Child care providers have one of the toughest, most important, and yet most under-recognized jobs in the world. You might not hear it nearly as often as you should, but what you do matters. You can make a difference.
Everyone has a role to play in ending childhood obesity, and child and day care centers are certainly no exception.
Parents want their children cared for in healthy environments, where children receive appropriate nutrition and physical activity, and support for breastfeeding mothers and babies.
What do you feel is a child care provider’s role in preventing childhood obesity?
What you can do:
- Participate in the Web-based TOP Star Training–Learn about Childhood Obesity, Nutrition and Physical Activity for Young Children, Personal Health & Wellness, Working with Families, and Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers. Complete all 6 workshops and receive 5 hours of Career Ladder & Licensing Credit!
- Learn about the TOP Star Program and how to get involved. Learn about the partners, the TOP Star Program, and hear success from TOP Star endorsed providers. Contact your Local Health Department to find out if the TOP Star program is being offered in your area.
- Participate in the national Let’s Move! Child Care initiative to commit to serve healthy foods, promote physical activity, and support breastfeeding families; and to receive training and recognition for your efforts.
- Take advantage of valuable Resources–like Care About Childcare, and Kid's Health.org-- to help you make changes in your child care environment.
Preschool and Childcares
- Early childhood presents a unique opportunity to influence food acceptance and preferences that have the potential to influence
health over the lifespan. Introducing a variety of fruits and vegetables in positive, engaging activities increases the likelihood that young children will taste and eat a wider variety of these health-promoting foods.Young children who participate in garden activities are more likely to try fruits and vegetables.
- A kit provided by the USDA called “Grow It, Try It, Like It!” is an easy way to introduce garden-themed nutrition in a preschool setting. There are seven books in the kit, and each one is full of activities and recipes.
- The “Got Dirt?” toolkit was developed to aid in implementing youth gardening programs: It is a detailed resource for the state of Wisconsin, but contains universal principles that apply to school gardens in Utah.