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Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children

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1 Eat Right, Grow Strong Nutrition for Young Children
INSERT YOUR NAME AND INFO HERE Welcome and Introductions. Possibly do a quick activity such as stretching. Today we are going to talk in detail about how child care providers can help prevent childhood overweight and obesity by promoting healthy eating at their child care program. This workshop is meant to provide a basic understanding of nutrition for young children and provide child care staff with the key components for supporting good nutrition in the child care environment.

2 Objectives Describe why good nutrition is so important for young children. Explain the components of a child care environment that promote healthy eating. Describe the role of child care staff in helping shape children’s eating behaviors. List some things staff can do in their classroom to help children develop healthy eating behaviors. After watching this webinar, my expectation is that you will be able to…read slide

3 Let’s Review More than 1 in 4 preschoolers are overweight or obese
Being overweight is a risk to physical and mental health Poor nutrition contributes to weight gain Child care providers can help keep children healthy Let’s briefly review what we know about the childhood obesity epidemic. First, childhood overweight is the number one nutritional disease of American children today. Currently, more than 1 in every 4 preschoolers is either overweight or obese. We know carrying extra weight poses serious health risks to both children and adults, including both physical and mental health risks. There are many factors involved in how much we weigh. One of those factors is poor nutrition, which is what we will discuss today. Specific nutrition-related concerns with children include not reaching the minimum 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, and drinking too many sugary beverages, and not enough water and low fat milk. Fast food, predominance of convenience foods, and lack of family meals are also playing a role. Finally, we know that child care providers are in a strategic position to be able to influence the development of lifelong healthy eating habits for the children in their care.

4 Nutrition Young children need to eat nutritious foods because their bodies are growing rapidly. Children may receive between 50% and 75% of their daily calories at the child care facility. Children learn healthy (or unhealthy) eating habits at a very young age. Proper nutrition is particularly important for young children because they are growing so rapidly. Children enrolled in child care programs typically take in between 50 and 75% of their daily calories while at child care. Therefore it is important that the foods served are nutritious. Did you know that healthy eating is a learned behavior? Children learn healthy (or unhealthy) behaviors at a very young age. This is why role modeling is a key component to kids having a balanced diet. It’s harder to break a bad habit than to develop a good one from the beginning. To combat the epidemic of childhood overweight, all of us will need to take some responsibility for helping children learn to enjoy healthy foods and develop good eating habits.

5 Have they changed over time?
Discussion What have you noticed about the eating habits of children in your program? Have they changed over time? Let’s take a moment to discuss what you have noticed about the eating habits of the children you care for. Prompting questions: How much do the children seem to know about good nutrition? How willing are the children to eat vegetables and fruits? What misconceptions do they have? How invested in healthy eating do you think the parents are? Great discussion! Understanding potential areas for improvement and barriers you may have to overcome as you work to change the eating environment at your program will help us target your action plan for where you want to go and map out the best way to get there.

6 What does all this mean for Child Care Providers?
Providers have an important influence on children’s development of early eating habits and attitudes. Children look up to their teachers and often “model” their own eating habits based on watching others. Providers can make changes to create a better “food environment” so it’s easier for children and staff to make healthier choices. What does all this mean for child care providers? While parents and families have the major responsibility for a child’s eating habits, child care programs also play a very important role in the development of early eating habits and attitudes toward food. Children are often more likely to try new foods and eat a wider variety of foods when they are AWAY from home. Years of research support that a child’s behavior is mostly learned from observation of others. Remember that a child’s teacher is a very important person in his/her life, and the children in your care will look to you as a role model. Child Care providers control the “food environment” at their program. Remember, the food environment refers to what kinds of foods are available and when. Child care programs can help children learn about eating environments that are different from what they may experience at home. Creating a healthier food environment means to make healthy options more available and unhealthy options less available. It’s easy to make a healthy choice when that is all that’s around!

7 Role Modeling is key Interact with children during meal times.
Sit at the table and eat with the children. Gently encourage (but don’t force) children to try bites of new or disliked foods. Avoid using food as a reward. Avoid eating unhealthy food in front of the children. Keep your (negative) opinions to yourself. Since you are a role model for the children in your care, take note of your habits and how you interact with the children around food over the next several days. If you aren’t already, try implementing these behaviors. Interact with children during meal times Sit at the table and eat with the children Gently encourage (but don’t force) children to try bites of new or disliked foods Avoid using food to as a reward Avoid eating unhealthy food in front of the children Keep your (negative) opinions, and might I add, facial expressions, about foods you don’t like to eat to yourself. Let the children decide for themselves whether they like it or not.

