Caregiver? 3 Links to Help You Keep Kids Healthy

It is no secret that we need to pay more attention to our children's nutrition and physical activity needs.  The habits we help them establish now are habits they are going to take with them throughout their whole lives.  Sometimes, however, it is hard to actually make the health and wellness things we see or hear a part of our daily life, whether we are a parent making sure the children aren't sitting around or your a child care provider serving a menu created by your center or a family child care provider fresh out of ideas to make your environment even healthier than it already is.

I wanted to share some resources and suggestions to help you in your different caregiver roles!  These aren't the only tools for you, but a good start for now.  Stay tuned for more.

First - The Health and Wellness Parent Toolkit from Education Nation 

This parental toolkit features benchmarks to help parents understand how their children are developing. The health and wellness section specifically addresses nutrition and physical activity.  It is separated by grade, provides benchmarks and then gives parents easy to read and follow tips as well.  For example, choose Pre-K Nutrition and click get started.  You will discover arrows to click and read through what it means to serve children fruits and vegetables, how many to serve and what "how much" looks like.  There are even tips for oral hygiene, sleep, physical activity and hygiene.  The grade levels go through high school.

I learned that 32 seedless grapes are equal to one cup, which is what a Pre-kindergartner should be eating everyday.  What did you learn from the kit?

Also, love this infographic about added sugars!

Second - The Self Assessment Questionnaire: A Part of CHOICE, Creating Healthy Opportunities in Child Care Environments

This is an online tool that can be filled out to help you achieve your health and wellness goals for child care settings.  Anyone can take the assessment (it's free!) and print out the results to determine how your child care environment can better serve your children.  If you are a center teacher and had some ideas to improve snacks or physical activity time taking this self assessment would be a great conversation starter.

If you are a center director or family child care provider, this self assessment helps you not only determine how your environment can be better but actually provides you with a workbook like PDF with the best practice and step-by-step examples and directions for making and implementing your new policies!

Third - 5 Keys to Raising a Healthy Happy Eater in Child Care

This dynamic learning experience is THE way to help any person who serves children food.  You get to think about the type of eater you are, consider what your child's eating behaviors are and then get an understanding of how those assessments will help you raise that healthy and happy eater!  Who knows, maybe your eating habits might change a little too.  It is well worth the time, for a lifetime of feeding the children in your life nutritious meals happily.



Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building