Nutritious food is the foundation for growth and development of a healthy body. Learning about healthy foods and exploring tastes, textures, and smells is part of the Head Start experience. Feeding and mealtime offer opportunities for young children to learn about their bodies, develop fine motor skills, and self-regulation. Parents and staff play important roles in ensuring that children are well-nourished.
The Nutrition Services promote child wellness by providing nutrition education to children and parents, as well, on healthy diets and lifestyles. Nutrition Services provides provides a nourishing breakfast, lunch, and snack daily to children, which is a fundamental Head Start service. TNS Nutrition Services works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) program to ensure all center-based children receive one half to two-thirds of their daily nutritional needs, depending on the length of the program day. Special consideration is given for children with special dietary or for religious concerns.
Good activity habits are formed early in a child's life. Helping young children maintain a healthy weight through nutritious meals and regular moderate to vigorous physical activity are the cornerstones for promoting healthy weight. Each child’s weight and height is monitored at least twice a year. A nutrition assessment reviews a child's eating and growth patterns to detect inadequate diet, growth problems, or anemia. If a child is found to be underweight or overweight, anemic or other growth problems appropriate steps are followed to help ensure the child returns to a healthy weight for his/her height.
In addition to heightening the awareness of proper nutrition and physical activity. The Nutrition Services content area has been dedicated to ensuring that menus are planned to include:
- Whole grain products daily
- Fresh fruits and/or frozen vegetables daily.
- 1% Milk daily
- Foods high in Vitamin A three times per week
- Foods high in Vitamin C daily
- 100% juice without added sugar
The Nutrition program is funded by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
The Nutrition Content area has developed and implemented several nutrition initiatives that fosters to educating children, families and staff about the importance of nutrition, and physical activity. These programs are:? ?
- I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL)
- I Am Moving, I Am Learning: Early Findings from the Implementation of an Obesity Prevention Enhancement in Head Start Region III
- Play and Stay Healthy: All It Takes is 30 Minutes a Day
- Diabetes and Obesity Prevention: An Exciting Initiative
- Do Your Workout Anytime, Anyplace
- Easy Steps to Feeling Fine
- Fruit and Vegetable Benefits
- Get Your Plate in Shape
- Healthy Food Choices
- Helping Your Overweight Child: Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
- How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Manage Your Weight
- Making Healthy Food Choices
- Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
- Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: CDC's State-Based Nutrition and Physical Activity Program
- Surgeon General's Healthy Weight Advice for Consumers
- Tips for Parents – Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Tools and Resources: CDC's State-Based Nutrition and Physical Activity Program to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) State-Based Nutrition and Physical Activity Program to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: Social-Ecological Model