8 Fruits and Veggies A variety of fruits and vegetables give children the vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy and help them grow. Fruits and vegetables are “nutrient dense” – lots of nutrients but few calories, unless too much butter, cheese, dressings or meat fats are added. 100% fruit and vegetable juices are less nutritious and filling than the whole fruits and vegetables themselves. Children should eat lots of fruits and veggies because they are nutrient dense, meaning they provide a lot of vitamins and minerals without many calories. Fruits and vegetables that are very dark or bright in color (like oranges, red peppers, dark green lettuce, broccoli, etc) are particularly nutrient dense. By eating plenty of fruits and veggies, aiming for at least 5 servings each day, children get the vitamins they need without adding a lot of extra calories. This is not true however if there is a lot of butter, cheese, dressing or meat fats added! Try serving fruits and vegetables without adding ranch dressing, butter, or sauces; these not only add calories but also mask the taste so the child never learns what fruits and veggies really taste like and hence may not develop a taste for them. Use 100% juice sparingly, if at all. Juice does contain many of the vitamins of whole fruit, but whole fruit also provides fiber which helps to fill you up.

9 Make eating fruits and vegetables fun!
How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and vegetables (or at least try them)? Serve them creatively. Use vegetables that the kids have helped grow (try planting a few easy-to-grow vegetables in a small raised bed). Let them help prepare them. Have a tasting party for your senses. Many of us probably grew up thinking of fruits and vegetables as the green things on our plate that we had to eat before we got dessert. Lets not pass this thinking pattern onto the children in our care. Instead, make fruits and vegetables more appealing to children by making them fun to eat! Serve them creatively: Make faces with cut up cucumbers and zucchini (eyes, nose), carrots (hair), and apple slices (mouths). Let kids help grow them and prepare the fruits and veggies they are eating. You can grow a few items in a small raised bed or even in just a couple pots on a porch or in a sunny window. Let kids help prepare their own snack: for example make their own “ants on a log” by spreading a thin layer of peanut butter or low fat cream cheese on celery and putting raisins on it. Or help with meal prep where appropriate by mixing, stirring, pouring, etc. Have a tasting party for your senses--Let kids use all of their senses to discover and sample different fruits and vegetables. [Hold up an example Activity Ring and show were activity is found.] Follow the “Use your 5 senses” activity found your activities ring that’s part of your toolkit. Together, look at, smell, touch, listen to the crunch, and taste different fruits and vegetables.

10 Make eating fruits and vegetables fun!
How can you get kids to LOVE their fruits and vegetables (or at least try them)? Make it a game! See how many colors you can eat in one meal. Set a good example. Incorporate them into lessons by trying fruits and vegetables from different places around the world. Keep serving fruits and veggies until the kids are used to them You can make eating fruits and veggies a game: See how many colors you can eat in one meal. Have an “eat the rainbow” activity on the wall where you fill up colored sheets of construction paper with the names or pictures of the colored produce children are eating; make it a competition between classrooms to see who fills up their sheets first! Set an example: eat fruits and vegetables in front of the children and comment about how good they taste. Kids learn eating habits by example! Incorporate new and unusual fruits from different places in your lessons about other cultures or geography. And don’t forget that some children need to be introduced to a food at least 10 times before they will even try it! Don’t give up! Take a few minutes to discuss: How else have you made eating fruits and vegetables fun to eat for the kids at your program?

