Promoting healthy nutrition is important for children to develop healthy eating habits as well as to promote the long term health of child care providers. Child care providers have a significant influence on the nutrition of young children. In many cases, children receive most of their meals and snacks while they are in child care. This presents an opportunity to help children establish healthy eating habits early. In addition, child care providers are at-risk food insecurity and/or poor access to healthy food. Programs and their staff have the opportunity to improve nutrition by following healthy food guidelines for both children and adults.

children gathered to eat in a family child care program

Resources

  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kids Eat Right Month – find messaging and social media tiles related to nutrition and health tips for children, families and early care and education professionals.
  • Children’s Environmental Health Network – Eco-Healthy Child Care – download this quick guide full of tangible and easy-to-implement ideas to encourage healthy eating among children.
  • AAP’s HealthyChildren.org – Childhood Nutrition –  Children have different nutritional needs as they grow and develop. Learn about daily caloric requirements for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children and teens.
  • USDA – Healthy Eating for Preschoolers – We love this chart that outlines what 2-5 year-olds need on their plate and what counts as a serving of fruit, protein or dairy.
  • Sesame Street in Communities – Eating Well (English & Spanish)  – Cookie Monster explains to adult caregivers how healthy eating is easier than you think!