I have been a family child care provider of 8 years, and working in the child care industry for almost 20 years. In all that time I have noticed a lot of changes, a main one being healthy eating and lots of physical activity being considered best practice. It is sometimes difficult for providers of all types to think of ways to include healthy eating and intentional physical activity into the daily curriculum. With children of many different ages,
Intentional Physical Activity is different than allowing children to run around and play outside. Children should have 30 minutes of directed physical activity each day. These are activities that are teacher led and teacher involved. I am a huge fan of yoga. The kids and I do yoga for about 10 minutes each day, usually before nap to get everyone relaxed. The kids really enjoy it, and are getting better and better at doing the moves. We also enjoy running races and obstacle courses outside using the Nemours Tossing & Catching Activity Kit.
One activity we do almost daily covers both healthy eating and physical activity. It is a CD of The Adventures of Captain 5 A Day, put out by the Connecticut Department of Public Health with funding provided by the USDA Food Stamp Program. The CD has different activities for the kids to do while they listen, including planting a garden, and acting like growing vegetables. The CD is about 45 minutes long, but broken up into 3 segments, and you can do one, two, or all three. My kids routinely ask for Captain 5 A Day!
Other ways to teach kids about healthy eating including serving a vegetable tray at snack time, serving a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, eating healthy in front of the children, and taking a trip to a local farm or farmers market so the children can choose healthy foods with you. Incorporating healthy eating and physical activity into the daily routine is not difficult, but it does take planning and research.
Apple Valley Family Child Care
Plantsville, CT 06479