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In This Issue
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Creating a Healthy Classroom 


 
Good nutrition and exercise are important for people of all ages, but especially important for children. Young children need good nutrition and healthy activities for proper growth and development. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, and as of 2012, more than one third of children were obese or overweight. Creating healthy habits at a young age can help prevent the serious health effects associated with obesity before they develop.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that early care programs offer some form of physical education. Since children form healthy habits at an early age, educators can teach children about the importance of physical activity and fitness during the years they are most impressionable. In addition, early childhood is the best time to acquire fundamental movement skills which children can build upon later when learning more complex movement skills. Early care providers need to offer instruction on body-part identification, spatial awareness, and provide opportunities for children to practice their growing skills. This type of instruction will help children develop healthy fitness habits, enjoy movement, and feel good about their physical abilities.

The other key component of creating a healthier classroom is establishing good nutrition among the children in your care. Most children receive a significant portion of their daily nutrition from meals they receive in child care facilities. Many children spend eight hours or more in a child care setting and receive as much as 70% of meals while away from home. Since many children receive the majority of their meals while attending school, it's essential they are provided with a healthy, balanced diet. Child care professionals have a responsibility to improve nutritional policies to support the children in their care. Training for nutrition, food safety, and child development is essential for early care providers. Research has shown that teacher training has a direct impact on the quality of nutrition and health in environments for children.

Try some of these activities to create a healthier learning environment: 
  • Start a Garden: Weed and plant together, and discuss the benefits of different fruits and vegetables
  • Create a mini Olympics with age appropriate activities
  • Visit a zoo or museum and wear pedometers to see how many steps taken
  • Create a music playlist and have a dance party
     
Establishing good nutrition and exercise habits at an early age is crucial to the healthy development of children. The social consequences of being overweight and obese are serious and pervasive. Negative attitudes toward obese youth develop in children as young as three years old, and children attribute multiple negative characteristics to overweight peers. Working in concert with family members and health care professionals, you can help create a healthier lifestyle for young children, and diminish the occurrence of childhood obesity and its negative short-term and long-term consequences. 
 
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Healthy Eating for Preschoolers
Article Courtesy of healthyeating.org
 
Feeding toddlers and preschoolers isn't always easy. Whether you're dealing with a picky eater or a busy schedule, getting a nutritious meal on the table-one that your kids will actually eat-can be a challenge. Don't be discouraged! If often just takes time and patience to develop healthy eating habits in young children. 

View Article 
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Physical Activity in Early Childhood
 
Article Courtesy of excellence-earlychildhood.ca

Physical activity is important to many aspects of child health and development. In young children, lack of physical activity is a risk factor for many health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, excess body fat, bad cholesterol, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases and bone health problems.
 
 View Article  
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This Month's Trial Course: Fit For Life  
 
CCEI offers HLTH103: Fit For Life as an online child care training course to
new CCEI users during the month of February. 

This course provides strategies and methods to improve physical fitness and incorporate movement activities across the early childhood curriculum. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to identify exercises to reduce body fat, define the five fitness factors, identify characteristics of effective exercise in the early childhood environment, and more.  
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Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit www.cceionline.edu for more information or to enroll online.

 

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