Healthy Child Care Initiative
With its partners, the Minneapolis Department of Health works to prevent childhood obesity by improving physical activity and nutrition policies and practices at all licensed child care programs and Parents in Community Action (PICA) Head Start sites in Minneapolis.
Resources for Child Caring (RCC) is a nonprofit organization helping licensed center-and family-based child care programs assess their current physical activity and nutrition practices. RCC provides training, resources and on-site technical assistance to improve these practices.
PICA Head Start, a nonprofit organization serving low-income families, is integrating healthy practices throughout all positions (center directors, visiting advocates, teachers and cooks) at 6 centers in Minneapolis and 3 centers in suburban Hennepin County, affecting 2,195 toddlers.
Progress to Date
- Collected current practice data from 114 child care programs; conducted 21 training sessions reaching 293 child care workers from 1/3 of Minneapolis licensed child care programs.
- Significantly improved practices: data from 65 sites with pre- and post-training data indicated that the percentage of child care programs implementing best or next-best practices for nutrition and physical activity increased 165% (from 20% to 53%).
- Provided healthy meal preparation to cooks, revamped menus and increased the proportion of meals including fresh fruit by 41%.
- Trained visiting advocates how to integrate nutrition and physical activity into home visits with parents.
- Developed forced-choice of healthy meal options for agency meetings and events.
- Currently training teachers to improve quality and quantity of physical activity throughout the day.
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Last updated Apr. 12, 2013