Has participating in the TOP star program affected your personal health?
What improvements have you seen since implementing TOP Star?
Upon researching the program, we decided to have a meeting with the staff to determine if they were interested. Our feedback was positive and the staff was eager to incorporate healthy eating. The biggest changes we did were to include more 100% wheat products, introduced skim milk and reduce the cookies and fried foods. Collectively, we have noticed the children did not really complain at all about the changes. We were more concerned that the adults would complain, however, they were very surprised (and pleased) to see they were eating the new foods.
Missy says, our children now eat better, enjoy more active time, and spend less time in front of the screen than they did just five months ago. Before TOP Star program, the television was turned on nearly all day long. It served not only as entertainment for the kids, but also background noise. Now they implement structured activity time, games, and crafts. They remodeled the backyard for more play space, plan weekly field trips, and the children now only spend about 30 minutes a week in front of a screen.
They also changed the way the kids are eating. Refined grains were swapped with whole grains, dried fruit replaced cookies, and skim milk is used instead of 2%. Food Fridays have even found a home at Imagination Time. Once a week, the kids are introduced to a new food, such as red cactus pears. It is fun for the kids to try something different that is good for their bodies. Missy said, "I am glad that I am doing this program. We have made a lot of changes at the facility that have not only affected the kids' health, but also mine and my family's. I am happy."
Ready, Set, Grow Childcare & Preschool
We have made great improvements in the areas of nutrition and physical activity since enrolling in TOP Star. Before enrolling in TOP Star, I didn't know how to improve the nutrition/physical activity environment in my home child care. I wouldn't have made it a priority had I not gotten involved with TOP Star. Now I know where to go to get information and assistance!
Debbie now has morning teacher-led active time with the children. She purchased bean bags that the kids dance with. She has been taking the children to the park and has increased outdoor active time daily. She has been more conscientious about reading labels when purchasing food. She has eliminated pre-fried and high fat foods from her menu. She now makes her own chicken nuggets and fish sticks in bulk and freezes them. She has removed all junk food from her cabinets and replaced it with fresh fruits and vegetables. She has been stocking up on fresh produce in season and freezing it for later use.