11 Meats and Fats Most sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats have a lot of fat, sodium, and calories, so consuming too much can contribute to future health problems. French fries and chicken nuggets are also high in saturated fat and calories. Kids will also enjoy lower fat foods like baked potatoes and baked chicken. Consider occasionally replacing meat with beans for a low fat option with lots of fiber and protein. Most processed meat products, like sausages, hot dogs and bacon have a lot of fat, sodium, and calories, so consuming too much can contribute to future health problems. Fried foods like chicken nuggets and french fries are usually big favorites with kids, but they are not very healthy because of the high amount of the unhealthy fats. Even the baked versions of these foods are mostly fried before they are packaged. So serve these less often and instead offer baked chicken and potatoes which kids usually enjoy just as much. Substituting meat with beans is both a nutritious and cost saving alternative. You can periodically serve beans as your protein source at a meal, or also just replace a portion of the meat in a dish with beans. For example, if you are making a meatloaf, cut out a quarter of the meat and replace it with mashed black or kidney beans. Beans are low fat, are a good source of protein and an excellent source of fiber.

12 Discussion What methods of cooking are the healthiest?
What other foods could you start serving as healthier alternatives to what you serve now? What could make it hard to make these changes? What are the benefits of making these changes? Take a few minutes to discuss: What methods of food preparation can your site use that are healthier than frying? (baking, broiling, grilling or steaming) What are some other foods that your program could start serving that might be healthier than those served now? What are some barriers and benefits that you could foresee in making these changes?

13 Grains and Sugars Fiber aids digestion and helps children feel full. Try and incorporate high-fiber whole grain foods at least once every day. Sugary and salty foods have a lot of “empty” calories—they are often high in fat and calories but have little nutritional value. Serve these only occasionally. Whole grains are an excellent natural source of fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Fiber is important to a healthy diet because it aids digestion and helps children feel satisfied when they eat. At least half of all our grains should be whole grains. Aim to serve a whole grain food at least once every day in your menu. Breakfast and snacks are often where providers could serve more whole grains as many foods served at these times are high in sugar or are refined, salty foods. Sugary and salty foods typically provide a lot of empty calories. This means they are high in fat and/or sugar and refined carbohydrates as well as calories but offer little nutritional value in the form of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

14 Identifying whole grains
Don’t be fooled by “whole grain wanna-be’s”! Multigrain Wheat Stoneground Look for: 100% whole grain A whole grain listed first in the ingredient list Oats/Oatmeal, Whole Wheat, Whole Rye/Rye Berries, Brown Rice, Whole [name of grain] It can be tricky to identify true whole grains. A lot of the time terms like “multigrain” “wheat” and “stoneground” don’t mean a product is whole grain. Instead you have to look for “100% whole wheat” on the front of a package, or for a whole grain to be listed first in the ingredient list. Examples of whole grains include 1. Oatmeal % Whole wheat or whole rye bread 3. Brown rice and 4. Whole wheat pasta. Any grain that is listed in the ingredient list with the word “whole” in front of it, is a whole grain. Whole grain Cereals include Raisin Bran, Wheat Chex, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, and Bran Flakes. Avoid high sugar and high fat choices like: Muffins, biscuits, breakfast bars, most kid-geared cereals, poptarts, Honey Buns, and cookies (to name just a few) Bring some example packages of whole and refined grain products for participants to look at and compare.

15 Allow participants to offer ideas before making suggestions below.
Discussion How would you makeover these breakfast and snack items to incorporate whole grains? Muffins Frosted flakes Breakfast cereal bar Cookies Pop-Tart Chips What are some whole-grain, high fiber alternatives for these high sugar/high fat breakfast foods? Allow participants to offer ideas before making suggestions below. Instead of muffins – serve whole wheat English muffin, whole wheat toast, or whole wheat mini-bagel, each of these can be served with PB or low-fat cream cheese or sliced cheese. Instead of sugary cereal - Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Wheat Chex, Shredded Wheat, Bran Flakes, low-fat/sugar granola, oatmeal Instead of a breakfast bar – try a tortilla roll-up (spread cream cheese or PB and jelly on a tortilla and roll it up), or low-fat/high fiber granola bar Replace Cookies with graham crackers, or whole wheat crackers Pop-Tarts with whole grain waffles or pancakes, And Chips with whole grain pretzels, homemade chex mix with pretzels, wheat chex, cheerios…, or multigrain tortilla chips with a bean dip spread

