Nutrition Goes to School


With the start of school only weeks away, there is finally some good news about childhood obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the obesity rate among preschoolers in low-income families has fallen in 19 states and American territories. This decline is encouraging, but there is still ample room for improvement. One in eight preschoolers in the United States is currently obese, and overweight preschoolers are more likely to become overweight adolescents and adults.

Continued progress requires addressing obesity on multiple fronts and in a range of settings. We already know that when schools adopt healthier menus for student meals, the proportion of students who are overweight declines. But in many cases, meals are only part of schools’ nutrition environment, which increasingly includes vending machines or “snack bars.”[i] In an announcement earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which also sets standards for school meals, issued revised standards for these other foods and beverages sold in schools.

via Nutrition Goes to School | Child Trends.

User Guide for the Licensing Toolkit Action Sheets


NRC Goals for Licensing Toolkits to Limit Screen Time in Child Care:

  • To develop tools and products to support states’ child care licensing personnel and child care providers in ensuring environments that promote healthy weight by focusing on high-impact standards of best practice related to reduced screen time
  • To facilitate conversations among licensors, child care and early education providers, legislators, health professionals, and families

Administrators of State Licensing programs have numerous responsibilities. Developing and revising state licensing requirements are among the most important. In areas where new findings are rapidly accruing, it is difficult to be aware of all the research and information that may influence licensing requirements. This Licensing Toolkit is intended to assist Licensing Administrators as they develop and revise licensing requirements addressing guidelines for reduced screen time in the prevention of childhood obesity.1

The Toolkit consists of three components:

  1. Licensing Agency Action Sheet
  2. Child Care Provider Action Sheet
  3. Legislator Action Sheet

Here you will find suggested uses for each of the three Action Sheets.The NRC encourages you to find other uses for the Toolkit. Please let us know how you use them.You can email us at We will share your ideas with others in the professional licensing community.

Source: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Available at:

A message from Let’s Move! Child Care

We’re excited to have over 5,600 early education and child care providers from every state, DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands participating in Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC)!  We want even more providers involved in this initiative to improve the health of more children! That is why we’re extending the deadline of the LMCC State Challenge, a competition to see which state/territory achieves the strongest participation in LMCC.

While you can participate in LMCC any time, you can help your state/territory compete in the State Challenge if you participate now.

Two ways to help your state/territory compete in the State Challenge:

• If you are an early education or child care provider and have not already done so, take the Checklist Quiz ( before Sunday, April 8. (Note: The Checklist Quiz will still be available after the State Challenge). The Checklist Quiz will help you see which LMCC goals you are meeting and which goals you need to work towards. The Quiz will also help you create an action plan to reach the goals.

• Tell providers you know about the State Challenge. Encourage them to sign up ( and take the Checklist Quiz before Sunday, April 8.

Two winning states/territories will be recognized at the Let’s Move! Child Care Recognition Luncheon sponsored by Nemours that will be held following the Weight of the Nation™ Conference ( in Washington, DC on May 9; the one with:

1. the highest percentage of legally operating child care and early education programs signed up for LMCC
2. the highest percentage of child care and early education programs that completed the Checklist Quiz

Right now, Alaska, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are in the lead. But, there are still a few more days left!

Good luck!

Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Education and Education

The second edition of Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs is the new set of national standards describing evidence-based best practices in nutrition, physical activity, and screen time for early care and education programs. The standards are for ALL types of early care and education settings ‑ centers and family child care homes. These updated standards are part of the new comprehensive Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition (CFOC, 3rd Ed.), which was released in June 2011.

Source: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Available at:

Eat Right: Get Your Plate in Shape – Head Start

National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign observed each March and sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It focuses on the importance of making informed food choices, developing healthy eating habits, and encouraging daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The theme for 2012 is “Get Your Plate in Shape.”

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Hip-Hop to Health Jr.


Hip-Hop to Health Jr. was a community-based program that aimed to promote healthy eating and physical activity habits in young children ages 3-5 years. The 14-week intervention was implemented within existing Head Start programs in Chicago and included 45-minute instructional sessions three times each week. The sessions began with a five-minute transitional period, followed by a 20-minute hands-on activity related to healthy eating and exercise, and concluding with a 20-minute aerobic activity. Parents of the participating children were sent weekly newsletters related to the topic being reviewed in class, and they were also sent weekly homework assignments related to the newsletter content. Parents were compensated $5 for completing each homework assignment. The intervention also included free, voluntary, 30-minute low-impact aerobic sessions for the parents twice each week (Fitzgibbon et al., 2002).

