade (Thu, Oct 4, 7 pm, Kane & Gillette south on Caledonia to St. James). Buttons are $7 for adults, kids 12 and under, free. No button required on Mon, Tue, Wed. More info: (608) 784-3378 or

WSU Homecoming Parade • Sat, Sept. 29, 10 am • Huff St. (beginning at Broadway St. and ending at Mark St.)
• See the WSU Homecoming parade, then attend the sesquicentennial kickoff picnic at 11am in the WSU courtyard; free food, family entertainment, and music.

Galesville Apple Affair • Sat, Oct. 6 • Galesville, Wis
• Food (including a 10-ft apple pie), arts and crafts, music, horseshoe games, and bike tours of area apple orchards. Buses leave from the downtown venue regularly to tour historic Eastside Farm. More info:

Milwaukee Road 261 (steam locomotive) • Sat., Oct. 6 & Sun., Oct 7 • Amtrak Station
• The Milwaukee Road 261 steam locomotive makes its annual visit to Winona. Come see the train from 11:45-12 and 2:15-2:30 each day (times are approximate). Or ride the train to La Crescent and back to Winona; roundtrip tickets are $29 for children 3-14, and $39 for adults for a coach ticket. For more info: 651-765-9812 or

Charlotte’s Web • Fri, Oct. 5, 6:30 pm • Page Theater, Saint Mary's University
• The classic story by E. B. White as presented by the TheaterWorksUSA traveling theater company. Tickets are $6 for children and adults. More info: or 457-1715

Historic Downtown La Crosse Day • Sat, Oct. 13, 10 am-5 pm • Downtown La Crosse
• Ride an old-fashioned fire engine, see historic displays and actors, sample food and listen to music. Fun, food, music and more for the entire family throughout downtown La Crosse. Maps and more info:

Big Muddy River Rendezvous • Tue, Oct. 16 – Sun, Oct. 21, 8 am-4 pm • Prairie Island Park, Winona
• Re-enactors portray life at a fur-trading camp from 1690-1865. Hide tanners, cannons, spinning wheels, wagons, kids games, and food vendors. Educational presentations during School Days, Tue-Fri. Admission is $4 for all kids and adults Tue-Fri; on Sat & Sun, admission is $5 adults, $4 kids, and children under 6 are free.

Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day • Fri, Oct. 19, 6:30 pm • Page Theater, SMU
• Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, trips on a skateboard, and accidentally drops his sweater in the sink—all before breakfast. Kids laugh and sing along with Alexander's misadventures in this hilarious musical. Presented by TheaterWorksUSA. Tickets are $6 for children and adults. More info: or 457-1715

Free Events at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum • Sat, Oct. 20 & Tue, Oct. 23 • Minnesota Marine Art Museum
• Come for family storytelling on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9:30-10:30; this month features stories about ghosts and goblins. Make a craft to bring home after the story. Tuesday, Oct. 23 is Toddler Tuesday. Explore colors with your child as you pick and choose from various child-friendly activities throughout the museum. Free. Come and go as you please. More info: 474.6626 or

Car Seat Training • Mon, Oct. 22, 5:30-8:30 pm • Maxwell Children’s Center, Wabasha Hall (Wabasha & Winona sts.)
• Registration required. To Register, contact Winona County Community Health Services at 457-6400.

Hixon's Enchanted Forest • Sat & Sun, Oct. 20-21 & 27-28, noon-3 pm • Myrick Park, La Crosse, Wis.
• Children go on a ¾ mile trick-or-treating hike through a forest filled with more than 30 storybook and cartoon characters, such as Snow White, Cinderella, Batman, Dorothy, Bugs Bunny, Aladdin, and Alice in Wonderland. Music by Hans Mayer and refreshments await kids at the end of the trail. Park at Forest Hills golf course and take the sidewalk to the Nature Center. Reservations required. Children $5, adults $2. More info: 608-784-0303 or