16 Beverages Water is the best choice for thirsty children. Model good habits for the children by choosing water first. Soda and fruit drinks are full of sugar and “empty calories” (few nutrients, many calories). Serving skim or 1% milk with meals and snacks provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein without many calories. One of the best things you can do for a child’s nutritional health is to help them get used to the idea that water is the best thirst quencher and a great beverage. Be a good role model and show children that you enjoy drinking water because it is refreshing. Sugary beverages like soda, sweet teas, and juice drinks are full of empty calories that do nothing to help fill you up. Studies show that children who regularly drink these beverages are more likely to be overweight. 1% and skim milk have lower amounts of fat and almost half the calories of whole milk; Lowfat milk does have some calories but it is a nutrient dense drink and a healthy part of children’s diets. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 1% or skim milk for all children over age two and the Child and Adult Care Food Program follows these recommendations for reimbursement. By limiting, or totally eliminating, sugary beverages and instead providing water and low fat milk, you are implementing one of the 5 priority Let’s Go! strategies and meeting the “zero” message!

17 Beverage Myths Myth 1: Whole milk is best for all kids
Under age 1: breast milk or formula Ages 1 to 2: Whole milk Over age 2: skim or 1% milk Myth 2: Juice is always the best option Whole fruits have more nutrients Under age 6: a maximum of 4-6 oz per day of 100% juice Not a good choice to quench thirst There are some common misconceptions as to what kind of milk is healthiest for children. Whole milk is really best only for children between the ages of 1 and 2. Children younger than this cannot properly digest any type of cow’s milk and children older than age 2 no longer need the same amount of fat in their diet as whole milk provides. Under age one children should be given breastmilk or formula only, children age 2 and older should be given either fat free or 1% milk. With regard to juice…it’s not actually the best option to help kids get needed vitamins and minerals and their fruit servings for the day. Whole fruits have more nutrients than their squeezed juices because they provide the fiber that helps fill kids up. Under age 6: the maximum recommended serving size is 4-6 oz. per day of 100% juice. This includes both juice served at your program AND juice that they get at home. Have some example cups to show how much 4 oz of juice would be. Have a comparison cup of 8 or 12 oz so participants can see the difference. Juice is not a good choice to quench thirst; you body needs water when you feel thirsty. It is important to note that juice is not necessary for good nutrition and may be skipped altogether; it is best used as really more of a treat

18 Menus and Variety Serving a variety of foods helps to meet a child’s nutrition needs. Cycle menus of 3 weeks or longer may help provide variety. Children may be more willing to try new foods when they are served with familiar foods. Children may need to see a new food at least 10 times before they’ll actually try it Don’t give up! Variety may be the spice of life, but children don’t always agree. Something different can be uncomfortable for them. If you let them, some children will eat the same foods every day. On the other hand, they can’t learn to eat new foods unless they have the opportunity to try them. You’d be surprised how children will suddenly try something after refusing it in the past. Keep the food on your menu and it’s likely they’ll eventually try it! It is recommended to have cycle menus of 3 weeks or longer to provide adequate variety in meals and snacks. Serving enough variety of foods helps kids meet their nutrition needs. Sometimes kids are more willing to try a new food if it is served in small amounts with familiar and/or favorite foods so they seem less threatening. For example, serve up that sautéed zucchini with a low fat macaroni and cheese and carrot sticks. Remember: Children may need to see a new food at least 10 times before they’ll actually try it. Don’t give up! Ask participants to share: What is the variety of meals and snacks like at your center? Are there any easy ways you can think of to offer unique or new foods?

19 Feeding Practices Gently encourage, but don’t force children to try a bite of a new food. A child never does a “bad” or good” job of eating Forcing children to clean their plates can lead to overeating and weight problems. How many of us have eaten until we were stuffed too full? Have you ever eaten when you weren’t hungry? These are things that we do when we’re adults, but research shows that children don’t do this unless they are being forced to finish food. A child never does a “bad” or “good” job at eating. They are just either hungry or not hungry. Badgering a child to eat could start a power struggle around food. Babies are born with a natural sense to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Young children also have this internal signaling system. Forcing a child to over ride this signal by pushing them to eat when they don’t want to can lead to overeating and weight problems. It is hard not to pressure a child who isn’t eating much to eat more, but it is important to let kids listen to their own bodies. CHILDREN WILL EAT IF THEY ARE HUNGRY! It is also really important not to force children to finish their food or “clean their plates.” Even encouraging children to make a “happy plate” or praising children who do, can teach them to override those signals of hunger and fullness, possibly leading to overeating and weight problems later in life.

