Head Start Health Services Newsletter: Healthy Foods From the Ground Up



Having good nutrition improves children’s health by helping them grow, develop, and maintain a healthy weight. Being healthy also improves their self-esteem and well-being. When children are healthy, they are more able to learn and do well in school.

Early Head Start and Head Start programs serve healthy meals, teach children and families about healthy eating habits, and ensure that families have access to critical food assistance programs. Nutrition, including well-balanced meals, food security, and nutrition education, has been an integral part of comprehensive health services since Head Start began. This issue features three strategies that may help you bring healthier food and a deeper understanding of nutrition to children and families that need it most.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/docs/health-services-newsletter-201501.pdf

Infographic: Parents Worldwide Agree – Our Kids Need More Nature


A new global survey of parents sheds light on how much time today’s kids spend out in nature, what’s keeping them indoors and what you can do. Our infographic lays it out.

Source: Nature Rocks

Available at: http://www.naturerocks.org/parents-worldwide-agree-our-kids-need-more-nature-1.xml

FY 2015 Farm to School Grant Program Funds Available | Food and Nutrition Service

The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. New in FY 2015, USDA will make approximately an additional $500,000 available to eligible entities to support conferences, trainings, and events focused on farm to school program development. In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for four types of grants:

Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.

Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.

Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Proposals for planning, implementation, and support service grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 30, 2014. A 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required.

Conference/Event grants are open to all interested parties. They are intended to support conferences, events and trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or conferences, events and trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education and integration of agriculture‐based curriculum.

Letters of Intent for Conference/Event grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 2, 2014.

Important Dates and Deadlines

February 19, 2014: Request for Applications Released

April 2, 2014: Conference/Event Letters of Intent due via email (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

April 30, 2014: Planning, Implementation, and Support service proposals due via grants.gov (11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

November 2014: Awards Announced and Funds Available (pending the availability of federal funds)

Webinars to Learn More

USDA will host four webinars to assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. All webinars will be recorded and available via this webpage within 1-2 weeks of initial viewing.

Planning Grant Webinar: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Implementation Grant Webinar: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Support Service Grant Webinar: Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Conference/Event Grant Webinar: Friday, March 14 – 1:00 p.m. EST

There is no registration required. Both and Internet connection and telephone line are required in order to view and listen to the webinar. Sound will not come through your computer speakers. To view the webinar via Live Meeting, click here. To listen to the webinar, dial 888-989-7679 and use the passcode 3915580.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/fy-2015-farm-school-grant-program-funds-available

Baby E-lert, Sharing Information on the Quality Care of Infants, Toddlers, and their Families


This Baby E-Lert features resources related to language and literacy development and nature-based learning. Share them with your co-workers, families, and other early care professionals.

Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center

Available at: http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=579784392aff8aa5d251c89ab&id=e8800d9875&e=f28bfaf0fd

Spending Time Outdoors Matters for Infants and Toddlers!

This podcast shares some of the benefits that infants and toddlers gain by spending quality time outside and offers some ideas for how to make the most of outdoor time.

Reflective Questions:
After you’ve seen or heard the podcast, consider these questions:

  • How often do you take infants and toddlers outdoors? Where do you take them? How long do they spend outside? What, if any, changes might you make to the daily schedule to support greater exposure to the outdoors?
  • What outdoor experiences do you currently offer infants and toddlers? What other kinds of experiences might you offer?
  • How do you involve families in planning outdoor experiences? How do you support them in spending time outdoors with their children?
  • How do you feel about spending time outdoors? Is it something you enjoy? Something you are not comfortable doing? How might your personal feelings affect children’s access to the outdoors and/or the types of experiences children are offered?

Source: Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehsnrc/Early%20Head%20Start/multimedia/podcasts/SpendingTimeOut.htm