BOO-seum • Fri, Oct. 26, 5:30-8:30 pm • La Crosse Children’s Museum (207 5th Ave S, La Crosse)
• Halloween party for ages 2-6 with adult. Sing-along with Hans Mayer (shows at 6:30 & 7); games; inflatables; treats; crafts. Costumes optional. Admission with Hans Meyer concert: $6 per child for members, $8 per child for non-members; admission without Hans Meyer concert: $3 per child for members, $5 per child for non-members. Pre-registration and prepayment required. 1 free adult per child; extra adults pay child fee. More info: 608-784-2652 or

Preschool Halloween Party • Wed, Oct. 31 9-11 am • East End Recreation Center (4th St. E. & Zumbro St., Winona)

TV for Tots: More Bad News

"Baby Einsteins May Not Be So Smart After All," from
The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and getting smarter than the neighbor's kid. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy Baby" series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers.

Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the research team found that with every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form. "The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew," says Christakis. "These babies scored about 10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these videos."

It's not the first blow to baby videos, and likely won't be the last. Mounting evidence suggests that passive screen sucking not only doesn't help children learn, but could also set back their development. Last spring, Christakis and his colleagues found that by three months, 40% of babies are regular viewers of DVDs, videos or television; by the time they are two years old, almost 90% are spending two to three hours each day in front of a screen. Three studies have shown that watching television, even if it includes educational programming such as Sesame Street, delays language development. "Babies require face-to-face interaction to learn," says Dr. Vic Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Read the rest of the story here. And from the American Academy of Pediatrics:


Children who watch more television in their early years may be more likely to have attention problems as teens. In a study from the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand, more than 1,000 children were observed from age 3 through age 15. Early childhood attention problems were noted at ages 3 and 5. Parents’ estimates of the children’s’ television viewing time were obtained at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. Then, using various tools and questionnaires, the parents, the children themselves and reported on attention problems at ages 13 and 15. For every additional 50 minutes of television watched on average per day, there was a measurable negative impact on attention. Those who watched the most TV earlier in childhood were more likely to have attention problems. In particular, those children who watched more than two hours per day had above-average symptoms of attention difficulties in adolescence. Early childhood attention problems, socioeconomic status, gender or cognitive abilities did not influence the results, leading the researchers to conclude that watching too much TV was the most likely cause. Possible explanations may be the world portrayed on television makes real-life tasks seem boring in comparison, or that watching TV displaces of the activities that encourage attention such as reading and playing games.


According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, there is strong evidence that television advertising influences short-term food preferences for children 2 to 11 years of age. Researchers for the study, “Nutritional Content of Television Food Advertisements Seen by Children and Adolescents in the United States,” analyzed food-product advertisements seen by children and adolescents on top-rated television shows from September 2003 to May 2004. Nearly 98 percent of food ads seen by children 2 to 11 years old and 89 percent for adolescents 12 to 18 years old were for products high in fat, sugar, or sodium and of poor nutritional content. Fast-food restaurants made up the largest category of all food-related advertisements viewed by teens, while children 2-11 years of age most frequently saw cereal ads. The current obesity epidemic among children and adolescents has challenged the food and beverage industries to reexamine their marketing practices. These findings will provide a benchmark against which future research can evaluate the commitment by food companies to change the nature of food advertising to children.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Bonnie Herrick, RN
Winona County Maternal Child Health Nurse
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Maxwell Children's Center
Wabasha Hall
Wabasha and Walnut Streets
To Register, contact Winona County Community Health Services at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Organic Housekeeping

Announcing a free event of interest to parents, teachers, and child care professionals:

organic housekeeping

a special presentation by Ellen Sandbeck,
author of the book by the same title,
In Which the Nontoxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 7pm
Bluffview Montessori School
1321 Gilmore Ave, Winona, MN

Ellen Sandbeck--respected author, organic landscaper, worm farmer, and former roofer-- shows the world, in her wonderfully comical voice, how to maintain every part of the home using safe, simple cleansers; quick, preventative measures; and the most effective organic products on the market—complete with detailed products and recommendation lists. Contact Connie Dretske (507-457-9455) or Brianna Fink (612-558-6435) for more information. To download a PDF of the poster, click here.

