Child care Providers
EARLY CHILDHOOD NUTRITION LEADS TO HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT
Preschool-aged children from ages 0 to 5 experience rapid stages of development that require consistent, nutritious food in order to grow physically, emotionally and cognitively properly so they can enter school ready to learn.
Through the Early Childhood Nutrition and Education program, Children’s Hunger Alliance assists home child care providers and daycare centers to serve more nutritious food, create healthier child care environments, and provide school readiness activities through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. As the largest sponsor of CACFP programs in the state of Ohio, Children’s Hunger Alliance currently helps more than 900 day care providers and 6 daycare centers receive reimbursements for healthy meals and snacks provided to at-risk children in their care.
In addition, Children’s Hunger Alliance offers training for child care providers based on the Ohio Healthy Programs so they can encourage healthy eating and active living among the children in their care.
HEALTHY MEALS AND NUTRITION EDUCATION AFTERSCHOOL FILL THE GAP FOR FOOD-INSECURE KIDS
While many children who are at risk of food insecurity receive free or reduced-priced meals at school, they often go without healthy meals during out-of-school hours.
Afterschool nutrition programs are one of the most effective strategies for reaching at-risk children with nutritious food, as meals are delivered to sites where children already congregate.
Research shows children who participate in federal nutrition programs consume more milk and vegetables, fewer sweets and maintain healthier weights.
Children’s Hunger Alliance partners with more than 250 afterschool programs throughout Ohio. We partner with parks and recreation centers, local schools, churches and libraries to help provide nutritious meals to children who may not have dinner available at home.
A HEALTHY MEAL AT THE START OF THE SCHOOL DAY IMPROVES LEARNING
Scientific research shows a strong link between children’s nutrition and academic performance. A hungry child struggles to learn – and children need healthy food to be able to concentrate, learn and retain information and perform well on tests. Studies show that eating breakfast gives children the nutritional boost they need to jump start the learning process, as well as many other benefits.
Only 54% of children who participate in the free or reduced school lunch program are accessing breakfast. Children’s Hunger Alliance works with local school districts to improve school breakfast and remove the barriers to participation so more children start their day with a healthy meal.
In addition to the benefits of school breakfast to the student and their overall academic performance, there are also benefits to school districts that can increase their breakfast participation. When schools are reimbursed by the USDA for students who receive free or reduced breakfasts they are able to apply those funds to enhancing the nutrition programs at the school, creating a win-win for students and the school.
HUNGER DOES NOT TAKE A VACATION
Thousands of children in Ohio rely on school breakfast and lunch for nutritious meals during the school year. But what happens when school is out for the summer? Only one in 10 children in Ohio who participates in the National School Lunch Program participates in a summer nutrition program.
Combined with summer enrichment programming, summer meals enhance children’s development and reduce summer learning loss. Low-income students tend to fall behind on measures of academic achievement over the summer, losing two months of grade-level equivalency in math and more than two months in reading achievement.
Children’s Hunger Alliance advocates for summer nutrition programs and help build awareness of enrichment programs serving free meals to help give students the chance to receive the nutrition they need while reducing summer learning loss.
NUTRITION & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
EDUCATION IS KEY IN PROVIDING THE CRITICAL NUTRITION NECESSARY FOR KIDS TO THRIVE
Children’s Hunger Alliance educates and engages children and families in healthy food choices and physical activity.
Our Nutrition Education team helps in-home child care providers learn how to plan meals and offer healthy food options to the children in their care.
Children’s Hunger Alliance also certifies providers in the Ohio Healthy Programs, which ensures providers offer children in their care fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and more.
At afterschool and summer nutrition programs, we offer training, tips and programming to help children make healthy food choices and engage them in physical activity.
Children’s Hunger Alliance also provides free nutrition and healthy living classes to adults and families.
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