Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Move it! DEL Promotes Health and Wellness this Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Month and it's time to get back to school for many Washington kids! This is a good time to re-commit to eating healthy, getting more active and spend less time in front of TVs, computers, and other screen time devices.

Parents and their children create and eat snacks
together at a Kaleidoscope Play and Learn group in Olympia.
According to, nearly 60% of our youngest children spend time in child care, which means providers play an important part in modeling healthy behaviors.

Looking for quick and easy lessons and activities about health and wellness for kids? 

  • Team up with parents! Parents can set a great example for the whole family by making home a healthy environment. Here are a few simple ideas for parents: 
    • Keep fresh fruit in a bowl within your child’s reach to grab a quick snack
    • Take a walk with your family after dinner.
    • Plan a menu for the week. Get children involved in planning and cooking
    • Turn off the TV during meals and share some family time
    • Talk to your provider about organizing a “family physical activity day” at the child care center or family home

  • Check out “mini lessons” from Smart from the Start’s Enrichment Zone (EZ), and incorporate them into your center of family home today! These lessons are fun and play-based, and can be used by parents, caregivers, and volunteers to teach children important skills they need to develop healthy habits. More resources and information can be found Smart from the Start’s website.

Using the Updated CACFP Meal Patterns to Lower Costs
This fact sheet provides guidance for CACFP centers and family child care homes to help keep costs low while implementing the updated meal patterns. It includes examples of nutritious meals that meet new meal patterns by making simple, low-cost switches.

Child and Adult Care Food Program: Using the Updated Meal Patterns to Lower Costs

Are you practicing healthy activities with your little learners? Share with the Department of Early Learning and the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag: #HealthiestNextGen! For more information about Governor J. Inslee's Healthiest Next Generation initiative, go here: HNG.

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