Friday, September 7, 2007

September Family Programs at The Minnesota Marine Art Museum

September 11th 10:30 am-Noon (come and go as you please)
Attention all Toddlers (not yet in kindergarten)! Grab your favorite grownup(s) and head over to the Museum for a kid-friendly discovery day the galleries! Expect to do some activities, projects, exploring and more! This busy morning will engage you in a variety of ways, and even give you and your grown up something fun to think about the next time you visit!

free family storytelling:
Exploring COLORS!
Saturday, September 22nd 9:30-10:30 am *new time!
See artworks in a whole new way as Museum staff and volunteers read family-friendly stories in front of original artworks. Afterward create an original artwork to take home! Each Saturday we’ll explore a different theme through original artworks, stories, and a special project. This month we will explore color in art! All ages welcome but stories are geared to younger children.

Monday, September 3, 2007

September Winona Area Family Events Calendar

Preschool Open Gym • 9-11 am Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 11 – April 29 • East Rec Center, Winona
• Come play with your preschooler. Free.

Flood Aid Concert & Barbecue • Fri, Sept. 7, 5 pm • Saint Mary’s University Plaza
• Music, barbecued food, kids’ games. $10 per person; freewill offering for kids under 12. More info: 457-6936

La Crosse Storytelling Festival • Fri, Sept. 7, 6:30-9 pm; Sat, Sept. 8, 10 am-10 pm • Myrick Park, La Crosse
• Music, food, and nationally known storytellers. Separate stage for children’s stories and crafts from 1:15-5 pm Saturday. $15 per family or $6 adults, $5 children, free to age 3 and under. More info:

Kellogg Watermelon Festival • Fri, Sept. 7 – Sun, Sept. 9 • Downtown Kellogg
• Burn-out races, live bands, street dance, carnival rides. Kiddie parade 1 pm Saturday; Grand Parade Sunday at 2 pm, with free watermelon afterward. More info: Wabasha-Kellogg CVB (800) 565-4158 or

September Splash • Sat, Sept. 8 • 2 pm-5 pm • East End Rec Center, Winona
• Outdoor water games for kids. Free, no registration required.

Pickwick Mill Day • Sat., Sept. 8 • Pickwick, 12 miles south of Winona on Co. Road 7
• Food, music, dancing, antique tractors, blacksmith, wagon rides, live demonstrations at the historic mill. More info:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days • Sat, Sept. 8 – Sun, Sept. 9 • Pepin, Wis.
• Demonstrations of traditional crafts like blacksmithing, woodworking, hand-spinning; craft market; food; children’s pioneer games; tours of Laura's birth site. Fiddle contest 3:30 – 6 pm Saturday, with bonfire and live music following; Grande Parade Sunday afternoon. More info: Pepin Visitor Center at (800) 442-3011 or

Winona Public Library Storytimes • Tuesdays beginning Sept. 11 • Children’s Dept., Winona Public Library
• Toddler Tales 10-10:20 am; Preschool Storytime 10:30 – 11 am. Updates and more info:

Toddler Tuesday at the Minnesota Marine Museum • Tue, Sept. 11 10:30-noon • 800 Riverview Drive, Winona
• Activities for kids not yet in kindergarten. Come and go as you please. More info: 474-6625 or

La Crescent Apple Festival • Thu, Sept. 13 – Sun Sept 16 • La Crescent
• Carnival, kiddie parade (11 am Saturday, Crucifixion parking lot), orchard tours, flea market, craft fair, live entertainment, King Apple Parade (Sunday, 1 pm along Elm St.). More info: 507-895-2800 or

Winona Heritage Fair • Sat, Sept. 15 • Johnson St. between 3rd and 4th streets (by the Historical Museum)
• Saturday features a street fair with crafters, kids’ activities, and food; concerts will be offered on Friday and Saturday nights. More info: The Winona County Historical Society, 454-2723 or

18th Annual Quarry Hill Fall Festival • Sat, Sept. 15 – Sun, Sept. 16 11am-5pm • Quarry Hill Nature Center, 701 Silver Cr. Rd. NE, Rochester
• Ladybug bowling, cave tours, big dig, bio bingo, food and more. More info: or (507) 281-6114