20 Feeding Practices Offer healthy foods to children and then let them decide if and how much to eat. Make meal and snack time as stress free as possible and try to provide enough time to eat. Avoid using food to reward good behavior or to make a child feel better about something. Ask participants to share: What are meal times like at your center? Are they rushed? Do you have time to sit and talk with the children while they eat? How do you think this affects the way you interact with children during meal times? As adults, our job is to offer children healthy foods and limit unhealthy ones. By offering only healthy foods, we are guaranteeing that the children will make healthy choices in what they eat. It’s the child’s job to decide what and how much to eat of what’s offered! We want to plan meals so that children don’t have to rush and can enjoy their food and the socialization. Use the meal as a time to talk about things that interest the children so that they associate eating healthy foods with happy times. It is very tempting to reward children with food for good behavior or help them feel better about a hurt or disappointment by giving them a food they consider to be a treat. I know this is effective and it might help for the short term, but it encourages habits that are very hard to break later in life and can be harmful to the child’s health. When we use food in this way with children, we are teaching them to eat to reward themselves or to “soothe” their hurts. As you can imagine, this can lead to issues with emotional eating later on. Instead use non-food rewards like stickers, pencils, or compliments. By doing this, you are implementing one of the 5 priority Let’s Go! strategies (Provide non-food rewards)!

21 Discussion These recommendations are great but how can we put them into practice? How can we help children avoid developing unhealthy habits? So these recommendations are all well and good, but how can you actually put them into practice day to day at your program? Take a few minutes to discuss as a group. Potential topics to discuss: role modeling fruits and vegetables meats and fats whole grains sugary foods beverage choices menus and variety feeding practices

22 What would you do? Scenario #1: You notice that Jose is pushing his food around on his plate, but isn’t really eating anything. Scenario #2: Maya has already had 2 servings of bread and asks for another one. Scenario # 3: Steven quickly eats his French fries and asks for some more before having eaten any of the other food on his plate. Let’s consider a few different scenarios you may run into at your child care program… Scenario #1 read scenario…One possible solution is to ask Jose if his belly feels full, but don’t pressure him into eating; he may just not be hungry. Scenario #2 read scenario…You could ask Maya if her belly still feels empty at all. This will help her assess if she is eating out of hunger or habit. Scenario #3 read scenario…Encourage Steven to try the other foods on his plate before giving him more French fries. You may allow Steven to still have a few more french fries as long as you have enough for everyone to have a few more who wants some. Ask the group: Does anyone have other suggestions for what you could do? It can be difficult when you are in these situations to know what to do, but remember: Adults decide WHAT foods to offer children, and children decide WHICH foods and HOW MUCH, IF ANY to eat. Restricting foods may cause children to eat these foods whenever they get the chance, even if they aren’t hungry. And requiring children to eat one food in order to be allowed another (e.g. you have to eat all your beans or else there is no dessert) makes some foods seem better and more desirable than others. This also can encourage overeating.

23 Foods Offered Outside of Regular Meals and Snacks
Ask parents to help celebrate birthdays, and holidays with healthier options than candy, cake, and ice cream. Healthier treats like fruit kabobs, yogurt popsicles, and low-fat, whole grain muffins are great alternatives. If your facility has fundraisers, consider campaigns that involve healthier foods or non-food items. This sends a message that you care about good health. When I say popcorn, what do you think of? (Movies). When I say cake, what do you think of? (Birthdays). These are food associations and are created by our experiences; these examples are particularly American. You have the opportunity to help children avoid and/or develop healthier food associations. It takes one small step at a time to change the way we think about food. It may seem like an insignificant step, but if we could all get used to the idea that celebration foods can also be healthy foods, we’d be moving in the right direction. So instead of the traditional cake, cookies, brownies and juice boxes, ask parents to provide healthier treats like fruit kabobs, yogurt popsicles, low fat, whole grain muffins, and mini water bottles. You could also suggest they bring in non-food items like a pinata filled with toys verses candy, or supplies to make a fun craft in honor of the occasion. By providing healthier choices for snacks and celebrations and limiting unhealthy choices, you are implementing one of the 5 priority Let’s Go! Strategies (Provide healthy choices for snacks and celebrations; limit unhealthy choices). For fundraisers, sell healthier foods or non-food items. Don’t tempt the staff and parents by selling candy or cookies. When people are trying to eat healthier, they appreciate not being tempted! Items like wrapping paper, fruit, or coupon books tend to be a big hit!

