ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an industry-leading distance training provider, challenges all early childhood educators and caregivers to complete CCEI online child care training courses dedicated to nutrition and food service during the month of July in celebration of National Make a Difference to Children Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. These health issues are often the result of caloric imbalance-too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed-and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. They are also more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancers, and osteoarthritis.

In order to reduce the risks of obese and overweight children and adults, early care and education programs should promote healthy lifelong habits which include positive learning experiences and nutritious meals and snacks, provided in a safe, allergen-free environment. CCEI offers the following nutrition and food service courses: Food Allergies in the Early Care Setting; The USDA Food Program and Meal Planning; Nutrition and Food Service in the Childcare Setting; Preventing Foodborne Illnesses: Sanitation and Hygiene in the Child Care Environment; Reducing Risks through Food Selection and Storage; Safe Food Preparation and Handling; Early Childhood Obesity; and Healthy Habits: Nutrition and Fitness Practices. Online certificate programs of study dedicated specifically to nutrition include Nutrition and Food Service Certificate and Nutrition and Health in an Early Childhood Setting Certificate.

“We can all do more to promote children’s long-term health, and caregivers need to be trained in numerous food-related areas, including nutritious values, portion sizes, sanitation issues, allergy hazards, and strategies for encouraging good decision-making,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “CCEI continues to offer online solutions for the early childhood education industry, and nutrition and food service training is an essential part of our coursework.”

All CCEI coursework is available for purchase through online enrollment now. CCEI students with active, unlimited individual or center-based subscriptions can enroll in training courses anytime at no additional cost when logged in to their account. Once a course is concluded successfully, students will receive IACET CEU credit and have access to the certificate of completion for documentation.

CCEI training coursework is self-paced, which allows students the ability to resume courses at the exact point where they signed off previously. For more information on ChildCare Education Institute, visit www.cceionline.edu or call 1.800.499.9907, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm EST.