Kid's Fest • Sat, Sept. 15, 10 am – 4 pm • Omni Center, 255 Riders Club Road, Onalaska
• This year’s theme is “Woodland Wildlife,” featuring the Minnesota Zoomobile. Games, prizes, inflatables. $3 per person; 2 and under, free. More info: (608) 782-9710

Franciscan Fest • Sat, Sept. 22, noon - 4 pm • Assisi Courtyard, Viterbo University, La Crosse
• Medieval village featuring crafts, food vendors, music, and villagers wearing costumes from the time of Francis and Clare. Music includes Celtic Cross, 9th Street Singers, Prairie Smoke, and the St. Francis Choir. The Franciscan Joy area will be open to all ages with kid-appropriate crafts, music, and other activities. $1 per person. More info: (608) 791-5295 or

Did we miss your event for families with kids age 5 or under? You can note it in the comments box below, or e-mail WinonaECFEPTA [at] to have it listed. This events calendar is sponsored by the Winona Early Childhood Family Education PTA. For more information about Early Childhood Family Education programs and events, call 494-0913.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Winona County DayCare Providers Association is offering all licensed daycare providers who suffered a loss due to the flooding a free membership to the association so they can take advantage of our toy lending library, to help with rebuilding their business with toys/and equipment.

Anyone interested in doing so can call Mandy at 454-1531 to set up a time to go to the toy library to look around. Our toy library is located at Coldwell Bank's basement at 104 E 4th Street, Winona. Coldwell Bank lets us use this space free to help us offer many toys--ages infant to preschool and equipment such as cribs, strollers, and high chairs. PLEASE pass this onto a provider you know that was affected by this terrible flood, and let us help them out.

Carolyn A. Goree, Vice President
The Winona County DayCare Providers Association

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Free Childcare

FREE childcare (infant thru age 8) for families who have flood damage to their home and for volunteers who are helping with clean-up.
Where: Living Light Church, 850 Hwy 14 (just past St. Mary's University)
When: 9am-5pm starting Fri, August 24 thru Mon, Sept 3 (no care on Sundays)
Questions? Call 454-2732. If possible, please call ahead to let us know how many children to expect. We will have snacks, lunch, and fun age-appropriate activities!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flood Relief for Child Care Providers

Child Care Resource and Referral has Emergency Grant funding available to Child Care Providers affected by the floods.

You can find the Emergency Grant applications at Go to Programs, click on Resource & Referral, then click on For Providers, then click on Region 10 and finally click on the PDF file for Emergency Grant Application. You can also contact Maribeth Fair-Pingree (Grants Coordinator) directly and she will send you an application.

If you would like to know what would be covered and how much, please contact Maribeth directly. She is receiving a high number of calls at this time, so please leave a message. She will contact everyone who leaves a message for her . This is her direct contact information:

Maribeth Fair-Pingree
Grants Coordinator
507-287-2020 Ext 156 or
800-462-1660 Ext 156
Or email her at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Importance of Play

The most recent installment of the public radio series "Speaking of Faith" spent an hour examining the importance of play, and how play shapes us as human beings. Here's an excerpt from a reflection that the host, Krista Tippett, wrote about the program:
[Dr.] Stuart Brown [director of the National Institute for Play], for his own part, says he spent too many years as a workaholic doctor; and he came to his fascination with play after observing play-deprivation in the lives of homicidal young men he had been given to study. These days, he gives himself three or four hours a day of "rogue tennis," reading, frolicking with his grandchildren. For work, he promotes better science on how play enriches us and nourishes human spirit and character. He believes this has implications for how we should structure our schools, workplaces, and family lives.

I am surprised, and eventually convinced, by the amazing list of virtues Stuart Brown associates with play across the span of our lives, drawing on a rich universe of play study in humans and intelligent social animals. (By the way, stop right here for a smile by looking at amazing pictures of animals quite obviously delighting in play.) It is established, Stuart Brown insists, that an actively playful life establishes the earliest sense of self; sustains trust; provides increased enthusiasm for effectiveness in learning; prevents violence; invigorates the body; lessens the consequences of stress; contributes directly to the capacity to approach and solve complex life problems; and rewards and directs the living of life in accord with innate talents..
You can read the rest of Ms. Tippett's reflection, read the transcript, listen to the program, or download it as an mp3 file, at

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Flood Relief Donations

United Way accepting donations for flood needsWinona, Minn. – United Way of the Greater Winona Area is accepting donations to assist people who have been affected by this past weekend’s flooding.