24 What would you do? Scenario #4: It’s Jimmy’s birthday and his mom asks if she can bring in cupcakes. Let’s consider another scenario…read scenario. Possible solution: Encourage Jimmy’s mother to bring in a healthier birthday snack. If you have a center policy about healthy celebrations, remind her of it and offer suggestions for alternative foods she could bring in like the ones we just mentioned. You could also encourage her to consider nonfood options like the craft idea we just talked about, or maybe donating a book to the program library in honor of her child’s birthday to be read aloud.

25 Supporting Healthy Eating
If possible, serve meals family-style where teachers join the children at the table. Teachers can show that healthy eating is fun by modeling healthy choices and helping to create a pleasant social environment around the table. Family style meals are a good way for children to begin to learn table manners and how to serve themselves, which encourages development of certain fine motor skills. When staff join the children at the table, it gives them an opportunity to role model healthy eating and to provide some informal nutrition education. It is important to create a pleasant social environment around the table so children associate meal time with feeling relaxed and happy.

26 Supporting Healthy Eating
Soda machines and candy bowls in your facility send the message that these things are OK, and make it harder for staff and children to choose healthier options. Soda machines and things like community candy bowls are not helping you promote good health and make it hard for staff, children and parents to choose healthy options. Just get rid of the candy bowl and if you have a soda machine at your center, try negotiating with your vendor to stock it with healthier options like juice or water. These are strong environmental changes you can make at your program!

27 Ideas? Let’s Brainstorm
What are some ways we can model healthy eating during meal and snack times? Let’s brainstorm: What are some ways that we can interact with children to role model healthy eating during meal and snack times? (May want to reward answers with stickers or pencils) Possible answers: Staff try all the foods being served and talk about how they like them and how everyone likes different foods. Staff talk about the types of foods everyone is eating – the different smells, colors and textures.

28 Putting it all together: My Plate
½ a Plate of Fruits & Vegetables Serve Lean Proteins Make at least half the grains you serve whole grains Serve low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives Sit down and enjoy food family-style The USDA’s MyPlate brings together many of the concepts we have just discussed. Use this icon to remind you of the main points when planning your program’s meals and snacks. Shown here are the 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy. These are the building blocks to a healthy diet. Aim to include something from each of the food groups at meals and at least 1 item from each side of the plate at snacks. For example, a fruit and a protein like apple with peanut butter, or vegetables and protein like carrots sticks and hummus. Keep it simple, make half of what you serve at meals and snacks a fruit or vegetable, make at least half the grains you serve whole grains, use lean proteins, including beans, and serve low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives. Lastly, let the picture of a place setting remind you to have kids seated during meals and snacks, serving food family-style.

29 Food Program guidelines
Guidelines may be confusing Talk to your CACFP representative A variety of foods meet guidelines, both healthy and unhealthy choices NEW handbook for CACFP participating providers on creating a healthier environment: If you participate in the Child and Adult Care Food program, you may be wondering how this all fits in with the guidelines. Admittedly, the guidelines can be confusing; talk to your CACFP representative if you need help to ensure you are meeting the guidelines. But I think you will find what we have talked about today will not only meet, but surpass the food program requirements for reimbursement. It is important to note that just because a food meets the food program guidelines, this doesn’t mean it is a healthy food. There is a new handbook that was just released at the start of 2013 that provides guidance to providers participating in CACFP on how to create a healthier environment for the children in their care. You can download this handbook for free at the link on the bottom of this slide.

