The White House Task Force on Childhood obesity report states the following: The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis. One in every three children is overweight or obese. One third of children born now are expected to develop diabetes or other chronic obesity related disease in their lifetime. Studies show that obese children are more likely to become obese adults, which can lead to shorter lifespans.
While these statistics are striking, we have more research available and are now more aware of the risk factors associated with childhood obesity to put an end to this epidemic. Together we are taking strides to teach children healthy eating habits at an earlier age. Your child’s preschool years are a very important time to learn and develop these healthy habits that lead to a healthy life.
The goals of the White House Task Force are to focus on the following topics:
Create a healthy start on life for children, empower parents to make healthy choices for their families, ensure access to healthy, affordable food and to increase opportunities for physical activity.
Child Inc. is also dedicated to this issue and is working towards the same goals for the community of Travis County. Head Start programs are designed to create a healthy start for children and to enable parents to make choices that can benefit their families, especially their children.
Child Inc. Head Start Center-Based Programs provide breakfast, lunch and snacks that follow the meal patterns of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. These meal patterns ensure nutritious and appropriate foods are provided to children in the program. All meals and snacks are designed to be low in fats and sugars, vitamin rich and provide ½ to 2/3 of the nutrition requirements per day for young children.
At Child Inc., we are dedicated to providing our children with the healthy foods necessary for their physical, social, and emotional growth and development. At our center-based programs, food is served family-style. This enhances social and developmental skills, such as decision-making, teaches manners. The staff also uses this opportunity to educate the children on food and nutrition, while encouraging them to try new foods. A pleasant environment is provided in the classroom and children are allowed ample time to eat and enjoy their meals and snacks. Head Start also recognizes and accommodates the individual dietary needs and the cultural differences of the children.
Child Inc. promotes comprehensive Nutrition Education to the families we serve. This includes not only a nutritious menu, but also nutrition education classes for parents as well as individual counseling when needed.
Child Inc. encourages parents to be positive role models for their children. Setting healthy and active examples for your family is the best way to influence your children to make healthy choices. The best way to show your child love is by spending time with them.
For more information, contact Child Inc. at (512) 451-7361 or 1(800)-222-4051
- Child Inc. Four-Week Cycle Menu -A sample version of a Child Inc. menu
- choosemyplate.gov -Resources and information on healthy eating and tips for a healthy lifestyle.
- kidshealth.org -Provides information on several health topics. English and Spanish.
- mealsmatter.org -Help with meal planning and recipes.
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