“We know that there will be needs that last beyond immediate emergency relief, and this is a way we can help our community address those needs,” commented Board President Bill Gould. “We want to make sure that we do our part to help our neighbors as this event continues to unfold.”

According to Executive Director Beth Forkner Moe, any donations received will be granted to area agencies who provide ongoing assistance to people who have needs arising from the flooding. Additionally, she said, 100% of all funds will be granted for this disaster or (if all the funding is not needed) for future local disasters. United Way will not spend any of the money on administrative costs.

To make a donation, please send it to United Way of the Greater Winona Area, 902 E. 2nd St., Winona, MN 55987, or drop it off at any Merchants Bank location. Checks can be made to “United Way Disaster Fund.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Minnesota Marine Art Museum August Family Programs

free family storytelling:
Stories and Steamboats

Saturday, August 18 9-10 am
“Steeeeeeeamboat a’comin!” This once-common cry along river towns would announce the arrival of a much-anticipated steamboat. Such boats were full of treasures such as new foods, clothing, interesting people and more. Explore the mystique of the steamboat as well as other special elements of the river as volunteers bring the past to life through stories and artworks. Then steam on over to the Museum’s atrium for a hands-on art project to take home. All ages welcome but stories are geared to ages eight and under.

August 21st 10:30 am-Noon (come and go as you please)
Attention all Toddlers (not yet in kindergarten)! Grab your favorite grownup(s) and head over to the Museum for a kid-friendly discovery day the galleries! Expect to do some activities, projects, exploring and more! This busy morning will engage you in a variety of ways, and even give you and your grown up something fun to think about the next time you visit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fall Library Programming

Winona Public Library wishes to thank all the families who participated in our "Go Bananas" Summer Reading was bananas!
Storytimes and other library programs will resume on
Tues, September 11:
Toddler Tales on Tuesdays from 10-10:20am
Preschool Storytimes on Tuesdays from 10:30-11am.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Grace Place Watercolor Classes Canceled

The watercolor classes that we were planning on having on August 3rd and 4th at Grace Place have been canceled. If we decide to hold these classes at a later date we will post the information with the dates and times. Thank You :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Save the Date!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Postpartum Depression in Our Community:
Working Together to Support Mothers & Families
An event for parents, professionals & community members
with Keynote Speaker Ruth Ener
Panel Presentation
Small Group Discussion
For more information, contact
Baby Connections @ 494-0812
Sponsored by the Winona Area Postpartum Depression Network

Monday, July 16, 2007

WCDCPA 7th Annual Children's Festival

4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, August 16th

Jaycee Pavilion at Lake Winona

Magician show put on by Tyson Entertainment*
Bounce house*
Train rides*
Food - hot dogs, walking tacos, ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy etc.*
clowns and lots of fun


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grace Place will be having an open house Saturday, August 18th, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We will have demonstrations of the classes we offer here at Grace Place such as Kindermusik and Godly Play. Some organizations that will be at and a part of our open house are: The American Red Cross, Mothers of Preschoolers (M.O.P.S), La Leche, and Bluff Country Co-op will be providing food for the event. We will also be having a double coupon sale going on in our Market Square thrift store. This means that if you pay double for any item in the store you will be entered in a drawing to win a free campground certificate. Here is the schedule for the open house:

10:00 Welcome/ Music by Carla
10:15 Kindermusik Demo
10:45 Godly Play Demo

11:15 Kindermusik
12:00 Red Cross Presentation
12:45 Closing/ Music by Carla

12:55 Drawing for free “Songs in the Key of Grace” cd’s by Carla Burton

Make sure you come in and join the fun :)


This site is for you if you're a parent, grandparent, professional, or community member who wants to support Winona's youngest citizens--kids ages 0-5.