30 Things to Remember Children will eat!
They are capable of regulating their food intake. They generally react negatively to new foods, but will usually accept them with time and experience. Caregivers can either support or disrupt children’s food acceptance and regulation. Remember these key points when you are feeling frustrated at Charlie who wants to only eat bread for lunch…again. Children WILL eat if they are truly hungry and they are capable of self-regulating how much they eat. Help them learn to identify and respect their internal cues of hunger and fullness by asking them questions like “Is your tummy out of room?” and “Does your belly feel like it still needs more food?”. When a child wants to eat only one of the food offered, like Charlie I just mentioned, gently encourage them to try the other foods on their place. But never force them to eat what is being offered. Generally, children will initially react negatively to new foods. Keep reintroducing them till they are no longer new. Remember the “10 times” rule - it may take 10 times (or more!) for some children to reach a point where they are even comfortable trying a new food. Children's food preferences change over time and they may need to then even try foods a few times before they learn to like them. As a child’s caregiver, you have the power and influence to either support OR disrupt a child’s food acceptance and internal regulation of hunger and fullness. Being consistent in how you react and interact with children about food will make meal times more pleasant and make it more likely your kids will be open to trying what is being served.

31 Nutrition Activity Child care providers are role models for healthy habits. How can you be a good role model to the children you care for? Handout “Are you a good role model?” worksheet As we have covered, you have the opportunity to role model healthy eating habits for the children! In addition to how you interact with children around food and meal time, your own behaviors around food acts as an example to the kids. Use this worksheet to determine if you are role modeling healthy behaviors. Then, write down two things you can do to make yourself an even better role model. Have participants complete separately and then as a group discuss what people discovered and the goals they have set for themselves. Discussion question: What makes it hard to adopt the healthy behaviors recommended on the worksheet?

32 Nutrition Education for Children, Parents, and staff
If children hear the same health messages from parents and from child care providers, they’re more likely to listen. Use your toolkit! There are several curricula available to help staff incorporate nutrition education into lesson plans. Look for opportunities to provide nutrition education for staff and earn continuing education credits at the same time. Quality nutrition education is a key component to bringing about nutrition-related change. Staff, children and parents each need education on nutrition topics. When children hear the same messages from their parents and child care providers, they are more likely to listen. Parents may be more supportive of your efforts if they understand that you are working hard to create a healthy environment for their children. The 5210 Goes to Child Care toolkit has a ton of handouts for you to use in your classrooms, at staff meetings, and to send home to parents to help educate and engage them in the changes your program is making. There are also several excellent curriculums available to help with incorporating nutrition concepts into daily lesson plans. In a moment, we will go through several examples. Everyone needs continuing education credits and contact hours! So why not use nutrition trainings as a way to get them and continue to build upon the knowledge your obtaining today?

33 Classroom Nutrition Resources
Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life Curriculum oad&uid=77960fa1-69ad-47c9-a54d-e98b95863ffa Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children Curriculum Color me Healthy Curriculum Team Nutrition Farm to Preschool USDA’s MyPlate for Preschoolers Exploring Food Together Toolkit Here’s a list of quality curriculums and resources to check out and see if they fit in with what your goals are for your program. Each of these resources can help you work on the five (5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day!) and the zero (0 sugary beverages, more water and low fat milk!) messages of the 5210 mnemonic. You may even find ideas for working on the two and one messages as well! Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life: Resource kit with specific activities and lesson plan ideas for teaching healthy eating and physical activity in the preschool classroom as well as suggestions for how to engage parents to practice healthy habits at home too. Early Sprouts, Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children Curriculum: A 24 week curriculum designed to connect children to how food is grown, centered around a working program garden. Color me Healthy Curriculum: A program developed to reach children ages four and five with fun, interactive learning opportunities on physical activity and healthy eating through the use of color, music, and exploration of the senses. Team Nutrition: An initiative of the USDA that aims to supports programs in providing healthy, appealing food and fun physical activity for children. Website provides links for many resources including lesson plans and activities, educational materials, posters, recipes, newsletters and much more. Farm to Preschool: A program that attempts to promote and increase access to local foods for child care programs and their families; offering nutrition and garden-based curricula and in class activities as well as field trips and parent workshops. USDA’s MyPlate for Preschoolers: MyPlate materials geared for 2-5 year olds. Provides resources and educational materials on how to help children develop healthy eating habits including sample meal and snack patterns, recipe ideas, kitchen activities and more. Exploring Food Together Toolkit: A toolkit of simple activities that adults who work with young children can use, in the classroom or in the home, to help kids learn about new foods and start building the skills to make healthy food choices.

