Parents Learn How to Cook Fast, Healthy Meals

Parents Learn How to Cook Fast, Healthy Meals

By Lori Bowers

Busy families need fast meals for dinner; however, fast meals aren't necessarily healthy. On March 23rd the Mill Run Parent Group along with our registered dietician hosted a ‘Pressure Cooking’ event. The families learned how to make two healthy meals using two different types of pressure cookers that would take less than one hour to prepare.

Rob Chaney, Mill Run Head Start dad, demonstrated how to make a roast with potatoes in a stove top pressure cooker. While Judy Siebert, a registered dietician, made bean soup in an electric pressure cooker. The roast meal from start to finish was done in 40 minutes. The bean soup was completed in 35 minutes. Each meal was sampled by the families and was found to be very flavorful.  

The families learned that modern-day pressure cookers are very easy to use and have safety features built in. They can’t explode because the pressure release and gasket mechanism allows excess pressure to vent. Families also learned that there are many benefits to using a pressure cooker:

  • Pressure Cooking is healthy-- foods retain most of their nutrients and are much more flavorful.
  • Pressure Cooking is faster-- foods cook 70% faster.
  • Pressure Cooking has less clean up-- only one pot to clean.

Invest in a model that best suits your needs and lifestyle, buy a pressure cooker cookbook or research online for recipes; and enjoy fast, healthy and delicious meals all year long. Pressure Cookers range in size and price. You can purchase a pressure cooker for as low as $35.00 at a local retail store.










Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Written by Shelly Gilmore

CDE Home-Based Supervisor/Transition Coordinator

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County


Parents hear a lot about school readiness, but what does it really mean and how do you know if your child is really ready?

Being “ready” for Kindergarten means, quite simply, that your child is able to learn what will be taught in the kindergarten that he/she will attend, and can function comfortably with teachers and other children in that setting. When parents think about kindergarten readiness, they sometimes focus too much on academics, but the skills that define readiness are much broader than knowing letters, numbers, and how to count. To be ready for kindergarten, a child needs to have a positive attitude toward starting school, some understanding of why he is there, and be receptive to learning new things and making new friends.  Here is a checklist that can guide you in preparing your child for school. It’s best to look at the items included as goals. They should be done, as much as possible, through everyday life or by fun activities you’ve planned with your child. If your child lags behind in some areas, don’t worry. Remember that all children are unique. They grow and develop at different rates.

  • ð        My child has opportunities to be with other children and is learning to cooperate with them
  • ð        My child is learning to use self -control
  • ð        My child can follow simple instructions
  • ð        My child is read to everyday
  • ð        My child is learning to write his/her name
  • ð        My child is learning to count and play counting games
  • ð        My child is learning to identify shapes and colors.
  • ð        My child is able to recognize some letters, especially those in his/her name.
  • ð        My child is on a regular sleeping schedule and gets plenty of rest
  • ð        My child is able to separate from me for periods of time without undue stress.
  • ð        My child works puzzles, scribbles, colors, paints, and does other activities that help develop small muscles
  • ð        My child is able to potty independently and fasten hooks, snaps and zippers
  • ð        My child receives regular medical and dental care and has had all the necessary immunizations
  • ð        My child runs, jumps, plays outdoors, and does other activities that help develop large muscles and regular exercise
  • ð        My child has learned to use his words to express his frustrations and not use aggression

Why Dads Matter: The Benefits of Father Involvement

Over the last few years, there has been a growing awareness of the important role that fathers play in supporting their young children's growth and development.

Read more: Why Dads Matter: The Benefits of Father Involvement

School Year 2015-2016 Head Start/Early Head Start Recruitment

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County, a program of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), will be recruiting throughout Fayette County beginning in March. Staff will be taking applications for the 2015-2016 program year.

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County provides comprehensive early childhood education services to low-income families with children from birth to age five and pregnant women including inclusive services to children with disabilities and other special needs.

Early Head Start provides free services to pregnant women and children up to three years of age and their families.

The Head Start program, which is also free, prepares preschoolers to make the transition into kindergarten. Children learn to get along well with other children. They explore and learn through play; they learn about numbers, letters, words and many other things!

Head Start services are offered through classroom- and home-based options. Through home-based programming, instructors visit families in their homes to work on children’s learning goals. They also help parents find ways to meet family needs through community resources and services.

Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), children are served healthy and nutritious meals and snacks while attending Head Start classrooms and home based socials. Parents may participate in program planning and decision-making and volunteer in the classroom to learn more about how to help children learn and develop.

Research has consistently shown that children who enter school ready to learn succeed academically later in life. If you are interested in signing your child up for Head Start or Early Head Start, please call our office at 724-430-4818 or visit us at

Community Resource Available for Gas and Electricity Assistance

The weatherman is predicting that this winter will be colder and we will see more snow than last season. Will you or someone you know have trouble heating your home this winter? There is assistance available for those who meet eligibility requirements.

Read more: Community Resource Available for Gas and Electricity Assistance