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Early Childhood Resources

Find out how the New York City Health Department is working with children, parents and staff in child care settings and schools to improve nutrition and physical activity.

Programs

Eat Well Play Hard Program: Nutrition Workshops for Children, Parents and Staff at Child Care Centers

At eligible child care centers, registered dietitians from the Health Department provide hands-on workshops on the importance of good nutrition and physical activities. Using the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings curriculum, registered dietitians provide fun, engaging hands-on nutrition and cooking classes for 3- and 4-year-old children and for parents and caregivers. In addition, dietitians provide nutrition workshops for center staff. To find out if a center is eligible to participate or to get more information, please contact EWPH@health.nyc.gov.

Farm to Preschool

The Farm to Preschool Program brings fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to select New York City preschools, giving parents, staff and community members weekly access to fresh produce

Printed Materials

Eat Well Play Hard News: A Newsletter for Child Care Centers in New York City

Review past Eat Well Play Hard Newsletters for recipes and information on improving nutrition and physical activity in child care centers.

Archived newsletters:

Growing Healthy Children: A Guide to Improving Physical Activity and Nutrition in Group Child Care Centers

The New York City Health Department encourages child care centers to support healthy habits among young children by developing and adopting a written nutrition and physical activity policy, which builds upon New York City and federal regulations and standards. To assist in developing a policy, the Growing Healthy Children Guide (PDF) provides an overview of city and federal regulations and standards and examples of written policies and communication tools for child care centers. Having a written and well-communicated policy will help ensure that your child care center is a place where children can develop healthy habits – habits that they can carry with them into adulthood.

 

Growing Healthy Children: A Nutrition Education Curriculum for New York City Child Care Centers

Growing Healthy Children, a nutrition education curriculum (PDF), was developed for use by teachers of three and four year olds in group child care settings. It is adapted, with permission, from the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum developed by the New York State Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

 

Growing Healthy Children Toolkit: Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity in Child Care Settings

Growing Healthy Children: Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity in Child Care Settings (PDF), a toolkit developed by the Best Practices Partnership to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in Early Childhood, provides child care center with promotional materials to support the development of healthy habits. The Growing Healthy Children toolkit promotional materials include:

  • Nutrition and physical activity posters that provide clear and simple messages for families around nutrition and physical activity for children ages 0-5 years; and
  • Information sheets with necessary information on each poster topic and ideas for promoting the messages in the child care center.

For more information regarding these materials (electronic versions available in SpanishChineseBengaliHaitian Creole and Korean), please contact EWPH@health.nyc.gov.

Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings for Pre-K through 1st Grade Nutrition Education curriculum

Eat Well Play Hard

The Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings for Pre-K through 1st Grade Nutrition Education curriculum was developed by the New York City Health Department. It is based on the Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings Curriculum developed by the New York State Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. The curriculum provides six modules of hands-on nutrition lessons for pre-K through 1st grade classrooms. If you are a pre-k through 1st grade teacher you can download the Eat Well Play Hard in Care Settings: Nutrition Education Curriculum Pre-K through 1st Grade (PDF).

For more information, please contact EWPH@health.nyc.gov.


Move-to-Impove

Move-to-Improve is a comprehensive and engaging way to help teachers integrate physical activity into all areas of classroom academics. The Move-to-Improve Early Childhood Curriculum is designed to help child care centers and preschools reach the NYC Health Code mandated 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day. Download the curriculum:

The Move-to-Improve Elementary School program is designed to help public schools reach the NYSED mandated 120 minutes per week of physical education instruction. This program is implemented by the NYC Department of Education.
Additional Resources

Policy and Regulations:

  • Article 47 Child Care Regulations for New York City provides an overview of nutrition and physical activity regulations for child care centers: §47.61 (food and food safety) and §47.71 (physical activity and limits on television viewing).
  • Let's Move! Child Care is a nationwide call-to-action that empowers child care providers to make positive health changes in children and provides needed resources and support for healthy child care centers.

Curriculum and Education:

  • Choose My Plate provides nutrition education tools and resources that support the US Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating.
  • EatPlayGrow is a new early childhood health curriculum and the first to be approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC). In partnership with the NIH, Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) adapted the We Can!® obesity prevention program (originally for ages 8-13) to create EatPlayGrow™ for use with children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers.
  • Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to fruits and vegetables.  
  • Team Nutrition Resources A-Z provides a comprehensive listing of all the resources available through Team Nutrition to schools and child care facilities that participate in Federal Child Nutrition Programs.
Breastfeeding and Child Care Centers

Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both babies and mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, for the first six months, mothers feed their babies only breast milk. After that, breastfeeding is recommended for a year or longer, while starting on other foods.

Children’s Oral health

Tooth decay can affect adults and children, even infants and toddlers, but can be prevented. Learn more about supporting children’s oral health and obtain free posters for your child care center.