34 Cooking activities for children
Preschoolers can cook and learn!! What they can do Measure, stir, beat Peel, cut, grate Hot vs. cold Compare quantities Set the table What they can learn Fine motor skills Follow directions Observing Enhance social skills Sorting, classifying skills Cooking with children is a fun and excellent way to bring nutrition education to your preschoolers. Cooking with kids gives you an opportunity to teach about good nutrition and to introduce children to different foods. Yet you are not just developing nutrition knowledge and familiarity of foods when you have kids help cook; you are also helping to teach fine motor skills, follow directions, observation skills, social skills and sorting/classifying skills. Talk about a productive activity! To top this all off, when children help prepare foods, they are more likely to eat them!

35 Take a few minutes to review some of sample language provided.
Nutrition Policy A written policy on food and nutrition: Tells parents and staff that these are important issues and that you care about the health of the children in your facility. Helps guide decisions and choices your facility makes every day. Makes it easier to explain your approach to parents and staff. There is a lot of interest in nutrition these days, especially with the epidemic of childhood obesity and the publicity it is receiving. Parents who are shopping around for the best child care environment for their children may be very interested to learn that your facility has a specific policy on food and nutrition. Having a strong policy shows that you consider these issues to be important and you value the health of the children you care for. By sharing your policy with parents in advance, they will be less likely to complain and challenge you on why you don’t serve certain unhealthy foods more often. In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised by the number of parents that are pleased to hear you have a strong nutrition policy in the interest of their children. Show Handouts in Toolkit…In the resources section of your toolkit, there are a couple of handouts with suggested language for a nutrition policy. Take a few minutes to review some of sample language provided. If you are interested in either writing a new or revising your current nutrition policy, I can help you with this! Together we can figure out not only what language may be best to use, but strategize how to introduce your current families to the new policy.

36 How to Make a Healthy Lunch
What is the difference? Healthy Baked, skinless chicken breast Steamed carrots Fresh strawberries Whole wheat dinner roll Skim milk Unhealthy Chicken nuggets Tator tots Canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup Slice of white bread Whole milk Let’s do a quick activity to test your knowledge. What do you think the nutritional differences are between these two lunches? Take a second to look over the items listed and come up with a couple possible differences in your head. PAUSE and let folks look over the slide. Well, what did you come up with? Allow participants to provide answers before prompting with points below. You may have noticed that the two meals have very different… Fat content – one has baked items while the other has fried. Also, one provides skim milk and the other whole milk. Both the fried foods and whole milk add a lot of fat, a lot of this being saturated fat which is the kind that is really bad for you. Added Sugars – the syrup in the fruit cocktail has a lot of added sugar in it whereas the strawberries in the healthy meal are naturally sweet and don’t have any sugar added to them. Calories – these differing amounts of fat and sugar make a big difference in calories. Assuming portion sizes are comparable, the unhealthy lunch has many more calories because of the extra fat and sugars it contains. Color – the healthy lunch is also more colorful! It includes has brown, orange, red and white whereas nearly all the items in the unhealthy lunch are white or brown. More colorful food means more nutrients! Fiber – the vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grain bread from the healthy option add a lot of fiber to the meal which helps to fill up the children and keep them satisfied longer. Which could translate into better behavior during the afternoon as a bonus for you!

37 Nutrition Activity What changes can you make in your classroom?
Write down 3 things you can change to either help the children achieve one of the behaviors below or to work on one of the strategies listed. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day. Drink less sugar. Drink more water and low fat milk. Provide healthy choices for snacks and celebrations; limit unhealthy choices. Provide non-food rewards. Think back to the questions I asked you at the very beginning of this presentation… What have you noticed about the eating habits of the children in your program? How much do the children seem to know about good nutrition? How willing are the children to eat vegetables and fruits? What misconceptions do they have? Hand out “Moving Toward Nutrition Excellence” worksheet. As a concluding activity, select one of the messages or strategies you see here and write down 3 things you can change to either implement that strategy or help every child you care for reach that behavior. Take time to have participants share their thoughts at the end.

38 Hand out the contact hour certificates
THANK YOU! INSERT YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFO HERE Thank you for joining me to learn Nutrition for Young Children and how we play a role in molding children’s food preferences. I hope you are leaving today with some great ideas to help with creating an even healthier food environment at your program. Time for questions Hand out the contact hour certificates

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