Source: Promising Practices Network

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Start Early and Smart: Early Childhood Obesity Prevention

One in five children is overweight or obese by age 6. You can help. As a child care provider, you have the powerful opportunity to instill healthy choices that could help prevent childhood obesity from the start. With about 12 million babies and young children in child care nationwide, we can’t afford to wait.

1. Physical Activity: Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.

2. Screen Time: No screen time for children under 2 years. For children age 2 and older, strive to limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per week during child care, and work with parents and caregivers to ensure children have no more than 1-2 hours of quality screen time per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).

3. Food: Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family-style whenever possible, and don’t serve fried foods.

4. Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don’t serve sugar-sweetened drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.

5. Infant Feeding: For mothers who want to continue breastfeeding, provide their milk to their infants and welcome them to breastfeed during the child care day. Support all new parents’ decisions about infant feeding.

Source: Let’s Move! Child Care

Available at:

State Efforts to Address Obesity Prevention in Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems


The first years of childhood are critically important to a child’s health, well-being, and development. Early childhood has also been recognized as a critical period in the development of childhood obesity. Approximately one in five children ages 2–5 are overweight or obese and the prevalence of obesity in this age group has more than doubled in the past 30 years.1 This is particularly disconcerting because nutrition and physical activity patterns of behavior are formulated during the early years and because the younger a child becomes overweight or obese, the higher likelihood that overweight or obesity will persist into adolescence and adulthood.2,3 Obesity is associated with a number of signifi- cant health consequences, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and psychosocial and emotional consequences.

Source: Altarum Institute

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Start Early, Start Smart Childhood Obesity Program

“The risk of obesity starts early in life. Over half of obese children become overweight by the age of 2, and approximately one in five children are overweight or obese by their 6th birthday.” — The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity

We understand the challenges you face as a child care professional, so we want to give you the support you need to give the children in your care a healthier start.

Three times more children are obese today than just 30 years ago. Now, nearly a third of kids in America are overweight or obese. The rate skyrockets to almost 40% in African American and Hispanic communities. Plus, more and more children are being diagnosed with obesity-related conditions that were traditionally only seen in adults — like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Even more disheartening, many of these kids will experience serious conditions like heart disease, cancer, and stroke as adults.

Because you’ve dedicated your career to taking care of young children, you have the opportunity to help turn these frightening statistics around. As kids’ bodies and brains develop, they can form unhealthy food preferences and habits that are hard to break. That’s why the First Lady is launching Let’s Move! Child Care — a nationwide call-to-action that empowers child care providers, like you, to make positive health changes in children, early on, that could last a lifetime.

Source: Let’s Move! Child Care

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Call for Applications: Phase Two of the Healthy Weight Collaborative


Phase Two of the Healthy Weight Collaborative

The Prevention Center for Healthy Weight, a 30-month cooperative agreement funded by the Affordable Care Act Prevention and Public Health Fund, is pleased to announce the release of the Call for Applications for community teams to participate in Phase Two of the Healthy Weight Collaborative. The Healthy Weight Collaborative is a national quality improvement effort to test and spread evidence-based interventions and promising practices to prevent and treat obesity.

Who Should Participate

Phase Two will bring together 40 multi-sector teams comprised of representatives from primary care, public health, and the community to engage in a virtual learning community from late February 2012 to February 2013.

Benefits for Phase 2 Teams

  • Extensive training and technical assistance via experts in quality improvement and obesity
  • Opportunity to build quality improvement knowledge and capacity that can be applied in many areas beyond the project
  • Access to evidence-based promising practices in obesity prevention

In addition, each Phase Two team will receive a minimum of $4,000 to support data collection and other information technology capabilities needed to participate. This is not a traditional grant program.

Key Dates

Application deadline is January 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm EST
Teams will be announced on February 28, 2012
How Do I Apply?

Select this PDF link for additional information. To apply, select the link below:

Phase Two Recruitment Priorities:

  • Geographic distribution: Urban, rural, tribal, and underserved communities with health disparities
  • Target communities: Tribal, faith-based, intergenerational and women’s health
  • IT capacity (or access) to participate in the virtual collaborative, including webinars and videoconferencing
  • The inclusion of community health workers, promoters, patient navigators, and other lay members
  • Teams interested in mHealth and innovative technology (text messages, smart phone apps, layered GIS mapping, other innovative approaches)


For more information about the Healthy Weight Collaborative and the Collaborate for Healthy Weight initiative, please visit the project’s website at If you have additional questions, please email or contact Becca Lipman at 617-391-2700.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center