Healthy Child Care Resources

Discover educational child care resources about healthy eating and physical activity.

Administrative Resources

Child Care Provider’s Guide: A simple stage-by-stage child care resource with information and tips about healthy eating and physical activity for babies, toddlers and preschoolers from Nemours’ KidsHealth.org, the most-visited children’s health website in the world. Offers practical suggestions, research findings and best practices about children’s nutrition and fitness.

First Years in the First State — Improving Nutrition & Physical Activity: A toolkit developed by Nemours’ Health & Prevention Services (NHPS) for the Delaware Department of Education and funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition grant. Includes self-assessments, menu plans, recipes, shopping lists, budget-saving tips and more.

Healthy Minds: Nurturing Your Child’s Healthy Development: These articles from the nonprofit organization Zero to Three provide examples and encouragement for parents and caregivers to understand and nurture child development from birth to 36 months.

Model Child Care Health Policies: This valuable resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics takes the mystery out of policy writing, covering all facets of early care and education. These model policies, covering a wide range of topics, ease the burden of writing site-specific health and safety policies from scratch.

NAEYC and Caring for Our Children 2nd Edition Physical Activity and Nutrition Standards Crosswalk: This document compares the similar standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Caring for Our Children 2nd Edition regarding physical activity, nutrition and technology.

Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children : This handbook cites specific ways providers can support children in four areas: healthy eating, food safety practices, active play and limiting screen time.

Sample ECE Policies: Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding, Child Nutrition, Family Engagement, Family Style Dining, Indoor and Outdoor Play, and Worksite Wellness (Word docs—for quick download, please use Chrome or Firefox)

Curriculum Materials

OrganWise Guys: A set of engaging characters who teach children about the importance of good nutrition, physical activity and overall healthy lifestyles with the goal of preventing childhood obesity. They have free resources to support adding healthy foods to children’s meals and incorporating more physical activity into children’s activities. The Kids Club promotes healthy eating and physical activity for children and families with a wide array of fun and engaging activities that anyone can use. Sign up to access more than 200+ monthly resources.

Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs: A new set of national standards describing evidence-based best practices in healthy eating, physical activity and screen time. Part of the new comprehensive Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition (CFOC3).

Smart from the Start’s Enrichment Zone (EZ): These quick and easy lessons are fun and play-based, and can be used by parents, caregivers and volunteers to teach children important skills they need to develop healthy habits. By taking part in these activities, children will learn how food provides the energy they need to play and how to move throughout the day to keep their bodies strong and healthy.

Equity

5 Ways Teachers Can Challenge Inequality in the Classroom (The Guardian): This article discusses tips for teachers such as rethinking ability grouping, challenging negative labels and language, making the curriculum relevant, avoiding quick-fix punishments, and nurturing relationships.

Applying an Equity Lens to the Child Care Setting (American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics): This article examines systemic barriers to equity and how to strategically focus attention on aligning systems to decrease health inequities.

Barriers to Equity in Nutritional Health for U.S. Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Literature (Springer Link): This article reviews research to date addressing the potential for improvements in child care environments and food system policy to promote health equity.

Diversity and Equality Guidelines for Childcare Providers (National Child Care Strategy): This document explores why we should and how we can acknowledge, celebrate and benefit from our differences.

Equity and Early Childhood Education: Reclaiming the Child (National Council of Teachers of English): This is the first and overarching of several research policy briefs around issues of equity. Create an open dialogue around the issues related to fairness, opportunity, and every child’s right to participate in equitable early childhood practices.

Equity in Early Childhood Education (Victorian Inclusion Agency): This PDF handout explores equal opportunity in early childhood education, how educators can ensure equal participation, how to encourage diversity, and how to sustain shared thinking.

Health Equity Issues Related to Childhood Obesity (Healthy Futures): This PDF presentation strives to answer the question: What are the health-equity issues that relate to disparities in childhood obesity?

Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): This toolkit’s primary focus is on how to create policy, systems, and environmental changes that will reduce obesity disparities and achieve health equity.

Inequity in Child Health: The Importance of Early Childhood Development (Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health): This article examines inequality versus inequity in child health, the reasons why and how we should address inequities in child health, and the role of the health-care system.

Moving Beyond Anti-Bias Activities: Supporting the Development of Anti-Bias Practices (NAYEC): This article explores what it means to embrace an anti-bias stance every day. Teachers at Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University developed a framework to guide their work and support their planning and practice as they moved forward.

Top 10 Things We Know About Young Children and Health Equity…and Three Things We Need to Do with What We Know (BUILD Initiative): This handout reviews what we know about young children and health equity, and what policymakers and community leaders can do.

Handouts

ABC’s of a Healthy Me: This handout reviews the ABCs of a healthy child in your care: Active play, Breastfeeding, Cutting down on screen time, Drinking milk and water, and Eating healthy foods. Also available in Spanish.

Trainings and Webinars

Building a Healthy Start: These training modules from Alabama Public Health address a specific issue and focus on information specific to the care of infants and toddlers related to that issue. Topics include “Feeding Infants and Toddlers in Early Childhood Settings” and “Promoting Physical Activity for Infants and Toddlers in Early Childhood Settings.”

Training Opportunities and Resources for CACFP Sponsors: This webinar highlights the free online Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (formerly Let’s Move! Child Care — LMCC) training modules. The six training modules provide practical strategies for implementing best practices in the early care and education (ECE) setting for preventing childhood obesity.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Modules: Penn State University’s Better Kid Care program and the CDC have partnered to create Childhood Obesity Prevention Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (formerly Let’s Move! Child Care — LMCC) training and an opportunity for providers to obtain CEUs. The training is in six lessons: 1) Let’s Move! Child Care Introduction, 2) Increase Physical Activity, 3) Limit Screen Time, 4) Offer Healthy Beverages, 5) Serve Healthy Food, and 6) Support Infant Feeding.
To participate:
1. Visit Better Kid Care Web Lessons
2. Create an account and sign in
3. Select the title of the lesson; they start with “Childhood Obesity Prevention”

Videos

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (formerly Let’s Move! Child Care) Promotional Videos:

» Run-Run, Let’s Move! Child Care (intro video)

» What Is Let’s Move! Child Care?

These videos have been developed and donated to Let’s Move! Child Care by Exchange Press, Video Active Productions and TurnKey Training, the makers of Preventing Obesity and Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood Settings, a comprehensive professional development training series for early childhood providers.

 

Sowing The Seeds Of The Future: Long Island Head Start improved healthy habits in many ways. They increased vegetable and fruit consumption and adopted several new physical activities. Incorporating yoga into the children’s routine has improved wellness, focus and creativity. Through gardening activities children enjoy learning about where food comes from. Watch the kids in action and interviews with proud parents and teachers.