I am an early childhood professional who is always up for a challenge. Being a family child care provider who works alone means that I, myself, am the one that has to do the assessing of my program and practices to come up with new ideas, goals and changes. After doing this so many years in a row you come to a point where you think you have seen and heard about all the latest and greatest and it can be hard to find new components to add to the mix. I sure was wrong about thinking there were no new resources out there to use! I happened to hear about the CACFP Take Action Challenge from a colleague on a state committee that I am on (not sure I would have come across it otherwise). From that point forward have been busy challenging myself to make changes to my program using the items from the Take Action Challenge.
My Program, My Career, The Children...
I learned about so many new resources, such as the Two Bite Club and Make Today a Try Day. Even when not completing a challenge with a new resource, the Take Action Challenge got me thinking about my program in new ways and how I can tie all these new ideas in with what we are already doing.
The Take Action Challenge has also helped me in my other career as an adult early childhood educator. Since working on the Take Action Challenge, I have been asked to write two trainings for my local CACFP department and in each of those trainings I shared a lot of what I worked on throughout this challenge.
The CACFP Take Action Challenge had a huge impact on not only my program practices, but the children in my program. They have become more excited about our health and nutrition curriculum, more willing to try new foods and have just became healthier in general due to new practices I have implemented.
Although the Take Action Challenge is coming to an end, I will continue to work on the challenges I did not have time to finish &/or submit and will continue to encourage others to use the resources I have learned about through all the challenges I did complete. If I peak interest in even just a handful of providers or families with these resources, there will still be huge benefits as they are taking the first steps to commit to healthier practices and that in turn means healthier individuals.
Are you up for the challenge…