Healthy Eating Habits
Southwestern Community Action Program, INC Child & Family Development Program, Head Start/Early Head Start
For the 2014-2015 program year, we created a series of three nutrition education lessons to be presented in each classroom. The Nutrition/Health Coordinator, Sarah Marcum, will be visiting both Head Start and collaborative Pre-K classrooms to present the lessons to the children.
The lessons are inspired by the “Show Me Nutrition” curriculum from the University of Missouri Extension as well as the Nutrition Education Program at Marshall University. These 20-25 minute lessons provide a closer look at MyPlate and the five food groups. Our Nutrition/Health Coordinator utilizes a plastic MyPlate, food models, and a book relating to the food groups to present each lesson. A short physical activity and a food tasting are incorporated into the lesson as well.
To reinforce what is being taught to the children in the classrooms, we also created a series of three trainings for parents to be presented at parent meetings. They address topics that will hopefully inspire parents to make healthier choices at home. These topics are: MyPlate on a Budget, Sugary Drinks, and Portion Control.
Nutrition is an important part of school readiness. What children eat affects their growth, development, and ability to learn. Parents and families are an integral part of improving the nutritional status of a child. By engaging not only the children, but also the parents and families, the message of good nutrition will have a greater impact. This will help to lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle that will remain long after the children depart from the Head Start program.