A study in the August 2018 issue of Pediatrics, "The Nutritional Quality of Gluten-Free Products for Children," examined the nutritional content of gluten-free products marketed specifically to children. The research showed that products labeled gluten-free are not nutritionally better compared to "regular" children's foods (those without a gluten free claim). In addition, many of the gluten-free foods for children had less protein, high sugar levels, and were of poor nutritional quality due to high levels of sugar, sodium, and/or fat.

The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) project at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is now “Go NAP SACC.” Go NAP SACC features an interactive website. Look there for resources for children from birth – 5 years, a focus on breastfeeding and infant feeding, screen time, and outdoor play. Go NAP SACC can be adapted for different child care settings, including family child care homes. The Go NAP SACC website, found at www.gonapsacc.org, gives technical assistance professionals self-assessments and tools. You can follow Go NAP SACC on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GoNAPSACC) and Twitter. Reviewed and reaffirmed 3/2018.

Children need substantial amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and good foods in the right amounts to have a healthy weight. Nationally, 20% of children are overweight or obese by age 6. This article lists some ways to introduce healthful habits to children and to families and prevent obesity. This article describes Keystone Kids Go! Let's Move! Child Care, I am moving, I am learning, NAP SACC, and some examples of how these resources can be integrated into the curriculum. 

Brochure that describes the role of a sanitarian or food safety consultant for early education and child care programs. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012

This workshop enables the user to learn how to assess health and safety practices in programs for infants and toddlers in conjunction with use of the ITERS assessment tool. Discuss feeding, diapering, sleeping, fostering early brain development, managing illness and more. Use the assessment to make improvements in the program. 

The PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics published the 5th edition of Model Child Care Health Policies in October 2013. Significantly revised and updated, the new edition is a practical tool for adoption and implementation of best practices for health and safety in group care settings for young children. This edition replaces the previously published version and updates of individual policies that were posted on the ECELS website. ECELS encourages early education and child care professionals to adapt the model policies as site-specific documents that fit their programs. Two formats are available: one replicates the hard copy publication. The other format, posted 12-12-2014, has form fields that allow users to insert their site-specific details directly into the PDF document.

The National Center on Health offers visually attractive, simply stated resources for infant, toddler and preschool care. Anyone can down-load the electronic copies from the Internet. Head Start programs can order hard copy from the National Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. These materials have excellent content for teachers/caregivers to use in their programs and to share with families:

Growing Healthy Flipcharts http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/healthy-active-living/HAL_Resources/NCHEnglishFlipChartF011514_7-7final508.pdf

Take a look at the National Center’s Health Tips (Fact Sheets) for Families* (and teachers): Download an individual one page fact sheets when you need a handout on one of the topics or download the complete series in English [PDF, 1.2MB] and Spanish (español) [PDF, 309KB]* The following topic are available as handouts:

Active Play includes tips to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop positive active play behaviors.

Health Literacy provides information about how to understand and use health information that doctors and other health professionals give.

Healthy Breathing provides information about eliminating first-hand, second-hand and third-hand exposure to tobacco smoke.

Healthy Eating offers easy tips to help infants, toddlers and preschool-age children learn healthy eating.

Mental Health provides information about how to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop positive mental health behaviors.

Oral Health offers tips to promote oral health in infancy through preschool age.

Safety and Injury Prevention: Tips for Families (2 pages) provides easy tips families can use to ensure their children's health and safety at home, outside, in the water, and in a car or truck.

Dealing with Stress is a 4 page guide with simply stated, clear tips to help cope with stress in a healthy way.

*http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/health-literacy-family-engagement/family-education/tipsheetfamily.htm

In February 2013, the USDA’s Team Nutrition released a new Provider Handbook. The USDA Team Nutrition website has the handbook available online.  You can use the great resources in the handbook online now. Hard copy print copies are available free of charge for online ordering in the summer of 2013. The handbook is for users of the Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) and anyone else involved with a child care program.

Use the USDA website links in this article to help staff and families focus on individual nutrition ideas. Invite families to use the web links to plan how they feed their children at home.  Look at all these and more on the USDA website at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Snack Ideas from each food group:  grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and combinations of two or more food groups. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers/healthy-habits/snack-ideas.html%20

This workshop addresses national and state initiatives to reduce obesity among children in group care. It includes nutritional needs of infants, toddlers, preschool  and school age children. Participants learn how to adjust portion sizes, and evaluate food and nutrition labeling.  The discussion includes comparing the standards for physical activity and limitation of sedentary activities with current practices. The participants learn how to use research about how children acquire attitudes about food and physical activity. They identify nutrition education opportunities at mealtimes, snacks, holidays and birthdays.